Growth Hacking
Jul 1, 2020

How to Make It Big on Amazon [2020]

Jenalee Janes

Everyone wants a successful business. For many, the best way to achieve this goal is to start selling through Amazon, if such an opportunity should arise. Amazon’s marketplace is one of the biggest hubs for all online shopping, and its worldwide reach makes it extra appealing to many beginning entrepreneurs. If you and your company are seeking success on Amazon, however, there are a few things you should probably know before you just dive in.

The Rules Are Changing

As much as we hate to admit it, a constantly changing online atmosphere means that there is, in turn, a constantly changing market for online goods. As times change, so will the spending habits of the people who occupy online spaces--and particularly those who are looking to do some or majority of their shopping through Amazon. And as the wants and needs of customers change over time, the companies who are trying to meet their needs must also adapt.

Here’s what’s new:

New Campaign Performance Dashboard

Within the past year or two, this new dashboard has been set up specifically for both Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands. It helps to visualize the key performance metrics for the campaigns of both of these in order to help advertisers determine what might be working within their company and what might need some more work.

API Bidding Capabilities

These new API (also known as Application Program Interface) capabilities have been introduced for both Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands. They allow for anything that’s being sponsored on Amazon to have a better chance of appearing in related searches.

Headline Search Ads Rebranded as Sponsored Brands

Previously headline search ads allowed businesses on Amazon to promote their product or brand to customers through the use of keywords, furthering their chances of being seen by having their name bumped up the list by paying per ad. Now, however, the rebrand to a Sponsored Brand helps to expand the number of potential ad placements within Amazon’s site depending on the ad type, and introduces new automated and manual bidding processes.

With the right strategy, you’ll be able to keep all of the different ad campaigns your company is running under a single budget.

Portfolio Budgeting

With the help of portfolio budgeting, advertisers are able to group their different ad campaigns together in whatever way they think will be best so that they can use all of them together over an extended period of time and under one set budget.

Showcasing Deal ASINs

If desired, advertisers on Amazon are now given the opportunity to showcase their products’ specific ASINs on the website. ASINs, which are simply speaking just the product specific identification numbers that help to differentiate one product from another, mean that in the case of an upcoming deal on Amazon, companies can make sure their product appears with its own unique identification code to bring customers back to their company’s brand page on Amazon.

Amazon Mobile App Inventory to Self-Service DSP

The previous mobile app inventory, which was owned and operated by Amazon alone, gave all of the advertising to Amazon themselves. With the implementation of a self-service DSP, however, companies are now able to create and manage their own advertising of their own products in whatever way they see fit.

Additional Display Advertiser Audiences

Five of these have been added to the Amazon user repertoire, each of them helping to display an individual company’s reach within the brand’s most qualified customer audience. Essentially, those customers who are most likely to be interested in a particular company’s products will be more likely to be shown those within their search results, no matter how far removed the product is from their actual search.

The flywheel describes how the three different types of Amazon media--owned, earned, and paid--relate to one another.

The Amazon Advertising Flywheel

Amazon’s flywheel is, at its core, the cycle through which a company’s advertising on Amazon will go through if it is to obtain optimum media exposure through the site. Within the flywheel, there are three main types of media a product or company may experience: owned media, paid media, and earned media. According to Amazon’s 2020 Playbook, the most effective ways for companies to see the success they’re looking for on the website are:

  1. To have intimate knowledge of the ways in which Amazon’s marketplace operates, as well as how it’s competitive landscape is constantly changing
  2. To develop a strategy that seeks to address all the forms of media that make up the Amazon flywheel and to bring together different teams in the hopes of supporting merchandising, marketing, advertising, the supply chain, and brand advocacy
  3. To make intentional decisions by keeping the downstream impact at the forefront of all thought

Owned Media

Owned media is what is truly at the core of a company actually seeing the financial gains from any of their media exposure throughout Amazon’s site. It is what, at the end of the day, helps companies to differentiate themselves from others like them in the face of the competitiveness that comes with Amazon’s marketplace.

With a strong brand, they are better able to make themselves stand out to potential customers by giving them a richer, more pleasant online shopping experience. This is actually what helps them fuel earned media. When customers are pleased with their experience with a specific company, they are more likely to leave good reviews--which encourage even more customers to try out the products or services a company has to offer.

The best way to ensure a good customer experience, then, is to make sure your company’s page is well-designed and well-curated. Amazon’s Playbook has a few suggestions:

Product Detail Pages

In order to create a well thought-out, effective product detail page, you need to be aware of what yields the most accurate responses according to Amazon’s algorithm. Because of this, you’ll have two audiences in mind: the customer, and Amazon’s algorithm.

The customer is going to be looking for all of the ways in which your product is going to benefit them. What does it bring to the table that other products do not? Amazon’s algorithm is going to be looking for keywords that are going to make your product relevant to a number of queries.

The trick to creating a good product detail page, then, is to make sure that all of your key fields--such as titles, descriptions, and bullet points--contain all of the necessary keywords for helping the algorithm to recognize your product as relevant.

It should also, however, use the keywords that your customers are most likely to be searching. Not only will this help the algorithm to choose your product more accurately, but it will also drive customers to actually take a look at what you have to offer.

Brand Registry

The most important reason to implement a registration for your specific brand is in the interest of protecting your brand’s integrity. Brand registry protects your company from having its name fraudulently used by people who are not associated with it.

While sponsored ads on Amazon don’t usually involve someone parachuting with a brand’s logo, it is a paid practice that allows different companies to appear higher up in the search results.

Paid Media

Paid media is the next step in the flywheel. Once you’ve established yourself as a strong brand, you can then take additional steps to ensure your visibility as a company through the use of paid media. This can usually be carried out through a combination of both search and display ads.

Search Ads

The strategy of your search ads should be robust in the face of a wide audience. There are three types of search ads: sponsored products, sponsored brands, and product display ads. Each one works a little differently, but in order to have the most effective paid media strategy, all three should be implemented in a good mix. This makes it easy to cross-reference how your brand is faring compared to your competitors.

Display Ads

Display ads are something that every company should use as a part of their paid media campaign, simply because they have a wider reach, offer more options for reaching a targeted audience, and they help to reinforce the efforts that are being put forth with search ads. Display ads ensure that customers are staying engaged on multiple ends with the product you are offering them.

Earned Media

Earned media is the last, but certainly not least, step on the flywheel. Whereas owned and paid media help to establish who you are as a brand and how you intend to reach your intended demographics, earned media is the only way to ensure you’ll really reach them. You could have the most well-designed product page and all the advertising you can afford to put out there, but if you aren’t getting feedback from your customers, the chances of future customers looking into you are slim.

This is precisely what earned media helps you with. You need all three together to succeed. Owned media gives you power through creating a good user experience. Paid media gets more people to visit your product and company pages. When customers have a good user experience, they’re more likely to leave good reviews. When they leave good reviews, more customers who visit via your paid media will see your product as more worthwhile. After all, if someone else likes it, then surely they will as well.

Everyone wants a successful business. But if you want to be successful on Amazon, specifically, you’re going to have to play the game by the rules that are laid out for you. These are the rules of the game.

For more information, please take a look at the 2020 edition of Amazon’s Playbook.