Paid promotion for eCommerce is no joke. In 2017, we saw more than $10 billion spent on pay per click (PPC) ads, and that number went up in 2018. The payoff varies. In fact, there are plenty of articles explaining why you shouldn’t even bother wasting your money on paid ads, and instead focus on organic content — or at least on spending your marketing budget to promote your Amazon store elsewhere.
Whether you’re starting an eCommerce website or you’re an old pro, it can make sense to allocate resources to serving ads for potential customers while they’re already on Amazon. For others, social media advertising makes more sense.
Where you decide to spend your advertising dollars depends very much on your demographic, product type, competitors and what stage of the sales funnel you’re specifically targeting.
This article will focus on the benefits and drawbacks of Amazon PPC and social media advertising while taking into account the factors mentioned above.
Let’s see which channel should you use to promote your Amazon store.
Editor’s note: GoDaddy’s GoCentral Online Store makes it a snap to list your products on Amazon, Etsy and eBay, sync your inventory to multiple sales channels, and manage all your orders from the same dashboard.
Promoting your Amazon store with pay-per-click
Your business is already on Amazon. Why not advertise on there too?
There are a few ways you can tackle Amazon’s PPC advertising. Sponsored products are by far the most popular because they appear alongside other products in search results, and are in the same format. They are distinguishable only by the “sponsored” tag below the title. You also can try a headline search ad, which is a banner ad that appears depending on the keywords searched, or a product display ad, which is an ad that pops up on another product page.
But when is Amazon PPC a good option? Consider the following when making your choice:
The data shows that everyone is on Amazon. However, the average age of Amazon users is 37 and the bulk of users are between 19 and 44. So, if your customers are in that age range, Amazon is the place for your advertising.
Where in the sales funnel are you looking to target customers when you promote your Amazon store? If you’re trying to capture those customers who are deeper in the sales funnel and looking to buy, Amazon is a great choice.
Customers on Amazon are already browsing for the product and researching it, making them far more likely to follow through.
How are you differentiating yourself from your competitors? If you’re competing mostly on price, Amazon pay-per-click ads make the most sense.
When faced with a grid of similar products and minimal information about them, price is a tiebreaker. The other big way to differentiate you from your competitors is, you guessed it, reviews.
Considering the mindset that many Amazon shoppers have, if you can’t quickly and successfully differentiate yourself apples-to-apples compared to your competitors, a PPC ad might not be worth it.
Leveraging social media advertising
Social media advertising is the new kid on the block. But with so many different platforms and ways of advertising available, where do you even start?
While focusing on creating organic content and attracting followers sounds great, it’s probably not enough. That’s more like the baseline.
On top of that, you can also do targeted ads to direct viewers, either to try to get them to follow you or buy from you. But what platform do you choose? Consider these factors:
As new generations come onto the social media scene, so do new social media platforms — so that users can continue to try to get away from their parents. Facebook is home to users of all age groups, Instagram has the millennials (though they’re on Facebook too), and Snapchat has the coveted 18 to 24 crowd.
Note: Don’t forget that you should optimize your marketing strategy for mobile since the bulk of users are there instead of on desktop.
Social media is an area where the type of product you’re selling matters and should guide your decision as to what platform you embrace.
If it’s more of a useful, practical product, and especially if you’re competing on price, Facebook will be a better home for you to promote your Amazon store.
While retargeting can be a great way to convert leads, social media is a better hunting ground for generating and nurturing leads. Creating a brand identity, building brand awareness and investing in building a community are all better done on social media.
Research your competitors on all the major social media platforms, and ask yourself these questions: Are they on the right platform? If they aren’t, you can beat them to the punch by being the first on the scene of the better platform? If they are, can you do better? Just because a brand has a profile doesn’t mean they’re doing a good job.
Follow the influencers
There are a variety of influencer-based advertising strategies. You can send relevant influencers free products in hopes that they write a review, you can pay them to review products without a script, or you can do a sponsored shoutout for your product.
To decide which tactic you want to go for, consider how organic you want your marketing to appear.
With a paid advertisement or sponsorship, the audience will know immediately it isn’t organic (#ad) but can be spun as supporting the creator.
However, getting included in a haul video because you sent them a free product will feel a lot more organic, but you run the risk of a bad review (or no review at all).
So what does promoting your Amazon store look like on social media?
- YouTube has everything from unboxing videos, to product reviews, to first impressions as well as sponsored videos.
- On Instagram, you can pay for a sponsored post on an influencer’s feed or on their story. Some influencers also do product reviews on their story.
- On Snapchat, you’re limited to the influencer’s story, as the platform doesn’t offer a dedicated feed. While Snapchat might seem the most restrictive, it’s also perceived as the most genuine platform, so don’t let that dissuade you.
Making it happen
Is there a right way to promote your Amazon store?
Maybe the answer isn’t a simple yes.
It depends on where your customers are and how ready they are to buy. By and large, if you focus on these fundamentals, you should be able to conduct a successful marketing campaign.