You like to poke Amazon’s algorithm to see what’s working, don’t you?
I’ve been seeing a lot of talk lately in the Facebook seller groups about Amazon Sponsored Ads and how it’s being described as the “new way to rank”.
Of course this strategy is nothing new to people like myself who have been selling on Amazon for years but I think lately it’s getting more attention because “Giveaway” style promotions have been getting a lot of bad rap lately. I think in some ways the criticism is justified but in other ways I think we are judging too harshly on the idea if done properly.
To be clear, I am NOT an advocate for doing “giveaways” where we just give away a bunch of products at a loss without capturing customer emails or Messenger contact info. To me that form of advertising is just way under optimized and if you’re doing that, you’re missing a BIG opportunity to grow your business.
If you hear someone mention the way they market their product is through Sponsored Ads, inform them that this is not marketing–PPC is a form of advertising. Marketing is an act of going out there, finding people, and solving their real problems and/or improving lives. It’s a chance to serve and let others know you have a solution to their problems or inform them that indeed they do have a problem they might not of known about (and you can help).
A PPC campaign does not do that, it just gets an immediate need solved via your product, there is no story being sold here.
With PPC, you might be able to get to the top without taking such a loss, or you might not – depends on how hard you have to hit the PPC and for how long. I think most people agree in the beginning you will lose money running a PPC ad. Using Facebook ads to attract customers to buy your product, let’s just say at a loss for a moment, you will likely rank faster (and thus start recouping money spent faster) and grow an audience of customers.
Speed is a factor.
For example, when real estate investors flip houses many of them know the importance of speed – this is why they don’t do all the work themselves. The great thing is you can get better running ads on and off Amazon. When I do promotions with a high discount off Amazon to increase sales velocity, I try to make sure all my Amazon fees are covered so I don’t go into the red in Amazon when I sell a product.
Many times this means around a 70% off coupon or something in that neighborhood.
Other times I’ll try a BOGO.
Other times I might just run a “for whatever reason special” to my list. If your goal is to launch at a profit, then you’re going to really want to look into building an audience.
Realize too that there is value found in building an audience and list of customers.
You can even put a monetary value on it because you don’t have to keep pounding the pavement for 1-off sales, you can get multiple sales from the one customer. Plus you have the added benefit of having a real conversation with your customers vs. abiding by all the rules and blockades you get with Amazon email follow ups.
How much value can you put into getting to know the people who are buying your products? How can we provide service for our customers and improve their lives to the best of our abilities or in line with our company’s values when we don’t even know who is buying our stuff?
The game of Sponsored Ads is basically trying to win or steel over sales from competitors; however, when you actively look to grow an audience and take your brand’s messaging off Amazon, it expands the market.
I’m just mentioning this because if you’re playing the only advertise on Amazon game (because that’s 95% of what is talked about in the seller groups), you’re really missing out on a much larger piece of the pie and the opportunity to grow your brand.
Would it shock you if I told you it might be a good idea to run Facebook ads and grow an audience even if the ROI didn’t show positive? As long as you have a profitable channel (i.e. Amazon), you may just consider taking a small loss elsewhere in effort to build the long term lifeblood of your business (i.e. build an audience and fans) and make the sale later in the conversation.
And you don’t have to do high discounts with every Facebook ad you run. You can offer value in many ways in exchange for emails and Messenger subscribers, the thing is you have to be patient for the ROI (best when you have multiple products to sell) and in the long term… your business will be valued much higher if it can be sold with a list of 30,000 fans.
And again, if the high discount offers really bug you, here’s something you can try. If you sell multiple products (or you can source a product specifically for this purpose) you can make 1 product a loss leader.
This is just like the free plus shipping offers. Do the high discount for the 1 product and that gets people into your brand’s story where from there you can elevate them to a customer who buys other products from you and is an advocate of your brand.
I suppose the purpose of writing this today was to just remind Amazon sellers that you don’t only have to advertise on Amazon.
If all your “marketing” is done there, you might just be missing out on a much larger opportunity to grow your business and many times, used in a way which helps you rank on Amazon.
That being said, Amazon Sponsored Ads is a heavy hitter and I think it’s an essential part of your marketing strategy for selling products on Amazon. I think it’s also super insightful for data mining on Amazon and it can lead you to know which keywords you convert for (opposed to just blindly doing a launch to a few untested keywords).
The way I think about it is PPC gets me cashflow and Facebook ads (i.e. marketing off Amazon and building an audience) is where a fortune lies.
As far as which is better to help you rank on Amazon – is there really a winner?
Just strategies you can use, but once the dust settles, one option will leave you with more power in the game.
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