How To Leverage Social Media & Influencers For Enhanced Sales And Traffic On Amazon?
Amazon is a fascinating company, a household name, the world’s largest online retailer, a name synonymous with online shopping. It needs no introduction.
Still, let’s talk a little about the E-commerce behemoth and the impact it has had in altering customer behaviour, escalating brands and sellers across the globe and finally indicating an undeniable fact: Amazon isn’t going anywhere. Driving social media traffic on Amazon is one of the key aspects of rapidly enhancing traffic to your Amazon shop or product listing.
Amazon itself has an inventory of about 12 million items across all its categories and services. But if you go deeper and look at all the items that sellers list, the number expands to about 350 million. Yes, it’s a ton of competition, but, imagine the visibility and the sales you get.
There are currently 150 million Prime subscribers, a 50% increase from 100 million in April 2018.
The company made $125.6 billion in sales revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020 marking an impressive 44% year-over-year increase.
When it comes to the number of sellers on the platform, Amazon has 9.7 million sellers worldwide, of which 1.9 million are actively selling on the marketplace and the number is growing rapidly. After all, everyone wants a piece of this delicious cake, don’t they?
In fact, every year, more than a million new sellers join Amazon. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, as many as 2, 83,000 sellers signed up to sell on the marketplace. Should this pace continue, Amazon can expect to have 1.4 million new sellers by the end of 2021!
In short, the Amazon platform is full of opportunities for sellers from every industry. Period!
Once you develop a comprehensive understanding of the platform, have the strategies necessary to maximize your presence on the marketplace (read social media that we’re going to talk about in this article) and have studied your consumers, you are prepped to cruise through.
Similarly and on the same lines, social media which include platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok and the like have changed the way we live our lives. From the way we get our daily dose of news to the way we interact with our loved ones, from how we share daily updates, social media is everywhere. It’s powerful and it’s unavoidable.
Since 2004, social media has been growing exponentially and let me add something here; it still hasn’t reached the peak of its popularity. Wow!
There’s no denying that social media platforms are now a major source of news and information. But that’s not all.
Social media platforms are unique in the way they interact with customers. Not only do they provide a platform for users to communicate beyond local and social boundaries, but they also offer countless possibilities to share user-generated content, like photos and videos.
Incontestably, the usage of social media around the world is ever-increasing and is, without a doubt, one of the most popular online activities that internet users engage in.
48% of world population in on social media. Are you leveraging it correctly?
With over 2.32 billion active monthly users, Facebook remains the most widely used social media platform. We’re slowly becoming social media addicts. Whether it’s scrolling down our bottomless Facebook or Instagram feeds on the way home, or posting the perfect brunch photo on Instagram before eating, social media has become inescapable. The latest social media statistics show that an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes is spent per day per person on social media.
As social media is becoming more integrated into our daily lives, it unveils countless opportunities for businesses that are looking to reach out to their audiences through social media marketing. Additionally, social media allows brands to access cost-effective marketing, interact with their audience, and build brand loyalty.
Now, let’s get back to the topic at hand.
What if I told you that we could club Amazon and social media together, make the most of both the Goliaths and generate revenue from Amazon while also enhancing your brand value and consumer base?
Sounds good doesn’t it?
In fact, as an E-commerce entrepreneur and social media influencer, I often get asked a very pertinent question. How can I leverage social media to enhance sales and traffic on Amazon?
Over time and having gained tons of experience and expertise in the matter, here are some sure shot ways to get the ball rolling.
1. Use Influencers To Promote Your Amazon Brand On Social
It’s no surprise that consumers continue to spend more and more time doing online shopping and on social channels. Thus, as a result, they’re becoming more discerning about the content they respond to. As marketers, we need to be sure we adjust our online communication strategies accordingly; setting well-informed goals, keeping those goals in mind as we plan and execute campaigns, and understanding how influencers fit into the holistic picture of our marketing efforts.
With such a large spike in E-commerce and digital spending across the globe, the potential of influencer marketing, especially in drawing crowds to your Amazon store is there for the taking, especially when it’s aligned with other areas of your marketing strategy like paid media, content marketing, SEO and PR.
First off: Who exactly is an influencer?
An influencer is a person who has the ability to affect the behavior of other people as a result of the size of their audience or their individual persuasiveness.
In that sense, are influencers and the concept of influencer marketing new? Absolutely not! Influencer marketing has always existed. The birth and growth of social platforms has enabled influential people to exert their influence like never before. The result? A multi-billion dollar industry, estimated to grow from a whopping $6 billion in 2020 to $24.1 billion by 2025.
Word of mouth is probably the world’s oldest form of marketing, and often something we barely notice, right? An example: “I love what you’re wearing. Where’d you get it?” When you say the name of the brand, you’re influencing your friend’s decision to perhaps make a purchase from the same brand in the future.
> Choose between mega, macro, micro & nano influencers. They are rapid word-spreaders
Did you know, Estee Lauder, a global luxury skincare & makeup brand spent over $900 million on influencer marketing in 2017? Over a period of time they comprehended how valuable and crucial influencer marketing truly is for their brand identity and name and for 2020; they allocated a whopping 75% of their marketing budget to influencer marketing across their umbrella of brands.
Here’s let’s tell you that there are 4 broad categories of influencers?
They are mega, macro, micro and nano. Before we plunge into the details of what type or category of influencer will suit your brand, let’s first define each precisely.
- Who is a mega influencer? This is the highest-ranking category on the influencer scale and these people usually tend to have over a million followers on social media platforms. They often are celebrities that most people can recognize, including film and music stars. What that means is that they have a global audience and their content can reach a lot of people very quickly. Unfortunately, these influencers don’t have a very strong or a real connection to the audience and usually represent the most expensive of the categories to work with. They already have a lot of experience working with brands, which tends to make the partnership simpler and less time-intensive from a brand’s perspective. But, one piece of content from a celebrity influencer could cost anywhere from $2,000 to $50,000, depending on reputation and follower count.
- Who is a macro influencer? A step down from the mega influencers, these are the people that have between 100,000 and a million followers on social platforms. Unlike the previous group, these are people who have become popular solely due to the internet – anything from viral content to constant updates. These influencers have a much stronger relationship with the audience, and their audience tends to have very specific interests, which is usually why they are following that person in particular. The downside is that they tend to use an agent when it comes to working with brands.
- Who is a micro influencer? This is by far the biggest category of influencers out of the four, as these are the people who become popular for being industry or topic experts. They are very passionate about their subject, and by sharing what they know, they managed to gain a loyal audience. They can have anywhere between 10,000 and 100,000 followers and usually tend to have somewhat of an experience working with brands.
- Who is a nano influencer? Last, but not least, this is the newest category of influencers, with less than 10,000 followers on social media. These are people with the highest levels of engagement, and mostly have influence within a small community and very little experience working with brands.
Now how do you choose amongst the four influencer categories to drive sales to your Amazon store?
Mega influencers are best suited to mega brands who can afford their price. Remember that they have a broad diversity of followers. So, if your product is very niche, then a mega influencer may not be the best option.
Using a macro influencer will be more targeted than using a mega influencer and more affordable too, yet will still appeal to a large cross-section of the population. They are also likely to have considerable experience presenting themselves, so they will make a much more reliable ambassador for your brand.
Micro-influencers come across as the most relatable and believable group and they are the ideal choice for start-ups and new brands.
Nano influencers are likely to have a certain gravitas towards their audiences. And, their audiences will tend to look up to them and put their trust in them. This makes them ideal candidates if you’re looking for someone to endorse a public health or safety campaign or to spread a very localised message.
While making a decision, do bear these crucial factors in mind:
- The key to knowing how to work with all the different types of influencers is in understanding how each functions within your influencer network or on a particular campaign, especially while dealing with E-commerce giant Amazon. Each influencer type has its place within a mature influencer marketing program.
- But categorizing influencers based solely on follower counts can be misleading. Experienced influencer marketing managers understand how vital it is to take engagement into consideration.
- Having thousands of social media followers does not automatically equal audience engagement. Fake influencers can manufacture a large social media following using shady tactics.
- With any influencer campaign, the bottom line is authenticity. Do the influencers that you’ve selected have the ability – regardless of their follower size – to achieve authentic connections with members of their online community?
- This authenticity is most often identified by way of an influencer’s engagement rate. Regardless of an influencer’s follower size, an influencer’s engagement rate is the best way to predict conversions during a campaign.
How do you define engagement rate?
Engagement Rate = Post Engagements divided by the Number of Followers By dividing an influencer’s number of post engagements which may include comments, shares, hashtags and user-generated content by the number of followers, you can arrive at a more reliable metric.Whatever direction you choose to take with your influencer program, irrespective of where they are steering the consumer, to your Amazon store or other store front, don’t be afraid to take liberties and test alternative approaches and tactics. Experiment with different kinds of influencers and track results. With enough experience, your program will mature into a well-oiled machine making extensive use of a variety of influencer types.
Today’s influencer marketing space is scalable, testable and customizable. The old world of sponsorships and brand ambassadors has given way to companies of all sizes working with personalities on every social network, with audiences from the niche to the international.
Now how can influencers get more people to your Amazon store and thereby enhance footfall and sales?
2. Redirect All Traffic To Your Amazon Storefront
Capturing and driving external traffic to your Amazon listing is a great way to get a leg up over your competition while building your business into more than just another Amazon store. You want to rank high on Amazon and get a lot of organic sales. But while this is the number one thing you should aim for, it’s getting harder than ever to do.
Characterizing external traffic is simply the traffic that’s come from a website or App other than Amazon. The searcher and potential customer starts their journey somewhere else, but ends up on Amazon. External traffic both helps you rank higher and offers another path to get sales outside of visibility on Amazon.
In this context, external traffic answers the question à how do I increase my Amazon Sessions on my listings, without relying on Amazon listing optimisation or Amazon PPC?
Here are a few great tips to get started:
Boost your keyword rankings – It’s a simple math formula. More traffic = more sales. Since sales velocity is one of the major factors in Amazon’s search algorithm, this often translates into better keyword rankings.
Think of external traffic as a supplement for your Amazon traffic. Anything extra you can drive to your listing on your own is a bonus.
Instead of relying on people to search for your product and find it, you go out and find customers yourself.
Build an email list of a list on Messenger – An email list is one of the most important brand assets for an online business. Yet, you’re not able to collect emails selling only on Amazon.
Amazon protects their customers’ details fiercely. Any attempt to get your Amazon customers’ real email addresses will put you in violation of their Terms of Service.
However, the key distinction is whether you make contact before or after they get to Amazon. If you make contact with customers before they reach Amazon, it’s a fair game to capture their contact details. With a customer list, you have so many more possibilities to grow your brand than without. You can:
- run marketing campaigns
- push cross-sells and up-sells
- build long-term relationships with your customers
- launch products for much lower costs
Additionally, your list gives you a fallback plan if you find yourself unable to sell on Amazon in the future.While email has long been the go-to for building a customer list, Facebook Messenger is becoming popular in its own right.With much better open rates and engagement rates, Messenger is proving an even more effective marketing channel for many online stores, especially for reaching out and asking for reviews.As more competition joins Amazon, third-party sellers need more ways to get ahead.
External traffic directed towards your storefront not only gives you another channel to bring in sales, it also helps you rank higher and make more organic sales. Driving your own traffic also allows you to build a customer list, a powerful asset for growing and protecting your brand.
Build out a sales funnel for your external traffic, and you’ll be able to hit on all the benefits of off-Amazon channels, and give your business an extra edge.
3. Add Tracking Codes Or Source Tags
The huge level of purchasing intent Amazon drives has had a great impact on the ecosystem of online sales so it’s important for marketers to understand how to leverage it to its fullest extent. With developments around source tags, we now have the ability to have the granularity level needed to optimize between referral sources to achieve your ROI goal.
The main benefit of adding a source tag is obviously to get further access to more potential customers. Adding source tags or codes to your products will allow you identify and delineate which channel or content piece is sending how much traffic to your online store and to which product. A secondary benefit would be the reduced competition. You don’t have to compete with other stores on the Amazon results page as you would be driving users straight to your listing. Thirdly, you are empowered with building an audience.
Along with building your brand, you can also build an audience. This is one crucial thing about selling on Amazon – you don’t own your customers, which mean you’re totally reliant on Amazon continuing to allow you to sell on their platform.
Building a presence and marketing outside of Amazon gives you the opportunity to start building your own audience, through a fan page on Facebook or an email list, for example. This will prove valuable if you ever run into trouble with Amazon TOS, or you slip in rankings for whatever reason.
If you think about it, any boost in sales results in more revenue for Amazon.
In this context, let’s understand what are source codes or source tags?
A source tag is essentially a unique identifier similar to a UTM parameter. It’s a URL parameter that looks like this: ?channel=tag-name
You can append this parameter to any store page URL when using it as the landing page for your advertising traffic. When a prospect lands on the page and visits your store using a URL that contains the tag, Amazon’s platform records the tag is in the URL and attributes the visit and any resulting metrics to that tag. This information is then categorized for you by tag name in Stores insights.
Here, the question arises…how do you generate these codes?
They can be generated in your seller backend. To make sure you add tags correctly, we recommend using the tag creation tool available in Stores insights. Navigate to Stores insights and click “create source tag” to create your tags.
4. Leverage Amazon Coupon
Here let’s get one thing straight. Consumers are discount lovers – we’ll go out of our way to snatch up a great sale item or save a few dollars on our online purchases. That’s what makes special offers and promotions such a vital way for merchants to increase their sales, especially on Amazon.
In addition to markdowns, one great way you can maximize your sales on your Amazon store and attract more customers is by using Amazon Coupons. They not only save your customer a few dollars, but, when used effectively, they can help improve your store’s rankings across the site.
What are Amazon Coupons?
Yes, just like the name suggests, Amazon Coupons are a way for customers to save money on products. When enabled on a product, Amazon Coupons appear as a button under the listing price of that product. Customers can redeem a coupon simply by clicking it.
They are a promotional feature available to sellers through Amazon Seller Central. They function very similarly to a traditional coupon you may see for your local grocery store, but they are digital and exclusively for use on Amazon. These coupons differ from some of the other promotional options such as free shipping, discounts, buy one get one and others.
Let’s give you a few reasons why you should definitely use Amazon coupons:
- The coupons appear on a special page intended for product discovery – The coupons page shows all the products with currently available coupons. Users can browse this page to find products they may be interested in. They can then clip the coupon and add the product to their cart at the special promotional price.
With Amazon’s promotional discounts, users have to visit the product page to see the deal. Coupons show up in the search results pages. They are easy to identify and more likely to drive shoppers to look at your product page in the first place.
- Visibility is important to the success of any sales promotion – Coupons on Amazon have badges that help them stand out more clearly to shoppers. Catching a potential customer’s eye in search results is always challenging, so this branding could be very valuable to many sellers.
- Coupons offer unique targeting opportunities for sellers – Rather than making them available to every shopper, sellers can choose groups such as Prime, Student and Mom members on Amazon. Sellers can also base targeting on viewing or buying certain ASINs, whether they are yours, a competitor’s or related products. These benefits make Amazon Coupons stand out from other promotional tools on Amazon. They present an opportunity for unique promotional campaigns.
- Tracking your coupon metrics and perfecting the art of making them is something that will develop over time. It’ll be a matter of tweaking things until you find just the right balance.
5. Bring Amazon Influencers To Play
The basic idea of the Amazon Influencer Program is that influencers can have their own storefront where they post listings of products they bought themselves, are sponsored by or the ones they are endorsing. This program enables influencers to sell directly to their fans. With a storefront, influencers can create a seamless experience for their audience.
For example, an influencer does a weekly YouTube video and they’re talking about specific makeup products. They can then simply direct viewers to their Amazon marketplace. When viewers click the link, they find a customized page which is organized and optimized by the date of the video they just viewed. It’s seamless for the buyer and makes purchasing easy. One step further down the marketing funnel!
Currently, in order to be eligible, you need to have a presence on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. The criteria doesn’t state how many followers you need to have in order to qualify. However, you need to prove that you are active on the platform.
What’s in it for influencers? Influencers get small commissions from every purchase made from anyone using the link on their page. This is very similar to the Amazon associates or Amazon affiliates programs. The main difference here being that affiliates are posting links on their own websites or platforms, diverting traffic to Amazon. With the Amazon influencers program, followers are directly steered to what is essentially a personal consumer catalogue of the person they admire.
At present, pages can only be designed in a limited manner. However, it’s enough to make it unique or custom-made to fit the influencer’s audience. For example, you can group products under any type of category.
Here’s how we at Assiduus Global, have implemented the above mentioned strategies to our advantage and have been able to successfully engineer massive changes in the Amazon sales for our client products as well as proprietary brands.
We leveraged influencers on Instagram and were able to grow the sales of our Health supplement brand by a phenomenal 34% in just a month.
Here are our secret recipes to success. Here’s how we did it:
- Step 1: We determined which online bloggers and social media stars would be the right influencers in our niche. While we knew quite a few of them, there were hundreds of others.
Remember, the key to finding the right influencers is to remember that the more you know about your target, the better you can create a pitch that will engage and sell them on your idea.Every project does not have to rely on high-profile influencers to achieve its goals. In fact, most don’t.What we are talking about is the practice of using niche-specific micro-influencers that have more authentic and modest online followings. We say modest because their following is still large by some standards, only they’re smaller than the millions of followers a high-profile influencer would have.
And this is good, too, because according to experts and as we have mentioned above, a large follower count doesn’t necessarily mean your chosen influencer is the best option.
- Step 2: We build relationships. We connected with them on the platform influencers use best: social media.
We followed them across all social channels. This not only grabbed their attention, but also allowed us to make sure their style, frequency of posting and interests were in-line with our brand.Then start engaging with their content. Share content the influencer creates. Comment on it. Like it. Whether it’s a comment, a like, or a re-tweet, engaging with an influencer is like an introduction in the social world.P.S. At Assiduus, we always always look at working with influencers like it’s a relationship.
- Step 3: Open lines of communications. This is the step where you actually introduce yourself to an influencer. Many influencers have business emails public on their profiles. If that’s available, definitely reach out through that channel.When you’re thinking about how to reach out to influencers, make sure you have common interests and don’t just send the same message to everyone.People appreciate the few minutes it takes to craft a personalized pitch.For our influencer campaigns, we connected with influencers to try our product and talk about it with a post or a video.Each post had a link embedded to the Amazon storefront with a customized link for us to track.Keep in mind; influencers are popular social media personas. They likely receive hundreds of emails every day. Even micro-influencers receive a lot of emails and collaboration requests.
Now that you have fully grasped the importance and the benefits of social media to your Amazon business, you should review social media decorum. We have outlined social media posting guidelines to help preserve your brand and engage more customers in the process.
- Prevent Over Promotion – Having a social media page for your business is always beneficial as it ensures that brands and businesses maintain a constant online presence and have exposure. Be sure not to over-promote your business, and ensure that you also cater to the information needs and curiosity of social media enthusiasts. Sellers and other online entrepreneurs are discouraged from overly promoting their brand or product online. Constant sharing of advertisements may annoy some online shoppers. Hence, you should aim to strike a balance between promotional and valuable content.
- Too Much Automation – The use of automation systems for posting and other social media activities have indeed lightened the responsibility of Amazon sellers. Although there is nothing wrong with automation, sellers should still use automating software moderately. Too much of everything is harmful as the saying goes. Thus, instead of relying heavily on automation for your social media activities, add some human touch to it from time to time.
- Hashtag Overload – Both for practical and aesthetic reasons, you should avoid overloading your posts with too many hashtags. Even if it is on Instagram or Twitter, use a hashtag accordingly and moderately. It is important not to overdo your hashtags so as to maintain the professional image of your brand as well as protect its search value. There are some social media platforms that penalize posts viewed to be abusing hashtags.
- Online Bad Mouthing – Regardless of the intention of your social media post, you should never bad-mouth your competition online. Needless to say that saying negative comments or publishing false accusations against your competition or their products will hurt your brand more than it will hurt theirs.
Maintain integrity and professionalism all the time, even on social media. If such a technique worked and went unnoticed before, you should not be too complacent. Never underestimate the power of screenshots and reposts.
- Be Honest – Whatever you post on social media, whether it is an advertising or marketing tactic, always be honest about it. Do not mix genuine honesty with a sugar coating, online audiences are more equipped to research facts and information about your posts.
- Maintain Boundaries – Since social media posts reach various corners of the earth, you should be mindful of your posts. Always maintain boundaries, avoid being too humorous, or becoming overly insensitive.