As social media plays a mighty role in the purchasing behavior of shoppers, especially the Millennials and GenXers, Amazon has introduced a new tool that replicates the look of a social media feed. By taking advantage of this feature, brands can cut through the noise and leave an impact on the shoppers, simply by posting content. Here’s a quick rundown on what the program is, the current state of tools, pros, cons, whether you should invest in it or not and more.
What is Amazon Posts?
Released as a beta version in 2019, Amazon Posts allows brands to create Instagram-like looking posts of their products. Each post links to your product detail pages, making them instantly shoppable. Amazon Posts functions exactly like a social media feed. You post brand-curated content to help shoppers bring closer to your products.
Image reference: Amazon
Is Posts the revamped version of Spark?
Seems like Amazon Posts is the retail giants’ second attempt to blend social mediaesque experience to its platform, the first being Amazon Spark. Remember Amazon Spark? Amazon prefers you didn’t. In Amazon Spark, prime sellers could post and share images of the stuff they brought. Not so surprisingly, it didn’t turn out and expected and was canned in July 2019. Unlike Spark that allowed shoppers to post, Posts leaves it up to brands, providing them new ways to promote their products on the platform.
Why did Amazon release Posts?
The question here is why Amazon is trying to introduce other advertising channels even when it already has enough. Although almost every Amazon Professional Beauty uses PPC to gain instant visibility and traffic, sellers turn to social media platforms for spending a part of their advertising dollars because they want to focus on creating a better-branded shopping experience for their customers. By launching Posts, Amazon is trying to make it easier for the Amazon Premium Beauty sellers as they can leverage the power of social media from within Amazon. Moreover, Amazon really wants its advertisers to create a branded experience for its shoppers, so it is making it extremely simpler for the brands to get up and running.
What type of content should be posted?
Amazon says that posts should be focused on brand and product-related content, but brands can feel free to experiment with various types of content to see what works the best. Here are a few ideas from our arsenal:
- Use lifestyle images and candid product photos so the customer can visualize themselves with your product
- Try creating an image that shows that your product is trustworthy. For example, if you are selling a shampoo, try having a lifestyle image with an influencer using your product
- Images that talks about the benefits and features of the product
How to measure the performance of the posts?
For each post you upload on your feed, you will get detailed data similar to what you get in social media analytics (although not that sophisticated). On the dashboard, you will have access to metrics such as:
- CTR (%)
Using these metrics can help identify which items are popular amongst shoppers.
Where will the posts appear?
Advertisers cannot choose where the post will appear. Amazon does that for you by adding category tags relevant to your themes. It is also important to note that shoppers can only view the posts on mobile devices with the Amazon app. Talking about the placement, as of now, the posts will be published on any of the following destinations:
Image reference: Amazon
- On your product detail pages: The post will be sandwiched between “Customers who bought this item also bought” and the “Customer’s Questions” section. This allows you to cross-sell your products.
- On the competitor’s product detail pages: This is a great way to get your products in front of shoppers who are already looking for a product similar to yours
- Related post-feed: When a shopper clicks on a post to view it, other related posts, as decided by Amazon, will appear in the section “Browse Related Posts.”
- Category feed: When a shopper clicks on the category tags, they will be redirected to a page full of posts that also have the same category tag.
Anatomy of Amazon Posts
- Profile banner: This section displays the name of the brand and the logo
- Image: The custom image which you choose to advertise
- Show product icon: Tapping on this icon will reveal a product card with various information such as Prime eligibility, price and star ratings.
- Caption: Custom caption that highlights product features and communicates a call to action. Even though Amazon allows you to add up to 2200 characters, we would recommend using a shorter 4-5 word caption for better engagement and conversion.
- Category tags: Amazon will add relevant category tags on the posts. Tapping on any of the category tags will take buyers to a vertical feed of posts related to that category.
How to create Amazon Posts?
Amazon Posts is currently available only the US Amazon sellers. If you are one of the sellers selling on amazon.com, you can sign up for posts be performing the following steps:
- Go to posts.amazon.com
- Sign in with your existing Amazon advertising credentials
- Create your profile
- Upload your brand logo
After these steps, you can create Posts by uploading photos (preferably lifestyles), captions and tagging any related products.
- Launch new products with ease: Utilizing Amazon Posts is a great way to get your newly-launched products off the ground. By adding posts in your marketing activities, you can deliver the news of product launch faster and effectively. Not just for the new products, this feature can be used for improving the performance of products that have low sales velocity and traffic.
- Increase in brand recall: Visual content always appeals to shoppers. If all your posts have similar branding, customers will be able to identify your brand more quickly and they are more likely to return to you.
- Get an edge over competitors: Post is relatively new and not many brands have started to use it. So using posts is another way to stand out from the competition.
- Increase engagement on your product detail page: With posts, you will have more time (and space) to engage more with your customers. When used creatively, posts can increase customer retention and convert one-off customers into re-returning shoppers.
- Better conversion: You are showing your product in front of an audience who is already looking for your product, so you have got a high chance of conversion. And the more places your post appears, the better potential you have.
- Recycle your social media content: If your brand has social content already created, using Amazon posts is a beneficial way to get more returns on your real estate.
- Posts is an informal way to connect with the shoppers: The copy you write or A+ Pages you create are a more formal way of interacting with the customers. With Amazon Posts, you can be less formal with communication. You can point out the USPs of the product in such a way that the shoppers feel that it’s coming from a friend and not a brand.
- Get a customized link for marketing: As of May 2020, customers can easily browse through all of your posts in a brand feed. This can help them discover more products from your brand. Customers can view this feed by tapping on the brand logo or brand name on the post. You can also get a unique link that can be leveraged for other marketing activities.
- Drive more traffic and sales for free: This is one benefit that rules down all other cons. Amazon Posts is currently free. So you can advertise on the competitor’s page without even paying a single dollar. Isn’t this reason enough to try Amazon Post right away? It’s unsure whether Amazon will monetize it or not, but it is best to join in and take advantage while you have the chance.
- Not Enough Data: With everything free, there is a trade-off or two. With Post, it is the lack of data. It does not provide data related to sales attribution, so you cannot know if the shoppers are actually buying or not.
- You have no right to choose the placement: Amazon chooses where your post appears and also the category tags attributes to your posts.
- Your competitors can also use posts: Just like you can target your competitor’s customers, your competitors can target your customers. This creates a disparity between the brands that have professional content and those who don’t. If your competitor’s content is better yours, good luck saving your customers.
- Will this pan out? Amazon has tried and tested many things and it doesn’t hesitate pulling the plug on something that doesn’t work. No one likes to be guinea in an experiment, especially when you have a better place to invest your time and resources in. So it’s okay to sit back and see how everything turns out to be.
- It demands time you don’t have: Managing another advertising campaign that is entirely different from what you usually do on Amazon can take a toll on your time and resources. However, partnering with Amazon Beauty Consultants and advertising agencies like beBOLD Digital can expand your team’s bandwidth and your profits.
If you are willing to give Posts a try (which you definitely should!) here are some of the best practices to follow:
- Content is the king: Posting high-quality content is a must. If the image you post is not attractive, then no one’s going to click on it no matter how great your product is. Also, keep the branding consistent in your content.
- Post more often: As with any other social media content, consistency is the key to better engagement. So don’t post one image today and another after one month. Create a bank of content and make a habit of posting daily. As there is no limit on how much you post, fill your product detail page and related product detail pages with as much as content as possible, especially before anyone else takes the spot.
- Analyze the metrics and fine-tune: Take advantage of metrics Amazon provides you and make data-driven decisions. Use those metrics to assess which products are converting and what you can do to increase engagement.
- Add some curiosity to your content: Nothing entices people more than a question. If you can open a question in the reader’s mind, they will click on your post to find the answer.
- A/B test your content: Test, test, test and analyze. Post for a couple of weeks, look at how your customers react and make any changes to improve your results. Keep on changing the caption, pictures and see what resonates best with the customers.
Final thoughts: Post is actually better and more effective than traditional social media advertising
Although Amazon Posts allow brands to do what they’ve been doing on their social media platforms, there are some key differences. One being that they can share their branded, product-focused content in front of an audience who already have a purchase intent. Resultantly the chances of conversion are doubled. Another is that these ads can also be shown within a competitor’s arena, rather than between posts of your feed. Nine months after the program has been launched, we can say that it is a success and sellers are loving the response they’ve been getting. Amazon has still not monetized the program meaning trying Posts is still risk-free. We don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t give it a go. Contact our Amazon Professional and Premium Beauty consultants now to get started.