Forming a Solid Marketing Base:  Website, Database, and Amazon

Advertising dollars spent off-Amazon will always increase your Amazon sales.  This is the concept that Rick Cesari emphasizes in Chapter 10.  Rick  co-wrote The Amazon Jungle The Truth About Amazon, The Seller’s Survival Guide for Thriving on the World’s Most Perilous E-Commerce Marketplace with me, Jason Boyce.  Off Amazon marketing gives you the real estate necessary to tell your story and leverage that information across multiple marketing channels so you can always be where your customers are.  In this blog we will look at the key points Rick presents in this chapter.  He shared some off-Amazon channels and how to use them to boost your performance on Amazon. 

One thing I hadn’t considered before I met Rick was that I could be even better on Amazon if I got better off of it.  He taught me to think more like an entrepreneur by expanding my game plan outside of the Amazon ecosystem.  Rick starts us off in this chapter with an overview of direct response marketing.  Selling is just part of the equation.  If you spend money on advertising, you need to be able to measure the amount of sales generated from that ad, because all direct response marketing is measurable.  Rick’s general rule is that regardless of the type of marketing you use,  you should aim for a 2 to 1 ROI.  This simple concept works across every platform, and can be your most powerful tool for getting ahead. 

Here are some tips for boosting your sales momentum off Amazon:

  1. Create your own selling proposition – Deliver a clear and consistent message. 
  2. Direct response – The nature of your ads should be direct response or conversion.  There needs to be a call to action. 
  3. Target marketing – Focus on getting the product into people’s hands because once they’ve tried it, they’ll be hooked! 

Any money spent off Amazon for advertising will always help your sales on Amazon.  Rick believes that Sellers should expand their reach to meet people where they are in a way that provides consumers with a seamless and integrated shopping experience from the first touchpoint to the last.  To cast a wider net, you’ve got to use a multichannel, or omnichannel approach to marketing your products, and Amazon is just one of the many possibilities.

If shoppers are learning about brands like yours in other than Amazon channels, then that is where you need to be.  It really doesn’t matter at the end of the day whether your product is purchased on Amazon or directly through your website.  The more discovery you can stir up around your brand, the better. 

Rick takes the readers through the steps he and I take our clients through when we are helping them form their sales and brand building strategies. 

Build a Website – Control The Narrative

Building a great website is critical and it is where we like to start with all of our clients.  Amazon doesn’t have the real estate to effectively build the content required for expanding your business.  You can invest a lot of time into creating listings, but without a link to a “home base”, where you can tell your whole story, your business will likely fall short of the big homerun. 

Key essentials for your online store:

  • Sign up with Shopify and set up your online shop
  • Choose a theme or layout, then add your products to the store
  • Tell your backstory
  • Establish your unique selling proposition (USP)
  • Include authentic product testimonials

The brain has the ability to process visual content 60,000 times faster than it can process written text.  This influenced our early use of television and video as effective marketing tools.  Video is easier to use than ever.  They can be made quickly and inexpensively.  There are 4 videos Rick recommends that everyone has on their e-commerce website:

  1. Sizzle video – This should be 1 -2 minutes long and should quickly inform people about your product or brand, what problem it solves, and why it is different from the competition.
  2. Origin story video – Always include a video that tells your customers why you got started in the business and what inspired you to build your own brand.
  3. Testimonial video – An authentic testimonial video can be one of your most powerful marketing tools.  They are the best way to overcome objections and establish credibility and social proof. 
  4. Demonstration video – Seeing is believing!  Explain to people what problem your product solves, then spell it out in a short video. 

Rick guarantees that if you include these videos both your sales and conversions will go up, and you will begin to foster the kind of brand awareness and customer loyalty that can take your sales even higher. 

Build Your Database

Think of your website and database as two legs of a three-legged stool, with Amazon as the third leg.  This trio forms a solid marketing base from which you can effectively drive traffic to and from Amazon and your website.  Here are a few ways Rick suggests you build your database:

  1. Email – If you have a good, active, growing email list, you can control the information from your customer base and use it to drive traffic to Amazon listings or to your website.  This is especially important because no matter how successful you are on Amazon, you’ll never know who is buying your products. 
  2. Content Marketing – This involves the creation of online material, such as videos, blogs, and social media posts, designed to stimulate interest and build rapport with your audiences. 
  3. Write a book – This is the ultimate in content marketing.  You establish credibility as an expert in your field, while also leading to surprising opportunities that can take you in new and exciting directions.  Most other channels are limited in the amount of content you can include when developing your story.  A book gives you more room to expand. 
  4. Public Relations – Strategic media publicity placement is about getting your brand on mainstream TV shows and into magazines and newspapers your target audience knows and trusts. 
  5. Podcasts – Relevant podcasts provide a unique space for talking about your products, your business, and your story, with a podcaster people trust. 
  6. Influencers – They are a great, usually inexpensive way to drive traffic to your website.  This involves endorsements and product placements from “people of influence”. 
  7. Google Ads – These ads are excellent at matching keywords and images.  Their Display Network can reach people who are actively searching products. 
  8. Facebook & Instagram Ads – Facebook is all about communities and connections, so it’s not surprising then that their ads are geared toward targeting audience profiles, behaviors, and interests more than keywords.  Instagram is a great way to advertise products right in the feed. 
  9. TikTok – Many brands are slowly beginning to jump on the bandwagon, ready for when advertising is available on this millennial-focused platform. 

So as you think about expanding your marketing reach off Amazon, be sure to start with the two fundamental platforms: your e-commerce website and your database.  These core channels are essential for building a winning brand and they will help fuel your Amazon business.