Amazon is the most influential retail platform in the world, responsible for roughly 5% of all retail spend in the United States alone. As a content marketer, mastering its capabilities is both one of your greatest opportunities and one of your greatest challenges.
With over 300 million products available and 3,000 new sellers coming onboard to Amazon every single day, standing out in this seemingly-infinite ocean of can feel impossible – especially when you take into consideration the relatively conservative options that Amazon offers for personalization. Even the most cutting-edge brands can feel as if they’ve been reduced to a row of facts and figures when put through Amazon’s formatting, which means that your brand needs to think outside the box to capitalize on this retail real estate.
One of the most effective ways to outpace your competitors is by integrating video content into your existing Amazon presence. From commercials to fan testimonials to product demos, video content as a whole has already been proven to dramatically increased customer engagement across the board. In fact, potential customers who watch a product video are 64% more likely to purchase that product than those who do not. And the benefits don’t end there, as online video can even benefit your brand’s brick-and-mortar presence; in one survey, 40% of those who had watched an online product video were subsequently drawn to visit a real-world store, too.
As Amazon continues to grow and change in response to global content trends, new opportunities for integrating your video arise every day. But how exactly can your brand or company take advantage of these resources and enhance your content game with Amazon?
Devil’s In The Detail Page
For many people around the world, the true core of their retail decision-making process occurs on the product detail page. This is where customers who choose to click through can usually find your product’s title, its description, some bullet-pointed statistics, poorly-spelled customer reviews, and–of course–a smattering of static images. Occasionally there are variations, such as the option to browse multiple models of a particular product (“Forest Green” vs. “Midnight Black”) or a category’s specific attributes, like the maximum resolution for a digital camera. But as a whole, these pages are stylistically interchangeable, and therefore not especially good at helping any brand make a singular impression.
However, this has begun to change as Amazon adapts to the rise of video content worldwide. Until pretty recently, only brands that were selling wholesale to Amazon (via Vendor Central) had the option to improve their product detail pages with video. Now, anybody enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry can upload videos and maximize their reach in a way that simple static images do not allow.
Almost all of the same principles that apply to other types of video content apply to those on your Amazon product detail page as well. Try keeping your product videos short and to the point, with an emphasis on catchy visuals and captions over expositional voice over. Remember, on platforms like Facebook, 85% of all videos are viewed without sound, so optimize your content to make sure that it can be comprehended at a glance – headphones or not. Hook your audience within the first few seconds, communicate all the key information about your product, and motivate them to make a purchase with a confident call to action.
Additionally, take special care that your video falls within the platform’s guidelines. Always make sure to review all of Amazon’s content rules before uploading, to avoid having your video taken down. Just a handful of the most unexpected–but critical–of these rules include:
- Your product video must not contain any reference to your company as a seller or distributor.
- Your product video must not contain any reference to your competitor’s products.
- Your product video must not contain time-sensitive product information.
- Your product video must not contain any websites within or outside of Amazon.
- Your product video must not contain shipping cost or timeline information.
These are just a few rules (Amazon has plenty more) but they explore two of the principles that the platform values above all else: Its ability to set all prices/timelines/etc. and its total primacy as the main brand/distributor featured. Still, persuasively breaking down the most important aspects of your product, whether it’s through a hands-on demo or an old school promo, is a special advantage that video offers, and cannot be ignored.
The Mom-and-Pop Storefront
Another great way to utilize video for maximum effect on Amazon is through your brand’s storefront: The customized page that acts as your hub for all products, exclusive offers, and marketing content. Think of it as a brick-and-mortar store window for potential customers to peek in before making up their minds about whether to browse more thoroughly or–with any luck–make a purchase. And just like with a brick-and-mortar store, a flashy window display is significantly more likely to catch passersby attention.
Try featuring video on your storefront instead of static images for an extra boost that might persuade them to linger longer. While your products are always going to be the focus on Amazon, video still allows you to communicate your brand aesthetics to new audiences. It’s an extension of your website and social media channels, but one that is fully-optimized for selling, instead of pure promotion.
Another possibility to keep in mind is that advertisers on Amazon can now share video content with browsers during mobile searches. These short-form video ads are shown below the fold in search results for select keywords that are relevant to your product or brand. While this feature is currently only available for mobile search, don’t let that dissuade you; in 2018, Amazon app users spent 12.8 billion minutes per month browsing. That’s a lot of time and a lot of possible sales to tap into via video.
But while personalized search ads with video are a great way to direct customers to your storefront or a specific product, remember to keep some of those same creative principles in mind that we mentioned earlier. Sound is an even more important element to consider with mobile search, because the default play setting for these ads is always “mute.” Follow Amazon’s specifications to get the most out of mobile search videos, and witness the results for yourself.
A study from a few years back revealed that 9 out of 10 consumers checks Amazon first, before going to any other retail source. That means Amazon is almost always going to be your very first line of connection – an initial opportunity for your brand to make the best possible impression on future customers. With video, you can dramatically improve your ability to explain the ways in which your brand and its products rise above the rest, while driving higher engagement and retention. Video is only one simple tool available in your kit, but when utilized with a well-drawn strategy, it can optimize your brand for the Amazon platform and open up a whole new world of content marketing potential.