Amazon advertising is one of the most comprehensive digital marketing platforms in the world, tapping into a vast network of partner platforms and also providing advertisers with a wealth of data. This is made possible thanks to the huge number of transactions which take place on Amazon, providing the ability to effectively harness this data for the benefit of brands, advertisers and vendors alike.
Using tactics which appeal to every stage of the marketing funnel, you will be able to generate impressive results, capturing prospects at each level and providing them with content and ads which suit their own journey towards buying with you.
No matter the brand or the industry, and your own level of marketing expertise, adhering to the following key steps is essential to getting it right.
What is the marketing funnel?
The marketing funnel refers to the process customers undergo before buying from you. There are three key stages within the marketing funnel, though its intricacies may differ depending on the objectives of your strategy and the industry within which you sell products. However, in short, you can categorise the stages as such:
During this stage, your objective will largely be about generating interest in your brand. This stage is often concerned with both raising the overall awareness of your brand and allowing potential buyers to become a little more familiar with your offering.
The awareness stage does not necessarily have to be rooted in pushing for sales, and in fact more often than not, that particular element of the marketing process is saved for later (though there are occasional overlaps). Primarily, you will want buyers to get accustomed to your offering in the first instance.
This stage is all about getting people to think about your brand and distinguishing it from the competition. Activities will frequently centre around the difference between your brand and similar brands which sell similar items.
At this stage, your activities will be strongly linked to actively encouraging a sale. There are instances where your activities may instead be centred around some other action, but all involve requesting the buyer to do something – and on Amazon, this ‘something’ is usually buying a product.
Each of these stages helps to prepare your prospects for eventually making a purchase with your brand, guiding them through the process of that crucial first awareness through to getting to know the brand and them eventually selecting your product.
Step One: Understand the tools at your disposal
It is important to understand exactly which tools you have, before you are then able to apply them within your strategy. Think carefully about the desired outcomes of your campaign, and how these will help shape the ads you select. This is likely to differ slightly depending on key factors such as the products you are selling and the duration of your campaign. In addition, different elements of your campaign activity will also potentially be equally varied lengths – depending on the status of your brand at present.
If you’re already very well established, then you may be able to spend less time on awareness-based activities, for example. However, with a full-funnel approach, each of these areas needs to be fully explored to ensure the best possible results.
Step Two: Organise your account
The next step is to ensure your account is organised in a way which will make monitoring your ads and keeping track of your campaigns more viable. There are many ways in which you can approach this, but we recommend that you segment your campaigns in relation to the desired outcomes and stage.
This will help prevent confusion when you both implement and measure your advertising efforts, something which becomes increasingly important as your campaigns become more complex and involved in their scope and purpose.
Depending on what your exact sales funnel is and how complex you expect your advertising efforts to become, the way you manage this stage will vary dramatically. Yet nonetheless, you will soon see its importance – particularly when any amendments are required!
After defining the stage each campaign is intended to serve, then compile your individual actions for each. Again, depending on the scope and complexity of your desired project and outcomes, you will have a number of different options.
Step Three: Define your budget
Budgeting will have a considerable impact on what you can accomplish within Amazon advertising. It’s important to define this at an early stage as only then will you be able to select the right campaigns and activities which match both your brand needs and the stage within the marketing funnel that you are at.
For different brands, you may wish to allocate your budget more heavily at different stages. For instance, a brand which is only in its earliest days will likely need to spend a little more on developing awareness, before subsequently working to develop consideration and, ultimately, conversion.
Many brands in the early stage of development find that the awareness and consideration stages are those which require the most investment, as it is only through first knowing about an offering – and then beginning to think about it seriously as a prospect for purchase – that potential customers are ever likely to be in a position to buy.
This approach works on two main levels – firstly, a brand which is effectively an unknown entity needs to find its audience. Secondly, a brand which is already an established entity could find it more profitable and effective to spend more at the consideration stage, before also adding a reasonable ad spend to the final stage, by converting them.
Step Four: Set your objectives
Define the objectives of each campaign as clearly as possible. It is unwise to enter into a strategy like this with only hazy goals, as this will likely produce just as hazy outcomes.
Instead, decide as precisely as you can what you want customers (and potential customers) to do at each stage of the marketing funnel, from their initial acknowledgement of the brand through to a greater understanding and finally, a purchase.
Step Five: Build your campaigns
The most important step is, of course, to build the campaigns which appeal to your target audiences for each stage of the marketing funnel. As with so many areas of Amazon advertising, this will vary as a result of your budget and intended outcomes, as stated previously. However, we can certainly recommend a few options which are likely to produce the best results for every stage.
Awareness stage: for this stage, we suggest you choose marketing activities which are known to have a big impact. As we have discussed, awareness is all about giving people the chance to get to know your brand in the first instance.
Tools such as online display ads and video (widely accessible via the Amazon DSP) can be used to craft tailored content which showcases your brand in the best possible light. You will also have the opportunity to place your ads not only on Amazon but on a variety of trusted, reputable websites and apps elsewhere on the web. Remember that it is not necessarily a requirement to ‘sell’ anything at this stage – merely to keep your brand in the minds of consumers.
Consideration stage: here you will want to focus more on actions which prompt customers to think about your brand in a deeper way. This could centre on content which showcases the unique attributes of your product or simply result in paid search ads which ensure your products appear in search results accompanied by applicable search terms.
Whatever option you select, remember the goal is enhanced visibility and the reinforcement of your brand strengths and digital presence.
Conversion stage: this stage is all about appealing to your customers with actions which will make them want to buy from you rather than your competitors. For brands which have many competitors, you may wish to look into retargeting ads and hooking customers back who looked at your products but for whatever reason, did not make a sale.
This is a great way to encourage them to make a purchase, thus resulting in a successful transaction.
Step Six: Measure and refine
Don’t expect to get everything right the first time you launch a full-funnel ad campaign on Amazon. Success with Amazon ads is almost invariably the result of monitoring and refinement and achieved only through carefully checking your reports and monitoring your achievements and setbacks.
As with so many areas of the marketing process, how you define a successful strategy will differ depending on what you had hoped to achieve. Set these goals early in your campaign and decide how you will define success. Thankfully all forms of digital marketing (particularly via Amazon) provide you with a vast data set which will allow you to distil the successes and failures of every campaign.
Use these insights to move forward with greater confidence and knowledge, continuously monitoring to generate the results you want.