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With Black Friday right around the corner, brands are looking for creative ways to stay ahead of their competition and steal momentum. During 2021’s holiday season, nearly 155 million consumers participated in Black Friday sales—and that was despite the ongoing pandemic and supply chain disruptions. Of those consumers, 66.5 million did their shopping in-store while 88 million made their purchases online. Online spending alone totaled $8.9 billion. In years to come, this growing trend of purchasing online is expected to hold strong. 

With Black Friday remaining one of the most popular shopping times of the year, businesses must do all they can to supercharge their marketing campaigns and get in front of customers. 

8 tips for building the perfect Black Friday ad campaign

Here are eight of the top ways to make a big impression on consumers. 

Choose your channels mindfully

Decide which channels are the most active and the best fit for your brand. Be wise about where you decide to place your ads and which type of ads you’ll use—for example, are you going to run Google display ads, in-app ads, or social media ads? Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time allows you to create deals and ads suited to the audience of each target platform.

Prepare your ads early

Get in front of consumers before your competitors do! It’s never too early to plan your Black Friday campaign. Once you’ve chosen the channels you’ll use, prepare your ads. Broaden your appeal by reaching shoppers who are looking for early deals—and those who prefer to space out their purchases. You don’t want to lose out to competitors because you didn’t get in front of customers soon enough. According to a PR Newswire survey, 54% of shoppers begin their holiday spending as early as October. By publishing your ads early, you’ll also be able to adjust your strategies for Black Friday weekend because you’ll have time to figure out what’s resonating with customers—and what’s not. 

Personalize your ads

It’s been proven that personalization efforts go a long way. To leverage the power of personalization, consider using dynamic display ads to expand your reach. For a step-by-step guide, you can follow MarinOne’s tips on how to use display ads to make the most of your ad dollars and run a successful campaign. 

Offer discounts that are impossible to turn down

Provide deals consumers can’t find anywhere else. On Black Friday, you’ll want to give customers an offer they can’t resist. Make sure the discounts you give are deeper than what you offer year round. Customers aren’t just looking for any deal—they’re hunting for the offers that allow them to buy things that are normally out of their spending reach.

Leak deals as the holiday gets closer

Take advantage of social media, influencers, emails, and other communication channels to create teasers for your audience. Tempt your consumers early on with deals they can anticipate. Creating this kind of excitement will help you win consumer attention which will translate into faster sales for you. 

Maintain brand consistency

Make sure your brand creatives look similar. With familiarity across your Black Friday ads, your brand will be more recognizable and trustworthy to consumers. By taking this extra step, you’ll give your audience the confidence they need to close the deal. 

Create visually engaging designs

Create visuals that are hard to forget and don’t overlook the value of powerful visual effects. Creating memorable Black Friday ads is a crucial step in drafting your holiday marketing plan so you attract more traffic and boost sales. Step up to the challenge of creating something that really stands out. Choosing unique designs and vibrant colors can help impress your customers, winning them over with just one glance. When you make the extra effort, your consumers will remember you and keep coming back. To do this:

  • Get your point across with the right copy
  • Use imagery and colors consistent with your branding
  • Draw attention by using videos and animated graphics

Encourage shoppers to take action NOW

Make consumers excited to purchase products that benefit them. Creating a sense of urgency is one of the best ways to do this. You can make potential customers feel hyped about your brand an take action sooner by:

  • Adding deadlines
  • Using a countdown widget
  • Including emotional triggers in your ads through power words and color
  • Making them aware of how many products are left in stock
  • Using copy like “last chance,” “final discount,” “limited time,” and so on

The best Black Friday ads to take inspiration from

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here’s a roundup of some of the most noteworthy Black Friday campaigns that caught lots of attention.

IKEA: “Buyback Friday”

Consumers love brands that prioritize global issues like sustainability. As a brand that values sustainability, IKEA built it into its annual Black Friday campaign launch. They offered customers the opportunity to return used IKEA furniture in return for a credit voucher for up to 50% of the item’s value. After running the campaign in 27 countries, IKEA donated or recycled all the items that could not be resold. By celebrating Black Friday with genuine discounts, IKEA demonstrated a commitment to its brand values and also gave consumers a reason to make more purchases. In addition, loyalty program members were given an extra 20% off on vouchers used between November 19th and 29th, making them feel valued and also motivating them to engage with the campaign. 

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Bed Bath & Beyond 

With its fun Black Friday commercial, Bed Bath & Beyond can get inside the heads of its target customers. In this ad, when a shopper has trouble justifying her purchases, a reassuring sales clerk convinces her it’s “for the house.” While capturing the guilty pleasure of Black Friday shopping, this creatively genius video ad gives customers an easy “out,” encouraging them to buy the things they really want for themselves.  

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Google:  “#BlackOwnedFriday”

In its Black Friday campaign, Google chose to focus on a key social justice issue by supporting black-owned businesses. The brilliant campaign commercial they used cleverly included a Google search component, allowing viewers to search for Black-owned shops that were closest to them. With results specifically configured to promote relevant links and content, Black-owned stores received greater visibility. 

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Walmart: “#Unwrapthedeals”

In its out-of-the-box TikTok campaign, Walmart turned Black Friday sales into a gamified experience. By using a filter that allowed customers to “unwrap” deals, they created an element of surprise that kept consumers engaged. They also encouraged consumer participation by having TikTokers post their #Unwrapthedeals hashtag along with their challenges for everyone to see. Through its interactive campaign, Walmart broke all TikTok hashtag challenge benchmarks, gaining over 5.5 billion hashtag views in total. 

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Ray-Ban

Ray-Ban successfully got its customers excited not only by offering an unbeatable discount of 50%, but also by using a countdown clock. In addition to creatively advertising saving possibilities, they created a fun design to capture customers’ attention

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DECIEM: “Slowvember”

Instead of hosting a flash sale to encourage uninformed impulse buying, this Toronto-based umbrella company of skincare and makeup brands extended its discounts for the entire month of November. As part of a Black Friday campaign, they asked customers to approach their shopping differently and take their time. On the holiday itself, they shut down their brick-and-mortar stores and paused their website so consumers could “celebrate the beauty of slowing down.” 

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How MarinOne Can Help You Make This Black Friday Successful

For marketers and advertisers, Black Friday is one of the busiest times of the year. But with the right imaginative Black Friday ad campaign you can stand out amongst the fierce competition and get consumers flocking to your holiday deals.  

Whether you’re launching a campaign to increase revenue numbers, improve engagement, or cultivate interest in your brand, our tips will serve you well. Studying the top ads that ruled the internet will give you guidance on how to create your successful ad campaign.

If you’re looking to elevate your e-commerce marketing strategy, start with MarinOne’s platform to help you analyze, automate, and optimize those Black Friday ads. 

Ready to get started? Contact our team today.

In case you missed it, Amazon announced a second Prime Day this week! The “Prime Early Access Sale” happens October 11 at 12 a.m. PDT and runs through October 12 in 15 countries: Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the UK, and the U.S.

Amazon is also introducing a Top 100 list with deals dropping on ASIN’s throughout the event across categories including electronics, fashion, home, kitchen, pets, toys, and Amazon devices. Of course Amazon will release their annual Holiday gift guides and Amazon’s Toys We Love list as well. 

Prime Day in July was Amazon’s most successful to date with 300 million items purchased and $11.9 billion in sales, an 8.5% increase over 2021. But ecommerce is slowing as inflation continues to increase and shoppers become more wary of stagflation or a looming recession in the not so distant future. 

So needless to say you do not want to miss out on a second opportunity to get your products in front of eager consumers just before the holiday shopping season starts! Check out Amazon’s Prime Day guide here, and for detailed info on how to maximize sales during the entire holiday season, Marin’s got you covered with our Amazon 2022 Holiday Playbook

Happy Selling!

The global e-commerce market reached a value of $13 trillion in 2021—and is forecasted to rise to $55.6 trillion by 2027. What are some of the major factors that led to this growth?  There was an explosion in demand for smart devices like smartphones and tablets, making it easier than ever for people to shop online from anywhere. COVID was another big factor: when stores closed, consumers  all went online—and they liked it.

In this article, we'll share some of the benefits of the current e-commerce landscape, then give you some tips on getting your e-commerce site to perform at its best this year and beyond.

Reasons to Ramp Up your E-comm Presence

There's no doubt that online sales are more important than ever, regardless of your company structure. With a growing population of e-comm shoppers and a marketplace that's constantly expanding, it's essential to have a strong e-commerce presence if you want to stay competitive and meet customers’ demands. Here are five reasons you should focus your efforts on e-commerce: 

Meeting Consumers Where They Are

Since the onset of the pandemic, consumer behavior has dramatically changed, shifting more towards digital shopping habits. A study done by Pew Research states that 79% of U.S. consumers shop online, indicating that this new habit is here to stay. And for good reason: it’s far more convenient than having to step foot in any physical retail store. It saves time, gives consumers the flexibility to shop for the best prices, and allows them to choose from a wider range of products.

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Unrestricted Store Hours

Having an e-commerce site means your store is theoretically open all day, every day. With 24/7 access consumers can browse whenever they want, be it 1 AM or 1 PM. Not only does this make digital shopping more appealing for customers, but it also increases sales opportunities. 

Manage Your Business From Anywhere

As opposed to a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront, using an e-commerce site allows you to run your company from anywhere. Whether you prefer to sit in an office, work from home, or even your local coffee shop, you can watch your business grow without being tied to a physical space. 

Extend Your Reach

As an e-commerce company, your number one priority is to get the word out about your products and services. It is possible to advertise in different ways and improve traffic to your site. However, this is easier said than done. It's always hard to get noticed online with so much noise and competition shouting their message out. By honing in on the right niche messaging for your target demographic, and utilizing an omnichannel marketing approach with SEM, email marketing with proper authentication protocols, influencers, and more…you can "find your people" on a global scale. Once the right brand message is identified, the opportunity to extend your reach to a wider target audience is virtually limitless.

Reduce Your Costs

If you were at all hesitant to start an e-commerce site because of the cost, think again. Launching a site is more affordable than owning a store, and it minimizes infrastructure, communication, and other overhead costs. 

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Tips for Creating a Profitable E-commerce Site

Follow the Latest Trends

With e-commerce best practices constantly evolving and changing, it’s vital to keep your e-commerce site current and your business competitive. By keeping up with the latest trends, you'll find new and innovative techniques that will offer your business huge value, while identifying the tactics that may not be suitable for your specific company needs. To determine which trends are worth pursuing, know your customers and competitors well so you can make the right move. 

Understand How to Optimize your E-Commerce Presence

Adopt advanced conversion tactics and push your organization to improve your baseline goal. Routinely examine bounce rates, exit rates, click-through rates, and average session durations. It is also wise to invest in e-commerce tools that can help analyze your current conversion rate issues. Some other strategies for boosting conversion rates include using high-quality images and videos on your product pages, providing limited-time coupon codes, and tweaking your store checkout process. 

Develop Strategic Shipping Policies and Options

Offer your consumers free shipping on orders over a specific amount and offer expedited delivery options like three-day shipping or two-hour delivery windows for customers who need their items immediately. An effective product delivery strategy will help to differentiate your business from competitors.

Include Customer Reviews on Product Pages 

Without a storefront, customers can’t physically experience an item before purchasing it. Give them the confidence they need to make informed decisions about products by providing them with easy access to online product reviews. By helping them navigate your business’s digital space, you maintain a positive reputation and a strong brand name, leading to happy customers and returning business. 

Create Social Media Profiles for Your Brand 

Having a social media presence allows you to connect with existing customers and reach out to potential new ones. Statista data indicates that users spend an average of a whopping 147 minutes per day on social media. Using social media to market your e-commerce store allows you to reach shoppers directly, advertise new products, or engage them with attractive promotions. According to BigCommerce statistics, businesses with an active and unique social media presence have at least 32% more sales than those without one. 

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Integrate your Point of Sale and Inventory Management Systems for Best Results 

Consumers prefer a seamless shopping and purchasing experience, with expectations that their products will arrive at their doorstep as fast as possible. Backend integration can help streamline e-commerce operations like inventory management, so that your customers remain satisfied and get what they want, when they want it. Integrating inventory management allows your organization to track its stock so you can balance the quantity of products on hand while meeting customer demands. By being able to analyze trends and sales patterns, you can also successfully maximize sales margins. 

Make your Site Mobile Friendly

Making sure your e-commerce site is mobile-friendly is the key to driving more sales and ensuring a smooth customer journey. A mobile-friendly design leads to more page views, stronger customer loyalty, increased online purchases, and many more benefits. 

Site Speed Matters

The last thing you want is a slow-loading website that will irritate your visitors. If your site can’t move fast enough for your customers it will negatively impact the user's perception of your brand, increase bounce rates, and encourage buyers to look elsewhere. In fact, studies prove that if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 40% of users will quickly give up and leave.  

Conclusion

Not only is centralizing your business to an e-commerce website cost-effective, it’s also been the preferred way for customers to shop for several years now. To stay competitive, it's essential that you get your website running like a well-oiled machine.

Not sure where to start? MarinOne can help by streamlining your advertising efforts and give your website a jumpstart in sales and traffic. This will buy your team time to get the web backend exactly how you want it while we build your front-end brand through advertising on marketplaces, paid search, and social. With MarinOne, you can gain an edge over your competition, maximize performance across all channels, and utilize impactful retail marketplace advertising features to set your e-commerce site up for success. 

Learn more about how MarinOne can help. Get in touch and speak to one of our team experts or schedule a free demo today.

Online grocery delivery has grown exponentially since the start of the pandemic and retailers are fighting to secure their place in the online shopping world. Retail advertisers are eager to get in front of hungry customers at the moment of purchase and have discovered that Instacart is one of the best ways to do that. 

Since 2020, Instacart has experienced a 500% increase in order volume. To keep up with this escalating traffic volume and successfully reach customers, advertisers are quickly realizing that they need to spruce up their e-grocery advertising campaigns. 

In this guide, we’ll explain the basics of Instacart advertising and explore Instacart ad inventory and the different ad types to help you find out which is right for you. We’ll also look at various campaign structures and keyword strategies, your bidding options, and some advanced tactics for optimization. 

How To Determine If Instacart Advertising is Right for Your Brand

Instacart advertising is the perfect way to extend your brand’s presence into the digital world of e-grocery shopping. 

Instacart is designed to give shoppers what they want, when they want it. They can do so because they leverage a huge number of brick-and-mortar retailers. Instacart’s ability to help advertisers maximize brand reach and consumer awareness makes it a suitable option for brands of all sizes. 

With brands reporting very good ROAS, the platform’s advertising is destined to become even more crowded than it already is. Research shows that more than 45,000 stores participate on Instacart. 

The Basics of Instacart Advertising

Retailers can create “Featured Product ads” through Instacart’s grocery pick-up and delivery services. The purpose of the ads is to reach prospective buyers on Instacart who are using specific keywords while browsing. Featured Product ads are typically displayed in areas of high visibility across the platform and can appear in two different categories: Search or Non-Search Ads. 

  • Search Featured Ads or “Self-Serve” Ads

These ads appear in a shopper’s search results and are a powerful tool to help amplify your brand’s visibility. In fact, 40% of all clicks on search results are on the top 1 to 3 products that populate a results page. 

  • Non-Search Featured Ads

Unlike Feature Ads, Non-Search Ads pop up in various places on Instacart and are not restricted to specific search keywords. They commonly appear in one of four placements including the home page, your items, item details, or department. 

Campaign Structuring

Keywords and products on Instacart can be grouped in two different ways: 

  • Similarly-Priced Products

As its name indicates, this type of campaign structuring refers to grouping products together that fall into a particular price range. 

  • Like Products

These are products that share more than 70% of particular keywords. 

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Keyword Strategies

Understanding the differences that keywords can make will help you create effective Instacart ad campaigns.

  • Category Keywords

These keywords present a large opportunity for Instacart growth. Because Instacart has a low volume of advertisers, Cost Per Clicks will be lower than what you would get on Amazon. If shoppers purchase your item using these keywords, it’s likely that they will make repeat purchases via your item section. 

  • Branded Keywords

Typically, branded keywords have the highest ROAS and lowest CPC. However, when using branded keywords, it's wise to allocate only a small portion of your budget to them because you want to ensure that your ad spend remains incremental. 

  • Competitor Keywords

“Conquesting” or bidding and winning your competitors' keywords can be a tricky strategy. While your CPC for these keywords is always more than that for category keywords, it can be ineffective and costly, and can also result in low conversion rates. Competitor keywords are best suited for items that are frequently purchased since the lifetime value of a shopper can help offset the initial high cost of the bid. 

Bidding Options

With the platform’s second-price auctioning system, advertisers' Cost Per Click (CPC) will be $0.01 more than the next highest bidder whenever they win an auction. 

  • Keyword Override Bids

Specific keywords you want to target can be used when launching your campaign. To make sure you secure the most efficient bid price, you can make always-on optimizations yourself or by using a third-party service. 

  • Default CPC Bid

These bids can be used for non-keyword traffic or by Instacart for new keywords that were harvested automatically. 

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5 Advanced Tactics for Optimizing Instacart Ads

Instacart has revolutionized the way consumers buy groceries and it’s clear they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. To ensure your campaigns are successful, consider using these suggested tactics:

  1. Consistently Update Product Details and Images

It’s crucial to ensure that your product inventory and your UPCs are accurate. Plan carefully and make sure products are in stock—Instacart will not promote products that are not.

  1. Separate Campaigns

When setting up your campaigns, apply paid search best practices. Dividing your campaigns by sub-brand or product category will make them easier to manage and optimize. You can also take it one step further and separate them by product type at the Ad Group level.

  1. Take Advantage of Your Instacart Ad Team

Instacart’s ad teams provide outstanding customer service to committed customers, with your brand’s success in mind. By joining forces, you can improve your Instacart presence. You can also utilize the platform’s reporting features and deep insights to help you make more informed buying decisions. 

  1. Focus on Relevancy

Use keywords that are relevant to your campaign and pay close attention to default keywords that Instacart may have added automatically. Keywords that are indirectly related do not perform as well. 

  1. Monitor and Test Frequently

Consistent monitoring is key to a successful campaign. When the campaign begins, gather as much data as you can and prioritize your budget. Run tests so you can see what’s working and what’s not so you can reallocate your budget quickly. 

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MarinOne Can Optimize Your Instacart Ads

With advanced automated bidding solutions and our powerful reporting, MarinOne can optimize your Instacart ads. Our platform works seamlessly with Instacart’s platform so your bidding strategies perform at their peak on each retail marketplace. Read about this in more detail here

Want to significantly improve the performance of your campaigns? We’ve got you covered. We make it easy by building out campaigns for you automatically, alerting you when there are changes in performance, and proactively identifying opportunities for you so you can achieve top results. To get started, simply connect your Instacart account.

Don't have an Instacart account or want to learn more about how we can help? Reach out to us at info@marinsoftware.com and one of our account representatives will be in touch.

Getting Started with Amazon Live

Visibility is the key if you are aiming to succeed as a seller on Amazon. Keeping up with platform changes and new features is a great way to stay ahead of the competition and have more visibility on Amazon for your brand. One such feature your company ought to be utilizing is Amazon Live.

Since the inception of Amazon Live in 2016, it has slowly but surely grown in status and notoriety. What initially seemed cheesy to many brands has now become a highly profitable revenue platform. As Prime Day 2022 numbers have improved year over year, being able to engage users already shopping on Amazon offers up audiences who are more likely to convert right away. 

This is great news for individual influencers as well as major brands. Most of the users active on Amazon Live view shopping as being highly therapeutic or personal in some way. So with an ever-growing audience of highly-engaged active shoppers, the question arises ‘How can my brand use this too?” Here’s a playbook on how to get started.

What is Amazon Live?

Amazon Live is regarded as one of the most successful initiatives launched by Amazon in the form of a live streaming platform. Sellers can create videos and tutorials as a way to market new or unique products. Creators can host live streams on their Amazon Live to advertise their product to their customers and followers. The live streams come in a myriad of formats: from direct interactions between seller and shopper, to giving product demos, offering promo codes, and holding Q&A sessions, all amounting to the creator earning commission from sales produced by their streamable content. 

Amazon Live has been made customer and seller friendly, as both parties can access the platform on desktop as well on mobile. There is also growth potential from a global perspective for brands, as the website and mobile app versions of Amazon Live are available across many countries. 

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What are Amazon Live influencers?

Social media influencers have been an integral part of the entire concept behind Amazon Live. Amazon’s foray into live shopping with this QVC style shopping stream changed the influencer landscape at large as thousands of streamers have taken advantage of a new place to sell their products in an interactive way. 

The Amazon Live platform also offers the Amazon Influencer Program, where individuals with an existing social media following can re-direct that following to the influencers' favorite Amazon products. Using tagged codes and links, the influencer in turn receives a sales commission for those product purchases from Amazon. 

By developing a unique Amazon Storefront, influencers can choose and promote any product on the platform on this layout to generate a permanent income stream. Based on the type of product, total influencer sales, etc., the commission for influencers is set up in the range of 10% of all revenue. 

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Developing great Amazon Live content as an influencer

Amazon Live offers the influencers a chance to showcase a products' features in real time while answering questions and engaging with shoppers, much like Facebook Live and Youtube Live. Developing content for live streams is as personal as any other content an influencer may create. If you're a content creator looking to produce a unique streaming experience on Amazon Live, don't be afraid to wear your product, use it, and flaunt it the way you want…just as you would on any other social media platform. (So long as you're within Amazon's guidelines of course.)

Keep in mind that shoppers want to see:

  • How the product works
  • What sets it apart from other similar products
  • Why you recommend it as their trusted influencer.

You can sign up for the Amazon Influencer Program in order to live stream products here. All you need to apply for the Amazon Influencer Program is your YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account information. It takes 3-5 days to get the application approved and setup your account. 

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Partnering with Amazon Live influencers as a brand

Just like other forms of influencer marketing, there are several benefits to working with influencers on Amazon. For brand owners looking to use Amazon content creator relationships as part of your omnichannel marketing strategy, a few objectives you could set as part of an Amazon influencer program are:

  • Exposure to new audiences and brand awareness
  • Authentic, top of funnel content creation
  • Reputation boosts through influencer trust
  • Optimization of your Amazon product listings
  • Increased sales and conversion

When done correctly, influencer marketing has been shown to drive qualified traffic that will not only deliver an immediate return on investment but also provide momentum for Amazon listings. This helps increase Best Seller Rank, organic rank, and ad visibility.

Remember, in influencer marketing, authenticity is #1

Keep in mind that content creators prioritize their own brand identity and authentic voice above all else. So to have success, you must find the right partnerships that are a fit for the company and the influencer. 

In a recent interview with Amazon, popular influencer Trisha Hershberger described her early experiences as a content creator, and how she was met with resistance by the industry to be herself. Many brands only wanted to collaborate with her if she changed her appearance to what they considered the "typical" gamer look. 

“I was told, ‘you can't wear a dress on camera and talk about video games, no one's going to take you seriously, you have to wear a graphic T-shirt.' I was told often that I didn’t look like the gaming type,” she says. 

Hershberger shared that she was adamant about her point of view despite the pushback she had received. Her reward for this fortitude came in the form of seeing audiences respond positively to her individuality. Viewers are wanting to connect with creators who are being true to themselves and their interests. By sticking to her guns and presenting the image she wanted to portray, Hershberger managed to help shape a culture of communication and openness between herself and the brands she promotes. 

She believes the stalwart attitude she and other influencers have had has helped to create more diversity in online content at large. “With more diverse creators coming forward with different backgrounds and interests, there is something for everyone,” she says.

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Connecting Amazon Live and Amazon influencers to your omnichannel marketing strategy

Amazon Live has the potential to be another powerful asset in the digital marketers' toolkit, just like many other platforms, tools, or features that have come before it.  You've most likely already tackled Pinterest advertising, TikTok content, programmatic ads, and many other unknowns in the past…so don't be afraid to get bold here too. Amazon Live is simply another opportunity to dig deep and get creative, scaling your marketing initiatives to new heights. Some low hanging fruit for omnichannel applications we would suggest include:

  • Repurpose Amazon Live content on other social media channels
  • Extend your Amazon Live influencer collaborations to include promotion on their other content platforms
  • Use Amazon Live as an opportunity to test new product launches, or get passive market feedback on existing products
  • Create community and ongoing dialogue amongst the Amazon audience by driving them to other forums where your brand spends time

Managing Amazon Live budgets and campaigns with MarinOne

While some of the execution to an Amazon Live campaign may be distinctive to other campaigns your brand is running, what will be consistent is the need for clear audience tracking, insightful data analysis, and accurate attribution. Marin Software is prepared to help you do just that with our all-in-one paid media management platform. Our tool integrates directly with Amazon Ads so you can see how a multitude of campaign types are performing all at once, against one another. It's also one of the only tools available that offers true omnichannel budgeting across nearly 30 publisher platforms, so you'll know whether to put more or less engine spend toward Amazon, Facebook, TikTok, or anywhere else your ads are running. Let our team set up the infrastructure for your team to make the best advertising decisions possible. Get a consultation from one of our digital marketing experts today.

As many of us already know, on Amazon half of the work is already done if you can manage to have a quality organic listing and positive seller standing with Amazon itself. The algorithm on Amazon is a combination of organic and paid advertising, and to get the most out of Amazon in terms of sales and revenue, these two channels must be working hand-in-hand. This is far more crucial on Amazon than most other platforms, where organic and paid work can be somewhat disparate.

Recently, competitiveness amongst Amazon listings continues to escalate. Getting a quality ROI from this marketplace is not as simple as it once was. There are plenty of sellers, within the United States especially, who seem to be struggling in establishing their businesses and getting their brand the visibility they would like. 

We have assembled a list of tactics that should help you get the edge over your competition in 2022 and into the coming years. A sophisticated advertising strategy stands out as the most empowering place to start. If done correctly, Amazon search ads and display ads can be a game-changer for your business.

Be methodical when making budget decisions

If you are just getting started with Amazon ads, it is better if you take it slow, one day at a time. Start with a limited budget so that you can easily do trial-and-error testing to see what works for you. You are bound to face high competition in the beginning. 

When you set your budget, it’s important to look at your average cost of sale (ACoS). This is the amount you spend to obtain leads which can help make sure that your budget will work with it. You need to understand how this works so that you can maintain healthy profitability.

Just like any other channel, you'll want to carefully weigh the costs of advertising and production when it comes to determining just how much you should spend on marketing. Amazon advertising is no different.

Sales tax, fees, product and overhead costs take off around 50% from your earnings. After those are accounted for, you'll only have 50% of the original budget to go around on advertising and then finally, profit.

This means that your ACoS needs to be less than 50% for your business to gain a profit. Anywhere from a 15-40% ACoS is not uncommon on Amazon advertising, so you’ll want to keep this in mind as you account for your budget on this platform.

As you identify your ACoS, your confidence as an advertiser and business owner will increase as you establish a system for healthy profitability and increasing revenue over time.

Try a web-based calculator to calculate the margin built into a product. There are many online tools for calculating ACoS as well—don’t be afraid to try these shortcuts to know for certain you are making sound financial decisions…especially if you’re just starting out in this kind of budget management.

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Opt for Sponsored Display Ads

Sponsored Display Ads are yet another unique feature introduced by Amazon for self-advertising one’s business. The primary distinction of these ads from other Amazon ads is that they don’t target keywords. Instead, they target customers by their interests and behaviors. They also compare consumers’ with similar interests or purchase histories to grow the audience segments and see if new customers might also be interested in what you're advertising.

Therefore, for all the newly established businesses or even the well-established ones, these Sponsored Ads might work as an important tool for bringing incremental traffic and brand awareness your way effortlessly. Using Sponsored Display Ad campaigns, you can feel assured that any potential customer who might have viewed a product similar to yours at another business store will be able to view your product(s) as well, making your brand more prevalent within the category segment. 

Sponsored Display Ads are currently one of Amazon’s less popular campaign types due to their newness. As advertisers become more comfortable with this ad type, competitiveness will surely increase; so this is one easy way to get ahead of the competition. 

Amazon DSP (Demand Side Platform)

Amazon DSP, or Demand-Side Platform, is where advertisers can go to programmatically buy video and ad placements. Like many other DSPs, Amazon provides the connection for programmatic ads that include placements on Amazon directly or across the web, including a network of thousands of Amazon partner websites. This gives brands a more diverse range of targeting opportunities. Use audience insights to determine what reach is available in your audience segments. Exclusions are an effective way to keep your audiences fresh: rule out past purchasers or set a 30 day purchase window…there are very few products on Amazon that would have a buying cycle longer than 30 days. If a customer was not ready to make a purchase decision in that time frame on this platform, they are not likely to make a purchase at all.

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Take advantage of your Amazon ‘honeymoon period’ wisely

The initial 45 days of advertising on Amazon are known as the ‘honeymoon’ or ‘learning’ period. This is the time when you can best put your efforts into making the most of experimentation and learning about everything that goes on in establishing one’s business. 

If you fail to make the most of this period, chances are high that even after this time, you will struggle to meet your goals in this very competitive marketplace. The first month or so is a crucial time for testing product pricing, keywords, descriptions, ad messaging, and promotions. All of these factors could greatly impact your effectiveness on Amazon, so be aggressive and don’t be afraid to test many different approaches week over week. Just be careful that your A/B testing is clean and well-documented so you know exactly what was productive and what wasn’t moving into the post-honeymoon phase.

Don’t use too many keywords(or the wrong ones)

Keywords can become a source of big problems for you when you are targeting too many terms on the ad side, keyword stuffing your description or product names, or simply taking the wrong approach in how or what you are bidding on. 

To avoid these pitfalls, it is best if you do your research, evaluate similar sellers, and see how many keywords they use to promote their products. Thorough competitive analysis at the forefront will save you a lot of headache in the long run. There are many tools that can help you with this work, or it can be done manually. Either way, be specific in establishing the right competitor list to evaluate; and be thorough in your analysis of each competitor.

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Consider using an Amazon partner

Once you feel comfortable with Amazon ad formats and key strategies, you may want to consider leveraging an Amazon Advertising partner. Amazon evaluates and approves key vendors to help their advertisers drive even more value from their campaigns. A partner like Marin Software can help you use machine learning and cutting-edge technology to streamline and amplify your Amazon campaigns.

Advanced analytics can deliver reports and insights within and across your Amazon campaigns and also give you a cross-publisher view if you are using other marketplaces like Instacart, Criteo, or CitrusAd. MarinOne also proactively scans your account every day to identify opportunities to grow revenue and decrease costs. It’s important to note that Amazon only holds your historical data for 90 days. A tool like MarinOne can give you access to all your previous campaigns with unlimited data retention. 

It’s never a bad idea to incorporate automation into the day-to-day management of campaigns to save you time. Actions like bulk changes perform the same edits across objects and campaigns so you don’t need to do that manually. Another big time saver is SmartFeed which pulls in your inventory feed and syndicates that data to Amazon (and other publishers) to automatically pause and resume campaigns based on your inventory levels. You can also take advantage of day parting which schedules and deploys your budget during the most effective times of the day for your products. 

Some Amazon partners, like Marin, also offer bid optimization to help advertisers determine the right level of spend and forecast the expected conversions, revenue, and profit based on your goals. You can also use MarinOne’s pacing tool that shows you how you are progressing over your selling period and adjusts your bids to keep you on track. 

Key takeaways

While it is a competitive market, don’t be off put or consider stepping back from Amazon advertising just yet. With thorough research, careful planning, and ongoing optimization, Amazon absolutely can produce the results you are looking for. It is unmatched in terms of customer intent, quick purchase conversions, and return on investment. It also happens to be the second largest search engine in the world; and therefore, not to be ignored. 

To embrace Amazon for the good of your business, go along with its competitive pace and keep on implementing new strategies until you feel confident in your AMZ marketing chops. If you are keen to learn and implement the right techniques, you will find yourself reaching your KPI goals on Amazon in no time.

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