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External traffic on Amazon - The key to success?

07/17/2020 • Reading time: ca. 12 min • by Trutz Fries

Nearly all Sellers consider how they can further increase the turnover on their products every day. The obvious things are usually already done here: researching keywords and optimizing listings, creating A+ content and running ad campaigns. But that's just the mandatory routine. If these things are not fully exploited, you will quickly fall behind the competition, as these are measures that everyone will take with a bit of hard work.

However, there are other ways to increase sales on Amazon. In the following we would like to give you some examples. At the beginning we also explain why you, as a merchant on Amazon, have an easy time attracting potential partners. In particular, this will involve "bloggers", "influencers", "authors" or "(content) creators". So all those who provide content on the respective platform.

The Amazon Affiliate Program

Influencers or Content Creators are perfect for a partnership with you as a seller. Often content creators have the problem or challenge that the consumers of their content are not yet ready to pay directly for the content, e.g. through a paid membership or something similar. Only large media such as "DER SPIEGEL" can currently afford to hide content behind a paywall.

The influencers are thus dependent on either voluntary donations or so-called affiliate commissions. And this is where Amazon gets involved. Amazon has operated the so-called Amazon Partner Program - also known as PartnerNet - since the beginning. This program allows e.g. operators to link from a website to products from Amazon. If a reader clicks on this product and this product is then purchased within a certain time period, the affiliate (also called "affiliate") receives a commission from gross sales, for example 3%. The Partner does not have to do anything else than register in the partner program free of charge and link to the respective product with a special link. In this link there is a unique label that clearly identifies this partner. This way Amazon knows where the traffic comes from and can commission the partner accordingly in case of sales. The consumer does not notice any of this.The price is the same and the cost of the commission is covered by Amazon.

Possible traffic channels

Let us assume that we sell household articles that are e. g. used for baking or cooking. So let's start looking for possible partners together. Therefore we look at old and new media:

  • Blogs
  • YouTube
  • Twitch
  • TikTok
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • ...

One could mention some more channels, e.g. Pinterest. But here it should be more about the principle than about the completeness.

Amazon and bloggers

Besides the countless anonymous consumers, there are also a few who share their passion and record their experiences in their own blog. They regularly add further content, such as blog articles, videos or interactive applications to their own created website. Quite often a career as an influencer started with such a blog.

These "Bloggers" manage to achieve considerable coverage despite their niche.

Often Amazon sellers know the purposes for which their products are used in the household. The possible subject areas or niches are therefore quickly identified. In our fictitious example, our seller sells products that can be used for baking and/or cooking. Currently, the topic of "baking bread" is on the rise. If we do a little research in this area, we will quickly find blogs with a high reach on the topic of "Baking bread". A simple search on Google is enough:

Google search on the topic of bread baking

The list already contains a large number of potential partners on the first page.

Recipes are typical for these food blogs. In this case different bread recipes are presented and the preparation is explained step by step. In the context of these explanations, these blogs like to link to the required accessories, kitchen equipment or cooking books. Often these links point directly to Amazon, as shown in the following example:

Affiliate link to a bread baking book

The example above refers to a bread recipe book with even more recipes. The readers are grateful for these tips. The respective product is quickly added to the shopping cart and purchased. Why not simply trust the expert's recommendation? And these links are also easy to use for the creator. On Amazon you can find almost everything and you don’t have to worry about the Amazon billing. Amazon automatically transfers the earned commissions at the end of the month.

If the author links to one of your products, as in the example above, it is up to your creativity to convince the reader of your brand. In addition, you could offer the blog operator to enter into a long-term sales partnership with you and support you with regular monthly posts.

Another way of support would be to provide the author with your products free of charge, so that they can either use them for themselves or give them away among their readers. In any case, you have to show them added value so that they cooperate with you and not with other brands, at least for selected products.

Amazon and YouTube

Next to text and images, video has become the most important medium on the Internet. And there's really only one top dog here and that's YouTube. Every minute a huge amount of new video material is uploaded. Countless people are trying to set up and expand their YouTube channel. The variety of topics is just as diverse as outside of YouTube. There are also a lot of influencers who explain how to cook, bake or become more sporty, just to name a few examples.

These content creators also like to refer to the used utensil in their videos or in the video description. Here is an example of what this looks like in practice.

Youtube Affiliate Links

The video has already 1 million views. This shows what level of reach certain content creators have in this time. So if one of your products is hidden behind one of these links, you have a real unfair advantage over your competitors, which is not that easy to imitate.

Amazon and Twitch

YouTube is similar to Twitch. Twitch is a specialized video platform, where mainly videos are streamed that show the channel operators playing computer games.

In contrast to YouTube, there is often a close connection between the creator and the community on this platform. The creator's personality has a significant impact on its reach, as it interacts with its community in real-time (live).

Creators can also place links to their equipment on their profile pages. These links point as well to the respective product on Amazon.

Since Twitch is very much specialised in the field of computer games, it is difficult to place topics from other areas here. But if you sell in the electronics category, you should definitely make use of it as well.

Especially due to the close connection between the creator and the community that the channel operator's recommendations carry a lot of weight.

Amazon and TikTok

No other social network is currently growing as rapidly as Tiktok. Young people in particular are attracted by the short videos. In many cases, the focus is less on explanatory videos or informative content, but rather on entertainment. Creators with a good sense of humor and their community manage to build high follower numbers very quickly. As with Instagram, you can subscribe to the different channels. New videos will then get automatically added to your feed.

Again, creators are considering how to monetize their content. And a product recommendation is also possible way of doing so. However, the balance between classic product placement and the entertainment expected on Tik Tok must be achieved. Therefore, it is not as easy to place corresponding products as for example on YouTube, where this can happen much more naturally.

If you as a seller have a young target group, you should act quickly. Influencers that are still small today can gain a much bigger audience in a month.

Amazon and Instagram

Nowadays, young people use social networks like Facebook increasingly less. Instead, most of them hang out on Instagram, which is part of Facebook. Instagram is a very image-heavy medium. You can't do anything without photos on here. As on the other platforms, there are also many influencers on Instagram, who have a considerable range and keep their followers up to date with daily updates. In contrast to Tik Tok, Instagram is much broader in scope. Influencers are used to working with companies to promote their products.

The fact that some influencers are quite willing to take risks is shown by the following article: The Biggest Influencer Fails of 2019

But it can also be much more subtle and targeted, as the following example shows:

Instagram Affiliate Links

Amazon and Twitter

There are many "accounts " on Twitter as well, which have a lot of followers and therefore potential customers. The content on there is diverse, from politics to entertainment, it all comes together. The posts allow both the placement of images and external links. Links to Amazon are therefore not uncommon, as the following example shows:

Twitter Affiliate Links

This account shows interesting pictures or videos of "engineering art". But sometimes a product recommendation is presented on the feed. Most of them are likely paid. However, the feed do not recommend random products that are not related to the theme of the blog. Only products that fit the blog's theme will be considered, otherwise products may not necessarily attract attention.

Amazon and Facebook

Facebook is still one of the largest social networks, even though its importance is declining among the younger generation. Nevertheless, there are still many people who use the respective Facebook app on a daily basis. You might be interested in Facebook groups that operate in your niche and have a large number of members. If the group owner makes a recommendation, you should quickly have significantly more visitors on your site if the compatibility between product and group is given.

Here is an example of a Facebook group:

Facebook Affiliate Links

Note the high interaction rate of this post.

You may even be able to create a group yourself. But be advised. This involves more effort than expected and is a full-time job in itself. Nothing really works overnight, but after several years of build-up work, there could be the possibility of having direct access to potential customers without middlemen.

How do I approach influencers?

Tip 1: Work on the same level

A partnership with an influencer or creator should always take place at eye level. Especially the well-known or big influencers are well aware of their influence as well as their importance. Accordingly, the prices or the investments you have to make if you want to work with these creators are high. Therefore, the well-known influencers often only work with large brands who can or want to afford it.

Tip 2: The chemistry should match

As an Amazon Seller you have to do more in-depth research to find the right influencer for you. The Influencer should suit you both in terms of content and personality, as well as in terms of reach (and associated costs). These people receive a large number of requests on a daily basis. Good preparation is useful for this purpose. Ask yourself why the creator should work with you.

Tip 3: Involve your partner in the success

Influencers are often interested in a long-term partnership. In the case of one-off campaigns, the coordination effort is often not worthwhile and, as with classic advertising, one-off advertising messages often fizzle out. Only a genuine testimonial that stands by a brand in the long term will win the trust of readers and followers.

Also consider letting your partner take part in the success. This again increases the motivation of the potential partners. Even if your campaign with the influencer is just breaking even, you will still win in the long run, as your organic product ranking will improve due to the additional (profit-neutral) sales. Therefore you will sell more products on Amazon. And they also receive more reviews due to the increase in sales, which in turn has a positive effect on future sales.

The Amazon Parnet-Net makes it possible for the affiliate to see how many products have been recommended by them. On the basis of these figures, it is certainly possible to make a settlement.

Tip 4: Promote high-conversion products

Of course, it is also a prerequisite that your products meet the high quality standards that the Creator should naturally have. Don't bother them with bad products, because the reputation of the influencer is at stake. At the same time, your product should have many positive ratings so that the product detail page isn't abandoned right away. The influencer is dependent on the product being presented in the best possible way, as he cannot give more than a recommendation. This is where you have to do your job as a Seller, which means that you have already put in all the effort for listing optimization.

Tip 5: Give the creator the space they need

Do not try to fully control the influencer. They know their community best and what is authentic and what is not. The influencer must put their hard-earned credibility above everything else. Therefore they should be allowed to decide on their own how to place products.

Finding the right partner who is both suitable and affordable is no easy task. But if you can do it, you have found an advantage that your competition may not be able to replicate as easily.

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