Amazon has quietly been making a lot of noise in the advertising/marketing space. Actually, scratch that, they’ve been making a lot of noise lately across many sectors.
First, the Whole Foods acquisition. In a matter of days, after the official announcement, Amazon had a page on its website explaining details around how the two companies would bring more value and cost-savings to customers. And within just a few short weeks, point-of-purchase (POP) displays were visible within Whole Foods stores encouraging grocery shoppers to pick up the “Pick of the Season”—the Amazon Echo. This is just the beginning of a transformation of the omni-channel and click-to-brick experience customers will begin to experience as the two mega brands join forces.
Second, taking on Google. There has been no shortage of coverage of Amazon’s growing efforts to take on YouTube as a resource for consumer product videos. A recent Bloomberg article covered news of Amazon’s growing efforts with videos from merchants to help bring shoppers the content they often leave the retailer’s site to consume on YouTube before making a purchase. For brands, like Bose, with big marketing budgets, Amazon has a few new offerings to spruce up their product pages with video to “create engaging, helpful content.” And it’s all happening just in time for the holiday shopping season. The cost for this premier branding experience: half a million dollars a year. Don’t be scared off by the price tag though, there are other video-friendly advertising offerings available for brands looking to drive awareness among Amazon customers including on-site video ads, targeting in-market shoppers off-site, and landing pages with a variety of video placements like this page by P&G’s laundry care brand Dreft.
Third, validating that influencer marketing is not a trend. What happens when Amazon decides to layer influencer marketing into the mix? The entire advertising industry takes notice. Thousands of influencers are present on Amazon (thanks in part to its recent Influencer Program launch) and this marks the tipping point for marketers to begin thinking more holistically about the roles of social and ecommerce, and the impact one can have on the other if planned properly. Every year influencers create gift list videos and top picks on YouTube to guide their audiences to perfect gifts and earn a little affiliate revenue from Amazon’s Associates program. The big difference this year, is that some of this influencer content is finding its way to Amazon.com, and brands are integrating their products into wish lists as part of paid sponsorships with sought-after influencers.
Video is known to drive higher conversions and increase sales. Just this year, social media influencers surpassed friends and family, brands, celebrities, and retailers as the most trusted source for product information before making a purchase, based on a survey conducted by Gen.Video in partnership with Geometry Global. We also found that social media influencers are the number one source for product recommendations, and video lifts conversion rates by roughly 30 percent. For more, view the full report, The Influence of Influencers.
Marketers have an opportunity to bring together video, advertising, and influencers while driving traffic directly to point-of-sale. With influencers as the most trusted sources of product information coupled with distrust of brand messaging, there’s a powerful formula involving taking trusted influencer content and promoting it with old school media dollars. Here’s an example of an influencer shop featuring Old Spice products and influencer content.
Amazon’s strength as a commerce platform married with powerful marketing tools is opening up unprecedented opportunities for imaginative, innovative marketers to bring together tactics across earned, owned, and paid channels in ways never before seen.
Guest post by Jessica Thorpe, president of Gen.Video, an influencer marketing platform with a specialty in ecommerce. Follow her on Twitter @jessicagnon. OnlineVideo.net accepts guest posts based upon their usefulness to our readers.