In October last year, Amazon quietly launched Posts, a marketing tool that allows brands to create Instagram-style content, which is featured on product and category pages. Since the tool is still in Beta, not linked to the Seller Central dashboard, and not yet part of the typical Amazon marketing playbook, early adopters are seeing success with the program’s ability to drive traffic and sales. And the outcome is all the more sweeter due to the fact that Posts are free for brands to use. Here’s how some brands doing it.
How Posts work
Posts are available to Amazon vendors and sellers who are Brand-Registered—that is, they are the recognized owner of the brand’s trademark.
Posts are created in a separate console, which requires some straightforward setup, then brands can create shoppable post content. Posts are fairly easy to create, requiring only an image and maximum 2,200 character caption.
Posts can appear in several places on the desktop and mobile versions of the site. Amazon controls the placement of Posts, and so far it seems fairly random.
Amazon says that Posts work by driving discovery, browsing, and shopping, due to the various locations that Posts appear, and the shoppable nature of the Posts.
Available metrics from Posts
The dashboard for Posts provides a scant number of metrics: impressions, clicks, and click-through-rate. There is no metric that indicates the volume of actual sales driven by Posts or conversion rate.
But Jim Morgan, head of e-commerce for Vita Coco, says that even those three metrics can be helpful in figuring out what type of content Amazon shoppers are looking for and what’s capturing their attention.
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What type of content works best
“For instance, across all the brands, I’m seeing that product-focused content (product boldly displayed, copy calling out product features and attributes) is working much, much better than lifestyle content (an influencer drinking our product while doing yoga),” says Vita Coco’s Morgan, noting this is the opposite of what he would have guessed. Insights like this can serve as an additional data point for our greater content strategy.
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Michael Morgan, director of e-commerce at HKC-US & Palm Coast Imports, agrees in the test-and-learn approach. “We’ve used different copy, image and styles to see what sticks,” Morgan says. “We’ve noticed a growing trend around the types of images that drive a higher CTR% which is awesome. It gives us the data to execute on for future Posts.” Morgan adds that the common denominator appears to be content that is mobile friendly.
Other brands have found the system to be effective for cross-selling other products in their assortment, and in getting traffic to brand-new products.
Once a formula for content is identified, it can be replicated to good effect. One brand I spoke with said they received over 12,000 impressions during Q4 for a top-selling product highlighted in Posts.
You can’t argue with free
Some brands believe that Amazon may eventually seek to monetize the program in the future. This could certainly be the end goal, especially as Amazon scales its lucrative advertising business. But there are many content marketing programs older than Posts that Amazon has so far not monetized, including Amazon Live video and Stores. Both of these platforms help to drive traffic to product pages, and provide similar metrics around impressions and click-through-rates.
If Amazon were to monetize posts, brands would expect more ROI-driven metrics (attributed sales, ROAS) and more control over the placement of Posts which is currently random.
Vita Coco’s Jim Morgan says that besides the helpful insights they get from which type of content is performing best, he views Posts as a free ad unit from Amazon. “In just a few months, we’ve received hundreds of thousands of impressions on our products because of Posts which we otherwise would not have received, or would have at least had to pay for,” he says. That’s a rare deal that no Amazon growth hacker would pass up.