25: Life After Crowdfunding: Amazon Presentation
In this episode, we are continuing our “Life After Crowdfunding” series by discussing how to make big money on Amazon by optimizing your listings. Let’s jump right in…
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1. Amazon listing titles should include the brand, the model, its attributes, and its benefits, while incorporating appropriate keywords for SEO determined through research.
2. Amazon listing bullet-points should each introduce a single concept in ALL CAPS and then detail that concept in a paragraph that both sells and aids SEO, providing information that’s thorough enough that potential customers don’t need to look elsewhere for it.
3. Amazon sellers should register for a U. S. trademark so that they can register their brand with Amazon, which will enable them to control how distributors present their product, and also to enhance their own listing with branded content.
4. Amazon listings should incorporate “enhanced branded content,” which should typically include a main high-resolution “hero” image on a white background, plus seven additional images showing its size and/or usage (including “lifestyle” shots), along with a pitch video.
5. Amazon sellers should actively solicit (but not incentivize) reviews from crowdfunding backers and/or Amazon customers, which will boost sales while identifying problems.
6. Amazon listings should generally render it as easy as possible for customers to buy.
7. In optimizing your Amazon listing, you should focus firstly on maximizing its conversion rates so that it sells as effectively as possible, secondly on maximizing its SEO to attract “organic” traffic as effectively as possible, and thirdly on perfecting your marketing (which we may present in a future episode) to attract referral traffic as effectively as possible.
[01:55] Zach and Thomas introduce this episode’s topic about how you can raise big money on Amazon through optimizing your listing, especially by amassing good reviews.
[03:11] Thomas and Zach remark that crowdfunding can facilitate your subsequent success on Amazon, including by amassing crowdfunding backers who can provide positive Amazon reviews, especially if you request them to do so, although Amazon prohibits incentivizing such reviews.
[07:03] Zach adds how crowdfunding can also provide excellent feedback from early adopters, along with product validation.
[08:46] Thomas recommends messaging your crowdfunding backers, along with your Amazon customers, directly one-by-one to request an Amazon review.
[10:13] Thomas digresses about rejecting materialism and that it shouldn’t be a problem to live for a week without engaging in a financial transaction.
[11:25] Thomas notes that soliciting reviews is helpful not only for Amazon but also for your website.
[13:24] Zach and Thomas observe that reviews are beneficial not only for boosting sales but also for identifying problems.
[16:05] Zach and Thomas inform listeners how to register their brand with Amazon, which enables them to exercise exclusive control over how distributors present their products, and also enables them to improve their listings with “enhanced brand content” such as images, which can sometimes multiply conversion rates 2-3 times or more.
[21:00] Zach relates an example of how “enhanced brand content” boosts sales.
[22:44] Thomas states that Amazon sellers need to register a trademark with the U. S. government in order to register their brand with Amazon, which requires 8-10 months plus a few hundred dollars—but that it’s worth this expense.
[24:23] Thomas suggests enhancing Amazon listings with a main image (which will appear in search results) that should be a high-resolution (1000x1000 minimum) “hero” shot on a white background, plus seven additional images showing its size and/or usage (including “lifestyle” shots), along with a pitch video.
[29:50] Zach urges Amazon sellers to provide complete information so that potential customers won’t need to seek it elsewhere, as part of rendering shopping as effortless as possible.
[30:57] Zach and Thomas discuss the importance of maximizing your Amazon listing’s conversion rate first, then researching keywords to include in it to aid SEO so that the right people can find your listing more easily, and finally paying to market your listing, in that order.
[35:38] Thomas advises that Amazon listing titles should include the brand, the model, its attributes, and its benefits, while incorporating appropriate keywords for SEO.
[37:44] Thomas counsels that Amazon listing titles should use as many bullet-points as possible, starting with a single concept in ALL CAPS and proceeding to a detailed paragraph that both sells and aids SEO.
[39:43] Thomas reviews that Amazon listings need a good title, good bullet-points, good “enhanced brand content,” and positive reviews.
[40:04] Zach mentions Gary Vaynerchuck’s $1.80/day strategy, which involves commenting on 90 relevant LinkedIn posts per day, as an example of how small-and-simple things can yield big results.
[41:43] Thomas explains that sharing Funded Today’s expertise enables some people to do likewise on their own, but also attracts business from other people who would prefer to hire someone else to do it, while Zach affirms that your success is ours.
[42:57] Thomas considers discussing review responses, Q&A, and Amazon ads in a future episode.
[43:29] Zach and Thomas present this episode’s Projects of the Week.
Zach Smith: (00:00) Funded Today Nation, welcome back to The Funded Today podcast. Last time, if you’d listened we had a special extra episode and a Guest Interviewer “Carson Jorgensen” and I shut the breeze on quite a few interesting topics and just before that one at our regularly scheduled release on Wednesday we had our “Life After Crowdfunding” series and we talked about how to exploit Amazon Intelligence to launch a better business. And today, we are continuing that series with “Life after Crowdfunding” how to make big money on “Amazon with Jump Right In”.
Announcer: (00:34) The Funded Today Podcast is brought to you by fundedtoday.com. Funded Today is a Premier Marketing and Video Agency, from Startups to Crowdfunding to Amazon and beyond. Funded Today has helped their clients generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. If you’d like help launching or growing your business visit www.fundedtoday.com to speak with one of their experts.
Zach Smith: (01:00) Welcome back to the show I am Zach Smith.
Thomas Alvord: (01:03) And I’m Thomas Alvord.
Zach Smith: (01:04) And in our last episode special “Guest Entrepreneur Carson Jorgensen” interviewed me on his podcast “The Definition of Success” and we featured that on our Podcast as Episode 24 give it a listen I think you’ll find it very insightful and quite a bit different from what we normally discuss on “Get Funded Today” in this podcast and remember I wanted to talk about our Funded Today Guide that can be reached at www.fundedtoday.com/guide it’s free that is basically all of the wisdom of Thomas and myself, and everybody else at Funded Today as well. You’d shout out to “David Garber” and “Tali” for putting that together, it’s beautifully designed, it is amazing in terms of the quality and content, it’s going to help you understand Crowdfunding and take actionable steps toward bringing your next big idea to life, check it out fundedtoday.com/guide that is also in the show-notes in case you don’t remember that URL. Now let’s get to today’s topic. This is a continuation of our “Life After Crowdfunding” series. Today we are talking about how to make big money on Amazon, Thomas another big claim, another sexy title what are we talking about?
Thomas Alvord: (02:13) Well, you can’t make a lot of big money or you can’t make big money I should say on Amazon. We have clients who are doing a $100,000 or even $200,000 a month on Amazon for just one listing right, they are doing $2.5 million in revenue on Amazon whereas their Crowdfunding Campaign maybe only did $250,000. It can vary their different channels and that’s, why we really want to focus on how can you really optimize a listing, how can you have a good launch. And one of the most powerful reasons or ways I should say you can combine Kickstarter with Amazon is with reviews. Reviews are the one thing on your listing that you do not have any control over. You can’t go in and write new reviews, I suppose you could create a new fake accounting or do it, but then you are susceptible to being banned, that is the beautiful part about a Crowdfunding Campaign you can go sell and get 100, 500, 5000 backers and then go deliver your product to those Kickstarter backers and now when you transition and go into Amazon you have all of these people that you can reach out to and say “hey, you got the product, I hope you liked it, would you mind leaving a review”.
Zach Smith: (03:38) Thomas and I think you’re making a strong point here too, and that’s where our podcast for the most part has been very sequential, we’ve tried to say “look, you got to do this first, then this second and then this third” and this episode is a perfect culmination of that coming to for a vision. When you’ve got your Kickstarter Campaign you have backers who then can say how much they love your product on Amazon, and they in turn become Amazon customers that leads to people who haven’t seen your product, who are searching Amazon, who see those favorable reviews, and then they become your customer, and then your website people will become your customer, and it’s just perfect chain that feeds your business. And again taking a step even further back from that like Thomas mentioned we might raise a $100,000 or even $1 million for a Kickstarter Campaign that’s exciting, and that’s sexy and everybody gets very happy about that but that’s just a beginning if you have a truly successful business and you’re going to be making hundreds of thousands of dollars a month from e-commerce and Amazon because of what you originally did with your $100,000 or your $1 million raise on Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
Thomas Alvord: (04:44) Absolutely, and really there is this synergy when you combine Kickstarter for the launch and then transition to Amazon for your sales as well as your e-commerce storefront and other channels you might exploit or operate in. Basically, what you’re looking at is when you solicit reviews from Amazon Customers, from Kickstarter Backers you might get between 1% to 4% of people who will respond, usually its maybe 1% or 2%. A lot of people aren’t going to go and write a review and usually people who are the most upset they’ll go take the time to write a review and then the people who really like it they’ll go write a review. So when you launch a product on Amazon and you have no traction it becomes very difficult because here you have a listing, you have a product that has zero reviews. Most people typically shy away from those listings, your conversion rate is going to be lower until you get more reviews and that’s something that’s unique to Amazon whereas on Kickstarter well people know that there’s not going to be reviews about your product because you haven’t even launched it, it’s the platform by which you are launching your product. So, you’re able to get the backers but then ask those backers “hey will you go and write a review for me”. Now I want to step back real quick because this is important, back in the day you could incentivize people, you could give people your product and Amazon didn’t really have any comms with it now they have very strict guidelines, you can’t incentivize people, you can’t tell people just go write a review only if its positive you can’t do that, all you can do is if it's somebody who is an actual customer you can ask them will you write a review, and again no incentivization or anything, and so what makes it difficult to get the ball rolling so to speak, it can be one of the hardest parts but where you have those Kickstarter or Indiegogo backers you have to tap into that and ask them to go write a review.
Zach Smith: (07:04) And by the way Thomas we let off Topic One Getting Reviews, reviews are so important and again talking about Kickstarter the reason why you do a Kickstarter first rather than just go on Amazon and try to figure out how to do it, if you did even have a product is because you can get all of that early adopter feedback, and you can hear all the negativity and it isn’t going to hurt your brand or your company or whatever you want to call it at that point in time and then you can listen to that feedback like we talked about in the last episode pivot we can change get better at customer support, and then go to Amazon and then your reviews are going to be more favorable versus if you did it out of order you’re going to get all these negative reviews on Amazon and you’re going to be in a really difficult spot before you’ve even begin.
Thomas Alvord: (07:46) I love what you said Zach and I hadn’t considered that before. With Kickstarter you actually get feedback from these backers, from these customers, it’s not a review but they’re just saying here’s what I don’t like or I wish it was this so you get that feedback whereas on Amazon you never get any feedback unless it’s a review and once that review is there it’s not coming down, it’s there forever. You actually get to test the waters and get that feedback without having it be indelibly printed on Amazon’s website for eternity.
Zach Smith: (08:21) I think that’s probably the one of the most powerful reasons to crowdfund first in addition to validation of course which we have talked about extensively. Understand Amazon’s rules, understanding the process to get reviews, understanding you can’t incentivize and do all those stuff anymore, you talked about this briefly and maybe another one nugget or two what’s the best way to get reviews without breaking any rules on Amazon in your opinion 2019 and beyond?
Thomas Alvord: (08:47) So in terms of getting reviews with Kickstarter backers it’s to message them one by one in the Kickstarter dashboard with a short message “Hey we’re on Amazon, could you leave a review” and even before then you could ask everybody what is your feedback.
Zach Smith: (09:07) Got you.
Thomas Alvord: (09:08) Do you like it, do you not like it on a scale on one to five, you get that feedback. Now with Amazon you can reach out to each of the customers and send them a message or even two or three, now you don’t get their contact information but within Amazon’s backend you can actually message them and ask them and there are some tools out there that allow you to do that where and again you are not just trying to target the people who you think love you the most, it’s going off to everybody just asking for a review and if you’ve ever purchased something on Amazon which I imagine most have assuming you’re here in the States listening. Typically, when you make a purchase of a product you don’t really get a message from the seller, however sometimes you will and that’s what I am talking about where it's a system that will send a message say “hey will you leave a review”.
Zach Smith: (10:02) If you haven’t purchased anything on Amazon will you please shoot us an email or comment I’d loved it. Again, I’m not laughing at you I’m laughing with you in 2019 I just going to see who that type of person because I want to be your friend.
Thomas Alvord: (10:14) What’s interesting I remember there is a sub-read it that I subscribed to which is anti-consumerism, this idea we don’t need more stuff than life and one of the post they were just commenting how maybe even little Ludacris or Cyliet was but I believe it was with it was with one of the platforms that tracks your online finances or that tracks your finances online it was saying “hey it looks like there might be an issue, your credit card might have become, or your bank or credit card may have become disconnected from your Mint Account, and that person was just posting like really that’s just what they assume if somebody doesn’t make a purchase in a week then something must be wrong which I mean I understand where Mint is coming from but at the same time it’s like, oh that actually would be I don’t do that but going back to our episode, few episodes ago on “Stoicism” right Kirby Design something I’ve been thinking quite a bit, but I digress.
Zach Smith: (11:14) There is a challenge Funded Today Nation do not buy anything on Amazon for seven days if you do it let us know, I like that.
Thomas Alvord: (11:22) Amazon and products and Kickstarter so.
Zach Smith: (11:24) And here we’re talking about Amazon.
Thomas Alvord: (11:26) But the last, the last thing somebody can do and I’ve not seen anyone do this and back in the day when I was talking with different companies as we were looking at building our tech stack for really optimizing Amazon Listings for our clients, I would talk to some of these people who have these tools for messaging the Amazon customer asking for a review and I said “well I have clients and we have customers who are coming through their own e-commerce website, can your tool solicit reviews from them, and it was almost fore-intent that would even be an option, or something people were considering and I think it's because those people were so entrenched into Amazon that other channels they never really thought or considered, whereas what we do at Funded Today right its multi-channel, it’s Kickstarter, it’s Indiegogo, its Indiegogo-InDemand, its Amazon, its website, its running commercials for clients and their TV commercials, and so we look at it holistically and so if somebody has a product and they’re selling it maybe multiple skews or products that they are selling on their website they really need to have a process by which they can reach out to those customers depending on what the timeframe is for how long it will take somebody to use it right, maybe it’s a supplement and you want to wait a month until they can see the results and maybe if its addressed you want to send out three days or four days after its been shipped or maybe one or two days after they get it because they’ll be excited that they have just received it. You want to be able to have a system to message those website customers. Internally at Funded Today we’ve built our own, same with the Kickstarter backers we’ve built our own in terms of soliciting reviews from Amazon customers we use a third party that we integrate, you want to have a system to ask your customers, your backers “hey how was it when you leave a review?”
Zach Smith: (13:26) And one last takeaway on that the other reason you asked for review is not just because you need your product to have four or five stars to be able to stand out among everything else on Amazon, you also do it so that you can get to problems quicker, I love Thomas’s idea of saying “what did you think about our product” before you ask for review those who gave you a three or lower ask them why? Wait why did you not like it, and figure that out before it ends up on Amazon as a negative review, I think it's a proactive measure that you can all apply immediately to make sure you don’t get tons of negative reviews because you didn’t even know why, or like Thomas said you wait a month to hear about the supplement but maybe a week or two and “hey what do you think of the supplement so far, it’s not working I hate it, well why isn’t it working, well you need to be doing like this oh great and then that bad review that happening in a month gets corrected two weeks out and it doesn’t end up being a bad review because you helped to address it and then you and you update the page and the listing and all those other stuff that we want to talk about later on down in this episode, so the future people don’t run into the same issue so there’s a lot of exciting benefits to getting reviews.
Thomas Alvord: (14:26) It’s more than just having another review that’s five star, it’s actually getting that feedback and well the one star, the two or the three star we might dislike the most it can be the most valuable and as you were saying that Zach it made me think of “SLCRR” and I can’t remember if we’ve even done a podcast on it and I don’t know how we have it and that’s one of the most critical frameworks to or beneficial frameworks. Really what you’re saying Zach is how can I provide more value to my customers because if you are taking that feedback and you are improving up on it, you are providing more value and even though it might have been just that one or two or three people that say “hey here’s a complain I have, well guess what there is even more people who have that same complaint or frustration or dislike of the product, and if you fix that you will have more evangelist to spread the word about your product because they like it.
Zach Smith: (15:21) I love what you just said about if there’s one person who has that complaint there is probably a lot more who does, it goes back to what you said earlier in the episode as well, your loudest people who love you are going to say some nice things and the people who are just really mad and complain about everything are going to say anything but like what we talk about the silent majority they’re never going to say anything, and so here is a good way to listen to somebody so all the people that aren’t saying anything that are not necessarily hot, not necessarily cold, they are the lukewarm type you’ll be able to resonate with them as well and probably even get them to come out of the words and give you a nice review as well, so it’s important to listen to that feedback because for every one person that said something our math says there’s about 10 that feel the same way they’re not doing anything about it, so keep that in mind as you go about getting reviews. Next topic I want to move on to, this one is pretty exciting and I think this is going to probably be something new for 90% of our listeners I know when we started becoming experts on Amazon this was something that we spend a lot of time researching and learning about, and it’s something that you can take advantage of that a lot of people on Amazon aren’t actually doing, Thomas “Enhanced Brand Content” tell me a little bit about what this is, brand registries, trademarks all that kind of jazz what can Funded Today Nation, what can our listeners learn about this and how can they apply “Enhanced Brand Content” to their Amazon products and listings?
Thomas Alvord: (16:40) So, “Enhanced Brand Content” rolled out about I believe it was 18 months ago or so. Amazon has created what’s called a Brand Registry. If you have a brand you can go and you can register your brand, sounds obvious and simple enough. Now to do this you actually need to have the trademark for the Brand Name or the Product Name by doing the Brand Registry two things happen, first if you have a listing on Amazon you become the sole entity that can make changes to that listing. So let’s say there is a product Motorola Walkie-Talkies and there is 50 different sellers who are selling that product right because Motorola has a distribution model where they sell wholesale and then they have retailers who resell the product so they have a whole bunch of sellers. Motorola doesn’t want all of these different sellers to be able to go and change the title to change the bullet points, to change the pictures, it makes it hard to have a branded experience if the brand owner can’t control what the brand image is. So the “Enhanced Brand Content” when you have the brand registry is you are able to be the sole changer, or the sole entity that can make changes to the listing. So with that if you do have distributors or if you do sell wholesale or even if you don’t people could still buy your products and then try to do “Retail Arbitrage”. Let me give an example okay there is a supplement company that we’ve worked with and they do not sell wholesale, they don’t distribute, they don’t do retail, they don’t do brick and mortar, they just sell e-commerce on their website. Well, they actually have somebody who buys their product the price point is around $60, and will go and list the product on Amazon for $110, now why would they do this, well if this company runs out of inventory or for some reason it has no product to say is available to ship this other individual will now be the option that people would have to purchase the product, and you may have seen this right, when you’re on Amazon and you go to purchase a product and by default it says “hey click here and to purchase the product or with one click purchase the product” “that’s called winning the Buy Box” that you or whoever that seller is they’ve won the Buy Box but usually there is an option if there is additional sellers where it will say six additional sellers from 6999 and if you click on that it will show all the individuals or entities who are selling that same product and typically the price point will be a little different and maybe the shipping as well. Sometimes there might be “Fulfillment by Amazon FBA, sometimes “there might be additional shipping because that entity will be shipping the product”. So again when you have the brand registry for that product listing you will be the only authorized user who can make changes to that listing so you own it, you don’t have to worry about other people changing it, so that’s a huge, huge benefit. But a second benefit is what’s called “Enhanced Brand Content”, if you look at an Amazon Listing and you scroll down to where it says product description typically you can only have text in there and similar points that’s it period nothing more, so its very land, it doesn’t really sell the product, it’s just text. However, with Enhanced Brand Content “you can create a branded experience” so “you can put images”, “you can put graphics, you can put layouts that really allow you to sell and show the benefits of the product” and you can’t do that unless you do the Brand Registry, and this across the board will boost and increase your conversions we’ve seen a typical 20% to 30% increase in convergence but on some other listings we’ve even seen increased conversions by 200% to 300%, so this “Enhanced Brand Content” is huge.
Zach Smith: (21:03) And Thomas I just want to speak to that very briefly, you and I were talking about this earlier today and we looked at Motorola and a listing for some walkie-talkies that could be used for hiking or hunting or communicating or something and a lot of people use them as a good example for amplifying and taking advantage of all the Enhanced Brand Content, the reason we looked those up is because earlier I was talking about this experience I had going to the gym and my gym partner who I work out with every day was talking about Amazon and we were talking about brand content and the life of an entrepreneur right, we’re at the gym and we were talking about Amazon anyway we get talking and he says “man I was trying to buy this laptop the other day and they didn’t have any of that Enhanced Brand Content” that you’re talking about, there was no video, there was no notes or anything so I spent two or three hours on YouTube and other places researching and Googling and searching trying to figure out all the different specs and it’s like there are so many listings on Amazon that are like this where you can’t see their pictures, their picture quality is not good, there is no text or there is no bullets or nothing subdivided and everything just isn’t great like what I said earlier for every one person that is complaining there is 10 that aren’t saying anything, and in the case of my workout buddy its Amazon we’re talking millions of people that are having the same type of problem simply because people aren’t taking advantage of this Enhanced Brand Content and adding the right Brand Content and adding the right videos and all these other sorts of things and Thomas I think that leads us nicely in the kind of probably the most actionable part of this podcast episode “What are some things that Funded Today Nation can do to take advantage of an enhanced brand content and update their listings as soon as they finished listening to this episode”.
Thomas Alvord: (22:46) And that’s a great question and I want to answer that, but I want to share one other thing that actually relates if it’s okay to getting in the brand registry in the first place, you have to have a completed US trademark, if you have a trademark at least as of the recording right now and 2019 Q1 of 2019 if you have a trademark in the European Union that doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter where it’s from it has to be from the US, the trademark from filing until it is approved can be eight to 10 months, if you’re looking at launching a business or being on Amazon or doing a Crowdfunding Campaign and then going to Amazon go file your trademark now assuming you know the name and what your brand is going to be if you haven’t figured that out well figure that out first of course. Because you can still launch on Amazon and have your listing and everything you just won’t be able to add any of the Enhanced Brand Content, and if you’re just starting out you’re probably not going to have a lot of people doing Retail Arbitrage as I explained earlier that’s not that big of a worry but your conversion rate is not going to be optimized, it’s not going to be a branded experience which you don’t want to have that happen and a trademark is only I forget $200 or $300 to file and then you can do legalism or you could get an attorney legalism is probably cheaper there is other services. Funded Today could help as well if you need some direction and help but it’s not super expensive, but the value you get is really big. So some of the things they could do right now to actionable items. First make sure you have good images, add a video you can also have multiple images, some people only have two or three images, have enough images that you have as many images as possible.
Zach Smith: (24:47) Couple of side questions for that Thomas how many images are enough in your opinion and then what types of images should people focus on is there a specific “Hey go with these five every single time” and then if you want adding these five more.
Thomas Alvord: (25:01) When you go to an Amazon Listing there would be the very first image which is your thumbnail image and that image is the image that shows up in the search results and it’s the main image or the first image that shows up as the main image. So, you want to have that to be a hero-shot, it needs to be a white background all the images a minimum they need to be 1,000/1,000 pixels. What we do when our photography team internally at Funded Today takes pictures is we make sure it's at least 3,000 / 3,000 that’s kind of what we shoot for 3,000 / 3,000 in terms of the size. Now on the homepage of an Amazon Listing and I shouldn’t rally say homepage but just on the Amazon listing you’ll see seven images in the left column and those images are visible but then you can actually add two more so people click to drilldown they can see a total of nine different images that they can shift through. In terms of what images you want as I mentioned your first image you wanted to be a very clean image, it has to be a white background, and that’s kind of your hero shot so you need one of those, and then having images that show how the product is used or different angles of the product so you can see what the product is as well as some lifestyle images typically what will add is an image that shows the dimensions or how big the product is, and you may have seen some of these before on other Amazon Listings where it’s maybe a handholding a product or maybe it's a person standing and it shows how big the product is and it kind of has the dimensions so that way people can get a feel for what the size is. So, that’s really what you’re looking for you want good photography, professional photography, you want to have 3,000/3,000 ideally you want a hero-shot with a white background, you want some other shots that show different angles of the product, some lifestyle images and then an image showing the dimensions that’s what I would say are the images.
Zach Smith: (27:09) And hero shot just for those who might not know that term what’s the best way to understand a hero shot?
Thomas Alvord: (27:14) Your product is the hero so you want to shot showing your hero looking awesome that’s maybe how I’ll describe it. And then of course with the Enhanced Brand Content this is only available the ability to add a video to your listing so people can watch a video and see that video.
Zach Smith: (27:33) And by the way if you don’t have a video on your Amazon Listing you are literally losing out on probably 50% of people who would be interested in buying your product if only they had a little bit more information and something a little bit more convincing for them to watch, to persuade them to purchase your product.
Thomas Alvord: (27:50) Let me add to that Zach, I was looking at buying an Inflatable Kayak, a two-seater inflatable kayak because right up from my house right here there is a canyon, and there’s a couple of lakes up in the mountains, and so I thought he it would be fun to get an inflatable kayak again I can’t remember the price but I think it was like a $80 kayak so it felt like a great deal. But they had a video it was professionally done and I watched it I’m like man this thing is awesome, and the only reason I was able to capture that and see that was because I could watch the video right, seeing them unpack it, seeing them blow it up, seeing them go into the water I was like wow this is amazing, so to your point absolutely. Now for every product is the video going to be the best thing? It’s going to vary product-by-product I was commenting to one of my colleagues Zach that what’s so interesting is here you had Amazon which people are used to making purchases without videos at all yet if you go to Kickstarter, if you launched a Kickstarter campaign without a video you probably would hardly raise a few hundred dollars if that right it’s a fluke of a scenario where you’d ever have a campaign that raises money without a video it’s just so ingrained to what Kickstarter is that you watch the video to understand the product. And I don’t know but I have a wondering if in the future as more and more of the web and the world becomes video from YouTube to Facebook etcetera that will see the videos actually take more and more of a prominent part on Amazon, because over the course of however many years we’ve seen “Amazon have this transition to having Branded Content to including videos”, “giving consumers the type of experience” that they’ve come to expect and what did your friend say “I spent two hours on Amazon” why because we are used to looking at videos to learn about content or to experience anything.
Zach Smith: (29:53) If something is more than maybe $20, $50 I don’t know what the price point is definitely more than $100 for most people, and there is an enough information on your Amazon Listing, someone is going elsewhere that’s not necessarily a good thing like make it easy for people to order and make it so that you can take advantage of how everybody just understands how to order on Amazon, so that somebody’s job to order your product is as simple as possible. And going along that same line Thomas I’ve kind of got that sneaking suspicion as well that as the years were on we’re going to see more and more video content dominating Amazon, not just Amazon but the entire web. We’re already seeing this with social media platforms like Snapchat, and what Facebook is trying to do to emphasize video you and I went to that private Facebook Conference where they invited some of the top advertisers of the world to come in and that whole conference was just about the “Power of Video” and what everybody else needs to do with video and, so if Facebook one of the largest companies in the world is focused on it I’m sure it’s on Amazon’s radar as well and I could see that shift happening even quicker than perhaps any of us can predict. One final point Thomas, and I think you hinted on this earlier but I did have my notes on this that I wanted to make sure I asked you about if not you say most of Amazon is SEO which means “Search Engine Optimization which basically means ranking, so Google is all about ranking for those of you who don’t know SEO we could do a whole episode or 10 episodes on SEO, if you want to learn about SEO learn from Rand Fishkin he is the man who started www.seomoz.com then it became moz.com M-O-Z love what they put out with SEO all of this to say when you type something in Google so if you type in “Warm Embrace, Weighted Gravity Blanket” the hope is if your product is called “Warm Embrace” you’re going to show up as number one there that’s the same in Amazon a lot of people think well you spend money on Amazon and then you makes sales, but it's not really that way right Thomas it's kind of paradoxical in that sense you absolutely need “keyword research and you need to apply a lot of SEO that you would traditionally do on your website to your Amazon Listing as well.
Thomas Alvord: (32:00) Often when we bring on a new client to launch or improve their Amazon Listing the first thing they think or wonder or worry or asking about is “Hey when are you going to turn on Amazon Ads, when are you going to scale that” because that’s in a way what we historically been known as in the Crowdfunding World right, we can scale the campaign and go spend $100,000 in a few days on a Kickstarter campaign that has a place and there is always a time in place for every different thing and, so in this case though with Amazon before even worrying about Ads even though we might turn them on to start getting some intelligence in terms of words that have good “click through rates” or that have “good conversion rates” the very first thing is to say what is the conversion rate on this listing? How do we improve the conversion rate because why do I want to spend say $10,000 or $1,000 on Ads if my conversion rate could be doubled. Let’s wait to spend that money until we can actually improve the conversion rate so then that’s where we start again “with the title”, “with the bullet points”, “with the images”, “with the video”, with the “Enhanced Brand Content” and we’re increasing the conversion rate. Now in conjunction with that because you are optimizing the words and the description and the benefits and other descriptors that you might share to the potential customer who is browsing your listing is the SEO. Amazon is a Search Engine that’s really what it is, yes you can run ads, but you need to think of it like a search engine, just like you would on Google yes people could search for your brand or your company and find it organically or they could search for your brand or your company and find it via Google AdWords. Obviously the organic approach is going to be the cheaper and will give you more volume potentially depending on how many different keywords you’re going and how much you want to save from ads. So, it’s the same thing with Amazon you really want to focus and identify what your keywords are that are relevant to your product that convert when people come and there is a whole process and maybe we could do a whole another episode just on the “Keyword Research” but knowing what the High Volume Keywords are and then ranking for them and “putting those into your title”, “putting those into your bullet points”, “putting that into your description with your Enhanced Brand Content” and that’s what’s going to drive your traffic, and then the ads are an addition to that, you don’t want the ads driving the whole sales process. They are something that are alongside it helping move everything forward that’s what I mean so do your Keyword Research, see what the keywords are. Next week we will have “Greg Mercer” on with us who is the Founder of a Tool that actually help you do some of these stuff, and there is different tools we use at Funded Today including Jungle Scout we’re friends with Jack Mayhem a while back, at a Mastermind Conference. We figured we bring him on because it could provide value to our listeners here, but yes that’s really what you need to focus on “first the conversion rate”, “then the SEO”, then the ads and in that order.
Zach Smith: (35:34) What do they call that Thomas putting the cart before the horse, that’s what matters the idiom holds true even with Amazon Marketing.
Thomas Alvord: (35:42) And some other things, some tips I share because we talked about okay do we need to get the reviews, and then we also talked about getting the Enhanced Brand Content and needing the trademark and so you can have the branded content, you can add the videos but then also you need a good listing and by that right a lot of what we’ve talked about, your title needs to be a good title, and one of the formats that we’ve found really effective is to list the brand, the model the attributes and the benefits.
Zach Smith: (36:16) Do with Funded Today Thomas just as an example. If Funded Today were a product on Amazon how would it breakdown?
Thomas Alvord: (36:22) Let’s say this is one of our courses that we’re in the process of putting together for relaunching a failed Kickstarter campaign. So the brand it would be Funded Today, the model would be the course so the Funded Today Crowdfunding Relaunch System, and now the attributes 13 modules and again I don’t the exact number of modules I’m just making this up on the fly, so 13 modules, 20 hours of content watch via web, PC or phone and those are kind of all the attributes, worksheets, mastermind group right the different parts of again the attributes benefits relaunch your campaign, 3X your money, bring your product to life, those are the benefits right and really a good way to think of benefits is if you share an attribute you should ask so what, okay so I can watch it on my phone so what benefits watch it on the go wherever you’re at so that’s kind of what you are looking at “Brand, Model, Attributes, Benefits” have a title and get in those keywords as you’re talking about the attributes and the benefits.
Zach Smith: (37:41) And that will make it so you show for more different search result so I love that, it’s a beautiful formula that everybody could immediately. Now Thomas you talk a little bit about bullet points, capitalized phrase or phrases and then keyword rich descriptions what is meant by that in the nitty-gritty.?
Thomas Alvord: (37:57) On an amazon listing you have five Bullet Points or, a “Poor Listing” will have maybe a sentence, or just a “phrase for a bullet point” and might only use three or four bullet points. A “Good Listing” will use every single bullet point, and have each bullet point be its own main idea, kind of like a paragraph, kind of Best Practice to make it easy to consume and digest and read the information because you can’t do any it “HTML Markers”, you can’t “Bold” anything, you can’t put a “Header”. The idea is whatever a Bullet Point is about let’s say that it’s natural and organic and you have a product that’s natural and organic and you want to highlight that, you might write “natural and organic in all caps” that way that phrase really pops so you know what that bullet point is about, so that way somebody who is researching your product, who is browsing will be able to see “oh natural and organic” and if that’s something that’s important to them or they want to read about they can then go read that paragraph and the idea is you’re going to put in as much content as possible with those keywords that will help with the SEO within Amazon and it will also help to sell the product as well. So, really those Bullet Points are long, it’s in a way kind of a long copy, it’s not really long copy but its longer than a sentence right and you’re persuading and sharing why this is valuable, why it’s important, but you’re putting those keywords in there that you’ve done with your “Keyword Research”.
Zach Smith: (39:29) I like that because it kind of helps to break the scroll too, everybody is scrolling, if you catch a couple of words that are going to be recognized by someone who is searching for whatever it is you’re trying to sell now those words break the scroll and then they start reading some more of that Keyword Rich Description within your Listing.
Thomas Alvord: (39:46) Absolutely, and it seems simple but most things in life are simple, the difficulty is knowing how to do it, really that’s the difficulty, but you want the Good Listing, you want a Good Title, you want the Bullet Points, you want the Professional Images, you want Enhanced Brand Content via the Brand Registry and you want those positive reviews.
Zach Smith: (40:07) I just want to touch base with one more thing that you said because I love what you’ve said most things in life are simple, it’s just the doing that’s hard. I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk, it was on a YouTube video or something and he was talking about LinkedIn and how he’s kind of really dead set on LinkedIn for 2019 and his strategy was called the “$1.80 A Day Strategy” and he calls it that because he says put in your $0.10, and your $0.10 90 times a day is $1.80, and “his strategy is to simply comment on 90 different LinkedIn posts that are relevant to your industry” wherever you’re from so, if you’re in Atlanta, Georgia then you search for Atlanta, Georgia in LinkedIn and you find everything going on about Atlanta, Georgia and then you literally leave 90 good comments “I really like that, that’s interesting, have you considered this too, oh here is a really good book that also talks about that and here’s a link to buy it on Amazon, that’s awesome, that’s cool, man you look so strong, you’re small, you’re buff, I would like to learn some stuff from you” and you do that 90 times a day for a month he calls it the “Buck 80 A Day Strategy” and in the end all of this to say and he says it a lot more vulgar than I do but I’ll censor it so our podcast is a little bit more clean, and I don’t want that explicitly on it but most of the crap you do that I’m teaching, that I’m telling you to do is so simple and so straightforward but I bet none of you are going to go and do it. Let’s not let that be the case with you Funded Today Nation listeners, go and do some of the stuff Thomas talked about, in fact go and do it all and take action on these things because if you do them although they may seem simple, they “will make you standout. and when you standout you succeed, when you succeed life is a lot better.”
Thomas Alvord: (41:48) That’s interesting too right because it goes back to even before we did this podcast and in a way we’ve oscillated and we said do “oh do we do the podcast” right we’re an agency for crying out loud this is what we do, do we share with everybody what we do because then people don’t need to hire us, maybe it was you Zach who kind of help me see well that might be the case, some people might not hire us and just go take this content and if they do that’s totally fine with us right, if we provide value then that’s great, but additionally if we provide value but people have limited time, limited resources and so many times people say “okay yes, I understand Funded Today, they are experts in this, I’ve listened to them speaking, I know what they are talking about, or I know that they know what they’re talking about I should say, I’m going to hire them” it’s kind of the same idea.
Zach Smith: (42:38) Really our $1.80 A Day, $0.10 Strategy is putting out great content and listening to you Funded Today Nation and trying to figure out ways to help you succeed because really when you succeed we succeed and it just always comes full circle, and not even full circle it like widens the whole circle bigger than we could have ever imagined and it’s a beautiful thing.
Thomas Alvord: (43:01) Yes, I think you asked if there is anything else, there is responding to reviews, how to do that, Q&A’s how to be on top of that, “How to Run Amazon Ads” and “How Best to Do That”, those are things we can discuss in a future episode, but I figured these were some of the key points in terms of the Listing it, so how do you have a Good Listing, the Title, Bullet Points, Images, Enhanced Brand Content, Good Positive Reviews, lots of Reviews and so forth.
Zach Smith: (43:34) Alright Funded Today Nation this is perhaps my favorite part of the show and this week is probably the most exciting product of the week ever, seriously you need to stop listening to what I’m saying after I announce these products of the week and go check them out on Kickstarter right now. The first is “GOMI” this is an Interactive Smart Ball for your pet. I have a new puppy now a toy Golden Doodle and of course I’m backing this campaign. This is the world’s premier smart pet toy, it literally uses AI and it’s a ball, and it will make it so that your dog can play by itself and because of the Artificial Intelligence it will change the play pattern and so your dog will never get tired, never get bored and the best part is this will keep your dog occupied and having fun so your dog isn’t chewing your house up while you are away. Did you know that dogs suffer from stress and loneliness and if you don’t play with them they can get pretty fat, believe me I still have a cat from when I was a child and when I go visit my parents that could be the fattest cat I have ever seen” GomiBall” aims to end fatness, help pets with anxiety, stress and loneliness and I think it is an amazing product, there is 23 days left as of the time of this recording, just under $130,000 raised, thousand have already backed it, I think you’re going to love it too GomiBall, G-O-M-I check it out on Kickstarter. Thomas what do you got?
Thomas Alvord: (44:57) My product of the week is “LastSwab” it's a reusable cotton swab, I love this and this campaign just launched today, it is absolutely tearing it up, its raising about $3,000 every hour, it basically has – well it’s a reusable cotton swab right so, instead of using the Q-Tip and I actually use a Q-Tip everyday pretty much because every time I take a shower I clean my ears, dry my ears out whatever and clean them out, it’s a waste right and there is -- the video on here says that there is about a billion cotton swabs used every day that are just absolutely wasted right, it’s polluting our oceans, its polluting our planet and so this reusable cotton swab allows you to clean your ears or your makeup or whatever else you might want to use a Q-Tip traditionally for but then rinse it out and then reuse it, it’s absolutely an amazing product, check it out it’s called “LastSwab” so swab like in cotton swab.
Zach Smith: (46:02) The “LastSwab” you are ever going to use, Last Q-Tip LastSwab you’ve ever going to use. This might be Funded Today’s biggest launch ever actually so have a look at it just if you want to see the pledges come rolling in its pretty exciting, and those are this week’s products of the week. We’ve highlighted some of our most critical components of “Building a Compelling Amazon Listing” in today’s episode and there are some elements like Thomas mentioned we didn’t quite have time to cover, but we will be covering those in a future “Life After Crowdfunding Episode” so stay tuned for that. As Thomas also mentioned on our next episode we do have a special treat for you, we will be bringing on “Greg Mercer” as our guest, and this is a pretty cool story. I had a chance to go speak at “Sellers Summit” Steve Chou -- Steve Chow, Steve Chou I forgot the exact pronunciation probably could go both ways good friend of mine actually. Steve introduced me to Greg, we had a mastermind session and I was totally impressed, I made the connection to Thomas and Thomas has been able to work with Greg and use Greg’s Software “Jungle Scout” and it’s been very, very, effective as well. Greg is definitely an Amazon expert, he has launched Amazon products for nearly a decade now and his products have done over $10 million in revenue per year. So after having such tremendous success he did launch “Jungle Scout” and that provides tools for people selling on Amazon, he’s going to share with you his journey how his tools can help you sell on Amazon if you decide to sell like going solo rather than hire an agency, and how to just run Amazon Marketing and give you a little bit of a different take on it. I think it’s going to be a great episode and I’m very excited for that one, it’s always good to reconnect with people that we have met and I think you’re in for a real treat. And as always we can’t possibly forget remember “Don’t wait until tomorrow, get Funded Today”.
Announcer: (47:54) Funded Today is the Worldwide Leader in Rewards Based Crowdfunding on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Combined they have raised over $200 million and counting for thousands of new ideas and inventions worldwide. If you’ve got an idea for a new product or invention visit fundedtoday.com to speak with one of their experts.
References and Resources
- Amazon: Launchpad
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Crowdfunding Presentation: Page Design”
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Crowdfunding Presentation: Video Production”
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Life After Crowdfunding: Amazon & Jungle Scout”
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Life After Crowdfunding: Amazon Intelligence”
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Life After Crowdfunding: e-Commerce Basics”
- Funded Today: Ultimate Crowdfunding Success Guide
- Jungle Scout
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