Amazon Posts: A Secret Weapon for Amazon Sellers to Grow Their Brand

Your introductory guide to Amazon Posts: Amazon’s own social media-like platform that savvy sellers are weaponizing to amplify brand exposure and sales.

At Viral Launch, we get plenty of questions from Amazon sellers looking to optimize their FBA experience. By far, the topics of boosting sales, increasing visibility, and building a brand on Amazon are the most frequently broached subjects.

Methods to achieving these goals exist. However, they can be intimidating for sellers due to a combination of complexity, cost, and time-consumption.

Enter Amazon Posts.

With an aesthetic and interface similar to Instagram, Posts allows sellers to promote their brand and products to a potentially massive audience. Additionally, it’s simple to setup and use, easy-to-understand, and best of all, it’s 100% free!

How Amazon Posts appear for shoppers

Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest have invested heavily in integrating eCommerce into their social media platforms; Amazon already has a massive user base and eCommerce engine.

Although Posts is in beta, forward-thinking sellers are already building substantial follower counts and generating impressions by the thousands.

Unquestionably, sellers should familiarize themselves with Amazon Posts as soon as possible to start raking in followers and sales while building brand loyalty. With limitless potential, it only figures to become an even more significant aspect of the Amazon marketing mix.

To help you get up to speed, we’ve answered a few of the frequently asked questions about the powerful new feature below!

What is Amazon Posts?

Let’s go straight to the source on this one.

Currently in beta, Posts delivers your brand story to relevant shoppers as they browse your categories on Amazon. Shoppers can click through Posts to explore your brand’s feed, and discover product pages directly from your feed. Click through from your brand’s feed to your product pages. Posts appear on the Amazon mobile shopping app (iOS and Android) and on mobile web.

Amazon

Mobile customers will be shown Posts for related products on the Product Detail page, presenting the opportunity to poach customers from rivals in the market.

Previously, sellers had to purchase this advertising space through PPC! Now, eligible sellers can do so for free.

An example of how Posts are displayed on the Amazon app

Additionally, Amazon states that systems are in place to automatically place your Posts in feeds and product detail pages based on relevance and customer engagement. Just post your content and they’ll take care of the rest!

Who can use Posts?

At the present time, it’s exclusive to sellers in the U.S. marketplace in the Amazon Brand Registry program. Sorry, international sellers!

How do I access Amazon Posts?

Eligible sellers must first set up a profile in the Advertising Console to establish your brand’s feed. Follow these simple steps to start posting sales-inducing content that stands out amongst the competition!

To create a profile:

  • Go to Posts Publisher and sign-in using your credentials.
  • Click Create profile for the Store that you’d like to link Posts profile to.
  • Enter the appropriate information for your profile.
    a. Profile name: The profile name is shopper-facing and filled in based on the brand name. You have an option to edit it.
    b. Profile logo: Choose a 640×640 pixel or larger image under 100MB in RBG color format.
  • Select the checkbox for the Terms and Conditions and submit your profile for review. You can proceed with creating a Post while the profile is under construction.

To create a Post:

  • In Posts Publisher, click Create Post.
  • Upload an image: Choose a 640×640 pixel or larger image under 100MB.
  • Write a caption for your Post.
  • Add the ASIN related to your Post. If the ASIN is out of stock or there is no image on the product detail page, your Post will not be shown.
  • Submit Post for review. Before submitting, review all of the information to ensure each aspect is as desired.

Once you’ve submitted a Post, it goes into Amazon’s review process before going live. Within the Posts Dashboard, you can track the status of your submission. Typically, the review process takes no more than 4 hours.

Per Amazon Posts Creative Policy, sellers are encouraged to tell a story using their product, not just rehash aspects of the product listing

Is there any way to monitor the performance of my Posts?

As a part of the Amazon Advertising Console, you’re able to track multiple metrics to gauge performance. Viewable impressions, engagement, and engagement rate in the console inform you of your reach.

Perhaps more importantly, customers have the option to follow your brand on Amazon. Furthermore, this allows a chance to retain customers and build brand loyalty like never before!

Should I be using Amazon Posts?

As veteran sellers know, any possible edge you can get on your Amazon competition can make a tremendous difference in your bottom line. With this in mind, a successful seller leaves no stone unturned in their pursuit of growth and eCommerce dominance.

Amazon’s simple and uniform shopping experience is one of many reasons why it’s the eCommerce platform of choice. Consequently, the uniformity in presentation, sellers are given few options to stand out. Because of this, all opportunities to distinguish your product should be explored and exhausted to maximize your chance at longstanding success.

With Amazon Posts, sellers get a golden opportunity to differentiate themselves with creative, inspiring content. Presently, too few sellers are taking advantage of this, making it a market inefficiency you can leverage into exponential brand recognition and growth.

If you’re already utilizing Instagram or other avenues to promote your business visually, you’re likely already doing a bulk of the work. All you need to do is set up your account and let the followers, impressions, and purchases flow in.

For your brand to have an opportunity to be promoted under competing listings at no cost is genuinely an unheard-of opportunity and should not be ignored! If we’re allowed to speculate, we hypothesize it may not be free forever.

Don’t let this opportunity go to waste! Sign up for Amazon Posts as soon as possible to take your brand to the next level.

A Seller’s Guide to Amazon Brand Registry

Brand registry on Amazon is essentially a platform or dashboard that provides tools for brand owners to personalize their brand pages, protect their trademark(s) and improve the overall brand buying experience for their customers. Brand owners must apply to become brand registered and meet specific requirements to be accepted.

Amazon’s original brand registry program rolled out in 2015 as an attempt to protect sellers from hijackers and curb the sale of counterfeit goods. The old program was simply another tab inside Seller Central where sellers could file copyright violation complaints and eventually add Enhanced Brand Content to their listings. However, the reporting process was slow and difficult, and many registered sellers didn’t take advantage of EBC.

In an effort to target counterfeits and continuously improve both the selling and buying experience, Amazon gave their Brand Registry program a serious facelift in May of 2017 and introduced Brand Registry 2.0.

Other Benefits of Being Brand Registered

Although improved counterfeit reporting methods are a major benefit to brand registry, the program has a lot more to offer sellers. Brand registered users are the only ones with access to Enhanced Brand Content (comparable to A+ Content for Vendors) for more developed product descriptions. For eligible products, brand owners can also utilize the Early Reviewer Program to gain initial reviews on new products.

Amazon continues to add features for Brand Registered sellers. More recent additions include:

  • product videos that can be uploaded alongside product images
  • unique Amazon URLs for your brand
  • a new design and customizable details for product pages

Both Private Label and Vendor brand owners are also now able to access Headline Search Ads within Seller Central, which allows users to create custom “keyword targeted cost-per-click ads to promote 3 or more products.”

As if that wasn’t enough, brand registered users can create custom storefronts that allow them to creatively display all of their products on multiple pages, which also includes a custom Amazon web address for your brand.

As Amazon adds new features to their platform for marketing and displaying products, typically Brand Registered sellers have access to this content before non-registered, providing an ongoing competitive edge.

 

 

Who Can Sign Up? What if I was Already Signed Up?

According to Amazon, “Brand Registry is available to sellers who manufacture or sell their own branded products.” If you’re a private label seller of any kind, Amazon Brand Registry is not only available to you, but a strong value proposition to consider if you aren’t already registered.

Unfortunately, if you were registered before April 30, 2017, you’ll have to re-enroll your product(s) under the new registry. If you choose to not re-enroll your products in 2.0, you won’t have access to any new features Amazon rolls out in the new brand registry program.

What Info is Required for Brand Registry 2.0?

Sellers who want to sign up under the new registry are now required to have an Active Registered Trademark (®). In Brand Registry 1.0, sellers could register with just a pending trademark (), but sellers must now provide a Government Registered Principal Trademark Registration or Serial Number.

According to Amazon, the trademark must meet one of the following requirements:

  • “1 – TYPESET WORD(S)/LETTER(S)/NUMBER(S)”
  • “3 – AN ILLUSTRATION DRAWING WHICH INCLUDES WORD(S), LETTER(S)/NUMBER(S)”
  • “4 – STANDARD CHARACTER MARK”
  • “5 – WORDS, LETTERS, OR NUMBERS IN A STYLIZED FORM”

Essentially, your trademark can either just be the name of your brand (with or without a claim to any font or size, i.e. Apple or Big Mac), a stylized brand name such as the Coca-Cola logo, or a combination of a symbol and brand name like the Starbucks logo or Microsoft’s logo.

If the provided trademark information does not exactly match (spacing, capitalization, etc.) what is found on the USPTO database, the application will be rejected.

Sellers must also provide the following:

  • images of the brand logo (standalone, not on a product)
  • an image of the product or packaging with the trademarked logo
  • a list of countries where the product is manufactured and distributed
  • a list of categories the brand should be included under.

For more information on USPTO trademarks and how to register, visit the USPTO trademark basics page. Also, be sure to check out our podcast with LegalZoom discussing trademark benefits, risks and more.

What is the New Dashboard Like?

Unlike with the old registry, Amazon has set up an entirely new Brand Registry dashboard separate from Seller Central. The interface features new-and-improved reporting tools to deal with counterfeits and hijackers as well as new search tools to help sellers discover products that may be infringing on their copyright. Sellers can now easily search by a product name, ASIN, brand name, keywords or even images.

Amazon also now has a customer service team dedicated to addressing infringement reports. Previously, claims often took a few days to be addressed, leaving many sellers frustrated. Now, Amazon is claiming all violation reports will be dealt with in just a few hours by one of the members of their 300-person strong counterfeit complaint team based in the US.

To prevent counterfeits from reporting the actual brands, all complaints must include an intellectual property information file (name, email, ASIN, asserted rights, etc.) as well as an authorized statement confirming that the filer is approved to act on the reporting brand’s behalf. Amazon had claimed they would be improving brand support efforts, and it appears the proof is in the pudding with Brand Registry 2.0.

How Long Does it Take to Become Brand Registered?

If you still have to complete the trademark process, that can take anywhere from 6-18 months until you’re officially registered and able to sign up for Amazon Brand Registry. The approval process with Amazon only takes a couple weeks if you provide all of the correct information up front.

What if I have Several Brands I Want to Register?

Sellers can register multiple brands individually using the same contact information. However, keep in mind that it can cost anywhere between $225-$400 to complete the trademark application process for each brand. There’s also additional fees if you enlist the help of an attorney or trademarking service, or require protection for additional classes.

For a more cost effective and less time consuming route, it may be worthwhile to consider registering one “universal” or “all-encompassing” trademark for all of your brands. This could lead to packaging issues if you already have stock of each brand with separately branded packaging, but may be a simpler long-term consideration.

Final Thoughts on Amazon’s Brand Registry

Amazon Brand Registry 2.0 might sound like a bit of a headache or a serious upfront investment, but the long-term benefits undoubtedly outweigh any short-term costs. Private label sellers have better brand protection tools and can boost their brand’s legitimacy in the eyes of consumers by having a streamlined, higher-end brand page with fewer hijackers.

Plus, it sounds like Amazon is only going to improve the brand registry experience and offered features, so what are you waiting for? Trademark your brand and head on over to Amazon’s Brand Registry sign-up page to get started building a better brand today.

Quick Guide: Amazon Stores with Brand Registry 2.0

The newest feature of Brand Registry 2.0 has arrived: Amazon Stores.

Amazon is constantly introducing benefits to their Brand Registry program: trademark/copyright protection, Enhanced Brand Content, and now the ability to create Amazon Stores.

 

What are Amazon Stores?

According to Amazon, Amazon Stores is a free self-service product that allows brands to create single or multi-page Stores to showcase their brand value and product selection. Features of Amazon Stores include:

  • Own a unique Amazon web address (amazon.com/your-brand)
  • Create multiple pages to showcase your product catalog
  • Start with pre-made mobile and desktop layouts
  • Receive traffic from Amazon search and detail pages

Each Amazon Store page is made up of a header, footer, and content tiles in between.

 

How do you set up an Amazon Store?

To access Amazon Stores, login to your Seller Central account and click Storefronts > Manage Stores.

If your brand is enrolled in Brand Registry, you’ll see a “Create Store” button. If your brand is not enrolled, you will see a “Register a brand.” button, as only registered brand owners are eligible to create Stores.

If your brand is registered, you’ll head to the Store setup page. First, you’ll add your brand’s logo and then select your page template. There are four template options:

  1. Marquee: designed to act as a brand or sub-brand gateway page.
  2. Highlight: showcase related products and related content.
  3. Product Grid: display large number of products.
  4. Blank: customize your own layout.

With a template selected, you can edit everything in the Amazon Store builder. Amazon outlines the Amazon Store Builder this way:

  1. Page Manager: used to create, select, move, and delete pages from the Amazon store.
  2. Preview Window: provides a live view of the current page. It can also be used to select a tile to edit in the Tile Manager.
  3. Tile Manager: used to add, edit, move, and delete tiles from the Amazon store. Tiles options include product, text, video, and image.
  4. Status Bar: provides the current moderation status of the Amazon Store (not submitted, in progress, approved, or failed) and displays any error messages.”

As you’re editing, you can preview your Amazon Store to see what it will look like. Once you’re happy with your Store, you can “Submit for publishing.” The review and approval process may take several days, and you cannot edit your draft during the moderation process. To avoid a Store rejection, follow the Amazon Stores Creative Guidelines.

For a more detailed breakdown of Amazon Stores and how they work, check out the Amazon Stores User Guide.

For inspiration, check out Amazon Basics’ Store, which is a great example of Amazon Stores in action.

 

What does this mean for sellers?

Amazon’s main priority is its customers. It always has been, and it always will be. Let’s be honest… the overall aesthetic and UI/UX of Amazon isn’t the best in the world. So it’s no surprise that the company is rolling out features that will enhance the shopping experience.

Honestly at this point, we’re not sure how Amazon Stores will affect the overall shopping experience. Right now, a shopper finds what they are looking for by typing in a search term, looking through results, and selecting a product that fits their needs.

However, it would make sense that Amazon is setting up for an additional way to drive traffic through these storefronts in order to make the shopping experience more enjoyable. Afterall, Amazon does advertise that Amazon Stores will “build a new shopping experience.” Here at Viral Launch, we are just really interested to see how that shopping experience will change.

Is Amazon taking a note from Macy’s by including branded sections located throughout the store? In case you haven’t noticed, Amazon has been actively making changes to the shopping experience already. When searching keywords such as mens watches or womens shoes, Amazon no longer shows search results directly.

Will Amazon start to identify “trusted” or “popular” brands for particular product markets, such as a search for vitamin c serum resulting in a few popular brands plus a few search results? We’re interested to see.

This could be Amazon’s way of weeding out sellers who aren’t serious about their business and rewarding those who are. After all, Amazon is a better place for consumers when their merchants are serious about providing a good product from a good brand.

For this reason, take advantage of Brand Registry, if you’ve been reluctant to pull the trigger thus far. Along with the brand protection, brand support, and access to EBC, the program allows for Amazon Stores, which could become increasingly valuable as Amazon continues to evolve.

 

Resources:

Amazon Stores Creative Guidelines

Amazon Stores User Guide

Example of Amazon Stores

Enroll in Brand Registry

 

 

What do you think of this new feature for Brand Registered sellers? We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments below!