It might seem obvious, but visibility is the cornerstone of any successful marketing strategy. But we don't just mean greater traffic. We don't just mean conversions. Or Amazon reviews.
And we don't just mean the same old content generation. We mean a visibility that showcases your product line, your unique selling point and your brand story.
Amazon can help you achieve that visibility through one of the most effective ways available for sellers: A+ Content. But just what is Amazon A+ Content? How do you use it? And why should you evaluate it before launching your Amazon sales strategy?
What is Amazon A+ Content?
Amazon A+ (formerly known as Enhanced Brand Content) is a premium content feature which allows Amazon brand owners and sellers to change product descriptions in their listings by integrating brand narratives, comparison charts, high quality images, text and high definition videos to better inform consumers.
Which may sound well and good, but how is A+ different from other Amazon tools?
Why Amazon A+ Content?
Simply put, brands need newer and more effective ways to create a selling point to differentiate their own product features from other products. They can no longer rely on a positive review (or eighty!) on Amazon to increase customer trust. They need an accessible platform with self service modules that highlights their competitive edge.
Amazon A+ content not only provides you with the means and tools to achieve that competitive edge, it provides you with assurance. Only qualified brand owners and sellers on Amazon have access to A+ content, not resellers and not unauthorized representatives. A+ is meant to be utilized as a tool for brand differentiation. It's not a catch-all solution; but when used creatively, it can elevate your brand in unimaginable ways
Both customers and brands have responded positively. Some of our campaigns at Color More Lines using Amazon A+ content have seen product sales growth from zero to six figures in under a twelve month time span, attracting not only an entirely new customer base but a loyal customer following.
Media Rich Content and Your Brand Story
Amazon likes to claim that the A+ content feature can result in higher conversions and an increase in sales—sometimes by as much as 10 percent.
But they're also notoriously tight-lipped about providing any statistical evidence. So before you consider A+ as an Amazon eCommerce solution, just consider the following:
It's been estimated that the average consumer can retain 65 percent of information containing a visual element for up to three days, in comparison to only 10 percent of data containing text alone.
Over the past four years, mobile video usage has increased by some 10 million daily viewing minutes.
42 percent of marketers count video as their most successful strategy in digital marketing.
60 percent of all digital impressions are centered around image-rich data and multimedia content.
Can Amazon provide you with statistical evidence proving media rich content such as A+ content can increase conversions? Not necessarily. But before you dismiss A+ altogether, ask yourself one question:
When was the last time you made an online purchase based on the written word alone?
Who is Eligible for Amazon A+ Content?
Only Amazon brand owners and emerging brand owners who have been approved for select managed selling programs are eligible for A+. While formerly accessible by invite only, Amazon has recently opened up applications to qualified brands and third-party sellers registered with Amazon Brand Registry.
How Do I Use Amazon A+ Content?
Once approved, you can begin to start using A+ enhanced features to highlight your Amazon product listings in as little as 15 minutes.
The A+ Content Manager allows you to showcase your brand story, whether it's through HD images, comparison charts, high definition videos or diving deep into your brand with enhanced text and product descriptions
However, it's worth keeping in mind that any multimedia content is only as strong as your brand. And while basic A+ content can drive product sales, there's more to using A+ strategically than simply bells and whistles.
How Much Does Amazon A+ Content Cost?
Under certain conditions, basic A+ content is free—and for new-to-launch brands who aren't yet positive just how much they're time and energy they're willing to invest in self marketing, it's certainly a sound choice.
Basic A+ gives you access to a diverse set of enhanced product description modules, unique layouts combining text and high quality images, a full carousel display and a host of other features that are hardly "no-frills." But unless you have the time to invest into actually developing a full-scale campaign using A+, you may find it simply to be no more than one potential tool among many in your Amazon presence.
While there is a paid premium version of A+ known as Amazon A++ with an even wider array of managed multimedia content features for what Amazon has called a "sophisticated online shopping experience," it's by invite only for sellers in their approved brand catalog.
If you've been approved, there are two specific modules available for A+ Content users:
Self Service: There are four levels to Amazon's self service module for A+ content: Basic, Gold, Silver and Platinum. But for each, you're expected to provide both content, copy, layout and design yourself. While there's a corresponding flat fee for Gold, Silver and Platinum users.
Amazon Builds For You: Amazon Builds For You has the same modules of Basic, Gold, Silver and Platinum as in the self service modules. And while it can be up to three times more expensive, Amazon will optimize layout and design work based on both your content as well as the sales history of similar items.
Content Guidelines for Amazon A+
Only products not listed on Amazon by another vendor are eligible for A+ Content promotion. At no point can a competitor or product be mentioned by name.
Much like other listings, Amazon reserves the right to remove or cancel your eligibility for A+ Content for any reason including service complaints, account closure or violation of Amazon policies.
Vendors must submit all content required for A+ Content promotions within one month of confirmation of their eligibility.
A vendor has up to only two business days to edit or update any A+ Content once a listing has gone live.
A+ Content is limited to five or less product pages per seller.
All images and text must be original and entirely unique to the A+ platform and must depict the product or lifestyle activities associated with the product.
Inclusion of copyright, trademark or registered symbols is prohibited on Amazon A+.
Any customer review or testimonial may be grounds for rejection for Amazon A+ standards, as are unverified claims and time sensitive promotions.
A+ Content has not been verified to boost search results and will not be indexed specially as a result.
Are There Drawbacks to A+ Content?
If you don't have a dedicated content manager working with you, you may find A+ not just unnecessary, but bewildering. You may assume you have a solid grasp of your brand story. But does your customer? Does your A+ campaign reflect the integrity of your brand? Or does it reflect the integrity of your competitors?
You might assume that A+ is an automatic gateway to higher search results on Amazon. Think again. The algorithm governing your search frequency rank is notoriously fickle, and simply having rich media content is not a guarantee of your success on Amazon.
That's because there is no surefire guarantee of a brand's success on Amazon. A+ is a tool, and an incredibly useful one at that. But at the end of the day, it's a solution—not the solution.
If your brand is strong enough, you may be able to achieve fundamental growth on Amazon. That's your story. Anything else?
That's your brand's story.
Ready to Take the Next Step with Amazon A+?
The team at Color More Lines doesn't just grow brands on Amazon. We nurture them. Find out more at Color More Lines