Marketers Discover Amazon Strategy Through Non-Branded Terms

While brand terms on Amazon account for the majority of clicks in a variety of market segments, non-branded terms have become a strategy to acquire new consumers across the marketplace. In fact, non-branded terms account for 55.81% of the searches on desktops from October to November 2017 in consumer electronics, according to data released Wednesday.

The research from Adthena, an intelligence data company, confirms a trend that marketers discussed during last week's MediaPost Search Insider Summit in Deer Valley, Utah.

Non-branded keywords work as leads to help consumers discover new products for strong brands, especially when it comes to organic beauty products. Ethelbert Williams, former CMO at InstaNatural, which only sells its products online, said on Amazon that consumers will search for ingredients rather than brand names.

The ingredients and what the product does have become more important than the brand, Williams said, adding that marketers with a hundred-year old brand need to learn how to translate that equity into content.



Several marketers during the summit spoke about non-branded keywords in a similar way. They say these keywords help consumers find their brand on Amazon for much less than branded keywords. 

In a separate conversation, Todd Bowman, senior director of SEM and feeds at search agency Merkle, tends to see non-brand keywords that are more product-focused than what he usually sees on Google's or Bing's search engine.

"Since the customer intent is more purchase-focused and may have done research on other channels, the keyword assortment makes sense," he said. "Another reason we tend to see more product-related keywords in our search term reports is because of how the Sponsored Product campaigns are setup."

Through the Automatic Campaign structure, Bowman explains, Amazon chooses the search phrases to serve based on product information tied to the ASIN being targeted. Because of that, Amazon will find the search terms that relate closely to the product information that are more product focused.

"As more people begin their search on Amazon, sellers are seeing a significant amount of traffic on category and subcategory terms," Bowman said. "The amount seen will depend a lot on the catalog of products being sold."

For example, a seller on Amazon that sells gifts like popcorn buckets will see the vast majority of their searches are product-related and contain popcorn, while a mattress manufacturer may see keywords specific to their product and also search phrases that are more categorical like “cool gel bed.”

Bryant Garvin, director of marketing at Purple, a mattress company, said most of the searches on Amazon link back to branded keywords because the company invests heavily at the top of the funnel, but he does use non-branded terms.

This strategy helps to create an emotionally connection between with the consumer and brand. The company does run on non-branded keywords to influence certain content.


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