Amazon Listing Optimization: Like Selling Phone Booths to Clark Kent

Amazon Image Optimization

Creating high quality images for your Amazon listing is just the kind of thing that can leave you paralyzed, unsure how to proceed and terrified that you're going to waste your time doing it wrong.

Even if you already have a graphic designer that can pull it off - you still need to figure out exactly what content and copy should be included in each image.

Knowing exactly what to do can add dollars to your bottom line as a private label sellers and set your service offerings apart if you're a wholesale seller.

At Graphic Rhythm, we've optimized hundreds of Amazon listings in dozens of different categories, some with really unique challenges.

So how do we do it? I'll explain...

Where Is Your Customer?


This isn't a job for Google maps or Carmen Sandiego. We don't want to know where your customer is physically... we want to know where your customer is in the buying decision process.

In marketing terms, we call this "Stage of Awareness" and the stages are as follows.

Customer Awareness Funnel


We only become interested in customers stage of awareness when they become aware that they have a problem...

Let's take for example Stan - This is Stan...

stan


Stan doesn't know it, but he's missing out on life. He's constantly tired, with low energy and a lack of focus.

If we sold an energy boosting supplement, then Stan would be a great target customer! Right?

Well no actually. The fact that Stan doesn't know he's got a problem makes him unaware. Stan isn't looking for us so we shouldn't waste our time looking for him.

But what if Stan suddenly realized one day that he used to have a whole lot more energy and he wants to do something about it?

Energy Levels Google

Ah-ha! Now suddenly Stan has become problem aware...

Problem aware customers tend to use Google more than Amazon - and they search for things just like Stan did... by typing in what their problem is and seeing what answers the internet spits out.

The message that Stan needs to hear as a problem aware customer is very different than what he needs to hear at later stages - right now he wants to know why your product is a solution for his problem of lack of energy

When you are selling to a problem aware prospect, you are competing with other products that offer a solution to the same problem... not other products that have the same solution as you.

If you're targeting problem aware prospects you need to explain why supplements are better than running shoes or dieting... not why your supplement is the best supplement.

We have seen a few problem aware customers on Amazon - but generally, Amazon customers tend to fall into the next category... Solution aware.

So Stan has done his research and he's figured out that one of the ways he can get his energy levels up is with supplements - he's even figured out that he wants a Cordyceps supplement (It's a mushroom that grows out of the head of worms... gross right?)

Now he heads over to Amazon...

Stan is searching for a particular supplement, he might also search for "Energy Supplements" or a variety of other keywords that are relevant to your product and Stans chosen solution...

Amazon Cartoon Screen

When your prospect is solution aware, they have chosen one solution out of several (Supplements instead of exercise equipment... smart move Stan.) and now they are trying to decide which product on the marketplace is the best version of this solution...

A solution aware prospect wants to quickly understand two things about your product...

  1. Does it have all of the things I expect?
  2. How is it different (better) than the other 15 listings I have open in individual chrome tabs (come on, I'm not the only one who does this right?)
Browser Bar

If you cover these two bases - then you are 50% of the way to home plate...

Does it have all of the things I expect?

I don't need to tell you how competitive Amazon is - you already know. That's why it's really important to make sure you are communicating that your product has all of the things that a customer expects - even if it seems obvious.

For instance, if we neglected to mention in our imagery that our supplement is manufactured in an FDA approved facility... the customer may not be willing to take the risk of assuming that it is and go with a listing that specifically says it.

FDA Approved?

You should plan on dedicating at least one image, typically two to making sure you detail all of the features that your customer is going to expect.

Your Unique Selling Proposition

So Stan has narrowed down his choices to just five of the ones he thinks are going to be best... there are a lot of things going through his head. Depending on Stans personal priorities he may have already filtered by...

  • Expected Features
  • Pricing
  • Reviews
  • His confidence in your brand (hint: Good looking graphics help with this alot!)
stan undecided

How on earth is Stan going to make a decision here? Well, if Stan is like most of us (and he clearly is...) then he is going to decide on which unique feature is most important to him... this is your unique selling proposition!

stan wait 1

"My Product Isn't Unique" Side Conversation...

Ok, so you saw a good selling product, went to China, had the same product made for you with a different label and now you have no USP... no problem.

In this case we like to use the "Toasted" strategy...

It's Toasted Mad Men Quote

Shamelessly swiped from Madmen - this strategy is very simple... Analyze your competitors listings and figure out which feature or benefit of your product isn't being mentioned much, and make that your unique selling proposition...

Do you sell (Gasp) a garlic press? Let's say that every single garlic press is exactly the same, but none of them talk about the number of holes in the press...

Your Unique Selling Proposition becomes "Specially manufactured with 40 holes for more efficient mincing"

Your buyers now have a reason to choose your product over all of the others - because yours has 40 holes in it... says so right on the box.

MR Bean Meme

Back to Stan...

Your Unique Selling Proposition

We like to put the USP's in the top of the listing images, typically slots two through four. This makes it easy for a customer to understand pretty quickly what makes our product different than anyone else's.

So, based on everything he's read, Stan has narrowed down his choices to just three... and your listing is one of them (yay you!)

Still - Stan is only buying one of these products... How is he going to choose?

Well... Stan doesn't know it, but he's actually Clark Kent...

clark kent

And you? You're selling phone booths....

The Customer Transformation

Stick with me for one second as we go down this rabbit hole...

What if you actually had to sell a phone booth to Clark Kent? How would you do it?

Would you talk about the durable construction? Maybe you would mention the high visibility glass or the fact that it's got the latest telephone technology?

You could point out the well oiled hinges that open noiselessly and quickly...

All of these are great features and some of them even have great benefits associated with them, but they are missing the absolutely most crucial thing that dear old Clark needs to hear. Which is that when he comes out of the phone booth he will be superman

superman cartoon

We call this the customer transformation. Every single product on earth serves to help people transform from an undesirable state to a more desirable state. If you can articulate that transformation best - then you win.

If you want to go deeper on this customer transformation thing, we detail every step of how we uncover what the customer transformation is in our (Free) listing accelerator course

But let's get back to Clark er... Stan for now. What does Stan want?

More energy... ok great. That's a good start... but why? So he can get outside more? Play with his kids more? Alright... we are getting warmer here... but I have to ask... why?

Maybe Stan wants more energy so he can play with his kids more often, so he can be a role-model for them and stay active in their lives... wow!

We can keep asking why over and over until we feel like we've really plumbed the depths of Stans motivation but we will stop here... Stan needs to take our supplement so that he can stay active in his kids' lives. Put another way - Our supplement helps Stan become the type of father he wants to be

That's one helluva transformation! We typically use the last 3-4 images in the line up to sell this sort of transformation through a combination of Lifestyle, Digital Lifestyle and Digital Composite photos.

We combine great copywriting with emotionally charged stock photography to craft a story about how your product is going to transform your customers lives.

stan happy

How can Stan resist such a compelling reason to buy?

Final Thoughts

Crafting a set of story driven, brand focused Amazon images combines a number of disciplines - copywriting, graphic design and knowledge of the Amazon marketplace.

What you've learned here is a great start, if you create images that focus on your prospects stage of awareness and that articulate:

  • Your product has what they expect
  • Your Unique Selling Proposition
  • The Transformation

Then you are going to knock it out of the park.

stan supplementbottle hug

If you'd like to go even deeper on this subject and go over the shoulder with me and see exactly how we develop our image concepts, then check out our free course - Listing Accelerator.

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