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Choosing the right Amazon marketing agency can be the difference between becoming a thriving seller on Amazon or one that flops.
Do you know why I say so?
A pool of more than 2.5 million sellers fights for the attention of Amazon’s customers. Out of this, only 10% generate annual sales of more than $100,000.
Only a few sellers make a great income on the platform.
Are you a seller struggling to attract buyers on Amazon? Would you like to increase your store’s reach and drive more revenues?
By partnering with a top Amazon marketing agency, you can improve the visibility of your store, reach more buyers, and drive sales.
Below, you’ll find my recommended steps on how to choose a top Amazon marketing company to grow your store business on the platform.
Know Your Goals and Desired Outcomes
A marketing agency won’t re-invent your store on Amazon.
They’ll work with you to achieve your goals and realize your business outcomes.
If you, the store owner, fail to define what those goals and outcomes are, how can a marketing agency perform magic and turn you into an overnight success on Amazon?
It doesn’t work that way.
To help you get started, let’s explore some scenarios when you should hire an Amazon marketing agency.
Example #1: Rank your products higher in Amazon search
I’ve already mentioned that Amazon has over 2.5 million sellers.
But that’s nothing close to the number of products vying for your potential customers attention and credit cards on the e-commerce site.
According to Retail Touchpoints, more than 353 million different products for sale on Amazon.
With so many stores and products, your store basically doesn’t exist unless it ranks well in Amazon’s search.
Let’s assume you sell belly button rings and someone goes on Amazon to search for it:
This search term alone produced over 96 different products on Amazon’s first search results page that included about 12 stores.
What if your store isn’t one of them?
Your goal should be to improve Amazon SEO.
The higher your rankings, the more visibility you have with Amazon’s customers. And more visibility equals more sales.
As you see in the screenshot above, an excellent way to achieve this is to ensure your store and product descriptions are optimized with relevant keywords.
Is this why you’re looking for an Amazon marketing agency?
Then, consider one with a battle-tested SEO-driven content marketing program, as both store and product descriptions are forms of well-targeted content creation.
Example #2: Promote your Amazon products on Amazon
Let’s keep using our belly button ring example.
This time, assume you’ve optimized your store and product descriptions, adhering to all Amazon SEO requirements.
Despite this, it’s possible to still have other sellers with similar products on Amazon rank higher than you. You can expect this because Amazon has several ranking factors.
For instance, see the first product listed for the belly button ring we searched earlier:
This product was promoted to the very first position on Amazon search results page. The store spent money to get their ad to the top of the list. It’s pay to play.
That’s why it has a “Sponsored” label.
This scenario shows that you can promote your products on Amazon to reach targeted buyers based on different criteria like search terms, locations, age range, etc.
If this is your goal, the outcome would be to skip the queue and reach potential buyers on Amazon.
Amazon has an entire ad network that you can now access. Like any ad network, it requires a ton of setup and lots of ongoing attention if you want to make a decent profit.
An Amazon marketing agency is ideal for this type of work. You already have your store and products, you just want an experienced team to run your ads for you.
Will an agency add to your total costs instead of running the ads yourself? Yes. But the ads will also perform a lot better. The agency will easily pay for itself.
So if you have either of these two goals, I highly recommend working with an Amazon marketing agency.
So, what characteristics should you look out for when choosing one?
6 Characteristics That Make a Great Amazon Marketing Agency
Below are six characteristics you’ll find in exceptional Amazon marketing agencies.
1. Demonstrated knowledge of the Amazon marketplace
Marketing your store and products on Amazon has its best practices.
It also has its dos and don’ts.
To determine if an Amazon marketing agency knows and puts them into practice, check if they have practical knowledge of how the Amazon marketplace works.
Exceptional Amazon agencies share these best practices in the form of how-to guides and training resources, showing how to drive more sales on Amazon:
2. A team of experts
Marketing, on its own, won’t do all the heavy lifting required to turn your Amazon store into a thriving business.
Other essential things like proper store setup, products’ listing optimization, brand-specific creatives, PPC management, and others must go into the equation.
And you won’t achieve all that with a one-person team.
Hence, a characteristic of great Amazon marketing agencies is that they work with a diverse team of experts.
3. A process for implementing their core service
In the agency world, a battle-tested process makes all the difference. It’s the only way to deliver reliable results with new clients.
Without a solid process, working with an agency is like rolling the dice. Sometimes it works, sometimes… it doesn’t.
Successful agencies will customize processes based on your unique needs but they should have a solid core with a proven track record.
For my team at Neil Patel Digital, we’ve developed a comprehensive program to help Amazon sellers drive traffic to their stores and product pages.
4. An impressive clients’ portfolio
Before you choose an agency, it’s important to examine who they’ve worked with in the past.
You’ll find this in their clients’ portfolio.
This is also a critical characteristic to check for, as it gives you a sense of the type of companies the agency typically works with.
Great Amazon marketing agencies take it one step by having an impressive portfolio of clients.
5. Great company culture
When choosing an agency, most people omit the company culture of an agency they want to partner with.
Working with an Amazon marketing agency is usually a long-term partnership. If your beliefs are not aligned, you face the possibility of running into problems in the future.
To avoid this, choose an agency with a great company culture with similar values as your own.
6. Customer testimonials
Before you choose an Amazon marketing agency, take a moment to look out for testimonials they’ve received from past and present clients.
This gives you an idea of what people think and feel about their services. It also helps you to see if what the agency offers is worth the fee.
How to Work With an Amazon Marketing Agency
Working with an Amazon marketing agency follows a series of steps. And you should adhere to them to ensure a smooth partnership.
For great agencies, expect go through the following steps:
1. You’ll fill an inquiry form
When you visit the agency’s website, the first step is to fill their inquiry or contact form.
There’s usually forms for basic information about your business.
It’s also the first opportunity to share what your needs are and how you want them to help you.
For any well-run agency, you should hear back from them within 24 hours. If it takes longer than that, proceed with caution.
2. Discovery session
Experienced Amazon marketing agencies will want to do a one-on-one consultation session.
You should expect this, as it gives you the opportunity to share your needs and talk directly with a marketing expert.
3. Research and strategic recommendations
No two business cases are 100% identical.
Great agencies take what you share with them from the first call and perform in depth research to come up with recommendations unique to your Amazon store.
Usually, a second call will get scheduled to go through everything.
4. A Proposal and contract
By going through the recommendations delivered to you by an agency, you’ll gain more clarity if working with them is a good fit.
Right after this, you’ll usually receive a proposal and contract that sets the terms for working together.
5. Official client onboarding
Project management plays a very essential role when working with an Amazon marketing agency.
To ensure both parties have an understanding of who does what and when, excellent agencies would take you through an official client onboarding process.
Over this process, you’ll get to know who is your account manager (the expert overseeing your project) and get a full scope of the project, deliverables, and timelines.
How to Find The Right Amazon Marketing Agency For You
So far, I’ve walked you through the characteristics and steps to working with an Amazon marketing agency.
But one question remains, how do you find an agency that is right for you?
The first step is to always know your goals.
The next step is to choose an agency with expertise in the area you need help with.
To help you, we profiled the top Amazon marketing companies and what they excel most at.
The 5 Top Amazon Marketing Agencies
#1 Neil Patel Digital — Best for Store and Product Content Marketing
With SEO-driven content marketing, you can score higher Amazon SEO points by optimizing your store and product descriptions.
In turn, your store and products will become more discoverable with higher rankings when potential customers search on Amazon, as you saw in the example above.
It’s been ages since you could get away with one good photo and a basic product description. These days, you need a host of professional photos, videos, optimized descriptions and titles, comparison tables, FAQs, and detailed descriptions that address every objection in the market.
This is a core part of the offering at Neil Patel Digital:
Companies from across the world, from startups to enterprise brands, trust Neil Patel Digital.
#2 Thrive Agency — Best for Amazon PPC
When potential buyers research products or services on Amazon, a whopping 64% of them don’t click beyond the 1st three results.
To get your store and products in those top positions, you may need to use sponsored posts on Amazon.
Another name for this is Amazon PPC.
Thrive Agency is a company with over a decade of experience in this area:
This company has over 150 five-star reviews across Google, Facebook, and Clutch with Amazon-specific case studies.
#3 Vertical Rail — Best for Amazon Account Management
Your Amazon store account health, product deactivations, shipping performance, intellectual property violations, and several others have a direct impact on how well your marketing performs on Amazon.
Vertical Rail is the agency I recommend to ensure you’re 100% compliant on Amazon and reach your marketing goals:
This agency has great case studies on how to run your Amazon store more efficiently.
#4 Voice SEO – Best for Amazon Echo and Voice Search Optimization
This trend could be the next big marketing opportunity. And with big marketing opportunities like this, you can make a bundle if you get in early.
Voice SEO is the agency you can turn to for this:
TopSEOs, an agency ranking domain, ranked Voice SEO as its number one company for voice search optimization, and they have accreditations to demonstrate their expertise.
#5 Voy Media – Best for Amazon Social Media Marketing
Most successful Amazon sellers turn to social media to engage their target audience with the ultimate goal of driving traffic to their store and product pages.
If you want to take advantage of social media to drive sales for your Amazon store, Voy Media is great for that:
This agency combines strategy and creativity to help Amazon sellers drive sales on Amazon via various social media platforms.
Do You Really Need to Hire An Amazon Marketing Agency?
Yes, and I’ll tell you why.
To give your business a chance, standout from the crowd, and get found on Amazon when potential customers search for things you sell, you’ll need marketing.
And that’s where hiring an Amazon marketing agency comes in.
Whether you want higher rankings or want to run profitable Amazon PPC ads, get an expert that knows what they’re doing. There’s too much competition on Amazon to do it all yourself.
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You may think it is impossible to get business loans with bad credit. In truth, it is just impossible to do so from traditional banks without some sort of guarantee. There are other options however.
Is It Possible to Get Business Loans with Bad Credit?
For example, the government guarantees loans from traditional banks through The Small Business Administration, or SBA. This government guarantee makes it easier to get loans with lower credit scores than would normally be acceptable.
Business Loans with Bad Credit: SBA Loans
The key is, how bad is “bad” credit. Generally speaking, you can qualify for a loan most anywhere with a credit score over 730. However, your interest rates may leave a lot to be desired. If your credit score is less than that, but above 650, you may qualify for one of these SBA loans programs.
This most popular SBA loan program offers federally funded term loans up to $5 million. In addition, the funds can be used for expansion, purchasing equipment, working capital and more. Banks, credit unions, and other specialized institutions process these loans and disburse the funds. What does that mean? It means that you apply with a traditional lender, but it isn’t exactly a traditional loan.
The minimum credit score to qualify is 680. Also, there is a required down payment of at least 10% for the purchase of a business, commercial real estate, or equipment. Lastly, the minimum time in business is 2 years. In the case of startups, business experience equivalent to two years will work.
Funds are available for a wide variety of projects, from working capital to refinancing debt. You can even buy a new business or real estate.
These loans are available up to $5 million. You can use the funds to buy machinery, facilities, or land. Typically, these are expansion loans. They especially work well for commercial real estate purchases.
Terms for 504 Loans range from 10 to 20 years. Unfortunately, funding is slow. It can take from 30 to 90 days. They require a minimum credit score of 680, and they use the asset the loan is financing as collateral. Furthermore, there is a down payment requirement of 10%. This can increase to 15% for a new business.
Like 7 (a) loans, you must be in business for at least 2 years, or management must have equivalent experience if the business is a startup.
Microloans go up to $50,000. They work well for starting a business, purchasing equipment, buying inventory, or as working capital. Community based non-profits administer microloan programs as intermediaries. Unlike most other SBA loans, financing comes directly from the Small Business Administration.
They can take upwards of 90 days to fund. The minimum credit score for microloans is 640, and collateral and down payment requirements vary by lender.
SBA Disaster Loans
As a general rule, disaster loans go up to $2 million. However, there are tons of changes in the program right now due to the need for COVID-19 relief. These loans are also processed directly through the SBA rather than through partner lenders. They are for small-business owners that have been affected by natural disasters, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been deemed to qualify as a natural disaster. Terms go up to 30 years. The maximum interest rate is 4%, and you can apply for disaster loans directly at SBA.gov.
The minimum credit score for these loans is 660. Additionally, collateral is necessary if the loan goes over a certain amount. That amount is usually $25,000. For a military economic injury disaster, the amount that requires collateral is $50,000. Either way, a down payment is not necessary.
SBA Express Loans
The max amount for these loans is $350,000. Terms range from 5 to 25 years. To qualify, your credit score must be above 680. Also, you must have a debt to service ratio of 1.1 or higher. If the loan is greater than $25,000, collateral may be necessary depending on the lender.
As the name suggests, you get funds from express loans much faster. In fact, the SBA takes 36 hours or less to give a decision. Not only that, but the necessary paperwork for application is less also. This makes express loans a great option for working capital, among other things, if you qualify.
There are 4 distinct CAPLine programs that differ mostly in the expenses they can fund. Each of them carries a maximum amount of $5 million. In addition, the interest rate for each range from 7% to 10%. Like many of the others, funding can take 45 to 90 days.
The four different programs are:
- Seasonal CAPLines
- Contract CAPLines
- Builder’s CAPLines
- Working Capital CAPLines
For these, the minimum credit score to qualify is 680. However, there is no minimum time in business requirement unless you are getting a seasonal CAPLine. That one carries a one year in business requirement.
Get our business credit building checklist and build business credit the fast and easy way to beat the recession blues.
Business Loans with Bad Credit: Alternative Loans
These are loans from private lenders rather than traditional banks. Most of them operate online exclusively. We’ve listed a few for you below. Be sure to double check details like required credit score and interest rate, as these things can change without notice.
Fundbox is going to be one of the first lenders to pop up if you search for alternative business loans. It is a line of credit rather than a loan, but it is a great funding option because there is no minimum credit score requirement.
They offer an automated process that is super-fast. Repayments are automatic, meaning they draft them electronically, and they occur on a weekly basis. One thing to remember is that you could have a repayment as high as 5 to 7% of the amount you have drawn currently, as the repayment period is comparatively short. This means you need to be sure you have enough funds in whatever account you connect them to so that it can cover your payment each week.
Loan amounts come as low as $100 and as high as up to $100,000, but the max initial draw is $50,000. Though there is no minimum credit score requirement, they do require at least 3 months in business, $50,000 or more in annual revenue, and a business checking account with a minimum balance of $500.
The minimum loan amount available from BlueVine is $5,000 and the maximum is $100,000. Annual revenue must be $120,000 or more and the borrower must be in business for at least 6 months. Your personal credit score has to be 600 or above. It is important to note also, that BlueVine does not offer a line of credit in all states.
Upstart uses a completely innovative platform for alternative loans. The company questions the ability of financial information and FICO alone to truly determine the risk of lending to a specific borrower. Instead, they choose to use a combination of artificial intelligence and machine learning to collect alternative data. They then use that data to help them make credit decisions.
Alternative data can include mobile phone bills, rent, deposits, withdrawals, and even other information less directly tied to finances. The software they use learns and improves on its own. You can use their online quote tool to play with different amounts and terms to see the various interest rate possibilities. Typically, business loans are available ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. Interest rates vary greatly, ranging from 7.5% to 35.99%. You can pay back loans over either 3-years or 5-years.
To be eligible for a loan with Upstart, you must meet the following qualifications:
- Credit score of 620+
- No bankruptcies or negative public records
- No delinquent accounts
- Meet debt to income standards (they only note they will check this ratio, not what their standards are.)
- Have fewer than 6 inquiries in the past 6 months on your credit report, not including those related to student loans, vehicle loans, or mortgages
These are the requirements they list on their website. One independent review said that the requirement for the debt to income ratio is a maximum of 45%. It also says that the minimum annual income has to be at least $12,000.
Fora Financial funds more than $1.3 million in working capital around the United States. There is an early repayment discount if you qualify.
This is a great option for business loans with bad credit. Why? Here is what Fora Financial says about credit score:
“At Fora Financial we do not believe that the number of your credit score defines who you are as a business owner. We look at your entire business model along with your future plans to create a financing program that will help you reach your goals.”
As you can see, there really isn’t a minimum credit score requirement.
Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $500,000. The business must be at least 6 months in operation and the monthly revenue has to be $12,000 or more. There can be no open bankruptcies.
Obtaining financing from OnDeck is quick and easy. First, you apply online and receive your decision once application processing is complete. If you receive approval, your loan funds will go directly to your bank account. The minimum loan amount is $5,000 and the maximum is $500,000.
They do require a personal credit score of 600 or more for at least one owner. Also, you must be in business for at least 3 years. Annual revenue must be at or exceed $100,000. In addition, there can be no bankruptcy on file in the past 2 years and no unresolved liens or judgements.
Kiva is an online lender that is a little different. For example, the interest rate is 0%, so even though you have to pay it back it is absolutely free money. They don’t even check your credit. However, there is one catch. You have to get at least 5 family members or friends to throw some money in the pot as well. In addition, you have to pitch in a $25 loan to another business on the platform.
Accion is a microlender, a nonprofit, that offers installment loans to both startups and already existing businesses. You don’t have to already be in business, but if you are not, you must have less than $500 in past due debt. In addition, your business needs to be home or incubator based.
Loans are from 6 to 60 months and interest rates range from 7% to 34%. A personal guarantee, and sometimes specific collateral, is necessary in most circumstances.
What’s the minimum credit score? Accion says it best in their FAQ’s:
“Credit is just one of many factors that we look at when we work with business owners. If your credit isn’t well established or damaged, we can work to find strengths in your business or finances to make the loan possible. We do have firm requirements on past due debt and bankruptcies and have credit score minimums in some areas, so please check our loan requirements to see if we are a good fit for you.”
Basically, depending on your other information, Accion can be a good option for business loans with bad credit.
Get our business credit building checklist and build business credit the fast and easy way to beat the recession blues.
Build and Improve Business Credit and Forget About Business Loans with Bad Credit
Maybe one of these options will work for you. But what if you didn’t have to worry about finding business loans for bad credit? What if you could have good business credit? Guess what? You absolutely can! How? Well, first, you have to set up your business to be an entity separate from yourself. That way, when you take out debt in your business name and repay it, the accounts will report to your business credit report and not your personal credit report.
There is a lot to building fundability and business credit, but here is a starting point.
- Make sure you and your business do not share contact information. Your business needs a separate phone number and address.
- Get your business an EIN so you can apply for business credit without your SSN.
- Incorporate your business as an LLC, S-corp, or corporation.
- Make sure your business has all the licenses it needs to operate legally.
- Open a separate, dedicated business bank account.
After your business is set up properly, you can work with starter vendors to build business credit. These are companies that sell things you use in the course of everyday business, like office supplies, cleaning supplies, even packaging materials. They will issue net invoices without doing a credit check, so you don’t have to have credit to get credit with them. Then, they will report your payments to the business credit reporting agencies. That gets the ball rolling.
It is Possible to Get Business Loans with Bad Credit
It is absolutely possible to get business loans with bad credit. However, once you get the funding you need, don’t stay in a bad credit hole. Get to work building a ladder to get yourself out. Get the funds you need to stay open, but at the same time, work to put yourself in a better position for the future.
Get our business credit building checklist and build business credit the fast and easy way to beat the recession blues.
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