In the early days of the pandemic, when toilet paper was scarce and social rules were changing fast, commerce was upended. Walmart came out a clear winner. While shipping times faltered at major ecommerce players, Walmart was able to mobilize their vast in-store network to deliver. Consumers shopping multiple places to find elusive products could turn to a retailer that had a solid grip on both in-store sales and online commerce. According to RetailDive, in the first quarter, Walmart’s total revenue increased 8.6 percent, and ecommerce sales skyrocketed 74 percent.
One of the most important facets to their success was prior investment in online content. In 2019, Walmart created the Connected Content Partner program and has continuously sought to improve content. The retailer has also invested in advertising, opening up pay-per-click ads early in the game and launching a self-service advertising platform in early 2020. Although Amazon Advertising has been the headliner in this area, Walmart’s growth during the pandemic, customer reach, and advertising capabilities should not be ignored.
With that said, we bring you our Walmart Brand Guide. We will cover a few critical areas to button down when it comes to advertising and product content on the channel.
Advertising on Walmart
According to Walmart, 62 percent of their customers say their ad experiences on the retailer’s site or app influence their in-store experience. Given what we know about modern consumer habits, this should come as no surprise.
How Does Walmart Advertising Compare to Amazon Advertising?
Advertising on the retailers is similar in many ways. The types of ads are generally the same, although they go by different names. The exception is Walmart’s Site Search Feature Ad, which is not available on Amazon. It directs customers to a landing page with the brand’s preferred messaging and products. Amazon offers a brand store, but does not offer a way to advertise it.
Walmart advertising also comes with a different price tag. Because of the auction type for pay-per-click ads, search terms may be more expensive.
What Does Walmart Advertising Look Like?
This Bounty product is an example of a Sponsored Product ad. These ads are shown based on relevant search queries and are served with a pay-per-click model. They are displayed in multiple locations, including search results pages, category pages, and product pages.
Here is an example of a Site Search Feature Ad—the type of ad unique to Walmart. A search for “baby shampoo” reveals a large, visual ad at the top of the page that directs to a custom landing page. These types of ads are ideal for both driving sales and building brand awareness.
How Do I Get Started?
To get started, a brand must request access for Walmart advertising. For planning purposes, it’s important to note that brands need a campaign budget of at least $100 per day.
What kind of Walmart Brand Guide would this be without a mention of the most basic type of content? Essential content is necessary for setting products up for sale, but don’t mistake “done” and “well-done.” Essential content is your products’ first impression and offers significant SEO benefits.
What Does Good Essential Content on Walmart Look Like?
Good Walmart content features:
- a succinct but descriptive product title
- multiple high-quality images
- short bullets that hit the high points
- a short description that addresses features and barriers to purchase
- key search terms
In addition to these, it is crucial that your product information be accurate. Does your bandage contain latex? If you get the answer wrong, you may have several angry customers.
Well-crafted Walmart content also boosts your search rank with good SEO. Product-specific content will win over generic content in search rankings. While it can be tempting to repurpose content across products for efficiency, this strategy will not yield long-term success. Make sure your content deals with the product at hand and delivers relevant search terms.
And, it pays to be organized with your SEO strategy. Coordinate marketing schedules and product launches, campaigns, promotions, and marketing materials to get the most from your Walmart content.
How Do I Get Started?
Identify your syndication partner. Most of our clients use Salsify or Syndigo to upload content to Walmart, but there are other options as well. Once you have your syndication partner, you will need to evaluate your content and SEO strategy.
In a nutshell, the goal of enhanced content is to complete the sale. Whether a consumer ultimately purchases in-store or online, they are increasingly turning to the internet to research products before they buy. Good enhanced content will provide compelling product information that breaks down barriers to purchase.
What Does Enhanced Content Look Like on Walmart?
The Bounty Sponsored Product ad we looked at earlier in the Walmart Brand Guide leads to a product page with enhanced content. This content clearly and effectively makes a case for the differences between standard paper towels and this select-a-size product.
This Pipette Baby Oil page is another example of well-done enhanced content on Walmart. It builds brand awareness by educating about core brand features while addressing the unique benefits of the baby oil.
How Do I Get Started?
Just like essential content, enhanced content is delivered via syndication. Gather your product assets in one place, if they aren’t, and evaluate what is available. Then, determine your highest priorities and create content that is missing.
The Walmart Brand Guide Keys to Success
- Do not copy your Amazon Advertising strategy for Walmart. At this point in time, Walmart is less competitive with fewer sellers. It also represents a different cost scale.
- Leverage both organic search and advertising to bring in customers.
- Manage your content. Be sure it is both accurate and informative, while using key search terms. Make sure you are putting both essential and enhanced content to work for you.
- Use the available advertising reports to tweak and adjust your strategy as needed.
Editor’s note: content26 is a privately held, independent company, and we are not affiliated with any retailer or syndicator. We have worked with many clients to create product tours and content across a variety of syndication channels.