As you’ve probably learned by now, Amazon makes it extremely simple to create a new product and add it to their catalog. You can literally be up and running in less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee! But getting your product to the top can present a bigger challenge. Even with the right photos, description, title, and price, you may find that you’re starting on page 3…or even 30. Talk about a frustrating start! Thankfully, Amazon offers some great advertising options that can take you to the top. We’re here today to give you a quick crash course on what’s out there, and some considerations that some of our most successful sellers have discovered.
If you’ve never worked with PPC ads before, Amazon’s setup is extremely simple to begin with, unlike some other platforms (which we’ll discuss a bit about as well). Formally known as “Sponsored Products”, it’s located at the top of your Seller Central page under “Advertising”. From there, it’s as easy as adding products, creating keywords, and bidding on each one. For specifics on getting started, we recommend checking out Amazon’s detailed info, located here.
But now that you’ve got a campaign together, how can you make it more successful? Here’s the list of pro tips we’ve collected, ready for you to adopt:
- Don’t rush it! Every change you make to your ads can take days to show an effect…and weeks to produce usable data for you to reference. It may seem like the “right thing to do” to work hard on your ads every day, making constant changes. But this will only leave you confused when the results start coming in. Make a few adjustments, note what you did, and wait at least a week before you act upon that. Think about it just as though you’re refining a recipe for your favorite pie – you wouldn’t change every ingredient at once; you’d likely want to make 1-2 adjustments everytime you’re serving it up.
- Learn about all of the reports Amazon has available. Many of these are linked directly through the Sponsored Products page. The best approach is to download a recent copy of each, and explore all that it has to offer. Start thinking about how you can use the extensive data available in each report to expand your campaign. You’ll find first page bids, ACoS, and more. Which leads us to…
- Get your feet wet with Amazon’s spreadsheet-based reports and bulk editing tools. You’ll be able to make a lot of changes at a much faster rate using these, versus the graphical web interface. The “Bulk Operations” tab is your starting point. Be careful though – it’s easy to make very large changes, and damage your campaigns quickly. Assess each step you take, keep notes, and pace yourself. Ultimately, you want to be at the point where you can make daily changes to your ads via these spreadsheets. You’ll find this to be fast and efficient – and the absolute best way to work with manual campaigns.
- Avoid automatic campaigns…except for as a tool to find new keywords. You can easily setup a low budget/bid automatic campaign for each product to mine new keywords. As an added benefit, you can leave these running in the long term, spending only a couple of dollars a day. Make it a habit to check in periodically (every month is often suggested) and update your manual campaigns with new keywords from the automatic campaigns.
- Keep your keywords trimmed down. A common misconception is that more keywords will cover more potential buyers. Instead, this approach waters down your budget and attracts potentially less interested buyers. Ultimately, the latter will lower your metrics on Amazon, as buyers will be going to your product page and not buying the product – making it look not as desirable or popular to Amazon’s algorithms. Don’t be afraid to pull out keywords that perform poorly. After you’ve thoroughly tested them, of course.
- Learn to properly organize your campaigns. There are endless strategies for this, each with pros and cons, but avoid the “newbie” trap of lumping all products into a single campaign and ad group, and then just dumping in keywords relevant to everything. You’ll damage your metrics on Amazon with this approach, and confuse yourself in the process. Consider a unique campaign for each product, and then an ad group for each type of keyword (broad, phrase, exact), as a start.
- Use ACoS to your advantage, but understand there are other considerations you’ll want to take in assessing a keyword’s performance. ACoS is a great way to see exactly how much of your ad spend is being converted into sales. However, you can have a nice 20% ACoS on a keyword…yet only have had 1 sale in the past month. Chances are, you’ll want to consider cutting that less effective keyword, in favor of one that’s gained far more sales.
- Understand that Amazon’s “1st page bid” estimates are exactly that: estimates. Many have found that they can be extraordinarily inaccurate, and very misleading. They’re great as a starting point, but taking the data you’ve collected and adjusting bids based on that is far more accurate. The 1st page bid may be $1.32 – a high number for most products – but you could see an ACoS of 78%, for example, at that price. Not worth your money.
Lastly, why choose Sponsored Products over more advanced options like Google AdWords?
- Sponsored Products is very cost effective, capable of getting you sales for <$1/click. With AdWords, the averages are typically much higher. Many businesses expect to spend over $10 per conversion (lead) on such a platform – great for more expensive services, but not for smaller Amazon products.
- Sponsored Products is built into Amazon’s site, and can easily link right to products. Other platforms can link to the product as well, but are generally better suited to bringing a customer to a storefront, where that higher cost per conversion presents them with your full product lineup. That said, Amazon’s site also recommends competitors products. Would you want to spend $5, only to have someone see your #1 competitor, and purchase from them instead?
We hope this post has been helpful, and given you some useful tips for your Amazon ad campaign!