There are many ways to advertise on Amazon – and, it mostly comes down to what your goals are, what stage you are at in your product lifecycle, and what product category you’re selling in.
There are a few core components that you should be familiar with before creating your first campaign. Each component will play a unique role in your overall ad strategy.
1. Set your campaign goals.
The first step in any Amazon ad campaign is to be clear on what your goals are. This could be to increase the traffic to your product listings, drive your overall marketplace sales, or increase your brand awareness online. A few others could include:
- Protecting your listing/s from competitor ads
- Diverting traffic away from your main competitors
- Establishing sales in a new territory / product category
Having a clear goal will give you a solid starting point – everything else in your ad plan is about how you’re going to achieve it.
2. Set your budget.
How much you need to spend really depends on what your goals are and the level of competition you’re up against.
Before setting your Amazon ad budget, it’s important to spend time researching your product category or niche. Doing this will give you a better idea of how saturated the market is, how active and well-established your main rivals are, and how much sellers are spending on bids.
Some products are also best promoted at certain times of the day and bids will often change based on the level of competition. It’s important to understand when those times are so you can budget accordingly.
After launching your ad campaign, you’ll need to reassess your budget on a weekly and monthly basis. Depending on how well it’s performing, you may need to optimise your campaign to keep it aligned with your goals.
3. Spend some time researching keywords.
Amazon gives you the option to run Auto Campaigns. Here, Amazon will automatically match your ad to search terms that they deem relevant to your product. If you’re new to Amazon advertising, this isn’t a bad option.
However, if you’re serious about maximising your traffic and driving your marketplace sales, you’ll need to do some deeper research. Before creating a campaign, PPC experts will often spend time researching the product category, identifying common keywords, and assessing the competition. These are interconnected and one will often lead you into the other.
Once you’ve defined the keywords and/or phrases that you want to target, it’s important you include them in your listings. Identifying negative keywords and search terms to exclude is a great way of reducing your ad spend without negatively impacting your sales.
4. Research your competition.
When doing your research, it’s important to consider both direct and indirect competition.
Your direct competition will be those sellers offering a similar product, while indirect competition are those offering alternative products that achieve the same result. Identifying competitors that are spending aggressively on PPC (and those that aren’t) is good insight that you can use to optimise your ad spend. Some keywords may not be worth chasing, while others could represent good value.
5. Choose your ad types.
Amazon offers three main ad types:
- Sponsored Products
- Sponsored Brands
- Sponsored Display
Within these three groups, there are also a few different ways to use them. From auto targeting to video and remarketing campaigns – which should you use and in which order?
If you’ve registered your brand on Amazon and have the budget, you could use all of them. You’d be getting your products into the top spots in search result, defending your listings against competitor ads, and quickly scaling your marketplace business.
Even if you do have a good budget, it would be best to build up gradually over time. This way you can test and measure your results, focusing your ad spend on those areas that drive the strongest sales.
A good place to start is with Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, especially if you’re a new seller and your products aren’t yet ranked.
6. Use data to your advantage.
Before making any changes to your ad campaigns, it’s important you understand what’s happening by analyzing your data. This could mean reviewing your ad or wider business reports, or simply going through your metrics in Seller Central.
By doing this first, you’ll build a strong picture of what’s working, what can be scaled, and where you’re losing money.
Something else to consider when optimising a campaign is seasonality. Amazon shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a great way to reach more customers and drive your sales, but they can also impact both targeting and bid strategy.
Optimising an ad campaign on Amazon is where PPC experts come into their own (and often where the art of great PPC starts).
7. Test and optimise.
Closely linked to point 6 above, testing your ad campaign allows you to maximise your PPC spend on the areas that work, and avoid wasting money on the areas that don’t.
There’s no secret formula when advertising on Amazon – what works for one product may not work for another. PPC experts will often spend time each day testing and optimising their campaigns.
It’s only when you test that you progress, and scale.
“If you double the number of experiments you do per year you’re going to double your inventiveness” – Jeff Bezos
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Written by Uros Urosevic | 08 November 2021