Conquering Amazon PPC is shifting from an elective skill to a prerequisite for success as a seller. In the not-so-distant future of selling on Amazon, the arms race for dominating a market will likely be through advertising.
Because PPC is transitioning from the elective stage, it’s still a facet of selling that gives many sellers headaches. But fear not, and try to view this as an opportunity, not a roadblock. By gaining PPC knowledge and experience now, you can distance yourself from the competition for short-term gains and long-term dominance.
To help, we chatted with Sumner Hobart, an Amazon PPC maestro who has utilized PPC to power his business and change his life through FBA. Tune in as we pick his brain to break down Amazon PPC tips and tricks on your way to advertising like a pro!
Get to know Sumner and his story of how selling on Amazon helped transform his life. (0:00)
Selling via FBA has changed so many lives, helping them live out their dreams through entrepreneurship. We say hello to Sumner and get to know his story from his experience before selling on Amazon, how he got into it, and how he turned it into a rewarding career and lifestyle.
When should sellers start running PPC campaigns? (5:22)
One common refrain we’ve heard from sellers considering making the leap into PPC is that they don’t think the time is right. We chat with Sumner to hear about his path in PPC and how sellers can know if they’re ready or not to introduce their product to ads.
What goals should sellers new to PPC be considering to determine success? (14:30)
Not all campaigns are created with the same goals in mind. Sumner explains the primary objectives behind PPC campaigns, and discusses what steps you take to accomplish these goals through ad campaigns.
Sumner shines a light on which campaigns outside of the norm should sellers examine in PPC and how to put them into place. (26:34)
After explaining some of the basic PPC campaigns, we dive a little deeper with Sumner on more niche campaigns. While the basics are tried and true, sellers can find more success and learn more about their performance by getting a little more creative ith their campaign structures.
Does driving external traffic play a role with PPC? If so, how can a seller integrate it into their strategy? (44:37)
Over recent months, the emphasis on driving external traffic has been further incentivized by Amazon. In terms of overall strategy, the ability to drive traffic from outside of Amazon continues to rise as well. Building a following on social media, growing an email list of potential customers, or driving traffic through ads from Google, Facebook, TikTok, or other spaces outside of Amazon can be extremely valuable.
Sumner breaks down how driving external traffic and PPC can go hand-in-hand to strategically grow and scale your Amazon business to new heights.
A huge thanks to Sumner for chatting with us and sharing his expertise. You can stay in touch for more helpful FBA gems by connecting with him on LinkedIn, or pick up tricks of the trade through his selling courses.
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Over the past couple of years, TikTok has skyrocketed in popularity. Here’s how you and your Amazon business can create ads to leverage its growing user base.
During TikTok’s rise, many Amazon sellers were understandably wary about investing time and money into advertising on TikTok. Social media apps don’t pop up as frequently as they once did. Social media sites are notorious for being here today, and gone tomorrow.
When a newcomer to the social media scene pops up and experiences success, it doesn’t take long for the social media giants to integrate the new popular feature into their site to eliminate any advantage newcomers may enter with. Vultures were circling around TikTok when government intervention threatened the app’s livelihood in the United States.
With so many responsibilities on an Amazon seller’s plate, they don’t have the time to become well-versed in an app that may have the staying power of the fidget spinner.
After it all, TikTok still stands tall.
With over 600 million users and steady growth, TikTok is the most downloaded app of 2021 and remains a heavy hitter in social media with a growing advertising platform.
And in case you were ever questioning the investment of time, energy, and money into advertising on TikTok, Amazon’s recent Brand Referral Bonus Program adds an extra incentive for those who drive sales from outside of Amazon.
So how can you start creating TikTok ads to boost your sales and take advantage of the bonus program? Let’s take a look at the ad types, how to monitor ad performance, and some tips for getting started.
Ad Placement Options on TikTok
At the time of this post, there are five types of ad types for advertisers to choose from on TikTok.
Users encounter in-feed ads when scrolling through videos on the “For You” page, which caters content to the user’s viewing history via TikTok’s algorithm. These ads contain a call-to-action functionality, so you can urge users to visit your web store, download your app, etc.
Considered prime digital real estate, TopView ads appear when users open up TikTok and boast sight, sound, and narrative functionality. Because of this, they are generally very expensive and more commonly used by prominent brands.
This ad type appears for users when first opening the app and stay true to TikTok’s initial idea with a 3-5 second, sound-off video. Exclusive to one advertiser per day, Brand Takeover ads are ideal for increasing brand awareness.
For these ads, the entire screen becomes clickable to an external or internal destination of your choosing. Designed to be rare, these ads are likely infrequently used by Amazon sellers with the exception of mature brands with larger storefronts.
Branded Hashtag Challenge
There’s a decent chance your first exposure to TikTok came via the app’s challenges, which go viral frequently. These challenges typically give users a template to create fun, shareable content. Perhaps the most successful example of the power of the app’s challenges is the song “Old Town Road” by Lil’ Nas x.
The genre-bending song and its easily distinguishable sound provided fertile ground for viral videos, which helped catapult the catchy song into the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for 19 consecutive weeks.
These ads appear via in-feed video, a featured banner on the Discovery page, and on a special page for Hashtag challenges, where users go for content ideas. Up to 15 seconds in duration, these sound-on ads help increase brand awareness and have limitless potential for engagement.
A unique type of advertising, Branded Effects ads provide digital stickers, filters, and special effects for use in videos. Essentially, brands create their version of a Brand Kit for users to use in their content. When used, it allows your brand to be added for easily shareable content by TikTokers.
Whichever ad type(s) work best for you are dependent on the goal of your campaign, targeting structure, size of your business, and budget.
How Do You Get Customers To Amazon?
Engaging content, a click-worthy product, and Amazon Attribution!
When setting up your advertisements on TikTok, be sure to utilize Amazon Attribution.
Amazon Attribution is an advertising and analytics measurement solution that gives marketers insight into how their non-Amazon marketing channels across search, social, video, display, and email impact shopping activity and sales performance on Amazon. With these insights, you can discover new ways to grow your business on Amazon by optimizing experiences off Amazon.
In order to benefit from the aforementioned Brand Referral Bonus Program, the ads must utilize tracking from Amazon Attribution. These links will help measure impact, optimize your strategies based on results, and improve your planning on future campaigns.
At the moment, Amazon Attribution is exclusively available to professional sellers enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry in the United States, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
Tips for Creating Ads That Generate Engagement
While it’s every brand’s dream for products to catch on via TikTok, one of the most challenging aspects is the lack of control on the internet. All you can do is great ads that best represent your business and hope it connects with viewers. But once it’s done and sent out, who decides what goes viral amongst the endless amount of content?
With that said, there are a few general rules to consider while creating ads that are more likely to connect with an audience for the right reasons.
Since TikTok is largely a youthful audience, it can be tempting to overcompensate with ads that can end up with cringeworthy results.
If there’s any audience that can spot an imposter or a brand trying a little too hard, it’s younger people. More than most target markets, the youth know when they’re being lied to or when they’re being used.
Of course, you’ll want to stick with the fundamentals of advertising and “speak the language” of your audience. Stay true to your brand voice without coming off as fake or inauthentic to ensure your message is well-received.
Make It Interesting, Quickly
TikTok’s penchant for quick content even birthed the term “The TikTok Generation” when referring to Gen Z or younger audiences with dwindling attention spans. If it isn’t interesting quickly, then it gets tuned out quickly.
With this being the case for content users choose to watch, it’s even more true for ads placed in front of them. Don’t waste time setting up a big payoff in your video, or else it will alienate a significant chunk of users who will be counting the seconds until they can swipe away.
Start off with a bang to capture the user’s attentiveness, educate and entertain afterwards, and finish with a strong call-to-action to close the deal.
Use Attractive, High-Quality Visuals
Since many users create content using only their cell phone cameras, it may appear the barrier to entry is low. Anyone with a decent cell phone can create a video.
However, the bar for production value has been upped a few notches. With light rings, camera stands, and various other recent inventions to upgrade the visual and sound quality becoming more commonplace, don’t cheap out on your production.
Attractive aesthetics and pleasant sounds are the standard for desirable content on the app, so ensuring it meets and surpasses the viewer’s expectation is the bare minimum to draw them in.
Track Your Results and Optimize
As with most new ventures, hitting some speed bumps as you get started should be expected no matter how much research and effort you put in. While researching before making the leap into TikTok advertising can remove or minimize mistakes, you’ll quickly learn what works and what doesn’t work for your product in TikTok’s environment.
Tracking and monitoring key performance indicators and results can go a long way towards optimizing your long-term ad approach. Replicate what works and diagnose why certain ads aren’t delivering peak results to optimize your ad performance.
Work With The Experts (Influencers)
As always, it’s never a bad idea to work with those more knowledgeable than you. If you’re brand new to TikTok, one way to mitigate your lack of experience can be getting in touch with an influencer who makes sense within your niche.
For Amazon sellers, there may never be a more rewarding time to start advertising on TikTok than now. With extra traffic and sales, the Brand Referal Bonus Program incentivizing sellers with extra money, and a growing advertising platform, this is a prime opportunity to start advertising on TikTok.
Sign up for TikTok for Business, set up those Amazon Attribution links, and formulate your content strategy to become the next viral hit and start raking in the money!
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Amazon Advertising has exploded in usage and importance for Amazon sellers in the past few years. As the Amazon marketplace continues to grow, the stakes for understanding, implementing, and executing Amazon PPC strategies into your business have never been higher.
Although Amazon launched its advertising platform in 2012, it has grown recent years. In a short amount of time, Amazon has placed itself behind only Google and Facebook for digital advertising market share.
With so many shoppers heading online, Amazon sellers can transform their business with advertising by attracting more visibility than ever before.
However, since it’s a relatively new advent, it’s a topic most sellers don’t feel comfortable adding to their marketing mix. And we understand! With so much to learn, where do you even begin?
At times, learning about Amazon PPC can feel similar to learning advanced math or a foreign language. In a way, it’s a mix of both, with formulas and equations that determine your success and terminology that exists in a world of its own.
While this may sound daunting, it’s actually a little easier to understand than you might think. Whether you’re just beginning with PPC and need to speak the language or just want to reference an unfamiliar term or two, feel free to use our glossary and explainer for popular PPC terms!
Advertising placement is where an advertisement is displayed. On Amazon, ads are commonly shown on mobile and desktop. Found at the top of search results, alongside search results, product display pages.
The maximum amount of money that can be spent on a campaign. If you set a daily budget at $25, this means you will not spend more than $25 for the selected day.
The amount that an advertiser is willing to pay for each click. On Amazon, sellers can choose between automatic or manual bidding.
The most common PPC tactic for how customers will discover your ads. Whether through automatic or manual targeting, sellers can target specific keywords that customers utilize in search to find products.
Often confused with keywords from a PPC perspective, search terms within Amazon reports (and PPC tools like Kinetic) refer to where your ads appear.
In short, the Keywords refer to what you’re targeting while Search Terms refer to where your ads are being delivered.
Demand-side platform (DSP)
An Amazon software platform that enables advertisers to programmatically buy display, video, and audio ads on and off Amazon.
Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS)
A metric used to measure performance, efficiency, and profitability of Sponsored Products ad campaigns. You can calculate ACoS by dividing Total Ad Spend by Total Sales.
For example, if an advertiser’s ACoS is 30%, the seller paid 30 cents for every dollar made.
Target ACoS (TACoS)
Not the delicious Mexican treat, unfortunately. Target ACoS, or TACoS refers to advertising spend relative to total revenue generated, while including organic revenue. While ACoS utilizes only spend and revenue numbers that are directly related to advertising, TACoS includes organic revenue to apply a more holistic perspective to your promotional efforts.
Return on Ad Spend (RoAS)
A prominent benchmark across digital advertising, RoAS is the inverse of ACoS. Instead of measuring the cost of a sale, ROaS represents the dollars earned per dollar spent.
An action that a customer completes; this phrase can be used to refer to any number of actions, including clicking “Add to Cart,” completing a purchase, etc. Generally, this measures how many times your ad ended with the desired result.
Measures the frequency that your advertising campaign ends with the desired result.
Specifically, the average cost you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. To find out your CPC, divide the amount of money spent on an ad by the number of clicks it receives. Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands feature CPC ads.
As a whole, CPC can be a mutually beneficial relationship between Amazon and the seller, as sellers only pay for ads that receive a click.
Click-through Rate (CTR)
The percentage of ad impressions that are clicked as compared to the entire number of clicks. The standard calculation for CTR is (clicks/impressions) x 100.
Metric used to describe customers purchasing your brand/product for the first time on Amazon over the past year. These metrics estimate the cost of engaging new customers on Amazon and identify the most efficient channels and tactics to achieve their campaign goals and are popularly used in comparison with repeat customers for brands to better understand their customer acquisition vs. customer retention paths.
A campaign or targeting type where Amazon decides when and where your ad is displayed. Automatic campaigns are convenient for their ease of use and the data gathered through Amazon, but take control out of the seller’s hands.
Since automatic targeting campaigns are made programmatically, they can occasionally lead to running ads for odd keywords or unrelated products, which can cause less efficient campaigns.
The counterpart to automatic campaigns, manual campaigns put more control in the advertiser’s hands, allowing more strategy in campaigns. Sellers can select competing or complementary products or keywords for their product to appear for.
The total amount of money allotted to advertising efforts on Amazon.
Not TACoS or tacos, Target ACoS refers to your profit margin before advertising divided by target profit margin after advertising. This number will vary from seller-to-seller and determined by the various costs of making your product available.
When it comes to advertising on Amazon, there’s plenty to unpack. We break down the three main ad types for third-party sellers, highlighting the ways you can ensure your products get the visibility they deserve.
Much has changed about Amazon in recent years, but arguably no aspect of the platform has advanced more than advertising on Amazon.
Before Amazon Advertising becomes even more critical to sellers’ success, every Amazon seller should be aware of the opportunities in the Amazon Advertising Console.
No matter if you only sell one product or manage an extensive catalog, Amazon Advertising could be the key that unlocks the next evolution of your online business. But understanding what ads are, how they can scale your business to new heights, and which ad type is best for you must come first.
What are Amazon ads?
Much like the typical advertisements you see on billboards, television, or between YouTube videos, Amazon ads are a way for brand owners to gain exposure and visibility by paying for premium digital real estate.
As we know, exposure and visibility are the heartbeats of being profitable. If customers can’t find your products, they can’t buy them! But standing out among the millions of products on Amazon isn’t easy.
Amazon Advertising is pay-per-click (PPC), so sellers only actually spend if it’s increased visibility.
Of course, as the old saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink,” meaning the visibility doesn’t inherently lead to a sale. Undoubtedly, a strong product and an appealing product listing are foundational selling elements that cause turn clicks into conversions.
The benefits of PPC are far-reaching but primarily break down to getting discovered, increasing sales, and controlling costs in the process.
Product and brand visibility constantly ranks among the most critical topics for sellers. Advertising provides an outlet for sellers actively seeking more exposure for their brand or products.
As previously mentioned, the pay-per-click model ensures you pay only for advertisements that are seen. Since you place the bids and set a budget, you never pay more than you’re willing to spend. Once you know your margins and get a solid understanding of your conversion rates, you can place bids accordingly to maximize your profits and scalability.
As a whole, the advent of advertising on Amazon solves many issues simultaneously. Even better, all sides benefit when adequately performed. Sellers pay Amazon for valuable digital real estate. Shoppers are shown products they’re looking to purchase, and sellers profit as those sales accumulate.
Additionally, there are tertiary benefits of advertising, some of which can be directly measured and others that are indirectly impacted. Organic rank remains the holy grail for Amazon sellers, and it’s very likely that you’ll notice your organic keyword rank improve as you gain purchases through via PPC.
For example, if you sell coffee mugs and customers purchase your product through an ad they found when searching for “cute mugs”, you may see your organic rank for “cute mugs” boosted as a result.
Once you’ve successfully registered, you can find it within your Seller Central account under the Advertising tab. When hovering over the Advertising tab, a dropdown menu should appear. Next, click on the Campaign Manager option in the dropdown menu.
From there, select the “Create campaign” button, and you’re ready to start advertising!
The 3 Primary Amazon Ad Types
Amazon Sponsored Products
Mission: Improve visibility of individual products with ads that appear in search results and on product pages.
In all likelihood, Sponsored Product ads are the ad type you’ve been most exposed to on Amazon.
With Sponsored Products, there are two unique ways to set up your campaigns that determine where your ads will be displayed.
Automatic-targeting ads: This targeting method leaves the heavy lifting to Amazon. Similarly to Amazon’s algorithm scanning a product listing to find keywords to index and rank for, Amazon automatically decides which keywords and/or products a product will appear under in an ad.
Manual-targeting ads: A more hands-on approach, where the seller decides which keywords or products to compete for through bidding.
For manual-targeting campaigns, sellers can bid on the placement of their ads in two ways:
Keyword Targeting lets you be seen in search results for desired keywords and is a way to generate traffic through search. Ideally, these keywords are relevant and accurate to your product for maximum conversions. For even more strategy execution, sellers can choose between exact match, phrase match, or broad match depending on how targeted the campaigns will be.
Product Targeting allows you to be displayed on a product detail page of another product and generate traffic from complementary or competing listings. For example, if you sell peanut butter, you may want to be displayed under competing peanut butter listings, or you may visible under an item that is frequently purchased with peanut butter, like jelly.
It may be best to run automatic targeting ads and let them run for 7-10 days with a budget you feel comfortable with when starting. After the campaign has ended, dig through the reports to view performance by keyword or ASIN, and utilize that data to set up manual campaigns.
Viral Launch’s Kinetic PPC tool helps with each stage of Sponsored Products. Featuring unparalleled Amazon data, easy-to-read reporting, and helpful campaign templates, Kinetic PPC is perfect for creating and managing Amazon ads like a pro!
Mission: Boost brand awareness with your logo and a customized headline in ads that appear in search results.
Formerly known as Amazon Headline Search Ads, Sponsored Brands advertisements promote entire brands. Sponsored Brands ads allow for three formats to choose from; product collection, store spotlight, or video.
A typical product collection ad showcases a company logo, a slogan or tagline, and up to three products at a time for customers to view. If the customers likes what they see, they’ll click on the product that stands out and be led to the product detail page.
This allows larger brands that specialize in a product market to build brand awareness and showcase multiple products at once.
Similarly, store spotlight ad types look similar but drive traffic to a storefront or subpage within a storefront.
Sponsored Brand videos present a unique opportunity to tell your brand story and at the same time, showcase how or when your products are used. Unlike other video ads such as Facebook, the videos default to autoplay, ensuring your ads are seen.
Know your audiences — Your content should be educational, demonstrative, and product-focused.
Show your product — Research shows that videos that feature the product prominently within the first second typically perform better than those that don’t. Do not waste your chance to engage shoppers by fading in from black or starting with an empty frame. Hook them from the start!
Keep it brief and focused — Amazon recommends keeping the video length between 15–30 seconds to relay your message and hold customers’ attention. Limit your content to just a handful of key selling points to ensure your message is received.
Optimize for the format — This video unit auto-plays without sound and runs inline in the search results with no option to go full screen. Your videos should work without sound, and you’ll need to ensure that on-screen text can be easily read on a mobile device and isn’t obstructed by the user interface that is positioned within the video area
Consider the loop — Once this video ends, it will automatically loop. Consider adding an end card to allow for some breathing room, or get creative and make your loop seamless.
Amazon Sponsored Display
Mission: Grow your business by reaching relevant audiences on and off Amazon using this self-service advertising solution.
The most recent addition to the Advertising Console, Sponsored Display ads currently offer the unique opportunity to advertise on and off Amazon.
Brand registered sellers can choose from two targeting options: product targeting and audiences.
Like Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, sellers can run product targeting ads. In the same fashion as the other ad types, sellers can pinpoint competing or complementary products. Regarding strategy, it’s best to target competing products that your listing has an advantage on. Review quantity or quality, price, or a lack of captivating creatives are prime indicators to look for when hunting potential product targeting victims.
On the other hand, Sponsored Display audiences are a method of reaching customers with high buy-intent. Through Amazon, Twitch, IMDb, and Prime Video, Amazon tracks shopper signals such as interests, lifestyle, in-market, and life stage.
Without a doubt, this consumer information is PRECIOUS for highly targeted, highly efficient ads. At the moment, audience ads are the only way to advertise through Amazon outside of Amazon’s digital walls, as they’re displayed on third-party websites and apps.
Generating exposure remains absolutely critical to longstanding seller success. For the foreseeable future, advertising appears to be the best bet to earning visibility and driving profitable sales.
As Amazon Advertising continues to grow, sellers that master advertising will be handsomely rewarded. Those who don’t will be facing an uphill battle against sellers picking up cost-efficient sales in droves through PPC. With record-setting revenue growth for Amazon and a system that rewards all who participate, Amazon Advertising is here to stay.
Now that you know the three main ad types feel free to take the next steps! If you’re ready to start advertising, best of luck on your PPC journey. If you could stand to learn more, enroll in our FREE Amazon PPC Playbook today!