Amazon Product Targeting: What It Is & How to Implement an Efficient Campaign Today!

Amazon recently released new targeting options for Sponsored Product campaigns that will have a major impact in your business in 2019. The new Product Targeting Beta lets Amazon sellers choose specific products, categories, brands, or other product features to target placements for your Sponsored Ads, changing the way you manage your advertising campaigns. This long-anticipated targeting option can be implemented to help shoppers find your product when browsing detail pages and categories, or when searching products on Amazon.

When creating a manual advertising campaign, the new targeting selection can be found just below your bidding options in Seller Central. Look for it under the “Targeting” header and select the “Product targeting – BETA” bubble.

Why Should I Use Product Targeting?

Product Targeting allows a seller to target individual ASINs or Products for ad delivery instead of keywords.  Sellers can now be very specific and controlled with their ad placement by delivering only on the products they choose to target. This narrow targeting can be used to build efficient sales history early on in your advertising campaigns. When deciding how to place and deliver your ad, Amazon will look at its historical performance relative to the market. Having an early track record of efficient sales history will benefit your ad delivery, ad costs, and ad placement in the future.

Which Products Should I Target?

There are several factors to consider when determining which and how many products you should choose to target with this new feature. These critical selections are dependent on the competitive features of your product and the desired positioning and marketing strategy.

Historic High-Converting ASINs

If you have run auto campaigns in the past, download a search term report and sort through the ASINs your ads delivered for. Find any ASINs that have converted profitably in the past and analyze the listing. Determine whether you have a better offering by comparing price point, review count and rating, value offered, etc…

ASINs Where You Have a Better Offer

Another method of finding ASINs to target is by searching the main keywords for your product, analyzing the search results, and hand-picking products where you have a better offer. Look for higher priced products, listings with poor review ratings or listings with fewer reviews. Objectively, if you have a better offer, that ASIN is likely worth testing in a product targeting campaign. The goal is to target placements through which you can drive sales efficiently (both by volume and cost per conversion). Here are some criteria to consider when analyzing which ASINs to advertise on:

  • Price: Is the price of your product similar or better in comparison?
  • Review Count: How many reviews does your listing have compared to the market?
  • Value Offered: Is your offering similarly priced though offer a better value? Example: you sell a felt letter board that includes a bag to store the letters and advertise on another offering without the added value.
  • Content/Photos: Does the content in your listing and quality of your photos look more attractive than your competitor?

The objective is to find as many competing ASINs where customers are more likely to purchase your product. If you have a better price, more reviews, a better review rating or some combination of these, customers should want to buy your product over the ASINs you advertise on!

Also, consider the amount of traffic a listing is getting before adding it to an ASIN targeting campaign. You can use an Amazon product research tool to understand traffic relative to each ASIN in your campaign. Products that get more sales are almost certainly getting more sessions. If you are advertising on products that are getting more sales, your ads will likely deliver more frequently than on products that get fewer sales or are ranked lower in the organic search results.

Complementary Products: Products Frequently Bought Together or in Similar Markets

Another category of products to identify for product targeting are complementary products.  Complementary products are supplementary goods that are often bought together. These are products often shown in the frequently bought together section on product detail pages. The goal of targeting these products is to attract customers with a product they didn’t realize they needed. For example, targeting paint supplies if you sell painter’s tape, or targeting lawn care goods for your work gloves product. Hitting people already in the buying mindset with a complementary product can increase sales volume in a market your competitors aren’t prioritizing.

Example: Targeting a toothbrush with your dental floss or toothpaste product

Competitor Products

In markets where you want to conquest market share, target high-trafficked competitor products to take away sales that they would otherwise be receiving. This has a dual-benefit of driving sales volume and sales history for your product, as well as affecting your competitor’s sales numbers and efficiency. Price your product with a more competitively against a specific ASIN or high-ranking product and target their ASINs to drive sales velocity quickly.

Find Competing and Complementary Products with Listing Analyzer

Identifying which ASINs to leverage with Product Targeting can be a time-intensive manual process, but it doesn’t have to be. In one of our newest updates to Listing Analyzer, Viral Launch has released the Competing and Complementary Products Feature. Using the content of your listing and machine learning, our software will deliver a list of suggested products for you to capture in your Product Targeting campaigns. The competing and complementary products feature includes the ability to:

  • Discover complementary products frequently purchased together
  • Identify competitor products in your keyword markets
  • Sort and filter by products with high revenue and sales to maximize exposure

This new feature added to Listing Analyzer makes it quick and easy to get started with product targeting, saving you time by cutting down on manual research so you can make decisions quickly. To save even more time, utilize the filters feature to show only products higher priced than yours or ASINs with a lower star rating. This will instantly give you a list of ASINs that your product is likely to convert well for when advertising on! Try Listing Analyzer for free to see for yourself.

Defensive Placements

Along with capturing placements where you wish to increase your market share, it is equally important to defend the placements you already dominate. For sellers with multiple products and variations in their catalog, product targeting can be leveraged to target your own listings. By showing your own products on the detail pages of other products in your catalog, you can take up space on the “digital shelf” to suppress your competitors’ visibility. By defensively spending, you prevent other sellers from intruding on valuable retail space on your product listings. By targeting these placements with other SKUs in your catalog you may even be able to increase sales across those other products!

ASINS from Farming Campaigns

When starting your paid advertising campaigns, it is critical to frequently sort through search term reports, farm high performing search terms, and add them to your campaigns. When you go through these reports, you can see that your auto campaigns will oftentimes deliver for ASINs instead of search terms. An effective seller will continually target these ASINs that have converted and include them in their product targeting campaigns. These “farmed” ASINs from search term reports have the benefit of already being “proven” with a historical sales record of converting for your product. It is highly encouraged to include these ASINs in your product targeting to build sales volume with efficient placements.

It is important to also look at ASINs that have delivered for your campaigns and have not converted. Although no sales have come through these ASINs, they have received clicks.  Amazon has delivered your product for these ASINs, which means it is recorded as algorithmically relevant. Sellers should look at these ASINs and identify whether they have a better offer while also reviewing them for potential new markets for complementary products. Explore the products that show up in your search term results. Every offer you can beat is another opportunity for you to grow your market share.

Category Targeting

As well as targeting individual ASINs for your ad delivery, Amazon now allows you to target entire product categories and subcategories. These category targeting campaigns deliver for any product across the targeted category and within the customizable parameters you set.

Amazon gives you the ability to refine your category targets by specific brands, price range, and star ratings. With narrow refinements, you can reach a broader audience while staying within range of products you can compete against. The more narrow your refinements, the fewer product targets your ad will deliver.  

Category campaigns should be used in instances where you have a better offer than most of the market, or you can deliver for a wide number of products within your delivery refinements.  Category targeting is less efficient because of its broader delivery, but can be implemented to scale up your campaigns and expand delivery across more product targets easily. Again, these campaigns can be used as a method of “farming” new ASINs to target in your specific product targeting campaigns. Inversely, find ASINs that you deliver for frequently though don’t convert for. Category ads allow you to add negative ASIN targets to help mitigate inefficient ad spend.

Negative Product Targeting

Amazon also now allows you to add negative product targets in your product targeting campaigns. Select products that you don’t believe you can compete against and add them as negative targets to remove them from delivering in your ad campaigns. This will help you eliminate inefficient placements and improve ad efficiency.

Managing and Scaling Your Campaigns

As with every advertising campaign, it is important to monitor the data that comes through the listing. Eliminate products targets that spend and do not convert after spending past your profitability threshold. The goal of this strategy is to build sales quickly and efficiently. Treat ASIN targets similarly to keywords. Pause ASIN targets as they spend over your profitability threshold or those that don’t convert and allow the budget to flow through your most efficient targets.

When high-performing ASIN targets are identified, scale up your campaigns and grow your market share. Select the targets that are driving sales at a rate that spends a significant amount of your daily budget, make sure they are given the money they need to spend throughout the day. These campaigns should be profitable, so scaling the campaign should increase your daily sales volume at an efficient rate. This is where the real growth occurs. Keep increasing the budgets of your campaigns that perform the best for your business and drive the highest percentage of your sales volume. Your market share will grow and the results will speak for themselves.

Conclusion: Maximize Your Sales with Product Targeting

Product targeting provides some of the most narrow targeting options for Amazon advertisers. This new feature should be leveraged by almost every seller to build sales volume effectively and efficiently. The ability to select only the products you want to deliver on can grow your market share without sacrificing spend efficiency. Our Competing and Complementary Products feature in Listing Analyzer makes it fast and simple to get started with this new feature.  Integrate product targeting into your ad campaigns today and start growing the reach and maximizing performance for your Amazon business!

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Amazon Enhanced Brand Content: Your Complete EBC Guide

Amazon Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) is one of the most customizable tools in a private label seller’s marketing toolbox. With EBC, you can add your own creative touch to your product listing to build brand recognition with high quality photos, graphics and video.

Two of the largest challenges for private label Amazon sellers are differentiation and instilling buyer confidence.  First, your product must somehow stand out from the thousands of others in that market. Second, you must convince online shoppers that your product will fulfill their expectations, even though they won’t have the chance to see the product for themselves until after it arrives at their doorstep. Luckily for private label sellers, Enhanced Brand Content can help with both.

What is Enhanced Brand Content on Amazon?

Enhanced Brand Content is a simple way to visually enhance the product descriptions of specific ASINs in your catalogue. EBC is one of several marketing services available to private label sellers, though it is currently only available for sellers who are enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry. EBC is still in a “promotional period” and is free to use – though that may change in the future.

Enhanced Brand Content is your chance to share special details, additional information and instructions that do not fit in your main listing. EBC is especially useful for complex products, new or innovative products, and products in highly competitive markets.

Your EBC differentiates your brand from other brands in your market – generic and name-brand alike. Using consistent colors and fonts across your registered ASINs will increase brand recognition and provide a more coherent look across your catalogue. If you are competing in a crowded market, well-designed EBC could be the deciding factor between you and your competitors.

Consider the example below. Stackable steamer inserts is a fairly competitive market with not a lot of variation between products. Which stackable steamer insert do you think buyers will choose, if everything else is equal: one with a block of text, or one that visually informs the shopper through the use of infographics, cooking tips, and in-depth instructions for care? Any way that you can set your listing apart from competitors can help you claim more market share.

 

Though the copy is not indexed by Amazon, EBC indirectly helps your ranking by providing extra details that make shoppers feel more confident about purchasing, thereby driving sales, increasing conversions, and potentially decreasing the number of returns. To help your listing’s organic rank, remember to ensure complete optimization of your title and bullet points and add back-end keywords. EBC is indexed by Google, so do not forget to add alt text to images within your EBC modules to help rank higher in Google Search results.

How to Add Enhanced Brand Content to Your Amazon Listing

EBC can only be added to ASINs registered under your brand. In Seller Central, access Enhanced Brand Content under the Advertising menu and enter the SKU of the product you wish to enhance. If you choose a parent SKU, all variations will show the same EBC content.

Choose one of the 5 pre-made EBC templates or create a template of your own. Modules include text, images, images with text overlay, comparison charts, sidebars, highlights, and specifications.

You can use up to 7 modules per template, but you are not required to use them all. It is far more important to provide high quality relevant photos and informational content. If you decide not to use all 7, Amazon will automatically reformat the content to make up for the extra space.

Not every template will work with the type and amount of content you have. For example, if your product has detailed instructions, choose a text-based module. If you have several infographics you’d like to use, choose a template that favors large images. You can always preview how the content will look and make any necessary changes before submitting to Amazon.

Consider using an infographic instead of a text block to share information in a visually engaging way.

Photos or graphics must be equal to or smaller than the maximum size allowed per module. Text can be bold, italicized or underlined, and can include bullet points and numbered lists. Some content will cause Amazon to reject your submission, including but not limited to:

  • Contact information including addresses or numbers
  • Blurry or low quality images
  • Images with unreadable text
  • Warranties, guarantees, boastful comments or promotional claims (like “cheapest pepper grinder on Amazon” or “#1 best selling item”)
  • Use of copyright, trademark or registered symbols
  • Grammatical errors, punctuation errors, misspellings, strings of all-capitalized words
  • Any violations to Amazon’s Terms of Service or Selling Policies

Amazon will approve or deny your submission within 7 business days. If denied, Amazon will include suggestions on how to edit your content to remove violations. If approved, your EBC will go live on the product’s detail page. You can submit up to 20 templates for review at a time.

Adding Video to Enhanced Brand Content

As of summer 2018, brand registered sellers can also add video content to brand registered ASINs. Video content appears with the main images tiles at the top of the listing. Short videos are a great opportunity to assure buyers that your product looks and acts as you say it will, and to share information with buyers who will not take the time to scroll down for the rest of the EBC. You do not need EBC in order to add video, but the more information you can provide buyers, the better.

Add video the same way you would add EBC: choose an SKU under Enhanced Brand Content in Seller Central, and then click Upload Video. Amazon may reject your video submission if it goes against their content policy. Once your video is approved, it will appear in your product listing in a few hours.

Final Thoughts on Amazon Enhanced Brand Content

There is no single marketing strategy that guarantees overnight success, but combining Amazon Enhanced Brand Content with other proven marketing strategies can help you perform better in the long run.

Here at Viral Launch, we want to provide you with all the information you need to become a successful Amazon seller. For more on Amazon selling strategies, we encourage you to subscribe to our blog, check out our Youtube channel, and listen to our Follow the Data podcast.

5 Amazon Marketing Tricks For FBA Sellers

Recently I was having a discussion with a new FBA seller regarding his Amazon marketing strategy. The frustration in his voice was clear as he tried to communicate how difficult it is to differentiate products in a crowded marketplace.

As he spoke about his competitors and their vast Amazon advertising advantages, I gently reminded him that all of the market research and software tools available to his competition is also available to him. So why wasn’t he taking advantage?

Expert Amazon Marketing Tips for Putting Your Product on the Path to Success

The reality is that more than any other time in modern history, the marketing playing field has leveled. Because of this, even new Amazon sellers can leverage everything from social media to market research software to source new products and market them to the masses.

In this post, we will explore 5 key techniques for marketing your product on Amazon and how to apply them most efficiently and effectively. Set your product —and yourself— apart from the pack.

But before we begin, keep in mind that the techniques we are about to cover must be used together. No single marketing trick can put your product on the road to long-term success. The combination of Amazon specific advertising, general marketing and old-fashioned persistence is the tried-and-true way to go.

#1. Maximize Exposure Using Amazon PPC and Sponsored Ads

One of the easiest ways to market your product on Amazon is by maximizing your listing’s exposure. Amazon uses a system called Cost Per Click Advertising or CPC. Some people also refer to this as Pay Per Click or PPC. Basically, Amazon places your ad in search results and product pages based on your chosen keyword bid. Anytime your ad is clicked, you are charged.

This is unlike some other forms of online advertising where you pay by impression instead. Facebook utilizes this type of advertising, called PPM, and advertisers pay a specified price for every 1,000 people who see the ad.

PPC marketing campaigns are easy to set up and made to work within your specific marketing budget. Before starting a PPC campaign, you need to research your product’s market in order to establish an estimated budget. This process is vital because certain product’s click prices differ depending on market saturation and competition for high-ranking keywords.

Source: Amazon

Running a PPC Campaign

There are a variety of tools to help you determine what the cost of an effective PPC campaign might be. As their names suggest, the Viral Launch Product Discovery and Market Intelligence tools both offer valuable insight into your product and your product market. Use these tools to identify high-value keywords to bid on.

Amazon will also recommend a bid price to make the process easier, especially for beginners. Once you have set your bid, Amazon will post your listing’s ad using your selected keyword(s).

Where Will My Amazon Advertisement Appear?

Once you have created a PPC campaign, your listing will appear at various places within the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) depending on what type of device you are using or how many products you are promoting.

For example, if you have 3 or more branded products within the catalogue, you have the option of purchasing headline ads. These ads, which appear at the top of the search results page, showcase at least 3 products from your brand.

PPC ads can also appear within the “sponsored products related to this item” section located above the review section of a listing. This is a great way for you to showcase your product alongside competitors while leveraging advantages such as superior photography or price point.

 

 

The “related to” section of the SERP is also an effective way for sellers to feature their products alongside more established name brands or best sellers.

Along with headline and related items postings, PPC ads are often featured within banner ads on sites other than Amazon. These offsite advertisements are a hugely effective way of exposing and marketing your listing to customers who may be in the market for similar products.

Though Amazon does not reveal the particulars of their targeting algorithm, it is clear that they use the most advanced techniques in demographics and micro-targeting to get products in front of customers who are most likely and ready to buy.

Pro Tip: Budget for Success

When considering how to establish your PPC strategy, it is vital that you develop a detailed budget. Managing the balance between your sales volume, margins, and promotional budget is key to developing long-term success without over/under spending.

Carefully review reports and make adjustments as necessary. Understanding the following metrics will also help you get a feel for how you’re doing:

  • Impression: The point in which a product is viewed once by a visitor or displayed once on a webpage and found by the number of times the page is located and loaded.
  • Click-Through Rate: Commonly abbreviated as CTR, this metric is found by dividing the total number of clicks by its total number of impressions.
  • Conversion: The point in which a user purchases a product.

These metrics can help you determine which words can be omitted from future campaigns, what words are generating the most interest, and what is working well and should be left alone.

#2. Consider Enhanced Brand Content

One of the major drawbacks to the Amazon SERP is the overwhelming amount of information and text on the screen. To really catch a customer’s attention, you need standout copy and photography.

Because of this, more and more sellers are turning to the “advanced” material of EBC, or Enhanced Brand Content. Amazon has recently added a slew of new options and easy-to-use templates to its EBC program.

To qualify for this service, sellers must be approved as brand owners through the Amazon brand registry process. Sellers can also qualify for EBC through managed selling programs such as Launchpad or Amazon Exclusives.

Improve the Look of Your Listing with EBC

Once your products have been approved, you can begin to explore the various options and templates available. Regardless of which layout you choose, all Enhanced Brand Content designs allow sellers to expand upon the photos, text, and graphic content within their existing listing.

EBC listings have multiple options for improving your branding content and presenting a more editorial approach to advertising. These options include the ability to include large, graphic photographs with branding staples such as logos and custom fonts. Implementing EBC can help you develop a stronger brand and product presence. There are a ton of EBC examples out there, and many are really well done and making a big difference in differentiating the brand.

Pro Tip: Use Video to Your Advantage

One of the most effective trends emerging in Amazon marketing is the use of demonstration and 360-degree videos. These short 30-60 second video clips are a great way for you to display and feature your product while literally describing its use. The primary advantage of demonstration videos is their ability to add voice-over and visual complexity to your listing. This combination allows sellers to spotlight unique features, display build quality, and show the scale of their products. This can also be used to help explain any product quirks or warnings before those idiosyncrasies lead to bad reviews.  

A 360-degree video has the unique feature of being able to expand upon flat detail images while rotating products in order to see all angles, colors, and textures. This simple yet effective technique gives you the ability to show, not tell, and create a deeper connection to the product.

#3. Develop an Email Follow-Up System

A key component to effective Amazon marketing is pinpointing who is buying your products and attempting to forge a long-term relationship with that customer. A common technique for achieving this goal is establishing an email list and developing a system for following up with customers via this connection. Though Amazon does not divulge personal email addresses to sellers, you do have the ability to forward follow-up emails to your customers.

Amazon provides sellers the chance to send customers emails in order to lend feedback or pose additional questions. These emails are an often misused chance for you to reach out directly with buyers while continuing to reinforce your brand message and provide personalized customer service. However, there are 2 key mistakes that sellers often make in their emails.

Mistake #1: Timing

Follow-up emails are more often than not sent too quickly after a purchase. You want to give customers time to experience your product and develop a thorough opinion of the quality and function. Current marketing research indicates that the best time to send your initial follow-up email is between 5-7 days after the customer receives the product.

Mistake #2: Tone

The second mistake sellers often make is the tone of their follow-up email. Many sellers tend to take on a rather desperate or self-deprecating tone in their follow-ups. I’ve read many emails that can take on the air of desperation, often going on and on about how important your review is or how in order to make a living they desperately need your review. This can be very off-putting to customers. Rather than taking on this tone, we recommend to be direct and concise with your email, appealing to a customer’s questions or needs rather than your own.

#4. Manage Your Marketing Workflow

Once you have written a quality follow-up email, managing your customer outreach strategy is key. Even a minor degree of Amazon success brings with it the requirement for some automated system or software to help you manage your marketing workflow. A number of different services exist to assist you with this process. One such service is called Feedback Genius from Seller Labs.

This service allows you to upload multiple emails for your entire catalogue of products. Once emails are uploaded, the software helps you manage your scheduling, delivery and response process. You’ll now have more time to focus on other aspects of your business.

#5. Include a Customized Card Insert

A rather simple but often misused marketing tactic is the inclusion of a customized card insert. Card inserts can be made in all shapes and sizes and take on a variety of different tones or layouts. The fundamental goal of insert cards is to capture a customer’s personal email address in order to continue to market your products. Keep in mind a huge mistake that sellers often make is the attempt to use card inserts as a tool for review mining. This process is now strictly forbidden by Amazon.

In recent months, Amazon has become more and more aggressive in the regulation of this practice. Giveaways or bonus products offered in exchange for a review are strictly prohibited and can lead to the suspension of your account. This being said, card inserts can still be used in a variety of useful ways.  

A few key elements to keep in mind when developing your inserts are proper graphic design and clear, easy-to-read text. Sellers often dwell on what they perceive to be ornate or visually stimulating design and neglect the fundamentals of good advertising and communication.  

Start Your Amazon Advertising Today

As you can see, Amazon advertising can be a major tool in your e-commerce success. Not only does it allow your product to be seen by more shoppers, but it can also help to improve your organic search rankings so you begin to appear more naturally in searches. This could mean more sales and growth for your Amazon business. That’s the goal, right? Start advertising today and see where it can take you!

And, as always, Viral Launch is here to help you in your Amazon journey. For more tips on Amazon advertising and selling strategies, we encourage you to subscribe to our blog, check out our Youtube channel, and listen to our Follow the Data podcast.