Corey Gary is Viral Launches amazing Demand Generation Strategist and Advertising Manager. This guest post written by Corey highlights the importance of E-commerce and Advertising in how they go hand in hand.
I started my career in Digital Marketing as an Analyst at an agency located in New York City. I joined an account with separate teams for programmatic, paid social, and E-comm. Since we rarely communicated with each other, I felt siloed and inefficient.
A few years and a few clients later, I’ve worked across almost all facets of Digital Marketing. I’ve run Display & Video as well as Search & Social ads. There have also been opportunities to buy programmatic podcast ads and CTV (connected TV ads). I also purchased a programmatic Digital-Out-Of-Home campaign where the vendor claimed they could change ads at a bus stop based on the interests of the people walking by. We ran this campaign before iOS 14.5 and increased privacy regulations.
Working on a channel-agnostic team of digital marketers not only rounded out my Working on a channel-Agnostic team of digital marketers not only rounded out my skill set but was best for the client’s expanding needs. Having multiple types of marketers on one team helped us own all stages of the digital marketing funnel.
Awareness campaigns matter for E-commerce and Advertising.
Awareness campaigns are excellent for large brands, but how about those small Amazon start-ups who don’t have millions of dollars to spend on billboards that connect to the Metaverse? That’s where e-commerce advertising is essential. Buying for conversions is where marketers can gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns. E-commerce advertising becomes essential once a consumer is familiar with a brand. As a consumer, if I allocate myself $150 for a new pair of running shoes, I can choose between big brands such as Nike or Adidas and Asics. Or, I can shop with up-and-comers like On and Hoka. These two shoe brands are agile and efficient in their digital marketing. Both On and HOKA have extensive running shoe digital marketing campaigns while the big brands are nonexistent on the SERP (Search Engine Landing Page).
As a consumer during the evaluation process of the marketing funnel: I decided to allocate my $150 depending on a wide range of criteria such as cost after taxes & shipping, quality of the product, reviews, merchant (Amazon or EastBay), and color. For the digital marketer on the other end of the purchase, yes, people buy running shoes based on color, guilty as charged.
The seller can optimize their ads to account for all these criteria to meet the customer when they’ve allocated time to research and budget. It takes time for the Digital Marketer to A/B test which ads perform best on a specific channel. Here’s one example.
On Amazon, an ad for the keyword [running shoe] could perform vastly different than an ad for the keyword [racing running shoe]. The first keyword is for buyers who want a running shoe but aren’t necessarily intense runners. However, [racing running shoe] clarifies that the buyer could be participating in this year’s New York City Marathon in addition to their local Turkey Trot. Viral Launch has expert-level keyword analysis software to help e-commerce marketers discover the best keywords to target for their online advertisement.
Conversions mean results.
So, why is it essential that all Digital Marketers learn E-commerce Advertising? Conversions drive business results, and ultimately the purpose of marketing is to have a positive return on investment. Marketers can spend all day ideating grand awareness campaigns. Still, conversion marketing is where CMO’s can go to stakeholders exclaiming, “look at how my campaigns drove an increase in sales with a positive.
Learn what to expect, how to navigate, and where to start when mastering an Amazon PPC tool.
As Mark Twain once said, the secret of getting ahead is getting started. But in many instances, getting started can be the most challenging part. Especially with the amazon ppc tool.
That much is certainly true regarding Amazon PPC and software designed to simplify and add sophistication to Amazon’s advertising platform. Amazon Advertising is still very much in its early stages. There should be no expectation to know where to begin.
So we’re here to help guide you in the right direction. To provide a basic knowledge of the Viral Launch advertising platform. You will know where things are, what to look for, and what’s included. Everything else begins to make much more sense.
Just like we must learn to walk before we run, you’ll need to understand the basics of Viral Launch’s PPC automation and management tool. Then, you’re free to start implementing advertising strategies that take your business to the next level!
You’ll need to set up a Viral Launch account that includes access to Viral Launch’s advertising platform, Kinetic PPC.
Sign up for our FREE Amazon PPC Playbook. With training from experts guiding you through all steps, you can perform PPC like a pro and dominating on Amazon!
Once successfully added, you’ll see your storefronts and ASINs within your account. Additionally, we strongly recommend setting up your landed unit cost and target ACoS within Kinetic. While admittedly tedious, doing so pays off in the end to fully experience the benefits. We’ll explain more on that shortly.
Campaign View vs. Product View
Once you’ve added proper authorizations, you’ll notice there’s not one but two ways you can view your ad.
Campaign View shows information for every campaign across all your products. It looks a lot like Seller Central.
Product View shows information per ASIN, so you can see how each individual product is performing.
For those familiar with Amazon PPC, campaign view offers a more familiar appearance. With souped-up features, embedded data reporting, and cutting-edge integrations from the Viral Launch software suite, it’s like the Amazon Advertising Console on steroids.
But Product View truly allows for innovative insights into their ads like never before. With Product View, you are able to view how your ads are performing at the ASIN level so you can maximize efficiency. Once you’ve added your landed unit cost and target ACoS, you gain the ability to pinpoint your campaigns to minimize risk and maximize your ROI.
Make Your Own Rules
One of the biggest roadblocks to Amazon advertising success continues to be monitoring adjustments. With all the duties placed on a business owner’s shoulders, monitoring campaign statistics and making changes at the right time can feel impossible.
Kinetic solves that problem with its ability to create rules to optimize your ads. Don’t know where to get started? No worries! Our handy pre-made templates can help get you started with understanding what rules you can create by providing the strategy behind them.
Set parameters to shut down underperforming campaigns or increase the budget for ads that are skyrocketing your sales to enact performance-based automations. That’s right. Kinetic’s by-the-minute monitoring and your personalized rules combine to stop losing campaigns in their tracks or reward winners with more ad spend.
You can set the rules to three different states of action.
Rules set as automatic continuously go into effect once the rule has been triggered. In this state, the rules you’ve created for a campaign will fire off whenever the conditions have been met. For example, if you create a rule that increases your bid amount for keywords with a low ACoS and place it on automatic, the rule will take action every time it’s applicable without any action needed from the seller.
Rules in a manual state work similarly to those in automatic. However, instead of the rule going into effect as soon as the conditions have been met, you’re notified within the tool without Kinetic making any changes. Once notified, you can review the rule that’s been triggered in the Activity History tab to decide whether or not to approve the action. As the name implies, this state is more hands-on.
In a paused state, rules exist without any action taking place as a result of them. Perhaps you’d like to experiment with rule creation but don’t want to trigger changes for your campaigns. Placing them in a paused state ensures that your work is saved, but there will be no automations or notifications regarding the specific rule. At any point, you can take paused rules off the bench and into the game by selecting manual or automatic with the push of a button.
With Kinetic, your campaigns can literally make desired real-time adjustments while you sleep! If you prefer a more hands-on approach for your ad campaigns, you can do that too. Featuring the option to do either,
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Get Familiar with Your Keywords and Search Terms
On top of the ability to create campaigns at the ASIN-level with customizable rules to more effectively carry out your goals, this Amazon PPC tool collects extensive reporting for a clear view into your ad performance at the keyword level.
The Keywords and Search Terms tabs within Kinetic display critical metrics that better informs your advertising strategy and tactics.
In Seller Central, you have to run a report for a particular date range, export it to Excel, add a series of filters and try to understand where it’s actually delivering and look for opportunities to improve the targeting. Kinetic simplifies this process, giving sellers the power to dig deeper into their data and make changes to optimize their campaigns.
While many make the mistake of using these words interchangeably, a very important detail differentiates these two Amazon buzzwords. In short, the Keywords tab is where you’re targeting, while the Search Terms tab presents only where your ads are delivering.
This view helps to consolidate all of the keywords you are targeting and allows you to see how the keyword is performing, and what campaigns are contributing to that.
Search Terms Tab
The Search Terms tab can save you loads of time in understanding where your ads are delivering. Once you’re using an Auto campaign, or broad and phrase match targets, your ads can deliver for a wide array of customer search terms.
In short, the Keywords tab shows keywords are targeting, while the Search Terms tab presents only where your ads are delivering.Your Search Terms report will show you a list of keywords that have garnered at least one impression, along with a bevy of metrics that gauges performance.
Now that you have a better lay of the land, taking your business to a new level is within reach! Register for a Viral Launch account today and start your 14-day free trial to turbocharge your FBA efforts.
Every day, more Amazon sellers make the smart decision to start incorporating advertising into their seller strategy. Unfortunately, many get their Amazon advertising experience off on the wrong foot, committing costly blunders. Learn good Amazon PPC management from the experts!
At Viral Launch, we specialize in assisting sellers through each and every stage of their Amazon selling journey, and PPC is no different.
For that reason, we pay close attention to our customers, Amazon news and updates, and the pulse of the Amazon seller community. Amazon has ramped up the importance of advertising over the past few years, and is impacting Amazon sellers now more than ever.
Due to this, we’ve witnessed many seller mistakes or flawed teachings within the community.
Since Amazon PPC management can often seem like a foreign language to sellers, often don’t realize these mistakes until it’s too late. That’s why we’re here to clear the air to discuss a few common mistakes and why you should avoid them.
1. The “set it and forget it” fallacy
Contrary to what some in the industry say, good Amazon PPC management isn’t set up for “set it and forget it” strategies. As much as we hate to be the bearer of bad news, there are simply too many variables involved for a campaign to run unattended.
Ignoring your campaign performance once it’s gone live is wasteful at best and downright dangerous at worst. By monitoring campaigns regularly, sellers can recognize trends and optimize accordingly.
Now, thankfully, Amazon advertising doesn’t need to be monitored too closely. You don’t need to agonize over your data reports every few minutes or hours. But we do recommend checking in daily, especially early on in your campaign lifespan.
Of course, as you make strategic adjustments and allow your campaigns to run, less changes will be needed. But it’s paramount that sellers understand that PPC is a process.
If we’ve learned anything about the Amazon seller community, it’s how fiercely competitive sellers can be when it comes to their business. Undoubtedly, at least one of your competitors is meticulously monitoring their campaign performance so they can make tweaks that give them the edge.
Sellers who view PPC as a “set it and forget it” aspect completely miss the point and are practically begging for competitors to take a larger market share.
2. Not doing enough homework
At all stages of selling on Amazon, performing intelligent, data-based research is necessary for success. So why do some sellers seem to think they can run sustainably profitable campaigns that maximize success without doing their homework?
Sure, sellers likely know their high-performance keywords, but PPC is a different game. Many sellers think they know what they’re doing when setting up campaigns, but sellers who do thoroughly intensive research know what they’re doing.
What are your margins? Which keywords would be most beneficial to run ads for? Should you add negative keywords to avoid wasteful spending? Are there any competing listings your listing performs well for in product-targeting ads?
These are only a few of the many strategic questions sellers should take into consideration before crunching the numbers to find tactful answers.
Viral Launch’s Kinetic PPC Tool allows you to implement data, strategy, and profitability rules into your ad campaigns. Sign up for your free trial to avoid these Amazon Advertising mistakes!
3. Disregarding strategy or structure for your ads
Often, PPC rookies decide to test out advertising under the impression that if you spend money, sales will come in. But without strategy or structure into those campaigns, they’re likely doomed before they begin. Whether it stems from foolishness or a lack of understanding, the result ends the same.
For the most part, ad campaigns should be created with two goals in mind.
To Drive Profitable Sales Nobody ever lost money taking a profit. Sellers emphasizing profitability are simply looking to make sure they aren’t spending too much for a sale to be profitable. Their most important metric is likely Average Cost of Sale, or ACoS, with a focus on it being as low as possible.
To Improve Organic Rank While less popular, this is an excellent strategy for sellers more focused on long-term growth. In this strategy, sellers largely ignore ad profitability in the short term as they’re looking to drive in sales for keywords to boost organic rank. As we know, organic rank remains the best way to position your listing for sales. Sellers who utilize this strategy are prioritizing long-term profitability over short-term gains.
Why not both?
In a perfect world, sellers can do both. But due to competition for highly valuable keywords, it may not be profitable to appear for keywords with the highest search volume. In this case, sellers who want to drive profitable sales should likely pursue lesser-used keywords at a lower cost. Those who prioritize organic rank may embrace short-term inefficient spending to rank higher and cash in on organic sales.
Within these strategies, there are a few different campaign structures you can utilize to achieve your goals. Not knowing how or why to structure campaigns to achieve your goals makes advertising a long and unnecessarily circuitous hassle.
4. Not taking advantage of the unique targeting methods
Each seller, product, and market are unique. Because of this, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for your product’s success.
Luckily, there are a few different targeting methods and ad types sellers can choose from to find which ones are right for them. However, sellers often don’t explore all the options that exist for them to become PPC rockstars.
Although we certainly understand time and money are not in abundance for sellers, take a little time to study the different ad types available to you. Amazon Advertising has grown exponentially in recent years, and as a result, Amazon has made countless advancements in this space.
With new features appearing in the Advertising Console somewhat regularly, it’s rare that sellers have turned every stone in the search for PPC success. Dedicating the time to learn and experiment can go a long way towards staying ahead of the curve and gaining an edge over your competition.
Especially for beginners, finding the right balance of budget, keywords, and ad groups can be difficult. Even worse, beginner mistakes can cause sellers to avoid PPC altogether instead of knowing where things went wrong.
While you certainly don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on your first campaign, setting a budget to $5 or $10 a day isn’t going to lead to enough sales or exposure to draw any insight worth applying in the future. Not giving your campaigns the resources to succeed will ensure they don’t.
Regarding doing too much, sellers can often put too many keywords into a campaign without the budget to support it. If you prefer to start small, that’s perfectly fine and likely savvy. But starting small with budget should likely be coupled with starting small with keywords.
Additionally, sellers frequently apply the “helicopter parent” mentality to their campaigns. As we mentioned earlier, paying close attention to your campaigns is recommended, but hyper-focusing on them can lead to more problems than it solves. Be sure to let your campaigns run long enough to develop a statistically significant sample size before making tweaks. Constant tinkering before campaigns have run long enough is tempting, as data informs the seller. But without a sizable sample, making changes can be a result of being misinformed instead of uninformed.
Finding the perfect balance may take time, but sidestepping these common Amazon advertising mistakes can put you on the fast track for success.
Wrapping It Up: Amazon PPC Management
The five highlighted Amazon advertising mistakes are only a few of many common errors that can affect sellers. We hope you avoid them all and skyrocket your business to new heights.
To learn more about Amazon PPC management, sign up for our free Amazon PPC 101 course!
Through a recent update in Sponsored Display campaigns, sellers gain an even greater opportunity to skyrocket sales and expand advertising beyond Amazon.com.
For the past year, advancements in Amazon PPC advertising have been an integral part of creating a more sophisticated selling process. One of the latest of those advancements, Sponsored Display Audiences, makes it easier than ever to target customers with high buying intent inside and outside of Amazon.
While Sponsored Display ads are nothing new (they were launched in 2019, replacing Product Display Ads), the addition of audience groups and remarketing enables sellers to break down the digital walls of Amazon for highly targeted, far-reaching ad campaigns.
With Sponsored Display ads, you can bolster your brand presence across channels to stay in the minds of customers. And with Amazon Audiences, you can zero in on customers more likely to complete a purchase for a more efficient ad spend.
What audiences are available?
For this section, we’ll let Amazon tell the story with excerpts from the official overview.
Sponsored Display audiences is a display targeting strategy that uses Amazon shopping signals to help advertisers of all sizes grow their businesses and engage shoppers across the purchase journey—both on and off Amazon.
In-market: In-market audiences allow you to engage audiences who are “in the aisle” and have been recently shopping for products in a given category. To capture share-of-mind, you can reach audiences in the same category as your advertised products to drive consideration, as well as try out entirely new segments to help drive product awareness.
Lifestyle: Positioned for awareness campaigns, these audiences reflect a variety of aggregated shopping and viewing behaviors, including shopping on Amazon, browsing on IMDb, streaming on Prime Video, or streaming on Twitch. These behaviors reflect shared preferences and map to lifestyle segments such as “foodies,” “sports enthusiasts,” “tech enthusiasts,” and more.
Interests: Interest-based audiences allow you to help raise awareness with prospective customers based on what they frequently browse and buy. Examples of these audiences include “interested in Canadian history” and “interested in interior design.”
Life events: Life events audiences give you the opportunity to drive awareness and consideration for relevant products based around life moments, such as “traveling soon” for shoppers going on vacation
First, ensuring your products are seen by customers who are more inclined to make a purchase is always a tremendous benefit. By implementing Sponsored Display ads, you can increase brand awareness, drive traffic to a specific product, earn visibility on competitor listings, and kickstart exposure for new product lines.
By adding audiences to your Sponsored Display ads, you can prioritize customers more likely to add your product to their cart.
With the remarketing option, sellers can reengage customers who have looked at your product, but not made a purchase. At a very basic level, you can safely infer the customer is interested in your product and is still looking, ultimately increasing the likelihood of a purchase.
For the more analytically-minded sellers, you’ll love the refined reporting that comes with these campaigns. Relevant performance metrics include sales, click-through rate (CTR), and new-to-brand (NTB) statistics for each selected audience in your campaigns.
On top of boosting exposure and sales through these campaigns, the data mined could be even more valuable in the long run as you comb through the data on your customers.
Do Sponsored Display audiences actually work?
According to Amazon, absolutely.
Citing internal data, the e-commerce giant noted advertisers who integrated this display advertising strategy with Sponsored Products advertising saw a 4% higher month-over-month sales growth compared to if they only utilized Sponsored Products.
Furthermore, Amazon states the average customer journey on its platform is 6-to-7 days.
“The greatest ability is availability” is often said to describe the value of athletes who can stay healthy. But it could also be said about Amazon products regarding making your products available and exposed to shoppers.
With Sponsored Display audience ads, sellers gain control over how often their products are made available and prioritize who they’re exposed to. Frequently, business owners are tasked with deciding to either branch out to new customers or zero in on the existing target market. Sponsored Display audiences grant the option to pursue both simultaneously.
Of course, success will vary as sellers invoke their own strategies for audiences. Still, the data from Amazon’s case study is encouraging for sellers, and the fundamentals of selling certainly back up their claims.
Who has access to Sponsored Display Audiences?
Presently, Sponsored Display Audiences are exclusive to vendors, and Brand Registry enrolled sellers in the United States.
It should come as no surprise that sellers enrolled in the Brand Registry Program receive yet another perk for those paying close attention. As Amazon continues to add new seller features, those in the Brand Registry program have been receiving more and more tools to fuel their Amazon business lately.
What else should sellers know before kicking off their first campaign?
In its introduction, Amazon notes that this ad type is “retail aware.” This means the ads work in congruence with your inventory. For example, if you run out of stock and can no longer fulfill purchases, the ads will shut off automatically. As a result, sellers avoid wasteful spending and aren’t punished if their ads are incredibly effective.
Sellers will be happy to hear that creatives are automatically generated from your product page, so much of the ad creation process is already completed for you.
Additionally, applicable badges such as Prime-eligible, Deal of the Day, Best Seller, and more are made visible in these ads, giving customers even more reason to make a purchase.
Wrapping It Up
Sponsored Display audiences and remarketing opens up even more possibilities for Amazon sellers to build their brand.
As the Amazon Advertising Console seemingly grows more sophisticated each day, savvy sellers should certainly keep a watchful eye on the latest advertising features, trends, and tactics.
Lastly, the steady stream of new features to the Amazon Advertising Console should signal to sellers that PPC advertising will only continue to pick up steam. In the near future, it’s increasingly likely that advertising knowledge, strategy, and execution becomes more of a prerequisite for longstanding success in the marketplace.
On the centennial episode of Follow The Data, host Cam Yoder chats with Amazon ad expert Destaney Wishon from BetterAMS to discuss PPC tactics to crush holiday season and 2021.
Amazon advertising strategy is frequently cited as one of the most challenging aspects of running an FBA business. But this difficulty should be viewed as an opportunity, not a roadblock.
As the importance of advertising grows more consequential, knowing the tips and tricks to turn what is an impediment for many sellers into a sales and growth accelerator for your product catalog.
Not many have a handle on the latest Amazon advertising strategy hacks than Destaney Wishon, CEO and Co-Founder of BetterAMS. Thankfully, Destaney sat down to chat with us to share her extensive knowledge of PPC strategy.
With timely advice on what you should be doing right now, how to handle the holidays, and what the near-future of Amazon advertising may look like, you’re not going to want to miss out on this invaluable information!
3 Key Holiday Season Differences for Amazon Sellers in 2020 (2:25)
On and off Amazon, 2020 has been a year like no other. If you’re an experienced seller, using reports from 2019 can be helpful. However, there are a few major differences to consider when strategizing for the rest of the year and into 2021.
Is your Amazon advertising strategy outdated and in need of a revamp? Destaney gives her valuable insight on why narrow ad spend isn’t enough anymore.
How to steal traffic from big-name players (11:10)
More and more major brands are coming to Amazon, but this doesn’t spell defeat for third-party sellers. On the contrary, it presents strategic opportunities to steal traffic and sales from major retailers.
On using remarketing post-Black Friday for sustained gains (14:20)
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in the rearview, but you can still capitalize on that traffic! Destaney presents the strategy to boost sales from the exposure supplied by Black Friday and Cyber Monday throughout the holiday season.
Using new headline search policy to attract sales (17:08)
As any experienced seller knows, Amazon is continuously changing and evolving. In the busy day-to-day process of selling on Amazon, some of these changes will be overlooked by the competition. Staying up with the latest Amazon updates gives you an edge over your competition. Destaney explains a recent advertising update, and how you can use it to your benefit.
Over the past year, Amazon has provided even more advertising tools for sellers. As these tools mature, advertising figures to be even more prevalent in the marketing mix. Destaney breaks down a few critical advertising elements that all Amazon sellers should be implementing into their foundational advertising.
A special thanks to Destaney for joining the show and sharing her Amazon advertising strategy expertise! Keep up with BetterAMS on their website or Facebook for even more helpful information and solutions.
If you want to be a successful Amazon seller, you have to get your products in front of the right buyers. That’s a fundamental truth. But when you consider that more and more product views are coming from sponsored listings, it makes that goal a little more complicated.
Not to worry. Consider this your go-to guide for Amazon PPC — one of the most effective ways to get potential customers to view your listings.
For starters, what is Amazon PPC? Let’s cover the Amazon PPC basics. It is a pay-per-click advertising platform that helps sellers make it easier to get eyes on their products. The seller pays a fee each time a customer clicks the ad and views the seller’s product page.
Types of Ads on Amazon
There are three different types of Amazon PPC ads that sellers can use. In order to have the most effective Amazon PPC strategy, you need to choose the one that’s right for your products. Here are the different PPC campaigns and when you should use them:
Sponsored product ads promote a specific product to shoppers who search using specific keywords or view similar products. These are best for targeting a single item within your catalog.
Sponsored brandads promote a collection of products to customers using keywords. These are best when you want to promote a group of products that fall under the same brand.
Sponsored display ads promote a product on sites other than Amazon. These are best for targeting customers who have shopped for similar items.
How to Do Amazon PPC
When you’re setting up your PPC ad campaign, Amazon will walk you through the process step by step. First, you’ll have to choose from the list above to sponsor a product, a brand, or a display. Then, you can choose which product or products you want to promote and set the budget and time limit for your ad campaign.
These choices seem simple, but choosing wisely will help you optimize your Amazon PPC strategy for the greatest return on your investment. When launching a product, it’s unlikely that your PPC will be profitable at first, so you should view it as an investment in future growth. Balance the budget according to a reasonable advertising cost that you’re financially comfortable with.
How Much Does Amazon PPC Cost?
Amazon recommends a daily budget of $10 for PPC ads. It’s also a good idea to leave your end date open. Combined with automatic keyword targeting, this will give your product the greatest chance of being seen by potential customers whenever they shop. If you’re sponsoring a brand, you can also add a logo and a custom headline.
For larger PPC campaigns, you can choose to build an Amazon store. A wide range of prebuilt templates, tiles, and widgets make customizing your store easy, even if you don’t have any previous experience building websites. Once you’ve created your campaign, shoppers will start seeing and clicking on your ads.
Amazon PPC Tips and Tricks
If you’re sponsoring a single product, your ads will launch as soon as you finalize the campaign’s setup. Sponsored brands and stores will launch after a short moderation review period. In any case, there are several factors that impact how soon you’ll begin seeing a return on investment from the campaign.
The ultimate goal is to be as price and review competitive as the page-one performers. The more data you collect through your PPC campaign, the more precisely you can tailor future efforts to build more profitable campaigns. For each one, remember to follow these tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of your efforts:
1. Focus your keyword strategy. Data from your PPC ads will show you which keywords are bringing in the most conversions. But keyword performance can be erratic sometimes, so make sure you’re tracking that data regularly. Shift your focus if a keyword becomes less profitable, and focus on targeting the ones with high conversion rates more aggressively.
2. Position your ads strategically. The data your campaign generates can also show you where your ads consistently deliver the best conversion rates. With this information, you can position your ads for the most strategic value.
3. Budget for enough time. Amazon PPC campaigns are not meant to be overnight successes, which is why you should never set an end date during the setup. It takes time for Amazon to figure out the best way to deliver your campaign. Be patient, and as the campaign’s performance improves, so will the data you collect.
4. Measure more than one metric. PPC involves many different metrics, so you shouldn’t judge performance on a single one. One bad metric doesn’t mean the entire campaign is ineffective. Instead, make decisions based on the overall performance of the campaign.
What makes any ad campaign work is understanding how to reach potential customers most efficiently, which means understanding how they shop on Amazon. Amazon PPC ads give you access to the infrastructure and data you’ll need to gain that understanding faster. Now that we’ve covered the Amazon PPC basics, it’s time to learn more. Enroll in the FREE Amazon PPC course today.
After launching a new product and implementing strategies to generate reviews and early sales, in time, you will have established a great foundation for long-term product growth. At this point, it’s time to begin building on that foundation to achieve favorable keyword ranking and drive considerable sales growth. You can achieve this with an aggressive Amazon growth strategy.
Though you may have a mountain to climb to make your listing the ‘top dog’ in your category, the beginning of this journey is the slowest and most difficult part. Now that you’ve laid the groundwork for a successful product, it’s time to start implementing tactics to accelerate your momentum.
You still may have a ways to go before you can consider this product a success. However, after you’ve gathered some initial reviews and are driving some sales, that momentum can be utilized to continue growth with the following Amazon growth strategy tactics.
Establishing a low price is a great metric for generating sales in the early stages of a listing, providing a tangible value proposition to lure price-conscious buyers away from your competition. That said, while it’s critically important that you price appropriately for the market, you may have not started at a price which provides you with a healthy margin for profit.
Considering that Amazon is first and foremost a search engine for products, ensuring that you’re favorably ranked in search results should be your key objective. In order to rank well, you need to sell well. Keep this in mind when experimenting with price.
Assuming that you’ve gathered a reasonable base of reviews and that you’re consistently driving some sales, you may be able to experiment with different pricing options.
As you’re able to position your product more competitively in the market, the instinct may be to immediately raise your price to the ideal level. That said, your conversion rate may still be relatively price contingent, meaning that you can experience a steep drop-off in sales. Additionally, Amazon’s algorithms are typically not favorable towards dramatic price swings and a steep price increase can sometimes result in a loss of buy box control (even if you are the sole seller on the listing).
Instead, it’s recommended that you slowly step-up price over a longer duration while closely watching your performance and conversion metrics. The main priority is to retain forward momentum so if you start to see sales engagement decline as your price rises, you may consider reverting to a low price or experimenting with coupon offers as a means of maintaining your progress.
While you may have more flexibility in pricing as your listing matures, sales velocity and ranking should still be at the forefront of your mindset. Selling more units at a thinner margin should trump your price point in order to continue to establish your listing in the market. This is once again an instance in which you should be thinking about the long-term Amazon growth strategy for your product.
Aggressive PPC Tactics
Assuming you had established some advertising campaigns shortly after launching your product, you should now have a foundation of data from which to more aggressively pursue PPC. While the purpose of PPC in the early phases of your listing was to gain some visibility and give your product the opportunity to sell, as your Amazon product listing becomes more established, that growth strategy should begin to shift to more aggressive tactics centered around driving ranking.
The endgame of establishing and maintaining favorable SEO ranking is the listing’s ability to obtain a growing quantity of organic sales. Because of this, it’s important to review your campaigns in tandem with organic performance.
To provide some perspective, prior to e-commerce, if a brand wanted to advertise their product, they would purchase a tv/radio/print ad and develop a message to be distributed through the channel. In order to gauge the value of that investment, they would need to review sales data to see if there was a correlation between their advertising and an increase in sales.
When advertising on Amazon, you’re able to see an exact return on your advertising spend (ACoS). While this is a great metric to review, it’s easy to get fixated on this spend amount. If your ACoS is high, it’s an easy justification for ending your campaign. The problem is that ACoS doesn’t show you the full impact of your advertising efforts.
It’s also important (and contrary to Amazon’s position) to note that Amazon is not an adequate platform for driving brand awareness. Because PPC provides you with very limited creative capability, it’s exceptionally hard for a private label seller to establish an adequate brand voice. Some of this can be done through social media engagement and more traditional advertising tactics but your on-Amazon growth strategy should be focused on SEO and sales rather than trying to build a base of loyal customers.
At this stage in your product’s lifecycle, it’s important to begin to compile high performing keywords to focus ad spend on while simultaneously understanding the less tangible benefits of advertising. Attention should be placed on both maximizing profitable revenue from easy wins, and developing strategic tactics to advantageously position you across your entire market.
When spending on advertising, rather than thinking of it in the context of spending to increase sales, it can be valuable to understand it as buying data from Amazon. When you allow an advertising campaign to run, you’re able to collect a large amount of information about how shoppers perceive your listing. By using your advertising reports as a resource, you can better understand what keywords are most effectively luring buyers to your account and how to more efficiently direct your spend.
Assuming that you’ve been running automatic, discovery, and product targeting campaigns, you should progressively be collecting a large amount of data around your campaign performance. To access that data, you’ll want to download advertising reports from the Business Reports tab in your seller central account.
There are different types of reports which provide different information but one of the most valuable is the Search Term report for sponsored products. From this data, you can determine which keywords are driving sales and how effectively.
As you collect more data through the use of PPC, you should begin to isolate terms that convert well for your product. These terms can be the basis of developing effective and profitable campaigns. Essentially, if a keyword is consistently generating sales at a relatively low ACoS, there can be some assumption that it will continue to perform in that manner. It’s important to note that you’re still going to want to regularly review the data to ensure that it’s maintaining performance, but if keywords are consistently performing at a profitable ACoS, you can assume that they will continue to do so.
In these instances, breaking these keywords out of your automatic or discovery campaigns and placing them in their own manual targeting campaign with a dedicated budget can be advantageous. In this way, you can ensure that a dedicated budget is being implemented to drive a continuous return. Ideally, performance for the keyword will remain stable, meaning that you’re effectively putting one dollar in to get two dollars out.
If this trend continues and ACoS continues to be profitable, the next step is to simply ensure that the campaign isn’t running out of budget on a daily basis. If you’re running out of budget on a profitable campaign, it means that you’re missing the opportunity to maximize sales and revenue from it. That said, the number of impressions that your ad receives is contingent on how frequently a term is searched. For lower volume keywords, a term may only be searched a few times per day, meaning that your ad can generate profitable sales, but not at a high volume. Essentially, this means that there is a limit to how much you actually can spend when directly targeting a keyword, but assuming it’s profitable to do so, it’s advantageous to make sure you’re maximizing that potential.
Ideally, in time, more of your budget will be tied to singular high performing keywords, effectively playing to your strengths and driving a decent volume of profitable sales. As you drive more sales, your listing will continue to climb in ranking, accumulate reviews, and establish a extensive sales history. This may afford you opportunities to convert better and gain more relevance with higher volume search terms for which your product previously didn’t perform as well for. In other words, as your product receives more reviews and is better positioned in the market in terms of competitiveness, you may consider running advertising on higher volume and more competitive search terms.
Search Engine Optimization
The first benefit of advertising (beyond the direct sales driven through your ads) is that it contributes to Amazon SEO. Typically, and while sales obviously have a stronger impact, any engagement with a listing positively impacts keyword ranking. An accumulation of clicks, add-to-carts, and sales in time will help to drive your listing closer to the top of relevant search results. This is especially true when your ad is engaged with through a specific search term. However, keywords that get an excess number of clicks with few to no orders will likely result in negative rank movement. Simply spending hundreds of dollars inefficiently on a single keyword is not the magic bullet to rank improvements; you must convert for the term as well.
While it’s not advisable to spend money blindly on inefficient campaigns, when monitoring keyword ranking improvement and organic sales growth alongside campaign performance, you may find that there is a net benefit to a campaign with a higher ACoS. A keyword tracking tool such as Keyword Manager can be extremely helpful for monitoring ranking changes in correlation with ad spend.
Spending to Facilitate Organic Sales Growth
Along with driving organic ranking for your product, advertising spend can in-turn influence organic sales growth. This somewhat follows the logic of traditional (pre-Ecommerce) advertising.
While obviously, establishing better keyword ranking establishes better visibility in the market, which correlates to more organic sales, there is also the less calculable idea that running advertising increases your visibility with consumers. Because repetition influences mental processes, it’s possible that by running advertising, a shopper may overlook your paid ad spot but end up purchasing after viewing the organic listing. In this way, PPC can partially function similarly to a billboard.
Additionally, while this happens more heavily with higher cost products, it’s common for shoppers to browse and consider a purchase over a period of time. As a result, it’s possible that shoppers are viewing (and possibly clicking on) your ads without making a purchase at that time. At the point where a purchasing decision is made, it’s possible that they would click on your organically ranked listing and/or searched for your product directly.
Defensive Ad Spending
Particularly in instances where you’re performing well and/or have enough of a brand presence where people search directly for your brand or products, using ads as a defensive measure can be an effective way to maintain market share.
When a shopper is searching for a product, on any given page there is a limited number of ad spaces available. Though you may be in an advantageous organic positioning for some of these terms, aggressively advertising can be an effective way to suppress competition and ensure a better probability that your product is purchased. With this tactic, the focus may not be on profitable spending (particularly though the campaign performance itself) but rather as a method of affirming broad performance for your product by dominating the paid digital shelf space.
Especially in instances where you have several products that are relevant to a search term, defensive ad spend can help influence shopping decisions by establishing high visibility for your brand. By holding multiple ad spots within the search results, repetition can help to lure buyers into exploring your brand more thoroughly while simultaneously preventing others from gaining the same degree of visibility.
Putting in the effort to source a product strategically, thoroughly research the keyword market, and lay the foundation for sales and review generation should put you in a position to eventually reap the rewards of your hard work. With that context, at this stage in your listing’s life on Amazon, you can begin to shift your growth strategy to more aggressive tactics. By reviewing your performance and campaign data, you can begin to isolate profitable keywords which you can exploit in order to maximize profitable revenue while simultaneously looking at the total influence of PPC spend with relation to organic sales and ranking.
Using these tactics, you can begin to push your listing to visible and favorable ranking position, grow your organic sales potential, and attempt to minimize the visibility of your competition.
These Amazon growth strategy tactics will, in time, help to drive a listing from the back of the catalog to a major contender in the market. While this process can take time, money, and effort, this long-term strategic play will eventually help a listing to truly dominate the market.
By maintaining some aspects of the traditional school of thought on the benefits of advertising while also appreciating the depth of data that PPC provides, advertising on Amazon can provide you with a wealth of advantages in a congested market.
You’ve spent countless hours researching markets. You’ve found a product and a supplier to make it. You’ve ordered samples, finalized the design and packaging, researched the keywords, built an awesome listing, and now your product is finally live on Amazon.
In the endless sea of products being sold on Amazon, it’s unlikely that your product will magically float to the top, but you also need to take steps to ensure that it doesn’t sink to the bottom.
Further keeping with the metaphor, Amazon’s sea can be cruel and unfair, but it demands respect. Established products frequently have reviews that were purchased or incentivised, providing a continued advantage over the competition. Today, several sellers still obviously violate Amazon’s thorough and complicated policies in an effort to get a leg up on their competition. There are regularly new tactics and services to buy reviews, influence metrics, and sabotage listings, and while some sellers seemingly exploit these options with impunity, Amazon does serve as an aggressive judge, jury, and executioner when black-hat tactics are discovered. In the blink of an eye, Amazon can shutter your store and revoke access to their marketplace, and it’s not uncommon that honest sellers find themselves caught in Amazon’s net and hit with account suspensions. Despite all of this, Amazon’s dominance over e-commerce continues to grow, providing unparalleled opportunity for sellers.
Assuming (and highly recommending) that you are playing by Amazon’s rules, when launching a new product, you’re faced with the task of cutting through all of the more established competition to get your product in front of customers. While it’s hard to definitively prove, and while you shouldn’t expect a major influx of sales, it’s commonly believed that Amazon does provide a ‘honeymoon period’ to new products, in which they are given a bit of a boost in visibility and performance to help them gain traction. That said, it’s important to implement every tactic possible to drive sales in the first few weeks of activity. If you are unable to drive any account activity, in time, your poor sales history can begin to weigh on your product’s ability to gain favorability with Amazon’s search engine.
The following article will walk you through the first actions that should be taken when launching a new product. Whether you’re a new seller with your first product, or simply adding an additional listing to a large catalog, these universal strategies can help you to build the necessary foundation of sales and ranking traction to succeed long term.
The first step in developing an effective strategy for launching a new product on the Amazon marketplace is to develop a deep understanding of your competition. When releasing a brand new product, your listing will have no reviews or sales history and your competition may be well established in the market. Therefore, it’s likely that in a head-to-head comparison, your competition is going to have the upper hand.
That said, there are a number of tactics that can be implemented to either circumvent your competition or exploit their weaknesses. In order to do this, you must first understand your competitors and how they are interacting with the market. Using Competitor Intelligence, you can easily analyze the tactics of your competition to build a thorough strategy.
The primary benefit of Competitor Intelligence is that it provides you with in depth keyword data for a competing listing. This data enables you to view relevant keywords for the market in relation to their performance. You can see the listing’s organic ranking and advertising rank (PPC positioning) for each keyword, alongside search volume metrics, opportunity score, and relevancy score.
By comparing search volume to organic ranking and ad strategy, you can start to develop an understanding of what keywords are driving the bulk of sales for your competitor and see an overview of where they’re focusing their advertising budget.
Along with this, you can also observe the keywords that your competitor is not indexing or ranking for. This data can also be important as you may be able to note keywords which are being overlooked, implying that these search terms can be efficient opportunities for driving additional sales!
You’re also able to select and track individual keywords in order to receive updates on rank change, indexing changes, etc., allowing you to quickly adapt to any fluctuations in the market or strategy of your competitor.
On the Product Analysis page, you can directly compare metrics with your competition while reviewing historical trends. With a new product, this data can be a quick and easy method of understanding any competitive advantage that you may be able to emphasize in order to persuade buyers.
When first launching a new product, you will have no reviews and no sales history. While your product may be the best product in the market, you will have no explicit advantage over established product listings.
Although you can (and absolutely should) implement quality images and use your copy to highlight features that demonstrate superior value or quality in comparison to your competitors, ultimately the search results on Amazon provide shoppers with:
This means that your ability to provide a complete value proposition to potential shoppers is relatively limited. Through this lens, one of the easiest ways to begin to build traction for a new product is to start off by pricing competitively.
Setting a product’s price point below your competition is one of the best methods to draw sales away from more established listings. While it’s very unlikely that your product is review competitive, and similarly unlikely that you will have better ranking than much of the competition, appealing to value can help to draw in more budget minded shoppers.
The social proof provided by reviews helps to provide quality assurance to shoppers, meaning that even if your product is objectively better, a competitor’s review status makes their product less of a risk. Because of this, beating your competition on price provides an alternative comparable tangible value, which has the potential to objectively influence sales.
While it can be a difficult decision for any brand owner to cut into their profit margin, one of the most fundamental mistakes that a seller can make is thinking in the short term. It takes time, effort, and money to build a business. You may not obtain the expected return from your first run of inventory, but taking measures to steadily gather sales in the early stages of your product can be a strategic investment to build a foundation for long term success.
Although traditional business rhetoric would suggest that lowering your price immediately tarnishes the perception of premium branding, this is not the case on Amazon. In a crowded marketplace with limited control over your brand’s messaging, a low price is a powerful asset for driving traffic to the listing.
Keep in mind through this stage that your price is not permanent. As your product begins to gain momentum, you can start to raise price until you hit the amount that you’re ideally shooting for. That said, it’s important to understand that the market dictates price. While you (more or less) have the ability to sell your product at any price you wish, the overall field of competition really establishes the fair market value. At every stage of your product’s lifecycle, it’s crucial to consider this when deciding on your selling price. In order to sell effectively, you will always need to remain competitive with the market.
Additionally, testing a few price points can be worthwhile. In certain instances/markets, an aggressively low price may work against you as it can create the perception that a product is of lower quality. For instance, an extremely low price and no reviews may be a cause for caution with an ingestible product such as a supplement. It’s important to make sure that you’re monitoring data to ensure that you’re getting improved click through and conversion rate (unit session percentage) to develop evidence to support the effectiveness of your price point.
Also, lowering price alone will not help to put your product in front of consumers. It will only help persuade shoppers to select your listing over a competitor. You need to combine a low price offer with marketing and advertising strategies to drive sales. For these reasons, it’s extremely important to make sure that you’re monitoring performance. If you’re failing to keep a close eye on performance and the overall effects of any variable changes on Amazon, you could be missing out on critical data to help you sell more efficiently.
Providing a value appeal to shoppers can be an effective strategy in response to the review quantities of competing products, but that still begs the question: How do you generate reviews?
Prior to an October, 2016 change to Amazon’s terms of service, building a base of reviews was a simple process. Sellers could simply give away a quantity of products to receive ‘honest, unbiased reviews’, effectively buying a review base. However, in time, consumers and (probably more importantly) news outlets, began to notice that a vast quantity of products being sold on Amazon had massive quantities of reviews that appeared to be purchased or positively influenced, thus implying that consumers cannot trust the statements that are intended to provide them with quality assurance. Because Amazon very transparently prioritizes customer experience over all else, they quickly enacted policies to forbid any incentivized reviews as a response to the criticism.
Unfortunately, sellers quickly learned that typical shoppers don’t leave reviews, meaning that this policy change quickly created a divide between established products with large review quantities, and new products which were subject to organic review growth rates.
Review generation, however, was (and is) an extremely important aspect of selling successfully. Practices for driving fraudulent reviews continues to be driven further and further underground; with Amazon playing cat and mouse, enacting stricter policies and liberally doling out account suspensions.
Reviews are a social currency on Amazon and a review quantity and rating alone can largely make or break a product listing. Like any blackmarket good or service, where there is demand, there are entities who look to profit through offering a supply. To this day, some sellers do venture into black-hat tactics to drive reviews, or use reviews to sabotage competition. And while some sellers are able to slip through the cracks, Amazon typically catches up and dispenses swift justice.
As a (hopefully) honest seller, who is looking to avoid the Amazon’s punitive wrath, opportunities to compliantly stimulate review growth are limited, but extremely valuable.
Entering Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program is the best way to quickly get a start on your review generation. This program was seemingly developed by Amazon as a means of compensating for their strict policy changes by allowing new listings some opportunity to gain momentum. The Early Reviewer Program is eligible to SKUs that sell for more than $15 with less than 5 reviews. Amazon charges $60 per SKU and will run their program for a period of one year, or until five reviews are generated. Through this period, shoppers who purchase the product will receive an email from Amazon offering a $1-3 Amazon gift card in exchange for a review on the product.
While it’s not a magical solution to make you review competitive, the Early Reviewer Program is an affordable opportunity to help get a new product listing started. This small advantage enables you to establish some social proof to help sway customers.
Beyond this, and while it’s somewhat of a grey area with regards to Amazon’s policies, sellers also utilize product inserts and email follow-up campaigns to generate reviews.
With either of these tactics, it’s critical that you utilize completely unbiased language and stay away from statements implying or steering the customer towards positive feedback (ex.: “If you love our product, please leave us a review on Amazon.”). You cannot attempt to route negative reviews to your own customer service and you similarly cannot use language that only encourages reviews based on positive reception. You also cannot offer any sort of gift, coupon, or incentive in exchange for a review (ex.: “Please leave us a review to receive a coupon for a 50% discount on your next purchase.”). Even if you’re looking to provide a free gift or coupon to all buyers, regardless of reviews, it’s advisable to not offer any type of promotion, incentive, or gift while requesting a review.
It’s also worth noting that Amazon is deliberately vague about the overall compliance of follow-up email campaigns. It is directly stated that you cannot incentivize or influence reviews in any way and there are restrictions as to how you can utilize email campaigns (i.e. you cannot use emails correspondence to pull traffic from Amazon or market other products to buyers). We have not encountered any issues with use of unbiased email and insert language but Amazon has been known to test buy products to monitor these tactics.
Building a review base for a new product is quite possibly the biggest challenge that you will face when selling on Amazon. While shoppers place an extraordinarily high value on rating and review quantity when making purchasing decisions, less than one percent of shoppers will leave a review for a product they purchase. That said, in most markets, you don’t need thousands of reviews to effectively sell. You just need enough of a review base to provide confidence to your customers.
The value of reviews definitely can’t be understated and it’s important to use the tools at your disposal to stimulate growth. That said, it’s definitely worth it to abide by Amazon’s policies and approach your product with a long-term perspective. Reviews help to drive sales, but in order to drive reviews, you need people to buy your product. Use the Early Reviewer Program to your advantage but also prioritize strategies to generate sales first, and let the reviews develop over time. While it’s not necessarily fast, this strategic perspective will help to ensure that you’re able to facilitate some sales activity which will continue to build momentum as you progressively accumulate more reviews and better ranking.
While it’s definitely valuable to understand your market and competition, along with review generation and the use of price as a variable to persuade buyers, it’s equally important to understand how to place your product listing in front of potential shoppers. After all, if the best, lowest priced product has a listing on Amazon, but shoppers can’t find it, can it make a sale?
It’s not good enough to have the best price or the best offering if your listing is buried in the results. You also can’t generate reviews without sales. So, considering the reality that Amazon is an extremely crowded marketplace, and that it’s unlikely that your brand new listing will automatically end up on the first page of relevant search results, you’ll likely need to pay for visibility through Amazon’s advertising platform.
However, before you jump into setting up campaigns, there are a few methods that you can utilize to collect important data and work towards efficient campaign performance.
Using your understanding of the competition and your competitive price point, you can delve into product targeted advertising. A product targeted campaign is a campaign that specifically focuses on another listing. Typically appearing on a listings detail page, a product targeted ad can seek to lure buyers to it’s listing by appealing to a shopper interested in a related product. There are two main tactics to explore when using product targeting.
First of all, you can run campaigns directed at competition. It’s important to note that in order to be effective with this strategy, you need to find products that have good visibility and traction (thus allowing you to piggyback on their traffic) and you also need to have some competitive advantage (lower price, better reviews, features, color etc.) in order to reach and lure shoppers.
For instance, if you’re selling a hammer, and a shopper is viewing a listing for a hammer, in order to pull their interest, your hammer has to be cheaper, better liked, or have visibly better features in order to draw the shoppers focus away from the product that they’re currently viewing.
The second main tactic involves using product targeting to align your product with complementary listings. The same concept applies to selecting complementary products to target in that it’s advantageous to look for products that have a large quantity of sales and page one ranking for valuable keywords. The difference is that instead of trying to pull sales from your competition, with complementary targeting, you’re ideally seeking to have your product purchased in addition to the targeted complement.
An example of this would be running ads for your same hammer, targeting items such as tool belts, tool boxes, or boxes of nails. The idea is that while someone is shopping for a box of nails, they may realize that they also need a hammer, and your ad placement may result in a convenient purchase.
To easily identify competing and complementary products to effectively target through this campaign type, you can use Listing Analyzer by Viral Launch. After running an analysis on your listing, you can use the Competing and Complementary Products tab to view and sort related listings. By filtering these results to meet your objective (higher sale price, high sales volume, etc.) you can quickly identify ASINs to hone in on with product targeted campaigns.
While both of these tactics may result in lower engagement, and typically won’t assist organic visibility growth as much as keyword targeted campaigns, they can help you drive some additional sales. Additionally, product targeting can be helpful when first launching a product because you’re able to specifically align your ads with individual products, allowing you to hone in on products that your listing has a competitive advantage over.
Another method to effectively cut your teeth in with PPC and gain some additional visibility is through an automatic campaign. Auto campaigns are more or less the ‘easy’ format for running PPC. While manual campaigns provide you with the ability to target specific keywords and products with varying degrees of specificity, an automatic campaign will defer to Amazon’s algorithms to establish targets for your advertising.
While you may instinctively think that it’s a better strategy to fully control your campaign spend and targeting, an automatic campaign can be a helpful way to hit on a broader range of keywords and drive some wider visibility. Additionally, there may be specific keywords that you convert surprisingly well for. Also, because there is less of a targeted approach, your advertising spend will tend to be algorithmically dispersed, which can result in a lower cost per click, meaning that it’s possible to continue running very efficient automatic campaigns over a long-term period as a means of increasing and rounding out traffic.
In addition to this, it’s important to regularly review your advertising reports. When running ads, it’s easy to get caught up in the concept of spend vs. return. Obviously, inefficient advertising can feel like wasted money. That said, it can be advantageous to instead look at advertising spend as a means of purchasing data. Though it’s far from perfect, Amazon provides access to a number of reports which can give insights into your campaign performance. These reports can be valuable resources for understanding how your product is reacting in the market and how to effectively compete. For instance, using the Advertising search term report, you can review which keywords are getting impressions, driving clicks, and converting into sales.
As you continue to run automatic campaigns, regularly reviewing data can provide you with insights into which keywords are driving revenue, inevitably allowing you to create more focused manual campaigns focused on well performing keywords.
Using automatic campaigns is a great way to familiarize yourself with Amazon’s advertising platform if you are a new seller, and it’s also a great way to begin to generate some sales and visibility if you’re a launching a new product.
Assuming you’ve done thorough keyword research, running some more specific advertising campaigns, which we refer to as discovery campaigns, is another way to drive focused traffic. A discovery campaign is essentially a manual campaign which is established to test the PPC performance of your high value keywords.
Ideally, you have a list of keywords used to write your product’s listing. Within this list, there should be a range from high competition/high value terms down to low competition/high opportunity terms. Pulling from this list, you can begin to test small groups of keywords (around 5 per campaign) with manual testing to monitor their performance.
By closely reviewing reports, you can begin to determine which keywords are generating interest (by receiving clicks), and which keywords are generating sales. It’s also important to monitor how your budget is being allocated. You may find that a few of your keywords are receiving a very limited amount of impressions (implying that other keywords are consuming your campaign’s budget). If this is the case, you’ll want to restructure your campaign or increase budget to ensure that you’re adequately testing each term.
If a keyword is spending without generating sales, it may be worth removing it from the campaign. That said, the fact that it is spending implies that it’s receiving clicks. For this reason, it may be worth reviewing the competition for this keyword to determine any tangible values that are hurting your listing’s ability to drive a sales.
On the flip side, if a keyword is effectively driving sales, it may be worth breaking the keyword out into its own campaign with a dedicated budget. In this way, you can ensure that you’re dedicating a thorough budget to the terms that are most efficient. If you’re able to maintain ACoS, you may more or less be able to reliably generate profit by fueling these campaigns with spend.
If keywords are not performing, you typically will want to rotate them out of your discovery campaigns, however, you may not want to completely throw the keywords out. As your product begins to build momentum and generate reviews, it’s likely that your listing will convert differently. Therefore, as your listing becomes more competitive in the market, some targets that were previously inefficient may become more relevant.
When launching a new product on Amazon, there are three major variables that you should immediately begin focusing on:
Competitive advantage: Understanding how to position your product with a tangible value proposition (most commonly achieved by pricing below your competition)
Review Generation: Given the Amazon’s restrictive policies around reviews in parallel with their importance to consumer decision making process, using every policy compliant tactic to your advantage in order to grow a review base is critically valuable and continues to improve your listing’s ability to sell effectively.
Visibility: You cannot expect shoppers to find your product simply because you’re listing it on Amazon. Using PPC to drive visibility is one of the only ways to truly get your product in front of consumers when launching a new product. Knowing how to set up some basic early campaigns to begin to target keywords and advantageously align your product with other listings in the market is the best way to begin to drive revenue.
Keeping these three points in mind when launching a new product can help you to contextualize an overall strategy for effective product growth. Amazon is crowded and your competition won’t always play by the rules. But by approaching the market strategically, and with thought towards the long term, there is still limitless opportunity to be successful.
As more of a moral point, reviews are consistently the most challenging aspect of beginning an Amazon based business. That said, while our increasingly Amazon-based society relies on reviews to inform our purchasing decisions, most of us are guilty of not contributing by adding our own opinions after purchasing products. If it were a cultural norm for shoppers to leave a review, consumers would benefit from more well rounded recommendations, and small businesses would more easily be able to establish themselves.
While lofty and idealistic, maybe reviews should almost culturally be viewed as a tax; a few minutes taken to write your opinion in exchange for the overwhelming convenience of e-commerce. While that may be too ambitious to actualize, taking a few minutes to think about how much a review can mean to the plethora of small business owners who are grinding to achieve success is worthwhile. Though it’s easy to forget, lending a hand by leaving a review makes it that much easier for someone to overcome one of the many hurdles that come with deciding to start your own business.
If you are in the process of launching a new product or are interested in selling on Amazon, Viral Launch is always willing to assist. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any Amazon related questions. Our expert team of coaches are excited to help you dominate!
As Amazon continues to grow their advertising platform, it can become confusing on how best to utilize each tool and campaign type. Whether you have a new listing or are trying to improve an existing one, Amazon advertising is an effective measure to bring traffic to your product to drive additional sales. After you have identified your keyword markets, optimized your listing content, and achieved retail-readiness with your product, it is time to put all of the work in the research phase of your ad campaigns to the test. A smart seller with a well thought out advertising campaign structure can start capturing sales efficiently from the get-go. Accruing a history of efficient sales early will benefit your ad delivery in the future. A campaign strategy that follows a logical, hierarchical structure is critical to deliver on your advertising goals. Follow this basic campaign structure to start building efficient sales history in your ad campaigns today.
First, Amazon and PPC experts alike recommend you set up an Automatic campaign to start getting your ads to deliver and building cheap sales. In an Auto Campaign, Amazon will “automatically” match your ad with keywords and products that are similar to your product based on shopper searches related to your product information (Title, category, etc.)
Using this campaign type will allow your ad to be shown in related search term results or on the detail pages of products. As of November 2018, the four different target types can be seen in your Auto campaign’s Ad Groups’ Targeting:
Close match: “show your ad to shoppers who use search terms closely related to your products.”
Loose match: “show your ad to shoppers who use search terms loosely related to your products.”
Substitutes: “show your ad to shoppers who view the detail pages of products similar to yours.”
Complements: “show your ad to shoppers who view the detail pages of products that complement your product.”
Amazon will start to deliver for one or two of these, but bids can be assigned to each tactic to help find out which category best meets your objectives.
Since Amazon is choosing the terms and detail pages that display your product’s ad, not only can it be used to help you build sales history cheaply and efficiently, but can also help identify search terms to expand the keyword set that you will want to target in other advertising campaigns. Likewise, you can look at search terms that deliver and spend without driving sales. Finally, because Amazon can choose to deliver Auto campaigns in a variety of places, they can deliver a lot of impressions quickly.
By looking at the Search Term Report under the Advertising Reports tab, you can see exactly which customer search terms drove clicks for your product. Once you Identify a search term that has converted into sales at or below your profitability thresholds, you can target these converting terms in your other advertising campaigns to focus and efficiently scale your spending. Conversely, keywords that get a significant amount of traffic and don’t convert should be considered as negatives. By adding these non-converting search terms as negative keywords to your auto campaigns you can divert traffic away from inefficient keywords and funnel more of your daily budget to keywords that drive sales.
Another way to start building efficient sales history early is with Product Targeting campaigns. Product targeting places your ad on other product detail, add-to-cart, check out, order confirmation, and even search result pages.
For targeting, you can choose specific products, categories, brands, or other product features to target with your advertising. Giving you the ability to expand the amount of traffic brought through your advertising campaigns while remaining narrow in targeting. By selecting individual ASINs as your targets, your product ad will only deliver on the detail pages of those products. While it can be time consuming, it’s worth going through potential targets and looking at the product and offering and selecting ASINs where your product is the same or better in one way or another. It is also worth considering that higher volume ASINs have the most traffic, but also have competitive bids.
A good place to start looking for which products to target would be in one of our newest updates to Listing Analyzer. Viral Launch has released a Competing and Complementary Products report to each analysis. Using the content of your listing alongside sophisticated 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 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. Try Listing Analyzer for free to see for yourself.
In another post, we talked about the importance of Keyword Research. During this critical phase of product development, you will identify which keyword markets best fit your product. Entering your main keyword into Keyword Research will return a list of associated search terms alongside metrics such as search volume, relevancy, etc. Run a search in Market Intelligence or on Amazon itself and look at the product results for each search term. How does your product match up against the competitors in each market? Be looking at metrics like price point, average review count, average review rating, sales copy, photo quality, shipping method (FBM or FBA), packaging and price by value. To understand how you should be analyzing each keyword market check out this webinar where we dive deep into the best ways to evaluate keywords. The goal is to have identified 10-15 keywords in your research that have a blend of high search volume to drive sales as well as high opportunity.
You want to focus on keyword markets that you have the best potential to convert traffic, and that have enough volume to warrant dedicated focus. Keywords with high opportunity scores typically have fewer advertisers bidding on them. This may allow you compete in cheaper keyword auctions than other higher volume keywords in the market.
Now that you have identified a narrowed keyword set to target in your advertising in the research phase, you need to put your research to the test. These keywords will be referred to as “Discovery Keywords.” Create a new campaign and put your Discovery Keywords into individual ad groups for Phrase and Broad match types. The goal is to run traffic through your keyword set and test whether or not the traffic through these keyword markets will drive sales volume. The structure of a Discovery campaign allows sellers to have a narrowly identified keyword set through keyword research, but have the slightly expanded audience of Broad and Phrase match types to test more search terms in delivery. Using this structure will quickly identify which keyword markets can be profitable and have the ability to increase sales volume. If the total daily budget of your Discovery campaign is expended regularly, this campaign can easily be given more budget to continue to drive increased sales volume through spending and converting search terms. Since this campaign is utilizing both broad and phrase match types, check your Search Term Reports regularly to identify any unique customer search terms that should be broken out on their own or inefficient ones that should be added as negatives. This can greatly increase campaign efficiency
If a single keyword in the Discovery campaign drives a large percentage of sales or takes up a large percentage of daily spend, consider breaking out this keyword into its own individual campaign. Give this new single keyword campaign its own budget and scale it separately from the Discovery campaign. Removing the keyword will let the budget be directed to the other keywords in the campaign which were previously not accruing any daily spend.
Exact Match campaigns can be a way to scale up a high performing keyword, but unless you are very certain you know what keyword will work for your product, they are not typically part of an initial campaign setup. Similarly, Sponsored Brands (Formerly known as Headline Search Ads) can be a efficient way to generate traffic to your brand by featuring multiple products, but should generally be rolled out as part of a larger strategy after you know your keyword markets well.
Amazon Advertising allows sellers to control what traffic is brought to their product listings and increase their sales. Following a well-organized campaign structure will help you identify the most valuable keywords and attach a record of efficient sales to your product. This step in the overall lifetime strategy of your product is critical before moving to the next phase of growing and scaling your business. Start seeing the results to take your Amazon business to the next level. Try this strategy out 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 toothpaste product
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.
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.
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!