Conquering Amazon PPC is shifting from an elective skill to a prerequisite for success as a seller. In the not-so-distant future of selling on Amazon, the arms race for dominating a market will likely be through advertising.
Because PPC is transitioning from the elective stage, it’s still a facet of selling that gives many sellers headaches. But fear not, and try to view this as an opportunity, not a roadblock. By gaining PPC knowledge and experience now, you can distance yourself from the competition for short-term gains and long-term dominance.
To help, we chatted with Sumner Hobart, an Amazon PPC maestro who has utilized PPC to power his business and change his life through FBA. Tune in as we pick his brain to break down Amazon PPC tips and tricks on your way to advertising like a pro!
Get to know Sumner and his story of how selling on Amazon helped transform his life. (0:00)
Selling via FBA has changed so many lives, helping them live out their dreams through entrepreneurship. We say hello to Sumner and get to know his story from his experience before selling on Amazon, how he got into it, and how he turned it into a rewarding career and lifestyle.
When should sellers start running PPC campaigns? (5:22)
One common refrain we’ve heard from sellers considering making the leap into PPC is that they don’t think the time is right. We chat with Sumner to hear about his path in PPC and how sellers can know if they’re ready or not to introduce their product to ads.
What goals should sellers new to PPC be considering to determine success? (14:30)
Not all campaigns are created with the same goals in mind. Sumner explains the primary objectives behind PPC campaigns, and discusses what steps you take to accomplish these goals through ad campaigns.
Sumner shines a light on which campaigns outside of the norm should sellers examine in PPC and how to put them into place. (26:34)
After explaining some of the basic PPC campaigns, we dive a little deeper with Sumner on more niche campaigns. While the basics are tried and true, sellers can find more success and learn more about their performance by getting a little more creative ith their campaign structures.
Does driving external traffic play a role with PPC? If so, how can a seller integrate it into their strategy? (44:37)
Over recent months, the emphasis on driving external traffic has been further incentivized by Amazon. In terms of overall strategy, the ability to drive traffic from outside of Amazon continues to rise as well. Building a following on social media, growing an email list of potential customers, or driving traffic through ads from Google, Facebook, TikTok, or other spaces outside of Amazon can be extremely valuable.
Sumner breaks down how driving external traffic and PPC can go hand-in-hand to strategically grow and scale your Amazon business to new heights.
A huge thanks to Sumner for chatting with us and sharing his expertise. You can stay in touch for more helpful FBA gems by connecting with him on LinkedIn, or pick up tricks of the trade through his selling courses.
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Recently, Amazon announced the latest major update to their increased emphasis on advertising. Sponsored Display ads are now being shown on Twitch, adding yet another avenue to expand advertising reach.
Effective immediately, all Sponsored Display audiences campaigns are eligible to serve on the Twitch Browse and Discovery pages. Twitch supply is automatically enabled for all US, CA, FR, IT, DE, ES, and UK based Sponsored Display audiences campaigns.
Twitch users tend to skew towards a younger crowd. The opportunity to put your product in front of the highly-valued young demographic. As Gen Z builds buying power, the ability to put your product in their hands and build brand loyalty with them presents a phenomenal opportunity.
Amazon Advertising states the Display ads may appear in three unique spaces, each with varying levels of visibility.
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Getting In The Game
With this announcement, Amazon advances its relationship between the marketplace and Twitch. Amazon’s Prime Gaming community works as a link for Amazon Prime subscribers to connect their account with Twitch. With deals and “loot” such as in-game currency serving as an incentive for customers to attach the two.
As the PlayStation 5 and XBOX Series X become more accessible after the production and delivery, one would reasonably expect further advancements in Twitch. To promote user count and usage.
In addition to the millions of engaged customers who can now be targeted being newsworthy. This also highlights the growing emphasis on advertising from Amazon. Since Twitch is a subsidiary of Amazon, its addition makes perfect sense.
Impact on Advertising
While Apple’s highly-publicized changes to advertising and protecting user data threaten to shake up industries, Amazon and its far-reaching subsidiaries present an opportunity to target customers in a way that may not be as easy to do elsewhere.
As Amazon continues to grow on its own and through purchasing companies such as Twitch, Whole Foods, and Goodreads, so does the potential for extra advertising avenues.
If you’re an Amazon seller with little experience in Advertising, there’s no better time than now to get involved. Over the past year, the Amazon Advertising Console has evolved at a rapid rate.
In previous years, advertising knowledge was a luxury. Soon enough, it’ll likely be a prerequisite towards customer acquisition.
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.
Amazon Advertising has exploded in usage and importance for Amazon sellers in the past few years. As the Amazon marketplace continues to grow, the stakes for understanding, implementing, and executing Amazon PPC strategies into your business have never been higher.
Although Amazon launched its advertising platform in 2012, it has grown recent years. In a short amount of time, Amazon has placed itself behind only Google and Facebook for digital advertising market share.
With so many shoppers heading online, Amazon sellers can transform their business with advertising by attracting more visibility than ever before.
However, since it’s a relatively new advent, it’s a topic most sellers don’t feel comfortable adding to their marketing mix. And we understand! With so much to learn, where do you even begin?
At times, learning about Amazon PPC can feel similar to learning advanced math or a foreign language. In a way, it’s a mix of both, with formulas and equations that determine your success and terminology that exists in a world of its own.
While this may sound daunting, it’s actually a little easier to understand than you might think. Whether you’re just beginning with PPC and need to speak the language or just want to reference an unfamiliar term or two, feel free to use our glossary and explainer for popular PPC terms!
Advertising placement is where an advertisement is displayed. On Amazon, ads are commonly shown on mobile and desktop. Found at the top of search results, alongside search results, product display pages.
The maximum amount of money that can be spent on a campaign. If you set a daily budget at $25, this means you will not spend more than $25 for the selected day.
The amount that an advertiser is willing to pay for each click. On Amazon, sellers can choose between automatic or manual bidding.
The most common PPC tactic for how customers will discover your ads. Whether through automatic or manual targeting, sellers can target specific keywords that customers utilize in search to find products.
Often confused with keywords from a PPC perspective, search terms within Amazon reports (and PPC tools like Kinetic) refer to where your ads appear.
In short, the Keywords refer to what you’re targeting while Search Terms refer to where your ads are being delivered.
Demand-side platform (DSP)
An Amazon software platform that enables advertisers to programmatically buy display, video, and audio ads on and off Amazon.
Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS)
A metric used to measure performance, efficiency, and profitability of Sponsored Products ad campaigns. You can calculate ACoS by dividing Total Ad Spend by Total Sales.
For example, if an advertiser’s ACoS is 30%, the seller paid 30 cents for every dollar made.
Target ACoS (TACoS)
Not the delicious Mexican treat, unfortunately. Target ACoS, or TACoS refers to advertising spend relative to total revenue generated, while including organic revenue. While ACoS utilizes only spend and revenue numbers that are directly related to advertising, TACoS includes organic revenue to apply a more holistic perspective to your promotional efforts.
Return on Ad Spend (RoAS)
A prominent benchmark across digital advertising, RoAS is the inverse of ACoS. Instead of measuring the cost of a sale, ROaS represents the dollars earned per dollar spent.
An action that a customer completes; this phrase can be used to refer to any number of actions, including clicking “Add to Cart,” completing a purchase, etc. Generally, this measures how many times your ad ended with the desired result.
Measures the frequency that your advertising campaign ends with the desired result.
Specifically, the average cost you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. To find out your CPC, divide the amount of money spent on an ad by the number of clicks it receives. Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands feature CPC ads.
As a whole, CPC can be a mutually beneficial relationship between Amazon and the seller, as sellers only pay for ads that receive a click.
Click-through Rate (CTR)
The percentage of ad impressions that are clicked as compared to the entire number of clicks. The standard calculation for CTR is (clicks/impressions) x 100.
Metric used to describe customers purchasing your brand/product for the first time on Amazon over the past year. These metrics estimate the cost of engaging new customers on Amazon and identify the most efficient channels and tactics to achieve their campaign goals and are popularly used in comparison with repeat customers for brands to better understand their customer acquisition vs. customer retention paths.
A campaign or targeting type where Amazon decides when and where your ad is displayed. Automatic campaigns are convenient for their ease of use and the data gathered through Amazon, but take control out of the seller’s hands.
Since automatic targeting campaigns are made programmatically, they can occasionally lead to running ads for odd keywords or unrelated products, which can cause less efficient campaigns.
The counterpart to automatic campaigns, manual campaigns put more control in the advertiser’s hands, allowing more strategy in campaigns. Sellers can select competing or complementary products or keywords for their product to appear for.
The total amount of money allotted to advertising efforts on Amazon.
Not TACoS or tacos, Target ACoS refers to your profit margin before advertising divided by target profit margin after advertising. This number will vary from seller-to-seller and determined by the various costs of making your product available.
As advertising becomes an even more prominent part of the Amazon marketing mix, be sure to stay away from these five common Amazon Advertising mistakes.
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.
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 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, Amazon PPC 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
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 strategy, 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.
“How do I get my product in front of more customers?”
That’s the million-dollar question every Amazon seller should be asking themselves.
As we’ve outlined before, optimizing your product listing remains a foundational building block for maximizing your visibility. And part of optimizing your listing’s copy means utilizing as many keywords as possible that customers use to find products like yours.
You may find competing brand names in your keyword list during the optimization process. Depending on your product, this may be more prevalent than you’d guess.
Sometimes, a brand name becomes synonymous with the product, and the brand name becomes a generic term for its market. Think about Kleenex, Velcro, Bubble Wrap, Jacuzzi, Chapstick, Popsicle, and the list goes on and on.
But what do you do when a competitor’s brand name is found in the search terms? Can you include their name somewhere in your listing to index and potentially rank for a recognized competing brand to steal their sales?
These are great questions, and to arrive at these questions means you’ve done your homework on Amazon SEO. One seller in our Facebook group for Amazon sellers asked it this week.
So we’re here to shed some light on this intelligent question and clear the air regarding branded keywords.
Can you use trademarked terms as keywords in your listing?
When selling authentic goods, a seller may use a trademarked name to list them. For example, a seller who lists an authentic “Pinzon” product is not necessarily infringing on the Pinzon trademark owner because the seller is using the trademark to identify an authentic product.
When using a trademarked word in its ordinary dictionary meaning.
When making truthful statements that a product is compatible with a trademarked product. For example, if you offer a cable that is compatible with the Kindle e-reader, you can use the brand name “Kindle” to indicate that compatibility in the text of your detail page. You cannot use a logo to indicate compatibility, only the brand name. Any statement you make about compatibility must be true. If you want to indicate the compatibility of your product with a product of a different brand in the product title, please build your product title as follows, taking also account of the Amazon Brand Name Policy. If you do not apply this format to your product title, your listing may be removed as potentially trademark infringing.
As Amazon continues to fight against counterfeit products on its marketplace, it has tightened up on the usage of trademarked terms in listings not belonging to the trademark holder.
Violation of these rules opens sellers to warnings, suspension, or a ban from the Amazon marketplace. On the bright side, you can use these same rules to protect your brand from others if you’re enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry Program.
What about in the backend search terms?
Still, the answer remains no.
While one might think the backend search terms are the optimal place to index for trademarked terms without confusing a customer as to who the seller is, that is not the case. Amazon finds listings that violate this rule and violators likely face punishment as a result.
Can I do anything to gain visibilty on trademarked keywords?
Although you can’t use trademarked brands as keywords, there’s a way to potentially earn visibility for a name brand that customers are searching for: PPC advertising.
Keyword targeting allows sellers to appear for search terms that they bid on. Below, you can see how a competitor can sweep in to be prominently displayed in search results for a search for a trademarked product.
However, there are many pros and cons to consider depending on your product, market, and the brand you’d target.
For example, Nike is one of the largest, most recognized brands on the planet and has built strong brand loyalty. So it may be reasonable to believe a customer searching for “Nike shoes” may be looking for a specific Nike product or that they’re dead-set on buying shoes with the famous Swoosh.
It’s also likely this brand had to outbid Nike vendors and major brands like Adidas, Reebok, and so on. Most likely, these ads probably aren’t cheap!
The sneaker market is incredibly competitive and full of industry whales like the brands mentioned above. With the degree of difficulty to consistently rank organically for high-volume search terms, PPC presents the opportunity to compete and even have a positioning advantage over name brands.
Additionally, this particular brand does have one huge selling point over Nike that sellers should consider: price. Certainly, many will breeze right past the ad and scroll down through Nike’s extensive catalog. But others just looking for a comfortable shoe might balk at paying prices up to 4 times that of the brand running the sponsored ad.
Ultimately, these measures will vary from product to product and should be heavily considered if you’re looking into experimenting with this keyword-targeting method.
For the most part, Amazon sellers are limited with options to poach customers from competitors through trademarked terms. However, options exist to gain visibility from searches your rivals generate through their brand.
Do you have any experience with Amazon trademarked terms? Feel free to let us know about your experience in the comments!
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As the largest and latest round of stimulus checks make their way into bank accounts across the USA, we take a look into how you can use it as an investment into your business.
According to the IRS, about 90 million Americans were sent their $1,400 stimulus checks on Wednesday alone, with more to be sent in the coming weeks.
The newfound financial flexibility creates opportunities previously not afforded for those fortunate enough to receive the $1,400 as “extra” money. One popular way to view the stimulus check is as an avenue into investing, but investing isn’t limited to stocks.
Instead of investing in another company, why not invest in your own?
Whether you’re a longtime seller, beginner, or considering leaping into FBA, there are plenty of ways to rejuvenate or jumpstart your Amazon business with $1,400. By investing in your e-commerce business, you could easily turn your stimulus check into a long-term money-making machine.
We should mention this isn’t necessarily a guide. Every seller’s journey is different. The options we’ll highlight below are merely a few options you may want to consider. With prudent planning, these options present a promising opportunity for you to get a great return on investment from your stimulus check.
Without further ado, let’s dive into it!
Elevate Your Product Research Game
When it comes to selling on Amazon (and in most aspects of life), having the luxury of reliable data to base your decisions on is a tremendous luxury. For Amazon sellers, this is made possible through product research.
Whether you’ve yet to begin your FBA journey or have a catalog full of successful products, product research is crucial for sustained profitability. When you have access to comprehensive market data, it’s almost like having the answers to a test.
While reliable Amazon sales data is crucial at all stages, it’s especially vital for beginners. The research that goes into deciding upon your first product serves as a foundational aspect of your Amazon career. Choosing to source and sell a product without conducting intensive research with data you can trust is a surefire way to make your first product your last product.
So if you’re beginning to look into FBA, test out a few software providers. Most software providers will offer a free trial, giving you time to see if they’re right for you.
Feel free to test trials from different software providers simultaneously to compare and contrast the data. If you notice any inconsistencies, don’t be shy. Ask their customer service team how they arrive at their numbers. With such an important decision that can pay off handsomely, don’t leave any stones unturned.
Aspiring Amazon entrepreneurs aren’t the only ones who can take their product research game up a notch. Often, Amazon sellers don’t utilize all tools within their toolset.
Whether there are underutilized tools in your current software plan or an opportunity to upgrade your plan for additional access, there’s no better time than now to explore unfamiliar tools. Amazon is constantly evolving, so sellers must evolve with it.
Boost Your Business with Captivating Creatives
It’s springtime! You know what that means. Spring cleaning!
For Amazon sellers, the seasonal cleaning isn’t limited to dusting ceiling fans, clearing out the refrigerator, and giving your home a good deep cleaning. It may be worth considering if your listing creatives are due for an upgrade.
Do your listing’s copy and product photography abide by Amazon requirements and follow the style guidelines? Is your competition doing something with their photos that seems to be working? Are you maximizing your visibility by having a keyword-optimized product listing, or are you missing out on indexation for keywords customers are using to products like yours?
These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself when considering updating your creatives.
Even if your product photography is in tip-top shape, additional photos can still provide plenty of benefits for your business. For example, possessing extra product images opens the door for creative advertising.
One way you can spruce up your advertising with enhanced photos is Amazon Posts, a relatively new option to increase brand visibility. Amazon Posts is a social media-like platform within Amazon that allows brand registered sellers to flex their advertising muscle. Appearing on product detail pages selected by Amazon, brands get the ever-important chance to poach customers from competing listings.
The best thing about Amazon Posts? It’s totally free. Well, submitting your Posts is free, anyway. You’ll still want professional photos capable of enticing customers to earn a click. Since Amazon Posts is somewhat new, it’s flying under the radar of many sellers, but can be an incredibly efficient weapon for stealing customers from the competition.
Additionally, having extra photos come in handy if you sell outside of Amazon or may consider selling elsewhere at a later time.
Lastly, having extra photos at your disposal provides an even better opportunity to experiment for peak optimization. Once you’ve got premium product photography, don’t forget to split test! With a plethora of split testing sites to choose from, it’s an easy step to maximize your conversions and profitability!
Flex Your Marketing Muscle with PPC
Another great way to invest your stimulus money into your business is by using it to take the next step with Amazon PPC (pay-per-click) advertising.
Although Amazon debuted PPC advertising in 2012, it has grown considerably over the last 2-3 years and shows no sign of slowing down. With Amazon expected to net nearly $13 billion in advertising in the United States marketplace alone, the company has every reason to continue pushing and developing PPC.
Whether this means finally taking that PPC course, creating your first campaign, or trying out an unexplored ad type, doing it with a bonus $1,400 makes it a prime opportunity to experiment with PPC.
For sellers currently selling, it especially makes sense to test out new campaigns now as plenty of customers are flush with their stimulus money and tax season right around the corner.
After all, you’re not the only one receiving the stimulus. More customers shopping with more money is a recipe for more customer searches. As your product appears more frequently through search and on competitor listings, the sample size for your campaigns grows larger and, thus, more reliable.
Fortunately, the options are flexible for you regarding your PPC campaigns. Set your budgets as low or as high as you feel comfortable with, and barring disaster, let them run until the reporting data begins to stabilize. Once they’ve matured, you’ll have real data on your performance that you can use to optimize to your advantage.
Scale Your Store by Expanding Your Brand
Suppose you feel like you’ve squeezed nearly all the juice you can out of a product. First off, congratulations! It’s every Amazon sellers’ goal to reach and maintain peak performance, but what do you do once you’ve achieved it? For many, it can be a never-ending pursuit of perfection.
However, it may be more beneficial to scale your brand by finding your next home run. Think of your stimulus check as $1,400 off the development of your next product, and this becomes especially beneficial.
Of course, this entirely depends on your goals, resources, and risk appetite. Ideally, the learning curve for launching a new product shortens with each new product. If you’ve built a strong brand on Amazon, the likelihood of your next product being a success increases exponentially.
Instead of squeezing every penny possible out of your current storefront, dig into your sales reporting numbers and do your best to determine the best course of action for your business.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to supercharge your Amazon business! Whether jumpstarting your entrepreneurial career or looking to take your existing e-commerce operation up a notch, investing in your business with your stimulus money could provide an excellent, long-lasting return on investment.
No matter what you decide to do with your stimulus money, enjoy it! Without a doubt, extra cash in your pocket is nice. But creating long-lasting, sustainable sources of income is even better.
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What is Amazon Sponsored Brands, how does it work, and how can it help you grow your online business? We answer those questions and more.
When it comes to selling on Amazon, visibility is the name of the game. As product markets mature and become saturated, earning that visibility becomes increasingly difficult.
So how can you avoid getting lost in the sea of products?
For some, the answer is advertising.
Just as companies can spend money to advertise on television, radio, or other platforms with an audience, Amazon sellers can advertise directly on Amazon. Since exposure is such a valuable element of selling on Amazon, any opportunity to differentiate your products or brand from the competition should be explored.
Amazon offers a few unique ways for sellers to advertise their products. We’ll take a look at all of them in the near future, but today we’re zeroing in on Sponsored Brands, formerly called Headline Search Ads, or HSA.
Overall, Sponsored Brands allow Amazon sellers to showcase their product line and shine a light on their brand in a unique way. Since the topic of advertising can be foreign for many sellers, we’ve answered a few of the common questions below to help you understand what it is and if it’s an avenue worth pursuing to grow your business.
Can I use Sponsored Brands?
If you have successfully signed up for Amazon Brand Registry, yes! No matter if you’re an individual seller, vendor, or agency, you can utilize Sponsored Brands advertising to improve discoverability.
Additionally, enrolling in Amazon Brand Registry comes with a bevy of benefits such as Enhanced Brand Content, protection from resellers, customizable product pages and storefronts, and more. Amazon continues to add new features regularly for brand registered sellers, so becoming registered could open up possibilities you didn’t know existed!
Why would I use Sponsored Brands?
Simple! To get your product in front of more customers.
With so many products on Amazon, it’s easy to get lost in the mix. By utilizing Sponsored Brands, you take control of spearheading your efforts to be seen by more customers. As a seller, you can follow all best practices, but you still need customer visibility or else those efforts go to waste.
Products with positive reviews, high-quality images, and sales-inducing copy optimized for search are more likely to convert clicks to sales, but earning that click can be difficult with increased competition.
In addition to increasing visibility for sales, Sponsored Brands also allow sellers the opportunity to drive brand recognition like never before. Since most Amazon sales happen via search and not through storefronts, the options for promoting and growing your brand have been limited. With Sponsored Brands, Amazon businesses now can stand out from the crowd, drive traffic, and build loyalty.
Where would customers see my ads?
While Amazon allows for advertising in a few forms that appear in various locations, Amazon Sponsored Brands ads appear in three areas:
In the top of search results for selected or relevant search terms
At the bottom of search results for selected or relevant search terms
On product detail pages for similar or complementary products
Depending on your account, you may also be able to display Sponsored Brands videos in search. If you’re enrolled in Brand Registry, check within your account to see if you’re eligible for videos. Within search results, they’re a surefire way to stand out from competing products, quickly highlight features, and explain your product in a way others can’t!
How can I make the most out of Sponsored Brands?
To achieve optimal results, make sure your ads are visually pleasing and interesting while capturing your brand voice. You want customers to walk away from your ad with an understanding of what your brand is about and give them a reason to click on your ad to see your linked store.
Successful ads will have professional quality creatives that accurately represent your store. With customizable layouts to choose from, you gain even more control over how your brand will be viewed.
“Sponsored Brands is a visually appealing advertising format and we believed it was important to incorporate it into the strategy from the beginning, especially because it can be the first thing that appears when someone searches for anything relevant on Amazon. We knew based on prior experience there was demand for that ad space and we wanted to appear in results before our competition.”
Pilar Martínez Sanz, Senior Consultant, Labelium
This means you can create ads that best showcase your brandand have control over how you want to tell your brand story on Amazon.
How can I measure the performance of my ads?
As Amazon continues to evolve its advertising options, they’ve updated how you measure performance. Instead of leaving you in the dark on how your advertising efforts are performing, Amazon includes built-in metrics to inform you of the impact they’re having.
Specifically, Amazon recommends three metrics to gauge performance:
Return of ad spend (ROAS)
Impressions are defined as when an advertisement is displayed on a user’s screen. For example, if a customer makes a search and your ad appears, it counts as an impression whether or not the customer clicked on your ad. This can help you gauge how often it’s shown to customers and serves as a helpful statistic to understand an ad’s reach. Perhaps just as important, you can also view your click-through rate (CTR), which tells you the percentage of those impressions that are being clicked on.
New-to-brand metrics can be especially helpful for established brands, as they gauge ad performance in regard to customer acquisition. These educate you on if your ads are doing based on each customer’s familiarity of your brand. Are your ads growing your brand to new customers and/or appealing to previous customers? These metrics inform you of those aspects.
Return on ad spend evaluates your campaigns’ efficiency from a monetary perspective. The higher the ROAS, the more bang you’re getting for your buck. Think of this as your return on investment metric.
While not displayed in your Seller Central dashboard, the almighty organic rank can be influenced by your ad performance. As customers find your products and brand through search and make purchases, you’ll likely see your organic rank improve as a result.
Since this isn’t displayed in your Seller Central metrics, it may be difficult to monitor. Utilizing a third-party tool such as Listing Analyzer that tracks organic and advertising rank for individual ASINs over time can be a hack to understanding the relationship between advertising and rank when doing product-specific ads. With brand ads, this can be a little more difficult. But if you notice that a specific product is earning more clicks and purchases due to Sponsored Brands, you’ll likely notice a correlation with organic rank.
As any experienced seller will tell you, there may not be a more critical way to achieve heavy sales volume in a cost-efficient way than organic rank.
How can I get started with creating my Sponsored Brands ads?
If you haven’t experimented with Amazon advertising in the past, you must go to advertising.amazon.com and register to access the advertising console.
Once registered or if you’ve had experience advertising on Amazon, you just need to sign into your seller account and select the Sponsored Brands campaign type and follow the step-by-step instructions to setup your advertising campaign.
Within the instructions, you’ll be able to customize a few aspects of your ad based on your goals and resources. Based on what you’re looking to get out of your ads, you can select your start and end dates, as well as your daily budget.
As you walk through the settings, you’ll have the option for product targeting or keyword targeting ads. Keyword targeting makes your ad eligible to be shown when customers make searches. Depending on the product market, you may want to consider if it makes more sense to spend money on the primary keywords, which likely have a higher cost per click, or low-medium keywords with less competition and may allow for higher efficiency.
Product targeting allows you to be strategic with targeting competitors. Have a similar product to a high-performing competitor at a lower price? Noticed a top-seller has a string of negative reviews that might cause customers to buy elsewhere? These are just a couple examples of how you can create product targeting ads on prime real estate.
It may be beneficial for those starting out to start off with a smaller budget and let the ads run for a few weeks to develop a respectable, reliable sample size.
As you let the beginner campaigns run, you can make tweaks and modifications to monitor performance. Experiment and figure out what works well and what turns customers away. Split testing ads as you get started can be ideal for multiple reasons.
While risking short-term losses is tough to get excited about, it’s all about the long run. Suppose you are serious about implementing ads into your marketing. In that case, the short-term loss while testing out various ads, targeting types, and designs can pay off exponentially with developing your strategy. Each product market will have unique differences that impact performance, and experimentation across various ad types can help accelerate the learning curve.
As competition among Amazon sellers heats up, the importance of executing intelligent strategies become amplified. Since exposure is a prerequisite for sales, every opportunity to get more eyeballs on your products and increase brand familiarity should be explored.
Amazon Sponsored Brands is undoubtedly worth looking into for anyone eligible for it. Amazon Advertising has generated plenty of money for Amazon and driven tons of sales towards those doing it right. As Amazon continues to expand and evolve the marketing opportunities for sellers, it’s better to be an early adopter of these methods.
Gaining brand recognition on Amazon has been a challenge since the marketplace began accepting third-party sellers, with rare exceptions like Anker being rewarded handsomely for achieving such high stature. Now, as Amazon increases opportunities to separate your brand from your competition, Sponsored Brands ads could be a silver bullet for expanding and scaling your Amazon business.
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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.