5 Amazon Advertising Mistakes to Avoid

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.

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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!

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
With Viral Launch’s Kinetic PPC tool, avoiding Amazon Advertising mistakes by structuring campaigns to achieve your strategy can be done like never before.

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.

[You may be interested in A Complete Guide to Amazon Advertising Types for Beginners]

5. Trying to do too much, or too little

We know, we know. It’s vague, but it’s the truth!

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!

Enroll in our free Amazon PPC 101 Course

Can You Use Trademarked Terms In Your Amazon Product Listing?

“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.

While rare, brand names can rack up significant searches and even become the dominant way customers find products. Data via Keyword Research.

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?

In most instances, the answer is a hard no.

Per Amazon’s Intellectual Property Policy for Sellers, Typically, a seller can use someone else’s trademark in the following circumstances:

  • 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.

In fact, Amazon’s recommended strategy for backend search terms is not to use any brand names.

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.

An example of how you can gain exposure through a Sponsored Brands ad with a trademarked search term.

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.

In Conclusion

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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Follow the Data Podcast: Maximizing Brand Potential With Dr. James Richardson

With a unique perspective, growth specialist Dr. James Richardson chats with us to discuss a four-part approach for driving exponential growth.

On this episode of Follow the Data, host Cam Yoder chats with Dr. James Richardson, an absolute master of growth about growing your business.

As the Owner of Premium Growth Solutions, he’s helped more than 75 CPG brands with strategic planning and growth, including Coca-Cola Venturing and Emerging Brands, The Hershey Company, General Mills, Kraft Foods, Frito-Lay, Mother Kombucha, and many more.

He’s a master of his craft, with a LOT of knowledge to offer. We’re talking principles of scale here, and while the context is given around that of a CPG brand, the principles James outlines are applicable specifically to any eCommerce company seeking growth.

This episode is a MUST-LISTEN for anyone with an interest in building a successful online business or maximizing their brand potential.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Who is Dr. James Richardson? (0:00)

Dr. James Richardson’s atypical journey into marketing from cultural anthropology is certainly a unique one. His distinctive background helps provide a peerless perspective on business. Before divulging into his four-step process for scaling your business, get familiar with his background.

Is Amazon An Optimal Starting Place for Your Business? (15:56)

With an extensive background helping a diverse set of businesses spanning many marketplaces, Dr. James Richardson breaks down the pros and cons of starting your business on Amazon.

The Importance of Design for Online Businesses for Growth (22:52)

In a prior generation of selling on Amazon, the bar for your product design and packaging was incredibly low. But in 2021, design and packaging should be strategically considered before going live.

Finding The Next Trend & Why Many Innovators Innovate on Accident (40:55)

With so many looking for the next “sexy” product market, many find it purely by accident. Citing Siggi’s Icelandic yogurt, Dr. James explains how these trends often happen by catching on with unintended niche groups.

Thanks to Dr. James for sharing his acute tips for growing your business. For even more of his expertise, check out his new book, Ramping Your Brand: How to Ride The Killer CPG Growth Curve.

Why Listening Is One of The Most Important Things A Business Can Do (60:48)

Too many business owners, especially ones in niche categories ignore feedback from the average Joe. Dr. James Richardson explains why receiving feedback from mainstream customers early in the process can pay off exponentially. To effectively scale, taking objective feedback from customers is key.

A special thanks to Dr. James for sharing his many insights with us! For even more of his astute expertise, check out his book, Ramping Your Brand: How To Ride The Killer CPG Growth Curve. You can also keep up with Dr. James at Premium Growth Solutions or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Lastly, drop your email below to receive the latest tips, tricks, and news about selling on Amazon!

Follow the Data Podcast: Conquering Christmas and New Years

On this episode of Follow The Data, host Cam Yoder speaks with Michael Begg, founder of AMZ Advisers. Together, they identify key roadblocks through the rest of the year and discuss the best seller strategies to overcome them.

For Amazon sellers, the grind never stops!

With Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday in the rearview, we look ahead to help you conquer Christmas and New Years. This week’s Follow The Data podcast details strategies to end 2020 on a positive note and pick up momentum for 2021.

Not many people are on top of the Amazon game quite like Michael Begg, founder of AMZ Advisers. AMZ Advisers is a full-service agency that drives remarkable results for Amazon sellers. With years of running a full-service agency under Michael’s belt, he’s seen it all and specializes in staying prepared for every situation.

Amidst a holiday season unlike any other, we appreciate Michael sharing his expertise on the show. Cam and Michael tackle topics such as what roadblocks can sellers expect in the upcoming months, best offensive and defensive strategies, and what to expect in 2021.

If you have any questions for Michael or Cameron from today’s episode, let them know by dropping a comment on the video. Huge shoutout to Michael for coming on the show – let’s crush the rest of the year!

Lastly, be sure to stay in touch, as we’ll continue pumping out content to keep you informed to help you end 2020 with a bang.

Head here to stay plugged into the Follow The Data podcast: https://virallaun.ch/FTD

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To get in touch with Michael and learn more about AMZ Advisers:

Visit AMZAdvisers.com
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Follow The Data: Advanced Amazon Seller Strategy Hacks for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

On this installment of Follow The Data, Danny Carlson of Kenji ROI walks us through advanced seller strategies that will make this your best Black Friday and Cyber Monday yet!

It’s that time of the year! Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up fast, and sellers who position themselves for success will ride a sales wave into 2021. Danny Carlson of Kenji ROI dropped by to chat with Follow The Data host Cam Yoder to provide insights on what tips and tricks Amazon sellers should be using to rise to the top and rake in sales from this holiday season.

With just a few days until Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, time is running out to set your listing up for success.

While savvy sellers have spent months prepping their product catalog for this holiday season, the days leading into the holidays are crucial. No matter how well you’ve developed your Q4 plan to this point, the week of requires unique strategies both offensively and defensively, that can make a tremendous difference when executed on the precipice of Black Friday.

As CEO of Kenji ROI, Danny has served over 500 Amazon sellers and created photos, video, copywriting, and graphics for over 1,240 listings. Kenji ROI assists sellers with PPC Management, creative services, and review boosting emails.

Danny was gracious enough to share groundbreaking strategies and seller tactics that are sure to give you an edge over the competition when it matters most.

HIGHLIGHTS

Getting to know Danny, his entrepreneurial journey, and his Amazon experience. (0:00)

Danny Carlson and Kenji ROI have been a force in the Amazon selling space for years. Before he drops groundbreaking tips, take the time to hear about Danny’s success and background.

What will Danny be doing for his clients and what advice would he give to sellers in the week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday? (3:51)

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” – John Wooden

The importance of proper preparation in this busy time cannot be understated. Your competition understands how valuable a holiday season windfall can be, and they might be more incentivized to participate in black hat tactics. Too many sellers don’t prepare for these instances, and Danny breaks down what your competitors might try and how to defend yourself.

There’s no better time to rank highly through search than the holidays. While it might be late in the game to make a dramatic change, every spot you climb means more sales. How can you ascend the ranks in a short amount of time? Danny breaks it down here.

Amazon Advertising in the week of Black Friday / Cyber Monday: Using Modified Broad Match Ads, An Underutilized but Valuable Tool (9:27)

PPC Advertising is one of the surefire ways your product gets in front of customers, but everyone knows this. What’s the best way to setup PPC without breaking the bank?

Modified Broad Match Ads can be the magic bullet for you. It’s super easy to set up and helps sellers get the most bang for their buck when appropriately created. Danny gives his insight on why this overlooked method of PPC provides the most opportunity.

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, what should sellers do to prepare for Christmas? (20:35)

Once Black Friday and Cyber Monday pass, there’s nearly a month of increased sales. Not all preparation is created equally, and that’s especially true in these unprecedented times. You better believe Danny has already looked into the possibilities and how you can prepare for them. Tune in to hear what this one-of-a-kind holiday season might look like after Cyber Monday and how it affects your planning.

What strategies should sellers be considering to grow their brand into 2021? (31:39)

As the marketplace continues to evolve, what should Amazon sellers be doing to stay ahead of the game? In Danny’s experience, he’s worked with sellers of all backgrounds and stayed up-to-date on the latest in trends. Danny drops knowledge on what you can do to start 2021 off on the right foot.

Be sure to tune in to the rest of the show for every valuable tip and tidbit so you can have the upper hand over the opposition in your market!

At Viral Launch, we believe the more informed seller wins. And that’s never been truer than now. A special thanks goes out to Danny for talking shop with us, and for sharing these crucial tips and tricks. In what is sure to be one of the busiest holiday seasons ever, these hacks could be all the difference you need to dominate the remainder of 2020.

To keep up with Danny and the team at Kenji ROI…

Connect with Danny on LinkedIn
Visit Kenji ROI’s site at https://www.kenjiroi.com/
Check out Danny Carlson’s Actualize Freedom Podcast

Amazon Posts: A Powerful Secret Weapon for Growing Your Brand

Your introductory guide to Amazon Posts: Amazon’s own social media-like platform that savvy sellers are weaponizing to amplify brand exposure and sales.

At Viral Launch, we get plenty of questions from Amazon sellers looking to optimize their FBA experience. By far, the topics of boosting sales, increasing visibility, and building a brand on Amazon are the most frequently broached subjects.

Methods to achieving these goals exist. However, they can be intimidating for sellers due to a combination of complexity, cost, and time-consumption.

Enter Amazon Posts.

With an aesthetic and interface similar to Instagram, Posts allows sellers to promote their brand and products to a potentially massive audience. Additionally, it’s simple to setup and use, easy-to-understand, and best of all, it’s 100% free!

How Amazon Posts appear for shoppers

Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest have invested heavily in integrating eCommerce into their social media platforms; Amazon already has a massive user base and eCommerce engine.

Although Posts is in beta, forward-thinking sellers are already building substantial follower counts and generating impressions by the thousands.

Unquestionably, sellers should familiarize themselves with Amazon Posts as soon as possible to start raking in followers and sales while building brand loyalty. With limitless potential, it only figures to become an even more significant aspect of the Amazon marketing mix.

To help you get up to speed, we’ve answered a few of the frequently asked questions about the powerful new feature below!

What is Amazon Posts?

Let’s go straight to the source on this one.

Currently in beta, Posts delivers your brand story to relevant shoppers as they browse your categories on Amazon. Shoppers can click through Posts to explore your brand’s feed, and discover product pages directly from your feed. Click through from your brand’s feed to your product pages. Posts appear on the Amazon mobile shopping app (iOS and Android) and on mobile web.

Amazon

Mobile customers will be shown Posts for related products on the Product Detail page, presenting the opportunity to poach customers from rivals in the market.

Previously, sellers had to purchase this advertising space through PPC! Now, eligible sellers can do so for free.

An example of how Posts are displayed on the Amazon app

Additionally, Amazon states that systems are in place to automatically place your Posts in feeds and product detail pages based on relevance and customer engagement. Just post your content and they’ll take care of the rest!

Who can use Posts?

At the present time, it’s exclusive to sellers in the U.S. marketplace in the Amazon Brand Registry program. Sorry, international sellers!

How do I access Amazon Posts?

Eligible sellers must first set up a profile in the Advertising Console to establish your brand’s feed. Follow these simple steps to start posting sales-inducing content that stands out amongst the competition!

To create a profile:

  • Go to Posts Publisher and sign-in using your credentials.
  • Click Create profile for the Store that you’d like to link Posts profile to.
  • Enter the appropriate information for your profile.
    a. Profile name: The profile name is shopper-facing and filled in based on the brand name. You have an option to edit it.
    b. Profile logo: Choose a 640×640 pixel or larger image under 100MB in RBG color format.
  • Select the checkbox for the Terms and Conditions and submit your profile for review. You can proceed with creating a Post while the profile is under construction.

To create a Post:

  • In Posts Publisher, click Create Post.
  • Upload an image: Choose a 640×640 pixel or larger image under 100MB.
  • Write a caption for your Post.
  • Add the ASIN related to your Post. If the ASIN is out of stock or there is no image on the product detail page, your Post will not be shown.
  • Submit Post for review. Before submitting, review all of the information to ensure each aspect is as desired.

Once you’ve submitted a Post, it goes into Amazon’s review process before going live. Within the Posts Dashboard, you can track the status of your submission. Typically, the review process takes no more than 4 hours.

Per Amazon Posts Creative Policy, sellers are encouraged to tell a story using their product, not just rehash aspects of the product listing

Is there any way to monitor the performance of my Posts?

As a part of the Amazon Advertising Console, you’re able to track multiple metrics to gauge performance. Viewable impressions, engagement, and engagement rate in the console inform you of your reach.

Perhaps more importantly, customers have the option to follow your brand on Amazon. Furthermore, this allows a chance to retain customers and build brand loyalty like never before!

Should I be using Amazon Posts?

As veteran sellers know, any possible edge you can get on your Amazon competition can make a tremendous difference in your bottom line. With this in mind, a successful seller leaves no stone unturned in their pursuit of growth and eCommerce dominance.

Amazon’s simple and uniform shopping experience is one of many reasons why it’s the eCommerce platform of choice. Consequently, the uniformity in presentation, sellers are given few options to stand out. Because of this, all opportunities to distinguish your product should be explored and exhausted to maximize your chance at longstanding success.

With Amazon Posts, sellers get a golden opportunity to differentiate themselves with creative, inspiring content. Presently, too few sellers are taking advantage of this, making it a market inefficiency you can leverage into exponential brand recognition and growth.

If you’re already utilizing Instagram or other avenues to promote your business visually, you’re likely already doing a bulk of the work. All you need to do is set up your account and let the followers, impressions, and purchases flow in.

For your brand to have an opportunity to be promoted under competing listings at no cost is genuinely an unheard-of opportunity and should not be ignored! If we’re allowed to speculate, we hypothesize it may not be free forever.

Don’t let this opportunity go to waste! Sign up for Amazon Posts as soon as possible to take your brand to the next level.