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.
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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.
- 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.
[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!