Whether you’re just getting started with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Amazon or you’ve been using the platform for a while, one thing is for certain: Amazon Advertising is continually adding new tools and ad layouts to improve the customer experience and give you more ways to engage with your customers.
With these new tools and ad layouts rolling out as Amazon Advertising matures, it’s important to make sure you’re using all of the tools available that will help you reach your advertising goals. It’s especially important to make sure that you’re not using any outdated Amazon strategies as you move forward with your business. We’re going to dive into three outdated Amazon Advertising strategies – and what you should do instead.
3 Amazon Ad Strategies That Are Outdated
1. Only Using and Starting With Automatic Targeting Campaigns
When sellers are new to Amazon Advertising and looking to conduct keyword research for ads, many people start by using automatic targeting campaigns. These are Sponsored Product campaigns where you can add the Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASINs) you want to advertise into the campaign, and Amazon will automatically target customer search queries where they think your product is the most relevant.
While this is a good place to start, and you can gain real-time customer search queries, only using this type can not only lead to your product placing on irrelevant searches, but you’re also missing out on other ways to gain insights and valuable data.
What you should do instead is use a combination of automatic and manual targeting in your Sponsored Product ads. In Seller Central and Vendor Central, you have access to Brand Analytics. While there are helpful keyword research tools out there, like Helium10, Brand Analytics uses first-party data, which is advantageous over what is available to third parties.
In Seller Central, log in and select “Brand Analytics” from the dropdown menu:
Once you click this, you’ll be able to see a dashboard at the top of the page. Click on “Amazon Search Terms”:
This will open up a new page and lead you to this interface:
From here, you can search using terms you find relevant to your products and your ASINs. This interface also allows you to see which related search terms rank the highest and which ASINs are clicked the most, from highest to lowest.
In addition to setting up your automatic targeting of Sponsored Product ads, you can use the search terms found here as keywords to set up manual campaigns and target the most relevant, highest-ranked terms for your products. In this example, you’d definitely want to use “colored pencils” while also including long-tail keywords like “colored pencils for adult coloring.” Using long-tail keywords is also beneficial, as these tend to have lower bid costs and can help you with your mid to lower funnel tactics and keep your cost-per-click (CPC) within your desired range.
You can also now target your specific product category and even competitor brands within Sponsored Products. You should use automatic targeting, manual targeting based on your keyword research, and category targeting at the same time. This allows you to gain valuable insights into your customer search behavior, defend your brand, show up during competitor searches, and make sure your products are reaching your intended audience.
2. Having One Budget Meant To Cover All Amazon Advertising Goals
Your business’ advertising goals are going to change over time. Many products have seasonality or sell particularly well during certain holidays. Depending on if your brand is new or mature, if you’re launching new products, or if you have other internal sales goals, your advertising strategy should align with these various circumstances.
The most likely situation is that a business will have multiple goals at once. For example, you want to grow your brand’s awareness on Amazon while also driving sales and winning conversions from competitors. Not all of these can be achieved with one strategy and one budget. Your return on investment (ROI) expectations should also be different based on your business goals.
Brand awareness efforts are meant to grow your presence on Amazon, so consumers know and recognize your brand and products. These campaigns will expand your reach but not necessarily lead to sales.
Setting the expectation that you may have a lower sales return on such efforts than others should be taken into consideration, especially if you are new to the marketplace or launching new products. If focusing on visibility and search ranking is one of your goals, you’ll need to expect a different Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS) for these efforts. Ads on Amazon have a halo effect that may show an increase in your total sales and not just your ad revenue.
Instead, split your monthly or weekly budget across your various goals based on priority. How you split this up is up to what you determine to be the most important goals. Maybe you want to allocate 40% of your budget to your top sellers, 30% to brand awareness, 20% to brand defense, and so on. Each of these will have a different ROI and can be managed by organizing your ads into different portfolios. Setting these expectations early on in your advertising journey will help you prioritize your business goals as they change.
3. Only Using Amazon PPC as Your Advertising Method
Amazon Advertising is not the only way to drive traffic to your product listings. Combining your marketing efforts with options on other advertising platforms, like Google, can create a positive feedback loop between your own direct-to-consumer (D2C) site and Amazon by running ads in tandem.
Through Amazon Seller Central and your own site, you can create email campaigns to re-engage those customers and potentially turn them into repeat purchasers. If you don’t have your own D2C site, you can still utilize sponsored ads on social media platforms, blogs, and influencers to direct traffic to your Amazon listings. Using these tactics together with Amazon PPC advertising creates traffic to your listings, brand awareness, and customer engagement, and they foster customer loyalty.
Whether you choose to diversify your marketing efforts across multiple platforms or get started with Amazon PPC, the key to making sure your ad dollars are achieving your goals is to make sure you’re not using an outdated Amazon strategy. Amazon and eCommerce are always changing – so having a dynamic approach to advertising will keep your business from being left behind!