When Amazon cut all those Vendor Central accounts in March 2019, they opened the door for brands to take a more active role in their business on Seller Central. One huge part of that: full control of your product advertising. I wrote this blog to share our list of 10 of the best tips & practices we’ve learned managing many of our Seller Central accounts through Amazon’s historical twists and turns
The overarching goal of this blog is to transform advertising your product from being a burden into being an amazing opportunity to customize your advertising message and tactics which will grow your business and separate your products from the competition.
1. Have a goal
Always define the nature of your ads and have clear quantifiable objectives. Know what target audience you want to appeal to, and where that audience is in the advertising funnel. Set a goal on the specific ROI and KPIs you want to achieve with each ad. Measure everything. It’s important to know what success looks like.
2. Know your budget limits
Dollars are not the only ROI when doing ads, but certainly sales are always the goal. Set a limit on the Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS). Determine how much of your profit you are willing to spend on each product and set that as your ACoS goal for each ad. Kill what doesn’t work, and elevate the ad tactics that get results which meet your goals.
3. Small, focused campaigns
Break up your keywords into groups and subgroups. Create a campaign for each group, with an ad group for each sub-group. This will allow you to focus the results by elevating what is working and stopping what is not.
4. Use the right tool for the right job
Sponsored Brand ads are good for building brand awareness. Sponsored Product ads are good for when a consumer is intent on purchasing within your product category. Determine where your product is in the consumers mind, what the competition is doing and evaluate how much you are willing to spend. Branding will cost more, but will have longer term upside and benefits.
5. Use all the tools available
You rarely win a boxing match with a single blow. Use the combo of Sponsored Brand ads and Sponsored Product ads to cover the whole spectrum of consumers in different stages of the buying experience. Choose carefully, or experiment with a mix, as you calculate the importance of branding vs. simply getting a shopper to the right product at the right price.
6. Measure your results wisely
Sponsored Brand ads and Sponsored Products ads need to have a specific goal and a specific audience. If you are building brand awareness, measure you results in impressions and click throughs. If you are targeting consumers ready to buy, look at RoAS (Return on Advertising Sales) or ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sales).
7. Change is the only constant
Consumers arrive at your product differently as time moves on. Use auto-targeted ads to capture the ever-changing search patterns of consumers. Again, double down on what works, and kill what doesn’t. Keywords wax and wane. Keep them fresh and follow the consumer trends.
8. Spend the time to monitor your results
Be prepared to work daily on advertising until you get in the groove. Monitor your KPIs for every group and each ad. Massage them until they meet your goals. Amazon has a robust set of reports. Utilize them to monitor your success and change the destiny of your failures. Learn each one and determine which ones give you the KPIs required for your products success.
9. Location, location, location
Ad placement is a huge factor in success. Some ads do great at the top of the page, while some do better in the middle or bottom of the page. Monitor where your ads work. Don’t be afraid to change your bid to get the ads in different spots and see where they do better.
10. Play Defense
Cross sell your various products by placing Sponsored Products ads on each product pages. Target your own products SKUs. This cross promotes your full portfolio and keeps competitors off your product’s space.
Summary: Optimize Your Results by Mastering the Variables
With every ad buy you will learn more. Put Amazon’s data and ability to report precision metrics to work for you, as every percentage point on your campaign manager report can have huge ramifications for your product’s success. The ones who achieve the best advertising results are analytics wonks. If you don’t currently have an Amazon expert on your team, find someone to hire or bring in an expert from outside. That’s my most important tip of all – especially if you are just getting going on Seller Central.