Selling products on Amazon has become an enticing opportunity for businesses of all sizes.
But as competition on the marketplace increases, the guarantee of success can sometimes decrease. This is why you need to use every weapon in your arsenal to win the attention of your customers.
But how, I hear you clamour?
Fear not. In this article, we delve into this dynamic and fiercely competitive realm of Amazon PPC, uncovering the strategies, challenges, and opportunities that sellers encounter as they navigate this digital battleground.
Whether you're a seasoned seller or just starting your Amazon journey, understanding the competitive landscape is crucial to harnessing the full potential of PPC advertising especially around big sales moments like Prime Day or Black Friday, Cyber Monday.
But first, what is PPC?
Understanding PPC advertising: What is it and how does it work?
Broadly speaking, PPC is a form of online advertising where advertisers pay a fee each time someone clicks on their ad.
In the case of Amazon PPC, sellers bid on keywords that are relevant to their products, and then Amazon displays their ads to customers who are searching for those keywords. They can take a few forms including:
- Sponsored products: ads for specific individual product listings on Amazon which appear within results pages and product detail pages. These ads help you to reach high intent shoppers actively looking for products similar to yours
- Sponsored brands: this option showcases your brand and product portfolio including featuring you logo, tagline, a selection of products and more. These ads appear in shopping results pages which helps to drive sales and visibility
- Sponsored display: a relatively new addition to the Amazon PPC family, this is a self-service solution that places ads both on and off Amazon helping you to engage with shoppers beyond the Amazon platform
The aim is to get your ad to appear at the top of Amazon's search results to increase visibility and drive traffic to your product listings. Then the hope is that it results in increased conversions.
The cost of each click varies depending on the competition for the keyword, the relevance of your ad to the search query, and how much you are willing to bid. Your budget is also a determining factor in how much it will cost as you decide how much you want to spend for a click.
So as you can imagine, costs can fluctuate wildly depending on competition, seasonality and many other factors but it is integral.
Take Hunter & Gather for example. Founders, Amy and Jeff, used Uncapped capital to scale their Amazon marketing across sponsored products and sponsored brands. This bolstering of Amazon platform marketing increased their Amazon store's traffic exponentially which resulted in them becoming the #2 best seller for Ketchup and the #1 best seller for mayonnaise on Amazon UK.
As an added bonus it also increased their own ecommerce store’s traffic resulting in off platform sales as well!
Now they look like two happy founders.
Moral of the story? Don’t let the price put you off going hard on the PPC game as the results can be extraordinary. Instead, be smart and use Uncapped to take advantage of the marketing powers at your fingertips with Amazon.
But before we get carried away, let’s rewind and take it from the start!
Setting up a successful Amazon PPC campaign: step-by-step guide
It all starts with the set up!
Well, and money! With recommended starting costs for small amazon sellers being around $9,000 per month, costs can quickly add up, especially considering this is just one string of the marketing bow.
Financial support is never far away with Uncapped’s tailored Amazon Seller Funding product. Get in touch today.
Now, back to the set up!
Before setting up your PPC campaigns on Amazon, you need to:
1. have a clear understanding of your business goals and your target audience
2. abide by Amazon’s rules and regulations ie:
- You must have an active Professional Seller partner account as well as be enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry
- Your desired advertised products must be eligible for Featured Offer placement
- Your products must be in the categories Amazon allows to use advertising options. No adult, used or refurbished products for example.
3. if you haven’t already, conduct thorough keyword research to determine the most relevant and high-traffic search terms that potential customers are using to find products similar to yours
Once you have completed your in-depth keyword research, you can start setting up your PPC campaign by following these step-by-step instructions:
- Create an Amazon Seller Central account and select the products you want to advertise.
- Choose the campaign type and define your targeting options, such as keywords and audience demographics.
- Create ad groups that are organised around similar product types or themes.
- Write your ad copy using persuasive language and a clear call to action.
- Set your budget, bids, and daily maximum spend limits.
- Submit your ad for approval by Amazon.
And then the really fun stuff begins. But first, let’s break down the above points to ensure you get the best results possible from the start.
Keyword research for Amazon PPC: Finding the best keywords for your business
Keyword selection is arguably the most crucial aspect of any PPC campaign and can determine whether you stand out or whether you crash down!
Without having a defined list of keywords that are actually relevant to your products, and that your customers are actually searching, you are just hitting and hoping. Gone are the days of putting #justinbeiber and getting a boat ton of traffic. It’s about the right traffic so pick wisely.
If you don’t know where to start, Amazon's very own Keyword Tool is a useful resource for identifying high-traffic keywords, their search volume, and relevancy and you can also use Google’s keyword planner to find any additional ones that may have slipped through the net.
In addition to these, there are plenty of agencies that can help and provide ongoing support to ensure relevance remains and you stay up to date. Agencies to check out include:
Once you have a list of keywords, it's also essential to group them into campaigns and ad groups based on their intent and relevance to your products. You can then target each group with its ad copy, bids, and budget.
Structuring your Amazon PPC campaign for optimal results
Structuring your PPC campaigns in a way that aligns with your business goals and target audience is critical for achieving optimal results. You should organise your campaigns and ad groups based on the products or services you offer, the keywords you are targeting, and the customer demographics you want to reach.
This approach allows you to create targeted ads that resonate with your ideal audience and increase your chances of converting clicks into sales.
Additionally, you should set your bids and budgets to align with the value of the products you are advertising. High-value items may require higher bids to increase their visibility, while lower-value items may not require as much investment.
Creating compelling Ad copy: Tips and best practices
What’s the last ad you remember without a top notch hook? That’s right! You don’t remember any.
Your ad copy is the first impression potential customers have of your products and therefore it must capture attention and be compelling enough to encourage them to click on your ad.
Creating this copy isn’t easy but below are some tips for creating effective ad copy that will encourage viewers to find out more:
- Using persuasive language - encouraging trust, credibility, scarcity or similar
- Clear benefits to the customer - inform the customer on the beneficial outcomes
- Including a clear call to action, such as "Shop Now" or "Learn More" or include the discount or offer currently being offered if it is a Prime Day ad
It is also important to accompany compelling copy with a few other qualities such as:
- Conducting A/B tests to determine which ad copy resonates best with your audience and iterating should need be
- Using high-quality images that showcase the product or service and complement the copy
Ad copy is vital and should encourage the reader to learn more or entice them to check it out. Without compelling copy, you get the eyeballs but you don’t get the sale, which can leave you floundering.
Understanding Amazon ACoS and how to measure success
Can I interest you in another acronym? Good as it is time to learn about ACoS.
ACoS stands for the Advertising Cost of Sales and is what the success of your PPC campaign will be measured on.
The figure that remains represents the percentage of your revenue that is spent on advertising.
Now we aren’t going to sit here and tell you what a good ACoS looks like as, frankly, it varies from business to business and factors such as product margins, competition, and advertising goals etc.
However, it is safe to say that, generally, you should be aiming for an ACoS that is lower than your profit margin for each product so measure regularly and keep an eye on areas of improvement or lack of performance.
This way you can improve your chances of a positive ROI (there’s another acronym for you) and maximising your campaigns' effectiveness.
Analysing your Amazon PPC data to improve performance
As with all areas of selling on Amazon, without data, we are nothing and analysing your PPC data is crucial for identifying growth opportunities.
Mercifully, however, PPC advertising is a data rich area of marketing comparatively and provides many valuable data points that indicate ad performance. Over time, and with a few tests under your belt, this can be used to refine your targeting, improve your ad copy or find new and creative ways to engage with your audience.
So review your data regularly to identify which keywords, ad groups, and campaigns are generating the most clicks, conversions, and revenue and adjust accordingly.
Also remember your ACoS, conversion rates, and click-through rates to ensure your campaigns remain profitable.
Avoiding common pitfalls in Amazon PPC advertising
Even with the best intentions, PPC campaigns can fall prey to common pitfalls that reduce their effectiveness and end up costing you more money than you make so below are some of the more common mistakes people make:
- Using irrelevant keywords that generate clicks but not sales
- Bidding too high for low-performing keywords
- Targeting too broad an audience, reducing ad relevance and effectiveness
- Misaligned ad copy that does not speak to customer needs or wants
Starting to feel like a stuck record here but it bears repeating; monitor, iterate and optimise!
Managing your Amazon PPC campaigns efficiently with automation tools
Automation is all the rage these days with AI tools coming out of our ears.
But when it comes to automating your PPC campaigns, this is a process this writer can get behind.
Manual management of your Amazon PPC campaigns can be an arduous and time consuming endeavour. Especially when you have multiple campaigns, products etc.
Thankfully, Amazon offers several automation tools that can help you manage your campaigns more efficiently. Tools such as bid adjustment, keyword management, campaign optimisation and much much more can be used to streamline processes and take some of that time and know-how burden off your shoulders.
So if you want to save time, reduce costs, and improve ROI significantly, then check out what automating your PPC campaigns can do for you.
Advanced Amazon PPC strategies: Targeting, bidding, and budgeting techniques
So you think you are getting the hang of it all? Wrong! You’re just getting started.
As you gain more experience with Amazon PPC, you will graduate to additional levels that can open up many a door for you. Behind these doors are advanced strategies that can further increase your campaigns' ROI.
- targeting techniques such as retargeting previous customers and lookalike audiences
- bidding techniques such as bid adjustments for different times of the day, the week or particular seasonal moments such as the Q4 rush
- And budgeting techniques such as using different budgets for high and low converting keywords
These advanced strategies can often require a more seasoned hand and there comes a time when you have to weigh up the pros and cons of outsourcing some of these tasks or hiring a dedicated individual to take the reins.
What we do know is that it opens up even greater possibilities to be a top level seller.
In the ever evolving and snowballing world of Amazon selling, one thing is clear:
Amazon PPC is an effective way for sellers to increase their visibility, drive traffic to their product listings, and increase revenue.
That being said, and as this blog article has hopefully demonstrated and addressed, success requires a thorough understanding of the platform, strategic planning, testing, optimisation and cash.
Now Uncapped can help on the cash front and can make a number of recommendations to our world beating partner ecosystem to ensure your success on the platform. So get in touch today.
Hopefully this guide has demystified some of the blurriness surrounding PPC and has scratched the surface of what is needed to bat away the competition this Prime Day and beyond.
Now get PPCing!