Small business owners are looking for opportunities to get their products in the face of potential customers.
The internet and several e-commerce websites have improved product visibility, brand awareness, and data-keeping. Amazon is the world's largest online retailer.
Amazon is packed with business owners, customers, and potential customers. This makes advertising on Amazon a beneficial sales strategy.
You only pay when customers click your ads. The ads can be easily made, but converting a click to sales is where the challenge is, and you need to be equipped with the best ways to achieve that.
This report contains the best practices to run Amazon ads.
Use Suitable Words and Images for Your Ads
The first and most important part of an ad is the content contained within the ad. These contents must be well thought-out and professionally written with your goal in mind. A good ad needs to achieve the following:
- Describe the product or brand (this can be done with both the text and images in the ad).
- Highlight the product's or brand's core benefits and what makes it unique.
- Persuade customers to click on the ad.
- Good organic without any perception of exaggeration.
- Have a memorable effect.
These ads need to be pleasant and non-stressful. The images attached have to be clear, simple, and descriptive. The words must be as few as they can yet still pass the intended messages.
Such tasks would require a professional touch. Words may seem easy to construct, but there are experts in using words and images to appeal to an audience. You can also be an expert by honing the appropriate skills needed to achieve this.
The most necessary skills that need to be possessed for quality ads are copywriting and graphical design.
Copy Writing’s Influence on Amazon Ads
Copywriting uses texts for adverts, lead generation, and brand awareness. The main aim of copywriting is to improve brand awareness or promote patronage. There is no better place to apply copywriting skills than on a marketing ad.
If the copy does its job well, it will achieve one of the most important jobs of an ad - getting a person to click it. The wording of a well-done copy will get the attention of whoever is reading it, even at a glance.
Some words and phrases captivate people more than others, and copywriters know the right words and how to use them. Good graphics further beef up this captivation.
Graphical Influence on Amazon Ads
Amazon rejects ads that seem exaggerated, such as using phrases like “The Best,” “Number 1”, and the likes. This means copywriters would have to reduce their clickbait regarding ads.
It is then up to the creative head who will make the visuals to put in the final appealing touches accompanying the words. The product must be shown in an appealing light, showing its use, necessity, or aesthetics.
A good design may be the only difference between your product and getting noticed. Designing is a skill that can be learned. Depending on the product, designers have a good sense of each design's correct color, fonts, and structure.
Nowadays, ads are way more than just informing people about your product. They tell a story about quality and use-case. You must put a good story out, especially since you will be paying for it. Let the quality of your ads match that of your brand or product, and you will have a much better click-to-sales ratio.
Research and Use the Appropriate Type of Ads for Your Brand
There are two types of Ads on Amazon. Both could work for you, but sometimes it is just one more suitable for some business owners. The two types are the Sponsored Brands ads and the Sponsored Products ads.
The Sponsored Brands involve a broad ad type. Here the ad takes up a relatively large space and consists of the brand’s logo and a custom description, alongside about 3 three or more products in your product listing.
They are usually placed at the top of related search results and conspicuous. These types of ads are more dominant and easily noticed. Their size and location get people’s attention and the contents of the ads take it from there.
The Sponsored Products ads are more specific. These ads take only one product from your list and are found in related search results (not necessarily at the top). This is similar to the various suggestions when you type any keyword in your search bar.
This means that it could occur organically, but you pay for ads to give your product a better chance of being on the first suggestions. For the ads, you get to choose the keywords that you will like your product to appear in its search, or you can just get Amazon to do that automatically.
Once you have a clear understanding of the differences between these ad campaigns, you can put both of them to the test and see which is more profitable. However, some tips help you figure out which is most likely to be more helpful.
If your aim is brand awareness or you sell products within similar use-cases or niches, the Sponsored Brand campaign is a better option. It will display more than one product and put your brand name in the faces of the customers at all times.
The Sponsored product campaign works well with lone products that aren’t necessarily among a group of similar products from a brand.
For example, your brand sells domestic equipment like washing machines and dishwashers, but you also happen to have a microwave for sale. The microwave is better solely promoted using the Sponsored products approach.
These tips aren’t set in stone; every business owner needs to research which ad will serve them best based on their products, goals, and financial status.
With more in-depth research into your brand and what you want to achieve with each product, you can choose a more suitable approach to your paid ads.
With a trial and error method, you can determine which is more productive. If you are very desperate, there’s no harm in using both at the beginning of your ad campaign.
Use the Appropriate Keywords for Your Ads
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a skill that is necessary for business owners who want to make sales. What good is a fantastic product if it is at the back of the shelf and hardly ever seen? Most parts of Amazon ads involve keywords, and you need to understand what you are dealing with properly.
Your bidding strategy also relies on your understanding of keywords. You will get to a stage where you will do the keyword targeting manually to optimize better the types of search queries that would match your ads.
To do this, you need a better understanding of the keyword match types in amazon ads. These match types are approached based on the two types of ads on the platform.
Keyword Match Types for Sponsored Products
Sponsored Product ad campaigns involve ads about just one product from your brand and are included alongside suggestions of a search query. There are three types of match types for keywords to choose from in this group:
- Exact match: This type of match requires the users’ search query to be verbatim with the keyword. Any difference in order or inclusion of extra words (except pluralization) in the search will prevent the ad from appearing. For example, a chosen keyword of “woven glove” will have the ad appearing in searches such as “woven gloves” and “woven glove” but not in searches like “black woven glove” or “gloves that are woven.”
- Phrase match: In phrase match, additional words are allowed, but the order of the keywords must remain the same to be valid. For example, with the keyword “tank tops,” some valid searches are “blue tank tops” and “tank tops for children,” but the ad will not appear in searches like “top that looks like a tank.”
- Broad match: As the name implies, a Broad match allows for many query types. All that matters in this match type is that the keywords are present in the search query, the order and additional words do not matter. All you need to do is include the group of words you want present in the search query.
Keywords match types for Sponsored Brands
Sponsored Brand ad campaigns involve ads that contain the brand name, a heading, and an array of at least three products from the brand. There are many keyword combinations in this group, which involve favorable combinations. Some of these keyword types are:
- Branded Product Keywords: You provide various keywords, including your brand name and a product.
- Competitor-branded keywords: Similar to the branded product keywords, you insert those of your competitors along with the products instead of your brand name.
- Complementary Product Keywords: This involves using other products' names in conjunction with your product as keywords.
Another area where keywords come in very handy is in the product listing. This is a much more organic approach, but it can receive help from ads. Using different keywords and match types for your brand or product will give you an insight into the best keyword matches.
You can use this knowledge to name your products correctly. This optimizes your list and gives your products a better chance of being found - even without sponsored ads.
Gradually Move From Automatic to Manual Keyword Targeting
Amazon Sponsored Products ad campaigns have targeting options. These options affect how keywords and products are matched to your ads. There are two major targeting options; automatic targeting and manual targeting.
In automatic targeting, Amazon takes care of the matching for you. The method is quick and easy, and you do not have to lift a finger. Amazon platform has four in-built match types for its automatic targeting - close match, loose match, substitutes, and complements. You will select which of them you prefer to be used during the campaign creation or adjust them at any point based on your experiences.
One of the best parts of this targeting option is it is dynamically adapting to trends and new developments. It also recommends bid suggestions using its in-built algorithm. In addition, adjusting the default keywords set by automatic targeting is possible if you want to add a personal touch.
Not everyone likes to leave their ads in the hands of AI and other automated functionalities. The manual targeting is for you if you are in this group. In this targeting option, you fully control the keywords that will be used in your ads. Here you can set individual bids for each h keyword using suggestions from Amazon.
Knowing the targeting functionalities is necessary for you to know what they entail, but there is a guide within that knowledge. The best way to go about targeting is to go from using automatic targeting to a manual one. Automatic is the best option for when you are getting started to get enough help and exposure.
Then, you can use manual targeting to create a better ad campaign using the best-performing keywords from the automatic campaign. This way, you learn how people search for products, then see the best keyword matches for your brand and allow you to get the appropriate keywords.
Once this has been set in motion, you can, later on, switch to manual targeting, where you use the knowledge gained to input keywords tailored to your brand.
These two targeting options are not mutually exclusive, you can have an automatic targeting campaign to keep you on top of shopping trends and help continuously track the highest performing keywords. In the same breath, manual targeting campaigns can be in motion and used to bid more competitively.
Apply Negative Keyword Targeting To Your Ads
A significant part of creating suitable Amazon ads is getting the keywords right. This is because you want a customer to insert these words in the search query before your ads appear. Therefore, you need to grasp the use and disuse of keywords.
The disuse of keywords entails the keywords you do not want your ads to be identified with, which is called negative targeting. To understand negative targeting, you need to understand the options available to you, and you can call them positive targeting if you like.
Your product visibility largely depends on keywords. Basic SEO knowledge and up-to-date research will increase the chances of doing this correctly. Amazon provides two major targeting functionalities; automatic targeting and manual targeting.
The best practice for targeting is to start your ad campaigns with automatic targeting, learn more about the keywords generated, see which works and which doesn't, and understand the pattern.
After two to four weeks, you can then move to manual targeting, where you're in charge, you use what you've learned and other SEO-related and target audience-specific knowledge to create and choose keywords.
Once you are equipped with the knowledge of the right keywords, you will also come across other keywords that have been tried but aren't necessarily beneficial. Negative targeting removes your ads from search results that are not beneficial to the brand and will likely have little to no conversion.
For example, an ad for "tank tops" will not benefit from being present in the search result for "water tanks". It also applies to exclusions of specific product brands that you may not have.
You can accurately do this by including the unwanted words in your exclusion list, like adding "water" to the list, in the case of the discrepancy between the water tanks and tank tops. This helps narrow the reach and tailor it to your target audience.
This exclusion of non-complementary and low-rate keywords optimizes your ads' performance and increases the return on ad spend. Bidding for Amazon ads is tricky, and you have to save costs. This is one of the most practical ways to do that. Amazon uses a pay-per-click mechanism, meaning you pay a certain amount each time a customer clicks your ad.
As convenient as that seems, it becomes bothersome when you get clicks but do not make sales. This can occur mostly in cases of wrong keyword placement.
Still using our established "water tank" and "tank tops" example, the shopper can still click the ad but is less likely to purchase the tank tops because that wasn't what brought them there in the first place. In such a case, you lose money and make no sales.
Your ad will be more effective with Amazon's negative targeting. As a result, you can effectively tailor your ads to the appropriate audience, which is the final step to the targeting aspect of the advert.
Always Set Your Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS) goal
To measure the rate of success and attainment of milestones of your Amazon ads, you need to take account of several metrics. One of the most valuable metrics is the Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS). ACoS is the amount of money spent on ads to the revenue generated.
It is a direct link to see if the more you spend on ads, the more you generate. You need to set a range for your ACoS early and adjust it as new developments occur.
A good practice is to keep your Advertising Cost of Sales flexible. One would rather spend less on ads, which will have a translatory effect on the revenue. This is why you need to distribute your ad spend in the best way possible.
The best practice for ACoS is a product-based approach (Involving the Sponsored Products ads). Ads aim to create awareness of a brand or product to customers, but you are well aware that some products are already known by most of your customers. This knowledge is what you use to apply the flexibility of your ACoS. To do this, you invest more in ads for new and unknown products.
These products require more promotion as they are unknown; therefore, spending money to improve their popularity won’t hurt. The more well-known a product gets, the less the ads spend necessary. The product is already known, and most of the customers who will purchase it know how to get to it.
You can also look at your ads’ successes by looking at the Total Advertising Cost of Sales (TACoS), which measures how your overall revenue is influenced by your ad spend. This is a more general metric as it also takes account of organically generated revenue just to have an overall feel of the effects of your ads.
In summary, it looks at how much money you make from sales and relates it to the amount you spend on ads. Watching the increase and decrease of the values closely can hint at when to cut down on ad spending and when to invest more in it.
ACoS can be used alongside metrics like the number of impressions, the number of ads’ clicks, sales, and ratios that combine the various metrics.
There are reporting tools available for the two types of Amazon ads (Sponsored Product campaign and Sponsored Brand Campaign) that measure your ads performance by displaying the ACoS alongside other relevant metrics of the campaign that you can use during evaluation meetings at necessary intervals. Implementing the tools could further help your pursuit of growth.
Capitalize on Using Organic Means to Back Up Your Ads
The long-term goal of ad campaigns is for you to no longer need to do them. You will have attained a significant level of growth to be independent of using ads. You may not get rid of them totally but getting to a stage where you do not depend on them to generate significant sales is what every business owner dreams to attain.
This is a transitional process, and you must put this in motion from the very beginning of your ad campaign. If you’ve already started the ad campaign and haven’t kept these in motion, it’s also not too late.
You need to use ad-generated patronage to grow organic ads. Organic ads come in the form of sincere opinions from people who have tried your products, and they are the earned opinions of satisfied customers. These appear in the form of online reviews and recommendations from past customers.
Online reviews are one of the most relevant opinions in the marketing industry. It is a humane response and a testimony in the eyes of intending customers. Once you can convert your ads to patronage, the next best step is to seek reviews from your satisfied customers. You can do this through emails or other suitable contact methods, depending on your type of audience.
Online reviews matter and the aim is to garner as many positive reviews as possible. Positive reviews are an organic route to the top of Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) and a direct way of influencing patronage. It is an organic method, but it can stem from the excellent job that well-produced ads have done.
Although, of course, not all reviews are great, you will get some negative reviews. An effective strategy for the negative reviews you may receive is to give viable responses to weather the storm and always try to compensate in one way or the other.
Continuous patronage and traffic to your profile page give your account the opportunity of receiving the “Amazon’s Choice” label. This badge is given to a product viewed as the best match for a particular keyword.
Brands that have been honored with this label are rewarded with more attention from online shoppers because who doesn’t want to patronize the choice of the convener? This badge is also SEO-related, another area you must brush up on as a business owner on Amazon to improve your conversion rate.
Improve Your Product Detail Page
A common mistake among business owners on Amazon is relying solely on their ads to generate sales. They put in so much work to get their ads in top-notch condition, sometimes even hiring copywriters and designers to ensure the ads look good but forget about the product detail page.
The endgame of ads is to generate sales, but its primary assignment is to get online shoppers to click it; the moment they click, the bulk of the ads’ job is done. Unfortunately, clicking an ad doesn’t mean you have generated sales, that’s the job of the profile detail page.
The next step after creating admirable ads is to work on your profile detail page. This is the main store. The fact that a store’s building looked so good on the outside and made shoppers step in, doesn’t mean that the same shoppers can’t step out when they get in and realize that the store is poorly managed. Just like clicking on ads, you don’t get paid for the number of customers that step into the building.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t forcefully make it drink. You must admit that the horse is more likely to drink if the water is clean. Your profile detail page has to be as persuasive as your ads to convert shoppers to customers. That’s where your next focus should be on.
Optimize your profile detail page to contain clear and detailed product descriptions, images that are appealing to the eyes, and convincing statements as to why the product should be the shoppers’ choice.
This means your profile page needs to get as much attention as your ads because a click on the profile page is more likely to lead to purchase than a click on the ads.
Optimizing your product page involves gassing up the function of the product effectively. Focus on the “why” and “how,” not just the “what.” Whoever clicks on your ad already knows they clicked on a blender, a helmet, a fur coat, or whatever.
They don’t know why this is the one they should buy, and it’s your job to convince them through the product description.
Try to implement great customer service by following great ads and a convincing profile page. This isn’t an ad-related step but promotes future patronage and good customer relations. The best practices for Amazon ads don’t have to influence the ads directly but also include the steps you take before and after the ads have been paid for.
Adjust Your Biddings According to Conversion Rates
For Amazon ads, you choose your budgets and bids. There are many choices available to you, and you can set the bids for different keywords, keyword match types, targeting groups, products, and categories.
Amazon ads use a cost-per-click structure, meaning one is only billed when a shopper clicks their ad. As a seller, you compile a list of keywords you wish to have your ad appear for and the maximum amount you are willing to pay per click or set a maximum amount you can pay daily.
You can decide to use automated bidding, which eases most of the stress, but a more hands-on way is to keep adjusting your bid at any time manually while you look closely at how your conversion rate rises and falls. Amazon, themselves recommends a minimum daily budget of $10 because that price or higher would almost definitely secure that your ads are live throughout the day.
The best practice in bidding is always to look to optimize it. The manual bidding requires a lot of data digging, but setting the default bid at a pay-per-click rate you can afford is essential.
It is a bit strenuous going through the data necessary to know which bids will be best. Fortunately, some tools implement machine learning with automated bidding to properly learn the best strategies and generate revenue.
You must select a bidding strategy that will work best for your business. Amazon offers three bidding strategies to pick from:
- Dynamic bids - Down Only: This is an automatic bidding style handled by Amazon, depending on the probability that a click will lead to a sale. The “Down only” strategy permits Amazon to lower your bid when its algorithm predicts fewer chances of the click leading to a sale.
- Dynamic bids - Up and Down: The “Up and Down” strategy is an automatic strategy that is more competitive. The strategy permits Amazon to increase your bid when its algorithm calculates the likelihood of a shopper's click leading to sales and reducing the bid when it says otherwise.
- Fixed bids: Unlike the dynamic bidding strategies, a fixed bid will remain unchanged regardless of what Amazon feels the chances are of a shopper’s click leading to sales. This is more effective at the beginning of your ad campaign so that Amazon’s algorithm can gather more data to make your dynamic bidding effective.
There’s so much to learn and implement when bidding for ad placement. It takes the most diligent sellers to master the structures and reach a level where their maximum bids are adequate to win the Amazon auction.
However, Amazon is very considerate of excessiveness, and you only pay $0.01 more than the next highest bidder. This means that if you set your bid to $5 and the next highest bidder’s bid is $3, you only pay $3.01 for the ad.
Another feature on Amazon is Bid+. Bid+ can be applied in the manual targeting campaign for ads that can appear at the top of search result pages. Making use of Bid+ reduces the stress of having to adjust your bids continuously. Bid+ is statistically shown to increase your bid by about 50% but has relative productivity.
Always Have General Reviews of Your Ads Reach at Intervals
A business that doesn't look into the update reports at intervals is bound to fail. Data analysis is important for your ads and your business as a whole. Experts advise against having a "set it and forget it" mindset, it is bad for business.
Instead, you need to have evaluations weekly, monthly, or yearly evaluations depending on the type of products you are into. This reflection serves many purposes; it could be a template for a better strategy, a metric for growth, and a foundation for predictions.
General reviews of your ads' performance in relation to your ad spend and revenue generated will help shed more light on many factors. For example, with such analytics, you can tell when your ads are most productive in the day, days of the week, months, and holidays. It could also relate to more economic changes like changes in the stock market and exchange rates.
During such reviews, you need to be aware of the various metrics you can take into account and find connections among them. A few of them are:
- Ad spends: The amount of money spent on ads at a specific time frame.
- Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS): The ratio of your ad spend to your revenue.
- Impressions: Number of times the ads were engaged in the form of clicks. This is beneficial in cases where the aim is to promote a brand rather than generate sales.
Using these metrics alone or combined will help you make decisions for the future. For example, a metric like an ad spending can be combined with impressions from the Cost Per Click (CPC) and the Cost Per Mille (CPM), all useful values when analyzing your business growth.
You can take these different values and turn them into progress reports or graphs just to see where things are going up and where they are going down. These may seem a bit hectic, but so is running a business.
Asides from the check-up at intervals, you should also do well to monitor the market conditions on a daily basis or something close to that. This is essential to make little immediate adjustments that could save some money. Remember, tiny drops make an ocean.