This article was contributed by Seller Labs

When advertising slots started opening up on Amazon, it was a pretty simple game. You could practically throw money at ads, and it would result in impressions, clicks, and sales. Amazon Advertising has come a long way since then. Now, it’s difficult to see the results you want without a perfectly crafted Amazon PPC strategy.

If you’re new to advertising or you’ve been doing it for years, it can be challenging to build an Amazon PPC strategy if you don’t know where to start.

Step 1. Set your goal(s).

A strategy without a goal is just a list of tasks. Yes, there are things that you need to do to keep your advertising (and your account in general) up to date. However, with a goal in mind, and some planning, these tasks become a solid strategy.

Your advertising goals can vary. Chances are, depending on brand and product, you will have a combination of these goals to help your business grow. For a more comprehensive list, check out Amazon Advertising Strategies and Goals in 2020.

  • Brand Awareness: Newer brands (or young brands with new products) need to get their name out there. Brand awareness goals generally have higher ad spend with lower returns, but it’s all about those (free) impressions.
  • Conquer a Keyword: Keywords, especially in competitive categories, can be difficult to “own.” With proper planning, you can find your niche and own a popular keyword or phrase. For example, a brand like Cetaphil may choose to conquer and own “facial cleanser” as opposed to “acne soap.”
  • Optimal Shopping Time: Only run ads when shoppers are likely to convert. Everyone’s ad budget resets at the same time every day. Use ad scheduling to  run your ads only during prime shopping time and see those conversions skyrocket.

As with any goals, make sure they are SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. A goal of “Decrease ACoS” won’t do much for you. However, a SMART goal would be “Decrease ACoS on my top-performing advertising campaign to 20% in the next 60 days.”

For a full list of all the jargon and acronyms associated with Amazon Advertising, check out The Complete Amazon Digital Advertising Glossary from Seller Labs.

Step 2. Gather your numbers.

You need to know where you’re starting  from in order to create an Amazon PPC strategy to reach your goals. Otherwise, you can’t measure your success and determine what works. Are you trying to increase your impressions from 1,000 per day to 10,000 per day? Is your ACoS currently at 25% or 200%? What are your current metrics, and which do you want to target?

Combine your starting numbers with your end goal to see the journey you’re going to take. Remember that your goals should be achievable and time-bound. Thus, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to take a 250% ACoS down to 25% in two weeks. Give yourself time and be patient.

Catch up with the latest Seller Labs webinar, Know Your Numbers: How to Not Drown in Advertising Data.

Step 3. List the actions you can do to grow your account with advertising.

Just start brainstorming! There is so much that you can do with advertising, especially on Amazon. Tap into Sponsored Products, Sponsored Display, and Sponsored Brands Ads. Utilize videos or Amazon Posts. There’s ad scheduling, auto campaigns, keyword mining, and so much more to give you an edge.

The list of things you can do is endless. You might be able to use them all, or you may only use a few. You know your target audience best, so be sure that your actions are the right ways to reach your customers. We’ve listed out a few options below. For more details on these PPC strategies, check out the full post.

  • Own your brand keywords. Create a campaign solely focused on the keywords associated with your brand. If you don’t, someone else certainly will. Just think of all of the sellers who try and capitalize on the big brands like Adidas and Anker.
  • Utilize ad scheduling for when shoppers are most likely to convert. Don’t waste all of your money at 2:00 in the morning. Create some duplicate campaigns, schedule them out, and see which time period results in the highest number of conversions.
  • Use negative keywords. You’d be surprised how often a product will show up for something it is not. That results in low conversions and wasted ad spend. Utilize negative keywords so you don’t show up for unrelated customer searches.

If you’re new to the world of Amazon Advertising, check out Getting Started with Amazon PPC: Your Guide to Sponsored Advertising.

Step 4. Build your Amazon PPC Strategy.

At Seller Labs, we recommend that every advertised ASIN in your catalog should have its own strategy. All products are not created equal. You have a few top performers, more mid-rangers, and then some products you’re letting sell out.

As our VP of Marketing, Jeff Cohen, likes to say: “It’s all about the 80/20 rule. 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your products. Focus on those.” This rule applies to anything and everything. For Amazon PPC, invest 80% of your advertising budget toward 20% of your products (the top performers).

You know your numbers, you have your goals, and you have a massive list of things you can do to reach those goals. Now, you build your path.

Think of it like a weight loss or fitness journey. You don’t go from couch potato to running a marathon. There are steps along the way, like walking, stretching, eating properly, hydrating sufficiently. Your Amazon PPC strategy is the same way. Begin with optimizing your listings, using professional-grade images, and creating clean and organized campaigns.

Final Thoughts

Remember, crafting your Amazon PPC strategy does not have to be intimidating. Be patient and methodical. Not every tactic will work, and some will work far better than others. Amazon Advertising is not something you can set up and walk away from (unlike automated Buyer-Seller Messaging), so keep an eye on your data and be ready to react and adjust as needed.

Start advertising smarter on Amazon with the power of Seller Labs Pro. Ignite your ad strategy and optimize your conversion rate with machine learning and AI-powered algorithms that analyze your business and help you set, meet, and exceed your advertising goals with automatization and recommendations. Start your free 30-day trial of Seller Labs Pro today!