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Yup! That’s right, you can now target your competitors on Amazon using sponsored ads’ new product targeting option. With the new product targeting, Amazon sellers have more control and it’s easier to reach shoppers as they browse products similar to yours.

Before you create a new product campaign, you need to first determine ASINs you’d like to advertise on. You can choose to target them either by individual products or by product categories. Given option A or B, you can choose option C to target both options at the same time within the same ad group and observe individual bids and results for each.

Below details the simple 3 steps you can follow to create a sponsored Amazon ad campaign targeting your competitors’ products.

3 Steps to create an Amazon product targeting campaign

Step 1 – Navigate to Campaign Manager

Navigate to your campaign manager under the ‘Advertising’ tab in Amazon Seller Central. Click the ‘Create Campaign’ button to start a new product targeting campaign.

Step 2 – Choose Your Campaign Type

You are given two options when creating a new campaign, sponsored products, or sponsored brands. Select the ‘Sponsored Products’ button to promote your products to shoppers searching with related keywords or viewing similar products on Amazon.

Step 3 – Setup Sponsored Products Campaign

In the final step, you need to include all relevant details for your campaign. I will explain and break each component down to bite-size pieces for better understanding.

1. Campaign name – Be as specific as possible with your campaign name, i.e. ‘Probiotics for dogs (product targeting)’. Keep in mind that you have multiple campaigns running at the same time and naming them properly will help you locate and optimize each campaign easily.

2. Start & End Dates – Enter the date for when you want the campaign to start and keep the end date blank. You’d want the campaign to run continuously for Amazon’s algorithm to better optimize it. You can end the campaign any time if it doesn’t perform as planned.

3. Daily Budget – This is entirely up to you, I am using $10 as an example. Keep in mind to have sufficient budget or else your campaign won’t run properly.

For instance, you have 10 ad groups targeting different products within 1 campaign and each ad group is bidding $2 for the ad to be shown. So, $2 x 10 = $20, you’d want to have at least $20 set for your ad budget or your campaign won’t run effectively.

Also, keep in mind that $20 only allows each ad group to be displayed once or twice before your campaign runs out of budget. So, I highly suggest setting $10 per ad group and increase from there.

4. Targeting – Select ‘Manual targeting’ to use the product targeting option. Automatic targeting doesn’t have the option to target specific product ASINs or product categories.

5. Ad group name – Again, be specific with your naming. For instance, I am targeting Pet Ultimates’ Probiotics for Dogs so I have ‘Pet Ultimates’ in my ad group name.

6. Products – Search your product by name, ASIN, or SKU to use for the ad. Only have relevant products included or else your ad won’t be relevant and you will only be throwing money down the drain.

7. Targeting – You’d want to select the product targeting option to target your competitors. The main goal of using this option is to help shoppers to find your product when browsing detail pages and categories or searching products on Amazon.

8. Product targeting – You have two options when targeting products as mentioned above. One is to target ‘Product Categories’ and the other is ‘Individual Products’ or, as I like to call it, your competitors.

To target categories, depending on which category your product belongs to, Amazon pre-populates categories for you to choose from. Feel free to explore other categories for testing. For instance, I am creating an ad for probiotics for dogs and I can target other relevant categories such as dog food, dog toys, or even in the gift ideas category.

Pro Tip: You have the option to refine your selection as shown in the image below. The refining option is a powerful tool that can put your product in front of customers who are searching specific products within criteria:

  • Brands within that category
  • Set your price range of the products
  • Set the review star ratings you’d like to target

To target individual products, you can choose the suggested products by Amazon or enter product ASINs you want to target.

Pro Tip: Select products with high traffic to get more views and potential sales. Perform a search on Amazon using your primary keywords and select the top 10 products on page 1 to target. These products are on page 1 for a reason, that is high sales velocity, and you can leverage on that.

Pro Tip: You can even target your own products to cross-sell additional items.

9. Targeted products – Once you have selected product(s) to target, you can set the bid amount as shown below. Similar to keywords targeting sponsored ads, you’d want to start low and increase accordingly to avoid running out of budget too quickly before you even get the chance to optimize your campaign.

10. Optional: Negative product targeting – You have the option to exclude brands or products in this section. Perhaps there are brands or products that you do not want to be associated with for branding purposes.

For instance, if you are selling a high-priced product, you can exclude low-priced items to avoid having them appear next to your product.

Final Thoughts

I have created a ‘watch over my shoulders’ video for those of you who prefer watching over reading. Video can be found here on YouTube.

As a conclusion, this is an exciting new functionality for sellers using Amazon Advertising. Upon multiple testings, I have found that the ‘product category’ targeting generally costs more than ‘individual targeting’ and has a lower conversion rate. This may be due to the broader targeting of categories compared to a more targeted individual product targeting.

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