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Is your current advertising strategy not moving you up the rankings as much as you expected? Maybe it’s time to take a peek at some of your campaigns! Marketing on Amazon’s grown a lot over the past few years. Take a look at your average Amazon page; there are way more ads on it. That’s because, in 2019, Amazon’s advertising platform grew by 60%. What does that mean for you? Well, it means there’s a lot of new ways for you to get some eyeballs on your listings. How do you effectively run a campaign, though? 

Jon Tilley, our CEO, recently had a talk with PPC expert Howard Lee about this very question on episode 5 of our podcast, Amazon Seller Insights. Howard’s your go-to guy for everything PPC; after opening his own Amazon Private Label business, he reached the coveted 7-figure seller mark in just 2 years! Seeing he had a lot of insight to offer fellow FBA sellers, he helped found Coral8, a marketing firm specializing in helping Amazon businesses optimize their marketing strategies. Their conversation covered topics such as different PPC campaigns you can run, how to find keywords you can use for them, and more! Here are some key highlights from it.

What is PPC?

Before getting into specifics, it’s worth explaining what exactly PPC is and how it helps your business. PPC stands for “Pay Per Click,” and it’s an advertising model adopted by virtually every major online advertising platform out there. 

Let’s say that a user searches for “garden hose” on Amazon. They press enter, and some ads for specific garden hoses appear on the results page. If you click on a specific ad, that seller pays Amazon a fee for that click. This fee is determined by a bidding process; the more popular the keyword phrase is, the higher the bidding for that phrase will be.

PPC ads for “USB battery packs” appear at the top of search results.

This marketing strategy helps get your Amazon listings out in front of larger audiences. This, of course, means newer FBA businesses need to carefully plan their PPC campaigns in order to stretch their advertising budget as far as possible. 

So, what’s the best way to get the most out of your PPC campaign? Howard has a couple of different options, depending on whether you’re running a manual or automatic PPC campaign.

What are Manual PPC Campaigns?

Manual PPC campaigns are just how they sound: campaigns you run manually. You insert the keywords you want to target along with how much you’re willing to bid on them. With manual campaigns you:

  • Have much more control over the kind of audience you wish to attract since you choose which keywords to target.
  • Are able to achieve your targeted ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sales) because you can choose your bid price.

When running a manual campaign, Howard recommends splitting it into 2 different manual campaigns: one he calls a “research campaign” and another he calls an “optimal campaign.” 

The purpose of a research campaign isn’t to drive your rankings up. It’s a method of keyword research you perform to make sure you put only the best performing keywords into your optimal campaign. Think of it as a space for testing out keywords you think might be worth investing in. To demonstrate this, Howard creates a manual campaign centered around the keyword phrase “wooden toddler alphabet puzzle.”

Dropping certain words from search phrases helps you identify important keywords.

In order to find keywords worth targeting in the research campaign, he drops specific words from the keyword phrase, runs a search, and analyzes the results. Let’s say you run a search for “wooden alphabet puzzle.” If the search results suddenly become less relevant (as in the results don’t display what you want to sell), that means the word “toddler” is important and worth throwing into your research campaign!

Optimal campaigns are where you input winning keywords from your research campaign. Their purpose is to help you grab conversions and improve your quality score with Amazon. One thing to keep in mind with your manual campaigns: patience is key! You may not see results you can act upon for 2-4 weeks. 

We offer numerous tools designed to help you find relevant keywords, such as Keywords on Fire. Read up on how it can help you here (and here’s a 7-day free trial if you want to try it out for yourself!).

What are Automatic PPC Campaigns? 

Automatic campaigns are easier to run and therefore favored by people just starting out in Amazon FBA. In auto campaigns, Amazon analyzes your product listing. Based on the keywords you have in your product title, bullet points, and item description, the A10 algorithm decides when to run your ads and which keywords to target in them. Automatic campaigns are good for:

Once again, Howard has two different types of auto PPC campaigns he recommends FBA sellers run: Auto-High campaigns and Auto-Low campaigns

Automatic campaigns streamline things by targeting keyword phrases for you.

An Auto-High campaign is an automatic campaign where you make a higher bid per click and set a lower daily budget (how much you’re willing to spend per click every day). This campaign focuses on keywords with high CTRs (Click-Through Rates). Its purpose is to bring in conversions and help you rank up. 

While you may not get as many clicks because of the lower daily budget, the clicks that you do get have a better chance of converting. Think of an Auto-High campaign as fishing with a pole; you may not catch a ton of fish, but at the end of the day you end up with a trophy marlin. 

Auto-Low campaigns, as you can imagine, are the opposite. If the Auto-High campaign is a fishing pole, the Auto-Low campaign is a net. The goal with this campaign is to target keywords with lower bid prices, but set a higher daily budget. That way you get more clicks, but on keywords that may not have as high a chance of converting. 

With the right combination of keywords in both your Auto-Low and Auto-High campaigns, you not only give yourself a high chance of being seen by a large audience, but you also get some organic ranking love from Amazon’s A10 algorithm thanks to The Halo Effect™

Want to See These Campaigns in Practice?

This blog is simply a “highlights reel” of Jon and Howard’s conversation. There’s way too much info to fit here. Want to see PPC campaigns in action? Then you need to listen to the whole episode. In it, Howard goes through how to set up each type of campaign step-by-step, gives detailed analyses of marketing trends you need to be aware of, and answers audience questions.

Find the episode on our Spotify page, and subscribe to it for in-depth discussions with other eCommerce thought leaders designed to help every aspect of your Amazon business!

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