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The 4 Cornerstones of How to Effectively Advertise with Amazon

Jessica Wright
Jessica Wright Author

Advertising with Amazon Is No Longer an Option, It’s a Necessity. 

A staggering amount of space within Amazon search results is taken up by ads today as recode so compellingly illustrated in “Amazon Is Stuffing Its Search Results Pages with Ads — and They Seem to Be Working.” To be seen, you need to get in the game, and you can’t simply throw money at Amazon ads and hope it works. It doesn’t work and it burns through your budget like wildfire. You need a strategy, but right now, there are so many ways to advertise and so many placement opportunities that it’s easy to get confused or distracted.

Where should you focus your Amazon PPC efforts? We suggest building a strong foundation upon these four cornerstones:

  1. Campaign Quality
  2. Keyword Quality
  3. Budget Efficiency
  4. Brand Awareness

Yes, building a foundation takes time, not to mention experience and know-how, but a solid setup will support you in your advertising endeavors for the foreseeable future. Here’s how to build with intent:

Cornerstone 1: Campaign Quality

If you’re looking for ways to effectively advertise with Amazon, start by examining your campaign quality. Often, in a rush to see Amazon PPC results, brands prioritize speed over quality, especially when initially setting up campaigns. Many sellers begin with auto-target campaigns and stop there. Others fail to go beyond the basics of Sponsored Products Ads and they miss opportunities like product targeting tactics, Sponsored Brands Ads, and Sponsored Display Ads. Still others run only one campaign (and cram everything into that) or they create too many campaigns, making it impossible to effectively advertise with Amazon.

The best plan: start small and plan to scale your advertising. Don’t throw in every kitchen-sink possibility. Build campaigns in a clean, lean format so you can edit them methodically and optimize them in the future, making it easy to add keywords or move them from one group to another. Starting small and taking some time to see what works will prevent you from making costly mistakes later.

As for working clean, always strive for it. Why? Well, a few overstuffed campaigns can make handling PPC feel unmanageable. One client of ours comes to mind, a purveyor of tech accessories who was so overwhelmed by how much time it took to handle Amazon PPC — coupled with the suboptimal results — that he had ceased advertising in order to tend to the other parts of his business. After time spent cleaning up the brand’s campaigns, the Seller Labs Managed Services team increased his ad revenue by 16 times. Even better, we drove his ACoS down to below 4%. Read the full case study for more details and results..

Cornerstone 2: Keyword Quality

Keywords getting out of hand? If so, you’re wasting ad budget. The more keywords you have, the wider the net you’re casting . . . but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Experiment with keywords, but don’t overload and just hope for impressions and clicks. Remember that it’s about quality keywords that convert. Impressions are free, clicks cost you, conversions earn for you.

We see many clients who come to us with thousands of keywords in one campaign. In addition to the campaign being unruly, those clients are wasting money, diluting and overcomplicating results, and finding it impossible to scale up as their Amazon presence expands.

Our recommendation for how to effectively advertise with Amazon: mine your data to find the best converting keywords, then trim, trim, trim! Eliminate keyword overlap, and instead, target strong keywords with high conversion rates. Quality over quantity always. You’ll see immediate results. Then you can reinvest that previously wasted ad spend in new keywords that perform well or in new campaigns for hot products or anything else that opens more doors to profitability and growth.

Cornerstone 3: Budget Efficiency

A common mistake sellers make is monitoring their keyword bids closely while ignoring their daily budgets. Doing so means missing the bigger picture. Budgets are essential to overall results. By focusing on individual bids rather than daily budget, sellers and brands are likely to miss out on advertising throughout the day, and they tend to spend too much on campaigns that are not performing. Be detail oriented, but don’t get lost in the details. Use Ignite’s Ad Scheduling feature to make sure that you’re running Amazon ads only when it’s profitable lest you run out of budget early in the day.

Amazon encourages you to raise your budget any time you reach a max. That’s because doing so benefits Amazon. Raising your Amazon PPC budget isn’t always the right answer. We only recommend that you raise the budget for something that has been providing results and leading to sales. Don’t throw more good money at bad keywords and expect better results. Find out why you’re maxing out and drop the losers and stretch the winners.

Cornerstone 4: Brand Awareness

Finally, when looking to advertise with Amazon, don’t focus on your products at the cost of your larger brand. Consider both in your advertising efforts. And if you’re eligible for Amazon Brand Registry, register!

This not only helps to protect your brand against product counterfeiters and listing hijackers, it gets you on the path to access a whole set of powerful advertising tools only available through Amazon’s Brand Registry. These include: 

  • Sponsored Brands Ads
  • Amazon Stores
  • A+ Content (formerly Enhanced Brand Content for 3P Amazon sellers)
  • Sponsored Display Ads

Just by using Sponsored Brands Ads (formerly Headline Search Ads), we’ve dramatically increased traffic for our clients’ brands. They sell more products, often pick up add-on sales from their catalog, and strengthen their brands overall.

Effective brand awareness requires strategic category keyword targeting and going beyond branded terms. One client in particular wanted to use advertising on Amazon to grow his brand’s base. By expanding beyond branded terms into general category terms, Seller Labs Managed Services built more recognition in the market to drive ad results. That client’s ad revenue climbed by 180% as a result of broadening brand reach and tapping into the larger category.

Final Word: Build Smart, Build Strong, Don’t Go It Alone.

The four cornerstones discussed are the building blocks of advertising success. Upon these, a brand can build tremendous profitability and recognition. But it’s almost impossible to be the architect, constructor, and custodian of that structure when one is busily focused on other areas of one’s business. In order to advertise effectively with Amazon, you need support in the form of the right tools and the right team. Learn how Ignite for Amazon Advertising can help you increase ad revenue. Or if you’d prefer to get advertising off your plate, let the Seller Labs Managed Services experts handle your Amazon PPC.

Jessica Wright
Jessica Wright Senior Brand Strategist, Seller Labs Managed Services

Jessica Wright is the in-house "Amazon Genius" for the Seller Labs Managed Services team. Her focus is working with our team members and clients to educate and answer tough Amazon questions in areas outside of PPC advertising. With 15 years of manufacturing and eCommerce experience on both the brand and agency sides of the business, Jessica is knowledgeable in all things Amazon and is constantly seeking out the latest updates to help Seller Labs clients stay ahead.


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