The Beginners Guide To Amazon Ads For Brands

The Beginners Guide To Amazon Ads For Brands

Retail Brands Flocking To Amazon Advertising

According to Forbes in their article “Why Brands Are Flocking To Amazon Advertising” some of the top 100 retail brands spent over 14% of their total ad budgets on Amazon.

While over forty-one percent of these top 100 retailers are spending incremental budgets on Amazon ads over Facebook and Google. 

Also, according to Search Engine Journal:

“56% of US, UK, German and French shoppers use Amazon as a starting point.”

With stats like these, how could you not be considering Amazon advertising as part of your overall E-commerce growth strategy this year. 

However, maybe Amazon is still the elephant in the room of your team meetings, or falls under the challenging category on your business to-do list, or you might be wondering how it fits into your overall business plans. 

Here’s some possible business goals that Amazon Ads may help you achieve this year. 

Goals For My Business

  • Increase overall retail sales
  • Generate demand through brand awareness

This article might present you with a steep learning curve if you aren’t familiar with Amazon Ads.

However, the question that I want to answer for you in you own head in this article is this “Are Amazon Ads relevant for my Vegan, Cruelty-free business?”

I’ll help you answer that question by talking about the following topics:

  1. What Are Amazon Ads And PPC?

  2. Are Amazon Ads Right For Your Business? 

  3. The First Step To Get Started Advertising on Amazon 

I’d also recommend reading this article here on Amazon SEO before you continue with this guide.

Like building a house, the foundation has to be poured before you can start building.

Amazon SEO is the foundation to being successful on Amazon, so that’s why I recommend that you read about Amazon SEO before continuing with this article. 

Client Success With Amazon Ads

I was just completely numb and dumbfounded when I opened up the sales numbers for an author, influencers, who’s account that we were managing.

We had sold over $7,567 in just over two weeks with an Amazon ad campaign and for over a year, prior to this, we had been selling unsuccessfully with Amazon Ads.

Just a few months later we sold over $20k from just from Amazon ads as you can see below.

Amazon Advertising Results

The epiphany I had with these results was that Amazon ads was going to be the future of online retail over other paid media platforms like Facebook and Google.

Today, Amazon Ads are a staple in the go-to-market plans for many brands, retail businesses, authors and influencers. 

In-fact according to AD Badger:

“Compared to Google, Amazons average conversion rates are 10% compared to 3.75%”

We weren’t experts in Amazon Ads when we got these results above. 

We just spent a few years running ads with different beauty and personal care products until we got results, like we mentioned. 

This means that you or your team doesn’t have to be experts to be profitable selling your products with Amazon Ads. 

So, let’s get into it.

1. What Are Amazon Ads and PPC?

As I mentioned before with Amazon Ads, you might be able to achieve the following objectives for your E-commerce business:

  1. Increase overall retail sales
  2. Generate demand through brand awareness

Let’s jump over into a quick example of some Cruelty Free brands and how they are achieving these two objectives through Amazon ads.

Example Of An Amazon Ad

Driving Retail Sales With Amazon Sponsored Product Ads

When we search Alima Pure an ad shows up for their foundations, as you can see, this is known as a Sponsored Product Ad on Amazon.

Alima pays Amazon to show up when shoppers search for their brand but there are also other ways they use Amazon Ads to drive sales such as:

Product Category searches like “Satin Matte Foundation”

They might also consider using Amazon Ads to get their products to show up for shoppers who search other relevant product terms such as: 

  • Foundation
  • Face Makeup
  • Concealer

However, you might be thinking “what’s the ad at the top for “bellaterra” and why does it show up when we search Alima?”

Brand Awareness With Amazon Sponsored Brand Ads

This ad is known as a Sponsored Brand ad it’s a common and lucrative strategy for brands to pay Amazon to show up for their competitors in this way.

The difference between Sponsored Brands versus Sponsored Ads is that Sponsored Brands pushes shoppers over to your brand page.

A brand page is essentially your store on Amazon and should be treated how you would treat your retail website using visual conversion optimization tactics to drive sales.

This is what a brand page looks like for bellaterra.

Example Of A Brand Page

Sponsored Brand ads work with the brand page.

This creates…

Let’s spell it out together…

B-R-A-N-D

A-W-A-R-E-N-E-S-S

Read more about the importance of brand pages here.

For the purposes of this article, a brand page should be used in combination with Sponsored brand ads and I’ll talk a little more about the Ad mix that you should consider based on your business model. 

Amazon Ads And Overall Sales 

In this example, Alima is selling $800 a month for the “Satin Matte Foundation” that shows up with her ads while bellaterra’s ad showing the “Matte finish 3-in-1 Mineral Makeup Foundation” sells about $28,000 a month.

There are obviously many factors to why Alima is underperforming in retail sales on Amazon compared to bellaterra, however, we can make a pretty good assumption that Amazon ads are a deciding factor, in this example.

Will Amazon Ads Work For My Business?

​I first started working with my now long-term client, let’s call them Actor Organics a few years ago. 

Actor were importers of natural, artisanal mens skincare products and they had a thriving wholesale business, and an online retail store with consistent month-to-month sales. 

Why not start running Amazon Ads to increase sales, they thought?

However, after $100,000’s in Amazon ads spend and $10’s of thousands of dollars working with agencies managing their ads they were at a major loss. 

Selling On Amazon Must Be Part Of Your Business Plan

Not only did their investment in Amazon Ads not pay off their wholesale and retail sales were also slowing because the competition between their resellers on Amazon was driving the price of their products down!

With this client, we realized that all of these growing pains could have been prevented with some basic business planning. 

Business Planning You Should Consider Before Running Amazon Ads: 

  • Set a limit on the amount of wholesale customers reselling on Amazon 
  • Focus on a sales strategy that considers a balance of online and brick and mortar retailers 
  • Set minimal average pricing (MAP) to protect your profits and your overall business 
  • Develop a growth strategy to sell your own brand on Amazon

It’s important that you think about these business planning considerations for your overall E-commerce strategy before you jump into Amazon and spend 1000’s on Ads. 

Example Of A Company Selling Their Own Brand On Amazon 

Let’s to back to Alima once again, when you click on their listing you’ll see that there are 2 sellers in this example. 

If you click on the sellers you’ll be brought to a list of sellers and you’ll notice that Alima is the only seller of their products. 

While an example of a brand that’s starting to have too many resellers competing to sell their listings on Amazon is Tom’s. You’ll notice that they have over 24 resellers just for this listing. 

While Tom’s is a successful brand and they’ve intelligently deployed MAP to control their pricing and protect their wholesale business, they are still limiting their growth. 

If I was an executive at the table developing the go-to-market plan for Tom’s toothpaste I would have worked in an Amazon growth strategy for selling their own brand on Amazon which would have included Amazon Ads. 

It doesn’t make sense for them to run Amazon Ads on reseller only listings with so much competition.

Like my client, they might as well throw 100’s of thousands into a fire and watch it burn versus run an Ad. 

The Difference Of Resellers Versus Selling Your Own Brand 

Benefits Of Resellers: 

  • Consistent month-to-month supplier contracts
  • More control of customer brand experience 

Cons Of Resellers: 

  • Competing resellers drives down your retail price and reduces overall profit 
  • Limited global growth on Amazon 

Benefits Of Selling Your Own Brand:

  • Unlimited retail growth potential, globally on Amazon 
  • More control of customer brand experience 
  • Higher overall margins 
  • The ability to run Amazon Ads 
  • The ability to provide a unique customer brand experience for shoppers with the ability to communicate directly with your customers at point-of-purchase and beyond 

Cons Of Selling Your Own Brand: 

  • You have to hire dedicated staff who are Amazon experts ( or you could hire an agency like us

How To Start Selling Your Own Brand On Amazon

Maybe you’ve been selling through resellers the entire time your products have been on Amazon, or you are just going to start and you are wondering how you can get started selling your own brand. 

Fulfillment Considerations

The major difference between resellers who are selling your brand versus selling your own brand is that you have to be responsible for the following: 

  1. Setup, optimize and manage your own listings through Amazon Seller Central…
  2. Utilizing Amazon SEO to get your listings to show up for shoppers…
  3. You have to setup a fulfillment strategy that works with Amazon such as Fulfillment By Amazon ( FBA ), Or Seller Fulfilled Prime ( SFP )…

The First Step To Get Started Advertising On Amazon 

Now that you understand wether or not Amazon Ads is relevant to your business, let’s talk about how to get started actually getting you or your team to setup the ad campaigns and be successful. 

Here’s the step-by-step process:

  1. Learn which ads you should run
  2. Setup product and Ads on Seller Central 
  3. Run an ad campaign test for a week
  4. Research profitable keywords to target your ads at shoppers 

1. Learn Which Ads You Should Run

Let’s first talk about the kinds of ads you should run.

Some of the ads that I also mentioned earlier are the following: 

  1. Amazon Sponsored Product Ads 
  2. Amazon Sponsored Brand Ad 
  3. Related Product Ad 

1. Amazon Sponsored Product Ad

2. Amazon Sponsored Brand Ad

 

3. Related Product Ad 

What kind of ads should you use? It depends but primarily you wan’t to be able to use all three ad types, the only time that you don’t want to do that is if you are promoting your brand for resellers. 

2. Setup Products And Ads On Seller Central 

I’m not going to be showing you how to setup your products on Amazon Seller Central, but this HELP article from Amazon Seller central will show you how you can do that. 

Setup Product On Seller Central 

Let’s jump into how you can create a combination of ads when you are selling your own brand on Amazon. 

Open up Seller Central, or sign-up for an account if you haven’t. 

Setup Ads On Seller Central 

1. Create an Automatic Ad Campaign, by logging into Seller Central and going to the “Advertising” and “Campaign Manager” selection in the dropdown menu. 

2. Click on “start advertising now” if you haven’t used Seller Central and setup ad campaigns like this before.

3. If you have created campaigns on Seller Central before then you’ll be brought to the same screen if you are a beginner who just clicked “start advertising now” so, you’ll just want to create a “sponsored products campaign” by clicking on it.  

4. Now, enter in the following information on the screen, it should look like the screenshot below. 

Campaign name: Name it ( your product name ) test. 
Daily budget: $25 a day is a good budget for what we need to do…
Start date/end date: Give it 7 days. 
Select targeting type: Which will be “Automatic” 

5. Scroll down a little further and name your ad group anything you want for now, ad your product that you should now see in your description.

6. Run the add for an entire week. 

7. Go back to Seller Central and login after the week is gone. 

8. Rollover reports and then choose the “advertising” option and this is going to generate something called a keyword search terms report. 

9. The default report should be sponsored products if it’s not make sure you choose sponsored products and the report type is going to be “Search Terms” and now click “create report.”

10. Picking Keywords For Ads 

I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of going through an excel document.

What we’ve just done by running our ad for a week is that we’ve gathered sales data based on the key terms that shoppers have searched and then bought your product. 

We’ll want to choose keywords that have a 10% conversion rate. If it’s an expensive product that’s over $100 US then you may want to look at picking keywords that have sales conversion rates of 5% and above. 

11. Rinse and repeat this process to find more keywords to run ads with. Follow through this process to create ads but this time instead of having an automatic ad you’ll ad your keywords in. 

Other ways to find profitable keywords 

I use a tool called Jungle Scout, this is how I would find keywords with Jungle Scout. 

1. Download or pay for Jungle Scout, the $39.99 version. 

 

2. Use the keyword scout by clicking “keyword” and choosing it from the dropdown menu. 

3. Enter terms related to your product. If I was selling organic face wash, then try putting that in. 

4. Scroll down through the list and any key terms that are relevant to your product then select them. I’m not going to get into heavy theory on keyword research and this is something your team can do for you, or that you can hire someone to do. 

Quite simply, any terms that you think are closely related to your product like maybe it’s benefits such as “acne face wash” or it’s ingredients like “cetaphil face wash” but keep the terms closely related to your products. 

5. Also, you can use your advertising “report” that you generated from your ad test to help find terms you can search in Jungle Scout. 

What To Do Next? 

I would recommend running an ad budget of at least 25% of the first campaign that I showed you and then 75% on custom campaigns where you use the keywords that you identify from the ad report and from your searches on Jungle Scout. 

Setup ad campaigns for attributes of your product, or set up campaigns for competitor products by using Jungle Scout to find out what products competitor brands are being searched. 

My plan wasn’t to show you how to be an ads expert because it’s likely you that you will have a team member or hire a consultant to make it happen.

I just wanted to give you an idea of how easy it is to setup a campaign and hopefully that’ll give you an idea of the kind of assets you need to put behind an Amazon Ad strategy to grow your Vegan, Cruelty Free brands this year. 

So, if you are thinking about setting up Amazon ads for your business reference back to this guide: 

  1. What Are Amazon Ads And PPC?

  2. Are Amazon Ads Right For Your Business? 

  3. The First Step To Get Started Advertising on Amazon 

Good luck with your product sales on Amazon this year and keep saving those animals. 

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