#494 – Amazon PPC Optimization, Launches, And Budget Strategies

Video of episode at the bottom

On this episode, we’re excited to have Liran Hirschkorn from Incrementum Digital sharing his expertise on Amazon advertising. He helps us unpack the complex Amazon Marketing Cloud and how it anonymizes data for privacy reasons while still offering a comprehensive understanding of the customer’s journey to conversion. We further examine how the platform aids brands in measuring incrementality, particularly those utilizing Amazon DSP ads. Don’t miss out as we delve into the Amazon PPC techniques for reaching new customers through upper funnel-type marketing and showing ads to lifestyle markets and demographics.

We continue the conversation by discussing strategies to optimize Amazon ads campaigns. This includes the merits of creating separate campaigns for each target and employing auto campaigns for discovery. We also weigh the pros and cons of negating keywords in both auto and manual campaigns. Pay attention as we explain the potential benefits of lowering bids to secure better placements and possibly more conversions. 

As we wrap up the episode, we shift our focus to optimizing sales and advertising on Amazon. Here, we discuss tactics such as increasing prices to slow sales and avoid running out of stock to boost keyword ranks. We look into managing auto campaigns differently and using modifiers to safeguard against broad and exact match keywords. Listen in as we discuss the importance of making incremental changes and evaluating clicks and actual spend data, instead of just impressions, when optimizing campaigns. Liran also offers valuable insights into sponsored display campaigns and other strategies to ensure high conversion rates for keyword ranking. Don’t miss this vital conversation and Q&A on Amazon PPC and Marketing Cloud!

In episode 494 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Liran discuss:

  • 00:50 – Catch Liran At The Helium 10 Elite Workshop In New York
  • 01:49 – What Is The Amazon Marketing Cloud?
  • 09:08 – An Advice If You’re Using Amazon DSP
  • 11:29 – Auto Campaign Optimization
  • 12:12 – ACoS Targets And Examples
  • 15:03 – Optimizing For Target ACoS
  • 23:53 – Keywords and Budget Per Campaign 
  • 25:22 – PPC Strategy When Running Out Of Stock
  • 26:35 – Using Modifiers For Amazon PPC
  • 27:23 – Best Time To Start Optimizing Campaigns
  • 33:41 – Amazon Launch PPC Strategy
  • 36:28 – More Effective PPC Strategies From Liran
  • 41:43 – How To Reach Liran Hirschkorn And Incrementum Digital

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

Today is TACoS Tuesday, so we’re bringing on another advertising expert to answer all of your Amazon PPC questions, including the latest on product launches and more. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think. Want to keep up to date with trending topics in the e-commerce world? Make sure to subscribe to our blog. We regularly release articles that talk about things such as shipping and logistics, e-commerce and other countries, the latest changes to Amazon Seller Central, how to get set up on new platforms like New Egg, how to write and publish a book on Amazon KDP and much, much more. Check these articles out at h10.me forward slash blog.

Bradley Sutton:

Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of the series sellers podcast by Helium 10. I’m your host, Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that is our monthly TACoS Tuesday program, where we bring a special guest every single month and we talk about anything and everything Amazon and Walmart PPC related. And so you guys hopefully you’ve been getting some of your questions ready. I’ve been getting some questions ready that I’m going to be giving to our guest, and let’s get them all answered. So, without any further ado, let’s go ahead and bring on our guest, loran Hirschkorn from Incrementum Digital. Liran in the house. How’s it going, man?

Liran:

It’s going great. Thanks so much for having me on. I’m excited to be here Awesome.

Bradley Sutton:

Awesome, now you’re still in New York. Is that where you’re based on? I’m in New York, yes, okay, I was just there a few weeks ago, took the family out there, be going one or two times again in October, and one of the times is I’m going to be seeing you. You’re going to be our guest speaker at our Helium 10 Elite workshop. Do you know yet what you’re going to be talking about there? Can we give anybody a sneak peek?

Liran:

all Possibly Amazon Marketing Cloud is what’s been on my mind, but we’ll see, I guess, if that stays the topic or maybe we want to get some feedback from the audience. There’s a lot of very interesting things happening with the Amazon Marketing Cloud. We could talk a little bit about that here as well, let’s just start with that real quick.

Bradley Sutton:

I think there’s a lot of people in our audience who don’t even know what Amazon Marketing Cloud is. Can you explain that a little bit?

Liran:

Yes, so the Amazon Marketing Cloud is essentially what’s called a clean data room. Essentially, it’s just a think about it as a place that hosts a lot of data and through AWS, and what it allows brands to accomplish now that you couldn’t do before is understand the. I would say two main things One, understand the full customer path to conversion and to create audiences that you couldn’t before. Let’s tackle each one of those. When we say understand the full customer path to conversion, today we think we understand how a customer buys your product, but you don’t really understand it Meaning if a customer searches your brand, clicks on a sponsored brand ad, then comes back, clicks on a sponsored product ad and they buy, the only thing, the only area where you’re going to see the attribution of the sale is to sponsored product, because that was the last click and advertising works on the last click attribution. What the Amazon Marketing Cloud does is it stores all that information and it anonymizes the data for privacy reasons. So you don’t have the specific customer information, but what the Amazon Marketing Cloud will show you is that you had this month, for this particular product, you had 100 customers that their path to conversion was branded search click sponsored product ad click sponsored display buy or see a DSP ad awareness ad search to brand name click sponsored product purchase. Because of this, what’s happened historically is especially for those people that have done DSP in trying to understand whether or not DSP has incremental benefit on the sales Incremental. I see what you did there. Yeah, somebody told me that it was a very smart name to create a few years ago because really that is kind of what’s being measured here. Incrementality is being measured with the Amazon Marketing Cloud because in the past if you did a DSP ad and you would be hard to understand if you actually drove more sales as a result of DSP, this will help that a little bit because it will show you how many customers you had this month that purchased when they just saw both, let’s say, dsp and sponsored products together and how many customers you had that only saw sponsored products, for example. So you’ll get a better understanding.

Liran:

Even though the way attribution works is it only goes to the last click, I always thought Amazon should have an assist kind of metric where if you had an ad that assisted as part of the process, it should kind of get something. But that’s just not how ads work and Amazon Marketing Cloud aims to solve that. And the more you do DSP, especially with upper funnel type marketing, the less you see the attribution there. So when I say upper funnel type marketing, that means upper funnel means not somebody that is immediately looking to buy. So bottom funnel. We have people that are searching for a keyword. They’re ready to buy. People that you are retargeting, who have visited your listing they’re at the bottom, they’re ready to buy. As we move up the funnel you have people that have viewed competitors but not your product. And then you have what’s called awareness. We can, as brands grow and they want to scale and they’ve already sort of maxed out based on, like, the amount of sales they can have, just based on people who are searching for a keyword. They want to look towards brand awareness.

Liran:

But now you’re running ads to audiences on Amazon or lifestyle. You have different markets and demographics that you can show ads to. What happens is when you run an awareness ad, that person is not going to immediately see that ad and go by. They might need to see your ad over three, four months and then, when they are actually in the market for that product, they now remember your name and when they go search on Amazon, they see that sponsored product ad. They’re going to click on it and buy it because they recognize the brand name and they’ve seen the ad before. The problem is that again, it’ll usually end up being something else sponsored products or retargeting that is the last view they have. Or click before the sale. And you have been running these awareness ads but you don’t know if they’re being impactful. Well, now, with Amazon Marketing Cloud, you’ll see that that person actually started out with the Amazon Marketing Cloud.

Liran:

And I would urge people if you’re running DSP, have whoever’s running DSP free, whether that’s Amazon, whether that’s an agency ask them to create an AMC instance for you. And the reason is because, whether or not you’re going to use AMC now or not, once you create that instance, you can go back a year. You have a year’s worth of data since you started creating it. So that means if in six months from now or nine months from now, you want to go back and you want to see the path to conversion, et cetera, you will have already created that instance. And then the other area where AMC is very helpful is you can now create audiences that you cannot create before because you are tracking this data. So in DSP, historically before we couldn’t target people who we couldn’t differentiate between people who have visited your listing or added your product to cart. Now you’ll be able to retarget people who have added your product to cart. You’ll be able to retarget people who have added your product to wishlist, who have searched your brand name. So lots of different audiences.

Liran:

There’s something with AMC that is called Paid Insights, where you actually pay Amazon for additional information. With that you can see on average how many buys it takes somebody to become a subscribe and save customer. So you can learn that on average it’s three purchases before somebody signs up. Because typically on our first purchase we don’t typically sign up for subscribe and save unless we know we like the product. And sometimes it could take your second or third purchase where, like, why am I not just saving and just adding this to subscribe and save? So now you’ll be able to understand that and you’ll be able to actually create a custom creative and show and add to people after two purchases that says subscribe and save right, because you know that’s the typical time where people do that and you’re able to create those creatives. So there’s a lot that you could do with this.

Liran:

It’s very powerful, but I would say it’s still early and people understanding it. I would say a year from now, like today, you’re an early adopter If you use it. A year from now you won’t be an early adopter if you use it. And also a year from now, I think it will apply more whether you’re doing DSP or not doing DSP. More software tools will incorporate some data from it and you’ll find that there is sort of this freemium model that if you’re using software, certain tools will give you the certain templates of different audiences and different path to conversion. That is included with the software and certain tools will say okay, now if you wanna get crazy and customized because you can customize almost anything within this data you’ll have fees around extracting that data. But I’m sure companies probably like Pacvue et cetera the Pacvue is, I’m sure, already incorporated AMC and are working on incorporating more and more of it and you’ll see those tools continue to add those things and if you’re using those software tools, you’ll be able to access that data and it will become more prominent.

Liran:

So it is very exciting. Today it applies more so if you’re using DSP, but I think that’s going to change down the line. So it’s. I think it’s important that brands understand this and it will kind of change the way we look at our metrics from being focused just on ROAS   to being more to having an understanding of also customer journey as well as ROAS  , because again you’re gonna have that sponsored brand ad that’s not gonna show the ROAS   attribution but you’ll say, hey, I know, when I do this sponsored brand ad together with this sponsored product ad, the purchase rate is higher, and so now you’re gonna be looking at these combinations and customer journey more so than just ROAS  , and those that do will have an advantage because they’ll be able to understand that sometimes that spending more without seeing the RoAS   still equals ROAS   actually on your ad spend. So it’s pretty cool and I think you’ll hear more and more about it over the next year or so.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, cool. So we’re gonna be talking about that, perhaps at our elite workshops, so elite members can go to that one. We’ll have tickets for non-elite members, if anybody’s gonna be there in town. The reason why we’re having it in New York is it’s Amazon Unbox, which is a cool conference. I haven’t been to it. This could be my first one. It was my first Amazon Accelerate last week, so that was super cool. All right. Now, switching back to advertising, I wanna ask my questions first here. So I got a list of stuff I’ve been waiting for to ask Leeran. But one that I’ve been getting a lot in I thought it was a good thing to bring out is auto campaign optimization. So you know, with auto campaigns, obviously this, almost more than any other you know, can get super out of control if Amazon is showing you for a bunch of random stuff. But I’m wondering, how do you, how do you optimize for ACoS on Campaigns?

Bradley Sutton:

Because you can get to a point where I mean I mean obviously the no-brainer thing is alright. Hey, if you should have rules in place where they’re using atomic or whatever software, using is, you know, if you get, like you know, 15, 20 clicks or whatever magic number you guys pick without a sale, you know, might start negative matching. That that’s that. That goes without saying, right. But the other thing you know that people can do is maybe they see some of their, their targets Not performing well, like the loose match, the close match, and they could start, you know, adjusting on an individual basis those targets.

Bradley Sutton:

Right, but if you, even if you’re doing that, I’ve seen sometimes you can get to the point where now you’re almost all the way down to like a 10 cent. You know target and just, and now you know the quality of keywords at 10 cents. You’re just not doing well, but you almost got to that point because, right, so so I, what, what do you do at that point? Should you just you know what I’m gonna go back from 10 cents to a dollar just so I can get some new keywords? But like, where do you draw that balance?

Liran:

Right. So the first thing is you can also create four separate campaigns where you literally turn off Three and keep one on, so you have a set budget. So your budget is not mixed together within those, within each of those areas, because, because you might have, you know, similar products that do very well, but you might have a loose match that doesn’t do well, right. So that’s something you could do is separate out those four, turn one off on each campaign and then you have a dedicated budget for each one and if something is working well, you can increase the budget. If something’s not working well, you can also decrease the budget. And, yes, the first thing, first thing also to recognize, is that auto, mainly, should be there for discovery, discovery tool. So, number one, you may want to allow your auto campaigns to go add a little bit of a higher ACoS, what you want overall, because you want it to be there as a discovery tool. And, yes, you want to Ultimately add negative keywords and you also want to harvest. So that means the Search terms that are converting, the aces that are converting, whatever your rule is whether it’s to converge one conversion to conversion, three conversions. You want to move them over into the manual campaign. Now you can also choose to another, like personal decision, if you’re going to negate that keyword in the auto campaign or not.

Liran:

Negate their pros and cons to both. If you negate it in the auto, you have full control in the manual. What if in the manual it doesn’t get as much traction as it did in the auto? Right, and you’re already. Now you negated in the auto and it doesn’t get traction in the manual. That would be a reason not to negate in the auto campaign, but still you would ultimately have a higher bid and a more targeted bid in your manual campaign, where it should be getting traction there and not so much in the auto. Anymore, I would say the point is, don’t let auto be too much a percentage of your overall spent and Maybe allow it to be somewhat of a higher ACoS because you recognize that it’s a broad discovery type of tool.

Bradley Sutton:

Another situation. Let’s say I’ve got a target, ACoS for a campaign just you know Doesn’t have to be auto but my target ACoS is 40%. So you know I want my targets For also, you know, at the target level to be 40%. But on one target let’s go ahead and say it’s a broad, it’s a broad match target. I’m at 77% now my cost per click on it is. Or my target that I had, you know the current bid was 291. Let’s just say $2.91. Let’s just say close call, $3. I’m looking at an exact example now. Let’s say it’s $3. If my cost per click is 250, right. So I’m obviously not maxing out my target. If my target is $3, right. But at this this to at this 250, I’m still at 70%. I mean right, why my target was at $3 in the first place. Let’s just forget about that. I don’t know what I was doing there right, but, obviously I have to go down a lot, you know you have to go down to 250 to make a difference.

Bradley:

Yeah, definitely below, below 250. But but is there, like you know, if 250 already is 77%, you know, should I already try and get or put the target at whatever, whatever 40% is gonna be, or is there value in just going down incrementally, like if I just go 250, technically it still couldn’t now I was already getting 250. Right, right, I’m still gonna be at 70% or 77% ACoS. Should I just go down more and say, hey, I’m gonna go down to $2 because that’s gonna get me closer to 40%, or do I start? Is there any value in? All, right, I’m gonna go to 250 and then let me go to 240 and 230. What is your thoughts there?

Liran:

There can be value in going to 230, let’s say and I’ll tell you what the value is the value is that the placement that you get may be better than the placement that you get at $2 and that placement can influence the conversion. So, for example, at 230, you may be at the bottom of page one at $1.70, you may be only on product pages, for example, and your conversion rate may be much less on those product pages. So there is a benefit in going incrementally and not going too fast. I would say it depends on how much it’s spending and how important it is for you to cut ACoS. I would also say it’s important to understand the relevancy of the keyword. If it’s not such a relevant keyword and my feeling is well, it may not work. Or it’s not highly relevant, it may not work. My feeling is it’s not gonna work so well, probably at 240 either. Then I may just bring it down further.

Liran:

But if it’s an important keyword, if I’m maintaining ranking, I would try to understand what’s happening. Is it ACoS per click issue or is it a conversion issue? It could be ACoS per click issue. It could be that, yeah, three bucks 250 is expensive and it’s a $12 product and my conversion rate is good. It’s just ACoS per click issue. If so, I would try to bring it down more incrementally and to see what I’m comfortable with. Maybe I’m okay allowing that keyword to be at 50% ACoS ultimately. So I think it depends on the keyword, the importance of the keyword and how much I’m focused around like TACoS versus growth in sales. But the benefit you have in the incrementality is the placement is that your conversion rate may be better at a. You may just end up being on like product pages at a certain point and if you are, your visibility or clicks your conversions are gonna be a lot less, maybe based on the product than in the search results.

Bradley Sutton:

And then when you say, when you end up on product pages, it’s like somebody searched that target keyword, they clicked on another product and then now you’re showing up on the product page, correct, exactly because placements even when you’re targeting keywords, placements are happening on search results and product pages.

Liran:

So I would say, generally speaking, with PPC you’re better off making smaller, faster incremental changes and looking at data than making vast, big changes quickly.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. Next thing is the flip side. Let’s say my target ACoS is 40%. With what I’m getting right now, though, it’s only 10%. Would it be 10 out of 10, 100% of the situations? I should always and I’m maxing out my target Should I always increase my bid Because, theoretically, I could be leaving money on the table, depending on where my placement is? Or is there a situation where I would, hey, let’s just keep that 10%?

Liran:

You know I wouldn’t say no. I mean I wouldn’t say all the time, I would just say Because, again, it could be just helping you be more profitable. One report that you could look at is the search term impression report, because that report would give you an idea of how you rank compared to other brands in terms of impressions for that particular keyword. So, for example, you could be getting the most impressions out of any other brand and getting 60 or 70% of all the impressions. Probably not in that case, because you’re maxing out the cost per click, but you want to see kind of where you are and how much more room is there to get impressions. Now, generally, I would say yes. For me, most of the time I would want to increase the bid for that particular keyword and I would want to get more market share on that keyword. But if you’re very focused on profitability and this is helping your TACoS be at the target then maybe not. But what I would say, though, in that case you may want to consider let’s say you don’t want to increase your budgets anymore you may want to consider shifting budget. Find the stuff that’s not working as well, where you can reduce the bids, and then maybe allocate it to this keyword. Generally speaking, I would say I would be likely to increase the bids on that keyword.

Liran:

If I was under my overall, I would look at it on a kind of a campaign level, not on a particular keyword level. So if my goal for that campaign is a 40% ACOS and because of this keyword on my 30, then I would definitely increase. Now if I’m at 40 still because there’s other keywords that are 50 or 60, I would see maybe I need to move budget from those keywords and I should give it to this one. So I’m not increased my budget, but I’m a lot more efficient and I’m getting better sales. I would also see where’s my ranking for the keyword. If I’m ranked number one, maybe I don’t increase. There’s no sense to increase, right. Or if I’m ranked number one, two, three, right, maybe I don’t increase because I might just be cannibalizing my organic sales. But again, if I’m number 17, I’m definitely pushing on this keyword and probably what I’m doing is, if it has enough volume, I’m moving into its own campaign. I’m adding a top of search multiplier on that keyword.

Bradley Sutton:

All right Question from Jonathan. Keywords per campaign. You go from one spectrum where there’s people who do single keyword campaigns. You go to another spectrum. Some people have like 50 targets. Let’s just start with that part of his question first.

Liran:

So I would say we’re somewhere in between, meaning your highest search volume keywords, most important keywords, we isolate really into their own campaigns and then from there, based on search volume and performance, we’ll group keywords together. I would say probably up to 30 to 50 keywords is max of what I would go per campaign. If you have a lot of long tail lower volume keywords, I think that’s okay. But definitely the highest search volume keywords or keywords that have sort of medium volume, I might group into groups of five to 10, for example. As far as budget per campaign, that’s very dependent on what is your overall budget? What is the performance like? Right, I’m generally going to be shifting my budgets. I’m not going to just put a budget. I’m going to be shifting my budget to the best performing budget campaigns and I’m going to be maybe taking budget away from my poorest performing campaigns. So I think the budget needs to be dynamic.

Liran:

I think when your question more budget or discovery or scaling, I think in the beginning you’re going to probably have more budget on your broad and phrase than on your exact match. As you uncover those best performing search terms, you’re going to move more into exact and have probably more budget there. But it’s very common that we find phrase match be the best performing keyword type and you’ll have most of our budget on that match type. It’s sort of in between discovery and very narrow targeted. But I think over time you’re going to put more budget on your scaling campaigns. In the beginning you’re going to put more budget on your discovery campaigns Because your scaling really should be your best performing keywords. So that’s where you’re going to allocate more budget to and less so on discovery, because you’ve already discovered a lot of what’s out there initially.

Bradley Sutton:

All right, Kind of a universal. This question has been around for years. People have different opinions on this. Hey, you’re doing great on sales, about to run out of stock. Do you slow sales by raising price and turning off ads and then that hurts your potentially keyword ranks before? Or do you just go hard and heavy, run out of stock and then just get back in and hopefully you still have your keyword ranks when you come back in the stock in a couple of weeks?

Liran:

I think, from a ranking perspective, it’s better to run out of stock at a better BSR. I agree. I think that’s the better way to go. Sometimes you’re going to make a decision that, hey, I just want the profits Right, because that’s what’s more important to me at this point in my business. I’m going to focus more on the profits now, I’m going to reduce, I’m going to raise the price. Or sometimes you may be able to raise the price and there’s so much demand that you’re still driving pretty good sales and you can still raise the price someone and there’s a happy medium. But I would say, from a ranking perspective and coming back in stock at a better rank, it’s better to go out of stock with great sales than to slow down your sales.

Bradley Sutton:

Speaking of auto campaigns, exact campaigns, it’s in my opinion I don’t know if Amazon announced anything, but just in my opinion I’ve seen other people say the same thing where what used to be broad and what used to be exact is not like three years ago, is not the same now, where now you have an exact campaign and sometimes you’re even shown for what you would have thought would have been a phrase match or even broad matching in some situations. Because of this, are you managing things differently at all, like using modifiers or things like that?

Liran:

Yeah, I would say use modifiers. Modifiers will help protected because if you use a modifier then it forces it to be a true exact modifier before each word in your keyword. But even with that, sometimes there are certain synonyms that Amazon considers the same. You just need to manage it with search terms and negative keywords and bids. But yeah, amazon is definitely trying to find ways to increase their advertising revenue. As a result, they’re being more generous in what they are considering your keyword and using synonyms. So use of modifiers will help protect against that Used to be. They started doing it just in sponsor brands and then we’ve seen this year Amazon doing it with sponsored products also.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. Another question let’s say I’m trying to optimize for my target A-cost and so I make a change, because I’m trying something similar to what we were talking about. Like I’m at 70%, I’m trying to get to 40%, so I lower my bid a little bit. Now how often are you going back to that and seeing all right now I need to further because you talk about doing some incrementality in order to further adjust that. Like, is it time-based because of that attribution window where you can kind of take a look at it, or is it like maybe I just get another? I can see that in one day I got 500 impressions just because this is maybe some super high search volume keyword? Is that enough data where even a day later I’m further making changes, or once you make a change? Basically, my question is what are you looking at as far as when it’s time to go ahead and optimize further? Is it impression-based or time-based?

Liran:

It’s based on the data and so I would say one it depends on your budget, right? Because the more budget you have, the more data you’re going to have that’s coming in faster. I still wouldn’t make change from one day to the next because you don’t have the full attribution coming in. Even if you see, ultimately, that maybe you didn’t have any sales at all, like you know right, like you just know that you didn’t have orders from it, I still wouldn’t make change from one day to the next. I would wait a few days. So, generally speaking, I would say it’s good to be in your account two or three max times, probably a couple times a week to optimize. I think is good, because the one thing you don’t want to do is make changes too often where you’re just messing yourself up, and this is something we see also with sellers. They’re impatient, right, because you don’t want to spend money you don’t need to spend, and I think everyone gets emotional when it comes to your money. But I would say two days a week is good to go in and make those optimizations. So if you did it on a Tuesday, go back in on a Saturday, or find two days a week that you go in and you’re making those changes Now. Again, if you have a ton of data, a lot of spend, maybe make those two days a little closer, like Monday and Friday, or a little closer to each other. But you want to give it enough time also to get the attribution, because there will be people that and impressions. I would look at clicks and actual data of spend, not just the impressions. But people do come back and buy also, right? So if somebody you could have gotten 10 clicks today and if one or two of those become sales, maybe the costs will be fine and you have people that come back three days later. So you do really want to give some time and the attribution window to be in place. I would say most products on Amazon people do buy the same day. They’re not very high-priced products, but it does also happen.

Liran:

So give yourself a few days in between changes and even if you’re using software that even has rule-based things, then you can give the software days like look on Monday, look on Saturday, look on Friday and also when we do give software rules, you want to make sure when you’re decreasing bids one of the things you want to make sure that you’re doing just like an example that you said. The rules that we give it is lower OK, if keyword is above target ACoS, lower cost per click by 5%, let’s say right, because if you lower bid you may not be reaching the cost per click like you said. So you want to make sure that if you’re using a rule-based tool, that you’re looking at the cost per click when you’re lowering and that you give it, because a lot of times softwares will have both the ability to lower your bid or your cost per click that you lower your cost per click and yeah, we like to do it incrementally. I wouldn’t want to go in and say lower by 20%, just lower the bid too much, lower 5% below, then let’s see. And then the software will be doing this twice a week.

Liran:

So over a couple of weeks you are going to be significantly lowering your bid where it should be enough of a change. But I would say it’s better to go a little slower than make drastic changes. Usually drastic changes are emotional and in business you want to separate yourself from some of that, which is why rule-based is good. But even if you’re not using rule-based software, set up rules for yourself on how you’re going to manage this based on the different circumstances. It’s not a bad idea to write down for yourself what are the rules that I’m going to use to manage, if I’m managing manually as if I’m software, and what days am I going in. How much am I lowering and maybe take some of the emotion out of the management.

Bradley Sutton:

Another question, now that you know, obviously for a couple of years now, you know things like two step URLs search, find by are explicitly against Amazon terms of service. Me personally, 100% of my launch strategy is, you know, ppc. You know, and it’s almost I’m almost giving it the same thing as when it was searched fine by. It’s still kind of search fine by right. It’s just not. You’re not. You’re not just trying to tell people to randomly search and stuff, which is what Amazon frowns on. But you know, I lower my price by a lot in the beginning. You know big sale price or big coupon, and then I try and do a super high top of search and then it’s basically I’m trying to get people to search fine, to buy it. You know, even though I have no reviews where they’re like, hey, this is a this price. You know, like, just, you know, I can’t you know I can’t let this go. So that’s my 100% launch strategy. Now, other people I hear you know sometimes they couple it with, maybe like press releases or or perhaps even Google advertising. Right, you know as well. What about you, for you and your clients, for launch, when you’re trying to launch on a certain keyword, right, are you strictly doing Amazon PPC? Are you using other techniques? If so, what?

Liran:

we’re strictly doing Amazon, and we do it exactly the way you do it, meaning, first of all, the keywords that were focused on ranking. We will give them their own campaign, we will utilize top of search placement, we will recommend to our client to come with an aggressive price coupon, and we do it exactly that. The one thing we really watch for is the conversion rate. Okay, because if the conversion rate is poor, we’re not going to get the ranking, and so what we focus on, once we start getting the data in, is the keywords that we’re not getting that conversion rate. If it’s across the board, then something on the listing side, the price or you know, we need some more reviews to come in. But if we see some keywords performing very well with a conversion rate and some not, we will pull back on those, on those that are not getting the conversion rate, and that really should be. That should very much be your focus when you’re launching with those keywords are you converting? If you’re converting, then you should you know you should start seeing the rankings coming in. We had a call with a client today and he said, hey, I’m not seeing the ranking. And I said to him that’s because we’re, that’s because your conversion rates are too low and he actually just lowered the price on a product today and we’re going to see if that makes an improvement. But you should be very focused on conversion rate and we’ve seen the ability to be able to rank, especially when you have a new product and you have this honeymoon period, just with PBC. I don’t. I don’t think you you have to do Google or outside traffic or anything crazy. Amazon will reward you if you are getting sales velocity plus conversion rates on those keywords.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, now for the last, you know five minutes or something. Just you know some some quick hitting strategies either on Walmart advertising, Amazon advertising, some things that that you know people you think should be definitely doing out there.

Liran:

So I would say I would say a few things. Talk about two things. Number one one thing I see that is a problem we do a lot of audits is sponsored display, vcpm campaigns. I would encourage you to relook at how much money you’re spending on those campaigns. Sometimes Amazon will encourage you to have more of those campaigns. So on account recently that you had, like I don’t know, 30 or 40% of their sales coming from VCPM campaigns, and I could tell you without a doubt that probably the majority of that was cannibalized organic sales that are coming from those campaigns, I would say, if you’re unsure, don’t run those campaigns.

Liran:

The sponsored display campaigns that I like to run are cost per click campaigns and product targeting. You can run retargeting with sponsored display on ACoS per click basis. So that’s what I would do. I would not run impression based and just the explanation is the reason is impression based campaigns. Somebody can just scroll by, view it, go back to the listing and buy from a retargeting ad and it gets attributed to the retargeting ad when we don’t know, since they just pass by it. We don’t know if that influenced them to buy or not, since they didn’t click. So I would focus on your sponsored display campaigns with cost per click.

Liran:

The other thing I would say is to the more granular you can go, the better. Separate out your branded and unbranded campaigns, separate out your exact phrase broad campaigns. Take your high volume keywords and put them in their own campaigns. The more granular you go, the more control you have. And that’s, I think, one of the keys. And I do think it’s important today to also use software, because more and more things will be coming out with software. You see, like the Amazon marketing stream. So if you don’t have that, you should be using software that has the Amazon marketing stream, because you can see hourly data on how you are getting sales. One thing we’ve seen with that is generally, if you’re again, if you’re unsure, if you have limited budget, I would encourage you to day part and stop targeting from 12 Pacific to 5am. That’s usually when everyone’s budgets reset and you’re going to have a higher cost per click and not any better conversion rates usually worse conversion rates at night. So that’s another strategy to help you save.

Liran:

And I would say, at the end of the day, if you’re managing it and you pay close attention, it’s not rocket science managing ads, it’s taking a look at your search term reports, taking a look at your conversion rates, managing bids, adding negative keywords. It’s complex because you need to give it time and you need to pull the right reports and data, and also that sometimes people think their product, their problem, is an advertising problem. When it’s not an advertising problem, it’s a product problem, and that’s also something we see very often. I spoke to somebody today. They sell, like a shopping cart, one of those laundry things you carry around, and they said, hey, how come it’s not selling as well? Their product has about 100 something reviews. It’s selling okay, but there’s competitors right next to you at same or lower price with 5,000 reviews, and so, again, it’s not an advertising problem, it’s going to be a product problem.

Liran:

How can you differentiate your listing more from the competitors? They do actually have a great listing and I think it’s actually one of the reasons why I think they’re selling. They are selling fairly well with a lower review count. But also, their problem is not an advertising problem, it’s a product slash, competitor review problem, and that’s why the ability to reverse engineer your competitors with tools like Helium can really help you understand where your competitors are getting sales from. Also, whenever people look at their competitors. They’re assuming their competitors are, even though you may not be. The competitors are profitable and selling at great margin, and that’s also not always the case. People are looking to get market shares. So I think just go very granular and give ads attention. If not, maybe consider outsourcing it. But if you give it the attention and the optimization, you learn to understand it. It’s very much a data driven game.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. If people want to reach out to you to get some more help with PPC or to ask you some follow up questions, how can they find you on the interwebs out there?

Liran:

Sure, thank you. You can go to incrementumdigital.com. You can also sign up for a newsletter there. You’ll get our weekly newsletter. We’re sharing updates, we do webinars, so you can also just sign up for the email list there just to stay up to date. And obviously you can contact us through the website. You can also follow me and Incementum Digital and myself on social media LinkedIn, Facebook and you can DM me if you have any questions.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. Well, Liran, thank you so much for joining us. It’ll be nice to see you again in your home stomping grounds there in New York soon and wish you all the best of success with you and your team. Please say hi to Mansour. He’s been on this show before.

Liran:

Yes, thank you and the rest of your team. Thank you so much.


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