Step by Step Guide: Amazon Product Ads: Welcome To The Jungle.

Ask any  digital consumer in the US what the top 5 sites to purchase products online are. Go ahead. I bet Amazon.com one of those sites. Unsurprising as  Amazon has practical become a household name. It is an is an E-commerce powerhouse, that has made numerous in headlines in the past few months with their talks of drones, the rollout of the Amazon Dash buttons, and the increasing number of benefits from being a prime member. It is the 3rd most visited site in the US and 7th most visited globally with a staggering estimated 168 million unique visitors every month. The majority of people generally are aware of how big Aamazon is, however, what  many people don’t know is, Amazon offers a way to leverage its massive audience, thoughtout various Ad serving platforms.

There are two ways to advertise on Amazon. Which you use depends on your goals.

  • Do you already sell on Amazon? Then the Seller Central would be your best bet.
  • Do you want to direct traffic from Amazon to your site? Amazon Product Ads is the better choice then.

Today I am going to focus on the later of the two services, and give a beginners step-by-step guide on how to set up your own Amazon Product Ads. It is VERY simple PPC platform, which can leverage Amazon’s that massive audience, and insert your products in a powerful and unique bottom funnel way, when people are searching competitors or similar products.You will have ads up in no time by following these 6 Steps.

Step 1: Register An Amazon Sellers Account.

After you first go to Amazon, scroll down the very bottom of the home page. Under the “Make Money with Us” and click on Advertise Your Products.

Amazon Product Step 1

The link will lead you here. This is the Amazon services page. Here you can find FAQ’s, tutorials, reviews etc. a standard sales page. If you do not already have a sellers account just click the “Get Started Now” link and the fun begins.

Step 2: The Questionnaire 

Now, before the real magic happens, Amazon will ask you three simple questions. As you answer these questions, keep in mind Amazon Product Ads will only allow certain product categories to be advertise with this service. Anyone can advertise in the Baby, Computer, Electronics, Home/Home Improvement, and Musical Instruments, as well as Office, Pet Supplies, Sports, Toys or Wireless categories. It will also allow you to advertise in Apparel, Health and Beauty, Grocery, Shoes, and Watches categories; however it will require approval from the Amazon Gods.

Amazon Product Ads Qustionaire

 

If your product falls into any of those, you will be good to go! Just click the sing up now after answering the questions and we are off!

Step 3: Set Up The Actual Account

This is where you actually begin filling out your account information. It is straightforward so I am going to skip most of this, as it is simply plug and chug. If you are an agency, I suggest doing this under your client’s name. If you are a seller, use your account.

step 4

Once you get this all figures out, you will be dropped off at the Amazon Product Ads Dashboard.  I warn you, it is not much to look at, but do not let its simplicity discourage you.

 

Amazon Product Ads Dash

If you are familiar with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Adwords… this dashboard is nothing like them. What you see here is what you get. Do not let how basic this is scare you away. Again, getting your products in front of this massive audience searching for similar products can have a great ROI.

Step 4: Upload Your Product Catalog

 

(4.1)

This is where things can get a little tricky. You need to upload the inventory you want to advertise from your website, but it only accepts certain file formats. Thankfully, Amazon has a very simple template that will generate the necessary file for you. To get started click “Upload your Products” to get started.

Amazon-Product-ads-Upload

(4.2)

This new window will give you a couple options of what to do. If you are familiar with Google or Yahoo selling, you should already have the required files. If you have the necessary file listed in the drop down menu (as seen below), just select the type of file you have and click “Upload Now”. If not, move on to the next step.

(4.3)

As I said, Amazon Product Ads will only accept a few files. Luckily, Amazon provides an easy-to-use template that will generate the file format Amazon Product Ads will accept and will upload the products you want to advertise. Just hit “Download Template”

dl temp

(4.4)

A window will pop open. Click the “Amazon.com Product Ads tab delimited file (.txt)” link.

Dl temp1

(4.5)

This new window is the Product Ads Feedbuilder. This will generate the code needed to make your product scroll. Hit the “Add Item”.
Amazon Ads Feed Builder Ad Item

(4.6)

On this next window, you can narrow or broaden the details on your products as much as you like. For the purposes of this beginners guide, we will stick to the required fields. As an Example, let us say you are selling a Taco Truck Taco Holder, like this:

81BSP7vMqVL._SL1500_
A rather unique product, right? No worries, just type the category you believe would be appropriate. For this taco truck, I believe it would best fit under Home & Kitchen category. Begin typing and results will flood the feed.

Amazon Product Ads Categories

(4.7)

As you can see, there are hundreds of sub categories. Consider which one would best represent what you are selling. Here some competitor research can come into play. I selected “Kitchen Utensils & Gadgets/Tools & Gadget Sets.” Once you find the category you like, next comes what little creative and optimization you can do.

Amazon Product Ads Feed Creative

 

Things to keep in mind here: no special characters like “&” or “!”. Keep things simple. Straight to the point.

 

(4.8)

Once you finish these field hit Add item. You can add as many products as you like. When done, click “Generate Feed” at top right and save the ProductAdsFeed to your desktop. Go back to the Add Products via Upload page. Select Amazon Product Ads tab-delimited file from the drop down menu, click “Choose File” and select the file you just saved hit the “Upload now” button.

upload now

Congrats that was the hardest part of this whole process. Its all pretty streamlined from here on out.

Step 5: Set Your Budget

Go back to the Product ads. You can check your listing by going to the Manage Inventory section of the dashboard. The next step in the process is to set your daily budget. Figure out what you are willing to spend day-to-day on your advertising. This will require some math because there is no Lifetime feature like on some other platforms. So simply divide your total monthly budget by how many days there are in that month and enter it into the field.

daily budget

Insert whatever your daily budget would come down to, and then hit update.

Step 6: Set Your Bids

Bare with me this is the LAST step.
Back on the dashboard. Hit the “Set Your Bids” button and the Bids manger will open. Instead of clicking through each and every category again, at the top select the “only Categories I have products in” button. This will filter out all the other unrelated classifications.

Here you have the option of setting the Minimum CPC or the Suggested CPC. There is not too much that you can do here, so the best practice will be to set it to the suggested bid, and let it ride. You can increase the suggested bids by specific percentages if you want. But that is the limit of the optimization you can do.

Amazon Product Ads Bids

And that is it! After you hit the “Save changes” button, your ads will be added to the Amazon Product Ads rotation.

What About Optimization?

Amazon currently does not allow for too much in this way. There are a few things to help get the most of your ad dollars. Here are a few suggestions:

•Split test in different categories. There are hundreds out there and if your ads are under performing, maybe try a new category. Need information on A/B testing? We have you covered.
• Use every field in the feeds generation. The more specific your ad is the better.
• Only use your top 10-15 bestselling and/or most profitable products. Utilize your wow factor. This will draw the traffic to your site, and make sure you maintain a healthy ROI.
• You CAN adjust your bid, but it is something you have to play around with for each category.

With Amazon, what you see is what you get; nonetheless, this is a very effective platform for bottom funnel sales. At this point in Amazon Product ads, Amazon determines everything all down to the placement of ads. For more information on that, you can Click Here to learn more.

 

The Step by Step Guide for Setting up Advanced Digital Marketing Channel Tests

All Campaigns are Not Created Equal

Thomas Jefferson’s infamous speech does not apply to digital marketing campaigns, unfortunately… Earlier in April, I published a blog about why channel tests were more worthwhile for SMBs on a tight marketing budget. I want to take this line of thinking a step further for SMBs that actually have more marketing dollars to work with. For those who are well versed in digital marketing, you’ll understand that there’s a difference in setting up a targeted Facebook ad campaign to increase attendance to an event compared to setting up a campaign (regardless of channel) with a custom landing page, form, goal conversion, and an automated lead nurture campaign. The former is not nearly as time consuming and doesn’t require the amount of planning as the latter. I digress. You’ll understand why I’m saying this as you continue reading…

Step 1: Select Your Channels

For the purpose of this blog, let’s assume we have a B2B company with a monthly ad budget of $1,800. In the past, the budget has been split three ways between Facebook, LinkedIn and AdWords PPC. Each channel has a different purpose: for Facebook and LinkedIn, the goal has to been build a targeted audience, increase engagement and drive traffic to the company’s website. For PPC, the goal has been to drive leads. While you’re planning next month’s strategy, you decide you want to change things up and do lead generation channel tests using the same channels.

Step 2: Allocate the Budget

Once you’ve decided on the channels and are set on a strategy, create a budget plan and decide where the money is going to be invested. Here’s an example of what that would look like:

  • AdWords PPC: $1,000
  • Facebook Ads: $500
  • LinkedIn Sponsored Ads: $300

Typically when running channel tests it’s best to allocate equal amounts of money. The PPC budget will always be highest because it’s the best strategy when converting low funnel leads. You don’t want to take away from that and risk decreasing quality scores and ad rank. Facebook is higher than LinkedIn because it’s always wise to run a monthly Like campaign. Therefore, $200 of that will be allocated to that separate campaign and equal funds will be allocated to the actual lead generation test you’ll be running.

Click here to sign up for a free, no hassle Facebook ads consultation.

Step 3: The Busy Work

This step is by far the most time consuming but once it’s complete, the rest is (relatively) smooth sailing. For the past six months, you’ve been using two custom landing pages which were designed on WordPress for the PPC campaigns. The two landing pages focus on two different services the company offers. The extensive keyword and competitive research has been done as well as the original creation of the landing pages which have been generating leads on PPC to the tune of 3-5 per month. This is when the workload gets busy: because we are running the same lead generation test utilizing the same landing pages, you’ll need to create Facebook and LinkedIn versions of the landings pages so we can segment the traffic and understand where the leads are coming from. You’ll also need to create separate lead generation forms and thank you pages. Here’s how you do it:

  • Take the first (service) PPC landing page and open it in its own tab on your internet browser
  • Add a new page to your website and open it in a separate tab, as well, on a different screen (assuming you have dual monitors)
  • Literally take everything from the PPC landing page and do the exact same thing to the new page – with the exception of the URL
  • Busy work overload.

  • While you’re doing that, you’ll also need to create a new form to collect leads. Once complete, take that form ID and embed into the new page
  • The new form must also redirect to a unique thank you page. Same as the previous steps, take the PPC thank you page and duplicate the content with the exception of the URL
  • Access the company’s Google Analytics account and create a conversion goal using that unique thank you page (very important!)
  • Once the new page is set up with its own unique form and thank you page, you’re ready to publish
  • Rinse and repeat and do it all over again for the second (service) landing page and then do THAT all over again so you have a total of four separate landing pages, forms, thank you pages, and goal conversions

Just so you can understand the time investment, it took me about three hours to do something very similar to this. In my opinion, it’s well worth it because the end result is to be able to effectively gauge how well channels perform when using the exact same content. It’s a very powerful thing to be able to go back to the company at the end of the month and say, “Well, we’re seeing that LinkedIn generated 3x as many leads as Facebook. So next month, we’re going to allocate more money to that channel because we know it has a higher success rate.”

Step 4: Deciding on Creative

The PPC campaign is already set up because, as previously mentioned, its been running for six months with good success. Also, there’s not a whole lot of creative to consider beyond ad copy. Selecting the right keywords is the most crucial element of any PPC campaign and this process itself can be very cumbersome with in-depth research and analysis.

With Facebook, you’ll be running two website click ads where you get to choose custom images and ad copy. Additionally, you’ll target the ads to show up only on newsfeeds of people within your target audience.

On LinkedIn, it’s set up a little differently. The only ad option is a sponsored update and you don’t get to select a custom image. The image that populates will be associated with the landing page itself. You do get to customize the post message and target the post to display only on the newsfeeds of your target audience.

All three channels offer unique ways to target the right audience. The one consistency all three have is geo-targeting. We’ll talk more about the sophistication of ad targeting between social channels in later blogs on StrataBlue!

Step 5: Flipping the Switch

The moment of gratification has arrived. All of the planning, creating and executing has now lead you to the point at which you turn the campaigns on. I don’t believe I mentioned this earlier but the dollar amount assigned to each ad is $150. Two website click ads on Facebook with a monthly budget of $150 a piece and two sponsored updates on LinkedIn both with $150 each. This leaves nothing to question is regards to showing ROAS (return on ad spend) at the end of the month.

Step 6: Monitoring Campaigns and Analyzing and Reporting Results

It’s important to monitor the campaigns weekly to report back to the company to keep them in the loop on performance. At the end of the month once the campaigns have ended, the truth will be found in numbers. Your data sources will be Facebook Insights, LinkedIn, Google Analytics and AdWords. Inform the company which campaign performed the best based on lead generation and advise on next steps.

Want to continue the conversation? Let’s meet for coffee.

I’ve always found that the best conversations happen over a nice, hot cup of fresh brewed coffee. If channel testing is something you’d like to learn more about or do for your company, let’ talk! Either call us at 317-207-0195, email us at info@stratablue.com, or click the button below to fill our a brief form to contact us online! We look forward to hearing from you.

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