Are You Effectively Scaling Advertising on Amazon?

If you’re advertising on Amazon, we’re 100% sure you’ve scoured the internet for the best tips and tricks.

No Google search needed today. The Pilothouse Amazon team gives you insight into the three phases they use to scale advertising on Amazon. Let’s go!

1️⃣ Phase 1: The prep

Just as a house is built on a solid foundation, strong Amazon advertising is built on a base of solid keyword and competitor research.

Don’t just go on Amazon and do some searches around your product’s main keywords… spend hours (or days) researching every different keyword segment your product applies to.

Looking for more info on segmenting keywords? Click here!

Here’s a simple example:

You’re a new running shoe company, “runbrand” about to release a new shoe specifically for jogging. You’ve put in some work and have a small brand following on your DTC site, and are ready to add Amazon as a sales channel.

Your main keyword is going to be something along the lines of “shoes for jogging” or “jogging shoes”... but this will have all of its own similar keywords around it “shoes for jogging in trails”, “shoes for jogging uphill”, “sneakers for jogging”, “rubber foot things for moving legs fast”... you get the idea.

By the end of this exercise, you’ll likely have a dozen or more keyword segments that your product could possibly convert on—some more relevant than others, and some much higher traffic than others.

2️⃣ Phase 2: The build

How many segments you’re starting with depends on the relevancy of your brand in the space. Already a market leader? You can likely blast to all of the segments at once and be relatively successful.

A more typical approach is picking your most relevant keyword segments and building those out first. Ensure your product has most of these keywords somewhere in title/bullets/backend search terms to ensure more relevance to the search engine.

Check out more information on the Amazon new product effect here!
Runbrand’s new shoe with 0 reviews will likely not convert with an ad on Nike’s most popular shoe with 10,000+ reviews. 🤷‍♂️

Start with relevant competitors with fewer reviews, worse listings, more expensive and inferior products, etc. Your product advertised on their listings should have a good shot at converting shoppers!
What campaign types? All of them. If these are truly your most relevant keyword segments, and your product is a very good offering, then every ad type to those keywords should convert well.

What does “all of them” mean?

💰 Sponsored products

Keyword targeting to relevant keyword segments and branded keywords (separate campaigns).

💰 Sponsored products/display

Product targeting to relevant competitor ASINs and your other products (separate campaigns).

💰 Sponsored brand store page

Create a store page built out for each of these segments that acts as a landing page for these ads.

💰 Sponsored brand video ads

To relevant keywords and branded keywords (separate campaigns).

💰 Sponsored product auto targeting

At low bids with some aggressive negatives to scout for new keywords.

That’s right, for this one product, right out of the gate you’ll likely end up with 20+ campaigns on the low end.

You’re likely thinking “That will overspend my budget if we build out that many ads”... but it's all about BID CONTROL. Each keyword and each competitor ASIN in those campaigns each has some perfectly optimized bid that achieves your target ROAS.

Start the bids far below Amazon’s “suggested bids,” and adjust accordingly as clicks come in. Once the rave reviews start piling up, keep expanding to the higher volume, slightly less relevant keywords over time, while also increasing budgets as appropriate along the way.

Don’t forget about using Amazon’s Demand-Side Platform!

3️⃣ Phase 3: Scale

A common statement the Pilothouse Amazon team hears is “we’ll reduce spend once we get more reviews” and “Can we bring down that ad budget once we’re ranked?”

The answer for Amazon is simple.

Capture as much market share as possible. The team believes you should never pull your foot off the gas on any of those non-branded keywords.

No matter how popular Runbrand gets, they should always be spending on “shoes for jogging.” Unless there’s something uniquely proprietary about their shoes, there will always be a new Runbrand willing to spend money for initial market penetration.

Why keep spending on them? People are now searching for Runbrand specifically, and those branded keywords are where you’ll make the profit.

Should you reduce spend on more competitive keywords once you’ve scaled up or once you’ve netted more reviews? No. You’ll likely be spending even more on them.

Those campaigns will likely be more efficient for the same spend as you’ve shown Amazon’s algorithm you’re relevant for those targets. Additionally, you’ll be making so much more revenue on organic sales and branded sales, that your total ROAS for the platform will skyrocket.

To summarize:

  1. Do a ton of keyword and competitor research ✅
  2. Build campaigns for each keyword/competitor segment over time ✅
  3. Keyword/ASIN harvest and bid optimize these campaigns over time
  4. Over time branded and organic sales will increase as the brand gains recognition ✅

If you’ve hit advertising scaling plateaus on the platform, or are lost in the complexities of the Amazon algorithms, reach out to the Pilothouse Amazon team. They’ve got you covered. 🚀

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