“Data-Driven Thinking” is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by Mike Farrell, senior director of integrated digital strategy at Sidecar.
Advertising on Amazon requires you to balance both offensive and defensive tactics. The overall goal is to appear alongside competitors and drive exposure, while also protecting your own brand and product pages.
It’s also important to understand the difference between automatic and manual campaigns, and how to use them in tandem. With automatic campaigns, Amazon automatically matches your products to queries, based on product title, description and features.
By contrast, with manual campaigns, you can select the keywords that you’d like to bid on. Once you understand which products or keywords perform well in the automatic campaign, you can apply those learnings to the manual campaign.
With that backdrop in mind, here are five of the most important steps to consider to make your Amazon ads stand out.
Target competitor trademarks and brand names wisely.
When running manual campaigns, you can build out and target brand keywords to show up on the search results page instead of your competitor. For instance, Dial could bid on terms related to Dove (“Dove body wash,” “Dove lotion”) to show Dial products alongside Dove products when consumers are making a purchase decision.
If you are bidding on competitor terms and finding success, be aware there are no restrictions or quality score implications for using this tactic, and it can be an offensive measure to capture sales.
Influence your competitive set of products.
Here’s another offensive tactic. Try product targeting in a manual campaign. Select your competitors’ ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Numbers) when setting the targeting for these campaigns.
Or, you can use “substitute” and “complement” match in an automatic campaign to target related products and categories. With these match types, Amazon will show your ad to shoppers who view the detail pages of products that are similar to (substitute match) or that complement (complement match) your products. For instance, a substitute match for “white taper candles” could be “white taper dripless candles” and a complement match could be “taper candle holders.”
Amazon places your product on a competitor’s product detail page under the “Sponsored Products related to this item” carousel. This tactic helps you better position your products directly in the mix of competitors.
Always target your own brand.
Many advertisers question whether they should spend money targeting their own brand when it already has a high organic ranking. But this approach is a critical defensive tactic on Amazon. If you don’t bid on your brand, a competitor will.
Target your own brand and products in manual campaigns to ensure more of your goods appear on the product page under “Sponsored Products related to this item.” This tactic lets you box out competition on your product pages and prevent shoppers second guessing prior to adding to cart. Even if another product appeals to them, you still have the opportunity to keep customers by positioning your item in front of them.
Bid up your most valuable branded and trademark queries.
With manual campaigns, you can select the keywords that you’d like to bid on. Bid more aggressively on valuable keywords you deliberately associate with your products to capture higher intent traffic. For example, for Fitbit, this could include terms such as “Fitbit tracker” or “Fitbit smartwatch.”
Often you can pull these keywords from the search query report of an automatic campaign. Increasing the overall budget for the manual campaign can also produce better results.
Find your white space when targeting generic queries.
Use search query data to also identify where you are seeing the most success on generic, non-branded, and non-trademark queries. For instance, if you’ve successfully built brand equity around seasonal timeframes, dominate terms relating to that season, such as “fall hiking boots” or “Autumn placemats.”
This tactic is key to protecting your market share and reaching consumers before they’ve isolated the product to buy.