Amazon Campaign Structure: How to Structure Your Campaigns
by Ron Dod
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Whileranking products on Amazon can be a challenging endeavor, many merchants also find it difficult to produce prosperous Amazon advertising campaigns.
The fact of the matter is that Amazon is one of the most competitive retail platforms in the world. As a result of that, sellers can find it hard to create successful Amazon PPC strategies that boost revenue. While there are someAmazon advertising tips that are borderline magic, there is another campaign element that is often left under-optimized.
While it is an often-overlooked reality, the Amazon campaign structure that a seller employs has a significant impact on the outcome of a promotional push.
Amazon campaign structures not only help merchants to keep their efforts organized, but they also aid in enabling sellers to analyze data in a way that allows for actionable insights to be uncovered and optimization strategies to be developed.
To help merchants build a more cohesive and prosperous campaign architecture, today, we will explore exactly how sellers can set up their Amazon PPC campaigns for maximum insights, traffic and conversions.
The aim here is to break down an account that may consist of hundreds of different ASINs and segment them into more manageable lists.
The product categories that sellers create will help to inform the campaign structure,Amazon bidding strategies and campaign reporting efforts.
There are several ways that sellers should categorize ASINs, including:
Begin by grouping products into logical categories based on the item type. Given that campaigns will be assembled based on product categories, this is an essential organizational strategy that will help to streamline ad groups and reporting efforts.
Product Price Range
For sellers who intend to manage campaigns to target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), keyword bids should be established based on the price range of the ASIN.
By determining an assumed conversion rate and applying that to the average price per order, merchants can forecast the keyword bid range that will enable them toreach their target ROAS.
However, in order for this information to be accurate and useful, the ASINs included in the campaign must be within the same price range. Therefore, merchants should establish reasonable price ranges for their offerings and group ASINs accordingly.
Whencomparing Amazon and Google, one of the most significant drawbacks of Amazon’s advertising system is its lack of robust reporting options. Part of this is the result of Amazon advertising’s relative infancy to other ad platforms like Facebook, Google and others. Nonetheless, the situation remains.
The fact is that if ASINs from various product categories are included in a single campaign, it can be immensely challenging to report on the performance of the different categories.
Therefore, retailers must consider the way in which they would like to analyze campaign performance in relation to product categories.
For most merchants, the solution to this is to only advertise ASINs from the same product category within a given campaign. Through this approach, sellers are able to obtain far more revealing data about how specific products and product categories are performing.
As an example, if retailers sell men’s jeans, it is vital to be able to view the separate performance of each type of cut. Therefore, retailers will need to segment out straight fit jeans, skinny jeans and other cuts they carry to see how well each sells compared to the different types.
However, if merchants do not require this level of specificity on their reporting, then merely categorizing the ASINs under the higher level of “jeans” or “pants” will suffice.
In fact, whenever possible, it is recommended to keep product categorization at a higher level as this will help to reduce the number of campaigns, thereby making the account more manageable overall.
Once campaigns are running and have amassed enough data to be harvested and analyzed, retailers may determine that more segmentation is required. At which point, more granular campaigns can be created.
However, if this is not required, ultra-segmented product categories could actually harm a merchant’s Amazon campaign structure.
Select ASINs for Campaigns
With products broken down into logical categories and well-organized, it is time for merchants to move on to the next step in building their Amazon campaign structure by selecting the ASINs that they will target for each specific category.
Therefore, merchants should begin selecting five to 10 ASINs from each product category. It is essential to not include too few ASINs to target, as doing so could limit the reach of the campaign.
There are a multitude of ways that retailers can go about selecting which products to target, including:
Best and Worst Sellers
One way in which merchants can establish product groupings for their ads is by sales velocity.
Merchants are likely aware which of their products perform the best and which move far fewer units. As a result of this knowledge, retailers can group together five to 10 of their best-selling items for an ad group, as they can feel confident that they can bid more aggressively on keywords for these items and still hit their target ROAS.
Similarly, by targeting a handful of the lowest-grossing items a seller features, merchants can experiment with different bidding and keyword strategies to increase the sales velocity of these products.
Test and Learn Product Selection
The fact is that there are likely to be more than 10 ASINs that fit within a product category that merchants wish to target. However, again, this can make reporting difficult.
Therefore, in addition to creating groups for best and worst sellers, retailers can take their 10 best-selling items for a category and run a campaign with them for a month to analyze their performance.
From there, sellers can keep the five that fared the best and swap out the other five for other ASINs that fit the category and test those against the top performers.
Retailers can repeat this process until all of a category’s ASINs have been tested.
Choose ‘Retail Ready’ ASINs
For those who are unaware, “retail ready” is a term coined by Amazon. This phrase refers to a set of criteria that a product should meet before being included in an ad campaign. Some of the requirements of retail readiness include:
The item is in stock
The product has at least 15 reviews with an overall rating of 3.5 stars or greater
Precise and accurate product content with full character limit usage
The next step is actually to build out the campaigns. Each product category here will consist of multiple campaigns targeting the same group of products.
The idea behind running multiple campaigns for a single product category is to target users ateach stage of the sales funnel. Each campaign is intended to serve a specific role in cultivating awareness, generating interest and moving shoppers down through the funnel.
To help retailers build the most successful Amazon campaign structure possible, from here, we will cover the two most common Amazon campaign types: Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands.
Sponsored Product Amazon Campaign Structure
Each product category should be supported by three types of Sponsored Product campaigns.
With this targeting option, retailers have the opportunity to steal away customers who are actively looking at a rival’s product.
That said, as many advertisers have found, this targeting option may not produce as good of a ROAS as keyword-targeted campaigns. However, through this feature, sellers can earn a significant number of impressions andcultivate brand awareness, which is critical for the long-term growth and success of an Amazon seller.
2. Keyword Targeted Campaign (Branded and Unbranded)
The next campaign type merchants will want to create is a keyword-targeted campaign. However, as with any other PPC campaign, retailers will want to separate branded and unbranded keywords.
Unbranded searches are usually conducted by those who are brand agnostic, but who are looking to purchase a specific kind of product. Unbranded campaigns will help Amazon merchants get in front of these shoppers and help convince them to convert.
Branded searches, on the other hand, are typically conducted by those who are more toward the bottom of the sales funnel and who want to buy from a specific company. Branded campaigns will enable retailers to maximize their conversion rates among those who conduct this type of search.
At the same time, branded campaigns can also aid in preventing competitors who are bidding on a rival’s branded terms from surfacing.
3. Auto-Targeted Campaign
Auto-targeted campaigns will serve shoppers ads by matching a retailer’s product description with a user’s search query. Therefore, it is essential that sellers ensure thatAmazon product listings are fully optimized.
This campaign type should be run in tandem with keyword-targeted campaigns. However, they should not take precedence over keyword-driven campaigns.
The fact is that keyword campaigns provide sellers with a much greater degree of control as they allow retailers to customize bids at the keyword level. Therefore, these should remain higher in the Amazon campaign structure hierarchy.
To achieve this, simply set the auto-targeting campaign’s bids lower than the existing keyword bids.
As the auto-targeting campaigns progress, merchants should regularly conduct a search query analysis to pinpoint profitable searches that users are conducting, ultimately folding those terms and phrases into the keyword-targeted campaigns.
Sponsored Brand Amazon Campaign Structure
With Sponsored Brand ads, retailers are more limited in their targeting options as they cannot target products and categories.
That said, sellers will still create two Sponsored Brand campaigns for each of their product categories, utilizing the most beneficial keywords from their Sponsored Products efforts.
Here, sellers will once again build out branded and unbranded campaigns. The purpose of this is basically the same as with the previous campaign type: to engage dedicated customers and those who are in the market for a specific kind of item, but are unaware of the company’s existence.
Create a Campaign Naming Convention
Maintaining a standardized naming convention is essential for proper Amazon campaign structure optimization. By creating a regulated naming pattern, sellers can keep their account organized, thereby enabling more efficiency in navigation, optimization and reporting efforts.
By developing a naming convention, retailers will be able to identify a campaign without having to click-through, which can be quite helpful when a variety of people are helping to manage a single account.
Some naming guidelines that retailers will want to implement for streamlining their Amazon campaign structure include:
Uniformity across all campaigns
Note campaign segmentation levels that should be included in performance reports
Employ numbers to indicate a hierarchy of importance among campaign types
For eCommerce retailers, advertising on Amazon has rapidly become an essential component of their overall digital strategy. Thanks to Amazon’s sheer size and popularity, generating sales within the marketplace is an immensely profitable necessity and, in many ways, a prerequisite for business growth.
However, because of how incredibly competitive Amazon’s platform has become, it is absolutely critical for retailers to reach peak optimization in their SEO, PPC and Amazon campaign structure efforts.
While it will certainly require a considerable amount of time and energy to develop campaign structures that yield the kind of insights that allow for Amazon ad optimization to reach new heights, the investment is well worth the outcome.
Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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