Last call to review your Advertising Strategy and make changes before Black Friday week begins! There’s no time to waste on pretty introductions, so let’s dive into what matters.
Here are the 4 key aspects you must control above all:
- The Budget: You will always have a smaller budget than you would like, but you got to work with what you have. For a special sale event, you are going to need a bigger budget than your regular one. Why? CPCs increase, since all the competition fighting for the same. Everyone wants the advantage of having more traffic and more conversion. Also, the number of “query” clicks’ increases, as users will click on the ad to get more information and compare, and not necessarily purchase, so the Conversion Rate is reduced.
- The Bidding: CPCs are increased so your bids must be increased in order to be competitive in the auctions. This occurs in all verticals, they typically multiply approximately in x2 but in some they can multiply up to x4.
- The Advertised Catalog is key: Most competitors will be on promotion, so we recommend sticking exclusively to promotional products. These will spearhead the rest of the catalog. The consumers will be looking for a killer offer, therefore thanks to the promotional tags your ads will be more “noticeable” for the final consumer.
- The Strategy: 1) Protect your brand with all you have; 2) Focus your efforts on bidding for the main generic terms, as well as monitoring your direct competition; specifically appearing in their detail sheets – through the Sponsored Display format.
Best practices for Sponsored Ads campaigns:
- At this point you should have identified the leaders of the category in which you are fighting for the spotlight. You have to be very clear about what makes your product unique and different from your competitors to support it in the right way. After that analysis, comes the consideration phase, being present in the catalog of your competitors will be mandatory.
- Activate consideration campaigns. Performance is easier to measure and where you really see your ROI, but you shouldn’t overlook the consideration campaigns as they will be essential to better results in your performance campaigns.
– For those Sponsored Product campaigns that you have active with keyword targeting, we recommend you use competitors brands and category terms.
– For Sponsored Product but in product targeting, as the name suggests, focus it on the products of the competition (that if they have promotion and we are direct and competitive competitors will be the ones that must be pursued yes or yes).
– As for the Sponsored Brand format with keyword targeting, do the same as in the case of Sponsored Product: competitor brands and category terms and in product targeting for the products of the competition.
And, finally, in the Sponsored Display format to product targeting, appear in the detail pages of your main competitors.
- Use all the formats available in Sponsored ads:
– Use Sponsored Product to meet the product demand, as the performance format.
– Sponsored Brand to protect the brand. Here are 4 tips to keep in mind:
1- Always use at least one ASIN in promotion to gain notoriety.
2- Redirect the Brand store to the specific tab of the offer.
3- Use the Sponsored Brand video format with the ASIN in promotion and bet on this format with the most relevant keywords.
4- Choose the Sponsored Display format to defend your product detail pages and to re-target audiences.
- And in terms of recommendation of Budget Split by format, an option would be to invest 50% in Sponsored Product, 30% in Sponsored Brand and the remaining 20% in Sponsored Display. Here again, this distribution changes depending on the category and what objectives you have, but we could say that it is the standard.
- Regarding to the strategy, 3 mandatory aspects to control and execute:
- Bet on the generic strategy: Here the aim is to cover a product need but that is not faithful to a brand.
- Cover your brand correctly: You don’t want to lose loyal customers to another competitor.
- Use your promotional products to get traffic from your main competitors.
Bid. Bid. Bid.
Set bids, as long as you have enough budget, in order to reach all potential buyers. In addition, review the bids constantly, comparing them with the impressions achieved and with the average CPCs of campaigns.
Basic Implementation Tips:
1. Amazon has suggested bids that are relevant to review, as well as dynamic bids in the Sponsored Product format. For those who are not very familiar, two types of bids can be adopted:
- The fixed bid, which uses the exact bid you chose when setting up the campaign.
- Dynamic bid, which we recommend for this event, and specially the option – up and down. With this, we will adjust the bid in real time, at a maximum of 100%, but only when there is a high probability of conversion to sale.
2. Using product targeting can be very useful in certain specific product strategies during the event.
3. As for the segmentation by product can be done by:
- ASIN: Select specific products from the list, upload a list of ASINs that are relevant to the campaign, or target suggested products similar to the ad product.
- Category: Select a broad category that is relevant to the product being advertised and refine categories to have greater control over when and where ads appear.
In category targeting, it is important to have greater control over the appearance of these ads and if it is true that you have to know how to “play” with the different formats that Sponsored Ads offers – a good combination of them helps us achieve the desired or expected success.
Recommendations for Sponsored Products:
In Sponsored Products, there could be several scenarios in the campaigns:
- The first one: If you have low impressions, you should raise the bids. If you are low on budget, reduce the number of sponsored products and go with the selection to the fullest.
- If it turns out that active campaigns have a low or lower performance than expected, either pause the campaigns (temporarily or permanently), or lower the bids to a minimum without ending them.
- For campaigns with well-performing terms, compare your bid to the average CPC.
We emphasize again that in this format it is necessary to know which products are the ideal ones to support, ideally the ones with a discount; that you give the appropriate budget (50% would be the average of the market as a reference) and use dynamic bidding.
Recommendations for Sponsored Brand:
Moving on to the Sponsored Brand format, which focuses in gaining consideration and awareness. It allows you to announce 3 products at the same time and gives you the possibility to redirect traffic to your store. This last detail becomes very important since for Black Friday we can activate an adhoc tab with the products on promotion within your store and redirect the traffic right to that tab.
As in the previous case, the campaigns must be tracked continuously and accurately and here are our recommendations:
- For the keywords campaigns that are not reaching the minimum impressions, raise the bids to be able to show the 3 chosen ASINs.
- On the other hand, you will also find campaigns that are shown but have poor performance so you will have no choice but to either pause them or lower the bids and focus on those that are proving positive.
- And for those with good performance, monitor and compare the average CPCs to find out if there is ground to optimize the budget and thus be able to cover the whole day optimally.
We have not yet talked about the concordances. Our recommendation, in all possible formats, is to play with all of them – do not let anything escape that can be positive for your performance and the achievement of your goals.
Use both available formats – the new Sponsored Brand Video is a differentiating format, notorious, very visual and that many advertisers are not yet using. You can only include one ASIN but if you use promotional product, the results be prompt to arrive. Please note that the video has to be “linked” or “connected” with the promoted ASIN for there to be a link between product image and included video.
And to finish with this format, two last recommendations: include at least 25 keywords when creating your campaign and review them to modify them if necessary. As for the bids, if you have doubts be clear – you must bet on the suggested and wide bid.
Recommendations for Sponsored Display:
The Sponsored Display format is the format that is having the most innovation and updates. It is a perfect format to use in this type of events thanks to the great segmentation options it has and the possibility of impacting outside and inside Amazon to redirect traffic to your advertised products.
It is the format that helps us maximize conversions and among them, Reach (with acronym vCPM) is one of our favorites. And don’t forget to focus on interest targeting based on Amazon Audiences! 3 basic but effective recommendations:
- Protect your promotional products with this format. If it is already difficult and expensive for the user to be in your detail page, once they are there, don’t allow your competitors to steal your potential buyer.
- For this protection of the detail page you also have to plan which products you are going to cover. So use complementary products to be shown in the detail page and thus encourage cross-selling.
- If you hesitate on the type of bid, start adjusting them to conversion. In events, conversion is what prevails so throw yourself without fear.
And finally, some recommendations for the long-awaited Day of the Event – which this year is Friday, November 25th:
- Focus on reaching broad audiences and re-marketing to audiences who bought your product or visited detail pages.
- Keep in mind that during the event bids increase by more than 200% and in some categories much more.
- Track hourly campaigns and review budgets in those with better performance to cover the whole day and not lose any sales opportunities.
- Concentrate your efforts, if you have a reduced budget, on campaigns with products that have promotion.
- Don’t lose focus on your goals and measurement KPIs. It is normal to have moments of “doubt” or “panic” thinking about the bidding strategies of your competitors.
- If you have campaigns with high ACOS, switch to dynamic bidding.
If you are one of those sellers who kept a small budget for the Lead–Out phase, take note of the following:
- Use manual product targeting campaigns.
- Activate automatic campaigns segmented by complementary and substitute products.
- Adjust your budget taking into account that CPCs in this period return to normal.
- Activate some type of promotion (discount coupon is a good option) and impact products of your competition similar to yours that had an offer in the event but that has already ended.
So, as you can see, there is still a lot to do, a lot to optimize. Happy Black Friday Season!