With the holidays quickly approaching, it is arguably the most important time of the year for retailers. Consumers are actively researching products for the holidays, and getting ready to make their purchases. As more and more consumers turn to Amazon to do their holiday shopping, it is vital to ensure your brand has high visibility on Amazon and is set up for holiday sales success.
Assuming your Amazon catalog is up-to-date and optimized, you will need to make sure your consumers see your products. The best way to do this is through Amazon marketing. As a recap, Amazon has three main campaign types that advertisers can utilize to promote products: Sponsored Products, Headline Search, and Product Display Ads. Using all of these campaigns types will help you increase your brand and product visibility on Amazon, plus drive more sales. Below are 5 tips to help you achieve holiday success utilizing these campaign types.
1. Start Marketing Planning Early
As the holidays get closer, you should already be thinking about your brand’s holiday strategy. It is important to put the prep work in ahead of time, so you have ample time to plan the rest of your strategy and execute when the time is here. It is important to start this planning early and identify the tactics you want to run during the holidays. As you strategize, analyze your data to determine what has worked well in the past and plan to expand coverage for the upcoming season. Identify your most successful keywords and products, then make sure you update bids and budgets to capture all available traffic.
2. Determine Amazon Promotional Strategy
Amazon has long been known to have competitive prices on products, which is a big contributor to their success over the past 5 years. If Amazon uses a competitive pricing and promotions formula to drive more sales, so should you. There are a few periods this holiday season in which advertisers should mark on their calendars to be as competitive as possible: Countdown to Black Friday Deals Week, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the December 12 Days of Deals.
During these time periods, there will be more shoppers on Amazon looking to buy, so you need to determine what promotions you will run. Using all three ad formats on Amazon, you can highlight your products that are featured on the Deals of the Day section on Amazon. Some ideas would be using Sponsored Product Ads to display coupons on certain products in the ad creation tool, and Product Display Ads to display messaging for products with Lighting Deals.
These types of messaging tactics can really propel your products to the top of consumers’ minds and help influence a purchase. While these types of promotions are active for your products, build out specific campaigns to advertise these products so you can flight your budget accordingly to take an “always on” approach. If you are planning to do Sponsored Product campaigns to promote these products, be sure to do a manual keyword-targeted campaign to maximize your coverage.
3. Adjust Bids Strategically
The Amazon campaign reports allow you to analyze keyword level performance and see which types of search queries you are driving, as well as the overall performance for each of your keywords. It is important to analyze the data for your keywords and determine if your bids are competitive enough. Competition will surely spike during the holidays, so it is vital to optimize your bids leading up to, and during, the holidays.
Amazon Sponsored Product campaigns have a feature to help with bid optimization. Their automated bidding equivalent is called “Bid+” and this can help increase your odds of winning the auction to show your product ad. With Bid+, keyword bids can increase by up to 50% if the algorithm warrants it. Another metric to consider is the “Win Rate” on your keywords, which will determine how often your ad wins the auction to show on Amazon. Analyzing your Win Rate and adjusting bids, while also enabling Bid+ will help you close the gap and increase your coverage, and thus drive more sales.
4. Optimize Your Amazon Campaigns, Keywords, and Ad Copy
As you should be doing year-round, you need to have your best tactics running at optimal levels. Especially during the holidays. With the findings you have gathered throughout the year, it is important to apply them now. In order to help allocate budget to the best performing tactics, scale back on inefficient campaigns so your marketing dollars are allocated elsewhere. If you need to have these campaigns live, look into why it is underperforming.
As mentioned previously, you have the ability to see keyword and product performance. From these views, you can also look into which search terms could be bringing down performance. Now is the time to spot opportunities to add negative keywords to cut irrelevant traffic, or find queries that are working for you to add in as actual keywords.
Another factor to look at is ad copy. You have the option to test new ad copy within your Headline Search or Product Display campaigns. Identify which promotional callouts or highlights of the brand you want to bring to the forefront. Adjusting copy order or inserting new callouts to your headlines can go a long way, and if you have not tested new messaging on these campaigns to improve performance then start small.
5. Campaign Pacing
Once you are in a good place with what tactics you want to run, make sure you do not go dark. The holidays will be bringing in more visitors to Amazon than at other periods of the year, so it is important to adjust your campaign budgets so you are visible throughout the entire day. With increased bids from the competition, you will suddenly see your budget reached quicker in the day than usual. During the week leading up to these big holidays, it is important to look at your pacing by day and see if you can spot increases in spend. Chances are if it has not increased yet, it will be soon. To be safe, adjust your budgets to be at least double what they are now, in order to account for the increase in bids and volume. You will need to check on your pacing throughout the holiday(s) but it is better to go into the holiday(s) with bigger budgets and then adjust accordingly.
Optimize for Success
The holidays should be a time for brand success. This is the time that all retailers look forward to bolstering their sales. As more and more consumers turn to Amazon for their shopping needs, it is even more important for your brand to be visible on the platform. Remember to start early, determine which promotions you will run, adjust your bids, optimize your campaigns and increase your budgets. These 5 tips can help set you up for success during this important time of the year. As always, a lot can change during this time, so it is important to be vigilant and ready to adjust your strategy if needed. Although, with these tips hopefully you will not have to.
Want to get started selling on Amazon, but not sure where to begin? Check out our free webinar “Navigating the Amazon Jungle: Everything You Need to Know to Sell, List, and Advertise on Amazon” to help you start taking advantage of this platform.