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Amazon Sponsored Products: How To Win This Holiday Season - Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of "Amazon Sponsored Products: How To Win This Holiday Season". Last weekwe talked about what is Amazon Sponsored Products and how to prepare for the Holidays so you can get the biggest bang for your buck by identifying your top-performing products, campaigns and keywords.

In this week's post, we are going to cover the rest of our Amazon Sponsored Products strategy for the Holidays and discuss how to optimize your Amazon Sponsored Product Ads campaigns during and after the Holidays for a bumper Q4 and a strong start to the year ahead.

During The Holidays

Before we dive into bids and budgets, a word of caution. As a seller, you will no doubt have already started receiving emails from Amazon recommending that you increase all bids and budgets by 2x or 3x. Do this at your peril!

You do not want to take this 'one-size fits all' approach to your bids and budgets. Instead, focus your ad dollars on what converts best to drive profit, not just sales. The key to success with sponsored products on Amazon during the Holiday season is longevity; to remain visible for as long as possible to maximise profitable sales.

Optimize Your Budgets

Now you have identified your best-converting products and Sponsored Products campaigns, the next step is to increase budgets on campaigns that are already at your Target (or Break-even) Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS) or lower. 

At the same time, dial down and decrease budgets on campaigns that are above your Target ACoS. You can redirect your ad dollars to your top-performing campaigns.

To follow on from the example we shared last week, with a break-even ACoS of 47% as our Target ACoS, that means you want to focus your ad dollars on those campaigns with an ACoS of 47% or lower as illustrated below:

Be as aggressive with your budgets as you can afford to be to avoid the risk of running out of budget and dropping out of the auction. Not only does this help to ensure your ads get seen by shoppers throughout the day but by outlasting your competition, you’ll start to pick up top ad positions for a lower cost per click (CPC) as the competition drops off.

You want to make sure you monitor your campaign budgets. For Sponsored Products, you can do this with automatic notifications in your advertising console. 

Optimize Your Bids

Now repeat this process at the keyword level. Increase bids on keywords that are driving clicks and converting into sales at your Target ACoS or lower. Let's again use the example of a 47% Target ACoS as illustrated below:

By setting a competitive bid on your best-performing keywords, you increase your ads’ chances of winning auctions and appearing in better search result placements to help capture the lift in impressions. Conversely, decrease bids on keywords that are already above your Target ACoS. 

Pause bids on unproven keywords with little or no data, such as on newer keywords that you are currently testing. The aim here is to double down on what is already working; not testing or researching new and unproven keywords. 

While testing is integral to running successful PPC campaigns, there is a time and a place for testing; high traffic events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Holidays are not the time!

The same goes for 'stuffing' a bunch of 'Holiday-related' keywords into your campaigns. All that these unproven and potentially irrelevant keywords will do, is bring down the overall performance of your campaigns by hurting your ads' relevancy (or Click Through Rate, CTR), and conversion rate (PPC conversion). This results in a higher average Cost Per Click (CPC), and ultimately, a higher ACoS.

After The Holidays

Re-Set Your PPC Campaigns

During the Holiday season, you use bids and budgets as aggressively as you can afford to take advantage of the huge spike in traffic and maximise profitable sales.

After the Holidays, you want to start returning your bids and budgets to pre-Holiday levels. Just remember that reducing your bids and budgets naturally reduces your visibility and, therefore, sales. However, do this gradually so don’t miss out on any post-holiday shoppers. Sales typically remain strong into the first half of January as recipients of Amazon Gift Cards spend their vouchers. 

Use Your Search Term Reports To Find New Keywords

After the Holidays is the perfect opportunity to start researching more keywords and targets.

A higher volume of traffic and shopping activity during the Holiday season results in a higher volume of data. You can analyse this data to gather new insights on how shoppers are finding and interacting with your ads, and use these insights to inform your campaign optimizations.

Review your search term report to identify new search terms customers are using to find your products. Add them as keywords to your manual Sponsored Products campaigns to trigger more successful search terms and grow your campaigns further.

It's also a good idea to save your Search Term Reports after the holidays so you can use as learnings for next year’s Holiday season.

Conclusion

Optimizing the bids and budgets of your best-performing keywords and campaigns will help to ensure that you maximise product visibility and profitable sales for success this holiday season.

But the Holiday season is not only an opportunity to generate an increase in sales but to generate an increase in valuable sales data too. By gaining new insights and finding new search terms customers are using to find your products can be used to help grow your Amazon Sponsored Products campaigns, and sales, into the new year and beyond. 

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