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Sponsored-Product-Campaigns are next to Headline-Search-Ads Performance-Marketing-Activities that Amazon provides sellers of the Sellers-Central. Generally, every seller with professional Account and a Buy-Box can use Sponsored-Product-Campaigns. Headline-Search-Ads are available for all sellers with a registered brand for some month. One can assume that the last Performance-Marketing-Activity of the Amazon-Marketing-Services (AMS) will also be shown to sellers in the Seller-Central. In this article, I will explain my approach in placing and optimizing Sponsored-Product-Campaigns.

Different types of Sponsored-Product-Campaigns

Sponsored-Product-Campaigns are paid product advertisements, which can be placed in the Seller-Central. Sponsored-Product-Campaigns allow sellers to place their product on the first search result pages for a specific search query. Thus, first sells can be generated without organic rankings on the first search results sites. Sponsored-Product-Ads are based on stated Keywords which are, like Google AdWords, charged per click (CPC).

How are Sponsored-Product-Ads structured?

Ads in Sponsored-Product-Campaigns cannot be customized. Amazon specifies the title as well as the picture, brand name, ratings and information on the shipping (Prime, shipping costs & time).

Where will Sponsored-Product-Campaigns be shown?

Ads in the Sponsored-Product-Campaign will be shown either on the search results pages or on product detail pages. When and where the ads will be shown depends on the bid as well as the Click-Through- & Conversion-Rate

Which requirements must be fulfilled to use Sponsored-Product-Campaigns?

  1. The seller must own a professional seller account.
  2. Sponsored-Product-Campaigns must be available for the specific product category
  3. The product must have a Buy-Box otherwise ads cannot be shown for the product.
  4. The CPC must be high enough to be competitive. If the CPC is too low will not get any attention.

How do I pay per click for the ad?

When placing Sponsored-Product-Campaigns one must inform Amazon about the maximal amount one is willing to pay per click. Usually this is not the amount you will have to pay because Amazon’s auctions are based on the Vickrey Auction (two prices auction) due to that the winner of the auction will always pay only 0.01 € more than the second placed tenderer. Consequently, the maximal CPC should always be bid to win as much auctions as possible.

What does Amazon’s attribution model look like?

Amazon’s standard attribution model consists of 14 days of Click-Through, this means if a user clicks on your add and buys your product within 14 days this conversion will be attributed to this ad. Whereas View-Through-Conversion are not counted by Amazon.

What is the difference between Keywords and search queries?

Search queries are specific search queries that the user typed in prior to clicking on the ad whereas Keywords are specific word that was assigned to the campaign by the seller.

What does ACoS stand for?

ACoS stands for “Advertising Cost of Sale”. An insight is possible on campaign, ad group and keyword level.

ACoS/cost of sales = cost of advertising/advertising revenue

My search query report contains letters and numbers such as B00I9T12J2

Sponsored-Product-Campaigns are also shown on product detail pages therefore it is possible that the ASIN for the specific product detail pages, that led the user to your product listing, will be shown in your search query report.

Amazon Sponsored Product Campaigns

Place Sponsored-Product-Campaigns:

In the next steps, I will show you how to place your first Sponsored-Product-Campaign. When placing your campaign, you can choose between an automated or manual campaign.

  • Automated campaign:

Using an automated campaign, you specify your daily budget, the product you want to advertise as well as your standard bid (Standard-PPC). Doing so the placement of your campaign is already completed. Based on the product category and the keywords in the product listing, Amazon decides the keywords used for the campaign.

  • Manual campaign:

Using manual campaigns, one definitely has more options to configure the campaign. On ad group level, one cannot only choose the product but also the wanted keywords. Also, one designates a standard bid (CPC) that however will be overwritten by the keyword specific CPC.

Amazon PPC Guide

Once the campaigned was named as well as the daily budget was specified, one chooses a campaign type (we chose a manual campaign). In the next step one names the ad group and choose the product.

Sponsored Product Guide

Then one designates a standard CPC and the wanted Keywords for the Ad-Group. Here you can find out how to find the perfect keywords for your Amazon product. One can use keywords suggested by Amazon or by choosing “use own keywords” their own keywords and matching types.

Once the keywords for the product were chosen, the last step is to specify the keyword specific CPC.

PPC-Campaign Amazon Instruction


The advantages of an automated Campaign?

+ Low temporal effort

+ Automatic keyword research

The disadvantages of an automated campaign?

– Very unprecise placement of the ads

– Usually higher ASoC than using manual campaigns

The advantages of a manual campaign?

+ Precise placement of the ads

+ Keyword specific CPC bids possible

+Focus only on top keywords possible

The disadvantages of a manual campaign?

– High effort in creating and optimizing the campaign

What type of campaign should be used?

Especially new sellers should regularly ask themselves what type of campaign the most fitting is. I recommend that one should start with an automated but as well as with a manual campaign. In a manual campaign, the most important keywords should be placed with the matching type “exact” moreover an automated campaign should be used to generate new keyword ideas. After enough information on relevant search queries, which lead to purchases, were gathered, these should also be used in the manual campaign.

What does the optimization of an automated campaign look like in steps?

  1. Generating new keyword ideas
  2. Marking of irrelevant keywords and those that do not work as negative keywords
  3. Relevant and successful keywords should be transferred to the manual campaign
  4. Keywords used in the manual campaign should be marked as negative keywords with the matching type “exact match” in the automated campaign.

What keyword matching types do exist?

Similar to Google AdWords keywords in Sponsored-Product-Campaigns can be transferred into different matching types. Following matching types exist.

  • Exact-Match-Keywords: By using Exact-Match-Keywords the ads will only be shown if the search query is identical or very similar (i.e. plural) to the keywords.
  • Phrase-Match-Keywords: By using Phrase-Match-Keywords the ads will only be shown if the order in the search query is identical to the order in the keywords.
  • Broad-Match-Keywords: By using Broad-Match-Keywords the ads will be shown if the search query contains the keyword. The order of the search query is not relevant.

This exemplification also shows the differences between the matching types:

Keyword Match Types Amazon

Which matching type should be chosen?

When placing manual campaigns, I use the “Broad” as well as the “Exact” matching types. Each ads group exists twice. The first ads group only consists of “Exact-Match-Keywords” the second one only “Broad-Mach-Keywords”. Both ad groups contain the same keywords the only difference lies in their matching types. Moreover, used Keywords in the “Broad-Match ads group are marked as negative Exact-Match-Keywords so that search queries do not overlap in Exact- and Broad-Match ad groups. Broad-Match ad groups only serve as a generator for keyword ideas which are however, due to the transferred keywords from the Exact-Match ads group, more precise than search queries from the automated campaign.

The Usage of negative keywords on Amazon is also possible to better control the modulation of automated and manual campaigns with Broad & Phase-Match-Keywords. Nevertheless, there only exist two types of matching types (Exact-Match and Phrase-Match) when using negative keywords. Furthermore, negative keywords cannot only be used on campaign level but also on ad group level.

Once the wanted campaign was chosen one can now add negative keywords for each ad group. This is of course only needed if negative keywords are irrelevant for all products in the campaign. Otherwise negative keywords should be placed on ad group level.

Negativ Keywords Amazon

The best advices for optimizing Sponsored-Product-Campaigns

1. Adding similar products into one ad group

Specific products and keywords are created for each ad group but one should note that each product that match with respective keywords are added into the same group. After all the products are supposed to be found like this when searching. By using this method, one should be careful with the analysis of profitability of their Amazon-Ads because products will still vary in their margin despite being in the same advertisement group, what affects one’s general margin. That is why you should, prior to beginning the optimization of your Amazon-PPC, understand what ACoS is most fitting for your Amazon-Ads.

2. Consistent structure of the campaign

Usually you can structure your advertisement activities though Sponsored-Product-Campaigns, what can be an advantage but also a disadvantage. Mostly the structuring of a campaign is based on specific characteristics. Therefore, you can structure by product category, brands or search queries. You should note that your structuring should be consistent to avoid so called repetition ads, for example when you place a campaign based on search queries and another campaign based on product categories.

3. Optimize your PPC-Expenditures based on sells

In most cases a lot of different products in an ad group share the same keyword and in a short time you will know which products sell the most in each ad group. To reach the maximum of sells in a group you have the option to remove products that do not sell from the group. By doing this you draw the attention and clicks to products that have a higher possibility to be sold. Furthermore, you can adjust your CPC bid to decide on which page your ad will be shown and how much it will be clicked on. The goal of the CPC-optimization is to reach the Sweetspot, a kind of effective zone where advertisement costs and sales (costs/sales = cost of sales) reach a wanted level.

4. Assign higher CPC bids to new keywords

When you add a new keyword, you should first determine a higher CPC bid to gain clicks and impressions with the new keyword because it does not have a click course in the beginning. Once a click course has been established you can lower the offer price to offer the optimal price.

5. Optimization of the CPC bids

The optimal CPC bid differs a bit from keyword to keyword that is why each bid can be separately controlled for each keyword in the manual campaigns. However, you should note that you need a fixed traffic you base your assessments of biddings on. Therefore, you should wait at least one week to adjust your offer prices. The general rule of thumb for the CPC bid optimization is:

If the selling costs for a keyword are under the goal you should lower the offer to test if the advertisement expenditures and sells can be brought into a desirable ratio.

If the selling costs are above the goal you should test if the reach of the ad and the sales can be increased by increasing the offer price.

Keywords that only cause costs and do not get conversation in a longer time period should be removed.

Generally, you should update your campaigns this way to reach the before mentioned “Sweetspot”.

6. Determining the goal of the ACoS

You should specify your goal ACoS on the purpose of the campaign. If you primarily want to generate profit you should base your goal on your margin in which the goal results of the selling costs usually lie between 5 to 30 %. But if you have a new product that you want to advertise and improve your organic visibility then you should plan on more for your sales and maybe even take up a short-term loss to ensure a long-term profit. In this case your sought selling costs would be increased to 100 %.


Tobias Dziuba

Mein Name ist Tobias und ich bin Gründer & Geschäftsführer der Amazon Agentur Adsmasters GmbH mit Sitz in Düsseldorf.

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