In today's article, I would like to show you ways to scale Amazon PPC campaigns and how you can do it. I will consider three standard advertising products from Amazon: Sponsored Products Ads, Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display Ads.
Initial situation before scaling your Amazon PPC campaigns
Let's assume the normal case on the Amazon PPC campaign circuit: You're currently running some manual sponsored product campaigns and you've also enabled automatic campaigns. Usually, you orient yourself on the self-researched search terms and the search terms suggested by Amazon.
Differences in the scaling of manual and automatic campaigns
If we want to present a construct for scaling Amazon PPC campaigns, we must first discuss the differences in scaling between automatic and manual campaigns. In a manual campaign, we tell Amazon where and when our ads are to be played. In an automatic campaign, however, Amazon decides where and when the ads are played. For this reason, scaling the advertising budget in an automatic campaign is possible quickly and without additional research. The problem is more likely to be the too broad play out, which leads to comparatively high advertising costs. Because of these suboptimal results in scaling of automatic campaigns, I will only talk about scaling of manual campaigns in the following.
Every advertiser on Amazon knows the challenges of identifying the appropriate target group (keywords, placements, interests etc.). However, identifying the target group is only the first step towards a successful campaign with a positive Advertising Cost of Sales (AcoS) or Return on ad spend (ROAS). The second challenge is the right scaling of campaigns.
Once we have identified the right keywords and placements that will generate a positive ROAS, we naturally want to reach more people in this target group. In many cases, the performance of the campaign deteriorates as a result so that the ROI is no longer positive. In the following I will show you how you can scale your campaigns without worsening your performance.
What are the scaling options?
Basically, we have three ways to scale our Amazon campaign:
- Vertical scaling: You increase your daily budget.
- Horizontal scaling: You increase your target audience.
- Mixed form: You duplicate the current playout for additional advertising products (Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display).
1. vertical scaling of advertising campaigns
The first step in scaling advertising campaigns on Amazon should always be to vertically scale the already successful campaigns. With vertical scaling, we increase the current daily budget of an advertising campaign without booking additional placements and keywords. However, vertical scaling cannot always be carried out, as the display of the ads is largely dependent on the current search volume. This also means that if you want to spend more, but potential customers are not more actively looking for your products, we cannot increase the budget to generate additional sales with a manual keyword campaign.
How do you find out if you can scale a campaign vertically without adding additional placement?
The quickest way to find out is to check that your daily budget has already been used up and Amazon will suggest a new daily budget. The hint can be neglected for automatic campaigns. However, for manual campaigns, it is a helpful indication that we can generate additional sales by increasing the daily budget.
Note: For manual campaigns, where you select the alignment type "Product Alignment" and choose to play through categories without restrictions (price, brands, etc.), increasing the budget can lead to an increase in AcoS or a reduction in ROAS.
- Note: Before you increase the daily budget of a manual campaign, you should take a closer look at expenses and conversion at the ad group level and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the budget distributed more or less evenly across the different ad groups?
- Does it make sense for the ad groups with the highest current share of advertising costs in the campaign to receive additional budget or should the budget be distributed to other ad groups that currently receive only a fraction? It is very likely that the ad groups with the highest current share of advertising costs will also receive the largest share of the additional budget. For this reason, it might be a good idea to bundle the ad group with the lowest clearance in a new campaign and allocate it a separate daily budget.
2. horizontal scaling of advertising campaigns
When scaling Amazon PPC campaigns horizontally, we focus on expanding targeting capabilities. Along with the addition of further search terms, this includes the expansion of keyword options (exact, phrase and broad) as well as the targeting of unused product detail pages (product targeting) and the addressing of additional interest groups (sponsored display ads).
In the following, we present examples of the horizontal scaling of Amazon PPC campaigns.
Assumption of a campaign setup:
A manual keyword campaign with one ad group (match type: Exact)
We could take the following measures to scale the campaign set-up:
→ The closest step here would be to add an additional ad group with the Broad match type
→ Another ad group / campaign could also be created for the advertised products, which contains only keywords with competitor names
→ It should also be checked whether English keywords have already been included in the campaign
A manual product alignment campaign with one ad group (category playout):
We could take the following steps to scale the campaign setup:
→ Extension of the playout to complementary goods (e.g. print cartridges could be playout on detail pages of prints)
→ Extension of the playout to imperfect substitution goods (e.g. suitcases could be played out on detailed pages of travel bags)
→ Extension of the playout to nearby categories (e.g. cushions can be played on product tail pages of mattresses)
→ Extension of the playout to competitors without category fit (e.g. Adidas could book all product detail pages of Puma as playout)
3. mixed scaling of advertising campaigns
The final option of campaign scaling within the Amazon advertising system is what I call a hybrid for simplicity's sake. With this type of scaling, we use existing advertising campaign insights to duplicate additional ad placements on already proven keywords and product detail pages.
By evaluating the search term report of the sponsored product ads, we can identify relevant search terms and book them into our sponsored brand campaign, for example. This does not lead to an expansion of the already existing target group, but increases the visibility with the relevant customer group.
As an example, let's take a manual keyword campaign (sponsored product) with keywords like the following:
- Children's helmet red
- Bicycle helmet boy red
- Helmet for children red
- and so on
Of course, the addition of ads is not limited to keyword campaigns. The same option is also available when targeting product detail pages. By identifying relevant product detail pages, we can also book these into our sponsored brands campaigns (product targeting) as well as sponsored display ads (category or product targeting), thus expanding our presentation on relevant product detail pages.
Conclusion of the Amazon PPC campaign scaling
The scaling of Amazon PPC campaigns should always be the last step of the campaign process. I follow the IES scheme (identification, establishment and finally scaling). So before you start scaling the campaigns, you should have tested the foundation by identifying and establishing possible playout options and have enough data to decide on the scaling steps. Once this has been ensured, the next step should be to start with vertical scaling before moving on to horizontal scaling and mixed scaling.