Five Mistakes We Often See Brands Making In Their Amazon Ads

Tips on how to maintain and scale your campaigns successfully.

Elise Jackson

Post details

  • AUTHOR: Elise Jackson
  • CATEGORY: Amazon Brand Strategy
  • DATE: 14/10/2021

If you’re running Amazon Ads for your brand, make sure you’re not making these common mistakes.

It only takes a couple clicks to set up an Amazon Ads campaign, but it takes a lot more time and effort to maintain and scale your campaigns successfully.

At This is Unicorn, we see similar mistakes time and time again. Here are a few common pitfalls that will limit your ability to grow your account and scale your sales profitably.

Underdeveloped Campaign Structure

Often we see only one or two campaigns set up in Amazon Ads. These tend to be either the one-time automatic campaign or the one-time annual campaign, plus maybe one Sponsored Brand campaign. We also see multiple different products advertised in the same ad group, from time to time.

Mixing all your products into the same campaign and ad group makes optimising your ads difficult: you’ll struggle to understand how your ads are performing at a granular level. Having a strong campaign structure is super important to enable you to scale your campaigns and sales up. At a minimum, each product should have its own ad group, and each product range should have its own campaign.

We also employ multiple campaign types for each product we advertise; we use some campaigns specifically to discover new search terms, some to research which keywords perform for each advertised product, and others to enable us to scale up impressions quickly. These are our High-Performance campaigns.

Underdeveloped Keyword Strategy

Some accounts target only a small handful of keywords across a random, inconsistent mixture of match types.

Our campaigns often target hundreds of keywords that we identify through our ongoing keyword-research process. This enables us to continuously identify new nonbranded niches, test them, and scale them if they’re profitable and aligned with our agreed strategy. To determine what performs best for each keyword, we also test keywords against all match types: exact, phrase, and broad.

Lack of Ongoing Optimization

It’s easy to set a campaign up, but it certainly isn’t easy to optimise it. We’ll often see campaigns left to run on their own for weeks at a time. Or, if a brand feels that a campaign isn’t working, or is running at too high an ACoS, they’ll simply turn it off.

Having a consistent optimisation process should be a part of your Amazon Ads foundation, and should include regular search term, bid, and budget optimisation as part of your regular process.

We’re often asked how often to optimise, as well, and there’s no one size fits all. The time between optimisations depends on the size of your account. Ideally, you should optimise as soon as you have enough data to make a decision: not before and not after. We do this by employing our Unicorn Ads Optimisation technology.

It’s also important to have a process for dealing with anomalies on your account. For instance, if something out of the ordinary happens, what’s next? We have a specific flow that first looks at your Ad account, then your product-detail page, and then it looks at your market to determine why the anomalies have occurred and what action should be taken.

Budget Exhaustion During the Day

This is quite an obvious mistake, but it’s surprising how often it shows up. Amazon resets the campaign budget caps at midnight each day, and will spend during the day until the campaign budget is exhausted. If your budget is used by midday, then your campaigns won’t run until the budget cap is reset again. That’s half a day of missed potential sales!

It’s important to have at minimum a daily-budget-check process in place, to ensure you’re maximising your spend and sales. Ideally, you should receive budget alerts if your budgets are close to exhaustion, so you can increase them as required.

No Branded vs Non Branded Strategy

We usually see one of two options here: either the Ad account is targeting no brand keywords or all brand keywords. By brand keywords, we mean keywords that include your brand name.

Having a strong strategy when it comes to branded keywords is very important. You should be targeting nonbrand keywords as part of an aggressive Amazon strategy when you’re looking to take advantage of shopper discovery on the platform and increase your market share.

You should also be targeting brand keywords as part of a defensive strategy: you don’t want any competitors to muscle in on your ad space, right?

For customers who already know you (demonstrated by the fact that they’re searching for your brand name), your conversion rate is likely to be higher and the cost of winning that sale is lower. On the flip side, if shoppers are discovering you for the first time through a non branded keyword search, the cost of winning that sale is typically higher.

What’s important here is that you set your targets and KPIs according to the type of keyword. We’ll typically target branded keywords at a lower ACOS than your non brand keywords.

Sound Familiar?

These are just a few examples of the common mistakes many brands make when it comes to Amazon Ads best practice. If you think you might be falling into the same pitfalls, don’t worry. They are easy to make, so it’s best to know where you can make improvements quickly.

If you’d like an audit of your Amazon Ads account to discover what you can do to scale your account up profitably, get in touch with us. We’d be delighted to review your current strategy in detail, understand what challenges you’re facing and what you’re looking to achieve, and put together a plan of what’s next for you.

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