If you’re selling on FBA you’ll almost certainly be using Amazon Pay Per Click (PPC) ads to get traffic to your product page. But it can be quite a job getting it right.
For instance, you’ll need to find the right keywords. Sometimes, all the easy, short tail keywords have been bid up by larger firms, so you’ll need to find long tail keywords and phrases which will deliver you relevant traffic for a lower investment. For instance, instead of ‘mascara’, you might go for ‘cruelty-free glitter mascara’. Obviously, though, finding those keywords is time-consuming.
Then you need to work out how much you can bid, setting a daily budget. And you’ll need to monitor whether your keywords are profitable, which you can do on Seller Central. Over time you will need to treat PPC as a garden; weed out the poorly performing keywords, then boost your investment in the profitable ones just as you’d water plants which are growing. It’s a lot of work, but over time, it will boost your sales performance and optimize your investment in ads.
However, PPC does change from time to time and the selling landscape keeps changing. It’s difficult to keep abreast of such changes unless you devote your whole working life to it, and of course you have other jobs to do, like sourcing and promoting new products.
On the plus side, it’s easy to set up your ads in Seller Central, and there are plenty of free resources on the web to tell you how to optimize your set-up.
One way to cut down the time you spend on advertising is to hire an agency or a freelancer for the task. They will have years of experience with PC advertising on Amazon, Google and other platforms, and can test out different types of campaigns and strategies. They can also take keyword research to a deeper level. They should save you time and money, and get better performance out of the ads.
The downside is financial. An agency may require you to have a high monthly budget, since they have to make a business out of it. It can be costly. And not all agencies are good, or good for your particular product area. You need to do due diligence, including finding out about their specific knowledge in your sector and checking a couple of references. So while this is a good approach for a growing business, you need to be able to make a relatively large up-front investment.
On the other hand, you could decide to use targeted ad software that takes you a bit further than Amazon Seller Central is able to do. Most such software works on a monthly subscription basis, so there’s no huge up front payment to worry about. And it won’t cost as much as an agency.
Using a good FBA software suite makes testing different strategies much easier. It will also give you access to more specific ad-related data and insights than you’ll get on Seller Central.
You’ll be able to work more strategically. You can set targets, and the software will automatically generate actions that fit, rather than your having to design the campaign in every detail. Machine learning is now becoming an important part of the software service, too, so that your software will automatically learn what keywords are relevant, and how to optimize campaigns.
Of course, you may have found that you’ve become a real PPC nerd and you just love intense keyword research. In which case, you have a different problem, namely, getting someone to run the other parts of your FBA business!