Our guest on the 27th of January, 2020, on the sellerboard show was Brent Zahradnik from AMZPathfinder. We talked about PPC optimization, product and category targeting, sponsored brands as well as what’s new in amazon advertising and what to expect in 2020.
Watch the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxeT32SdMdw
[00:00:07] Hello, guys. Welcome to the scoreboard show. My name is Vladi Gordon. Today I have Brent Zahradnik with me from AMZPathfinder. Brent is a PPC expert.
[00:00:17] And we talked about, well, PPC news. So we discussed what changed. What’s new in PPC? What. What was new in twenty nineteen? Things like targeting by product or by category. This is very exciting, dynamic bidding and bid modification. This is something that Amazon introduced this year as well. And now things like search term reports for sponsoring brands.
[00:00:42] And another thinks there was kind of a deep dive into all those new technologies. So if you’re not using this stuff, then this should be very valuable for you. And then we discussed 2020, what you should do and what’s coming next year and how to stay prepared. So there are going to be some new search or PPC or new general advertising types in 2020, like video ads, for example.
[00:01:09] And we talked about the war pages and how they are getting more and more important for your advertising strategy, so this is going to be a lot of content, very intense and I hope that you’ll find it valuable. Please press the like button if you like this video. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel. We’re interviewing industry experts regularly and we’re doing our best to bring as much as possible to you in this show. Before we start. Let me mention sellerboard more. If you’re not a sellerboard customer yet or if you try to then go in and check out our self for sellerboard Commerce website Link is in the description. Our vision is to be the world’s most accurate profit analytics tool for Amazon sellers and that at a very competitive price. Starting $19 dollars a month. We have a lot of additional tools in the package as well, like an inventory manager like reimbursement system which finds lost and damaged items where Amazon owes you money at PPC optimization module and a lot of other tools. So make sure you check out our free trial. And now let’s start the show.
[00:02:32] Hello, everybody, and welcome to the next episode of The Surfboard Show. My name is Vladi Gordon and today I’ve got friend Brent Zahradnik from AMZ Pathfinder. And thanks for joining us. How are you?
[00:02:46] Absolutely, I’m doing good. It’s a cold day here. Relatively speaking in Montpelier. And here in southern France. And it’s been mostly warm this winter, but today it is windy and granite.
[00:02:56] So I’m happy to be inside recording a podcast.
[00:02:59] Well, so what is cold for you?
[00:03:03] That’s a good question. Yeah. Not cold from where some of your audience is from, I’m sure. But cold here would be like seven or eight degrees Celsius. OK.
[00:03:12] Oh, yeah. I’m in Germany world sort like seven, eight degrees. All right.
[00:03:20] Ok. So, Brent, why don’t you introduce yourself to our audience?
[00:03:25] What are you doing and how did you end up in this Amazon universe?
[00:03:31] Yeah, sure thing. So I’m originally from eastern Pennsylvania, from the United States.
[00:03:36] As you can probably tell, I got into the Amazon space in general in I would say mid slash early 2015. I had a friend who was selling on the platform on FBA because he heard about it through some podcast. And I at the time was working in like patent advertising. So he asked me, do you know anything about the ads on Amazon? And I said, Amazon has ads. I’ve no idea. So I helped them set up some basic campaigns. And this is why there was only broad match keywords and there was like very few features. And sure enough, they started to do very well because the cost per click back then was quite low and he was not in a competitive category. So I thought, well, there’s something to this. This is interesting. And then later that year after, you know, trying to other like Amazon related is this models like I tried to help sellers get started on the platform. I missed the sun. And you know what? My 80:20 here is gonna be managing ads and helping people with ads. And I’ve grown Amesys half under my company ever since then. So now we work with North American and EU businesses and we’ve got a team all spread out across North America, Europe and a couple of people in Asia. So we’re all over the place.
[00:04:47] So what is it exactly that you’re doing? Basically, you’re managing ads and you’re setting them up and optimizing that.
[00:04:56] Yeah, that’s correct. So anything advertising related that’s like within the Amazon sphere.
[00:05:01] So that’s of course like SLR Central, but also advertising console. You know, it used to be called a mess. We earlier this year got access to the DSP platform and we’ve been doing that was like, I would say mediocre success. It hasn’t been like a smash hit. We’re still learning, but that’s like a cool new platform. And Amazon obviously sees a lot of future an investment in that. So, yeah, that’s what we do. We have some like ancillary services too. Like we’ll help us store pages now for clients. But that’s really just in an effort to make the effect of the advertising stronger. You know, we’re trying to just enhance our core offer essentially by doing that.
[00:05:40] Okay. Very cool. So, guys, we’ll put the link in the description. I think it’s AMZ Pathfinder dot com. That’s right.
[00:05:47] So you can go to you as well. They both work.
[00:05:50] Ok, cool. All right. So, look, we wanted to talk about advertising in 2020 as if now we’re in December twenty nineteen. Right.
[00:06:02] And you guys would like to talk about what’s what’s done and what’s coming and basically think that you should be prepared for or maybe some mistakes.
[00:06:17] So tell me tell me basically maybe on the high level first. So what’s going on in the Amazon advertising world. Like what? What I was selling that was PPC and I believe there was no HSA at. Right.
[00:06:36] So, OK, maybe most of our listeners are active sellers and also we don’t have to start like what? Patience. Three years. But what’s new? Like what’s going on in the Amazon advertising universe?
[00:06:51] Sure. So the biggest changes we’ve seen this year would probably be the shift to other targeting methods so we can do what’s called a product attribute targeting.
[00:07:02] So you can target by category on ASIN for sponsored products. Everyone’s probably pretty familiar with that at this point. What else is interesting is the big modification feature that came out in, I want to say, January of this year and people aren’t using that very often. That’s kind of hard to understand. We can touch on that in this. But really, what’s happened in the past three or four months is pretty exciting because Amazon has made a very concerted effort to bring up sponsored brands, a.k.a. headline search ads that you just talked about to the same level as sponsor product ads. So they’re like asperity. You know, we have a search term report. Now we have placement data. We have ability to set negatives and we have all these new targeting methods. Amazon is trying to figure out other ways for us as sellers to broadcast our message, but also to spend money on their advertising platform. You obviously something they’re very interested in. So I would say the second half of this year has been like the year of sponsored brands. So that’s something it’s been really exciting to have going into quarter 4 for us as an agency because we have all these new toys to play with essentially. So that’s one thing that we see a lot of accounts we do audits for and work with like, you know, not harnessing. It’s like some of these new features or sponsor brands, which in some cases have great are. Why at this point? Because very few people are using them correctly or using them at all.
[00:08:29] Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Look, very cool. Let’s start maybe with the targeting by product category asset that most of our listeners probably know. But for some somebody who doesn’t or hasn’t used this before. So what’s that like? What’s targeting by-product?
[00:08:49] Sure. So a while back, Amazon changed there. One report from being called a keyword report to targeting report.
[00:08:56] And the distinction there is, you know, keywords are obviously search queries that people put in like blue, blue, disposable plate, you know, whatever. But what we have now is the ability to target by ASINs. So you can say in your campaigns, I want to instead target this ASIN. And effectively, what that does is it follows that ASIN around on Amazon. So we’re targeting a competitor’s blue disposable plate. You put their ASIN in there and then you’re your ad will show up on their product page. It’ll show up in the search results where there is does up. You know, check out whatever it is. So it’s a different way to target. So you’re not really going by someone’s actual search intent. You’re just going by the product that’s related to it. That’s the first one. That’s probably the most effective one, actually. The second would be category. So you’re targeting the top-level category like plastic plates in general. Then you can refine that by how many stars they have, what the prices are, what the brands are, et cetera. We use both those in heavy rotation as well.
[00:09:55] Ok, let’s talk about this for a minute. So targeting by-product like I would imagine that shows the conversion, actually.
[00:10:05] Well, it depends what the product you’re targeting is how it relates to your own product.
[00:10:10] So one way to think about this and one way that we break it out sometimes is by the likelihood of conversion or like offer. So maybe their product is a subjectively sorry, objectively better offer than yours. It holds more stars, has a lower price. It’s like top seller or something. Yeah. So the bid you set for that and how aggressive you are about chasing that product would be less aggressive than a product that is objectively worse than yours. Maybe those poor reviews or is more expensive. You don’t have as much sales traction, so you can expect to see different conversions and a costs based on that like strata. You know there’s no such follow anywhere between there and the trade is with those ones. With the higher traffic and the higher sales, you’re going to get more eyeballs because more people are on those listings in the first place. So it’s a kind of a tradeoff and you have to test and see what works.
[00:11:03] So when would you like to add this instead of targeting by the keyword?
[00:11:11] Good. Good question. So we have one client. You know, I’m not going to say the name, obviously, but who has a lineup of products that’s quite well-known in their space and they have a ton of branded traffic.
[00:11:23] So at Pathfinder, at least we break out branded traffic and spend and sales into a different category. That’s separate from like generic terms or competitor terms and everything.
[00:11:33] So because of all this, like branded traffic, it creates a lot of noise and you have to like separate that out.
[00:11:39] We use a lot of ASIN targeting there because they have a lot of competitors that offer similar products that are just simply not as good or not as well known. And we can make a lot of money for them by advertising on these ASINs, on these competitor products. But the actual keyword, I would say like the keyword depth, this is maybe a bit more of an advanced concept, but like the total set of keywords that people use to search for and buy their products is actually not that deep. It’s like fairly shallow. So because of that, we have to use other targeting methods. And when this was made available, it was pretty it was a pretty big deal for us because it allowed us to open up a whole new avenue of targeting for this client that we previously didn’t have available. So I would say if your keyword depth is relatively shallow, that could be a good reason to do this to try.
[00:12:29] Ok. OK. I see. All right. And how about targeting by category? So you said basically pick an unspecified category. Well, this fits even specified as an element of a category or a keyword that type in a cat.
[00:12:44] It’s like categories in some subcategories. So, I mean, I don’t know, like home and kitchen, maybe as plates, but then you have to get more specific. Right. Yeah.
[00:12:52] Got unlike disposable plates that be the category you want to stick to. And so what you’re doing there is specify a category and then it’s showing your products to a bunch of different ASINs in that category. And when you look at the search term report or, you know, a third party piece of software to see what results you have, it’ll show you ASINs just like it does for the product targeting. But the difference here is that it’s just shotgunning them out there. It’s almost like an auto campaign, but for a specific category. So a little bit more refined. And this way you discover ASINs and get sales you never would have anticipated. So that’s helpful.
[00:13:33] So, like what? If we if we’re talking like a modest standard private label product or let’s say maybe it’s not like an obvious one, but a little bit modified. So all adding the rules that or the principles that apply to private label are applied.
[00:13:51] But it’s like a brand which is not so strong, right? What would you like? What portion of budget would you allocate to classical PPC and to like targeting by product and by category?
[00:14:09] That’s a really good question because it depends about your brand positioning, I would say if you are maybe on the spectrum where you’re not super well-known, maybe you have some branded revenue and you have some awareness in the product page pages strong, you know, let’s assume that the product page is what we call retail-ready.
[00:14:27] This is wrong. It’s a strong page. It’s gonna get conversions of the right people. I would probably focus more on keyword searches than I would for ASINs. But there may be some products that are, you know, I would say equal or less good competitors that might be suitable for that. But if you’re going to try to run up against the big boys in the space, whoever they may be, and set high bids, you’re probably gonna lose your shirt and not having a good time there. I would suggest, you know, not doing that. Yeah, it’s better to find the keywords that are going to help you get consistent sales. That’s what you essentially want to do is link your ASIN with particular keywords and demonstrate to Amazon over time that like these two things are related. You’re going to get better, get relevance, relevancy, score over time by doing that. Yeah. And helping your ranking. You know, that’s a whole nother discussion.
[00:15:19] But so if you feel like advertising a competitive product. So suppose I’m selling like jump ropes. This is or starts example. And I find the jump rope, which is way worse than mine. Mine, mine, 5-Star. So if I want to that’s only three stars and that’s just the lousy jump rope.
[00:15:41] So Adwords by ASIN and I hope that somebody who like looks at this lousy jump rope, well, we’ll just see mine by mine because I have a better price, but a profit zone. So does this have any impact on the organic search results? Like that? Does it attribute to any of the keywords or? No?
[00:16:05] That’s a good question. Right.
[00:16:06] So let’s assume that they come in on some keyword, but you’re the one you’re ever passing on, ASIN. And to be clear, going to advertising on a keyword.
[00:16:14] So they come in on a fitness jump rope or something. And then they see your ad maybe. Let’s say you have used my placement and you’ve bid it up by 30 percent or something. Product page. So you’re showing up on the product page prominently placed. And they see that. And they go to you and they add to cart or they buy, both of which are like strong signals that are sent to Amazon to help with organic ranking. It’s my understanding that if you are able to effectively steal a sale from a competitor or a similar product based on like a keyword search or, you know, some kind of buying behavior that counts as like a strong vote in your favor for rank on that keyword. So that’s my understanding. Yeah. Obviously, Amazon places it that stuff pretty close to the vest. And what we’ve learned this year is, is what really matters for organic rank when it comes to PPC is more than metrics used to be on Amazon that you could push hundreds of dollars a day into one keyword and get tons of sales, even if the cost was crap and click through, it was like, you know, OK. But now what Amazon cares more about is the conversion rate click-through rate relevancy link. You know, these are the things they’re more concerned with when it comes to organic rank. So that seems to be the direction things are heading. So you can’t just like push it anymore. Yeah.
[00:17:35] Cool. All right. So you mentioned bid modification, right? Or dynamic bidding or. So what’s that?
[00:17:43] Yeah, this is a complex one.
[00:17:45] So like I mentioned at the top of the video, you know, we had this feature introduced early this year, which is something that’s not new to paid advertising, like if you use Google ads formerly called AdWords or Being or many other bidding softwares out there that plug into those ecosystems, you’re probably familiar with this concept. So what it allows you to do is take a variable and then adjust by a percentage based on that input. So it’s like I want to bid up by 50 percent when we’re gonna show up on top of search in Amazon’s case or the other one they have as product page. The third placement they list out in their data is rest of search. But you can’t set a modification by that. You can just you can’t do anything by it. It’s just there. So the idea of Amazon was let’s give everyone visibility into these ad placements and then let’s give them the ability to bid a percentage increase so they can be seen for them. What’s weird about Amazon’s implementation is you can’t do a percentage decrease usually with these. You can do a decrease. And that allows you to, in the same campaign, make like a balanced approach, I guess, because we can only see this data at the campaign level. So if you have like multiple keywords that I’ll have, of course, different performance metrics inside of a campaign. Typically you’d be able to say, alright, let’s bid this down for rest of search or start our product page and bid it up for top of search. Yeah, but you can’t do that. So with Amazon you either have to split it out in a new campaign where you have to use your base bid as rest of search and adjust from there. So yeah, this is a bit complicated, but essentially the idea is to boost your exposure for different placements. But Amazon’s implemented it a bit strangely where you can’t bend down. So you have to take kind of like workarounds to make the data as clearly segmented as possible.
[00:19:40] So, Emily, right. Look, a couple years ago, there was the top of search, right?
[00:19:47] Amazon gave us a report a while ago that was I think it was only two placements. It was like top of search and then other or like rest of search, which is not really helpful because if you go on Google ads, you can see like position to position three every four, like it goes through.
[00:20:03] And maybe we’ll have that one day with Amazon help because, you know, I’m Google. You can even send a bid to try to end up at a certain position. Like if you want to say, I always want to be position three, let’s aim for that one. But, you know, Amazon is not that complex yet.
[00:20:18] Okay. But why would anybody bid more for better placement? I guess the only reason can be we could get better conversion.
[00:20:29] Yeah. So typically the click-through rate and the conversion rate for the top of the search, generally speaking, are much, much, much higher than product pages and rest of search.
[00:20:39] Usually product pages have the most impressions with the lowest click-through rate and the rest of the search is somewhere in the middle. It’s hard to do that like a graphic illustrator, but the rest of the search is like ads that appear halfway down the page, bottom of the page and search and the ones in the product pages are self-explanatory. But the only. Drawback is like, OK, everybody wants high conversion rate and high click through rate. Right. Everybody wants that. But it’s also the most expensive. So the question is, does this extra cost make up for it in your improved conversion rate and click through rate? And that’s going to depend on a product or a product and keyword, keyword basis. That’s not a you can answer universally. Yes, it is for some products. It won’t make sense. And that’s where you always need to be careful to consider relevancy and alignment for keywords as best as possible with products. You know, those things need all line up. One, two, three. Relevance alignment product. You know, it’s a little confusion as possible. I want to get the shopper to the product and consider it, you know, make them consider buying.
[00:21:44] I guess so. If we’re starting a campaign for a private label product, how would I know? Like, I kind of know what to bid the normal ads normally without this dynamic bidding. Right. So would just pick up pick on them all and then wait a couple of clicks and then you check your acres. Right. But this is like an extra variable. So how would I even go about it then? How do I know what to put in there?
[00:00:00] She would be keyword basis. That’s not a good answer universally. Yes, it is. It’s for some products. It won’t make sense. And that’s where you always need to be careful to consider relevancy and alignment for keywords and as best as possible with products. You know, those things need all line up. One, two, three. Relevance alignment products. You know, it’s a little confusion as possible. Want to get the shopper to the product and consider, you know, make them consider buying, I guess.
[00:00:29] So if we’re starting a campaign for a private label product, how would I know? Like, I kind of know what to bid. The normal ads normally without this dynamic, bidding rights would just pick up picking them all and then wait a couple of clicks and then you take your acres.
[00:00:46] Right. But this is like an extra variable. So how would I even go about it? Then how do I know what to put in there?
[00:00:55] Yes, so you’d want to calculate what your conversion rate is for that placement and then what the average cost per click has been thus far. And you should be able to buy. But by using a couple of simple formulas, I could actually like provide them for your audience or something as I’ve made presentations about this before.
[00:01:16]But essentially, you can come up with a couple different like value based bidding formulas to say like this is our expected. And this is our average order per click. And then you can multiply that times your target costs and you get like a bid. But then you have to calculate what percentage increase is going to be applied to this. So a good example would be. And this is something we do at my company. We’ll do a single keyword exact match, fixed bidding type campaigns and then we apply a top of search modifier to them. So let’s say that it’s like a dollar. But then we have a top of search modifier by like 300 percent. Well, now we’re willing to pay up to 300 percent increase from that one dollar for that particular campaign because we’ve determined that. Well, for this product with this keyword in our data, we’ve seen the conversion rate is this high. So we know we can tolerate this much of a cost per click and we’re willing to do that just because of the historical data we have now. That campaign might take a few weeks select warm up because it has to establish relevancy. And you know, that keyword is being seen somewhere else most likely. So don’t expect like immediate, amazing results. But the long term goal there is to have the majority of spend for that campaign going through top of search. And yeah, you should have improved metrics because of it. And hopefully you have a nice high click through rate, crazy high conversion rate. And yeah, that’s going to reflect positively on your product overall and allow you to isolate that spend in one campaign and control it.
[00:02:51] So if you’re using a tool which manages your bits to do like shoot for four specific acres, should you like turn off this dynamic bidding?
[00:03:05] Yeah, I would suggest the majority of these tools that are there have been traded for this for this thing like bad management, which is actually something on my list here.
[00:03:15] I put up before we talked because I’m a big believer in software in general for Amazon advertising, but those software tools are still a lot of them are still in the early days, like we’re only in version 2.0 of the API for advertising. Parts of 3.0 coming out. And there’s a lot of data that Amazon still does not make readily apparent to the software or advertisers or us as sellers and agencies. So the best thing to do with this software that does the bit automation is keep it on down only. This is the this is the algorithm that the software is pretty much been designed for over the last couple years. If you put it on fixed, doesn’t work as well. If you put it on Dynamic up-down, which is the third setting, I don’t recommend generally speaking, it tends to have really like variable cost spikes, although it does work sometimes that’s not going to play well with the software. Furthermore, if you do like a bid modification on top of the automatic bid, manage it. Now that’s also that’s also throwing a huge variable in there. So there’s no way that it can can accurately gauge what changes it needs to make. Yeah, that’s happened. So my suggestion would be those two things should be separate.
[00:04:24] What’s done? Only this means that Amazon would reduce your bid to. To do what?
[00:04:32] So essentially, I would say probably 90 percent of campaigns that exist in clients we manage and accounts we audit are down only bidding, which means Amazon is taking into account a lot of other factors. I saw a really good presentation on this by France from Salix just like two weeks ago in London, but he was talking about the different bid types. And essentially, you know, Amazon is taking into account a lot of things that aren’t shown to us, but they know thanks to their huge database and data set. Amazon has over 20 years of people’s buying history and transactions and everything. So they know that like let’s say here’s a good example. Imagine a twenty four year old guy and a 31 year old woman and she’s just had a kid and he’s just finishing his last year of university. Those two people searching for the same query have very, very, very different interests.
[00:05:25] These two events, these two events are not connected. Right.
[00:05:30] Yes, exactly. Exactly. Now, they don’t know each other. Is the hypothetical theoretical situation. All right. All right. But my point is, if one of them is searching for like a blanket.
[00:05:42] Ok, OK. The person with the blanket with mom. Maybe she’s at the top of the funnel. Right. She’s starting a search and she’s looking for a baby blanket. This dude over here. He just wants a blanket that he can put on the couch when his friends crash. You can, like, just throw it on. So they’re not cold. They’re to taste for the same keyword or different. So if you’re selling a baby blanket and Amazon knows about this, this, you know, new mom, maybe what’s gonna happen is your bid’s going to be stable for her. Yeah. But if it knows about Joe over here, it is like blanket search. It’s going to say this guy. Not likely to buy a baby blanket. So this is what down and down only needs. They’re going to actually bid you down in some scenarios where they detect with their data that, you know, the chances of conversion click through.
[00:06:25] Ok, I get it. It’s not about the placement and the about like conversion that they expect from the from the guy who is searching.
[00:06:32] I think it’s called psychographic information. I could be wrong about that. But that’s generally speaking, what it is. And this goes back to another idea, which is this big modification by placement.
[00:06:42] This is just the first thing that Amazon’s done in the future. Amazon may do bid modification by gender. So male-female device, they are mobile and tablet, you know, time of day, location, interests, categories, age. Who knows this? I mean, this is just the beginning. So, yeah.
[00:07:01] Oh, well, OK. Look, very cool. What else have you got on your list for 2020? So I think we discussed all the recent changes. Right.
[00:07:12] Yeah. Yeah. We just talked about a few of the recent changes. Like I said, twenty nineteen the last couple of months here been like a year of sponsored brands, but things that are coming up for 2020 that are pretty important.
[00:07:24] I think 2020 is going to be the year of video. I’ve heard some rumblings about this from people at Amazon and other people I’ve talked to. So video ads, we already are using them for fear for our clients. I was just looking at one of our accounts this morning because one of our team members set up some video ads and spent a bunch of money already, which means like two days, which means that like obviously people are clicking on it. It’s being seen Amazon’s hitting them and the cost per click is relatively cheap.
[00:07:49] Now, hold on to something more about this. I’ve never seen a video at an Amazon this work.
[00:07:53] I’m searching so for blank. I’ve actually never seen one either, except for a mobile.
[00:08:00] There’s there’s three different kinds I’m aware of. There’s one that’s called video and Search.
[00:08:04] And this comes from Amazon and a. Right now we have a couple of clients that have tried this and this is specifically for Android and Iowas apps. So like the actual like Amazon app, like on your phone, like when you go to Amazon.com and you’re like started on to the Amazon app and you open it up and you search for green tea or much at tea. I think that’s one I did recently. And there’s six or seven results down. There’s actual video that autoplay that’s on mute. But if you tap it, you can listen to it’s like Nightlong gave us like beautiful visual story about this match of you to Constance Nowlin in Japan. All also this stuff. So that’s called video and search. What I’m talking about here is actually a video advertising method done through sponsored brands. So it’s like video in sponsored brands. And it shows up in the different ad slots that sponsor brands has. And with that, you upload a video creative. I think it has to be like 1920 by 10. You know, Amazon has requirements for what it can use and what resolution has to be everything. And then, you know, you advertise that based on keywords. I think I haven’t. You look deep enough campaign yet, but this is like a new thing just popping up in some U.S. accounts. I’m not sure we did see the EU accounts. Oh. Amazon is clearly interested in video. They want video to be a thing that people are bidding against and advertising for and with on their platform. And 20 to.
[00:09:30] So do you think they’re going to compete with this video ads against normal HSA ads or or is it like a different category with a bit some different?
[00:09:42] That’s a good question. The bids are probably altogether with like video. You’re probably competing against other people for video. Now, are the ad slots actually different placements?
[00:09:54] I don’t know. That’s a great question. Well, we get very little information about that. I’m actually going to write that down to ask. Next time I talk to Amazon. I don’t know. There’s so many unknowns with these. Sure. Best thing to do, in my opinion, is to get on there early and, you know, set conservatives bids, try it out, because usually in the first couple of months is when the bids are the cheapest. And you can get in on the ground floor if you have any kind of Amazon sales wrapper or account manager or anything, ask them, you know, ask them about video. Ask them, what can I do to get video? What are the requirements? How do I get it enabled? Maybe they’ll hit the on button in your account. You know, you’ll see the banner or something like that.
[00:10:33] That’s so cool. All right. So we need to stay tuned and be prepared. So what else?
[00:10:43] For 20/20 in general. Like what? Like like you said before it started. I was trying to think of what other things for twenty twenty sellers and businesses might try to try to do. And, you know, we’ve had a lot of new features come out in twenty nineteen just recently, so you know that that’s all good and that’s good for the holiday.
[00:11:01] But for twenty to twenty you want to get back to basics for the beginning. So the first thing would be audit your account structure, just ensure that you have a solid account structure in place. Whatever your methodology for organizing keywords and match types, everything is make sure that that’s consistently a plot right across your town and you’re advertising all the products that you should be. Not all products are suitable for ever. Some of them have low margins for conversion rates. They don’t have the buy box all the time. Maybe the color is not suitable for advertising. I think we see a lot is a product. We’ll have like five or six colors and maybe two of them are very low sellers. Focus on the ones that are top sellers. Don’t worry about advertising the pink one. You know, a couple of people that want that will come to the listing and see it. Maybe you can use a couple of keywords for pink in a new ad group and send them to that. That’s fine. But you know, don’t focus too much on that. So make sure you’re advertising things that you should be the structure and the next thing would be auditing your negative keywords actually.
[00:12:04] So ensure that in the new year you’re not using negative keywords to block keywords that you might want to now try maybe in July. You have a product that sells really well in cold months, but in July it was selling like crap. So you know, you are someone you’re outside a negative keyword for it. And now, you know, you want to go back and say, wait, wait, wait. And you want to actually advertise against this again, because it’s January and it’s cold or it’s December it’s cold. So make sure you’re not standing in your own way, like blocking blocking yourself by putting these negatives here. That’s one thing I would encourage everyone to look at. You can go through with a bulk file and you can see all the negative keywords in your account. Now, I believe that works. So it’s a good way to check that. OK. So check negative keywords, check negatives is basic, but that helps. We do that for all new accounts we work with because you know, who knows what negatives people have set in there in the past.
[00:12:57] Good idea. Makes sense. All right. So I haven’t got any any other tips or any anything else you’re expecting next year?
[00:13:12] Yeah. The other thing I’m expecting this year is store pages or just stores on calls them different things. But I like store page because it kind of describes what it is.
[00:13:22] This is probably familiar to anyone who this Bramer Industry 2.0. But this allows you to set up your own little micro store inside of an Amazon account. Right. So you go to Amazon.com for slash your brand name if you’re lucky and get that, which is really cool. So it’s store pages. We see these as a great way to boost the conversion rate and drop the costs for your sponsored brand campaigns. And that’s why we like them. And we are actually starting now. Set them up with clients more directly. But just like video, I’ve heard other things from Amazon, like 20 20 is going to be the year of the store or page 2. So they’re really big on store pages. We’ve started to see them show up in organic search. In fact, just this morning I got a message from someone on my team Slack that showed a ad type. It’s a sponsor brands. Usually you can pick custom page or store page, but now they have a new ad type that just says store page. It’s like a store page only ad type. And that’s for mobile only.
[00:14:20] I haven’t even tried it. It’s just not.
[00:14:22] I didn’t I didn’t get it. So is it like your store, your shop, basically, or your store? Is it showing up on the search results?
[00:14:34] Oh, yes, I have on desktop in the US I have seen store pages show up and not frequently very, very, very rarely, but I look at the stuff like that often. So sometimes I’ll see one pop up and I’m like, that’s like a link to a store page. It’s not a product, it’s linked to a store. Well, but what I’m saying is the store page is going to be surfaced in different ways through advertising sponsored brands. That’s just the way it is now. But I imagine it will be linked to in videos and it’ll be put up on other pages. Yeah, I think Amazon really wants people to do it. And what’s so cool about sort pages is free. It’s pretty easy to do songs, have a good graphic designer design sensibilities and then you get some good data out of it too. You can see who’s visiting it and what they’re doing. Some of the best analytics on Amazon, which is, you know, not saying much but something.
[00:15:27] Maybe, maybe I also didn’t quite get it. But you mentioned like ads for the store ads with the type of four-page.
[00:15:36] Right. What did you mean by that? Like.
[00:15:39] Yeah, this is this is totally new. As of just this morning for me, at least an interested like that.
[00:15:46] So I know it’s not a breaking news podcast, but this is breaking news for me because I saw I’m just like an hour ago someone had shared a screenshot from SLR Central that had three different panels and the first one was sponsored brands to catalogue a list of products like normal. Second one was mobile only and it was store page and then third one is mobile only. And that was some other ad type like sponsored display, which is like the other type that generally speaking has fairly low impact on accounts for us. But this middle one was totally new, so I never seen that before. And my point is, is moreover, just like rather than that specific ad type, Amazon is going to keep continuing to experiment and expand the ads that are probably going to store pages. And it’s important to have one of those in place and like as of today.
[00:16:36] What can you if you have a store page? Right. Can you advertise it for specific keywords or what?
[00:16:42] Yes, absolutely. Yeah. So you can your when you’re making a sponsored brand campaign, you can set up, you know, my recommendation for sponsor brands in general will be to use exact and maybe a few phrase match keywords.
[00:16:54] You know, keep the list small then that traffic right to your sub page. Don’t send them to the home page. Send them to the sub sub page. So going back to this example, like the plastic disposable plate, the blue one. You don’t send them to the page or you have the forks and knives and the cups and everything. So you get right to the plate. Yeah. Just shortcut it for him. Say you wanted the plate. Here’s the plate. Send it to the sub page. Yeah. That’s really effective because what you’re doing is, you know, you’re not. There’s no other competitors on there. It’s just you. Oh, nice.
[00:17:23] Oh, very cool. Okay. So we’ve got video ads, we’ve got ordered and we’ve got the store pages.
[00:17:30] And this is very interesting and very new. So we’ve never, never talked about this on the show. So, yeah, so page is a big deal. What else have you got? Anything else on your list?
[00:17:43] Let me see. I know you might be running a bit long already. I think we talked about bid by placement video pages.
[00:17:53] That’s about it.
[00:17:53] I think, you know, one of the thing I’ll say to people is and this is like one of these mistakes that we see a lot when we do audits is people don’t dive deep enough into their autumn campaigns. They just set up an outdoor campaign and just snap, just whatever. Turns out, there’s four different kinds of targeting and sign of auto campaigns. You’ve loose match, close match substitutes and whatever something else. And competitors, there’s one other one. You can change the individual bids for each one of those and you can set negatives at the anger level to breaking out further by groups. So you can get very, very fine tuned with your auto campaigns. Unfortunately, you still can’t set asense as a negative, although you can in a set and product category targeting. But you can’t do that for auto. So that’s unfortunate, but you can’t turn that targeting type off so you can actually turn off data isn’t thinking in general. But we see people like companies never dive into the details of those auto campaigns, which are a vital part of the ecosystem. You know, they are usually used when you start, but they should be running even at a low level for the duration of that products, you know, lifetime, unless they’re performing really, really poorly. But, you know, they should still be active. So get get granular with those. I would say a very cool brand.
[00:19:11] Look, I think it was a ton of content. Thanks so much. I have one last question.
[00:19:18] So if somebody wants it, wants to hire you right on the run. So what I understand, though, is very complicated, way more complicated than just just BBC and BBC itself is complicated. But there are times in things. So you’re you’re working for private label sort maintains that. Is that right?
[00:19:40] Or, you know, our clients are a mix these days. We have a couple of clients that are bigger established companies, you know, not not to. Not to speak down to private label sellers, because that’s like still a large part of our business, too.
[00:19:52] And many of those are people who started his private label and now they have an office in New York. Now they have like a team distributed all around the world. So there’s a lot of you know, there’s a lot of success stories there. You’ve worked with some of those clients for years. But we have a couple like larger companies, too, that have, you know, other sales channels besides Amazon, too. That’s obviously a good place to be if you can diversify. So, yeah, that’s kind of where we are right now. Yeah, we do. We do both. I couldn’t tell you the mix between. Okay.
[00:20:20] Okay. Cool. And in terms of budget, like if somebody is listening to this show and wants to hire you. But maybe the. OK.
[00:20:27] I a big enough like in terms of the advertising budget. What would you say? Like what kind of customers to work with? Or maybe it’s not depending on the budget at all.
[00:20:39] Yeah, it’s not so much budget, although that is an important consideration. You know how much they’re willing to spend or invest in the growth or stabilization of their sales.
[00:20:48] It’s more like overall revenue because we recently did an audit for a company that was, you know, high, high six figures like a substantial amount per month. And the one thing we always track is what we call blended costs. It comes by a couple different names, but it’s basically like ad spend divided by overall revenue. So they’re blended cost was like a few percentage points. Essentially, they were spending almost nothing on a heart, a huge amount of overall revenue. So they’re their spending is low. So if we asked them for a spend minimum, they would need it. But their revenue was so big and they had almost no spend that their potential for spending was massive. You know, that is like more we’re looking for like can we make a substantial impact? Can they spend a significant amount in order to deliver that impact for their business? But mostly we look at revenue. So do they have revenue to support money coming in with support, ad spend going out? And then how you keep all those things in balance, like with measuring blended costs month to month, week to week, it costs obviously conversion rates, percentage of sales from advertising. Those are all important metrics to keep in mind for like the larger picture. But I would say revenue is the most important consideration. And at this point, you know, we we typically won’t work with companies that have revenue too far below like seventy or eighty thousand a month. That’s usually like a minimum. I’m thinking and actually putting that to one hundred thousand just because it seems to be the trend that a lot of the companies we talk to these days are, you know, somewhere in the quarter million to half a million revenue range per month.
[00:22:24] Ok. OK, cool.
[00:22:25] So guys, if you have an annual revenue of over one million and you’re looking for a BBC or an advertisement specialist, then follow the link in the description name Zee Pathfinder, then you can talk to Brent if you’re making less revenue than just like this video. And we’ll try to get Brent on this podcast again so that he shares as much as he can for free.
[00:22:51] Sure. Yeah. Happy to do it, man. This has been a blast. And just we just gone through the forty five minutes like. No problem. Cool.
[00:22:58] Thanks so much and good luck with your business. Thanks for having me. All right. They are shaped right about to you, but.
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