Sponsored Products Ads for Prime Day 2018 with Mike Ziegler, Marketplace Clicks

July 12, 2018

Sponsored by Kabbage.

Last minute changes and listing optimizations are being finalized but you’ve got to make sure your Sponsored Products strategy is going to bring lots of traffic to your listing. Former Amazonian Mike Ziegler with Marketplace Clicks, shares a strategy to help get the most traffic to your listing and a couple mistakes you want to avoid.

Prime Day 2018 is less than a week away. Can you feel the excitement? Are your listings ready? Have you looked over and fine-tuned your title and bullet points? Are your product images eye-catching?

Those are the first things you want to make sure are ready for Prime Day. The second is “promotion” because it won’t matter the amount of work you put into your listings if no one finds them.

That’s what we’re going to be talking about in this episode. Sponsored Products Ads for Prime Day. What you should do leading up to it, what you shouldn’t do, plus what you can expect…

“The massive amount of traffic that’s coming to Amazon will ultimately result in more clicks on your ads again whether you’re running a Lighting Deal or a Prime Day Deal or not, so you’ll also see an increase in ad spend,” says former Amazonian, Mike Ziegler with Marketplace Clicks.

In the days leading up to Prime Day, Mike and his team are going over their client’s campaigns and fine tuning each one. Each campaign is optimized based on where the product is in its advertising lifecycle. If it’s a new product, they’re more focused on getting traffic to the listing and they’re caring less about the Advertising Cost of Sales or ACoS.

If it’s a product that’s not new, they’re fine tuning the ads by reviewing for negative search terms, taking out terms that don’t convert, and harvesting new keywords from automatic campaigns. Essentially, it’s business as usual. For Mike, his usual strategy for every product is to run two campaigns a manual campaign and automatic campaign He reviews information from both and makes adjustments as needed. The day before Prime Day, that’s when they make one big change. They adjust budgets, increasing them two or three times.

“We treat Prime Day like we do many of the other days for the rest of the year, with the exception that we will likely spend a fair bit more than we do the rest of the year,” says Mike, “If you’ve optimized and managed your campaigns over the course of the year, while Prime Day is important you don’t want to throw out all of the work that you’ve done on those campaigns for a single day. Doing so could essentially cost you dearly for a benefit that may not be what you hope it to be.”

Mike warns that there is some advice out there that involves increasing budgets and bids, too much,  so it’s something you need to know and understand the right amount to spend on your products to achieve the ACoS you’re looking for.

“In a lot of cases, Amazon advice of really unattainable or ineffective high bids and high budgets, so while you’ve been managing your campaigns over the last few months you’re going to start seeing a little bit different behavior from other advertisers who are accustomed to seeing the Headline Search space controlled by you and its suddenly going away,” says Mike, “You should be monitoring campaigns again in a way that you are meeting your sales and ACoS goals.”

If you’re running a Lightning Prime Day specific deal, you could see a significant increase in ad sales.

“You want to make sure you’re adjusting your budgets to account for that additional spend that’s going to happen on Prime Day,” Mike says.

Another important thing to take note of if you’re running a Prime Day Deal is to make sure that you increase your budget but go in and manually pause your campaign until shortly before your deal starts. If you have a deal that goes live at 2:00 pm Pacific time and you run out of budget at 10:00 am Pacific time, that’s a problem.

“So, if you think about Midnight of Prime Day those will be the expensive auctions that take place during the course of the day,” Mike says.

Whether you’re running a specific Prime Day Lightning Deal or not, you can still go in a manually stop your campaigns and restart them for peak shopping hours to avoid your budget being drained during expensive auction time.

Also, make sure to set a budget cap, you can’t do it in AMS but you can inside Seller Central.

If you need to increase your budget during the day, remember how Amazon handles budgets. They will prorate any increase you approve to match the hours in the day. For example, if you set your budget at $500 and you run out around noon, you can go in and you should increase your budget so that you’re promoting your product the rest of the day but Amazon will prorate the increase for the rest of the day. So, if you decide to increase by $500 to $1,000, Amazon will only end up spending half, so your total cost for the day will be $750. If you want to spend $1,000 for the day, you need to increase to $1,500 for the day.

Keep in mind, Prime Day is one day, but it’s a day in the middle of summer that’s typically a slow time for retail. You should be able to sell through a lot of inventory and get an idea of how your Sponsored Products campaigns should perform during the Holidays. So it’s one day, but it’s a day that can give you a lot of information on what’s working and what needs fixing before back-to-school and Fourth Quarter shopping start.

It’s likely you’ve realized that Sponsored Products is getting more and more crowded, so it’s important to know that although Sponsored Products are helpful on Prime Day, it’s not going to be the same as last year.

“If there are sellers that were advertising last year don’t expect that return to be quite as good this year from an advertising perspective,” Mike says.  

Once Prime Day comes to an end, make sure to decrease your budgets.

Thanks to Mike Ziegler for sharing his insight and advice on using Sponsored Products Ads for Prime Day. If you’d like his help you can find him at marketplaceclicks.com.

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