The Many Ways to Use Amazon PPC to Launch a New Product

An Amazon PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign is an amazing way to get your new product out in front of thousands or even millions of potential customers. Every day, sellers craft successful PPC campaigns that accelerate their business and increase their reach and product turnover. However, before you rush through creating your own ad set, there are a few things you should know about using an Amazon PPC to launch your new product.

What is Amazon PPC?

When someone goes to Amazon, usually their intent is to make an immediate purchase. That means that you have a customer who is ready to buy. They just need to be able to find you and your amazing new product. One way that you can guarantee exposure is through the use of a PPC ad.

These ads appear at the lead of anyone’s search results when they type in their search phrase. How your product appears depends on how much you’ve bid on a particular search phrase. If you have the number one bid on a phrase, your product will be the first to appear as a sponsored listing. If you have the second highest bid, yours is the second listing, and so on.

Some search phrases are hotly contested and can cost a near fortune to guarantee first or second placement. However, with some careful research and using longtail search phrases, you can still get in some great click through rates and useful conversions.

What is the Difference Between Broad, Phrase, and Exact Matches

When you plan your Amazon PPC to launch your new product and select the keywords that those ads will trigger from, you will get the choice of three types of matches: Broad, Phrase, and Exact. Each of these has their own use when you’re crafting your new launch campaign

Broad Matches
A broad match is used by Amazon to match your keywords to search terms that aren’t just exact matches, but also matches that are vaguely related to it. This includes misspellings, synonyms, and other variations of that keyword.

For example, if you’re selling a Pikachu plushie, you’re going to get a match from the search term, “Pikachu” of course. But you’re also going to get referrals from any of the 801 other Pokémon names out there because they are related to your search term. You’ll also get referrals from “Pokachu” or “Pikavhu” because these are misspellings of the original keyword. You may also get hits from terms that are only generally related to your original keyword, like “Pokémon” or “Ash’s Pokémon” because those still relate to the original search term.

Keep in mind that Broad Matching isn’t a very effective way to launch a new product on its own. That’s because you aren’t getting customers who are actually looking for your product. So, while you will attract attention, your conversion rate is going to be low. After all, customers who are searching for a Pokémon plushie and see your ad may click on it, but they might not purchase it.

That doesn’t mean that Broad Match PPC campaigns don’t have their place. They can be extremely effective in helping you determine what keywords are working for you and when. We’ll go over that in more detail in the next section.

Phrase Matches
This search parameter allows you to target specific longtail key phrases. That means that in your phrase match, word order counts. However, you will still get matches from phrases that are similar to your longtail phrase. If there are words that precede or follow your key phrase then you will still generate a match. Likewise, if there are abbreviations, acronyms, misspellings, a change in plurality, stemmings (skiing vs ski), those will also generate a match.                                                                        

Consider the previous example of Pikachu plushies. If you choose the phrase, “Pikachu stuffed animal,” you’re also going to get a match from the phrases “yellow Pikachu stuffed animal,” “Pikachu stuffed animals,” “Pokachi stuffed animal,” or “Pokémon Pikachu stuffed animal.” The key here is that the phrase remains the same in each match. So “stuffed Pikachu animal” would not generate a match to your original phrase.  

Your phrase match PPC ads are still going to be rather low in useful conversions, but you’ll be able to start to narrow your parameters even more. This way you next set of ads will allow you to focus in on the search terms that will generate the highest conversions.

Exact Matches
This matching pattern is the most narrow and most specific of the three. These phrases and longtail keywords are used when you’ve managed to narrow down what the Broad and Phrase matches have told you are working.

The matching pattern for this set requires that there be no additional words in the search query either before or after the matching keyword. It does allow for misspellings and changes in the plurality, but nothing else.  Taking our previous example of “Pikachu stuffed animal” then Pokachi stuffed animal would still be allowed, but “yellow Pikachu stuffed animal” would not.

With this type of PPC ad campaign, you’re going to see a much lower click through rate (CTR) number. That is, not as many people will see your ad. But your overall useful conversion rate and CTR percentage – the number of people actually looking at and purchasing your product – will be much higher. That’s because those are the people specifically looking for your product.

The key to effectively running an Amazon PPC to launch your new product lies in discovering what those high useful conversion keywords are. However, like we told you in our listing don’ts, don’t overstuff your listing with keywords. Remember that matching already covers pluralities and stemming, so if you include this in your search terms, you’re going to get dinged for making a spammy linking.

Tips on Managing Your Amazon PPC Campaign

It can’t be overstated how important Google Analytics will be for discovering what the best keywords for your PPC will be. With Google Analytics, you can find out exactly how many people are searching for your new item and where they are coming from. This can be extremely useful.

For example, consider if you are selling a new device and you find out that one of the top five states that searches for your product is California. It would make sense then to consider trying a PPC ad that focuses on Spanish translations for it to see if you can leverage the larger Hispanic population of that area into useful conversions.

Another area to keep in mind when running a PPC campaign is your ACoS, or Average Cost of Sale. This metric tells you how much you’re spending per product in order to market it. Paying attention to this number will help you make sure that you are actually turning a profit on a good instead of throwing money down a drain.

ACoS is calculated by taking the amount you spent on your ads and dividing it by the amount of sales generated. For example, if you spent $50 on a PPC campaign and made $400 in sales, your ACoS is 50/400, or 12.5 percent.

Next you want to look at your product and see how deeply the ACoS is cutting into your profit margin. For example, let’s say that each of your Pikachu plushies is sold for a flat $10. $6 of that is production and shipping costs, so your overall profit margin is $4.

Now you look at your ACoS to see what your actual profit is after everything. In this example, the ACoS takes out another $1.25, leaving you with a profit of $2.75 per plushie.

Keep in mind that as the volume of sales goes up, the lower the effect that the ACoS has on your bottom line. That’s why having those effective keywords is so important; they generate more useful conversions.  If you spend $50 on a PPC campaign and generate $400 in sales (selling 40 of your $10 Pikachus), you’re making $110 in total profit.

But if that same campaign with better keywords generates $600 in sales, then your ACoS drops to 8.3 percent, leaving you with an overall profit of $190.20 with a $3.17 profit on each stuffed toy.

50/600 = 8.3 percent. $4.00 – $0.83 = $3.17.  $3.17 * 60 = $190.20

In some cases, when you’re using a PPC campaign to launch a new product, it might be worth it to take a larger loss in profit in order to get the exposure. That means paying more for certain phrases to ensure that your listing is featured in the top three spots.

Don’t forget that in the end, all of these paid ads are also going to help you generate keywords and longtail phrases that will boost your organic rankings through other search engines as well. With a combination of a series of PPC campaigns that start with Broad Matching and work down to Exact Matching before your new product’s actual launch, you can maximize the exposure of your new product when it does hit Amazon’s shelves.