Step by step guide: Create your first Amazon Sponsored Products campaign

Create your first sponsored products campaigns

Amazon Sponsored Products campaign

In advertising, there are a few crucial steps and the first one is one of them. If you make a mistake in the first step, you shake the foundation of your campaign right from the beginning! That's why we take a step forward and show you step by step how to set your campaign up in this guide.

1. First things first!

Log in to Amazon Seller Central and go to Advertising > Campaign Manager > and under that click on > View campaign then click on Create campaign.

AmazonSellerCentral_campaign_create
 

2. Sponsored Products or Sponsored Brands?

And now you are faced with an either/ or decision making: Sponsored Products or Sponsored Brands? This decision affects the position of your ads according to search results.

Amazon Sponsored Products - create sponsored products campaignAmazon Sponsored Products - create sponsored products campaign

Sponsored Brands are shown at the very top of the search results page, and tend to be more expensive than Sponsored Products. We would suggest to you to place your well-chosen products with a high conversion rate as Sponsored Brands, aka your top sellers.

Which of the two campaign types you choose depends primarily on which products you want to promote. If you are at the beginning, you usually do not have the necessary performance data for your products to start with Sponsored Brands. So a clear recommendation: start with Sponsored Products.

You can find out more about the ad types in our Ultimate Amazon PPC Guide. 

3. Keep it simple: Create a Sponsored Products Auto Campaign

We start with a cost-effective Sponsored Products campaign with automatic targeting. Gradually, we transfer our findings from the auto-targeted campaign into a manual campaign, which is identical apart from the targeting. 

Read our post about the ideal Amazon Advertising campaign setup to understand why we strongly recommend this set-up.

→  Work out a campaign structure for your entire portfolio
This prevents you from having to throw your setup overboard if you want to add more products later.

→ Adjust the campaign structure to your marketing goal 
Depending on your different marketing goals (product launch, visibility, performance increase), you pursue different ACoS targets with your campaigns: For example, if the campaign is about a new product, you want to push it with Amazon Ads. Here you should expect a higher ACoS. Hence our tip: Group products with similar ACoS targets.

→ Further organization according to category or product type
In other words, say, sports shoes, it could be a good idea to subdivide them according to sport: running shoes, football, basketball, golf... . In the next step you can further subdivide them by brand.

4. Decide on a campaign name

You figured out a structure? Excellent! Then we made all preparations to assign a unique campaign name:

Create Campaign_Sponsored_Products
Create Campaign

5. End date for Amazon Sponsored Products campaign: Yes/no?

Especially with special promotions, our advice is to have an exact start and end date. A typical example is holidays and special occasions-related campaigns, such as Christmas promotions, Valentine's Day offers, etc. If our campaign is targeted at Valentine's Day, we should choose 14th February as an end date.

However, we want our campaign to be shown until summer, for this reason, we do not set an end date. In general, the longer the campaign runs, the larger the data base and the more certain we can be about the future performance of our keywords.

Sponsored_Products_Start_No_Date
Start and End Date

6. Set the right daily budget

With our auto-targeted campaign we want to make sure that our ads are displayed throughout the day and therefore we determine low daily budget:

Sponsored_Products_Daily_Budget
Daily budget

If you are not sure about how much you want to spend on the campaign, don't worry, you can change your daily budget anytime in campaign settings.

Above, we set a maximum daily budget. However, this will be played out flexibly, for example, when Amazon spends only 18€ of your 20€ budget in one day, the next day it can spend 22€ or vice versa, or it may be just more in this case. At the end of the month, your daily budget x 31 (practically) will not be exceeded.

You can answer the budget question only after you have decided on the next point: The targeting, or how would you like to bring your ads to the buyers?

7. Automatic vs. manual targeting

Sponsored_Products_TargetingTargeting

As mentioned before, we are getting started with an auto-targeted campaign. We had set this one up with a low budget above because it serves a specific purpose: it helps us with keyword research.

Auto-campaigns are automatically assigned by Amazon to incoming search queries when they appear relevant. Whenever Amazon has assigned a campaign to a search query, this is noted in the keyword report. We can simply download this and use the performance data later for our identical manual campaign. We'll get to get to that later on.

8. Create ad group

At the beginning, we came up with a structure for our product portfolio. Now we apply it to the section "Create an Ad group":

Sponsored_Products_Ad_Groups

Ad Groups

9. The exciting part of Sponsored Products setup–the bidding!

With "dynamic bidding-up and down" we now have the option of having Amazon adjust bids in both directions. Google users are right to assume: this feature is very similar to Enhanced CPC (eCPC) in Google Ads. If you are starting out with Amazon Ads, we recommend that you keep your hands off the new campaign bidding strategies at first. Instead, choose the previous default "Dynamic Bidding – down only" or for full control: "Fixed bids".  The latter option is especially recommended if you regularly keep an eye on the keyword bids – and adjust them according to their performance.

Our research car campaign should run with as little involvement on our part as possible. We decide to "lower bids":

Sponsored_Products_Bidding-1
Bidding

→ Determine a default bid for your campaign. With automatic campaigns, this will be used for each of your keywords.

Please note: With the default bid you specify the number of clicks you can receive per day on our ads. Assuming the actual click price is 0.25€ that would be exactly 80 clicks with a daily budget of 20€. Whether this is enough depends on your campaign goals.

 

Sponsored_Products_Standardbid
Default bid

10. Amazon bid modifiers: “Adjust bids by placement"

With the Amazon bid modifiers in "Adjust bids by placement" you can adjust your bids by up to +900%. Its predecessor, Bid+, was one of the musts of campaign creation if you wanted to get on top of the ad ranks. Without Bid+ it was hardly possible to reach the front positions. However, which modifications can be used to achieve similar ad ranks cannot be generalized and will have to be determined from keyword to keyword.

Sponsored_Products_Bid+Adjust bids by placement

Our modifiers for the auto campaign remain at 0% for the time being.

Let's continue!

11. Add Negative Keywords

→ Exclude inappropriate search queries by adding negative keywords

You have no idea which pitfalls to consider when searching for your products? No problem, negative keywords can also be entered later when your first Search Term Report is available.

Sponsored_Products_Negative_Keywords
Negative Keywords

That's it. Your first campaign is ready!

Sponsored_Products_Launch_Campaign
Launch Campaign

That was easy, right?

We continue and show you how you can create an ideal campaign structure from the beginning, which combines an automatic and a manual campaign. The good news is, we have already finished the first half.

The best of both worlds: Auto and manual campaign combined

Now we create your manual campaign. For this purpose, we create a 1:1 copy of the automatic campaign, but as the targeting setting, we select "manual targeting".

12. Create a manual Sponsored Products campaign

→ We start from the beginning and repeat all steps till "daily budget " (Steps 1-5). Here we require a higher budget. Due to the much better control options for manual campaigns, they are the ones from our campaign pair with which we actually want to advertise our products and reach high ad placements.

The objective of this strategy is to direct the entire search traffic to the manual campaign step by step and to set individual bids for each keyword. You can read here how this campaign structure works in detail and what you should take into consideration.

As we are able to determine in detail which products our budget will be spent on, we can make sure that the investment of a higher daily budget pays off.

Sponsored_Products_Manual_TargetingManual targeting

We create the same ad group “winter jacket women” and add the same products. In bidding, we choose only "Fixed Bids" and get started with a high starting bid.

Sponsored_Products_Fixed_Bids
Starting bid

This applies to all campaigns.

Sponsored_Products_Keyword_Targeting
Keyword targeting

We can pick suitable keywords from Amazon's suggestions. These include, for example, product names that state the brand name such as “tatonka women”, the article numbers, and also well-known top keywords from Amazon SEO.

Sponsored_Prooducts_KEyword_Suggestion
Keywords

We are willing to spend more on specific search queries for a product (“tatonka women”) than on a keyword that suggests the user is still doing their product research ("winterjacket") at the beginning of a possible sale.

Sponsored_Products_Keyword_Bidding
Keyword bidding

Without historical performance data for the respective keywords, setting a starting bid can sometimes resemble a guessing game.

→ If you want to be on the safe side, you can skip this step and view the performance of the cheaper automatic campaign for a few weeks before creating the manual campaign.

For advanced sellers

Did you do the groundwork and compile an extensive keyword list? In this case Amazon provides an Excel template for the bulk upload of keywords. You'll find it in your Seller Central by clicking on Advertising > Bulk operations > and below Create spreadsheet for download there is a link to "download a bulk operations template" if you want to start from scratch.

Amazon Sponsored Products - Bulk upload template
Bulk upload template

Analyze automatic campaign: 1x per week

One way or another: What happens in your automated campaign should now be regularly analyzed and transferred to your manual campaign.

→ Book sales-strong keywords directly into your manual campaign with a differentiated bid and exclude them in the automatic campaign as "negative exact".
→ You can also exclude weak keywords & irrelevant search queries in the manual campaign.

If you repeat this process regularly, your manual campaign consists of strong keywords & a relevant longtail, which you can control in detail via the bids. 

Quick tip: You can evaluate your Amazon Sponsored Products performance by Excel in a few minutes.

Happy optimizing!

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