Advanced Amazon PPC Strategies And Tips With Destaney Wishon
Kris Gramlich and Dustin Kane talk all about Amazon PPC with one of the best, CEO Destaney Wishon from BetterAMS.
BetterAMS is an Amazon Advertising agency focusing on scaling Amazon ads for 8 figure + sellers!
Find out more: https://betterams.com
Destaney Wishon on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/destaney-wishon
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Advanced Amazon PPC Strategies And Tips With Destaney Wishon
– Hello everyone and welcome, to episode 106 of Two Amazon Sellers and a Microphone, brought to you by Sellozo. Today, Kris and I are super excited to have Destaney Rashawn from BetterAMS on with us. Destaney, how are you doing?
– Amazing. Excited to be here.
– Well, we’re pumped too. Kris is doing his little, his LinkedIn promo right now. He always goes, he always does this when we go live. He’s introducing everyone on LinkedIn, to come join us on here. But Destaney, we’re pumped. We were talking beforehand, you’re kind of, we’re in Kansas city and you’re down in Bentonville, so we’re kind of in the same area. Good old Midwesterner, South Southern slash southerners, but
– Southern, we’re Southern.
– The reputations Southern, the geographic is Midwestern.
– Exactly. Yeah, your area is definitely more Southern. I was telling you before we just went down to Branson and once you get down to that area, it starts, definitely starts turning more southern. You know? Up here in Kansas city. But, well, we’re, we’re super excited to have you on and before we jump into it. Just for anybody who’s listening, that does not know you which I don’t know how they wouldn’t know you. You’re everywhere on social media. Just dive into your background, how you got into the space, what you’re doing now, what BetterAMS is? I’ll give you the floor.
– Yeah, of course. So my name is Destaney Rashawn. I’m co-founder and CEO of BetterAMS. It’s like, okay, there we go. I got started Amazon advertising five years ago, I believe. Which is absolutely insane. I believe I was like 22, 23 and I got started on the retail side. So I am based out of Bentonville, Arkansas, which for those who don’t know our one and only, not one and only but our biggest claim to fame is Walmart is here. So every, you know, large vendor has, you know, a full team like all of the buyers, everything is situated in this area. And that was a really cool experience for me. Cause I got started at a full Amazon consulting agency focused on you know, helping some of the largest vendors from Walmart, really get rolling on Amazon. So we were helping with everything from like listing optimization, the 1 P, 3 P split, when everyone’s products were getting crapped out of Amazon. So they needed to go to seller central. And thus, I was the first Amazon advertising hire in that position. So I got to experience really large budgets really quickly. I, everything scaled and it was just an amazing experience. So that’s kind of how I got started and I always joke like, it’s all I know. So if anything happens to Amazon like I’m going to have to pivot really quick. Cause like the advertising piece has been my core focus from day one.
– That’s cool. So, so you, did you sell on Amazon prior to that? Or you just came straight in on the, on the advertising side?
– Straight in. I was the first digital media hire at this agency and they did things a lot different. Because their kind of core leadership team was really from Walmart world. So they were familiar with everything in terms of getting in stores, what the retail market looked like. And they had a lot of connections from that side. So like I was managing brands that were spending like $10 million a quarter. I was working with AMG and DSP. So instead of starting small and managing like these really small budgets and things like that, I was kind of getting thrown in and it was like trial by fire. Like I had to learn to speak that language because typically, you know, large vendors have a marketing media budget and they need to spend it. Rather than on the seller side. It’s a little bit different. You take all of your extra margin and spend that and then you just kind of continue to grow as you grow. Which is a little bit different. So.
– That is a wild mindset difference because we, Kris and I we talk to sellers all the time coming in. They’re coming to us to help automate their advertising and they are panicked about their ad budget. It’s not like a huge corporation. It’s like we’ve got a hundred grand and we have to spend it. So we get this allocated back to us again next quarter or whatever. It’s a very, very different mindset. Which is, obviously transitions into very different strategies. I’m sure.
– Very, very different strategies. And it’s really funny. There’s nothing quite like being like 22 years old flying out to Stanford and walking into a big office like sitting in the elevator and meeting with ad reps and their full marketing team. Like we had, you know, the legal team, the shopper marketing team, like all the brand guidelines. And they’re like, so tell us about Amazon advertising. It was one of the scariest moments of my life but I think it really was the catalyst for my growth. And it is a different language. I kind of joke that it’s almost too complex of a language that they need to break it down. Everyone likes to speak in buzzwords and high level because then you don’t have to actually talk about strategy. So I had to learn how to blend that model because we still work with, I would say, you know 65% of our brands are PL and focused on the Amazon side. They started on Amazon. They grew on Amazon. They speak that language. And then I would say, is that 35% left? 25% left is on the retail side, which is just a different language. So we try to blend the two and like focus on profitability while still focusing on retail and scale. This is Luna. She has to join every meeting if she hears me talking. So, I apologize.
– Oh, that’s awesome. I’ve got, my cat’s in here somewhere.
– Kicked my dog’s out.
– I don’t even see her, so it’s not just me.
– Yeah, yeah, no, I’ve got, definitely in here. So how did that transition into BetterAMS for you and when was that?
– Yeah, so it was kind of a cool backstory. AMS was the original Amazon Marketing Services platform provided for vendors. So it was an easy transition for me because I was only working with vendors for the most part. And then Taylor had started BetterAMS as the only agency focused on what used to be headline search ads or practice play ads, which meant from day one we were always strategically thinking about Amazon ads. We were playing around with the creatives and the copy and kind of really diving into those strategies. Which is quite a bit different. I think there’s kind of two strong models you have to have in your Amazon advertising. You have to have automation for the things like, you know, keyword research bid optimization, all the really, really important stuff. But the next step to truly getting value out of your Amazon advertising I think is doing all the small creative things. Strategically thinking about your ads, starting to utilize the reports like the impression share report, understanding, you know some keywords are probably worth taking a loss on. If you’re converting well on them and you’re improving your ranking and your brand awareness like that matters. So that’s where we really were able to kind of carve a niche in the space.
– Really? That, I’ve got so many questions I want to dive into on this. But since you come from this background, I think it’s worth starting, so for anybody who’s listening, no matter where they are whether they’re a retail store that now, because of the everything that’s happened with the pandemic, they’ve got to shift to Amazon, or whether there’s someone starting up. Having a good, I guess, something to expect when you get involved in the advertising and the impact of it is a good way to start because Kris and I talk to people all the time that are coming on. And I, so number one, they’ll say things like, well people already know our brand, so why should we advertise? You know, why, you know, how come we’re not showing up on page one or, you know, they’ll start advertising and find out, oh my gosh, it’s so expensive. But the “so expensive” is so relative.
– Yes. Yes.
– I think when you talk about a traditional model. How does that conversation go a lot of times when people are, when they’re coming in just to set expectations on what the impact of the ads can be and what they should expect and what they’re going to spend?
– Yeah, there’s kind of two different things that I think are really important to hit on. One, Amazon today is not the Amazon of five years ago. It, it was a gold mine. It was easy and you know anyone and everyone can hop on the platform. And I think that really followed Amazon’s business model that’s how they needed to scale. They needed someone to type in purple pen and see 90 different purple pens. That was their whole value. If you go into Walmart or you go into Target or Dollar General, look for a purple pen, you know the, the buyer’s going to pick two to three top brands and those are your choices. They get to select for you. Walmart’s selecting your options. Amazon had a whole different mentality. If they want their consumers to see all of the options out there, which was amazing. And it worked really well for them and they scaled. And now, you know, they’re one of the largest E-commerce platforms but, like, now we’re shifting to a model of consumers don’t need 90 different choices and really cheap knockoff products. The consumers are choosing and they’re going to pick the top, you know 10 or so products. And that’s where Amazon, you know, is shifting. What got them here, isn’t going to take them there. So yes, they’re going to follow a more traditional model. They are putting more weight on branded and, you know building that social awareness. So I think that’s a huge thing to call out is that it’s just a different marketplace. And then the other big thing that I think is one of my favorite conversations to have, especially for people who aren’t familiar with Amazon, if you walk into a store and you see something on end cap then you’re going to be getting eyes on your product. It’s just foot traffic. If you go on to Amazon and you type in your number one keyword, you are not going to see the number one organically ranked product first. You’re going to see a headline search ad for sponsored product ads, three organically ranked ads and then more sponsored placements, typically. So anyone who tells me anything of like, Hey, I’m already doing well, people are going to see me. I’m like, okay, type in your number one keyword do you see your product? No? Well, that’s going to be an issue because you’re not actually getting eyeballs on your listing just by being on Amazon.
– It’s such a good point. And we have that conversation with sellers all the time, how critical that is. And I like the way you talked about the, the end cap in the stores, because I always, this is how I used to describe it, because I started selling myself on 2014. That’s how I got into it. Kris is the same way. And nobody knew what the hell I was doing. Like when I was trying to explain to friends and family, this like, are we selling…? Am I just like reselling stuff like on eBay? I’m like, no, I’m launching my brands on Amazon. I was like, it’s, the concept is like I could walk into… Imagine like walking into Walmart and put my product on the middle shelf. Very like economically I could get there. Like, that’s what I’m doing on Amazon. I know how I can advertise and get my product that I started and get it right at the top for my main keyword. It’s like being on the middle shelf. And like you said, that’s getting more difficult now. There’s, Amazon’s obviously putting placements everywhere. It’s pay to play. There’s no question about it. But still today you could launch a product on Amazon so much easier, so much less affordable than pitching it to all the Walmart buyers, let’s say. I mean, it’s, that’s
– You don’t, you don’t need the history. You don’t need to sell it. Like, and it’s crazy. I don’t, I think the piece that people don’t necessarily think about is how the industry in general, has changed in the last 50 years. How retail has changed. When Sam’s started, you know, he had, he had to buy plots of land. He then had to build or transform a store into what he was doing. He then had to pay employees. He then had to get products on the shelf. We can start a business within 20 minutes through the internet and connect with the supplier and get all the details worked out immediately. Which is really beautiful because that means our startup costs are, you know, very, very minimal compared to what it takes to get into Walmart. Cause if you’re trying to get in a Walmart you typically have to have like some type of sales history, MOQ, you have to know someone like all of these things. Which is beautiful because it means anyone, everyone could start a business but also anyone, everyone is starting a business which could definitely be a bad thing. When we look at some of the products that are at Amazon and I think that’s a fun topic to have like when sellers, like Amazon’s out to get us, blah, blah, blah. I’m like Amazon didn’t start to make you money. Amazon started to provide an amazing experience for the customers and having 90 purple pens and 70 of them be terrible is not an amazing experience. Like it’s becoming more pay-to-play in that the people who have capital typically drive the most volume and they have the money to spend on ads and things like that.
– Mm Hm, and the best products, I mean, Amazon’s done, I mean, it drives people nuts like with their relevancy scores and the way they’re ranking the organic items in their algorithms. They are pushing the better products to the top, which is just, I mean, I, I’m from the mindset that because of Amazon, actually buyers have a better experience because they have, the products are becoming more quality because there’s sellers out there like me and Kris who are trying to do whatever we can to make our product better
– And going to succeed and a Walmart’s, and if you go to Walmart like in traditional sense, it’s very different. Once they’ve got that purple pen in stock that could be their purple pin for the next decade.
– Yes. I love reading reviews of products that are in store versus on Amazon because the buyer doesn’t do as good of a job at vetting products as the hundreds of millions of customers on Amazon. When you can provide immediate feedback for a product, that is definitely improving the quality of products that customers are getting. You know, Walmart, it’s kind of still opportunity for like who knows who. If you know the right buyer and you know how to speak to them, things like that. You can potentially get in stores. And yes, consumers are going to buy the products which is going to make a difference. But like BLC, immediate feedback on Amazon is awesome. So you’ll go into Amazon, look like, Hey, this product is doing a high volume in Walmart. And then you look on Amazon. You’re like, Oh my gosh, their reviews are terrible. Like it’s not a good product. Why are they in stores?
– Such a good, Kris, you jumping in? Do you have a question?
– Yeah, just wanted to hop in on here. I was too busy doing my social media thing and all that. Yeah, yeah, try not to try to help that out a little bit. But you mentioned like friends and family have no idea what it is. I was at a birthday party, just yesterday, and I was telling, I sell on Amazon, I sell products. And immediately like the glaze over the eyes. No clue what you’re talking about. It’s like, okay. So people still don’t understand it, but when you start to tell, like, it’s actually, you’re buying a product off of Amazon that somebody sources and they sell, it’s not Amazon selling it. Then you start to get more questions and so forth. So it depends on who I’m talking to. I’ll either go down that rabbit hole or I’ll just say the thing
– and we’ll move on to the next topic
– The legitimacy behind it is one of my favorite parts as well. Like, even if I say I have an Amazon advertising company it doesn’t hold a lot of weight. Like people don’t think it’s a real thing. And they’re like, Oh, that’s cool. And in reality, like if we compare like the numbers that some of our PL brands are doing to in store numbers, like they’re probably doing 90 times more with 10 virtual assistants, then you have like actual CPG brands who have a full office, all that overhead, full teams. And they’re like struggling on Amazon. So that’s always like really fun. I think people, I always just say like, oh I think people that got an MLM, honestly. I do internet things.
– Those same PPG brands that are not doing well on Amazon are the same ones that are complaining cause they’re A cost is like over 15% or something like
– like, why? You, if you got more aggressive right now, everyone already knows your brand. You could like 10 X your sales with a little bit of effort. I mean it’s, and they’re complaining. It’s really, it’s fascinating, but it is true. I mean, we live in a little, we’re in this ecosystem where I mean, if you look at my LinkedIn or whatever, I feel like everybody knows everything about Amazon but it’s not the way the world is. There’s still, they still don’t really know. They think it’s all them, it’s all their products. They still don’t know how it works totally. Which is interesting.
– Back to your, back to your CPG statement. That is always an uphill battle. And I want to make a really quick comparison. You have large CPG brands that are paying for billboards. They’re paying for commercials and then paying for end caps. And the way I kind of have those discussions, like, look you are putting your product on an end cap. And you’re making the assumption that people walking by are going to see your product. That does not mean they’re going through the aisle. That doesn’t mean they were going to go to your aisle. They could be walking by to get to the pet food aisle. On Amazon, we can place an ad exactly where a customer is planning on purchasing. If they are typing in blue calculator, they’re not doing it because they want to watch YouTube videos on calculators. They are doing it because they want to purchase a blue calculator. That placement, if we’re looking at holistic marketing strategy, should be worth thousands of dollars. It is typically not. It’s upwards of $49 a click. And that’s in a crazy competitive space. Like it’s so valuable placing an ad and it doesn’t even look like an ad. It looks so organic. Exactly where your customers are searching. That is 10 X more valuable than an end cap or any type of scammy like marketing scheme.
– Yeah. You’re totally right.
– Yeah, and you’re only getting charged if theoretically that customer stops and actually looks at the end cap by clicking on the ad.
– I mean, they could still see it and scroll by it and not, you wouldn’t get charged and you collect the data and then you can optimize. I mean, it’s…
– Yes. It’s insane. I mean the CPC model on Amazon is such a blessing. Like, yes, we have our CPM ad types and they do their job. But this conversation, I think that people see Amazon advertising as just incredibly complex because there’s so many small, different levers, levers but they’re all incremental. At the end of the day, like you had like the most perfect call-out. If they are clicking on your ad they were interested in potentially purchasing your product. And like when relevancy comes up, that’s always a hot topic. I’m on the fence with it. Like I, a hundred percent, bid on keywords that may not be directly relevant to my product for that reason. I’m only getting charged if they click it. If they clicked and didn’t convert. That is on my listing. That is not on the ad. The ad did its job and drove awareness. And I think that’s the mindset shift that we’re going to start seeing as things get more competitive and we have traditional media buyers entering the space.
– I want to hop into some advanced PPC tactics to kind of buck up a little bit. When I first started selling, I didn’t know much about PPC at all and actually, Taylor, who created BetterAMS, I guess, he was my, he was my guy. He was my guy back in the day. And so I hired Taylor to do all my advertising and I remember a call I had with him. I had, at the time, I probably had 10 products maybe. Maybe, maybe 15. At the time, we had a call and I was like, Taylor, I have like 50 campaigns. What, what’s, what’s what’s going on? I have all these campaigns running and one was called like gold painting. And one was called like, top of like a main keyword or something like that. He had names for all these. And I was like, what are we doing with all these campaigns? Like Kris, I got it. I’m like, okay, I’ll just trust the process. So I guess my question is what, what’s the strategy there? Like with one product, how many campaigns do you go after? Like I know auto-manual is typical but there’s so much more you can do. What do you suggest there?
– So I have like added up that there’s over 50 to 60 campaigns that you can have per product. If you really want granular. So for a lot of our retail brands that are looking for that next level kind of strategic thinking, that’s what we’ll do. Kind of break it down. You do have your auto campaigns. Which have four different targeting types. You could, if you wanted to, create one auto campaign per targeting type, close loop, loose compliments substitutes. Now, the reason we liked being this granular is because Amazon only allows budgeting on the campaign level not the ad group level. Which means, if you have five ad groups running and one of them is doing amazing. Your other three you just have to like turn off or optimize. You can’t actually control your budget distribution. So we like to go more granular. But beyond that, you have sponsored prepped keyword targeting, sponsored prepped product targeting, sponsored brand keyword targeting, product targeting, video and search keyword product, landing page, store page, store spotlight page. Those are three different headline search ads you can test. You can then add custom image beta to every single one of them. Which is going to change your click through rate. Then you have sponsored display product targeting. I mean, every single ad type also has category targeting, audience targeting, remarketing, prospecting, in market lifestyle segments. If you create one campaign and you throw all of these strategies at it, it’s going to be incredibly hard to optimize. So we break things out uniquely on the kind of incremental levels. So that way we can control the budget for those. So we break everything out into really small bite sized pieces. We don’t typically do one keyword per campaign for every single campaign. I’ll throw that out there, but sometimes we will. And then we do it just so we can control the budget. So we can take the strategies that are working well and we can scale them. We have competitor targeting, you have branded keywords, you have non-branded keywords, you have top of the funnel keywords, like there’s so much you can do. And since it is a CPC model, we have control over all of it. Which is amazing, but a lot at scale.
– What, let’s take, let’s chop that up because there is a lot. So let’s say somebody who’s listening right now is new, a newer private label seller. Okay. That is a lot to get to unpack and to launch. Would you, do you set those up in stages? Like if there’s, if it’s a, if you’re, if someone’s coming in that’s newer, doesn’t have the budget to handle all that. Do you do like just sponsor products right off the bat mostly? Or do you focus on all those at the same time? Are you doing everything? Are you doing sponsored brand video, the whole bit? What are you doing?
– Yep. So it’s, it’s going to be incredibly dependent on category just due to competition and things like that. But at the end of the day, sponsored products typically drives like 70 to 80% of your sales because they have more ad inventory. And what I mean by that is if you type in your number one keyword on Amazon you’ll see a headline search ad. You’ll see three to four sponsored product placements. You’ll scroll down, you’ll see a video in search ad. And then you’ll typically see 9 to 10 more sponsored product placements. So in terms of just inventory available for your ad to show, sponsored products has the most. Which means spend and costs can be diversified. Sponsored brands can be incredibly, incredibly competitive if you’re in like a supplement category or anything like that, because there’s only one placement at the top of the search, three on the bottom of the search. And a few on the PDP. So, typically sponsored brands should run within, you know 2 to 3% ACoS of your sponsored products unless you’re in a crazy part of a category. But that’s why we always recommend starting with sponsored products, always recommend starting with both keyword and product targeting. But if you don’t have a large budget, you need to figure out how the best way to allocate that budget. You probably shouldn’t bid on a thousand keywords if you only have budget to cover five keywords. So it’s kind of where it does get complex and where split testing is required and good news with Amazon is there’s no minimums. So I always recommend start a campaign for $5 and a low bid, see what happens. If it does well, scale it. Like you don’t need to go all in up front.
– That’s, I’m glad you bring that up. Cause that’s a tough conversation for a lot of people. They, it’s almost like FOMO. It’s like they, they come in and they’ve got a thousand keywords in their campaign cause they,
– Yeah, they’ve done all this, they’ve done all this research. I mean, they’re, they’re, they’ve done other keyword research on helium 10 and they’re all, I’ve got all these thousand keywords and targets I want to go after. And then they’re basically getting no like velocity on any one of those keywords to affect their rank. They might be getting a sale over here and a sale here and a sale here but they don’t, they don’t get the impact. So I like what you talked about, just shrinking it down. Focus your budget on just a few words. And then once you rank organically, which I think that’s another topic to build, the hard, they don’t realize the actual impact. You can be negative or your ad campaigns can be unprofitable and you can be doing really well.
– One hundred percent. My favorite was anytime like I would post like strategies or case studies on LinkedIn or Facebook. And like my favorite was always the person that’s like, that ACoS is not profitable. And my response is, do you know the cost per acquisition? Do you know the lifetime value? Do you know what we’re targeting? Like if you don’t know those things please don’t comment because at the end of the day I have seen, you know, amazing brands that shoot themselves in the foot by chasing nothing but a low ACoS. And of course it’s a business of cashflow but it’s the Amazon flywheel. Like the more, the more money you spend the more money you’re probably going to make, especially in a more pay-to-play space, which isn’t fun to say but that’s the direction we’re going.
– We get some sellers a lot that have variations. And they’re always like, what should I do with variations? Should I put them in separate ad groups? Or should I put them all in one ad group? We kind of go back and forth like you know, maybe we’ll split them up in different ad groups so that they can all show up for the search terms. Or maybe we just put one in one ad group depending on the budget and how much they have to spend. What is your recommendation? If somebody comes to you and I got variations, what’s the, what’s the setup?
– If it is a differentiation between like apparel flavor, for example, if someone types in a red t-shirt and you have a variation of a black t-shirt, a red t-shirt, and blue t-shirt. Then I typically split test what color is going to have the highest click-through rate because at the end of the day once you get them into your listing, you’re fine. They’ll see all your other variations. So that’s kind of, one thing I’ll look for is what variation has the highest click-through rate. Same thing for a flavor variations. If I’m selling protein and I have chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Let’s see what one is going to get them into my listing first. And then once they’re there, it’s up to my listing to do its job. So that’s typically what we look for in those aspects. If it’s a size variation where you have a one pack, two pack, a three pack, then again, you may want to do your lower price one because that’s going to drive them to your listing. But your ACoS is going to be worse, potentially. Because you’re only advertising your lowest variation. So that’s typically what we do. Sometimes we’ll break them out and just advertise all of the variations for the same reason. But yeah, that’s kind of what we go for.
– It’s testing, I think is what we’re getting at. It’s a lot of testing.
– Yes. Lots of testing, figuring out what works best for you and what aligns with your top line goals. Because again, that’s a conversation that we always have. There’s not one size fits all solution to Amazon advertising.
– Yeah. I a hundred percent agree with that. I think that’s another tough pill to swallow. There is, a strategy that works for you on product X, Y Z may totally flop on my product. It might be the worst or totally misaligned with my strategies and goals. It, it’s an art form. I mean, you’re taking in what the data you’re getting and you’re figuring out how can we maneuver this to align with our strategies and what we want to do. And I think, I think for a lot of sellers, if they, if it’s not something that they want to spend a lot of time on, then they definitely need to outsource it or they will not do it well. They will be lacking and whatever they pay to outsource it. If it’s good, it’s going to be worth it.
– Even from a category level. Like there are so many different things that work well in one category that may not work well in another category. I mean, apparel is the first example that comes to mind. Historically, in apparel or fashion, we see higher T- ACoS’s because in apparel, if someone types in a black t-shirt there’s 90 different variations of t-shirts they’re looking for. They may look for a v-neck or a crew cut or a long sleeve t-shirt. So your ads typically drive more volume because it’s the first thing that’s being exposed. It’s a lot harder to rank on apparel keywords because of that long tail distinction. So seeing different data sets makes a huge difference. You know, a lot of people will follow like, Hey, this is, this is my guru who launched a brand. And like, I respect that if you launch a brand you guys know exactly how to do every single aspect but there’s something to be said of just analyzing data across all kinds of different products, price points categories, and strategies. You’ll start seeing like intuitive, you know patterns that will really stand out. I think that’s important in our space.
– 100% and you bring up a really good point. I mean, Kris and I, we’ve, yes, we’ve launched our own brands but that’s what our knowledge, especially, but, before we start working at Sellozo, I mean, that was our knowledge was our brand. So we didn’t, like what you’re talking about is you see it across those categories. You have lots of data coming in and you understand trends and what works well in other places. And I think that’s a huge advantage. Old school sellers would spend a fortune on marketing. A fortune and not have anywhere near the amount of data coming back. And anybody who’s starting a business now should be, I mean, number one, you should be super pumped that you can do it at a fraction of the cost but also not be upset about what that cost is. It’s, it’s super helpful.
– It’s dangerous. It’s amazing, but I’m also really curious to see like where the industry goes. For DSP for example, you can get incredibly, incredibly granular with who you’re targeting and you can target based off you know, age, sex, past purchase history, things like that. Which can be a very dangerous game. It’d be amazing to get because we can get really, really incremental. But I’m curious to see where the industry goes. We’ve seen a lot of articles like of big brands that are not doing lift tests anymore. They’re not paying for the huge billboard. Why would you put, you know a million dollars into a large billboard campaign? When you can put that million dollars on Amazon and only target people that are already looking for black running shoes, like we have so much power. And I think that’s the value. And I think that’s where the industry as a whole, because we are very seller oriented. Like the whole Amazon industry is really skewed towards but like needs to do a better job of communicating how both can like relate. How we can kind of correlate having an abundance of data with why it’s so valuable to have that much data. Does that make sense? That was a lot of words.
– No, made total sense. So let’s, let’s go to some advanced tactics. You know, you mentioned DSP there. That, that is a, you know those are the three letters that are getting a lot of, a lot of attention in the space. Everybody’s like seeing what is this DSP all about? What is DSP all about? For those who don’t know, I’d love to, if you could break it down, what does DSP actually mean?
– DSP is the new shiny object syndrome.
– There you go.
– People, people like to sell things that they don’t know how to explain because you know, it’s the, the seller has the value if the buyer doesn’t understand the product. DSP, not to
– The seller has the, I’m going to write that down. That’s a good one. That’s a good one.
– Not to call anyone out, but DSP is Amazon’s Demand Side Platform. If we’re saying pretty high level, it’s basically just a new average, not new it’s another advertising platform they have. It’s really, really cool. It’s very similar for kind of breaking it down. You know, when you go to create a Facebook targeting campaign and you can use audience insights, you can use things like that. That’s what we have the capability to do on DSP. All of the data that everyone complains, they don’t have we have on DSP. Which makes it really, really valuable. Now, the problems with it is there’s typically a higher barrier to entry. You typically need to commit to at least like 5 to 10 K worth of spin. Per product or line item, because it is a cost per impression model but where it’s valuable is DSP ads show up on Amazon. If you see the Geico ads, they’re super colorful and you know, have they’re custom creative, that’s DSP. They’re targeting you for a reason and you know we have the opportunity to target customers on Amazon but we also have an opportunity to target customers off Amazon. So Amazon owns a lot of what’s called supply sources. New York times, for example, they own that supply source. So you could serve an ad to someone who viewed your listing and then went to the New York times. So your ad stays top of mind. So it’s just this, it’s basically Amazon advertising times 30. Which is really, really cool.
– It’s, it sounds like another layer of just the standard auto manual, broad phrase exact like sponsored brand, all that good stuff. So it just sounds like another layer. It feels like Amazon is rolling that out slowly inside seller central into brains. Is that what you were seeing as well?
– A hundred percent. Now, I don’t want to undervalue DSP because that can happen when I have the conversation of Display versus DSP. DSP is truly amazing. You build your own creative to align with the audience at any point in time. So for example, if I sell, you know, protein I have the opportunity to serve a bodybuilder drinking my protein to people who happened to recently look for weights. And that’s where it’s like, you can align your creative with your audience. Now sponsored display is opening up the capability to do that. They win some of the same placements but we don’t have the creative control. Right? I can’t upload all of these amazing creatives built specifically for my audience with a call to action. With its own like check out, things like that. So sponsored display, I mean we’re getting product targeting, category targeting, and audience targeting, which is amazing. But if people are used to running keyword targeting. They’re not going to understand audience targeting. They’re going to expect the same results. When in reality, if I’m targeting bodybuilders, I’m obviously not going to get the conversion rate as if I was targeting the keyword protein shake. Cause bodybuilders may not be ready to buy protein shakes. It’s a more of a brand awareness play. So I think that education is important.
– Yeah I think that’s another aspect for sellers is to know what ad types hit what parts of the funnel for you.
– And like you talked about, you know, spending, you know a good portion of your budget early on and really in general, on sponsored product because that’s where the, wallets out, they’ve typed in jump rope. Cause they’re looking for a jump rope. So if they see your jump rope, it’s going to be beneficial. But a lot of the other ad types serve different parts of the funnel. DSP and display, now that you can like target, do some retargeting, is you can, you can get on a different side of the funnel with retargeting past purchases.
– Yes. Yes.
– So, that’s nice, but in general, they can be more broad, for sure.
– And knowing that distinction, even within the ad type. Cause like you said, repurchasing is perfect. Like you could run that and target everyone who’s already aware of your brand which means you’re probably going to have a high click through rate, high conversion rate and things like that. But one click down, you can target prospecting. Which is targeting, you know everyone who viewed another customer’s product. Right? And that means that your click through rate and conversion rate aren’t going to be as fantastic. Cause they were looking at someone else. And then we’re going into market segments where I can target everyone who is shopping within the baby category. That’s 30 million people. Like you can not expect to see the same results. And if you do, you’re not going to enjoy sponsored display very well.
– Yeah. Those are like, like end caps. Those are like big billboards.
– Yes. Exactly. They’re walking by the baby aisle but they’re not in the baby aisle.
– That’s right. That’s right. All right, go ahead, Kris. I interrupted your question.
– Yeah, I was just coming up to a different question. So people use advertising for ranking and they want to rank keywords and stuff, but we, we get the question a lot, and I’m sure everybody does, like how long does it take before I start to see my ranking improve on my advertising? So if I’m running the single keyword campaign, main keyword I’m going after, exact match, high bid, high multiplier, top of search, are, do you see any, like when I start an ad on, you know the first of the month by the end of the month am I seeing a significant ranking or how long does that process take before I really get to see that my product is moving up the ranks organically?
– I think there’s three things that are really, really important for people who are trying to attribute ads and ranking. And that’s your cost per click. How expensive is it going to be to rank, your conversion rate, and just the volume that you’re driving. But I will always give this example. So for prime day last year, I went really excessive on a campaign and I set $49 bids and a basically unlimited budget. And I spent $40,000 on one keyword in a 36 hour period. And we ranked from number five, which is the second row on the page, to number three within 36 hours. And it was in, you know, our number one most competitive keyword in a very, very competitive space. It wasn’t supplements, but that ranking was, that’s a big jump considering we’re on page one. So from five to three, but that’s, it, it only took 36 hours. So I think when people start diving into it, it really depends on your volume and your conversion rate. And then I always kind of say, if your CPCs are only $3 to $4, then it may be realistic to really push as much money as possible and just break even it’s the same thing. It’s all how you view it in your mindset. What people typically do is set aside $5,000 and go to a ranking service and take the loss on that marketing budget because it’s like this is just ranking, it’s a service. So I get confused when people look at ranking on ads and they’re like, Oh no, it’s a 60% ACoS. Let’s stop. And I’m like, you’re still getting a return. That’s amazing. Like that’s not a bad thing. You may be losing a few like per unit but it’s the same as like a ranking service. So those are the factors I typically recommend looking at. I think it depends on category as well and supplements. You probably need to have closer to 25 to 30% conversion rate to make a big difference. But in other categories maybe you can get by with 10 to 15%
– So many sellers just get hung up on that A cost. And they, that’s like, that’s like the, be all thing. Like I have to have a low A cost. So we tell them like, look, you can, you can go after a 20% but your sales are going to immediately drop. You’re going to have to like give and take here. I’m sure you have the same conversation with your clients. Like, Hey, we, you know, we can go after more sales but it’s gonna probably come at the expense of a higher A cost.
– A hundred percent. Especially when CPCs are increasing like Leeron posted a really good article the other day when he was comparing year over year metrics, that’s something I’ve asked you about earlier and historically, across the board, we’re seeing cost per clicks increasing. And it’s not that confusing why. I mean, everything shut down last year. So you have all of these brands that we’re paying for end caps, moving their budgets to e-commerce. So now that we’re competing against large CPG brands that are actually seeing the value of Amazon, yes, things are going to get much more expensive. We have more brands entering every single day. Silicon Valley is pouring money into the Amazon community, aggregators that are just spending money on ads. Like it’s going to get more competitive. So if your CPCs increase, even if your conversion stays the exact same, you’re going to be spending more for less. It’s really, really easy math. And if you’re spending more for less your ACoS is going to be higher. Like there’s only so much you can do about that.
– Yeah and there’s a, there’s a floor on a lot of products in competitive categories. You’re, you’re not going to get your A cost low. It’s just, but your total A cost could be really, really low. I mean, and that’s obviously the end game and your sales could be 10 X what they were before. So I mean, there’s there’s always that, that’s the conversation I have all the time with anybody who’s coming into Amazon, that has retail experience coming into Amazon. They just have a hard time wrapping their head around that. And it’s, it’s so tricky. And they’re, you’re right about the flood of those coming in. I mean, especially like late adopting categories, like like food and our groceries. Like all those people that have these you know, small, small food lines or whatever that have been selling to their local grocery stores. They’re now all competing on, I mean, there’s not that many keywords for, you know spice, you know.
– It’s going to get tricky. So you got to look at long-term customer value and also other things that nobody was looking at before very well.
– Completely agree.
– So a lot’s changing. A lot’s been going on. I think like these last six months, maybe even a year, Amazon has rolled out so many new different ad types and ad . Where do you see the space going in the next six months? Where do you see it happening?
– I am taking a big bet on social and brand. So a few things Amazon’s rolled out is, you know, posts. And their test to putting them on desktop. With posts you have the follow button and with your store page, you have the follow button. This button is incredibly valuable and I’m pushing all of my brands to use posts specifically because of the follow button, because the follow button then opens up the opportunity to email your followers. So on vendor central Amazon’s rolled out a tool called “customer engagement” and that customer engagement tool allows us to send an email to followers of our brand. And it’s a templated email. We can’t say whatever we want, but we can say, Hey, I saw you bought protein. Do you also want MCT oil? So you can cross sell products. You also upsell products or you can launch products. So for some of our brands that are getting up into like thousands of followers. This can be a really valuable touch point. So, I think social is going to be huge. Also integration. Amazon is pushing it and wanting to capitalize on it. Like it’s, it’s going to be a big play.
– We’re going to have to have you on for that. For that follow. I’m seeing it in my account. I’m sure Dustin is seeing it in his account. But we’re just seeing these little things come out like the follow button and it’s counting your followers and then these posts are free currently. I’m sure they’re going to start charging for that.
– A hundred percent. We could have a whole conversation about brand and social right now. I’ve been playing around a lot with like sponsored brand ads, you know, drive to your store. If you drive to your store you’re more likely to get a follower like small tweaks like that I think are going to really make a big difference.
– Yeah. And just calculating the value of those followers is important as well. I just mean how, just everyone does that anyway, on social media, they drive ads to get likes and followers on their social media pages and their brand pages. This could be the same thing. You know Amazon’s really trying to, to capitalize on that. They capitalize on everything else.
– Yes. Live streams. Like they’re building a feed type of thing. And the feeds kind of cool. I do like how they’re rolling that out. And something that I think is kind of a small distinction that matters is when you post on Instagram, your followers, see your posts typically within like a 24, 36 hour period, they like your post. And then it’s done. On Amazon, they’re taking posts and they’re evergreen. They’re pushing them on page one. So that makes them 90 times more powerful because the post that you posted six months ago is going to continue to get a lot of traffic today. So I think that’s something that’s kind of cool.
– Yeah. It’s something that we’re all gonna have to do more of. In all honesty, that’s something that I have not pushed enough. And when I was talking about jumping in on the, on whatever the new newest thing is cause it’s free real estate or it’s easier real estate just like sponsored brand video. When it first came out was really easy.
– Rank, it’s still, it’s still less saturated.
– But it’s getting more and more. So yeah, we, we have to have you on to talk, we can talk about like 9,000 different topics on Amazon. But real quick for anybody listening to this they love what they’re hearing. They’re swamped, they’re overwhelmed. How do they get in touch with you?
– Anyone who’s just overwhelmed with everything with Amazon advertising. I would say like my biggest recommendation is to follow me and my team on LinkedIn. We are probably like the least salesy people in the world. And we’re just like trying to post really, really helpful content. And LinkedIn, it’s the premium source for that. We also have a YouTube channel at BetterAMS, at BetterAMS and then we also have BetterAMS.com if you’re interested in ever working with us but always feel free to reach out with any questions. I can check the stream on YouTube as well and try to get any questions if anyone watches this.
– Yeah. Everyone should go follow you on LinkedIn. You put out a lot of, a lot of great content and lastly, you, you got LinkedIn famous or you went LinkedIn, when you first started, like you were really, And so tell us, tell us how, what that was like to just sort of get, all of a sudden you got a lot of followers out there.
– It was weird. It was one of those things where, again, there’s kind of two distinctions of the community of retail PL. PL is very strong on Facebook. Like PL Facebook groups and things like this. And I was very adamant on not ruining my friends and family connections on Facebook. I was like, they don’t want to see business content. And this was before I created separate lists. So I started posting heavily on LinkedIn. And when I got bored, I would find brands I really liked and add them. And I think that connection really helped things take off. And I, there was a few people posting on LinkedIn but not a ton. So I just really started posting. And I always joke that like LinkedIn for me can be a full-time job. There’s so much you could post about and just Amazon advertising alone. And I love it. So it was really crazy. It’s been amazing. I got to meet some incredible people off LinkedIn. Like I’ve hopped on calls with some of the largest brands in this space just because they’re like, Hey, I follow you. Do you have advice for this? And it’s like, that’s been really cool. I just get to help people. So, yeah. That’s LinkedIn.
– That is awesome. And it, your content is great. That’s, that’s what I love about the Amazon community and people like you out there, is we’re all willing to give back and share. There’s no secrets that are kept in because just like we talked about, you have, you may get a secret but you got to massage it to your own product.
– It’s, it’s an I, it’s a concept. It’s not rules, that are going to definitely work for, for your, your product, but we love what you’re putting out. And thanks for joining us. We’ll have to do this again. We’ll get you back on and we’ll have a bunch of different topics we can talk about. And I encourage everyone to follow you, check you out, check out BetterAMS. And for everybody listening out there if you love great content like this we’d love for you to subscribe to our podcast on whatever platform you’re listening. So you get updates and notifications of when new episodes are coming out. We go live almost every single day with somebody great in the industry. And you can also follow us on Sellozo’s Facebook page, Sellozo’s YouTube channel, like them, turn on notifications. So that way you get to know when we have great people like Destaney on with us. Destaney thanks for joining us. And we’ll be back at this again tomorrow. See you everybody.