For new sellers looking to introduce their product(s) and brand into the vast Amazon marketplace, and for those experienced sellers seeking to launch a new product or product line; having a well thought-out strategy for a product launch is more important than ever, due to the massive increase in the amount of competition on Amazon in recent years.
While the numbers of sellers may be viewed by some to be increasing at a geometric rate, make no mistake about it, the Amazon marketplace still offers an unprecedented opportunity for those prepared to succeed.
The difference between launching a successful product, or having a product(s) lost in the vast Amazon landscape, starts with having a strong product, knowing your costs on a granular level and not skipping any basic marketing steps in your rush to capture your share of online gold.
The following PPC Launch Method is designed to assist an Amazon seller in…
- building a base of reviews
- getting indexed and ranked for a general base of relative keywords (product-related keywords)
- targeting 2-3 keywords for an aggressive launch with the goal of getting your product to page 1 (starting with less competitive keywords and moving to more competitive keywords)
Ground Rules for Using the PPC Product Launch Method
Having a successful product launch goes hand-in-hand with 7 basic ground rules…
- Create a good Product Listing, which should consist of these elements: Product Title, Product Images, Key Product Features, Product Listing Description, Amazon Product Reviews, and Amazon Product Rating.
a) Product Title – regardless of the product(s) you’re selling, the title should contain the following bits of information:
- brand name,
- color and/or flavor,
- unit size / quantity = size of product if it is apparel, or number of units ‘in’ if your product is a bulk package,
- keywords = what the product actually is.
b) Product Images – here’s how to create product images that earn more money for your Amazon business…
- follow Amazon’s guidelines for main images,
- use mobile-ready hero images (help shoppers who are browsing through search results on mobile to easily determine if the product is right for them without having to read the title),
- highlight key features (call out important features and benefits),
- incorporate lifestyle imagery (help the customer relate to the product and understand it better),
- be mindful of image size (make sure the images are at least 1,000 pixels on the longest side to allow the zoom function to work),
- get creative with additional images (use up to eight additional images for desktop and six for mobile),
- don’t neglect image quality (all images need to be clear and not blurry), and
- make sure it’s the exact product*.
c) Product Features – the product features are listed in clear bullet points to make it look attractive
d) Product Description – 1) understand your customers (create an avatar that represents the people who will be buying your product), 2) Create a list of features and benefits, 3) create a quick-read description and 4) review your content before publishing.
e) Product Reviews – use them to put the content of your listing: the images, description, etc., into context in a way that either confirms or exceeds expectations
f) Product rankings – the number and positiveness of your reviews are two of the most important ranking factors in the Amazon Ranking algorithm. (If good reviews are written about your product(s), then Amazon considers that important and will ranks it higher than your competitors).
* (The buyer must receive the exact item that appears in the product images. If the buyer doesn’t receive the item with the exact same specifications or feels misled in any way, they may write a negative review and/or return the item. Even if the packaging has changed but the product remains the same, the image must be of the same packaging the buyer receives.)
- Place targeted keywords into prominent locations. Enter your keywords into your product’s title, bullets, back-end (as an entire phrase), subject matter and description. (Have your family, friends, or co-workers check for spelling mistakes.)
- Target 2-3 main keywords at a time for an aggressive and highly targeted launch. Start with less competitive keywords, but still highly relative keywords. Get ranking on those and move on. (It will take between eight and ten days of aggressive targeting for best results). Meanwhile, build reviews and eventually target more competitive keywords.
- Address higher ACoS. Keep in mind that PPC product launch campaigns will likely have a higher ACoS, which can be reduced through optimization of those campaigns using a software tool like PPC Entourage.
- Use a coupon to overcome lack of social proof. The discount should be 25-50% OFF for a limited period of time (scarcity). Start with a higher percentage discount if your product has 0 reviews.
- Create PPC product launch portfolios. House all PPC product launch campaigns inside of these portfolios to make it easier to monitor and further optimize them as needed, and for a more dialed-in control of your budgets.
- Start with aggressive bids to overcome the lack of campaign history.
The ‘Aggressive’ PPC Product Launch Strategy
STEP 1️ — Build Base of Reviews and General Keyword Rank with Manual and Auto Campaigns.
The first step is meant to build up your new product’s base of reviews, get it ranked and recognized on Amazon (for a broader group of keywords and search terms), and to build up your campaign’s history and discover converting search terms to leverage in future campaigns.
Create Base Manual Campaign
This is a single campaign with multiple ad groups. Start off with a Fixed Bid Strategy, where Amazon uses your exact bid for all opportunities and does not adjust your bids based on likelihood of conversion. You may progress to using a Dynamic Down-Only Bids Strategy as needed.
Create Ad Groups 1 and 2, each consisting of only your main 8-15 “best” keywords, which should include 2-3 launch keywords (most relative).
Use Broad and Phrase Match for increased impressions and optimal visibility. Stay competitive at the start with moderate to high bids.
EARLY OPTIMIZATION – heavily leverage keywords using Negative Phrase Match
Create Ad Group 3, which will be used for Product Targeting and Category Targeting with refinements set at Moderate to High Bid. Start this group off with a lower budget allocation that you will increase if successful. You should refine by price range (more than yours) and by star rating (3-4 or less).
Create Ad Group 4, which should be used for low competition Product Targeting under a Moderate Bid. As your new product’s reviews and keyword rank begin to build, you will eventually add strong competitors to this ad group’s structure.
Tips for Finding Low Competition Products to Target with Product Targeting
Use the following filters:
- Price – Search for Higher Priced Items
- Review Count – 15 or less
- Review Star Rating – 3/4 or less
- Fulfilled by Merchant – FBM (Non-Prime)
- Number of Images is 2 or less
- Off Variations? Set your variation count to 3+, then grab the off color or size variations to target
- In time, we’ll use the Search Term Report to find winning ASINs and Categories to target
Create Base Auto Campaign
Use Negative Phrase Match and a higher bid price to bid more competitively.
STEP 2 — Create Highly Targeted Campaigns
GOAL ⇒ Launch and rank aggressively
Use a fixed bids strategy with Top of Search (TOS) Bid Multiplier as needed. Each targeted keyword gets its own campaign but can also be done by ad group. The advantages of implementing this are that it can automatically raise ad spend if your ranking slips and can adjust more easily and have better control.
- Ad Group 1 Main keyword, Exact, High Bid.
- No early optimization is needed since you are using Exact Match.
- Remember the CPR score and attempt to match with sales in PPC.
- Be aggressive for this time period.
- Combine with Search Find Buy (SFB) if possible.*
*(SFB Campaigns are used to instruct your audiences (Facebook Group Members, Email Subscribers, etc.) exactly how and what keywords they should use in their “search, find and buy” experience, that rewards your loyal customers and participating followers with a hefty discount. Your product will be ranked substantially higher than if you hadn’t done this all.)
Step 3 — Create Sponsored Brand Campaigns
Set up a Sponsored Brand (SB) Campaign to Compliment Steps 1 and 2 with the following rules:
- Targeted launch keywords are located in the actual headline
- Targeted launch keywords are used as keyword targets as Phrase/Exact match (we generally prefer Exact Match).
- Landing page used is a “list page” with similar products and preferably products that are discounted.
- Measure “New to Brand” Metrics.
Product Launch Best Practices Checklist
- Study your competition and be different
- Research your audience
- Know the problem you’re solving
- Know your product’s lifecycle
- Create a unique value proposition
- Define your key messages and tailor them to your audience
- Target the ideal customer
- Test your concept and marketing approach
- Put the focus on the People, not the product
- Understand the buying journey
- Define your marketing strategy and tactics
- Send free samples to influencers
- Build an email list
- Roll out your campaign
- Target Lookalike Audiences on Facebook
- Offer a Bulletproof Money-Back Guarantee
- Find ways to encourage customer reviews
Launching a new product(s) is an exciting time filled with the potential to start or increase a revenue stream, but it also presents in some circumstances, an opportunity to impact the quality of life experienced by your customers for the better.
The PPC Launch Method is a strategy that can help those sellers with a new product(s) to reach their targeted audiences in a streamlined and cost-effective manner while affording them the opportunity to serve their customer’s desires and important needs.
Michael Zagare is a serial entrepreneur, a recovering physical therapist, and the founder of PPC Entourage.
Mike has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge in all things Amazon, and loves sharing that knowledge with other sellers to help them take steps towards personal and financial freedom.
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