Your Amazon Seller Ad Advantage with Joe Shelerud of Ad Advance

Your Amazon Seller Ad Advantage with Joe Shelerud of Ad Advance

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As Amazon gets more and more competitive, so must your seller strategies. And advertising is a strategy that’s necessary for long-term growth. But do you know how to advertise? Are you watching products that should be top-sellers struggling to gain traction? Luckily, Joe Shelerud of Ad Advance is here to break down his tips for PPC and ad tactics to jumpstart your next campaign.

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Joe’s Background

Like many of us, Joe got his start selling retail arbitrage. A local Office Max was going out of business so Joe flipped a few low-priced products online and was bit by the Amazon bug. After foraying into private label and searching for ad advice, Joe realized that none of the agencies he came across were offering meaningful insights. So he started his own.

Joe’s Approach

Today, Ad Advance helps sellers move the needle through a combined technical and personalized approach. When you start to utilize the mountains of data that come from Amazon ads, you can optimize listings from every angle. An advocate of personalization, Joe also considers your key goals and your product stage before developing a plan. 

Sponsored Products Ads

If you’re new to PPC, Joe suggests starting with an auto campaign and focusing on sponsored products ads. Sponsored products ads make up about 70-80% of overall ad sales. Auto campaigns are great for discovering strong keywords or ASINs that you can then funnel into a manual keyword or manual product targeting campaign. 

Boosting Slow Sellers

If a product isn’t selling well but you know it should rank well for specific keywords, run aggressive campaigns against those keywords. The more shoppers that buy your product from that search term, the more Amazon will boost your organic ranking. Most of your profit will come from those organic rankings, so ranking campaigns are fantastic ad options. 

Sponsored Brand Ads

These are banner ads that show different products within a brand. Sponsored brand ads are great if you’ve got an exclusive agreement with a brand because this ad option helps establish the brand on Amazon. With sponsored brand ads you can link ads directly to product listings or storefront pages. 

Sponsored Display Ads

Sponsored display ads are great awareness drivers as they’re located directly below bullet points or the buy box. Also try placing your ads on competitor listings to target the competition. 

Other Tips & Tricks

Don’t be afraid to use video ads. When every listing looks the same, yours should stand out. And it’s incredibly valuable to a shopper to see a product in use. Also try the ASIN defense strategy. Targeting the ASIN of your own product may seem pointless, but when you’ve got your own ads running, it prevents your competitors from taking that spot. They’re also cost-efficient and because competitors aren’t drawing them away, they help improve conversation rates for the original ad.

Last but not least, there’s remarketing. We’ve all put something in our shopping carts and seen an ad for that same product elsewhere online. You can use the same remarketing trick on Amazon to give shoppers that extra push. 

Overall

Nowadays, you’ve got to pay to play on Amazon. Advertising is a great way to watch your investments pay off, literally and figuratively. More questions on creating holistic Amazon ad campaigns? Contact Joe and check out his podcast

Happy selling everybody.

Resources From This Episode

Outline Of This Episode

[00:46] Todd’s introduction to this episode

[01:21] Joe’s Amazon journey

[08:44] Todd’s approach to PPC

[13:17] Sponsored products ads

[17:31] How to outrank your competitors 

[30:22] Sponsored brand ads

[41:09] Sponsored display ads

[43:52] Remarket like a pro

Transcript

Joe (00:00):
Really the approach that we take is it’s a combined tech and personalized approach. And so there’s a lot of data that comes in from advertising. And so being able to utilize that. There’s a lot of different edges that you can get on the Amazon side. That being said, there are a number of holistic strategies that we can put into place to with our advertising. And it all ties back to the key goals that you have for your products and where they’re at within the life cycle.

Announcer (00:29):
Welcome fellow entrepreneurs to the entrepreneur adventure podcast, where we talk about Amazon wholesale and how you can use it to build an e-commerce empire, a side hustle or anything in between. And now your host Todd Welch.

Todd (00:46):
All right, welcome to another episode of entrepreneur adventure. I’m your host Todd Welch.. And today I have Joe Shelerud. He is the CEO and founder of ad advance a PPC management company for Amazon. And he graduated with honors from the university of Minnesota with a masters in business with an emphasis on finance. So he has a background for doing this kind of stuff, Joe, I really appreciate you coming on the show. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background?

Joe (01:21):
Yeah, thanks for having me on the show at Todd. So really my Amazon journey started in 2014. So at that time I was listening to podcasts just like this and heard about this thing called selling on Amazon and figured I would give it a try. I started with a retail arbitrage angle. So I actually found an office max that was going out of business, saw some products on there.

Joe (01:46):
They were priced a lot lower than what they were at on Amazon. And that gave me my first taste on sending and shipments and everything else like that into Amazon. After that point I proceeded into private labeling. So on the private label front, I sell these organic chemistry molecular model kits. They’re used for organic chemistry courses in college. I have an engineering background and so started with the private label route. And then as I was going and building out that business, I started looking at different options for managing my ads. I’d set up some different tools to help do that. And I got to this point where I was reaching out to a bunch of different agencies to see who can manage it so I could focus on the seller business. And what I found is that a lot of the things that I was doing was a lot more advanced than what most of the agencies were offering.

Joe (02:36):
And so that gave me the idea, you know, maybe I can help some sellers actually manage their ads. And so since that point Matt Wicklund is our co-founder, we’ve grown to Amazon PPC agency located in Duluth, Minnesota. So we specialize both in, we develop all of our own software. But at the same time, realize that you can’t automate everything. Advertising is definitely an art and a science approach. So what we do is we use our software where software works best, and then we have a very personalized approach for all those art pieces that you could definitely can’t do with the software. So overall I’d love to share, you know, some advice, strategies and different pieces that we’ve seen that have worked really well.

Todd (03:19):
Yeah, for sure. And we were talking before that, up in Duluth, you guys are freezing right now, right? I was just in Wisconsin. It was like minus 21 day.

Joe (03:32):
Yup. Yeah, we we’ve gone through quite a period where I think we just broke above zero and that was considered warm because we had multiple days below zero. So yeah, it’s definitely it it’s very cold right now.

Todd (03:47):
I was there for visiting my parents and it reminded me why I moved to Utah now. So yeah, we’re definitely going to dive into the ads, but before we go there, let’s just talk a little bit about your retail arbitrage days. What actually got you into that. How did you find out about this thing called Amazon?

Joe (04:10):
Yeah. So I was actually listening to a podcast at the time. And it was, it was Pat Flynn’s podcast and he had somebody come on and talked about selling on Amazon. So that kind of spurred the idea. And so I started looking at different prices within the stores and seeing, you know, there, there is definitely an opportunity here on the retail arbitrage side. And then at the same time we had that office max that was going out of business. And so I was looking there and I saw a decent price gap between multiple items. So I bought a 500 to a thousand dollars worth of products and said, you know, I’m going to give this a shot little did I know that I bought some products like monster headphones that were already restricted at the time and Amazon’s got a lot more restrictive as we’ve gone.

Joe (05:01):
So I actually still own those headphones right now, cause I couldn’t even sell them on Amazon. No, I know it’s actually another set, but I still have them. Yeah. So it’s a good reminder of you know, the Amazon journey is not always easy as to go in. There’s definitely lessons learned. So it, it was a great taste into how Amazon works. You got to figure out how to set up a seller account and how do I create shipments? How do I make sure that I’m adding the right products and assigning them to the right listings? You know, there’s all those pieces that allowed me to build up the initial knowledge to then understand, going to like more of the private label route how you send in these big shipments, what to avoid, what to check for ahead of time before you’re making these massive purchases. So there was a ton of learnings and it was a great way to really get introduced into the Amazon ecosystem as a whole. Yeah,

Todd (05:58):
I agree. A hundred percent it’s I recommend to people out there, you know, if you haven’t started selling on Amazon, but you want to just find something in your garage or go to the Walmart clearance aisle and grab some stuff and learn how to send it in. Even if you don’t make any money, just knowing. And understanding that prof or that process before you move to private label or wholesale and you got more on the line is super helpful.

Joe (06:25):
Exactly. Just taking it really as a lesson and how you go through all the different stages on Amazon and get those products in place. Even if you don’t make profits or if you even take some losses, it’s just like paying your tuition. And it’s the initial class on Amazon before you make those bigger purchases, whether it’s on the wholesale side or the private label side

Todd (06:49):
A hundred percent now, are you still selling those chemistry sets?

Joe (06:53):
Yup. Yup. So I still sell the chemistry sets. I have somebody else who manages that business. So my focus on advertising full-time right now. But it is a great sandbox for us to test new strategies and make sure, you know, it’s a great spot where we test our software and everything too. We start on my seller account, make sure everything works good and then roll that out to the rest of our clients.

Todd (07:14):
Nice. Nice. Yeah. And now you’re doing ads. I think that’s good to point out that progression and retail arbitrage, private label, and now you’re running an advertising, a marketing agency and just that progression of how things change that just because whatever you’re doing today, doesn’t necessarily, you’re going to be doing the same thing five years, 10 years from now,

Joe (07:37):
For sure. Yeah. If you would’ve told me back when I purchased those initial products for the retail arbitrage side, that in six years now I’d be running in advertising agency when my background’s in engineering. I never would have seen that coming. But it’s just been this clear progression and I feel like it does give us an advantage just starting from that seller focus, understanding what sellers truly value versus if I just came in on the advertising side without that experience, I think I’d approach it a lot differently. So just being able to understand all the challenges that sellers go through and all the benefits that they get with selling on Amazon. Just having that experience ahead of time, I feel like has really given us us an advantage overall.

Todd (08:21):
Yep. You got a master’s in business and a master’s in Amazon.

Joe (08:25):
Exactly. Yup, yup. Probably a lot harder to lessons learned on the Amazon side. For sure.

Todd (08:32):
For sure. For sure. All right, cool. So let’s dive into the, the advertising. So tell us a little bit more about what you guys do for clients in there.

Joe (08:44):
Yeah, so really the approach that we take is it’s a combined tech and personalized approach. And so there’s a lot of data that comes in from, and so being able to utilize that there’s a lot of different edges that you can get on the Amazon side. That being said, there are a number of holistic strategies that we can put into place too, with our advertising. And it all ties back to the key goals that you have for your products and where they’re at within the life cycle. So for instance if you’re selling on the private label side and you’re doing a product launch, your strategy is going to be very different from if you have a very established product and the listing already has a ton of reviews and you’re already generating a lot of organic traffic. And so same thing on the wholesale side depending on what the product listings lifecycle is at.

Joe (09:36):
So is this a newer product listing that doesn’t have as many established reviews? Are you trying to get this going and really build up that listing? So at that point now you can really establish yourself and get drive the organic sales, or is it already very established at this point? And then you can really focus on the margin and maximizing profit as you go. There’s a lot of different strategies that you can put into place, and that really ties back on the advertising side. So what we do with our software is we’re able to take into account all the data. So it’s great for bid optimization, placement optimization, campaign funnel structures. We use machine learning to optimize pieces like customers tend to convert better on Mondays versus Saturdays. So we can take that into account and boost bids on Mondays and cut them back on Saturdays reporting we can do in our software. But then at the same time when we’re structuring everything and looking through different search terms, what’s converting well, what’s other areas that we should target now. That’s where a lot of intuitions involved too. So really what we do for our clients is try to look at first the bigger picture, because Amazon is much more than just the advertising side. And then how do you, the overall goals tie into the advertising strategy? And then we implement that for our clients.

Todd (10:52):
Yeah. You got to have the, the optimized listing first, right before you run the, it doesn’t make sense to drive traffic and everybody’s leaving.

Joe (11:01):
Sure. Yep. And that, that is the key point to that until you have that optimized listing, there is no need to focus on advertising. So we have multiple people that will reach out and they say, Hey, I’ve got an issue with my ads. And we look, and we see that they’re not getting a good return in terms of Acos or Roas. And it’s driven because the listing is not established. And so we can have the best advertising strategy in the world. But if you send them to a product listing that actually doesn’t convert, meaning if people click see the listing and they don’t actually buy your advertising stats are going to look very poor. And so that is the first key thing is making sure that you’ve got solid products to sell and that those listings are established. We can run different product launch strategies to help get that listing established, but at that point, your goals for advertising are different than those more established products as you go.

Todd (11:57):
Yep. For sure. So let’s let’s talk about that. We’ve got, let’s say we’ve got a brand that we’ve gotten an exclusive agreement with. They’ve got, you know, some products and stuff that are selling on Amazon, but maybe they’re selling slow, got a few reviews, but not much. If we came to you guys, what kind of recommendations would you give us to try to boost those sales and the most profitable way?

Joe (12:27):
For sure. Yeah. And I think one key piece that you touched on is like the exclusive agreement. And so if you have the exclusive agreement and know that you’re going to own the buy box, that opens up a lot of different options on the advertising side, because really if you’re trying to get that product listing established, having that exclusive agreement means that the initial effort and money that you put in on the front end to get that listing established that you own, that then continues to pay off in the future. So that’s one key thing to note too, is that if you don’t have the exclusive agreement I would make sure that, you know, any money that you’re investing on the front end, you’re not investing too heavily because other people could step in now and utilize that success that you’ve built on the product listing for their own advantage.

Joe (13:17):
So say that you’ve got a product listing, you’ve got the exclusive agreement and you’re getting a couple of sales a day. You’re starting to build up the reviews. But you really want to increase the overall sales and build that product listing on. The first thing that I would recommend focusing on is sponsored product ads. So this is the first ad type. And actually when I was a seller, this was the only ad type. So it made it a lot easier on where to, to decide on where to start. Sponsored products tend to make up about 70 to 80% of overall ad sales. If you look at, if we have all ad types running, it’s still gets the majority of the traction. And so that’s where you should really focus your efforts from the start. So sponsored products, ads, they either can show up at the top of the search.

Joe (14:05):
So if you type in a search on Amazon, they’re going to be the first ads that you see right below the search box or the other major placement type is on the product detail page. And so if I click on a product listing, I’m going to see this carousel of ads, you know, halfway down and it’s all going to be ads related to this product or related to your search and those all show up. So really there’s the keyword search type and then there’s the product targeting search type. And so what I would say from the start is start with an auto campaign. And then if you want to add on to that, you can start with a manual keyword campaign and a manual product targeting campaign. Auto campaigns are great because Amazon has one of the biggest consumer shopping databases that we’ve known in the history of mankind.

Joe (14:59):
And so they can find all these great nuances and connections that we might not be able to determine from the start. We’re always surprised with what search terms actually convert well for different products. So auto campaigns are really great for discovering new ways that customers will find you. And with that discovery piece, now you can pull up search terms from your search term report. So it’s the things that people actually typed in that triggered the auto campaign and led to your product and say, if you find some search terms that are converting well now at that point, what you can do is you can move these into the manual campaigns where you now have greater bit control. And so it’s called a campaign funnel structure. And so we set up some pretty complex ones, but just in general, what you’re trying to do is find those search terms or those product targets, those ACINs that convert really well and move them downstream into more targeted campaigns where you can now set more exact bids, more exact placement adjustments, and really fine tune those as you go. So if you were just getting started, I would say definitely focus on sponsored products, start with an auto campaign and two manual campaigns, one for product targeting and one for keywords.

Todd (16:18):
Perfect. Yeah. So using that auto to get those gold golden keywords and moving them into manuals now, are those completely separate campaigns or are they all under you know, one tree or do you have separate trees for everything?

Joe (16:38):
Yep. Yep. So they are a separate campaigns that we would structure them as. So we would do a three separate campaigns. So one would be the Auto, the other one would be the manual keywords and then the other one would be the manual product targets. And so by splitting those up, we get more control. There’s different pieces that you can optimize on a campaign level like placement adjustments. And so by splitting them up, you do get more control over what placements you’re showing at what adjustments you want to add. And then you can also control budgets for each of them. So with those three aspects, we like to split those up into three separate campaigns.

Todd (17:17):
Okay. Very good. And then, so you’re putting all of your manual ones under the one manual campaign, or are you even going more minute in that you’re making a separate campaign for every different keyword?

Joe (17:31):
So we are, we group them together. And so with the general campaign funnel structure, we will put all the manual keywords into our manual campaign. However, there are some other strategies that we can utilize, like ranking campaigns, where we separate out a few, we call them hero. Keywords are really solid keywords that should convert really well. Those can go into their own campaign structure cause they have a little bit different goals. And so probably good to differentiate. So for the general funnel structure, so again, auto it’s either manual keyword or manual product target. The key thing that we’re trying to do there is discover new keywords or product targets that convert well and then move them downstream to get more exact on what we can set our bids. Another campaign that we can set up, we call it a ranking campaign.

Joe (18:24):
And so for instance in your example, if you have a product listing and it’s getting a couple of sales a day but it’s not generating as many sales as you’d like, and you know, that it should rank well for a certain keywords. So we can just focus on the coldness here. So say I’ve got, I’m selling red winter gloves and they’re for men. So the keyword red winter gloves for men, I know that I should rank well and I should convert well for that term. And so what I can do is I can put that specific keyword into a ranking campaign. And then I can say for this objective, I really just want to own this keyword. I want to own this search term. And so I’m going to bid pretty aggressively. And when I bid pretty aggressively, I know that I’m going to get some of those top spots.

Joe (19:18):
Like the top of search placement tends to convert really well. And what happens there is when I own that top spot people tend to convert better meaning when they click over, they’re going to buy more frequently when they do that. That gives an awesome insight for Amazon saying, okay, this product just converted well for red winter gloves for men. So it must be relevant. So on the organic ranking, I’m going to increase their ranking because they just converted well. And now another sale came in on the ad side for red winter gloves for men, they must be really relevant. I’m going to increase the ranking again. And so what can happen is that with these ranking campaigns, especially when you’re trying to own the top converting spots for your ads, they can help your organic rankings and with your organic rankings, that’s where you’re going to make the majority of your profit.

Joe (20:08):
So that’s how it can tie in to get that listing established using these ranking campaigns where you get very aggressive on your bids for very specific keywords. And then you also use placement adjustments. So I want to target top of search. So I want to target the top spot that shows a break below the search bar. Those tend to convert twice as well as other placements. So let me get a high bid, a high top of search placement adjustment with a very narrow targeted range of keywords, and that can help me rank well for those keywords and get my product listing established

Todd (20:42):
For sure. And just to clarify a ranking campaign, that’s an internal name for you guys. It’s not an actual campaign name that Amazon has,

Joe (20:53):
Correct? Yep. And so it is a sponsored product manual campaign. And so I would set them up as a sponsored products, manual campaign, and I could use an exact keyword if I want to target red winter gloves for men, or if I want to target say red winter gloves, but I don’t want to specify a format. I can also do it as a phrase match type, but typically I would stick with exact to start off with and just find some different search phrases that, you know, you should convert really well and rank for, and specifically target those. But again, sponsored products, manual campaign right there that we call ranking just based off of the strategy we implement.

Todd (21:35):
Yep. And I think what I love about your example is that it’s a long tail red winter gloves for men and not just winter gloves, which you probably get destroyed on or ton of money to try to rank for that.

Joe (21:50):
Yeah. And that’s a great point that is that you want to be long tail, especially when you’re starting these campaigns. So if I just target gloves, all right, they could be looking for automotive repair gloves or medical gloves or it there’s so many different types. And so if I show up at the top spot for gloves, yes, there’s a ton of volume, but it’s probably not going to convert well because there’s such a wide range. You know, the people would type in gloves and are really looking for red winter gloves for men is probably pretty low. And so you want to make sure that you’ve got a very long tail keyword. So, you know, just look at it from the customer’s perspective, if they search for this term, is my product gonna be exactly what they’re looking for? Or could there be other products that they’re looking forward to? So definitely start on the long tail side. And then if those convert really well, now you can start looking at more shorter tail or a more general keywords to target. So as you’re definitely, you’re probably not going to want to bid as aggressively there because your conversion rate’s going to be lower just because people may not be searching for your specific product.

Todd (23:04):
Yup. For sure. You can use them as seed campaigns though, right. Define those long tail.

Joe (23:10):
Yes. Yep. And so seeding campaigns are really fun too. So what we can do, so that’s another campaign type that we set up. This is just another sponsor products manual campaign that we implement. So what we can do is we look at our search term report and we can find what’s the highest density keywords that we see. And so for that instance, we could actually use gloves as a broader or phrase keyword in our seeding campaigns, very general, but what we want to do there is set the bid really. So instead of bidding a dollar for the very long tail keywords, I could bid 10 cents for this very general keyword. What’s going to happen is it’s not going to convert as well, but because I’m paying so much less per click, I can take it out. And then from those seeding keywords, now I can find other long tail versions of how people found my products. And then I can move those downstream into my more exact campaigns that I have in my campaign funnel structure, or if they’re doing really well and they make sense they’re super high relevancy, I can move them into my ranking campaigns. So seeding campaigns are another fun one that you can take these more general search terms or yeah, the more general keywords, just make sure that you’ve been in really low because they’re not going to convert as well for you.

Todd (24:37):
Yeah. Yeah. And you might find some crazy keyword that you never thought of. Like, I dunno, spun yarn, red, winter gloves or something.

Joe (24:47):
It is always amazing to find how some people search for things and find what they’re looking for,

Todd (24:54):
For sure. All right. Awesome. Very good. So we’ve got our campaigns set out, but one question that I get asked all the time and I’ll let you answer it is if I’m running these sponsored product campaigns and someone else has the buy box, aren’t I just running ads for them.

Joe (25:17):
Sure. And so with sponsored ads, what’s nice is that they can determine if you have the buy box or not for certain ad types. So if I look at sponsored products or sponsored display advertising it will only run ads if they send them to the product listing when I own the buy box. So that is a nice piece with those that it ensures that when you’re paying for that click, that click is not going to somebody else. That being said, they could still go to the product listing page and then find sold by other sellers and then potentially buy from another seller. But chances are, if you own the buy box, you’re going to have the best offer anyway. And they’ll typically go with those who own the buy box. For more general ads like sponsored brands or DSP it doesn’t necessarily take into account if you own the buy box for the specific products. So if you have other people who are also selling the products and could own the buy box I would first focus on sponsored products and sponsored display, making sure that th they’ll always make sure that when you pay for that click, you own the buy box once they go downstream.

Todd (26:32):
Yeah. And so here’s a question for ya. And I don’t know if anybody actually knows the answer. So give me your best educated guests, perhaps since you’re in the advertising world. Sure. So one of the things a lot of wholesale people are struggling with right now is Amazon has changed the way the buy box works. If there’s multiple people competing in, some people like get stuck in it. In your professional opinion, do you think there is any weight in running ads for a product, even if there’s multiple people on there and that perhaps Amazon will give you the buy box more?

Joe (27:10):
Yeah, that’s a good question. I would say that there’s probably not a direct correlation. Like if I run ads, now they’re going to give me the buy box with Amazon’s algorithms and who owns the buy box. I mean, typically it’s going to be the shipping type. So are you prime or not? What’s the location of, for the nearest available inventory when somebody is searching and then obviously the price point is a major piece of it. So I would say from the advertising side it’s probably not as big of a factor. If for some reason when you are the seller, you convert better than other sellers that may tie into it. And if you’re running these high placement ads that tend to convert better and maybe that helps. But I would just be grasping at straws there it’s it’s, you know, I think even if you talk with Amazon themselves, their algorithms are so complex at this point that nobody could give you a direct response. They could just tell you some conditions that tie into it. But in general, I would say you’re probably not going to see, like, if you’re not winning, so you’re winning the buy box 25% of the time, and you turn on the ads, I’m not going to expect a significant increase in the percentage that you win the buy box overall.

Todd (28:23):
Yeah. Yeah. I probably agree. You know, I don’t think even anyone, most people in Amazon know exactly how the algorithm works. I guess the way I just look at it as like a, you know, if I put myself in Amazon’s shoes and they can make more money from me with the ad, maybe it’ll help out enough. It’s hard to say possibly wishful thinking, as you say.

Joe (28:50):
Yeah. And I mean, it is a major, advertising’s becoming a major factor. So it’s this other hidden fee that you experience now with selling on Amazon. So there’s all of the different seller fees that you have, but now to really be competitive in the marketplace advertising is getting to be much more critical. So it is somewhat of a pay to play unless you’re in very niche products. But I’m not sure exactly how those two pieces would tie together between the listing and the advertising.

Todd (29:21):
Yeah. And that’s one thing that’s nice about wholesale is that a lot of times we’re selling maybe not super well-known brands, but a lot established brands a lot of times. So they seem to get traction a lot easier on Amazon than some private label products, even without running ads or anything like that. For sure. Having that brand knowledge ahead

Joe (29:42):
Of time is, is so big that a lot of private label sellers don’t do not have it all. So that, that is a huge leg up right there.

Todd (29:50):
Yup. Yup. Just when you’re scrolling through that list and you’re like, Oh, I, I know that brand from 10 years ago or whatever, for sure. Not a long time that it gives a little weight to those listings for sure. Now sponsored what did you call it sponsored brand and talk a little bit about that. Now you said that those run no matter what, right. Whether you have the buybacks or not. So those are the kinds of things we’re only gonna want to use when we have an exclusive.

Joe (30:22):
Sure. Yep. Yeah. And so there’s, there’s three different major ad types, so there’s sponsored products. And so that’s where Amazon advertising started. And so again, those are going to show up in the search results, like top a search or at the bottom of search results and then on the product page for sponsored brands. So sponsored brands are typically going to be like those banner ads that you recognize that show like three different products. Or if I’m on the product detail page, they’ll show up as like one box and there’ll be like brands related to this product. So those are also examples of sponsored brand ads. And so those are great. If you have an exclusive for say the entire brand to market on Amazon. So if you want to establish this brand on Amazon sponsored brands is a great way to do it.

Joe (31:13):
You can either link directly to product listing pages or else you can link to storefronts. So it’s to take it another level, if I have an exclusive deal with this brand, and I really want them to be established on Amazon, I can create a storefront for them on Amazon. And when I create this storefront, now I can list out the product listings. I can separate out the pages. I can make a really good brand story for these brands. And so what we see is from the sponsored brand ads, if you tend to, if you direct them to your storefront versus directly to a product listing, they tend to convert better just because you’re building up that brand image and they can kind of pick from the products that they want to choose from after seeing what that brand is all about. So it’s definitely higher up in the funnel.

Joe (32:03):
So sponsored products is like, I’m ready to make a purchase right now. I’m searching for this specific item and then here’s my options. Okay. I see this ad. I’m going to select that and go sponsored brands is a little bit higher up where, all right, I’m looking around and I’m trying to figure out what brand of detergent I want to buy. And so I’m not ready to purchase a specific product yet. I want to first determine what brand I want to purchase from. And then from there I can figure out what specific product I want to choose. So it’s a great way to establish yourself long-term as a brand for private label sellers. This is a key piece to getting a more longer lasting impact on Amazon. From the wholesale standpoint, I would say if you end up having an exclusive D deal with that brand then sponsored brands can be great. Again, just like everything know that you’ll probably want a longer term exclusive deal. So you don’t spend all this money building up the brand and then you don’t have that exclusivity going forward, too,

Todd (33:07):
For sure. And to do this kind of stuff, like setting up the storefront and run these brand campaigns, they do have to be brand registered, right?

Joe (33:17):
That is correct. Yep. So you need to have a trademark that you can show that you are the owner of that brand. So when you are setting up that deal, making sure that you can get brand registry access for that entire brand that really expands what you can do both on the storefront side and on the product listing side or on the, on the advertising side too, between like sponsored brands and sponsored display it unlocks both of those ad types.

Todd (33:44):
Perfect. So yeah, the way I envision it and the way I’ve done it is set them up on Amazon with an account. If they don’t already have for them get them brand registered, and then you can run those ads underneath their account, or or, and I should say, create that storefront. And those, those ads will run even if under their account, they don’t have stock of those products or not.

Joe (34:14):
If the product is completely out of stock, the ads will not run. So you have to have at least two of the three products that show up in your sponsored brand ads, at least two of the three have to have inventory in stock. So if you run out of inventory for a certain listing, it will not drive traffic to that specific listing. So that’s a good inventory aware piece that sponsored brands has.

Todd (34:39):
Okay. So theoretically what we could do, because we’re going to be selling a FBA under our own account, not necessarily selling under the brand account, but if we wanted to hack the system, you could probably be selling an FBA under your account, and then under their account at a higher price, just put like a couple merchant fulfilled in there. So if one happens to sell you just fulfill it from your own account and send it out, but that might be a way to kind of hack the system a little bit.

Joe (35:10):
Yeah. Yeah. As long as they’re advertising for, or as long as they have that inventory in stock then you can run ads for those products for that brand.

Todd (35:21):
Yup. Or if you got the exclusive, you could even, you know, you’re running their account and everything. So you could just send the inventory in under their account and you’re collecting that those sales anyways,

Joe (35:33):
For sure. And that could be a good way to keep the different separate to us. So now you’ve get, you get a good holistic picture on how your advertising is doing for those products, for the brands. All the fees are segmented to that one account too. So that could be a great way to go if you have that exclusive agreement.

Todd (35:51):
Yup. Yup. You just want to have a good exclusive agreement and even more important, a good relationship. The exclusives that I have you know, the piece of paper is not really stopping anybody for doing anything. It’s more of that relationship that you have and they know you’re doing good and, and they don’t want to mess up that relationship

Joe (36:11):
For sure, for sure. Finding people like you is huge to these bigger brands because selling on Amazon is not easy. So I’ve seen many brick and mortar brands or more established brands try to get into the Amazon ecosystem. And without somebody like you to help them they really struggle. So as long as you can drive those sales and build up the brand on Amazon, you’re a huge asset to them too. So it’s definitely a two way street there.

Todd (36:37):
Yeah. And I think that goes double for smaller brands as well, because they are definitely not going to have the expertise to sell on Amazon run ads and all that stuff. And I have quite a few exclusive agreements with smaller brands. And it’s really nice because you are talking to them and you’re typically just talking right to the owner. So you’ve got the really good relationship established there. And was it a lot harder for them, for someone from the top saying, okay, we’re going to do something else looked in that. Yup.

Joe (37:10):
Yup. That is a great point.

Todd (37:12):
Absolutely. All right. Perfect. So you mentioned one other advertising type. I think it was DSP, you said.

Joe (37:20):
Yeah. So there’s, there’s sponsored display and then we could touch on DSP too, which is another advertising type and there’s actually one other one that we can touch on too. So there’s the, the typical sponsored brand ads which are the banner ads and the brands related to this product. Another one that was recently launched is sponsored brands video. So if you’re ever scrolling through and the search terms and you see these videos pop up sponsored brand videos are really exciting ad placement. And so some spots where sponsored brand video really works well, is it gives you a way to differentiate your products quite a bit on Amazon, where each listing looks the same that pops up in that search bar. If I can see a video and the ad eats up a lot of real estate too it can really help you stand out.

Joe (38:10):
And so we see these ads convert about twice as well as the typical ad and key reasons are that I can demonstrate how the product is used directly from the end. So say if I have a product, like I have three kids, and so kids toys, like I love to see like the kids actually playing with the toys and how they work and everything. That’s a great spot for video ads or another great way to show it is like say if I’m selling supplements really helping to differentiate, okay, here’s the key ingredients that we have or here’s the key impacts that we see from this product. Here’s why it’s different. Just being able to really differentiate yourself overall. So sponsored brands, video is a cool one where you run it for individual products. But you can show the video alongside with the little snippet of the listing on both mobile and desktop. It eats up a ton of real estate. So if you have video assets and can work with the brand, or you could even develop your own those are great to implement. They tend to cost more per click, but they convert so well that they have been some of our higher performing ads that we’ve seen.

Todd (39:22):
Yeah, for sure. I can definitely imagine. I mean, if somebody takes the time to watch a video, they’re definitely going to be wanting that product more often than not. I imagine

Joe (39:32):
For sure. Yep. So if I watch the video and then I make the action of clicking on it, that shows I’m a lot more interest in it. I know a lot more about the product at that point, clicking on it. Then I would just by seeing the initial picture and title. And so that’s one of the key reasons why these tend to convert so well.

Todd (39:51):
And now are you getting charged there for just the click into the product or you’re also getting charged for video views?

Joe (39:58):
Yep. So it’s just the click. And so that’s another good piece is that yeah, people can watch the video. Okay. I realized that I’m not interested in this product. That’s not what I was searching for. They keep scrolling down, you don’t have to pay, so you only pay per click. So it’s really those high interest, high intent shoppers that are clicking, and that’s why they tend to convert so well. And that’s why bids have been driven up because people see these convert really well. But at the same time if two out of 10 people purchased versus one out of 10, I can afford that extra cost per click to drive them to my page because there’s so much higher intent.

Todd (40:36):
Yeah. And even if they don’t click, you’re still getting that brand awareness. Right. If they watched the video, you know, you, they they’re hearing your brand. And if they see that so many times they might come to know it and want to buy from it,

Joe (40:49):
For sure. Yep. It’s, it’s just another way of owning more real estate in the Amazon ecosystem. And so, and with that ad, you own a lot of real estate in a pretty prominent spot.

Todd (41:00):
All right. Very nice. Yeah. I definitely might have to try those sometime here. I’ve got my own private label product as well, so I’ll definitely try it for that at some point.

Joe (41:09):
Yeah. Yeah. There, there are a lot of fun. Another ad type is sponsored display. So we had sponsored products, sponsored brands, including sponsored brand video. And then the third sponsored ad type is sponsored display. And so there’s really two ways to look at sponsored display. So one is product targeting. So with product targeting what you can do is you can get those ad placements that you see sometimes below the buy box or below the bullet points. And so these are pretty cool ads because you have a very prominent placement on the product page. And you’re not competing with a bunch of other products like sponsored products, product placement. You’ve got that carousel where it’s your ad, but then a bunch of other ones sponsored display. You were the single ad rate below that buy box or below the bullet points.

Joe (42:00):
And so you’re pretty high up on the product page. And so these are great placements just due to where they’re located on the product page. And so how will utilize these is once we have our sponsored products established now, how we initially talked about the campaign funnel structure and having that manual product targeting type what we can do with our campaign funnels is then use any product targets, those ACEs that converted really well. And then we can put them in our sponsored display campaigns. So for instance, if I have a competitor where my product superior, I’ve got a better price, I’ve got better quality, I’ve got better reviews. I can target this competitor so I can put in their ASEN. I can get my ads to show up. And so now I can own a bunch of the real estate on their product listing and drive more sales over to me.

Joe (42:52):
So that’s kind of one step of our conquesting strategy that we use to try to take over other people’s product pages with our ads and expand our market share. So that’s one piece of sponsored display and it’s all on Amazon ads. Then there is this views remarketing. And from there, what you can do is if somebody clicks on my product page, now I can actually target them with ads either on Amazon or off of Amazon. So if you’re ever browsing around on your favorite news site or weather.com and you see that product listing an Amazon ad, that shows up off to the right and it’s okay. I was just looking at this, like, you know, Amazon’s watching me, these are those ads that show up. And so they’re great too. Sometimes people need that extra nudge to purchase. So I’m browsing around I’m looking at different products and then my kids want to go outside and play.

Joe (43:52):
And so I just put the phone down and then go with them. And then I come back and I forgot what I was looking at before. Now as I’m browsing around and I’m checking out the weather it’s like, Oh yeah, I was looking at that product. I’m going to go in and purchase it. So there’s this remarketing ad type that you can utilize there. So it’s called views remarketing, and first sponsor display. It’s another fun one that you can implement. I would definitely wait until you’ve got the other ones established. Another piece that is great is for like repurchases and that really ties into DSP, which is kind of more advanced type, but for the sponsored ads. So you got sponsored products, sponsored brands, sponsored display. I would implement them in that order. Sponsored products is typically a 70 to 80% of spend sponsored brands can be 10 to 20% sponsored displays, usually about five to 10% as you go. So you can kind of just build up as you go.

Todd (44:47):
Okay, perfect. Yeah, I think we’ve covered quite a lot of really good stuff. One, one tactic real quick that I’ve heard about, and maybe you guys do it as well is basically controlling your own product page. Right. So if you’re the brand you have, they might be on your product page, but then you also have the ads underneath and sponsored products and everything else. Is that something you guys recommend? Yeah.

Joe (45:15):
Yeah. So this is one of the really fun strategies and it’s really fun cause you can just see it. And so we call these ACE and defense strategies and essentially what you want to do. So say going back to the red winter gloves, so say I sell a bunch of different winter apparel. So I sell hats and jackets or a bunch of other clubs. What I can do with these ASEN defense strategies is I’ve got my main product, my red winter gloves, and then I have all my other products and I’m going to target the ASEN of my own product. And so some people would say, well, why are you running ads to try to drop people off of your main page to your other products? And the key thing that you’re trying to do is you’re trying to push competitors off your product listing.

Joe (46:02):
And so I’m not necessarily trying to drive people to my winter hat that searched for my winter gloves. I want to make sure that my competitor, who also sells red winter gloves, isn’t showing up on my product listing. And so to fully do this, you have to use all three ad types, but you can start with anyone that you’re running. So let’s say I’m just running, sponsored products now with all those other products that I have within that brand I’m going to target that Easton for red winter gloves. So I’m just going to put that Easton in as a product target. And then once they come to my listing, now they’re just going to see a bunch of my other products in the ads and they’re not going to see my competitors. So there’s two major benefits. One is that it helps to improve your conversion rate because I don’t have those competitors that are showing up with the prime placements.

Joe (46:52):
I’m owning the prime placements with my other products. And so they tend to convert better because people are less likely to get drawn off the page. Another benefit is that say they go onto my red winter gloves, product listing, but that’s not the right glove that they want, but I sell another glove that they might want, well, now they’re already familiar with my brand. They click on that other ad and they convert. That’s great. And the other key piece is that like we talked about for sponsored brands video, you only pay when somebody clicks the ad. And so for the majority of the time, if your ads are showing, you’re not paying for it, but you’re owning that real estate. They only pay if they actually click on your ad, meaning they’re showing intent for another product that you have. And so from a cost standpoint, it can be pretty low because your other products are going to be pretty relevant.

Joe (47:46):
Typically, and even if not, the likelihood that they’re going to click on the ad is pretty low. And if they do, they’re already familiar with your brand and may purchase that next product as you go. So for ACIN defense, it’s really fun. Like, so we do this on sponsored products, sponsored brands and sponsored display, utilizing product targeting for all three. And it’s so fulfilling when you go onto some of our client’s product pages and then all you see as their other branded products showing up below. That’s why it’s so fun. And it’s definitely a very profitable strategy that we love to implement for sure. All right. Well, very good, Joe. I think we’ve covered a lot of really good topics and people got some good information if they want to reach out to you guys over at ad advance and have you guys maybe help with a brand or build some ad groups out, what’s the best way to get ahold of ya?

Joe (48:40):
Yeah. Yeah. So you can definitely come through our website at adadvanced.com or connect with me personally, Joe Shelerud on Facebook, LinkedIn, very active on those platforms. And then if you’re just looking to learn more of the details, so we covered a lot of different strategies and topics. We’ve got the ad project podcast where we just really walk through all the specific topics and kind of build it up like a good training tutorial. So for one tutorial, we’ll hit sponsor products. And then how do you set the right beds? How do you utilize negative keywords set up the campaign, funnel, structure, all that stuff. So if you’re interested in learning more and you’re not ready to hire somebody like us, but definitely want to implement it yourself. That could be a great resource to check out. Yeah, for sure. And I see you guys got that link right at thetop of your website adadvanced.com. Just click on the Amazon PPC podcast button. So anybody who wants to nerd out on ads, we’ll, we’ll nerd out with you. All right. Cool, Joe. Well, I really appreciate you coming on the show. It was awesome. Todd, thanks for having me. Thanks. Have a great one.

Announcer (49:52):
This has been another episode of the entrepreneur adventure podcast. Thanks for listening fellow entrepreneur and always remember success is yours. If you take it.

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