by Chris Jenkins, Amazon Account Manager
During the most important period of the year, businesses will be doing everything they can to make up their long tail and have their best Q4 to date. Our Amazon experts guide you through the best ways to optimise your PPC strategy for a fruitful holiday season.
1. Increase You Campaigns Budgets & Keyword Bids
During the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period, there is a lot more competition from other advertisers. As a result of this, you will need to increase your keyword bids in order to give yourself the best chance of winning the advertising auctions. We recommend increasing your keyword bids by 30% for the period. You will want to reduce your bids back to their previous levels once Cyber Monday is over so it is important to save a bulk file containing the original bids.
In addition to increasing your bids, you will need to increase campaign budgets to fully capitalise on the Black Friday traffic. Increased traffic on Amazon combined with a higher cost per click means you will need larger campaign budgets to keep your ads serving throughout the day. Too small budgets will result in your ads not showing for the most important part of the day.
If you do not have the budget to keep all ads live throughout the day then we suggest either prioritising your budget for only your most important products or scheduling your ads to only run during the most important evening hours. You can schedule ads using third party software or by activating and pausing the campaigns manually.
One final piece of bidding advice from us is to pause any automated bidding that you have running. During this crucial sales period, it is best practice to do all your bid changes manually. If you leave automated bidding running then you could find your bids quickly becoming inflated, especially if you already increased your bids by 30%. Another worry is that the automated rules will bid too low causing you to miss out on potential sales.
2. Create Special Black Friday & Cyber Monday Campaigns
In order to make the most of this period recommend that you create Black Friday and Cyber Monday specific campaigns. These campaigns should target customers who are searching for deals on Amazon. A quick way to set these up is to take your top-performing keywords and create variations with the terms “black friday”, “cyber monday” & “deals” included. In addition to this, we recommend doing additional keyword research using platforms such as Helium10 or JungleScout.
Additionally, if you have the data available, we recommend that you analyse search terms from the Black Friday period in previous years. You can use this data to help with keyword research in your Black Friday campaigns.
It is also important to make sure that you have these campaigns prepared in advance. It is a good idea to set these campaigns live on the Monday of Black Friday week. Amazon’s Black Friday sales start in the days leading up to Black Friday itself.
3. Reactivate Previously Paused Keywords
Another way to maximise sales over this period is to reactivate previously paused keywords in your campaigns. As advertisers generally see improved performance from their campaigns over the Black Friday period keywords that previously underperformed will often become profitable. As such, we recommend you review the paused keywords in your account and reactivate any you believe will be profitable.
4. Ongoing PPC Optimisation
It is important to regularly optimise the campaigns in the days leading up to Black Friday. Amazon’s advertising data is not accurate until the next day at the earliest so you won’t be able to make informed optimisation on Black Friday itself. Over the week leading up to Black Friday itself keep a close eye on your bids, budgets and keywords and make adjustments as needed.
5. Post Black Friday & Cyber Monday Actions
Once Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over there are several actions you will need to take.
First, we recommend reducing keyword bids and budgets back to their pre-Black Friday levels. If you leave keywords with their inflated Black Friday bids and budgets you will quickly run up spend and are unlikely to see a good return without the improved Black Friday conversion rate. This is why we advise you to save a bulk file containing your pre-Black Friday bids.
Secondly, you will want to review the keywords you reactivated in the build-up to Black Friday. The keywords you reactivated were likely originally paused for a reason and there is a good chance they will once again underperform. Some of these keywords may have performed well enough that you want to keep them active so we advise that you manually review these keywords.
Finally, we recommend downloading and saving search data for the black Friday period. This data will prove invaluable when it comes to informing and planning your Black Friday PPC strategy for next year. Amazon only allows you to download search term reports covering the previous 65 days so it is important to download the reports now or you could lose the data forever.
If you want to know how to prepare your stock for a successful Q4, read our blog: "Q4 readiness - stock and inventory".