Amazon has two types of marketing campaigns, "sponsored products", and "product display ads". Can anyone point me to information about how effective these are? I'm especially interested in what works best for fiction.
You set the starting date, ending date, maximum spend (in $) per day. You can choose any number of keywords and your bid to place an ad for each keyword. This takes a little unpacking:
- Maximum spending ($ per day): you are not charged when an ad is displayed (called an impression). You are charged when a viewer takes action by clicking on the advertising and being directed to your product site (cost per click). Obviously, this can get out of hand quickly, so you are provided a stop-loss in the maximum daily spending.
- Bid (per keyword): when someone searches for your keyword and the page is rendered an automatic auction is held by all eligible advertisers (including you) who want that keyword. The highest cost per click (CPC) bid gets the advertising space.
There is reporting for the performance of your keywords. Although the data is not guaranteed to arrive for up to 14 days, it seems pretty good about updating every 24-hours.
You will generate one advertisement consisting of an approximately tweet-length amount of text and pre-set information about your book.
The campaign must be "reviewed". This seems to happen during business hours and takes any where from a few hours to a day. Changes made on the weekend may not get reviewed until the next business day.
Things to keep in mind:
- Look at the reporting. It will tell you how your advertising campaign is progressing.
- Experiment to get the right results. This is the advice I see everywhere.
- If you are not getting impressions on your keyword, then you are either not bidding enough for it, or no one uses it. Try tweaking up your bid for a day or two. If the keyword isn't generating impressions at any price, you can reason that buyers aren't using that term.
- If you are getting views but not clicks, consider that your product is inappropriate to the other results. Try searching for that keyword yourself and look at what kind of not-sponsored content appears. Are most people buying non-fiction when looking up "programming", but your book is a coding mystery? Maybe a different keyword is appropriate. If the keyword still appears appropriate, look at other sponsored ads in that space. Compare them to yours. Does your ad need some tweaking to get clicks?
- Sales - Amazon Marketing Services is also good enough to track how many of these clickthrough ads turn into purchases. If people are clicking on your ad, but not buying your book, then you need to look at how you are presenting your work to see what you can do to close the sale.
- For keyword ideas try to naturally find books like yours in the marketplace. The search terms you use are probably the keywords you want.
Product Display Ads
These are limited to e-books only. The minimum ad campaign amount is $100.
You can bid to have your advertising displayed when someone is viewing a product that you believe is similar to your own, or browsing in a category that you believe is appropriate for your work. The same bidding scheme for cost per click advertising applies, but you do not select any keywords and there are no tools to control your spending while you experiment.