amazon campaign structure

Amazon PPC Campaign Structure in 2021

9 min to read
Ihor Dubovetskyi

by Ihor Dubovetskyi

Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer, Profit Whales

Amazon PPC Campaign Structure in 2020

Before we dive into the flow and logic of Amazon PPC Campaign structure, let’s recap a few key things about it. It’ll take just a few heartbeats to do so:

What is Amazon PPC campaign?

It’s an obligatory top-level element of any Amazon Sponsored advertising setup. A campaign must include at least one ad group and have some unique attributes, like a daily budget cap, a set of negative keywords, etc.

How do I set up an Amazon manual campaign?

The most straightforward way to set up an Amazon ad campaign is via Amazon Seller Central Account -> Advertising -> Campaign Manager. Just press the “Create Campaign” button (it’s yellow and quite obvious) and follow the instructions. 

How much do you spend on Amazon advertising campaign?

amazon ppc campaign

You can get away with spending as little as $10/day on Sponsored Ads (e.g. on advertising a $5 military moral patch or $15 plastic bird spikes), or as much as $3000/day on promoting something like a dog barking collar. As long as the ACoS stays below a break-even percentage — it’s still worth it to spend more and sell more of that product! 

In the end, it really depends on four things:

  • How expensive are the clicks for keywords/ASINs relevant to your product?
  • How sellable is your product already, without Sponsored Ads?
  • What profit margin can you afford to spend on PPC advertising (what ACoS your product can tolerate)?
  • The size of the market you operate in.

The 3 reasons to utilize the Amazon PPC Campaign Structure 

Over the course of our Amazon PPC Advertising Agency service, we’ve defined 3 key reasons to utilize the Sponsored Campaigns structure. 

They are:

  • Clarity of results for a given strategy. Depending on the current business objectives, we can direct our budget to the most effective type of Campaigns (more on these in a moment) and see how they perform.

  • Ease of maintenance. A clear-cut Amazon PPC campaign structure allows a manager to easily access any part of it and make quick checkups for optimization as needed.

  • Differentiating between marketing objectives. We use different PPC campaigns to do things like drive sales and search new keywords to defend the brand from competitor’s advertising (more on that later). 

A solid and workable Amazon advertising structure is a boon to any Seller’s advertising. And yet, it’s only as good as the keywords and ASINs it hosts. We will dive deeper into those in our upcoming long read, “Amazon Keyword Research Techniques to Use in 2020.” 

Amazon PPC Structure building blocks

In essence, there are 3 levels of elements within any Amazon Sponsored Ads:

  1. Campaign level
  2. Ad group level
  3. Targeting/Product level

Ad groups are the fundamental level, where 3 key, effective ad factors meet. Here is how to structure ad groups:

  • product (ASIN) you want to be advertised 
  • targeting assets: target keywords, categories, or competing ASINs
  • negative keywords or ASINs that refine the targeting

As a rule of thumb, we always make sure that every ad group contains either 1 or a few very similar products. They are accompanied by keywords and targeted ASINs that correspond perfectly to said products. 

Campaigns, as we’ve mentioned before, serve to bundle all similar ad groups together, apply manual or an automated set of targeting options, assign them a budget, and apply placement bid adjustments as needed.

amazon ppc structure

We also believe that not just one product or similar products should go into one ad group — it should be this way for campaigns too. 

If we want to also advertise a different product — we prefer to make a new separate set of campaigns for it.

amazon manual campaign

This makes perfect sense if you think about it from a business perspective: business objectives often differ for different products. And separate campaigns allow us to meet these objectives with ease.

Even more so — whenever we face a set of parent-children ASINs, all of which a client wishes to advertise, we tend to reject this idea. Instead, we’ve found that advertising just one best-selling variation of them all yields better results in terms of ACoS.

amazon sponsored products ppc

And in so doing, we found that such Sponsored Ads stimulate sales of ALL variations, not just the one being advertised. This is because people can still browse the variation carousel at the product detail page to find a better-suited variation.

Also, the campaign-level placement bid adjustment instrument deserves a special mention. 

placement bid adjustment

Basically, it utilizes the notion that some products tend to do better when placed at the top of page 1 search results, while others sell better when directly compared to other products at Product Detail Pages. As the name suggests, you can adjust bids for all said placements at the campaign level. This impacts targeting assets en masse, essentially trading some extra budget for showing the products at more effective placement positions.

amazon bid adjustment

Well-structured Amazon PPC Campaigns save time

When the time comes to check up on how Sponsored Sales are doing, we tend to see that the bulk of sales are not generated uniformly by all targeting assets, but rather only from a handful of really strong keywords and/or ASINs/Categories.

A PPC Manager who knows where to find these targeting assets can be quick about checking on their performance and making necessary adjustments. The slow-performing assets do not require as much supervision and thus can wait for a monthly detailed review for optimization instead. 

Every campaign, especially manual Amazon campaigns, will benefit from the uniformity and order of a solid structure. 

amazon ppc ads

A clean and repetitive PPC Structure that groups all similar assets into Campaigns and ad groups has saved our managers no less that ⅓  to ½  of their daily optimization time.   

Amazon Structure amplifies selected Strategy

amazon ppc strategy

Amazon products can behave very differently in their respective markets. Some are just entering a blue-ocean market, while others are elbow-pushing for the Best Seller badge, while others still require a serious PPC boost only during high season.

PPC Structure incorporates all kinds of Campaigns and is reflective of priority advertising efforts. But if you look at it the other way around… you could iterate that every Amazon Advertising Strategy has some optimal PPC structure that boosts advertising performance best. 

Let’s see some example product VS market situations that call for one of Amazon’s typical Amazon PPC strategy and the PPC structure that suits it:

Amazon PPC Strategy 1: Established Amazon product niche, dominated by a few top-sellers + Amazon Seller (You) who wants to challenge them

An established niche with years of stable trading means that most of its customers are well aware of what kind of product they’re in for. The same goes for most present brands too.

Thus, to crack this egg open, you may want to apply the following strategy:

  • Challenge other sellers in bidding for all (or a selected few) top-selling keywords and have a special Campaign that allows careful targeting and control over it;

  • Leverage ASINs of competitors with weaker products to generate extra sales of their product pages (since your product is perceived as the better option);

  • Have a special campaign to intercept brand searches of your competitors and show your product next to theirs in search results (if your product is as good or better);

  • Make a seasonal campaign and stuff it with product-related keywords addressing the occasion of every major sale (X-mas, Mother’s Day, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, etc.). Activate it 3-4 weeks before the said occasion and get some extra sales.

Amazon PPC Strategy 2: Established product niche, dominated by few top-sellers + you want to just keep selling

Unlike the previous situation, the business does not pursue the objective of ice-breaking the niche with a new product but instead decides to just keep selling. Meaning you are not required to make a costly frontal assault on your competitors over the top-performing keywords. 

In fact, the situation is the opposite: you’ll have to ninja your way around top-selling keywords, as top-of-search on them would be too expensive for you. 

And your optimal Amazon Seller Ads Campaign structure will reflect this, as you:

  • Run a separate campaign for adding and testing new long-tail keywords that can generate occasional low-ACoS sales;

  • Run a campaign with top-performing keywords but on ultra-low bids. This can still generate sales from customers who are tenacious and like to study pages 2, 3, and 4 of search results in pursuit of the best buy. Something is better than nothing!

  • Run a campaign targeting some product ASINs that are complementary to yours. For example, dog treat dispenser + dog food, or diving mask + diving fins, or gardening equipment + pest protection. Of course, you want to target the best quality complimentary product that grabs lots of sales to be shown next to.

Amazon PPC Strategy 3: Established product niche, mainly small (usually non-Private Label) sellers + you want to sell more

This situation is typical in market niches like home decor or low-priced equipment and spare parts for commonly available items. No clear market leaders and pages upon pages of competition.

Tackling this situation calls for yet another special Amazon PPC Structure that helps you to:

  • Capitalize on a few exact-match keywords (accompanied by lots of negative keywords that you’ve collected over time) that DO represent your product effectively. And step into battle for showing your Sponsored Ads at the top of the search for them;

  • Run ASIN-targeted campaigns to make sure your sister products are present in the carousel of your own products and can be bought as a cross-sale;

  • Have low-bid, broad keyword campaigns that will harvest more future effective exact search terms;

  • Run a dedicated campaign for automated advertising on Category and/or other automated targets. In fact, it’s the only situation where these kinds of Sponsored Product Ads worked for our clients with any meaningful level of ACoS (15-25% and not the more commonly witnessed 60-90% for these types of ads).

Amazon PPC Strategy 4: New or badly-established product niches with few or no direct competitors + you want to get sales

Every once in a while sellers DO find themselves in a blue ocean. And it’s actually tougher than it looks when it comes to advertising. The strategy here must rely on display ads and Amazon’s automation algorithms to get the ball rolling. 

And the PPC Structure, again, should be reflective of this, with:

  • Brand name campaign. Yes, your product is rarely searched for by its characteristics, but people DO need to call it something. And chances are, it’ll be your brand name. I mean, Dyson is synonymous to vacuum cleaners, and Yo-Yo is a sort of a toy that is… well… you know. The yo-yo;

  • Target ASINs of complementary products that people do know about. Ideally if that product is sold by Amazon itself. On one occasion, we managed to squeeze an extra 50-60 orders per week off just one of Amazon’s own labeled products;

  • Running automated campaigns: all 4 types of them. This is probably the only time that you need to entrust your advertising success to Amazon. These campaigns do make mistakes and can be ineffective, but they are bound to get you at least SOME sales and get that BSR of yours going.

amazon ppc automatic campaign

Alternative to manually making Amazon PPC Campaigns

The above-described structuring does take effort and time to make work. 

And let’s be honest: not every Amazon Seller has a dedicated Amazon PPC manager to it. Or perhaps there is a dedicated advertising manager (or a few even) — but they are up to their chins in current work, already managing dozens of products, ads, promotions and whatnot.

But not to worry! A workable advertising campaign structure is still attainable to a Seller, as is keeping a competitive edge with 3rd party SaaS solutions. Like Profit Whales Zero to Hero PPC Amazon campaign creator

It takes Amazon PPC assistance a step further than most existing Amazon keyword research tools. It creates (!) and launches (!!) turn-key Amazon PPC Campaigns for your ASINs!

With just a few inputs from the Seller — it generates a fully operational Sponsored Product Campaign (stuffed with relevant keywords, clean campaign structure, smart bids, budget levels, and even negative keywords). And it does so in a matter of hours, not days!

amazon ppc campaign structure

And that is about it. 

A well-structured Amazon Sponsored Ads campaign can both save you time in optimizing it and reflects (and reminds you) of the marketing strategy you’ve committed yourself to right now.

Ihor Dubovetskyi
Co-founder, Profit Whales

Ihor Dubovetskyi is the co-founder of Profit Whales, the accelerator for Brands selling on Amazon, based on advanced decision-making technologies using Big Data & Data Science.

Ihor is obsessed with scaling brands beyond their expectations and building tools that will help Brands on Amazon scale faster and more efficiently.

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amazon campaign structure

Amazon PPC Campaign Structure in 2021

9 min to read
Ihor Dubovetskyi

by Ihor Dubovetskyi

Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer, Profit Whales

Amazon PPC Campaign Structure in 2020

Before we dive into the flow and logic of Amazon PPC Campaign structure, let’s recap a few key things about it. It’ll take just a few heartbeats to do so:

What is Amazon PPC campaign?

It’s an obligatory top-level element of any Amazon Sponsored advertising setup. A campaign must include at least one ad group and have some unique attributes, like a daily budget cap, a set of negative keywords, etc.

How do I set up an Amazon manual campaign?

The most straightforward way to set up an Amazon ad campaign is via Amazon Seller Central Account -> Advertising -> Campaign Manager. Just press the “Create Campaign” button (it’s yellow and quite obvious) and follow the instructions. 

How much do you spend on Amazon advertising campaign?

amazon ppc campaign

You can get away with spending as little as $10/day on Sponsored Ads (e.g. on advertising a $5 military moral patch or $15 plastic bird spikes), or as much as $3000/day on promoting something like a dog barking collar. As long as the ACoS stays below a break-even percentage — it’s still worth it to spend more and sell more of that product! 

In the end, it really depends on four things:

  • How expensive are the clicks for keywords/ASINs relevant to your product?
  • How sellable is your product already, without Sponsored Ads?
  • What profit margin can you afford to spend on PPC advertising (what ACoS your product can tolerate)?
  • The size of the market you operate in.

The 3 reasons to utilize the Amazon PPC Campaign Structure 

Over the course of our Amazon PPC Advertising Agency service, we’ve defined 3 key reasons to utilize the Sponsored Campaigns structure. 

They are:

  • Clarity of results for a given strategy. Depending on the current business objectives, we can direct our budget to the most effective type of Campaigns (more on these in a moment) and see how they perform.

  • Ease of maintenance. A clear-cut Amazon PPC campaign structure allows a manager to easily access any part of it and make quick checkups for optimization as needed.

  • Differentiating between marketing objectives. We use different PPC campaigns to do things like drive sales and search new keywords to defend the brand from competitor’s advertising (more on that later). 

A solid and workable Amazon advertising structure is a boon to any Seller’s advertising. And yet, it’s only as good as the keywords and ASINs it hosts. We will dive deeper into those in our upcoming long read, “Amazon Keyword Research Techniques to Use in 2020.” 

Amazon PPC Structure building blocks

In essence, there are 3 levels of elements within any Amazon Sponsored Ads:

  1. Campaign level
  2. Ad group level
  3. Targeting/Product level

Ad groups are the fundamental level, where 3 key, effective ad factors meet. Here is how to structure ad groups:

  • product (ASIN) you want to be advertised 
  • targeting assets: target keywords, categories, or competing ASINs
  • negative keywords or ASINs that refine the targeting

As a rule of thumb, we always make sure that every ad group contains either 1 or a few very similar products. They are accompanied by keywords and targeted ASINs that correspond perfectly to said products. 

Campaigns, as we’ve mentioned before, serve to bundle all similar ad groups together, apply manual or an automated set of targeting options, assign them a budget, and apply placement bid adjustments as needed.

amazon ppc structure

We also believe that not just one product or similar products should go into one ad group — it should be this way for campaigns too. 

If we want to also advertise a different product — we prefer to make a new separate set of campaigns for it.

amazon manual campaign

This makes perfect sense if you think about it from a business perspective: business objectives often differ for different products. And separate campaigns allow us to meet these objectives with ease.

Even more so — whenever we face a set of parent-children ASINs, all of which a client wishes to advertise, we tend to reject this idea. Instead, we’ve found that advertising just one best-selling variation of them all yields better results in terms of ACoS.

amazon sponsored products ppc

And in so doing, we found that such Sponsored Ads stimulate sales of ALL variations, not just the one being advertised. This is because people can still browse the variation carousel at the product detail page to find a better-suited variation.

Also, the campaign-level placement bid adjustment instrument deserves a special mention. 

placement bid adjustment

Basically, it utilizes the notion that some products tend to do better when placed at the top of page 1 search results, while others sell better when directly compared to other products at Product Detail Pages. As the name suggests, you can adjust bids for all said placements at the campaign level. This impacts targeting assets en masse, essentially trading some extra budget for showing the products at more effective placement positions.

amazon bid adjustment

Well-structured Amazon PPC Campaigns save time

When the time comes to check up on how Sponsored Sales are doing, we tend to see that the bulk of sales are not generated uniformly by all targeting assets, but rather only from a handful of really strong keywords and/or ASINs/Categories.

A PPC Manager who knows where to find these targeting assets can be quick about checking on their performance and making necessary adjustments. The slow-performing assets do not require as much supervision and thus can wait for a monthly detailed review for optimization instead. 

Every campaign, especially manual Amazon campaigns, will benefit from the uniformity and order of a solid structure. 

amazon ppc ads

A clean and repetitive PPC Structure that groups all similar assets into Campaigns and ad groups has saved our managers no less that ⅓  to ½  of their daily optimization time.   

Amazon Structure amplifies selected Strategy

amazon ppc strategy

Amazon products can behave very differently in their respective markets. Some are just entering a blue-ocean market, while others are elbow-pushing for the Best Seller badge, while others still require a serious PPC boost only during high season.

PPC Structure incorporates all kinds of Campaigns and is reflective of priority advertising efforts. But if you look at it the other way around… you could iterate that every Amazon Advertising Strategy has some optimal PPC structure that boosts advertising performance best. 

Let’s see some example product VS market situations that call for one of Amazon’s typical Amazon PPC strategy and the PPC structure that suits it:

Amazon PPC Strategy 1: Established Amazon product niche, dominated by a few top-sellers + Amazon Seller (You) who wants to challenge them

An established niche with years of stable trading means that most of its customers are well aware of what kind of product they’re in for. The same goes for most present brands too.

Thus, to crack this egg open, you may want to apply the following strategy:

  • Challenge other sellers in bidding for all (or a selected few) top-selling keywords and have a special Campaign that allows careful targeting and control over it;

  • Leverage ASINs of competitors with weaker products to generate extra sales of their product pages (since your product is perceived as the better option);

  • Have a special campaign to intercept brand searches of your competitors and show your product next to theirs in search results (if your product is as good or better);

  • Make a seasonal campaign and stuff it with product-related keywords addressing the occasion of every major sale (X-mas, Mother’s Day, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, etc.). Activate it 3-4 weeks before the said occasion and get some extra sales.

Amazon PPC Strategy 2: Established product niche, dominated by few top-sellers + you want to just keep selling

Unlike the previous situation, the business does not pursue the objective of ice-breaking the niche with a new product but instead decides to just keep selling. Meaning you are not required to make a costly frontal assault on your competitors over the top-performing keywords. 

In fact, the situation is the opposite: you’ll have to ninja your way around top-selling keywords, as top-of-search on them would be too expensive for you. 

And your optimal Amazon Seller Ads Campaign structure will reflect this, as you:

  • Run a separate campaign for adding and testing new long-tail keywords that can generate occasional low-ACoS sales;

  • Run a campaign with top-performing keywords but on ultra-low bids. This can still generate sales from customers who are tenacious and like to study pages 2, 3, and 4 of search results in pursuit of the best buy. Something is better than nothing!

  • Run a campaign targeting some product ASINs that are complementary to yours. For example, dog treat dispenser + dog food, or diving mask + diving fins, or gardening equipment + pest protection. Of course, you want to target the best quality complimentary product that grabs lots of sales to be shown next to.

Amazon PPC Strategy 3: Established product niche, mainly small (usually non-Private Label) sellers + you want to sell more

This situation is typical in market niches like home decor or low-priced equipment and spare parts for commonly available items. No clear market leaders and pages upon pages of competition.

Tackling this situation calls for yet another special Amazon PPC Structure that helps you to:

  • Capitalize on a few exact-match keywords (accompanied by lots of negative keywords that you’ve collected over time) that DO represent your product effectively. And step into battle for showing your Sponsored Ads at the top of the search for them;

  • Run ASIN-targeted campaigns to make sure your sister products are present in the carousel of your own products and can be bought as a cross-sale;

  • Have low-bid, broad keyword campaigns that will harvest more future effective exact search terms;

  • Run a dedicated campaign for automated advertising on Category and/or other automated targets. In fact, it’s the only situation where these kinds of Sponsored Product Ads worked for our clients with any meaningful level of ACoS (15-25% and not the more commonly witnessed 60-90% for these types of ads).

Amazon PPC Strategy 4: New or badly-established product niches with few or no direct competitors + you want to get sales

Every once in a while sellers DO find themselves in a blue ocean. And it’s actually tougher than it looks when it comes to advertising. The strategy here must rely on display ads and Amazon’s automation algorithms to get the ball rolling. 

And the PPC Structure, again, should be reflective of this, with:

  • Brand name campaign. Yes, your product is rarely searched for by its characteristics, but people DO need to call it something. And chances are, it’ll be your brand name. I mean, Dyson is synonymous to vacuum cleaners, and Yo-Yo is a sort of a toy that is… well… you know. The yo-yo;

  • Target ASINs of complementary products that people do know about. Ideally if that product is sold by Amazon itself. On one occasion, we managed to squeeze an extra 50-60 orders per week off just one of Amazon’s own labeled products;

  • Running automated campaigns: all 4 types of them. This is probably the only time that you need to entrust your advertising success to Amazon. These campaigns do make mistakes and can be ineffective, but they are bound to get you at least SOME sales and get that BSR of yours going.

amazon ppc automatic campaign

Alternative to manually making Amazon PPC Campaigns

The above-described structuring does take effort and time to make work. 

And let’s be honest: not every Amazon Seller has a dedicated Amazon PPC manager to it. Or perhaps there is a dedicated advertising manager (or a few even) — but they are up to their chins in current work, already managing dozens of products, ads, promotions and whatnot.

But not to worry! A workable advertising campaign structure is still attainable to a Seller, as is keeping a competitive edge with 3rd party SaaS solutions. Like Profit Whales Zero to Hero PPC Amazon campaign creator

It takes Amazon PPC assistance a step further than most existing Amazon keyword research tools. It creates (!) and launches (!!) turn-key Amazon PPC Campaigns for your ASINs!

With just a few inputs from the Seller — it generates a fully operational Sponsored Product Campaign (stuffed with relevant keywords, clean campaign structure, smart bids, budget levels, and even negative keywords). And it does so in a matter of hours, not days!

amazon ppc campaign structure

And that is about it. 

A well-structured Amazon Sponsored Ads campaign can both save you time in optimizing it and reflects (and reminds you) of the marketing strategy you’ve committed yourself to right now.

Ihor Dubovetskyi
Co-founder, Profit Whales

Ihor Dubovetskyi is the co-founder of Profit Whales, the accelerator for Brands selling on Amazon, based on advanced decision-making technologies using Big Data & Data Science.

Ihor is obsessed with scaling brands beyond their expectations and building tools that will help Brands on Amazon scale faster and more efficiently.

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Ihor Dubovetskyi

Ihor Dubovetskyi

Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer, Profit Whales