The Ultimate Guide to Using External Paid Traffic to Drive Up Amazon Sales

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Are you missing out on sales by not utilizing PPC (pay-per-click) ads on platforms outside of Amazon? 

When you employ a paid ads strategy, you are essentially buying visits to your site – and as you only pay when those ads are clicked on, there’s no surprise it’s a popular and effective method of driving sales and traffic.  

As an Amazon marketplace seller it’s very easy to get hooked on concentrating all of your resources and ad budgets within Amazon’s PPC model, but have you considered moving some of your efforts and ad spend onto other platforms that offer paid ads, such as Google or Facebook?

If you’re able to master these other channels, you may be able to give your brand a boost and increase click-throughs to your listings fairly quickly and easily – with great results for your sales and Amazon rankings. 

BRANDED explains how you can get ahead and gain an advantage over your competitors with some clever PPC tactics and a bit of patience.

Amazon Loves Outside Traffic

Fully embracing paid search ads can help your business grow, through reaching new customers and enhancing your reach and visibility in Amazon search results. The Amazon marketplace algorithm loves outside traffic, but it loves outside traffic that converts even more. 

Bringing in your own direct traffic to your product pages or shopfront is rewarded by Amazon, both with regards to your visibility on the platform and financially for vendors – the more native traffic you bring in, the better Amazon will rank your products and brand. Amazon values the ‘add to cart’ conversion metric highly, especially when it considers your brand’s ranking on the marketplace search results – so an investment in a good advertising campaign to drive these conversions can bring real ROI for your business. 

Additionally, Amazon is now offering their boldest ever seller incentive to encourage you to drive traffic from other platforms to Amazon listings and pages. Every time a shopper clicks on an off-Amazon ad and makes a purchase, whether that be on Facebook, Google ads or elsewhere, any Brand Registered Sellers enrolled in the reward program receive a bonus of 10%, in the form of a credit on your referral fee. 

Right Place, Right Time

So, when is the right time for an Amazon brand to consider branching out to PPC ads? There’s no exact answer – generally, if your brand is well established with good brand recognition or your products are particularly unique – or even if you’re seeing high customer demand on Amazon alone, it could be the time to consider taking your advertising to the next level. 

At BRANDED, our mission is to grow and accelerate our brands to successes they had never thought possible. Our teams of e-commerce experts apply specialist marketing strategy and shrewd planning to make the most of PPC campaign budgets and get the best conversions and sales possible for your business. 

Using PPC for Your Marketplace Brand – Which is the Best Platform?

Firstly, it’s worth noting that as an Amazon marketplace seller or vendor, your primary place of advertising should be on the Amazon channel. Make the most of Amazon PPC and spend some of your budget on sponsored ads to achieve good product placement on search results, as here your customers are already on their way down the funnel towards conversion. However – once you’ve mastered the art of Amazon ads, and you’re getting good results, that’s when it might be time to cast your net further afield to boost those sales and get even more clicks through to your products. 

Advertising on platforms outside of Amazon allows you to explore different targeting and campaign options and find a whole new pool of customers who may not already be looking on Amazon. But which platform is best for your brand? 

Google

Through clever and insightful reporting tools, Google Ads makes it easy for a business to test campaigns, devour data, and make educated decisions around what is working and what isn’t to get the most out of advertising spend. 

This is unsurprising when you consider that for many online shoppers, the internet starts with Google – and this is exactly where you, as a marketplace seller, can target new customers with clever Google search ads. Using Google Ads to boost your sales and promote your brand is an easy, low risk opportunity – and with a little ad spend and patience, you will soon start to see results. 

Social Media

Other opportunities for successful paid ad campaigns are on social media channels. With Facebook and Instagram monthly users reaching over 3.7 billion active accounts, there’s a massive opportunity to reach a huge new audience. Social media platforms have now essentially become search engines and e-commerce platforms in their own right, and using targeted advertising here can powerfully and effectively boost your traffic and conversions and enhance your brand identity.  

TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat and other social media platforms all have audiences who could be targeted with clever paid ads. It’s important to figure out which is the best platform for you, based on what your product is and the demographics of your customer base. 

TikTok shopping in particular is a growing and exciting channel being piloted in the US and Canada. Not yet available in all territories, it’s a channel to watch for the future, but will be great for brands to build a following and start a conversation with their customers. Pinterest is another great platform for brand awareness and driving conversions – here you can target responsive customers with both paid and organic ads and curate your content for a specific, receptive audience.  

Get Started with Driving External Traffic to Amazon

Our handy infographic will help you decide where your PPC strategy would work best, with a quick overview of the key strengths of Google vs Social Media ads:

How to Get Started – Paid Ads on Google

Best for: 

  • Product launches & promotions
  • Reaching new audiences
  • Targeting interested customers
  • Tracking campaign results
  • Driving traffic to a specific destination

Not so good at:

  • Brand curation
  • Customer engagement
  • Targeting interest groups & specific audiences

Using Google Ads as part of your PPC strategy brings a multitude of benefits to a marketplace seller. Primarily, these Google search ads are particularly focused and targeted towards customers who are already looking for a specific product, usually with intent to buy. Already, your conversion rates are going to be better as you’re placing your products in front of the very people who are looking to make a purchase. 

Another important thing to remember is that by using Google paid search ads, you’ve got the upper hand on many of your competitors. Your potential customers are going to be able to see your product as a standalone, before they see other similar items on the Amazon platform. 

To really get the most out of your paid ad strategy, tracking the performance of your Google ad in relation to your Amazon listings is key. Amazon Attribution is a free tool created by Amazon that allows sellers to measure the performance of their external advertising campaigns and thereby optimize and maximize advertising strategies and budgets. You will need to generate source tags in the tool to use in your campaigns, and from there you can see detailed analytics and insights and gain valuable insights on how your customers are discovering you and how likely they are to click your ads and convert to sales on Amazon.

BRANDED’s Top Tips for Paid Search Ads on Google

  • Test the waters: Google Ads is a particularly good platform for a brand to test the waters of a new campaign. Start by launching ads for your best sellers only, and review their performance weekly. Focus on one or two products at first to really assess the increase in clicks and conversions and see how your ranking is affected. You will soon be able to see where you can add new campaigns and adjust keywords and ad metrics.

  • What’s your end goal? Consider what products or pages you want to promote specifically. Ask yourself whether you’re aiming to boost sales for a particular product or a whole range of items? Will you be including any discounts to increase your conversion rates?

  • Quality is vital: Use carefully considered copy throughout your ad. Don’t forget to use good, clear copy which is relevant to your landing page. By ensuring you are producing good quality ads Google will rate your ads favorably, increasing your Google Quality Score and thereby decreasing the cost-per-click amount you need to bid for your keywords. Thus improving your ad ranking in search results and reducing your overall campaign costs.

  • Be focused: Start out by setting your bid strategy to focus on getting the maximum number of clicks. This can be activated when you start your Google Ads account, when you can instruct Google to give you the most clicks possible for your budget.

  • Get some real estate: Use ad extensions when running your campaign. Not only will you increase your physical ad real estate on-screen (thereby making your competitor’s ads less visible) but you can increase your chances of clicks and conversions with even more relevant information and compelling copy to persuade your targeted customers. 

Keywords are Key for Google:

  • Curate your keywords: Carefully consider what your ad keywords will be – these will form the basis of your PPC campaign and dictate how much your campaign could cost. Your keywords describe the product you’re promoting, and helps Google make sure that your ad is relevant to the searcher. There are many free keyword research and generator tools available which will help you to find the most appropriate ones to use. Remember, the more popular your keywords, the higher the bid you may have to place with Google to rank in search results.

  • Don’t neglect your headline: Your ad headline is the most important piece of copy your customer will see, so focus on one relevant keyword that you know they’ll be searching for to give them a reason to click (and purchase!) The headline copy is the most important line to get right. Use strong keywords you know your target audience uses to find and engage with your product. This could be identifying your USP or highlighting the materials etc.

  • What’s the destination? Think about where you want to send your customers once they’ve clicked on your ad. Your keywords will help define where customers are expecting to be sent, and by being specific, you are more likely to convert clicks to sales. A product-specific keyword, for example – ‘natural lavender dog shampoo’ – would naturally lend itself to a product page link from your ad, whereas a more general search term, like ‘dog grooming’, would perhaps be better for a storefront landing page where a customer can see your brand as a whole and find other products you have.

  • Consider using ‘Amazon’ in your keywords: And you may get a better likelihood of conversion. Did you know that many people actually start their Amazon product searches on Google as a first point of contact? Combining a very specific product search term with ‘Amazon’ means you’ll pick up traffic using Amazon as a jumping off point for surprisingly little cost. For example, a long tail keyword like ‘Amazon lavender dog shampoo’ would not only pick up external traffic searching Google for that particular product on Amazon, but would also drive those customers straight to your specific product page and to conversion. A word of caution – this trick is only useful for keywords on which you aren’t organically ranking for on Amazon – otherwise you may be cannibalizing a potential organic Amazon sale!

  • Protect your brand: If you are an established brand already, then you may want to consider protecting your brand by bidding on brand-specific keywords. Not only will you be safeguarding your brand identity but also you will appear on the all-important SERP (search engine results page), ahead of any competitors who may be trying to piggy-back your brand success. You can bid fairly cheaply on your own brand name as a keyword, and it’s certainly worth considering factoring into your campaign strategy – just be careful you’re not damaging organic sales.

At BRANDED, we fully understand the importance of the sanctity of branding, and ring-fencing and owning your own brand identity in Google search results is a vitally important consideration when looking at off-marketplace advertising. We take brand identity seriously, and when we start working on our brands, we prioritize getting the most out of your business with our specialized team of experts to ensure the continued success of your brand and the highest earnout potential for you. 

How to Get Started – Paid Ads on Social Media

Best for: 

  • Product Launches & Promotions
  • Targeting specific audiences & interest groups
  • Driving traffic to a specific destination
  • Brand curation & awareness

Not so good at:

  • Tracking campaign results
  • Targeting through keywords and search terms

Tapping into non-Amazon traffic through Facebook or Instagram is particularly beneficial when you have specific marketing goals you want to achieve, for example if you have a new product launch. You can generate legitimate, targeted interest from customers who are likely to click and convert. 

With the dawn of IOS14, Facebook in particular has become a tricky platform for tracking customers and targeting particular consumers, but by knowing your audience well and understanding your customers, you’ll still be able to run a successful and profitable campaign. 

On social media, content is still absolutely king – and this is a key consideration before you begin thinking about any paid ad strategy. Your ads will need to engage your audience, as once engaged, they are more likely to click and convert to sales. The potential for building a brand and growing brand awareness through careful content curation is one thing that social media does very well. 

BRANDED’s Top Tips for Paid Search Ads on Social Media

  • Know your audience: Tracking results and metrics from paid ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be particularly tricky. While tracking Google ads onto Amazon is a fairly straightforward prospect as it supports desktop tracking – Facebook Business apps and IOS14 does make Facebook a much harder platform to track Amazon conversion results. However, if you know your audience and have done your research into your potential customers, you can target them efficiently. Use Amazon Attribution URLs in your posts and ads and you can track metrics and analyze your campaign performance to a useful degree.

  • Time to launch: Social media is a great place to create a buzz about a new product or let your existing customers know about a new range or item. Consider curating a community for your brand by launching a dedicated brand page. That way you can target existing customers with your new products and give new customers a place to interact with you while creating a launchpad to your Amazon marketplace listings. After all, you’re already talking to a receptive audience! 

  • Content is king! For Facebook, Instagram and platforms such as TikTok, remember that content is king! Focus on producing high-quality ads and content:
    • Facebook in particular places a lot of importance on the creative side of ads – so make sure what you’re putting out looks and sounds good and is appealing to your audience.
    • TikTok is the perfect space for an out-of-the-box creative campaign
    • Instagram is ideal for those aesthetic shots and flat-lays.
    • Make sure you optimize your content and appeal to each platform based on its strengths – don’t be tempted to just use a blanket one-size-fits-all approach.

  • Be patient: Allow time and appropriate budget for testing out different campaigns for various platforms and creative strategies. By using all the tools and reporting available, you will soon be able to see which strategies and keywords are working best for you. But, be patient, it may take a little time to get the balance right.

Getting the Most Out of Your PPC Strategy

At the end of the day, ads are just the answers to questions, and usually the top sellers on Amazon are the ones who get all the little details right and spend time looking at their brand holistically and researching precisely where and how their PPC ads will generate the most clicks and conversions. 

At BRANDED, one of the ways we drive growth for brands in our community is with an external traffic approach. With our powerful blend of industry experience, financial, and technological expertise we have the ability and resources to truly scale the brands that we acquire. See the results that we’ve already achieved for some of our brands.

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