The Difference Between Automatic and Manual Advertising Campaigns

The Difference Between Automatic and Manual Advertising Campaigns

Your Guide to Amazon Advertising Campaigns

Let’s chat today about Amazon PPC (pay per click) sponsored ads and the differences between automatic and manual advertising campaigns!

I think besides SEO, advertising campaigns are one of the topics I get questions about the most. So, it's time for a blog post on the subject!

If you are coming from Etsy, Amazon Handmade advertising campaigns are similar to Etsy promoted listings. Still, there are a lot of differences, as well. When you run an advertising campaign on Amazon, your listings will show up as a sponsored ad within search results.

Amazon Handmade Sponsored Ads

See this top row? These are all sponsored ads. If your ad comes up and the customer clicks on the sponsored ad, you are charged an amount per click (which you set and have control over!). Hopefully, their click-through results in a sale!


The Benefits of Amazon Advertising Campaigns

There are so many benefits of running an advertising campaign, and it’s not just for the sales, although that is certainly the goal!


They can help a new listing get its first sale, and in turn, a sales rank on the listing.

This is an important one. We all know that organic SEO can take some time to really gain momentum. Sometimes running a campaign that is set up correctly can give you a much needed extra push on new listings.


They can be very profitable.

30 Day Amazon Advertising Campaign Stats

Take a look at one of my campaign statistics. If set up correctly and monitored or adjusted on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, they can be super successful. Even if you’ve never had success with Etsy’s promoted listings, you can have much better profitability with Amazon’s advertising campaigns.


They allow you to gain insights into customer search terms.

Like I mentioned in a previous post about brainstorming keywords, running an advertising campaign is also so beneficial because of the reports and data you will receive. Running a campaign is really the only way to see information on the exact terms or phrases a customer is using to find your items (or in this case sponsored ads) and clicking on them.

Use this data to tweak your listing’s SEO and adjust your advertising campaign keywords and bids! It’s a gold-mine of customer-focused data!


The Differences Between Automatic and Manual Campaigns

There are several key differences between automatic and manual campaigns. Here is a list showing their differences:

Amazon Automatic vs Manual Advertising Campaigns

Manual campaigns are basically more profitable because you have more control over your bids and keywords. You wouldn't want to spend the same for someone searching an exact search of 'red gemstone necklace' as you would for someone searching 'best friend ruby red gemstone necklace,' would you?

Likely you wouldn't want to spend (just as an example) 0.20 for exact searches of 'red gemstone necklace' and 0.05 for 'best friend ruby red gemstone necklace.'


What Type of Campaign Should You Run?

I usually recommend starting with an automatic campaign, letting it run for a few weeks, and then using the data from the report to create a manual campaign.

Yes, manual campaigns take more time, but you have so much more control over things which, if you spend the time on it, will make them so much more profitable!


Glossary of Campaign Terms

Amazon’s terminology for some settings and statistics when running a campaign can be confusing to the average maker or user who isn’t all that familiar with PPC campaigns. No problem, I’ve created a little glossary of terms and what they mean to you:

  • Bid Per Click - the most you are willing to spend on a click on one of your sponsored ads
  • Manual Campaign - a campaign where you manually choose the individual keywords and phrases that will be used to show your sponsored ads to customers
  • Automatic Campaign - a campaign where Amazon chooses the keywords and phrases that will be used to show your sponsored ads to customers. Amazon pulls these from your own listings SEO, as well as what they believe to be similar items in the same category.
  • Ad Group - an ad group allows you to group products together within the same campaign. For automatic campaigns, you would put items in 1 ad group that you want to have the same bid per click. For manual campaigns, you would put items in 1 ad group that would use the same keywords or phrases (now you see why I said manual campaigns take so much longer to set up!)
  • Daily Budget - how much you are willing to spend total per day on your campaign. This number is averaged out over 30 days. If you set a daily budget of $10, some days might hit $8, and some days might hit $12, but over 30 days, it will equal out to the daily budget that you set.
  • Exact Keyword Match - your ad will be shown only if the customer enters the terms exactly as you have entered them. If you have an exact match keyword on your campaign for 'gemstone necklace' and the customer enters 'red gemstone necklace,' your ad will not be shown.
  • Phrase Keyword Match - your ad will be shown if the customer enters the phrase exactly as shown, in the order that you've written it. Using the same example, if you have 'gemstone necklace' as a phrase match and the customer searches 'red gemstone necklace,' your ad could be shown. But if they enter 'gemstone pendant necklace,' it won't, because it's not in the same order or phrase.
  • Broad Keyword Match - for board matches, the customer just needs to enter the keywords, in any format. So, for the broad keyword 'gemstone necklace', your ad would be shown for any searches that contain those 2 words, in any order, and with any other words attached to the search phrase.
  • Default Bid - Amazon's suggested bid per click for your listing or keyword. Don't worry about these numbers! Start low and slowly increase over time until you find a good spot that works for you. This will be different for every niche, product and depends on the time of the year too. More people are advertising in November and December, which means you might need to bid a little more per click to be competitive.
  • Impressions - how many times your sponsored ads were shown to customers
  • ACoS - stands for Advertising Cost of Sales, and it basically means how much it cost you to run your ads. If your ACoS is 10%, for example, that means that for every $1 your campaign made you, it cost 10 cents. The lower your ACoS, the better! You really want to know what your profit margin is and what ACoS you need to make running ads profitable for you.


Do you have any other questions about Amazon advertising campaigns? Drop them in the comments!


Amazon Handmade Complete Guide to Advertising Campaigns

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1 comment

How should you leverage advertising search terms that result in sales in your listing? Always nervous to play with titles or is this ok. I am ok with Incorporating into description and Keywords for listing. Although keywords are only treated as individual words (not long tail) so if less value.


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