Manage Amazon Ads Efficiently with Bulk Operations
- January 25, 2016 | Marcus DeHart
Getting started advertising on Amazon with Sponsored Products is easy. You create a campaign, group your ads, set your budget, and start bidding. Well, let me back up a bit. It’s easy if you’re advertising a few products with automatic targeting. However, if you’re advertising a boatload of products and are even considering navigating the waters with manual targeting, it's a little more work to set up and update campaigns using Amazon’s Campaign Manager.
Creating Campaigns from Scratch
When you find yourself ready to go gung-ho with Sponsored Products, I recommend investing some time in learning Amazon’s Bulk Operations. With Bulk Operations, you can create new campaigns, organize your ads, and fine tune your budgets and bids by uploading a single file.You can get started by downloading Amazon’s bulk template. It includes detailed instructions, field definitions, and examples of how to set up an upload that includes creating a campaign, an ad group, adding keywords, creating ads, and more.
If you're starting from scratch, start by creating your campaigns and enter your daily budget, start and end dates, campaign type, and status. Then create ad groups for each campaign, entering the maximum bid and status. Finally enter you ads using the SKUs you use to list your products on Amazon.
If your campaigns use manual targeting, you’ll also need to enter keywords associated with each ad group. You can include a bid for each keyword, or leave the max bid empty and use the default bid for the ad group.
If you’ve already created your campaigns then you’re in for a treat the next time you want to update them. Just go to Campaign Manager, select the Bulk Operations tab, and click the "Request Bulk File" button. This will generate a file that includes all of your campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords, and the performance metrics associated with each.
By default, the metrics cover the last seven days, but you can select any date range within the last 60 days. I recommend gathering the entire 60 days to make sure you’re getting as much data as possible. It might take a little longer to generate the file, but you can always come back later to download it.
After you download the file, open it with a spreadsheet application like Excel. I like to add a filter in Excel, so I can look specifically at ads or keywords to make my updates. The advantage you gain with your bulk file is you can see all of your ads, all of your keywords, all of your ad groups, and all of your campaigns in a single view. Within Campaign Manager, you can compare performance at the campaign level, but you can’t compare ads or keywords across campaigns or ad groups.
Fine-tune Your Budgets and Bids
Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS) divides the amount you spend on clicks by the sales associated with those clicks, so a lower percentage is better. I typically sort a bulk file by the ACoS column in ascending order. The ads or keywords that bubble up to the top will be my top performers. For these ads and keywords, I increase my bids, since people are clicking the ads and purchasing my products.
You can also add new ads and keywords to existing ad groups or create new ad groups. Add a new row for each ad, keyword, ad group, or campaign that you want to create and fill the appropriate columns. For an update, you only need to upload the rows that are changing. If you want to stop an ad or campaign, change the status to “archived” or “pause” or enter today’s date as the end date.
Upload Your File
Once you’ve made your changes, save the file in .csv format and return to the Bulk Operations tab in Campaign Manager to upload your file. Be sure to check the processing report to make sure there weren’t any errors. If it catches any, it won’t upload the rows that were in error. Fix them in your file and upload again.
Develop a routine of reviewing and updating your ad performance on a regular basis. Keep copies of each of your downloads so you can compare performance over time and make the minor adjustments you need to optimize your campaigns.