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Organize Your Amazon Sponsored Products

  • Jan 18, 2016 | Marcus DeHart

Recently Amazon released some stats for its 2015 performance, including how Amazon Sponsored Products has grown. The company estimates that “global adoption grew by 100% among Amazon sellers in 2015.”

Amazon also reported that “During the holiday shopping season, clicks on Sponsored Products in the U.S. rose 200% compared with the prior year.”

These are just a few compelling reasons to try out Sponsored Products for yourself. But before you jump into the water, let’s get your feet wet so you know what to expect.

Here’s a rundown of how Sponsored Product manages ads through the online tool called Campaign Manager.


Before you create any ads for your products, you’ll need to create one or more campaigns. A campaign is defined by an average daily budget, a start and end date, and a targeting type. So you’ll need to decide how much you can spend in a day and how long you want the campaign to run.

For instance, if you’re running a campaign over three months, you decide what your budget is for that time period and divide it by 90 days to get your average daily budget. Having an average daily budget prevents you from running out of budget early in a campaign.

If your daily budget runs out on any given day, your ads stop displaying until midnight, when the budget is reset. If you don’t spend the entire budget in a day, the remainder carries over and is added to the next day.

Amazon Campaign Manager

Targeting type is a recent addition to the campaign structure. You can choose from automatic targeting and manual targeting.

Automatic targeting is designed to drive impressions, which you don’t pay for, in hopes of getting more clicks, which you do pay for. As the name suggests, setting up the campaign automates one of the most challenging aspects of advertising -- selecting keywords.

Amazon uses its own data collected for product searches by customers to assign all relevant keywords to your products. This not only saves you time in setting up a campaign, but down the road it will help you identify keywords that are more effective than others at driving clicks and sales.

Manual targeting enables you to select just the keywords you want to use for your products. For automatic targeting, you have one bid that applies to all keywords, but with manual targeting you can adjust your bid for each keyword.

Ad Groups

Once you've created your campaign, you’ll need to organize your products into groups. These ad groups should contain similar products that will share keywords.

The more specific you are with grouping your ads, the more effective you’re campaigns will be. For instance, you could use a general grouping for kitchen products. But you could refine your groups more by grouping appliances or even more by creating groups for coffee makers.

Once you have an idea of the types of products you want to advertise, you will set a default bid for products at the ad group level.

Amazon Ad Groups


Into each ad group, you will add the products you want to advertise. Keep in mind that while you can include as many products as you want, they must be eligible to win the buy box in order to be considered for auction.


Now comes the fun part. If your ads are going into a campaign with automatic targeting, you won’t need to enter any keywords. But if you have a campaign with manual targeting, you get to enter in relevant keywords for your ad group. This is why it’s important to group your ads.

Grouping cuts down on your work. Amazon could have required you to enter keywords for each product, which would be fine if you only had a handful of products. Instead, you can be way more efficient by entering keywords relevant to all the products in your ad group. The more alike the products are, the more keywords they will be able to share.


Within Campaign Manager, you will be able to see key metrics, such as impressions, clicks, spend, sales, and advertising cost of sales (ACoS) at the campaign, ad group, ad, and keyword level. These are the core metrics that will enable you to refine your budget, bids, and selection of keywords.

There are also a number downloadable reports that can help you get a big-picture view of your campaign performance and drill down to specific keywords to help you more precisely target your audience.

More to Come

In the coming weeks, I will cover in more detail setting advertising goals, refining your keyword selection, working with bulk files to streamline your campaign updates, fine tuning your keywords with advanced match types, and more.

Pay-per-click advertising does require attention to detail, but can be a powerful tool in promoting your products and increase your sales once you master the data available to refine your ads and keywords.

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Avalara Author
Marcus DeHart
Avalara Author Marcus DeHart