[PPC Den Podcast Ep.1] Why We’re Living in the Golden Age of Amazon Advertising

We finally did it. After months of planning, we’re happy to say we’ve recorded our first episode of the PPC Den, the world’s first Amazon PPC podcast. 

This podcast is important to us as we continue our mission to produce the best Amazon PPC content. Every week, we publish written and video content, but we wanted another form of content to our arsenal: An Amazon PPC Podcast. 

Not only is the podcast important to us, but it’s important to you–the Amazon seller. We live in the golden age of Amazon PPC advertising. This is the lowest competition is ever going to be to gain brand recognition on Amazon. Selling online is thriving, Amazon is constantly gaining customers, features are constantly being added to the Amazon ad platform, and then there’s us. At Ad Badger, we want you to dominate selling on Amazon. 

In the first episode, we introduce you to the hosts, lay down some Amazon stats, and even answer a question from an Amazon PPC professional. 

Episode Highlights:

  • [1:34] Amazon popularity according to the numbers
  • [3:50] Why we live in the golden age of Amazon PPC
  • [5:32] Average Amazon Conversion Rate
  • [6:47] How Amazon ads interact with user experience
  • [8:08] Why learning Amazon PPC isn’t as hard as it seems
  • [12:40] Q&A: How Should Agencies Get Started With Managing Amazon PPC?

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Introducing Brett and Michael

Michael: First thing I’d love to do is introduce my cohost, a man who just moved from Florida to Austin to be on this podcast and work with us here at Ad Badger, Brett Messieh. Brett, how’s it going?

Brett: Good, how are you doing today, Mike?

Michael: Not so bad. So, Brett, you’re pretty crazy. You just moved all the way to Austin. How has it been so far? It’s been about two, three weeks here in Austin.

Brett: It’s been awesome so far. The city’s been absolutely beautiful. Moving everything from Florida, all those pets that we own was quite the task, but super excited to be here, and excited to kick off this podcast with you.

Michael: Just for those who don’t know, you said all the pets that you own. Can we get a number?

Brett: Oh, boy. I think I’ve lost count, but we’re in the teens somewhere. They’re all well taken care of, though.

Michael: In the teens.

Brett: I’m not an animal hoarder.

Michael: We bought a zoo.

Why We Made the podcast

Michael: So, really the purpose of this podcast is to really let people know everything there is to know about Amazon PPC. It is one of the most exciting things going on in digital marketing. I’ve always loved doing paid traffic on Amazon, and we’ve looked hard. I’m pretty sure this is the world’s first Amazon PPC podcast, which is pretty damn cool.

Brett: Absolutely. I think we have a ton of awesome experience and knowledge to share with everyone, and if people are looking specifically for Amazon PPC tips, we’re going to make this the place to come for all of that.

Michael: Here’s why there’s never been a more exciting time to dig into Amazon PPC. Even before we get to Amazon Advertising, let’s just talk about Amazon really quick. Brett, we were doing some research before this episode. Let’s hit the people with some quick facts, some stats. The number of individual sellers is skyrocketing. I think it’s maybe doubled or tripled within just the last just few years, and it’s expected to do it again. In fact, in 2017, Amazon took half of all online Black Friday sales.

Brett: It’s pretty crazy when you think about it, and I think a lot of people are just now starting to realize how good of an opportunity there is to be selling on Amazon, and the amount of people that you can reach using that platform.

Michael: Just recently, actually, Amazon crossed over. Now, 55% of all online sales start on Amazon, which is pretty crazy to think. I know that number is probably even greater for me and probably greater for most people where over 55% of the things that are purchased now actually start on Amazon.

Brett: Speaking of close to 50%, I believe now that over 50% of households actually have an Amazon Prime subscription.

Michael: One out of two households are Amazon power users now. They went for Prime.

Brett: It’s incredible how fast the company’s grown, and I think it’s going to continue on that trajectory. I think that it’s going to continue to grow and continue to gain market share people love the convenience that Amazon brings with Prime and that two day shipping.

chart showing the rise in Amazon Prime members
Courtesy of Statista

We Live in the golden age of amazon advertising

Michael: Internationally, we pulled up stat. There’s been over a million new Amazon sellers internationally. That is a huge number. So, here’s the situation so far. The amount of dollars being spent on Amazon is skyrocketing. This is not a secret. There are so many sellers that know this as well. So, not only are more and more people shopping on Amazon, but there’s more and more sellers on Amazon leading to a huge increase in competition, which means Amazon sellers are fighting tooth and nail to get as much visibility as they can.

Brett: Absolutely.

Michael: Which is why Amazon Advertising has been thrown into the forefront. Amazon Advertising is Amazon’s fastest growing segment. They just topped a quarter over two billion in ad revenue which again is just doubling every year for the last two years. Amazon, if you go make a search on Amazon now, I was doing a source the other day. I needed to buy a cell phone holder for my car. I went to Amazon, typed in cell phone holder. 100% of what I saw above the fold, meaning before I scrolled down was all a sponsored placement. Google has never done that where 100% of everything you see before you scroll down on a big desktop was paid placement. Facebook has never done this.

You don’t open up Facebook and instantly see ads and you don’t stop seeing ads until you start scrolling down even further. So, the way that Amazon is prioritizing their ads, giving more and more screen real estate. You can see ads on top of the screen before you start scrolling down after a search. You see them in the middle of search results, again something Google has never did. They have it at the bottom of search results. After you click on a product, you then see product display ads on that individual product. You scroll down, you see organic suggestions, but you also see some paid suggestions as well.

Brett: It’s been working for them, too. I mean, the average conversion rate on Amazon compared to Google or Facebook is just huge compared to those.

Michael: How huge we talking?

Brett: I believe the average conversion rate for Amazon is around 10%, isn’t it?

Michael: That’s right. So, the conditions are so ripe for Amazon Advertising. We are truly living in the golden age of Amazon Advertising. I’ve been doing it now for over five years, and it’s still the golden age. Cost per clicks are much cheaper than you’re going to find on Google. Conversion rates are going to be way higher than you’re going to find on Google or Facebook, and these are the pieces on the chess board right now.

Here's an example of the kind of stats we provide. These numbers are per Ad Badger user, per day.

Amazon advertising vs other ad platforms and the opportunity of FBA

Michael: The actual statistics and the metrics are so primed for e-commerce sales, and the real crazy thing about this compared to Facebook Ads or Instagram ads where you’re scrolling down, you see something, it’s interrupting your process, and now you’re going and doing something completely different. You’re being asked to buy something. Or, if you’re on Google, and you’re typing in a search for what’s the best cell phone holder? All of those ads are going to be asking you to buy something when you just might be researching.

The thing that’s really unique about ads on Amazon is that it interrupts the user experience zero. All of these ads that I saw when I was searching for a cell phone holder, they were all pretty good products, products that I would have clicked on organically anyway. High star ratings, lots of reviews. I would have clicked on these products anyway. So, Amazon has this incredible experience compared to Google and Facebook and this incredible advantage that it interrupts the user experience zero.

Brett: It’s an absolutely amazing part of their platform. Another incredible thing that I don’t think a lot of people have wrapped their head around yet is Amazon’s FBA program is an incredible opportunity for people to just come up with a brand, source it, whether it’s locally or overseas, ship it right to Amazon’s warehouse without having to touch a physical product that they own. That’s their brand. You can sell your own products without even touching them now, and use them, and market them to Amazon customers using the PPC platform, and launch a brand that way, completely digitally from your computer anywhere in the world. The opportunity and the growth that we’re seeing in Amazon’s PPC program have just been amazing. It’s looking really good going ahead.

The Amazon PPC Learning Curve

Michael: That’s why this podcast exists. So many people, we answer questions all day long from people that write in that are saying, how do I get started with Amazon PPC? I don’t exactly don’t know what to do, because even though all of those things are true, that revenue on Amazon is growing, the cost per clicks on Amazon are still great. The conversion rates are still great. It’s still PPC. It’s still pay per click advertising. Pay traffic is technical. It is confusing. There are loads of spreadsheets that people need to sift through. There’s terminology like the difference between a keyword and a search term. Amazon is very unique about how its campaign structure needs to be set up. It’s a lot to take in.

Brett: Learning PPC and getting your head around PPC is probably one of the hardest things that you can do as an Amazon seller, but I think a lot of people need to realize that it’s not as hard as it seems at first. Once you get a good grasp of everything and once you end up optimizing your ads for good performance, these Amazon PPC program can actually transform your business and bring you those sales that you really need and the revenue you need to continue to expand your business and grow and add new products and really build out that brand.

Michael: That’s why we’re here, to sort of break down some of those strategies that we use and that we know that our clients use, and that other people in the industry are using to get their target result, whatever that might be, because again what’s really unique about Amazon compared to Facebook and Google, anything like that, is that on Facebook, when you click on an ad, you’re taken off of Facebook most of the time. On Google, when you click on an ad, you’re taken off of the search engine result page. You’re going to a private site.

On Amazon, when you click on an ad, you’re staying on Amazon, so the incentives for Amazon to serve certain kinds of ads, it’s very interesting. We’re going to get into all these strategies about what makes Amazon PPC unique, how to get the most out of it, and how to improve people’s ROI on Amazon advertising. That’s what this podcast is all about.

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Brett and Michael have a combined 8 years of Amazon PPC experience 

Michael: So, let’s talk about who we are. Brett, you have a really interesting background, which sort of led you to this podcasting table here in Austin at Badger Studios. Tell us a little bit. Tell the audience a little bit about yourself.

Brett: Yeah, so, before I came and joined Ad Badger, I was an Amazon seller for three years. I launched a brand, and it was pretty successful in the first year. It did over 200K in revenue, learned a whole lot, learned a lot about pay-per-click and I really began to love the technical aspect of Amazon PPC and how to properly optimize ads, and I stumbled across Ad Badger. It was an awesome opportunity, and here I am now.

Michael: Right on. For those listening, Brett is also the only person here in the office who can beat me in a typing speed competition, which is pretty impressive. I am Mike, and I’ve been optimizing PPC campaigns. Even though I don’t have a history of being an Amazon seller myself, I’ve been doing advertising on Amazon for e-commerce clients for the majority of my professional career. I did Amazon ads back when you could do ads on Amazon and send traffic to your Shopify store. You were able to upload a product feed. You were able to put your ad in a format, put your product in a format, and then when people would click add to cart or buy now, it would take them to their Shopify store. Maybe that was really-

Brett: You go way back, huh?

Michael: Maybe that was the diamond age, because even that would convert many times greater than a Google ad, to point it at someone’s Shopify store. People trust Amazon. I’ve been doing Amazon for a very, very long time. We have a agency where we were doing Amazon ads, Google ads, Facebook Ads for people. Really, what Ad Badger is, it’s sort of the Amazon PPC company. It’s the company that focuses primarily on Amazon PPC all day, every day. So, that is our introduction.

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Q&A: How Should Digital Agencies get started with amazon PPC?

Michael: Part of every episode, we do want to answer some user questions. So, we put a little call out there, and we got a question, believe it or not, Brett, on our very first episode.

Brett: I’ll go ahead and read it out. So, James from Ascent Digital sent in a question and asked, “I’ve been managing e-commerce clients on Google ads for about a year now. More and more people are starting to ask for Amazon PPC management. Should I say yes? How should I get started?” What do you think Mike?

Michael: This is a really good question. I think this is getting asked more and more often. So many people are sort of a website design company and also a digital marketing company. They all lump these things together, right? If someone’s building your e-commerce store and they’re also doing SEO for you, it makes sense for them also to do Google ads for you as well. However, more and more people are asking those agencies, “Hey, can we also advertise on Amazon as well?” The thing I’ll probably say, and you’ll probably relate to this as an Amazon seller yourself, managing a client’s Amazon brand is more than just PPC.

Brett: Absolutely.

Michael: What else goes into that? What else should James be thinking about?

Brett: A big issue, a big reason that we have to optimize bids the way that we do is because it needs to match a certain product’s conversion rate. There are a lot of different factors. That can go into a particular product’s conversion rate, but whenever we set a target A cost in order to optimize bids properly, we need to have a set understanding of what that product’s conversion rate is and the different things that can go into having a really good conversion rate. This includes listing optimization, which is how good are your images? Are your titles convincing and getting people to click? Do you have really good ad copy? Do you have really good reviews? That’s one of the main things that’ll really impact a conversion rate. We have to take into consideration all of these things and mix them in with PPC to try to get the best sales performance because there’s a lot of different aspects to every single ad campaign.

Michael: That’s a thing to know, James, is that even if you go out and create a perfect campaign for a client, there’s the other component, which is the organic side of things. I would just make sure that … definitely offer. You’ll find a lot of your skills from Google ads are going to be really good for Amazon ads. All of your bid optimization skills and your campaign structure skills and your negative keyword skills and keyword organization, all of those good things are going to be able to be plugged into Amazon PPC, and you’re going to get up and running really fast, because you’re going to know the terminology. It’s just a matter of, oh, on Google I optimize bids this way.

Then, on Amazon, I just need to tweak it a little bit. I think everything is going to be relatable for you, and you’re not going to bump into any huge issues. But, if Ascent Digital is going to offer that as a full on service, you just want to be sure that the clients that you’re working with are also going to have a general Amazon store management. Because, if they’re using you guys for all of their e-commerce management on their standalone website, their standalone Shopify site, and they expect you to do everything on Amazon, too, you just need to know where the scope is. But, in general, I would say, “Go for it.” There’s never been a better time.

Brett: Yeah, I want to pick your brain, Mike. What do you think it’s going to be like for agencies in the future in the next five to ten years? Do you think every ad agency is going to need to service Amazon PPC?

Michael: Everyone who works with e-commerce, I’m sure. I think it’s much more common today, if you were launching an e-commerce brand tomorrow, and you launch it, you launch your standalone Shopify site, you launch your Amazon store. Your Amazon store is going to get more sales faster. That can always be true. I know people that, they have their standalone Shopify store, but on the add to cart button, they have two add to cart buttons. One is to buy it right there on their Shopify store. The other is a button to take them off their website and go to Amazon. That’s crazy, but it works really well for this particular person. So, I think in the future, anyone working in the world of e-commerce for clients will probably need to know Amazon PPC, no doubt about it.

That’s our first episode

Michael: Cool. So, that is our first episode, Brett. We’re going to go ahead and wrap things up. Thanks for tuning in to the PPC Den Podcast. Again, it’s your source for all things Amazon PPC tips, tricks, and optimization. I’m Mike from Ad Badger.

Brett: And, I’m Brett from Ad Badger.

Michael: We hope you enjoyed this intro episode. Tune in next week, because we’re really going to start getting into the meat of Amazon PPC, really dig into some tips and strategies. So, be sure to go to AdBadger.com/podcasts for show notes and all the links mentioned in this episode. We’ll link to all the stats that we mentioned above. We’ll be back next week with even more Amazon advertising info to help you get the most out of every dollar.

Brett: That’s it from the Badger Den. Take care, guys.