Exact campaigns are the most important Amazon Sponsored Product campaign you can set up. While Auto campaigns cover an incredibly wide swath and Broad campaigns help cover any cracks that aren’t covered, Exact campaigns are your foundation.
These keywords will only serve your ads if the query exactly matches. If you have ‘shoes’ as an exact keyword in your campaign and someone searches for ‘shos,’ your ad won’t show up. This doesn’t mean you should exhaust yourself by adding every single rendition of a keyword that you can possibly think of with plurals, misspellings, and any typo you can think of – that’s what your Broad campaign is for.
What Exact campaigns are perfect for are keeping track of the keywords that convert, valuable keywords, and especially branded keywords. It might seem odd to pay for your own name to show up in a search for your name – those folks are going to buy your product anyway, right? But that isn’t the case necessarily. It looks bad if someone searches for your brand name and your products don’t show up in the fist position; it looks like your brand is not strong; it looks like you might not care. In Amazon, the first 2 positions account for over 65% of all sales.
We like to think of our ad campaigns like a boxing match: Auto campaigns are your footwork – they move you around the ring looking for angles; Broad campaigns are your defense – they keep you in the match even when you see some strange technique; Exact campaigns are your punches – they are where you focus your time and money and you can knockout the competition with finely tuned Exact keywords.
Bidding with Exact Campaigns
Your Exact campaigns are where you want to be spending your money and strictly controlling your ACoS. Auto campaigns should be restricted by your default bid since you have little control over the keywords (and therefore spend); Broad campaigns should also have a relatively low bid as you don’t have perfect control over the search terms they will appear for. But Exact campaigns are where you can perfectly control your ad spend because you know the exact search terms that are triggering your ads.
So how should you bid? It depends on your budget honestly, but a general hierarchy is like this:
Unique keywords (product names, trademarked words)
Keywords that convert at a high rate
Keywords your competitors use
Seasonal or inconsistently converting keywords
Amazon is loyal to brands, especially brands that have gone through the Brand Registry process. This helps with keeping your branded keywords and trademarked slogans’ bids low for you while making them sometimes prohibitively expensive for your competition. You can safely max out your bids on your branded keywords because these are about as close to a guaranteed sale as you can get in advertising. The same goes for your product names and trademarks.
However, one caveat to keep in mind with product names is that these can be used by your competitors without running as much of a high priced competition as your branded keywords.
Keywords that convert at a high rate should pay for themselves, but these will have to be closely monitored as we are beginning to get into a much more competitive arena where your competitors will more than likely be advertising. One excellent direction to go at this point is the long-tail keyword. These can be low cost gold mines and should be guarded and protected while they can be. Long-tail keywords will more than likely come from combing over your Auto campaign’s Customer Search Terms report.
It is always good to have a handful of keywords that your competitors use in your exact campaigns. You can keep the bids on these low as you are simply looking to bubble up in these searches every so often to find a low hanging fruit type of customer.
Seasonal keywords and those that convert inconsistently are going to see fluctuations in their bid amounts. Around the holidays, you might increase bid amounts on the keywords that include words like ‘gift’ or ‘present.’ These keywords might see scant few conversions throughout the year when people are birthday shopping, but they are more than likely goldmines in the holidays when many people are looking for gift ideas.
The bid amounts for your exact keywords are going to vary and they will also depend on how much ACoS you can tolerate.