Whether you’ve written your book. Or you’re about to. Learning how to use Amazon ads is a profitable skill for proactive writers. As we all know, adverts help us reach a lot more buyers, and that’s a good outcome.
Mastering Amazon advertising is an indispensable skill if you’re a self-publisher. Since writing an excellent book and ensuring the book sells a lot requires different but complementary skill sets.
Truth be told, advertising is not a skill that comes naturally to us. In this article, I’ll share the salient points you need to know about using Amazon ads to sell more books. It’s a simple process and you don’t need prior experience. You can set up your ad campaign in minutes.
Let’s get started.
We would explore three major themes
What are the benefits and who qualifies?
The book advertising solutions available
How to run an Amazon ad campaign
What are the Benefits and Who Qualifies to use Amazon advertising?
What makes Amazon ads amazing is the fact that they are targeted. They help direct your ads to people who are most likely to buy.
The following are the benefits of Amazon advertising:
- You can promote your titles alongside similar books and authors
- Get started driving sales of new releases as soon as they’re published
- You can attract new users through backlist campaigns
- Leverage genres, titles, and authors to target new users
- You can easily track sales and performance metrics
A backlist campaign is one conducted for a book that’s been on the market for at least one year.
So who qualifies? If you have a retail relationship or are using Kindle Direct Publishing, you qualify. It’s a service that’s available for book vendors in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific. You can access the services via https://advertising.amazon.com/books
Now, let’s explore the advertising solutions that are available.
Amazon Advertising Solutions for Book Vendors
There are two solutions available. They are:
- Sponsored Products
- Lockscreen Ads (available only in the U.S.)
Sponsored Products is CPC advertising that allows you to promote your books by listing each one on Amazon. The ads are shown to those who are searching using related keywords. Or who are viewing similar products.
CPC is cost per click. It’s a fair system where you only pay when a prospect or a buyer clicks on your ads. You’re not being charged per impression. You’re only charged when people show interest by clicking, and it’s cool because you get to control your budget. That’s to say, you can plan what you want to spend on each ad for a book.
This begs the question: What’s Cost Per Click (also known as Pay Per Click). I have hinted at it above. But, it’s one of the central cornerstones of Amazon (and online ads) ads, So it’s good we stress what it entails.
Apart from being one of the most effective ad strategies, it’s budget-friendly. It’s the highest bid you are willing to pay to acquire a prospect or a buyer. It enables you to control your ad spend. And that’s very important if you ask me. Let’s say you set a bid for $0.05. That’s the amount Amazon would charge you each time someone clicks on your ads. If 1000 people clicked the ad, you’d only pay $50.
Sponsored ads can appear at different parts of a page. They can be shown at the top, close to the search bar, at the bottom, or in the middle of the screen. How they are positioned is a function of the bid, keywords, and relevancy.
The sponsored ad creative is generated automatically for you. You can even use the option of selling in other countries, even those whose language you don’t speak. The system will automatically craft the ad creatives for you. Thus, increasing the reach of your ads. And the ads have the usual design that Amazon ads have. So users are more likely to click them
Lockscreen Ads are more targeted than sponsored ads. They are shown to prospects when they are using their Kindle E-readers or Fire Tablets. That’s when they “unlock” their screen. That’s where the name of the product came from. The ads are shown by genre, to readers when they are most likely to download them. They are displayed on the home screens and the device lockscreens.
You’re now familiar with sponsored products and lockscreen ads. So let’s proceed to the mechanics of setting up an ad.
How to run and manage an Amazon ad campaign
Type in the URL https://advertising.amazon.com/books and you’ll be prompted to enter the country you’re located in. Once you’ve selected that, you’ll be presented with options, such as:
I have a Seller Central Account
I have a brand account
I represent a brand…
Once you’ve set up your account, you could choose the option to use sponsored ads. If you do. You’ll need to walk through four simple phases: settings, ad format, products, and bidding. It’s a user-friendly process. But if you need any help while you’re going through any of the phases, click on the “i” button beside each facet of the process.
There are four simple things to do.
- Decide the duration of your campaign. Or you could opt for a campaign that has no end. Decide your budget.
- Determine the keywords you’re going to use. It’s a good thing to learn a bit about how to select the best keywords. This is because they are crucial to the success of your campaign.
- Choose the books you want to advertise and set the bid.
- Launch your campaign.
There are tools that you can use to help keep track of how well your campaign is performing. It’s super-easy to tweak any of the variables at any time. You’re free to set up your price, but it’s smart to find out what the average CPC is for the keywords you intend to use. The reason is, the more competitive your bids, the more likely that they’ll yield the intended results.
So, what’s the ideal bid? Amazon suggests $5 per day. But, the truth is that if you want to be competitive, you’d need to set a higher rate. There’s also an option to pay a minimum of $100 for a lifetime lockscreen campaign. Based on how in-demand your book is and your finances, this can be a steal.
The beautiful thing is that you get to decide how much you’d spend. So you can adjust it based on its performance and your strategy. If you’re using the ad to build a list by selling an affordable book, as long as you break-even it’s a good deal. Fortunately, the system is so simple and automated, you can tweak the variables as often as you like.
Before I conclude, let’s look at bidding (I bet you want to be careful about how much you’re spending). And you’d like to know how easy it is to manage a campaign. When it comes to bidding, you have three options: Fixed bids, dynamic bids – up and won, and dynamic bids – down only. Fixed bids are self-explanatory.
Fixed bids allow you to pre-select the amount you’d like to spend. While dynamic bids are when the Amazon ad system helps you decide what the bids should be. This is based on how likely it is that you’d sell your book.
Dynamic bids -down only: The system lowers your bid when the probability that you’d sell is low. While for Dynamic bids -up and down. It would also raise your bid when the likelihood that you’ll sell is higher.
It’s smart to select Dynamic bids – up and down, seeing as it can help increase your conversion rate and make more sales. By the way, the conversion rate of those who responded positively to your campaign. It is expressed as a percentage of the total number of people it exposes your ads to. If 1000 people saw your ad and 100 clicked it and bought your book, your conversation rate is 10%.
Managing Amazon ads is a piece of cake. From your dashboard, it provides you with nine states your ad can fall into. They are self-explanatory. You can turn an ad on or off, as you like.
The following are the states:
- Payment failure
- Out of budget
In the preceding paragraphs, we looked at the benefits of Amazon ads, the advertising solutions available, and how to set up and manage a campaign. Using Amazon ads is a simple process, and you don’t need previous experience.