10 Little Tricks to Achieve the Best Results from Your Amazon Ads
Amazon ads are a serious commitment--at least, they will require a serious commitment if you want them to make a solid difference in your sales. Amazon produces a variety of promotions and advertising options to keep readers clicking, but it’s up to you to make the magic happen.
Authors who succeed in Amazon ads usually stick to an ongoing cycle like the one below. Nothing about it is “one and done.” It’s an ongoing process of optimizing and testing your ads to get the best possible results.
Are you up to the challenge?
If you’re ready to take the plunge and invest in creating a winning advertisement for your new book, here are ten quick tips to give you an edge over the competition:
1. Use the right promotion for your book.
Do you want a boosted listing, a text blurb or a full-screen ad that will display on the screens of Kindle readers? When you're starting out, it's a good idea to try a variety of different advertising options to see which one is the most effective. Don't box yourself into a corner by thinking you have to go with a certain format.
2. Study ads for comparison titles.
Check out ads for books similar to yours and see what they have in common. Look at what excites you and makes you want to click. You can use anything you like here put into your own ads and make them more appealing. This is an easy way to learn formats, text, and other elements when you're creating your own ad.
3. Use split-testing.
Split-testing, also known as A/B testing, is designing two similar ads and releasing them at the same time, comparing results. This more scientific procedure allows you to create ads that are more effective overall and save money in the long run. The two (or three, or four) ads you release can be almost identical, or they can be different. What matters here is that you're tracking your progress and learning what works. When you have a clear winner, you can take your advertising more in that direction for a strong boost.
4. Emphasize the atmosphere.
Regardless of which style of advertisement you wish to run, you won't have a lot of space to work. Your novel might contain a grand scheme of a fiction universe or dozens of different, intricately created characters. Your advertisement can only have a few words at most, and you have to use these words wisely. Aim to win readers over by feeling and atmosphere rather than by hard details and names.
5. Be prepared to spend.
It doesn't cost much to launch an ad on Amazon. If you can spare ten dollars, you can already secure a decent campaign that should bring in modest sales. However, if you really want an ad that will make a difference, you’ll have to tweak things and make changes frequently while observing your process. You’ll likely need to spend a bit (possibly hundreds of dollars) to be able to give yourself enough time to work and optimize your ads.
6. Run test campaigns before putting together your “performance” campaign.
The first ad campaign you run on Amazon won’t be what you end up with. It’s a good idea to roll with it and run several “test” campaigns before setting up your final “performance” campaign. These tests can be run on a budget and are a quick way to knock out a few A/B campaigns before you go big.
7. Track your progress.
While you’re running an Amazon ad, keep track of everything. Track your sales, track visibility, track clicks and conversions. Learn what keywords bring more readers to your book and which ones don’t. This isn’t just good advice when you’re testing and setting up for your performance campaign. It’s good advice for any time you have an ad running.
8. Allow yourself several weeks (or months) to learn.
Creating great ads is a skill, and it’s not something you’ll master overnight. If you run a quick campaign (two or three weeks), you’ll have only a limited amount of time to learn what works with your advertising and what doesn’t. If you give yourself a longer stretch of time to work, you can afford to be more flexible.
9. Optimize your bids.
Here’s where we get technical. Amazon’s advertising service works on a bidding platform. This means that you bid on different keywords for ad spots. The savvy way to do this is to look for low-competition keywords that people still actively search for and type into Amazon’s search engine. These keywords will have a lower cost because many writers aren’t using them--but they’re popular enough that you can get a solid return on your money when you use them.
10. Check your before-and-after sales.
Again, a lot of this comes down to tracking. Pay attention to where your sales are before you launch your ad. Check again shortly after, and a third time a few weeks after your ad has been released. If you’re running multiple ads or a testing campaign, track those as well to learn which is the most effective. This is the best way to know if your ads are working well or if you have some improvements to make.
The decision to invest in Amazon ads is a critical one and one that will help far more the more you’re willing to put into it. Don’t shy away from this technique--it can bring in legions of new readers and attract people who would not have found your book otherwise.
What has your experience been with Amazon ads? Please comment below or join my Facebook group for self-publishing fiction writers for further discussion.