In this post ALLi Watchdog John Doppler shares the insights he has gained from a great collaborative project with the author collective of which he's a part. By working together on their AMS advertising, they've amassed a larger data set and therefore more statistically significant insights than an author working isolation. He has generously compiled this checklist of top tips to optimise the success of YOUR Amazon keyword ads.
I'm managing AMS ads for a few authors in my collective, and the also-boughts for every book we're promoting are among the best I've seen.
Effectively being able to choose your also-boughts is a fantastic fringe benefit to an AMS campaign.
Also-boughts are the books Amazon lists on your book detail page to show what other customers are buying alongside yours.
It's a factor in which books Amazon suggests to readers.
If a significant percentage of Book A's readers also buy Book B, then Amazon is likely to recommend Book B to folks looking up A, because they know that it's a good match.
So, having similar also-boughts can:
(a) help drive traffic to your book
(b) persuade shoppers that this is a book they might like
With Some Provisos…
It's not quite a two-way street, though. If people who buy your book also buy JK Rowling‘s books, then Harry Potter might show up in your also-boughts, but you haven't got a prayer of showing up in Rowling's also-boughts. She has a lot more sales, and there will be best sellers that have more sales in common with her books than with yours.
AMS can be wildly erratic, and it takes time to fine-tune your campaigns, so don't let that get you down. There's some trial and error involved.
11 Top Tips for More Effective AMS Ads
- Gather as many high-quality keywords as you can — 300 minimum. (I prefer authors and titles, because those have been the most reliable source of sales for me, but I may just stink at choosing keywords.)
- Use manual targeting. Amazon rarely has good suggestions, so take what's useful, but ignore suggestions like “book book book”.
- Use small budgets, multiple campaigns, and modest bids to test your early campaigns.
- Ramp up your budget and bids when you know your campaign is effective. I generally start at $10 per day. (Amazon is very, very unlikely to spend that amount.)
- Try different variations of your ad copy to see what resonates with your audience.
- Be patient: it may take up to two weeks for a sale to register on your AMS dashboard. Watch your KDP dashboard for incoming sales to give you an early idea of whether your campaigns are paying off.
- If your book is in KU, be aware that KU downloads don't show up in the AMS dashboard at all. Monitor your downloads to see if there are any increases that might be attributable to the ads.
- If your campaign is not getting any impressions, try recreating the campaign. Amazon can be very erratic, and given two identical ads, one may skyrocket while the other doesn't get displayed at all.
- If your campaigns are consistently not getting impressions, you may need more keywords, or better keywords. Be sure they're relevant to your book's genre and subject.
- If your campaign is getting impressions but few clicks, that means people aren't intrigued by your ad. Take a hard look at your cover to be sure it's up to standards, rethink your targeting (keywords), and try different ad copy.
- If your campaign is getting clicks but no sales (and you've waited a few days for slow sales reporting to kick in), then either your ad is attracting the wrong people (e.g., marketing clean romance to thriller fans), or more likely, your book's description isn't closing the deal and needs to be reconsidered.
I've been looking at AMS ads to guide your also-boughts — but if your also-boughts are clean and strong matches, they'd be perfect candidates for keywords. The two work well together!
Important Note: AMS ads are available to anyone who publishes through KDP; no exclusivity required.
However, you must control the account that published the ebook, so authors who don't go direct to KDP (e.g. via Draft2Digital, PublishDrive, or an assisted publishing company) generally won't be able to take advantage of AMS.
OVER TO YOU Do you have any top tips to add to John's great list? We'd love to share them – please feel free to add them via the comments box!11 top tips for better #AMS advertising - a must-read post for #selfpub #authors by ALLi Watchdog @JohnDoppler #Amazon Click To Tweet
OTHER GREAT POSTS ABOUT AMS ADVERTISING
From the ALLi Author Advice Centre Archvive