SSA #019: Protecting Your Author Brand on AmazonMay 13, 2023
Read Time: 3 minutes
I've been working with Amazon Ads for several years now and tested a variety of different tactics; some worked well, but most haven't.
And that's to be expected with any advertising or marketing platform; most of what you test won't work, but that's ok.
You only need a handful of successful tactics that will allow you to build a winning strategy, and you're off to the races.
Of all the tactics I've rigorously tested, there is one that stands out above all else...
Brand Protection Campaigns.
These are campaigns in which you target keywords that are related to your author brand (i.e. your author name, book titles, series titles, etc.) and your own ASINs.
Need some evidence that these campaigns work?
Here's a screenshot of the results from brand protection campaigns I'm running for my wife's books (USA only, January 1st - May 9th 2023):
To summarize these results:
Page Reads: 139,614
Borrows (estimated): 357
Conversion Rate: 30.9%
Cost Per Sale: $1.87
The numbers here may not be huge, but the important thing to remember is that you should never be looking at your Amazon Ads in isolation.
Each one of those 380 orders and 357 borrows helped to improve the Amazon Bestseller Rank of the books, which enhanced the books' visibility, and reach, as well as organic sales and borrows, which are arguably even more powerful.
A Waste of Time and Money?
Many authors running Amazon Ads feel that running brand protection campaigns are a complete and utter waste of time and money.
I have to disagree.
Brand Protection Campaigns play a key role in my overarching Amazon Ads Strategy, which I share in detail inside Jumpstart Amazon Ads For Authors.
Looking for more proof that these campaigns are worth investing in?
Search for any author on Amazon, and if they're not running brand protection campaigns, books from other authors who are targeting this author will appear above books by the author you're searching for in the search results!
In the example below, I searched for author A.G. Riddle. As his publisher isn't running any brand protection campaigns, books from 3 other authors appear before A.G. Riddle's first book in the search results:
There's a Sponsored Brand Ad at the top of the page (from another author), then 2 Sponsored Products Ads in the main search results (again, from 2 other authors).
It's not until you reach the third result in the search results that we first see A.G. Riddle's book, Quantum Radio.
What's This Telling Us?
In simple terms, Amazon is prioritizing Ads over organic placements, despite the relevance of those books in the organic placements to the customer's search query.
When a reader comes to Amazon looking specifically for your books, and you're not protecting your brand with Amazon Ads, every book they see that isn't yours, is an opportunity for the reader to be drawn away from what they came to Amazon to look for in the first place - your books.
And the beauty of brand protection campaigns is that the intent behind people searching specifically for your books is so high that conversion rates are generally through the roof.
The Same Is True On Product Pages
It's not just the search results pages where readers are likely to be drawn away from your books if you're not protecting your author brand.
Just look at one of the Sponsored Products carousels on A.G. Riddle's product pages in the screenshot below. None of his books are being advertised here.
Just look at the sheer number of books being advertised on his product page; each of these books is a rabbit hole for readers to disappear down and not return.
So, How Do You Protect Your Brand With Amazon Ads?
It's actually very simple and can be set up relatively quickly.
You create specific Amazon Ads campaigns that are targeting your own keywords and ASINs:
- Your Author Name
- Your Book Titles
- Your Series Titles
- Your ASINs
If you have multiple series published, I recommend you do this for each of your bestselling series – you don't have to advertise every single book and every single series you've ever written; that would be a colossal waste of time and money.
You're better off focusing on the 20% of books/series that are driving 80% of your results.
And as a bonus tip, if you have the budget to do so, I would recommend targeting your brand keywords in both Phrase Match and Exact Match, in separate Campaigns.
The Phrase Match keywords will allow you to find new keywords based on customer search behavior, that you can move into your Exact Match keywords Campaign, to be scaled up.
These brand protection campaigns are most effective when you are well-established on Amazon and have people actively coming to Amazon to search for your books.
If you’ve just released your first book, by all means, launch some brand protection campaigns, but as a brand new author, it’s likely that search volume will be very low, so your brand protection campaigns are unlikely to get much traction.
If you already have even 1 or 2 books published though, I highly recommend you implement these campaigns sooner rather than later – it will be time and money very well spent.
And that's going to wrap things up for this week.
Thanks for reading and I'll see you again next Saturday.
To Your Success