Ads are one of the most important elements to being a successful indie author, especially if you sell on Amazon. Nowadays, Amazon ads are getting more and more competitive, so you need to be on your A-game to make sure you’re making a positive ROI.
In this article, we’re going to look at how you can create Amazon ads that convert.
1. Know Your Audience
An overlooked aspect of your marketing campaign is the people who’ll be looking at your ads–your audience! You can spend hours on the rest of these steps, but they’ll be useless if you don’t know who you’re trying to target.
Your book won’t be for everyone, and that’s okay. Rather than trying to reach everyone, target your marketing directly to those who are most likely to read your book.
One great strategy you can use for getting to know your audience is to create ‘reader personas’. A reader persona is a short bio of a reader avatar that represents large sections of your audience.
With a reader persona, you’re basically writing to one person, which is a lot easier than writing general statements in your ads.
Here are some ways you can find information out about your audience and create your persona.
Use Google Analytics: If you have a website, you can find information about your audience through your Google Analytics dashboard. This will tell you a lot about your general audience including interests and nationality. Just check out the ‘audience’ section in your Analytics menu.
Use Reddit: One cool way to find out more about your target audience is to use Reddit, which is basically a hub for a wide range of online forums. The site is incredibly popular too and some subreddits (the particular forums) have great participation numbers. Just check out this Sci-Fi subreddit.
Find subreddits that relate to your genre and see what type of conversation goes on. You can also use a Reddit Keyword Tool that will scrape popular phrases from a subreddit.
I searched the same Sci-Fi subreddit mentioned above and got these results for keywords. This gives you quick insight into what forums in your niche are talking about.
Ask Your Readers: One of the easiest ways to get information about your ideal reader is to get info from the readers you already have. You can do this through email surveys, or even start a Facebook group to better connect with them.
Once you’ve got information written down, you can build a buyer persona on a Google Doc, Spreadsheet or any other way you see fit. HubSpot has a dedicated buyer persona builder that’s free to use. While the tool is built for B2B sellers, you can delete sections and add your own, so you can make it fit an indie author.
2. Get Your Sales Page Top Notch
A lot of ad success is placed on the ad itself, but your Amazon sales page is just as responsible for that success. If your potential reader clicks through to your sales page, the ad has done its job. Once your potential reader is on your book page, you need to make sure they hit that big buy button.
To get a top-converting sales page, you’ll need the following:
- A great book cover
- A book description that clarifies what your books are about, while leaving enough intrigue
- An author bio
- Keywords in your sales copy
- Positive reviews
Writing your sales copy is a perfect opportunity to use your reader persona from step one. Write your book description like that exact person (your made-up persona) is visiting your book sales page. What do they need to see to know your book is what they need?
3. Choose The Right Keywords
When you make your sponsored book ad on Amazon, you’ll have the option to either use automatic keyword targeting or choose your own keywords. Choosing the right keywords for your ads is exceptionally important.
When looking for keywords, look to target books, authors, and keywords that relate to your specific buyer persona. This will ensure all of your marketing efforts are aligned. And when your target reader searches for one of these keywords on their laptop, Kindle or eReader, you’ll have a chance to get an ad in front of them.
If you don’t want to think of keywords manually, you can use a tool like Publisher Rocket to generate over 150 potential ad-ready keywords in a few seconds. Then you can quickly export your list of keywords and either sort through them, or upload straight into your ad dashboard!
There’s also no harm in running another ad set that uses Amazon’s automatic targeting as another method to test.
4. Choose Your Budgets
Getting your initial budget right is important when it comes to Amazon ads. At the end of the day, you don’t want to necessarily sell the most books, you want to get the biggest return on your investment.
Amazon will give you a suggested bid rate for each of your keywords. This estimate is based on how popular that particular keyword is at the moment. Of course, you can adjust your bid rate for each specific keyword. I’d suggest starting with a low bid and trying to get your ad to rank for those keywords at that rate–that will prove your ad is relevant to your reader. Starting anywhere between 15 cents and 30 cents is a good jumping off point.
When it comes to a daily budget, look to set a budget between $5 and $10.
It’s important to keep in mind, only put in money you can afford to lose. While Amazon ads are great for selling books, there’s no guarantee that you’ll make a profit straight away. If you’re just starting out, start slow, and build your ad-spend as you get more experience.
5. Wait (This is the Hardest One)
After you’ve set your ad up, one of the most important things you can do is wait!
But, if you’re anything like me, you know how hard the waiting game is!
It’s vital to let our ads sit and do their thing while they gain momentum. Ads take a lot of testing to get right. What works on day one may not necessarily be what works on day two, and don’t even get me started on day three…
You can certainly check-in and make sure nothing catastrophic is happening. But on the whole, unless you need to, don’t make any big changes to your ads for about thirty days. This will give your ads time to position themselves in the marketplace.
6. Make Adjustments
After a month, log in and see how your ads are going. See what you can test and what you can improve. The things you should edit are:
- Your ad copy
- Keyword bid prices
- Your keywords (see if there are any you can add)
- Your book cover
- Book description
Don’t go all-out making all these changes at once though. Over time, make small changes and see what happens. For example, if, at the same time, you adjust your bid prices and write a new book description and your book’s sales numbers change, you won’t know what actually led to the change in sales numbers!
One thing I don’t recommend spending time frequently doing is deleting all your keywords that aren’t being used. You can spend 30 minutes every month trimming all the keywords that don’t have impressions, but if they’re not getting clicked you’re not getting charged anyway.
Your Amazon ads are an integral part of selling more books. Make sure you’re doing all you can to create ads that convert and make you money!
I’m 34 years old and an 11 year veteran of the US Navy. I was also a military kid and so have lived in all corners of the globe. But that’s not what defines me. After my family, my real passion is books, but more specifically the new world of Kindle e-books. I’ve made a pretty decent side income out of them.
You could say ‘I have a certain set of skills’?
If I had to describe myself, I would start by saying I’m a husband and a father first and foremost. But when I am not playing dress up or chasing the Bogey Man out of the closet, I am an online entrepreneur specializing in Kindle e-book marketing.