Amazon PPC continues to evolve and those that evolve with it have the best possible chance of success on the Amazon platform.
On the podcast this week to discuss exactly how it is evolving and how sellers should approach this crucial marketing channel is Mina Elias.
Mina is the founder of Trivium Group who currently manage over $3 million per month in ad spend on Amazon.
In the episode we talked about how Amazon PPC has changed (but may not change much more) and how Amazon sellers can succeed by focusing on metrics that actually matter.
Spoiler alert; ACOS is NOT one of them!
That and more controversial PPC takes from Mina coming up in this episode!
00:00 Introduction to Guest: Mina Elias
02:03 How Trivium agency started and how it grew
10:20 Difference between Trivium and other agencies
26:44 What is changing in Amazon PPC and tips on how sellers can prepare
37:07 Where does Mina use sponsored brand videos
37:57 Importance of placement and how it impacts the conversion rate
40:12 Keyword ranking campaigns and match types
42:23 Future of Amazon PPC
45:50 Where to find Mina and Trivium
Hey folks, welcome back to another episode of the brand builders show. Today’s show is going to be all about Amazon PPC Pay Per Click advertising, you must master this stuff if you want to win as an Amazon seller in 2023. And beyond and to talk about it, we have got one of the the greatest minds in the space, I was gonna call you a guru then but that’s not really a good thing anymore. It’s a bit of a negative. So Mina Elias hopefully I pronounced your name right there. Welcome to the show today.
Mina Elias 00:27
Thank you for having me, man. I’m very excited. Definitely not a guru. I live and breathe, uh, you know, Amazon advertising. And, you know, we spend, right now we’re spending like $3 million a month, which is insane on Amazon. So we’re getting a ton of data, and we’re doing it profitably, obviously not just spending for the sake of spending. So I’m like a heavy practitioner. And I’m not one of those guys that built the agency. And now, other people do the work, like I’m in there every single day, like, how can we be 1%? better? That’s one of our core values. 1% better every day. So like, how can we be a little bit better with the ads? How can we be a little bit more efficient? And so it’s kept me as you know, I want to stay as a practitioner forever. Because I feel like the second that I, you know, step back, I might be worried about like us keeping up with Amazon and innovation and stuff like that.
Ben Donovan 01:16
Yeah, I love it, man, because it’s changing so much, right. And that’s what we’ll we’ll kind of get into and talk through how Amazon PPC is different now to how it may have been 12 months ago. And I think a lot of people can fall into the trap of doing it the same way. They’ve always done it when the market is really changing. So we’ll definitely get into that. And I’d love to hear about a bit about the, you know, the journey of the agency, as well as obviously, the topic is going to be Amazon PPC. But I suppose that would be a good intro because you’ve done your story on loads of different podcasts, you’ve probably been on hundreds of different podcasts by now I see you everywhere. But so to give it maybe a little bit of a different spin talk to us about the agency, because that kind of establishes your credibility, of course. What What made you kind of get that started? Trivium. Right. The agents? Yeah.
Mina Elias 02:01
Yeah. So very good question. I started with MMA nutrition, which is the supplement brand. And in the end of 2020, early 2021, an aggregator reached out to me, they said, you know, we’ve heard you on so many podcasts, we’re looking for someone who can train our in house team, we’re building like a team. We don’t want to rely on agencies, we need someone who can train them to be, you know, really good at Amazon advertising. I said, Cool. I can do it. Here’s a proposal, here’s everything that we can cover, here’s samples of all of my work. And then they are like, Okay, can you run one of our brands, just to prove that you know what you’re doing, I ran one of their brands, it was me and one employee, and I was doing strategy. He was doing execution. And, you know, four months later, they’re like, you know, we have six other agencies that we brought on, and you have you brought the biggest improvement and returns for us on our brands. Let’s move forward. And I was sitting there thinking, I’m like, Man, I have a massive Amazon personal brand, I have beat the best that and an aggregator that’s raised 200 $300 million. I, you know, I can hire anyone. And they, they, you know, I’ve beat the best. And I enjoy doing this. I enjoy I enjoy like problem solving. I enjoy that whole aspect of Amazon advertising. And constantly like figuring things out and adapt. It’s, it aligns with what I want to do. And at the end of the day, I’m not married to selling supplements, or I’m not married to, you know, whatever i As long as it brings me freedom, freedom, financially, freedom of location and time, I’m building I’m helping people I’m adding value to the, you know, in exchange and making money. Let’s do it, why not? And that’s how the agency started. So I started there. And obviously, there was a massive demand of people wanting me to run their ads, and I always turned them down. I said, No, no, no, I’m not gonna do it. I’m just a brand, I want to have $100 million supplement brand. That never obviously, ended up panning out. I still have MMA nutrition does about 20 25,000 a month in profits, you know, pretty passively, but, you know, besides that, I’m like, Okay, I don’t think starting a company called me nutrition in when I was whatever 26 or, you know, and I didn’t know anything about business. That’s, that’s not going to be my home run. And I was just lucky that it actually ended up working and making me you know, pretty good salary. But besides that, I don’t think it’s going to be $100 million company, and I hit that fork in the road. And I’m like, you know, what, I actually, you know, people want me to do this. No one’s asking me, you know, with, you know, I need more, you know, hydrolyzed I’m gonna die without it. But people like my friend would literally call me and be like, please like, what do you need me to do? How much? I said, No, I don’t I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to get involved. I don’t want to deal with clients. And I was having these conversations all the time. Like every time someone would see me, man, I loved everything that you shared on this podcast. You give me so much Are you? Like, if you ever have an agency, let me know, I’ll be the first client that all of this stuff, and I’m like, Okay, I’ll be stupid to keep saying no forever, you know, especially because I should, you know, it’s business, you should never be married to a product, never be married to a business, never be married to anything, it’s at the end of the goal. At the end of the day, I know what my goals are, my goals are, it doesn’t matter how I get there, my goals are like, you know, to live a good life, provide for my family, you know, have freedom, all of this stuff, and it has nothing to do with what I do, I could, I could literally restart everything in the hospital industry, I could go start an engineering firm, and, you know, restart everything, it doesn’t matter. As long as I’m able to work, whenever I want to demonstrate a lot of value, add people add value to people help them so I can get money, money, you know, back, do whatever I want. Great, I’m gonna do that. So that’s how the agency started. And then, you know, as soon as I started announcing that I have an agency, it was just people, you know, one after the next after the next after the next. And the way that I did, it was a little bit different. So I know how traditional agencies built their teams, but I had my team built for MMA nutrition. And I said, Okay, I know the key players, I know, I need a senior strategist who understands the strategy behind, you know, long term. And then I need someone who’s in the day to day advertising, literally, like living, breathing, bit optimization, and launching campaigns and all this stuff. He’s living in the numbers. And I know, I needed a brand manager for all the miscellaneous for Amazon. And I know I needed an analyst because it’s, it’s, you know, it’s below their pay grade, when you are the ads manager, or in the end, you’re a strategist to constantly collect data and all of this stuff and, and present it in a nice way. It’s like it’s a lower hourly task than then living and trying to recognize patterns and tracking organic rank and all this stuff. So I built that team. And I said, okay, cool. How many brands do I think can can this team handle? And we started adding one Brennan at a time. And I would say, you know, how are you guys doing? Are you on a capacity? We added one brand, and then the next and then the next thing? We kept, you know, interviewing these brands and saying, what better? What can we do better? What more can we do? How can we be better? How can I serve you better? Oh, organic rank? Perfect. Let’s start tracking organic rank. Oh, market tracker, perfect. Let’s start tracking your market. You know, I would like this, can you merge my listings? Can you do this? Can you do that? And we just kept stacking the needs and the wants of these brands? And I’m like, okay, cool. Now I have a team that is serving brands in an incredible way. The strategy has always been there this like, we can strategize, right? But like, how can we strategize and also serve you really, really well. And then we ended up with, you know, something that’s, that’s very, very valuable, which is a team that that’s incredibly efficient, not managing too many brands, I think we average four or five brands per team. And then, you know, from there, it’s like, best analytics that we can give out best reporting best over communicating all of this stuff, we ended up with a great service. And then from there, it was just a matter of, you know, let’s let’s, you know, find the who’s the people that we add the most value to, and, you know, it’s kind of the people who are doing, you know, 10,000 a month in profit or more, because then our price point is not doesn’t hurt their bank too much. And we know that in a couple months, we can keep our costs, and then its bonus growth, growth growth. So, you know, ones that we found, okay, they have a good conversion rate, they just, they don’t understand their traffic, there’s a lot of unfinished inefficiency in their PPC. And so we dialed that in, and it’s like, okay, find more of those people, bring them in, continue to improve the service and continue that feedback loop of how can we be better? How can we be better? How can I think this is the thing that I do more aggressively than anyone I’ve ever seen? Every time I have a conversation with anyone, I’m like, can you tell me one thing that i i can mean personally be better at not not like the company, but just me personally. And I’ve just taken that to the agency. I’m like, if you if you guys are not every single day asking for feedback, how can we be better? How can we be better in every single aspect, or we’re falling short? Because you know, at the end of the day, you’re just trying to serve someone in to the best of your abilities. And just asking the question daily, you can constantly iterate. And that’s how we do over we have over 100 I think we have 104 105 brands under management and close to 60 people. And yeah, it’s that’s started, you know, from mid mid 2021. And it’s now early 2023. So it’s been a fast growth, but you know, a more personal brand, I had the personal brand to support it. I had the knowledge, it’s just it came down to a matter of making sure the quality doesn’t go down as we grow, because that’s the number one thing that I’m worried about is, you know, are we going to grow too fast and then things are going to start slipping through the cracks and I don’t want that to happen.
Ben Donovan 09:49
Definitely. Yeah, I mean so much to unpack for me there. I think they’re how you scale an agency without it. You know, the quality of what you do is a whole nother aspect. Have a whole podcast episode in itself. But in terms of like breaking down the PPC side of things, I spent my first question to you that first came up is when you’re talking about how you outperformed agencies for the aggregator. The first question, of course, is how like, what what did you do that was different to what top level agencies were doing?
Mina Elias 10:18
Yeah, yeah, I’ll tell you what, we are very, very, very in the details. And like, the other agencies use software, you know, they do all this stuff. We live inside of the data in Excel. We don’t we don’t rely on any software. We don’t need a software to iterate we don’t. And we understand. We everyone in the company has first principle thinking I put this controversial post up on and I want to ask you this question, too. Can you prove that the PPC sales you see in campaign manager are accurate? Not not attribution delay? Are any, can you prove that it’s accurate? How can you prove that that number that you see yesterday, it says that you made $1,000 in sales in a PVC sales? Can you prove that that number is accurate?
Ben Donovan 11:09
I mean, I guess you can’t think about it. No, no, you just trust it.
Mina Elias 11:14
Exactly. So you can’t now guess who figured this out years ago, Facebook marketers, Facebook, marketers would run it run an ad campaign on Facebook, Facebook would say that, you know, they this one got $1,000 in sales, this one got $1,000 in sales, and they go on to Shopify, and they only got $1,500 in sales. And they’re like, Okay, so who’s lying? You know what I mean? And they understood that there is an attribution issue. So they started doing things differently. They started saying, Okay, this one is reporting, this one is reporting, let’s cut down and let’s see what happens to our total Shopify sales. So they’re like, Okay, this one, you know, this one is doing this, this one’s doing this, let’s get $100. From here, what happens? Okay, we went from 1500 to 1400. Let’s get this one went from 1500 to 1200. Okay, okay. This is, let’s bring that one up, you know, and they started doing these things. And they’re like, Okay, and then there’s obviously software like triple wheel and all these other software that help you do that, but they figure that out. And then I’m like, I’m seeing all of these discrepancies in the in the patterns. And I’m like, Okay, I have, you know, these campaigns, I’m spending a little bit less money. It’s weird how the PPC sales, like, you know, if you look at the PPC sales, it looks like this very scrambled. I lower the, you know, this, they go down, up down, you know, I increase, they go down, it doesn’t make any sense. Let’s look at total sales. And so ignore PPC sales, you increase when sales go up, you decrease sales go down, you’re like, okay, cool. What’s, what’s the explanation? There’s something wrong in the middle, there’s, there’s a lack of correct attribution. So the data must not be accurate. Okay. And because we know that the data is not accurate. Now, I went to my team, I said, everything that we do is iterative. And everything that we do, has to tie back to three core numbers, your ad, spend your revenue, and your profit. Everything else doesn’t matter, your ecos tacos, this that, obviously conversion rate and click through rate are all good indicators. But what’s the true stuff? The true true true stuff is your PPC spend, you’re getting charged, you know, from your revenue, your revenue is real revenue. And if you run the date range report that ends up with like, Okay, this is how much money is being transferred to your bank account. And then your profit is the only number that really matters, because that’s how much money you’re gonna keep in the bank. And so, you know, people are like, I always get this question in, like a client interview, or like, you know, when we’re having a sales call, they’re like, What tacos Do you shoot for? I’m like, what, what does that even mean? Like, you know, like, what? Body fat percent? What weight? It’s this? It’s like, are we talking about someone who’s like, really big or really small? And so they’re like, What? Tacos the shift? I’m like, I don’t know. If I increase the tacos, maybe the profit goes up. If I decrease the tacos, maybe the profit goes down. So who cares about the tacos? Right? They’re like, yeah, actually, if you did lower the tacos, and the profit went down, I wouldn’t want that. So I’m like, so why do I care about tacos? I care about profit. That’s the important one. And so once everyone understood that I’m like, Okay, now everything else that we do. Yes, we do have some indicators, like what is a keyword that spending money and not making sales, this keyword, but when you’re going to add it as a negative, keep an eye out on on total sales. And if you start adding a bunch of negatives, and you notice the total sales drops, and those are all negative keywords, they’re spending money on not making sales that something’s up, then maybe they’re actually doing something but we don’t know. But because we’ve total total sales rep. They shouldn’t if you have keywords that are spending money, not making sales, you negative them, you should spend less money and make the same sales they weren’t contributing. So now that the team understood that, that’s how we started outperforming people. That was the first part is we stopped looking at the wrong things and the in between things. And we looked at the end the ends, like PPC spend, I can control, you know, sessions, I don’t know, maybe sessions is accurate, maybe it’s inaccurate, it’s a good indication of things that are happening. But but I’m not basing a lot of real decisions on it, you know, if my PPC spend goes up, and I noticed that my impressions are going up, okay, that’s, that’s something that I mean, it’s total number of impressions. What’s happening to my revenue is that it’s not going up, if that’s going up, cool. Impressions are going up, revenue is not going up, I try and figure out what’s happening. Am I increasing bids on things that are not actually driving sales or what’s going on there? So as long as I’m looking at those main numbers that are actually, you know, true, like when you boil everything down to the bottom, that’s the true number. That’s number one. Number two, our analytics really became much more advanced than than other people’s I mean, we get people that are coming from other brands, other agencies all the time, right. And this is even when I was consulting, right? Well, I was just helping people, they pay me an hourly, and I would talk to them. And then they’re like, here, this is what the this agency sent me. And they would send them like, people sponsored product cost, the sponsor display sponsor brand equals tacos, PPC, sales, total sales, and I’m like, this is this data. Number one, being one summary does not help. Because if I don’t know what the trend is, how can I make a decision? Is this getting better or getting worse? Right? So you just sending me that? Are you sending me, you know, like a month over month without any sort of like, you know, let me show you some some trends. That doesn’t help me, that’s number one. Number two, there’s so many metrics in the middle that are missing. So we were looking at sessions, which is the number of people coming into the listing, we were looking at the cost of traffic, which is the cost per session, as I increase my ad spend, I’m getting more people into listing, what’s the cost of every single person coming in conversion rate and click through rate are often left out cost per click was highlighted. I’m like, Who cares what the cost of the click is, you care about making money, the cost of the click is, is one in a million things that affect how much money you’re making, right? Because the cost per click, can be super high, if your conversion rate is high, who cares? If your conversion rates 55%, spend $3, a click. And every two clicks, you’re making money. It’s a breathing machine, a money printing machine. But if your cost per click is $1.50, and your conversion rates 3%. Good luck, that you know, you’re going to need $30 to make a sale. No one was talking about the cost of acquisition, blended cost of acquisition, how was that changing? And then another thing that I realized I was doing that maybe others weren’t, is people were optimizing and launching, they were doing all these different things. And, you know, after a while I started, you know, when I was trying to do a lot of like pattern recognition. You know, the spend would go from like, 4,000 to 4,500 a week. And I would go to my team, and I said, What did you do? They’re like, well, we launched five new campaigns. And then we added some negatives, and then we lowered the bids here. And then we increase the bids here. I’m like, You guys just went in four different directions, or at least two opposing directions. What’s the goal here? I was trying to scale or we’re trying to optimize like, well, what are you trying to do? Are you trying to make more money or less money? Or, you know, make more revenue? Or make more like which one? They’re like? Well, you know, I guess the main thing is they’re trying to scale revenue. I’m like, okay, don’t do anything other than increase, increase bids, increase budgets, launch new campaigns, increase bid by placement. And let’s keep sponsored brand and video and all this stuff. We’ll talk about it in a second. You know, but let’s do the increase stuff. Okay, cool. We only do these actions, the 4,000 becomes 5,000 sessions go up, revenue goes up. Okay, great. We moved in the right direction. Good action, do it again. And let me know if we can keep tolerating that loss and profit. Because obviously, as you launch new stuff, you know, some of it doesn’t work. That’s a profit hit. Cool. Now we’re moving in one direction. Okay, guys, I’m starting to see a little bit diminishing returns. Let’s not do any more in this way. Let’s do all back to optimizing, you know, lowering bids, adding negatives, if the bid by placement didn’t work, drop it back down. If you see some keywords with high sponsored rank, high organic rank, try cutting down the sponsored rank a little bit, see if organic rank gets affected. If it doesn’t great. We made maybe we saved some money, maybe it shows up in the top of page one in the bottom of page one. And it’s different people that are seeing the the two listings instead of the same people you know, that could be clicking on the sponsored even though they could have clicked on organic. And then we do those actions. We notice spin goes down. Sessions go down, sales go down a little bit less and then profits go up and I’m like, okay, cool. I just figure something out, if we’re going to, you know, take action to scale or optimize, keep everything in the same direction, per product per product that obviously, you can have one product that’s in a launch phase, you’re blowing it up. Another one that’s very mature and you’re trying to optimize each product is its own individual person, own individual identity, treated, however you were treated, but each one should have a very clear goal, what the next few weeks look like, instead of just scale up to my skill optimum, all at the same time. And, you know, that’s kind of at least just on the performance side, the communication, all this stuff is a whole separate thing. But, you know, that’s kind of how we started outperforming people is we started living in the details, we started having this first principle thinking of questioning everything and saying, is this true? Is this not true? Can you prove it? Can you prove it to me? And then anyone that you ask, Can you prove that these PPC sales are accurate? I have this whole thing going on LinkedIn, no one can actually prove it. And I know I’m right. Like, there is no proof, there is no proof there is no, the only thing that you can do is you can start with a product from zero launch ads, and then you control every single sale and see if the attribution is correct. But obviously, it’s impossible at scale to to do that. So it’s like you can never, you can never prove it, you can never prove that the numbers that they’re telling you if that’s recorded as PPC sales. And PPC sales also affect organic sales. So not only do PPC does PPC spend and sales affect organic sales, but also we don’t even know if this is attributing all the right things, or it could be that it shouldn’t be organic or more of it should be sponsored. That is just there’s a gap. And and it’s you know, as a result, it’s like, okay, cool. If we go down to first principle, thinking we have really good analytics, we take one direction at a time, we ended up really doing a good job. And the other part of it also is that everyone on my team is like a business Brand Builder. Like they are not looking at ads only like my my ads guy. He’s like, Hey, did you know I just wanted to let you know, one of your products is now 28 days of stock remaining. I’ve noticed that as your stock went down, your sales have also gone down with all things being the same. This could be a contributing factor, you know, most marketers are that are just focused on advertising aren’t going to start looking at things like that. They’re like, you know, I just ran an analysis on your competitors. And it seems like your click through rate has been going down over time. And they are all talking about this value proposition in their images. And you aren’t, you know, this there’s this could be something so now they have like this entire holistic approach to it’s not it’s a funnel, okay, we’re launching campaigns, we’re getting more impressions, more people seeing us on the top, a certain number of those people convert into clicks and sessions. And that’s your click through rate. So what are the factors that affect the click through rate, your main image your price? You know, your star rating and your reviews? Your title? Badges, coupons, Lightning Deals? And if you’re a prime FBA, you know Prime, FBA or FBM, how’s the speed of your shipping? Those are the factors that affect it. So how’s your click through doing and what from those factors? can you improve? can you improve like, is it the main image? Did everyone’s prices slowly go down and you weren’t paying attention? That’s why we do market tracker, because we want to know, how’s everyone? What’s everyone else doing? You know, all of a sudden, they start seeing that four or five competitors drop their prices over time, guys, I just want to bring up something. If we’re, if we’re priced at $35, and everyone else is at 2999, this is going to be an issue. So don’t tell me why is our equals higher? Why is our PPC worse? Tell me why is our conversion rate on our click through wars, because we you know, we’re the only ones with a higher price. It used to be that we were decently priced or low priced. So they look into that now, again, impressions turn into clicks and sessions, click the rate that and then the sessions turn into sales. That’s your conversion rate. So all of these are factors that also are affecting your advertising, because it’s the same people coming into the listing, you know, and we’re trying our best to improve the cost of those people coming into the listing, you know, through efficiency of ads. But if your conversion rate goes from 10% to 20%, your equals just halfed, hypothetically, right? It was a reporting true your equlas would halfed, but we know it’s not. So your equals just halfed and your tacos just halfed because you know your cost of your advertising for the exact same $100 You’re spending to bring people into the listing, instead of doing 500 In sales, you’re now doing 1000 Because double double the amount is converting. So they understand that they break it down and they understand all the deficiencies and they’re also looking at that metric. When it’s like hey, you know what’s going on guys? Why is our row as going down total row as or why is our profit is going down? Well, it’s seems like our cost of traffic is the same, it was 85 cents. It’s now you know, 86 cents, not a big change. But your conversion rate went from 18% to 12%. What happened? Here’s a competitive analysis. You can you can you figure out why the competitors, you know, why is this happening that the competitors changed? It’s something happened, you know, or thanks to market tracker, are we still gaining market share, but the the seasonality is a little bit down, everyone’s experiencing this except a few of maybe the big, branded ones that are that are doing also external marketing, like, for example, like Yankee Candle, or liquid IV or ultimate, whatever, those big brands that, you know, are less resistant to seasonality because of their holistic, like Omni omni channel presence. And I mean, that’s kind of that’s the difference. That’s the difference between good good PPC, and really good PPC.
Ben Donovan 25:51
Yeah. And I think you allude to a change in the market. And I don’t want to, obviously answer it for you. But what you’re talking about here are things that the Amazon Seller off two, three years ago, didn’t even consider, you know, you run your auto campaign, you harvest your keywords and put them in a manual campaign, and that was kind of it. But you know, this is marketing, right? You’re talking about it from actually building a brand building a business. You know, most Amazon sellers don’t even know what customer acquisition costs are that What does even mean right by you, these terms you’re using this is like the the new way an Amazon seller has to think right? The world of Amazon PPC is changing. speak more to that, like over the last 12 months how, how have things changed in the industry? How do sellers need to be flexible and prepare for the next 12, 24, 36 months?
Mina Elias 26:39
Yeah, very good question. I’ve been blessed that I invested $60,000. In trying to make my brand work off of Amazon, I hired this incredible guy, Clifton, his name’s Clifton, incredible marketer, and he’s the one that opened my eyes to the fact that he’s like, Listen, man, like, here’s the different things, we need to launch different videos on Facebook, we have the creative, we have the headline, we have the call to action, those are all factors. Once the people come into the listening, we have the landing pages, I’m going to split this different landing pages. And then it got me thinking I’m like, dude, like, that’s how it works. It works is? Who’s the audience that seeing you? What are they seeing what the, you know, how are they, you know, clicking Are they are they enticed or not. And then once they’re in there, you know, he would move the reviews up, move them down, do all these different things. And then we would split this, which is the best landing page. And so that’s what opened my eyes. And then I realized if you are now on Amazon, and you’re trying to dominate and when it’s no longer PPC, and then you have a listing, it’s it’s continuous improvement on both. The goal of PPC is to drive as much traffic to your listing as cheap as possible. That’s that’s the goal. How can I bring the maximum amount of people to the listing, there’s three things number one, you’re going to be as efficient as possible with your PPC, which is, you know, look at, look at all of your campaigns, look at the campaign structure, make sure that there’s nothing being wasted. So if you have a campaign with 25 keywords, and you see that there’s 18 of those 25 are barely getting any sales, what’s the point of keeping them in there, pause them, put them in a new campaign, you know, one campaign one ad group to keep the budget flowing smoothly, a maximum of five keywords is what I found works better, your budget has to be at least $100 a day, you can start with a lower bid. So you don’t spend the full 100 and work your way up. But if I see, you know, 25 $30 budget a day, you’re being throttled. Amazon’s saying, Okay, you have $30 dollar customer click, you can get hooked on 30 times. So I’m going to see, I’m going to show you only 1000 times and it’d be you know, because I don’t want you to waste your entire budget. So quickly. As you grow your budget, and you and you keep your bid low, you’re showing up to the maximum available people but at a certain position, it’s a maybe a lower position. And as you work your way up, you know, you’re seeing you’re gathering the data and saying okay, at this position, you know, I’m doing well. Atomic is a phenomenal tool for that, because it can show you over time, the different bit changes, etc, or different ECOSYS, which I don’t think is but they also show you the different sponsored rank positions. And so all in one place in atomic, so you can say, okay, cool. When I had this bid, I was in this position, and I converted the best. And then you can you can basically like start making decisions that way. But that’s how you’re gonna be efficient with your ads is good campaign structure, constantly testing different keywords and different product targets, whatever works, double down, whatever doesn’t work. So you know, going into the search term report identifying keywords that are being clicked on and spending money with no sales, adding them as negatives, or if the ecos is incredibly high as negative or lower the bid if it’s an exact or a product targeting campaign, but if it’s auto broad or phrase or expanded asin you can’t really you know, just lower the bid because a lot of the bid for everything some could be performing well, others not. So just add negative to the stuff that’s not doing well. And that’s being efficient with your ads. You’re you know you’re trying to capture as many people Well as possible by launching as many keywords as possible and being efficient. But also the second part is how can you increase your organic ranking. You can do ranking campaigns single keyword campaigns, broad phrase exact spend a ton of money track your organic rank, your organic rank goes up. Now you have a listing that’s organically placed high, and is generating traffic for you bringing people into the listing for free. So that also is part of how can we drive as many people to the, to the listing as cheap as possible? That’s the first part of ads. And then the second part is, you know, based on our eliciting in the in the search results, how can we get more people who are it’s the same impressions, we have the same 100,000 impressions a day, how can we get more people to come into the listing, go go to PickFu, go to product Pinyon. And see and put your competitors put yourself and start getting information as to why people are not going to, we just did this with a celery powder. I think it’s called Paradise Naturals. And she sent me her product. I’m like, listen, like let me be straight up with you, your bottle looks ugly, it looks fat and short. I don’t even know that this is celery, let’s do this, make the bottle bigger like so it looks it’s more of a square size in grow, it covers the entire whitespace make lighter green delicious celery. Even though it’s completely different. In real life, it’s shorter and dark green, doesn’t matter. It’s a 3d render, and make celery powder and vegan and organic super. She did that. And all of a sudden we double the click through rate for the exact same marketing efforts we had we doubled the amount of people going to the listing. And at the same rate, the conversion rate improved to you know, we couldn’t really control that right to that level, because the conversion rate was also dependent on the main image. And this was one example she’s now doing it with our other products, which is a bone broth, a collagen bone broth. So going to pick food product Pinyon. Figure out why people are clicking on your competition, not you? Is it the price? Is it the reviews? Is it the main image? Is it the title, your title is all keyword stuffed and ugly and I can’t understand it. Try and fix that one thing at a time, fix it, do another poll, do another poll, validate, then try it on Amazon. And that’s continuously improving your click through rate. And then do the exact same thing with the conversion rate. Go and figure out what are all the other things like the rest of the images, the video, the eight plus content questions on your listing the other videos that people are, you know, Amazon posts, virtual bundles, coupons, discounts, price testing, all of those factors. And obviously reviews will affect your conversion rate constantly have a plan to improve that. That’s how Amazon Marketing works in 2023 and beyond. Because now you understand it’s a simple funnel traffic and conversions. You’re trying to attract as many eyeballs as possible. And, you know, it’s a bodybuilding show in the search results. Everyone’s standing next to each other and you’re like me, pick me I’m the best one. And then you click on that that one and then you go into the listing and you’re like, okay, cool. In the listing that people are trying to disqualify you, what can I find about your product that does, it doesn’t work for me, let’s let’s disqualify this product. And so if you can eliminate the disqualifications, if you can send sell your product through the images, if you have good reviews, good price, all of this stuff. And obviously, you know, test that stuff through data. And again, the main metric there, you know, one thing at a time, keep your ad spend the same, you know, change your price and look at your profits, what happened to your profits, if your profits went up, you’re good, you know, that’s good, keep that new price if your profits went down, because, you know, You increased your price conversion rate went down, but it went down too much, then, you know, fix it back, bring it back. But if you’re increasing your ad spend, and you’re lowering your price or increasing your price, you don’t know what’s causing one. So one factor at a time, be a scientist, do something that’s called a controlled experiment, go look up a controlled experiment, one factor at a time. And, you know, that’s what I anticipate in 2023. It’s only getting more sophisticated. Now. Here’s one thing that I want to tell people to be aware of going into 2023 and 24, Amazon is releasing more and more and more things sponsored video, all of this stuff, you know, custom headline, search ads, custom images, all of the nice little analytics and all of this stuff. Let me tell you something that I discovered, we tested a main image on manage my experiments, which does an AB test for your main image. And it said that my new image failed, even though 1000 people on Pigfoot said that at one. I took that made image I said, I don’t believe you. And I ran it and the conversion rate and click through rate improved in real life. So be very careful of the data that Amazon’s providing you. That’s number one. They’re giving you more and more stuff. But again, first principle thinking, Can you prove to me that this data is accurate? And I know I know. You can’t when it’s managed my experiments. You can’t. Who knows? Maybe they just put the numbers there, right? Amazon’s a glitchy system. We’re all getting screwed every day because of the glitches. And then number two is I as Amazon gets more sophisticated don’t fall into the shiny object syndrome. Sponsored brand sponsored video, I’ve noticed that when I launched sponsored video, I spent $100. On a day on the videos, it shows a 6x row as $600 in sales, I look at my total sales and they are not changed. I’m like, How do I spend 100 More, and video says that it makes 600 more, but I look at my total sales and they’re unaffected. And day after day after day, I’m like something’s not adding up, I kill the video. Again, I just saved the $100 a day in ad spend with no effect affecting at all the total sales. And I realized, and this is something that me and Elizabeth green are going to have a conversation about on our podcast, which is, you know, like, like the video like, you know, we’ve we all have these tools were given by Amazon, you launch them does not mean that they’re always worth it. Now, when do I use sponsored videos, sponsor brand, all of this stuff, when you’re protecting your brand name, use everything, you know, but But otherwise, if you’re going to launch a video on a keyword launched the video, look at the increase in ad spend and look at the total sales increase. If you spent $100, more, you know, on adspend. And after watching the video and keeping everything the same, your total sales went up by $400. That’s a 4x ROI as that’s good. If it went up by $100, it’s a 1x ROI is probably not that good. And then you know, they will video for brand awareness, all this stuff. That’s cool. If you’re a brand awareness person, you know what 99% of my brands that we manage, they can afford brand awareness they need, you know, return on that.
Ben Donovan 36:37
Yeah, it’s crazy the amount of new placements that Amazon’s bringing in but it doesn’t seem to be getting any cheaper costs still go up, even with all these new placements. So it’s interesting, you know, that you say about the level of reporting and the accuracy of it. When you you talk about videos, obviously brand defensive videos on your own sort of brand branded terms. Outside of that, I know you’re saying people should test it themselves. But in your experience sponsor brand video, is that something that you tend to avoid now or
Mina Elias 37:07
No uhm, We use sponsored brand video where our sponsored product ads and our organic ranking is low. We’ll test we’ll test putting a video there, and it could have could have better results. So that’s where we still use sponsored video. But and no, and there’s a lot of other brands where we’ve launched video, and it works very effectively. Because maybe that like product market, when they see the video, they’re like they immediately bite but that you’re only going to figure that out when you launch you keep everything the same launch the video, look at the total sales and see what happens.
Ben Donovan 37:41
Yeah, you talked about placements there, when you’re low down, is placements. still as important as it was getting to the top of page one for conversion rate, obviously click through rates can be much higher, but does it impact conversion rate in the way that it used to?
Mina Elias 37:56
Every single keyword and every single product is different. So there is no one rule that applies. And that’s why it’s iteration. So if you have a campaign, and you go look at the placement report, and it says that your RO eyes is a lot more on the top of the search, you can increase the bid for top of search, you know, bid by placement, and try and show up more there. And then look at the results. And if the results end up in that you have more total sales because your click through rate is better at the top of search and your ROI as is better. That’s cool, keep it but it like we’ve seen keywords that do amazing top of search, we’re seeing keywords that do bad in the top of the search. So take it on a keyword by keyword basis. And I think you can you can do keyword you have to do campaign. So I guess take it into a campaign by campaign basis.
Ben Donovan 38:40
Yeah, test everything. We talked a little bit about campaign structure. You said five keywords per campaign is what you’re kind of working on at the moment. There are some that are big proponents of single keyword campaigns. I tried moving over everything over to single keyword campaigns recently. And honestly it was so much work I just I went back to more simplified structure. Did it product launches you use single keyword campaigns just keyword ranking campaigns? Single keywords is there any other sort of structure insight you can give?
Mina Elias 39:12
Not main main keyword main keywords, I would do single keyword campaign ranking campaigns like when I’m trying to rank a keyword organically I will do that. Other than that it’s okay you know, if you have like your your top main revenue, like top top main, like search volume keywords and single keyword campaigns, I think that’s fine thing the other ones you’re okay doing multiple keywords per campaign. But really, again, I don’t have like something definitive. All I know is that when I put too many keywords in a campaign, I know that I’m seeing some of those keywords generate a lot of sales and the other one are not and so that’s that’s my indication that I have too many keywords in that campaign. I need to move them but like what’s the exact science behind it? I have no idea.
Ben Donovan 39:58
Yeah, for sure. Got launches and keyword ranking campaigns? I don’t know if it was just with other stuff you were saying, but you mentioned about exact broad phrase match types, using them all at the same time for keyword ranking campaigns.
Mina Elias 40:11
Yes, I use all match types all the time because they will generate different results. And and so you can have if a keyword does well, in an auto campaign, for example, I find a search term like electrolyte powder and the auto campaign does well, I launch it for broad phrase and exact all three because I have no like No, no idea which one is going to actually do well, the exact one could do horrible, the phrase could do amazing the broad could do, okay. And remember that the phrase and abroad are bundles of keywords. So I could launch all three exact does bad phrase, there’s four keywords that doing amazing five doing bad, broad, 10 keywords, they’re doing amazing three doing okay, five doing bad if I add negative stole the bad ones. Now the broad and the phrase are generating really good, you know, sales, and the exact is not doing well, you know what I mean? So I just launched in all different ad types, and I wait a match types. And I wait until I get the data. And it’s a search term by search term basis that I evaluate each search term, if it’s doing well keep it if it’s not doing well at it as a negative. And then eventually you end up with a clean, broad keyword that has all keywords doing well, and the other other ones not doing well.
Ben Donovan 41:18
And that’s all in the same campaign.
Mina Elias 41:21
No, one campaign for broad one for phrase one for exact never mentioned, never mix match.
Ben Donovan 41:26
Okay, that’s for like just for keyword ranking campaigns or that’s just generally,
Mina Elias 41:33
generally, this is generally keyword ranking campaigns is just so because of search find by we know that your rank improves, the more conversions you make on that keyword. And if you have a related keywords that are converting, I think it also helps. And so that’s why I’m like it’s a single keyword campaign one for broad one for phrase one for exactly given the maximum amount of budget to allow it to convert the most amount of times across as many related keywords as possible to increase the organic rank. That’s the reason that we’re doing the single keyword campaigns. And that’s the reason that we’re separating them.
Ben Donovan 42:06
Yeah. Good. We could talk about this stuff all day. But I know you’re a busy man. So what just rounding up finishing up? Where do you see Amazon PPC going next 12, 24, 36 months is the whole page going to be sponsored ads, what what we’re gonna see.
Mina Elias 42:22
Yeah, I think I don’t see them increasing that much more when it comes to, like, ad placements, what I do think is they are going to make a push for social shopping, I really have this big theory that they’re gonna have some sort of like merge of Tik Tok and shopping, Amazon shopping. And then you’re gonna type, you know, there’s gonna be maybe another tab that like has videos short form, and you’re gonna go in, you’re gonna type in a keyword, and it’s going to show you, okay, here’s the different products, but in video format, like people using them, you can click and open up the product detail page, you can swipe to the right and see more people who have posted about this product. And that’s, that’s, I really feel like that’s how people consume content. And that’s how people make decisions. My my fiance is five years younger, Gen Z, and her sisters and all those, all of them are making decisions like through Tik Tok and reels. And I’m like, How are you guys making decisions like that? It’s like stupid, but you know, the generation Gen Z, they’re just like on on their Tik Toks. And they type in a certain like, they’re like best hairstylist in Los Angeles, and they literally are looking for a hairstylist in Los Angeles. And they’re making the decisions based on that. So that’s where I see the future of shopping a little bit. With PPC, specifically, I don’t see that many changes, besides giving us a little bit more control. I think Amazon wants to put all PPC software essentially out of business. Yeah, I mean, they’re giving us more and more and more control. And the only thing that the software’s are going to be good for is if you believe that they actually have like AI and they make decisions and all of this stuff. But if you if you really understand the software, or if you really understand Amazon advertising, and you just want to have control and be able to do things at scale. Like look at Facebook, man, you don’t you don’t need a software and AI software for Facebook, no Facebook marketer uses AI. So if you’re wondering where’s is Amazon heading, it’s heading towards Facebook and Google’s level of sophistication inside of the the like, you know, campaign manager and there’s going to be no longer use for software. You know, they can you can probably they have budget rules, you can probably start creating negative rules and bidding rules and all of these things over time. So that’s what I see coming up in the future and less and less need for software.
Ben Donovan 44:57
Frosty prediction, I like it.
Mina Elias 44:59
Yeah. I mean it is what it is, but like that’s if you look at the trend, they’re giving us the targeting tab which allows us to change you know, like all of our keywords like this you know you can you can create filters and make changes and and so on and so on. So some software is gonna be great for like the super users. You know, at the end of the day, we still operate in Google Sheets we still have you know, we’re still looking at patterns and trends and making decisions as a human being versus like, a black and white decision.
Ben Donovan 45:34
Hats off to you man, those bulk files are they’re a pain they can once you get used to I’m sure they’re easy. They’re very very good stuff man. Where can people find out more about you about the agency? If they want to find out more?
Mina Elias 45:48
Yeah, um, my name is Mina Elias M I N A space E L I A S, LinkedIn, that’s where you can message me pretty easily. Instagram @ theminaelias, you can also you know, ask me any question there. The website is called Triviumco.com, T R I V I U M C O .com. If you go there, we do a full audit and consultation. So basically, you can fill out the form and we will go through every single part of your Amazon advertising campaign audit it, see what’s wrong, how it can be improved, and then tell you exactly what to do to improve it. So you don’t even need to hire us you can do it all yourself. But if you’re a CEO, and you don’t want to spend your days doing PPC that’s when you should probably hire us.
Ben Donovan 46:30
Very cool. Did you pronounce your name like that? Just to make me feel better or did actually get it right at the start of the episode? I don’t know.
Mina Elias 46:35
You got a perfect man, you know, like that’s it? Yes. It was.
Ben Donovan 46:40
So good. Awesome. Well, we’ll leave all of those links in the show notes the description below. Mina, thanks so much for coming on. Really appreciate you taking time out. Being very informative and excited to see where the agency and everything goes over the coming years.
Mina Elias 46:53
My pleasure, man, love it. Thank you for having me.
Ben Donovan 46:56
stuff. My pleasure. Good stuff. Well, thanks, guys for listening. Hope you got lots out of that episode. Connect with Mina. Check out TriviumCo and get them to run your ads. There’s no doubt they will do a great job. And we will see you in the next episode real soon.