Amazon PPC Management: DIY or Use a Service?

In this post, we’re going to break down the best way to approach Amazon PPC management – doing it yourself, or using an Amazon PPC service.

There are pros and cons to both. We’re going to break that down, and help you choose the best option for your business. Keep reading to learn more, or hit the links to jump ahead to the section that interests you.

What is Amazon PPC Management?
Do You Really Need PPC?
Is Amazon PPC Easy?
Benefits of Using Amazon PPC Management Services
Benefits of Doing Amazon PPC In-House
Verdict: Should You Use Amazon PPC Agencies?

What is Amazon PPC Management?

Amazon PPC management means managing and improving your Amazon ad campaigns, i.e. PPC (pay-per-click) ads.

It takes work to optimize ad campaigns and get the best results from your PPC advertising. You might start off with a high ad spend for little comparable return, but through smart management processes, you’ll bring down the cost of your Amazon ads and get more for each dollar spent.

This will allow you to boost your sales and margins – making you more money, which you can invest back into your business or take out as profit.

Amazon PPC management tasks include:

  • Structuring campaigns
  • Finding the best keywords to target
  • Identifying negative keywords
  • Optimizing bids
  • A/B testing
  • Listing optimization
  • Testing different ad types
  • Cutting out poorly performing keywords
  • Scaling top-performing keywords or campaigns

On the face of it, Amazon advertising seems simple. But it can get quite time-consuming and complex, especially for brands in competitive niches.

That’s why a lot of brands hire Amazon PPC agencies to take all of this off their plate. It’s certainly a viable option – whether it’s the best option, we’ll discuss in a bit.

Do You Really Need PPC?

Before we get too far down the Amazon advertising rabbit hole, you might be thinking – “do I really need PPC at all?”

Can’t you just optimize your listing for organic traffic and survive off that?

For some products, you might be able to get away without doing any PPC. Or, you might only need to do PPC for a little while, to generate momentum, and switch it off once you’ve got a proven history of sales to show the algorithm.

But more and more, the Amazon marketplace is becoming a “pay to play” game. Amazon’s ad platform is growing at a massive rate – faster than both Google and Facebook.

You can still get organic sales, and these sales are obviously very valuable. However, a lot of SERPs are now dominated by sponsored results. A lot of the time, shoppers will need to scroll to reach the organic results. So you can imagine that the top share of clicks will go to the results immediately visible to the shopper.

Customers need to navigate through a number of sponsored results before finding the first organic listing.

There’s also sponsored product ads that show up in other areas, like on other listings, and additional ad types, like sponsored brands ads and sponsored display ads.

Amazon PPC will help you get more sales and boost cash flow, which is important for any product-based business. It may even help your organic Amazon SEO as well.

In most categories, you’ll find that your competitors are using Amazon PPC as part of their marketing strategy. If you’re not, it might be hard to stay competitive.

Is Amazon PPC Easy to Run?

In theory, Amazon PPC is not insanely difficult. It doesn’t require any special skills, like design or coding, that require a lot of work to learn.

However, properly optimizing Amazon PPC campaigns can get complex. Most brands out there have inefficiencies or missed opportunities that lead to wasted ad spend and sub-optimal results.

In other words, anyone can do PPC – but doing it well takes some work.

Along with the difficulty, Amazon PPC management takes a lot of time. You need to consistently monitor your campaigns, run a lot of tests, and record and analyze all the results.

A lot of brand owners can do this. But Amazon sellers have so many other tasks on their plate. Taking care of one big, time-consuming, high-ROI task is exactly why an Amazon PPC management agency can be a smart investment.

Further Reading: learn how to Promote Your Amazon Products on TikTok, the world’s fastest-growing social media platform.

Benefits of Using an Amazon PPC Management Service

Now, let’s jump into the benefits of handling Amazon PPC by yourself, versus hiring an Amazon marketing agency to do it for you.

First, the benefits of using a service or an agency.

Saves time

The first thing to mention is how much time (and energy) it can save you by using Amazon PPC management services.

As we established, doing PPC right – constantly testing, measuring and optimizing – is a round-the-clock job.

That’s not to mention the learning curve. You need some time just to learn the basics, if you’ve never managed PPC for an Amazon store before.

You probably don’t have hours of free time per day to dedicate to managing your PPC. You’ll need to take time away from other tasks, which may detract from other areas of your Amazon business.

There aren’t enough hours in the day to grow and scale your store past a certain point without hiring outside help. Amazon PPC management agencies free up a lot of that time.

The agency’s focus is dedicated to PPC

Even if you do feel you can fit PPC management into your day, it’s going to be just one of many things taking up your headspace.

That often leads to cutting corners, or a split focus that detracts from your Amazon PPC efforts.

The difference with an Amazon PPC agency is that PPC is their sole focus. Specialization leads to better results than multitasking, especially for complex tasks like PPC management.

Experience and expertise

You benefit from years of experience and expertise in Amazon PPC and Amazon advertising when you hire an agency.

This is invaluable – it would take a huge amount of work to develop the same expertise. Even then, you may never develop skills on the same level as a PPC professional without that being your sole focus.

This is another case where what we said earlier rings true. Anyone can do PPC – but it’s hard to do it well. If you want the best results possible, you want someone who specializes in this.

An outside perspective

We all have blind spots. It’s just human nature. If you’ve missed something – perhaps certain keywords, certain ways of approaching your PPC campaign management – you’re probably going to miss it over and over again.

Bringing in outside help gives you another perspective, which can often be invaluable in spotting things you haven’t, and filling in your blind spots.

Deeper, up-to-date knowledge of the Amazon PPC landscape

Amazon PPC is constantly changing. There are new features, new ad types, new strategies and new optimal ways to run campaigns.

If you’re not plugged into the world of Amazon PPC, you might miss a lot of these things. You could start out with an effective strategy, but it can soon become outdated.

Amazon PPC services are plugged into the landscape, and are often the first to know about new features, new effective strategies, etc. This can provide a big advantage over your competitors, if they end up being slower to move and adapt to these changes.

Benefits of Doing Amazon PPC In-House

There are some advantages to doing your Amazon PPC management yourself, or within your own team, as well. Let’s take a look:

Full control

Doing it in-house gives you full control over your PPC campaigns. You can make changes to your campaigns quicker. If you have a new strategy you want to try, or you want to make small tweaks to a campaign, you can do it immediately. No waiting to get in touch with your account manager.

You also don’t need to trust that what they’re doing is the best way to do it. While agencies are generally very transparent, giving regular reports on what they’ve done and what effect it’s had on your campaigns. But there’s still an element of trust, and giving up control, which some brand owners might not want to do.

No minimum spend

A lot of Amazon PPC agencies require a minimum ad spend from clients. This is to make it worth their time. It’s not viable for an agency to step in and do an hour here and there to manage a small set of ads for a single-product brand.

If you’re a smaller seller, and/or you have a low PPC budget, you’re probably going to be better off doing it yourself.

Lower cost

Minimum ad spend thresholds aside, it’s generally going to be cheaper to do PPC yourself. You’re not paying for the years of experience and expertise we talked about earlier.

Of course, just because you’re not paying someone to manage your PPC doesn’t mean it’s “free”. You should still consider the time you spend on it, and the value of that time. Putting a dollar figure on that could work out to be costing you more than the cost of an agency.

It’s also not necessarily worth the lower cost if you get lower returns as well, as a result of not having the same ability and knowledge of the game.

Still, if you do know what you’re doing, there’s no reason you can’t do it as well as an agency, without paying an additional premium. 

Can ensure advertising aligns with your brand’s goals

Finally, some Amazon PPC services are just not a great fit for your business. They might have a different idea of where your brand is headed, and what it needs to do to get ahead. There can be clashes, misunderstandings, and people working towards different goals.

This is another case where doing it yourself gives you total control. You can align everything – keyword research, PPC, external traffic, your brand’s voice, customer service, etc – towards a shared vision, which may be a little difficult with some agencies.

That’s not to say you’re going to have trouble with all PPC agencies. But if you’re considering hiring an agency, feel them out and make sure the fit is right before you proceed.

Check out how (and why) to run external marketing campaigns for your Amazon products in this ultimate guide to external traffic.

Verdict: Should You Use Amazon PPC Agencies?

Generally speaking, Amazon PPC agencies are worth it.

It’s not rocket science or brain surgery. You can learn PPC, so can your staff. But it takes time to learn the PPC space inside and out, and know how to build and optimize PPC campaigns.

It also takes a lot of time to actually manage a campaign – testing, measuring, optimizing and executing. If you cut corners and try to do it the quick way, you’ll probably leave results on the table.

That’s why Amazon PPC management services provide a big leg up.

It does require you to have a decent budget – first to meet minimum ad spend thresholds, and second to pay the agency themselves. So if you’re a smaller brand, or you just want to dip your toe into Amazon sponsored ads, it’s better to do it in-house.

Luckily there are a lot of self-service PPC software tools on the market, which help you run and optimize PPC campaigns by yourself (although not quite on the personalized level that an agency can).

If you’re looking for an Amazon PPC agency, we recommend SellerMetrics. Their team of experts is highly regarded in the Amazon space. They’re certified in the Amazon SPN (Service Provider Network), and have a great track record.

If you want to do it yourself, SellerMetrics also provides a great Amazon PPC software tool. It works for all Amazon marketplaces, and offers everything you need to run your own PPC.

Effective PPC campaigns can take your business to the next level, while poorly optimized campaigns bleed money. Whether you hire a service, or use a software tool to do it yourself, it’s well worth what it takes to get this right.

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