The most frustrating part of surprise sales days from retailers, like Walmart Holiday Kickoff or Amazon Prime Big Deal Days, is that we're told to spend more money in order to get results. Most brands plan their advertising budget for the year and when a new promotional event is announced, it throws a wrench into our budget. We're challenging the assumption that you need to spend more in order to get more. Advertising costs on Amazon and Walmart have been steadily rising, especially during high-traffic events like Prime Day. But fear not, as our team is here to provide expert advice that doesn't require increasing your budget. Whether you're gearing up for a major event or seeking year-round optimization, let's explore these strategies:
Advertising on Amazon and Walmart has become more competitive and expensive, particularly during high-traffic events like Prime Day. Whenever Amazon announces a Prime event, other retailers usually follow suit to benefit from the halo effect of increased online traffic. To navigate this landscape effectively, it's crucial to have a game plan.
1. Implement a Lead In, Peak, and Lead Out Approach
From Tony Hall, Retail Media Manager, "If you do not have additional budget, consider how you are planning to distribute your spend. Brands with no additional budget can still take advantage of increased traffic through implementing a lead in, peak, and lead out approach to ensure they are leveraging traffic at the right times. In addition to this, understanding which ads will best deliver results across the full month is crucial. Brands may consider utilizing SBA and Video campaigns more heavily before the event to build brand awareness and stay top of mind (and search)!"
The Lead In: Building Anticipation
Before the event, you can make the most of your existing budget by building anticipation. Consider this as your "lead in" phase. Here, you ramp up your advertising to create awareness and excitement around your products. By strategically increasing your presence before the event, you can capture the attention of shoppers early on.
The Peak: Capitalizing on the Event
During the event, the "peak" phase is where the majority of your budget should be allocated. This is when traffic and competition are at their highest. By strategically focusing your resources here, you can maximize your chances of sales and visibility.
The Lead Out: Maintaining Visibility
After Prime Big Deal Days or Walmart's Holiday Kick Off, gradually decrease your spending during the "lead out" phase. This ensures that you maintain visibility even as the event winds down. Remember that understanding which ads deliver the best results throughout the entire month is crucial to sustaining success.
2. Leverage Traffic on Your Priority Keywords
From Anna Bever, Sr. Director of Retail Media, "Leverage traffic on your priority keywords! Pause those automatic campaigns; you can keyword-mine another time. To gain search visibility without increasing your budget, reduce bids but increase the search-in-grid bid multiplier."
Strategic Keyword Management
One effective way to optimize your budget is by focusing on your priority keywords. Pause those automatic campaigns temporarily, as you can revisit keyword mining later. Instead, concentrate your resources on keywords that matter most to your business. Reduce bids on less critical keywords and use the "search-in-grid" bid multiplier to enhance your presence in search results without breaking the bank.
3. Scale Back the Wide Net Approach
From Chase Arnold, Retail Media Manager "Ask yourself, 'Am I an inch wide/mile deep or a mile wide/inch deep?' It could be time to scale back the wide net approach. Dial your spend in on a select few keywords."
Quality Over Quantity
It's essential to periodically evaluate your advertising strategy. Are you spreading your budget too thin across numerous keywords and products? If so, it might be time to scale back and focus on a select few keywords that align with your objectives. Remember, quality often trumps quantity in the world of retail advertising.
4. Temporarily Pause Branded Spend
More from Chase Arnold, "Temporarily pause Branded spend. For the time being, branded spend on Amazon serves one purpose: Traffic/visibility to select SKUs. Without competitor targeting, there's no need to 'defend' your brand. Reallocate budget to category campaigns." Consider a temporary pause on Branded spend. During events like Prime Big Deal Days and Walmart's Holiday Kickoff, your branded campaigns primarily serve to drive traffic and visibility to select SKUs. Without the need to "defend" your brand against competitors, you can reallocate that budget to category campaigns, where it may yield more significant returns.
5. Prioritize Sponsored Brand & Sponsored Video Placements
If the goal is brand visibility, prioritize Sponsored Brand & Sponsored Video placements against category terms (Watch out for the high minimum bids!).
For those focused on brand visibility, Sponsored Brand & Sponsored Video placements are your go-to tools. These formats can make your brand stand out. However, be cautious of high minimum bids. To optimize your budget effectively, carefully manage your bids to ensure you're getting the most value for your investment.
Optimizing your retail advertising budget is a strategic game. With the rising costs of advertising on Amazon and Walmart, it's more important than ever to make every dollar count. By implementing a lead in, peak, and lead out approach, concentrating on priority keywords, scaling back on overly broad strategies, strategically pausing branded spend, and prioritizing Sponsored Brand & Sponsored Video placements, you can maximize your advertising impact on retailer's sites, even when working with limited resources. Remember, ongoing monitoring and adjustment are key to long-term success in the ever-evolving world of retail media advertising.