Amazon Ads Roundtable 2: Shotgun Vs. Targeted Keyword Strategies

In this episode we cover everything Shotgun Vs. Targeting Keyword Strategies.

  • What is a shotgun keyword approach?

  • What type of bidding should you use?

  • What risks are there to running the shotgun approach?

  • How do auto campaigns perform over the long run?

Alex Strathdee 0:02

There we go. Who wants to kick us off?

Denis Caron 0:07

shotgun versus targeting? Yeah, I'll kick us off if you guys don't mind. With shotgun I, first of all, I, I don't know how much I can contribute, I'm sure it can contribute quite a bit. But with the shotgun approach, the the widest shotgun I do is is automatic targeting ads, that that for me is why this is shotgun. I find with shotgun like you need, there's a lot more effort, but you can find diamonds in the rough. But I found like it just takes a lot more effort. I assume I've never done it before. But you know, just with the targeted approach I have enough. You know, I have lots of time to, but there's lots of time just to just to work those work those ads? I'm assuming we're doing shotgun approach with very low bids. is is is that the assumption? Yeah. So like 15 cent bids or lower or whatever? Yeah, I mean, that doesn't really contribute a whole lot. But just saying that I think it requires a lot of a lot of hands on. And I think that definitely can help. Definitely fine, you can get some diamonds in the rough. But, you know, certainly automation would would help a lot with the shotgun approach.

Alex Strathdee 1:27

Michal, what do you think?

Michal Stawicki 1:33

Well, well, well. I, I disagree with that Denis, like targeted is a way more work than shotgun because shotgun, you really don't count on much you shoot, and then just wait and see. For the results, that's all you do. With targeted approach, you are working your ass off to figure out those keywords, those categories, those books that are similar, and you can spend like infinite time on that, and I know some folks do. And and then you test it. And most of the time I was doing that the result just didn't justify the amount of prep work I needed to put into it to get the results. Later, after the whole round, I will show you like some experiment I recently did with targeted. So I would say it's not just Amazon, I would say Amazon lats are really unicorn, because you can do this with books, you can do the shotgun approach. Why? Because every book has plenty of words, which for the advertising systems are keywords. So there are like 1000s and 1000s and 1000s links and connection, I try to advertise with the same approach the physical products, and crickets like I got very, very few impressions. And I wasn't very, as careful as usual with with my bids and still crickets. So I suspect that with a physical product, all you have about your product is your sales page. And it's like maybe few 1000 words, if you're very, very creative about that. Usually much less my book descriptions are around 300 to 500 words, that's all. So this all the system can index and and work with. So it's like crazy blip in the advertising world that we even can do the shotgun approach. With books on Amazon, it doesn't work anywhere else I would say like to try it with Google ads. And for such low bids, you will nothing totally nothing. On the other hand like I have a database of keywords 70,000 keywords I use and it took me some time to collect them. Well, they were pretty easy like common English words. And like my favorite experiment when I put numbers from one to nine into a publisher rocket, got the results and it works. It universally works. Okay, I don't complain. So yes, easy, but also, you know, to consolidate a database of 70,000 keywords, it takes some work. But now I can replicate this shotgun approach with every single book, which dude, by the way, and with targeting Nope, no can do you need to approach it individually every single time. So I would say it's normal in advertising, targeting, takes time, experiments, and so on. We have a shortcut in Amazon system, which isn't better, which I will show you later it just different.

Denis Caron 5:56

I'm good with you disagreeing with me. Because I'm I want to learn stuff too. Yeah, that's, that's cool. I have lots of questions, but I guess I'll let Alex go.

Alex Strathdee 6:09

I'm somewhere in between you ,I do both. I see that, like Michae was talking about the shotgun approach shouldn't work and wouldn't work anywhere else. But for some reason does on Amazon. And I've done the extreme, I've actually even maxed out, I can even pull it up here actually maxed out the amount of keywords we're targeting, you can even do on an account. And I found that out one time because it just stops allowing you to add them. So the max here, the max is just as an interesting little side note, Max campaigns you have is 10,000. ads and an account 2 million, so 2 million is the most you can actually and I have hit that number. On many accounts, while still presenting it just thoroughly maxing out the the potential targeting that can actually be done in an account.

Denis Caron 7:01

Sorry, 2 million keywords is the max.

Alex Strathdee 7:03

Yes. And I've hit that, especially authors who have multiple books that I've done my shotgun targeting them. But it's great, and it works. But I also it scares me because I think the fact that it shouldn't work any day, it might stop working. And so I try to compensate this by and I've gone in both directions. I've gone heavy into the shotgun approach. And then these past few months, I got heavy into the super targeting approach. And both seem to work the same. I agree with what Michaels talking about Michaelis talking about they're both seem to have pretty similar results. And so I do think it's a lot easier to rack up ad spend with targeted keywords. So that's something that you do have to be careful for it just does take a lot more time. And we don't do targeting as well as many people who that's like their only thing that they do and no one no service out there, does it I believe that we are we probably for any service that does it, we probably do the most targeting that's that's available and spend the most time on it and bid optimization that we can get into that later points. But that's sort of where we fall.

Denis Caron 8:20

I would agree that you do need to have lots of different keywords to get enough impressions, to get enough clicks to get enough sales to make it you know, at least somewhat consistent. Because Yeah, but especially like if you're willing to pay $1.50 a click, you can get the impressions, no problem, right, you just go on some of the best selling books in your category. $1.50 a click boom, yeah, look, all the impressions that I'm getting, because all the clicks I'm getting, right. But it's going to be you're going to run out of your budget like very, very fast. So if you are, you know, budget conscious, which I mean, everyone should be like you're running ads to make a profit. You need to bid low. Right? You need to bid low, and you need to bid on a lot of different keywords. Yeah, but but I am interested to hear more about Michals. Is that 70,000? Like, do you run just exact or do you do? Is it like, and or whatever? 70,000 divided by three years? Did you run you know, like the 20,000 or 22,000? Do you have to in 2000 different keywords and then you just have like, your random, broad phrase and exact is that is that how you make it

Michal Stawicki 9:38

Even more exact, because the number of impressions is very low. And I let Amazon really I think also that's the another reason why short run works for books is that Amazon knows so much more about customers than we so they can Figure out what's going on behind the scene. So my favorite story about this is what I also have a couple of lists of just names and surnames. I took them from sometimes to see in the States, and I think in the UK. And one of the keywords was Adam, for my customers book. And this keyword was converting extremely well for shotgun approach, like it didn't make sense at all. And this was a hunting book. Great, great conversion. So what's going on? I put Adam I looked, I found it. Adam, Sam, who wrote fishing book, and fishing and hunting are quite similar. And actually, I think there is a fishing and hunting category. So really, very, very closely related, but I would never know if when I would, I could spend hundreds of hours looking for that specific outdoor author who wrote this, this one fishing book. Amazon did that for me. So, so I ran 70,000 keywords, phrase and broad and phrase is working a bit better than broad, but like maybe 55 to 45 something like this. And I show you my experiment now I okay. Oh, I cannot share the whole screen. So maybe a window in that case. So that's it. Okay. This my book, The Art of persistence, is the period with the shotgun approach and the results? Here they are,

kdp beta

I think this year only us 25 copies in more than a month. So this is what you usually get with, with the shotgun approach, like, not much, but it's profitable. And if you already have the database of keywords, it's pretty easy. So I was getting these kind of results, month after month after month. And then I got some money for experimentation. And I started several targeted ads, including two auto ads, which, like 80% of the job. And this is the result 54 copies.

amazon ads shotgun approach

Well, not everything is matching KDP versus AMS. So I actually sold like 20 more copies than I image showed. But as I said, most of the results were generated by auto ads, and one was for kindle only. One was for paperback only. And so advertising dashboard doesn't show the other version if you run your campaign only for the one. So the other Version says. So that's, that's the results and I will show you also the ads.

Yup. So this is the period when the arts were running,

amazon ads results

I had only six of them. And more than 90% of results really like 35 and only three sales, three orders were from something custom auto ads. So I created only six campaigns and I got more than twice better sales in similar period. But look at the budget. I didn't really I wasn't careful, like I had this money for experiments. So I didn't mind spending money in the end for that period. I calculated that I lost Like suddenly like eighty bucks to generate those 54 sales. So the conclusion, main conclusion here is auto ads are like the king for targeting clearly not shotgun approach. And, and they are good, I would say for the fear response. And then Amazon runs out of good targets and get very bored with chasing other targets and their performance goes down, you can see here, orders. It's this orange line. So the first 20 days were excellent, and it was much worse. So just a bit of targeting bids, bids, the shotgun approach, but in the shotgun approach, I was wasting money now I was losing money with the targeted approach. And that's one thing. The other is that, like, I had other ideas how to like this campaign, our book is pay attention the art of persistence. Here I have like few 100 synonyms for persistence. And, like, only 4700 impressions on only two clicks, no sales. So your best ideas may appear like they won't convert and you just lost time trying to narrow down your target audience.

Denis Caron 17:04

Was it just that your bidding was a lot lower with with that one that you showed us there was a CPC is really low?

Michal Stawicki 17:14

Yeah, it's it was lower, but not much lower. And when I use this kind it I think it was 20 and I ended up only with those two cheap clicks 20 and up and down. So usually I my shotgun approach is around 10.

So those are keywords suggested by Amazon, and one at least one converted. And those are similar books and categories suggested by Amazon and a couple of them converted, but the conversion ratio was pretty tragic like see 116 clicks and only two sales Come on. So in the end, targeting is tricky. And I would claim that I succeeded only because of my experience. Yeah, so I knew what I was doing. I already had a good book, this book has almost 150 reviews and I have good description, great editorial reviews. And so it works and I have had this experience maybe not with targeting per se as you can see, but I knew the system ins and outs so in the end it was very hard for me to lose that money. But if you approach it as freshmen Come on, you have no clue what's going on. People are telling you that yes, you should to beat those 50 cents or so. And good ratio is that and that come on your green horn you know nothing and I don't see you can succeed fast.

Alex Strathdee 19:27

Oh, tell us how you really feel. I will share something now to base just kind of an experiment here. I this is kind of showing you the mix or denis where you going to say something. Okay. So here I have this book. It's always it's always done pretty well. I started off only doing common keyword targeting so T dot see basically what we would do is we would take all of the keywords from the previous months. That's the month that sold across all of our accounts. And we would run those through publisher rocket and then create one master spreadsheet and do a complete new upload of common keywords into the account. And that worked for a while. I mean, still does work. And I've recently gone back to this is why I think just somewhere in the middle my argument, Michal, I agree with most of what you're saying, there's a few things I do have to disagree with. One of those is around that auto. So I'll talk about the auto campaign first. So I think that over time, it's completely variable. So as you can see it, you know, like one month, I mean, you know, absolutely incredible $15 spend, you know, supposedly reporting AMS 314. Even if you take half that it's still not a bad number, but then, you know, and for a year, basically, you know, not really a change, and the results declining, and then all of a suddenly just went berserk.

amazon ads auto campaign

And I think Amazon changes so much on the backend, so consistently, that you can't necessarily one campaign that performs horribly the previous month, or even the previous five months, you don't know what it's going to do next month. So I think that the auto campaigns are still so much variance in those. And I think that it is worth playing with bids on those as well, just because again, they seem to fluctuate in performance. So often, because I think like I said, Amazon makes a lot of changes on the back end pretty consistently. Any any questions anything about the auto campaign?

Denis Caron 21:27

And no, yeah, yeah. So you got two products or do you have to do bunch paperback and ebook in there?

Alex Strathdee 21:38

Yes, I always do. Because last year, at some point, Amazon stopped showing sales from someone, if they, let's say you're advertising the Kindle, and they click on the Kindle, and then buy the paperback that won't show up on your AMS dashboard. And that doesn't matter if you aren't looking to optimize your ads at all. But if you are looking to optimize, then I make sure to target both. And so going back to I guess, going off on the next tangent there is I started in March here doing a keyword exact campaign, which is basically any old search terms that work the overtime will just add them to this campaign, and then try to optimize them the jury's still out on how successful this is going to be. I do think that just as you go anything above 20 cents, cost per click, your profitability just seems to go down, which is why I mean, there is something to be said about how great the I mean, if I go back here, and we just look at I mean, I haven't altered these really at all, since I started running them the dot t dot e dot MIT, I mean, the the, you know, we shouldn't be paying attention to ACOS. But even if ACOS is way off, your sales is way off, the numbers still fall on in a pretty good place. So going back to what kind of we're doing now is trying to optimize for these keywords that have performed over time. And I mean, you'll see I've got some bids in here that are, you know, go up to even 43 cents just this is me testing on Luckily, this, you know, this book is profitable enough on everything else, where there's some room to do some testing and things to get a little less profitable. But I mean, you can see some things. You know, some things are worth, it seems like, seems like it's worth trying to bid a little higher, and they still convert well. And so I guess this is just my desire to milk, everything I can out of AMS But in the short term for at least a few months, when you're trying to optimize those bids. You know, this can go back into overall theory or, or whatever have you. But when you're trying to optimize, optimize those bids, you it's like, are you can you even optimize them when next month, the competitive landscape is going to look completely different. And so that I think is the hardest part here and kind of why I've started I keep these all that exact match, because I'm trying to find the exact sweet point bid. But I almost wonder if that's going to be a fruitless pursuit, just because of the fact that the competitive landscape seems to change so often. And so I wonder if it just goes back to maybe up and down bidding strategy as opposed to fixed but those are just some thoughts going on in my head there. I digress.

Denis Caron 24:38

So what sort of big bidding strategy Are you using there is are you using up and down? dynamic up and down?

Alex Strathdee 24:52

Fixed on those exact and I also have asi ends as well, that are fixed that I'm trying to fix. out. So that's just because I want to see if I can optimize the bid to at least some good degree. But so far the profitability of those campaigns has been less. But, you know, basically, I guess that does somewhat confirm Michals results there is that yes, you will sell more copies, but you know, less profitability, although, where I think we differ is I'm spending a few more months trying to get them optimized to see if I can get them profitable. So I can hit that sweet spot between selling more copies. Even if it does take a higher bid, we'll see. I don't know how that's gonna end.

Michal Stawicki 25:38

Yeah, my bidding strategy with with shotgun is bid as low as possible, and still get impressions. And that's really what makes this strategy working. And plenty of time I work with customers who like launch their book years ago, five years ago, and they did nothing since the lounge. So then this kind of approach really works, because the book was that Amazon has no data about it. Now, we are showing it to hundreds of 1000s of people a month. And some of them will click and buy most of the time.

Alex Strathdee 26:22

Yeah, going off the I also think Amazon likes you consistently, if you're doing a common word targeting, I found that the best result seems to seem to occur if you are uploading a brand new shotgun approach every month. Because those ads do seem to die out in terms of the campaign just over time, I think those do perform less, less and less. So the more you're able to because I mean, come on. It's the same way with like the, you know, the iPhone when the iPhone was created, that became a word, right? So there's constantly new words being added to our vocabulary that people might not necessarily be targeting on Amazon. So you can't assume that you've got all of the keywords that people I mean, there's just because of the way the world changes, there's new topics and new, you know, keywords that could work differently, you know, month over month, or be added.

Denis Caron 27:10

I think a big part of it. I mean, maybe this would be another topic of conversation for another session, but relevancy. So as far as I understand it, Amazon takes into account two things if they're going to show impressions, relevancy and bid and bid price.

I think it's another topic for conversation that we could have is relevancy. Now, they don't give us a relevancy score. It's like one of the only ad platforms out there that don't give us a relevancy score. The best I know, to judge relevancy is the CTR. Yeah, that was just a thought. But I think that's a good a good conversation. I wonder how they take, like, I'd really love to see sort of the back end of Amazon's algorithm. I mean, I'm sure there's 1000s of people that want to see that, but like, how they judge relevancy, right? So the shotgun approach. So I had one person who I was coaching her how to how to set up her ads over the phone. And I couldn't see her screen. So she had come up with a number of keywords that were applicable to our book. And one was just straight up books. One was fiction books, and another one was, and as she messaged me a couple days later, and she's like, Oh, I have this many impressions. I spent this much I'm like, Really? Wow. Like, I did not expect that. And like she did, she has like a very, very niche type of fiction book. Wow, really, let's let's dive in and take a look. So I saw which she was, she was looking at was was books. And like, it was almost profitable. I was almost profitable. And it was like a very, very specific fiction book for like, young adult girls like, and it was almost profitable for just for books. So yeah, there is something to be said there. And I was reading the book, Amazon ads unleashed. I liked that book by Robert Ryan. And he used the example of using the maybe this is in your shotgun thing, McCallum as well, but using the keyword book, books, books, three, three the word books three times and building on that, I think that would work in more broad books, like you know, like, the power of persistence or whatever the book is there. Did that might work in more broad books, but more specific book like, for example, I have Catch the Unicorn, no book marketing strategies for fiction authors. And I struggle I've done this, lots of different angles even close to a shotgun approach. But I've struggled to get impressions even on it. And that was my fault. And I may be meaning to do a Facebook Live on this on like how I messed up with this book last year. Right and making it too niche. Right. I think there is something, the keywords that I do have now convert well, but they're very specific. They're barely barely get any impressions. So yeah, I think the type of book that you have, if it's if it appeals to a wide range, a wide market, I think that that also really helps. As opposed to my book market instructional strategies for fiction authors, that is very niche, very niche, that if I just targeted books, I think it would be a complete bust.

Michal Stawicki 30:53

Okay, what I think about relevancy, it works like that. That client of yours shoes book, but because the match was broad, or phrase, Amazon connected the right like, young adult fantasy books, someone was typing that. And Amazon knew this is the right person for this book. And this girl is targeting books there is some connection, let's show it. And it takes the algorithm enough times, by the way, books and ebooks and variation of those keywords are like the best, I remember the golden times of 2016 when it was my like, I could create books, just on a keyword for ebook. And be taking Yeah, that that was working pretty well. And the same goes with the history I told you about hunting book and Adam. I had no idea what's going on why Adam should be relevant to the, to my customers book made no sense for me at all. But Amazon It was like a lot of sense. And whenever someone typed looking for hash one fishing book, which was by Adam Samho, my ad was was popping up and people were clicking it. So this is also another reason why the shotgun approach works at all. That one, and it's very useful tool, I would say like because I so I showed you my result 25 copies, they are poor results. And Alex is right with time the shotgun approach, performance is declining and declining. And I think also, it confuses the Amazon algorithm because I have a few customers I have for four years, three years, and I can see that the books are performing pretty bad, as well as my own books. With years and years and years of confusing the algorithm. And Amazon still had no idea what my books are about, despite the fact I sold hundreds and 1000s of copies. So but like for the very beginning, it's excellent, you slap those 1000s of keywords and you get like 50 sales, you look at the search terms, by the way, when I was had been starting you you had no search term. So it was all like questing, and that's why I kept using this system for years because I had like, No data at all to try to optimize . optimization was costly in the manner of time, so I just kept doing what was somehow working. Alex Anything else?

Alex Strathdee 34:35

Yeah, I was just gonna say I called Amazon a few weeks ago and asked where the relevancy score is kept. And I think you could call Amazon 10 times and get 10 different answers. Um, to be honest, and I've seen lots of authors in different groups just go ham on the customer service, poor customer service reps at Amazon because of that reason. They all seem to be told different things themselves, but One of those things that I did hear from someone which which makes sense to me, just for the fact that even if the common shotgun word strategy approach can work for four years, is that your relevancy score is not necessarily if you don't have a an account relevancy score, a book relevancy score, the relevancy score is kept in, you know, tracked or whatever at the targeting level, which is what I tell authors, just because it makes sense is that for a keyword, Amazon matches your relevancy for that keyword or your your know your target product combination. But when it comes to your whole account, I think that you can't necessarily screw it up. Because that was why I remember I got super scared of the shotgun approach, and even like, turned away from that for a few months was because I was, I went into someone's account set up the shotgun approach and a few ads, the few sales they were getting from very targeted campaigns just stopped producing results. And I immediately was like, wow, this is not good. And now I realized what it was is, my campaigns were competing against theirs, it had nothing to do with the relevancy of the account or the decrease of some relevancy score. But what was going on is that my bids were bidding higher than their bids for these super targeted keywords. So then, all the suddenly the, you know, months or years of data that were held on those targeted keywords, all you would have had to do necessarily, is just cut off the common word targeting and those would would theoretically start working again. So that's how I see it. That's a few notes on that out there. Okay, so I have a JC story.

Michal Stawicki 36:39

Because it's not like this, Alex, because I screwed customer's account with much lower base. And it wasn't only in the advertising algorithm, but it affected the marketing category. So the situation was like that. She had some good books with rank 10,000 or even less, and I started with my shotgun approach, the ads gonna rate my ads with low bids generated about the same results, like for another book that doesn't afford it for that book. 40 for that book, and so on. So not much. But what happened. I so confused the Amazon algorithm, the marketing algorithm, they stopped marketing her book inside the store, like her rank dropped, because she got, you know, this dozen or two dozens of sales from my work, but she lost all the organic traffic or if not all, than 80% of it. So it was a disaster. So if Amazon already figured out what your book is about, and now also this, this, this and this sales Amazon, like, I think they turn off marketing for that book, because oh, we thought this is this, but it's not. So we stopped showing this book to people here

Denis Caron 38:25

no, it affects Do you notice any major negative changes to the also boughts? When you're doing the shotgun approach? Because the shotgun, I always look at the also boughts to give a good idea of relevancy and understanding of the book.

Michal Stawicki 38:45

Yes, it certainly messes it. That's why I was talking about confusing Amazon about my books. You know, I found really bizarre terms, search terms, which convert that into light sites, like enlarge your pennies, or sex toys, and so on, and so on. I'm writing nonfiction, personal development books, nothing to do with that. But the person who looked for that was also interested in and come on it crazy confuses the algorithm also boughts. And that's why outdoor, are avoiding it. But my argument is, especially with those that books, most of them, most of the books I work with, are that at the very beginning so you have nothing to lose anyway. Let's Let's do it. And then, especially if your book is on the high end, like generating 100 sales a month from shotgun approach You have 100 data points, which you can start to turn off everything which is a shotgun and take this 100 data points, run them through publisher rocket, it will be still more relevant than just everything, you somehow towards suggested words. So shotgun approach is great for even beginning because I also launched a couple of my latest books. So half year ago and 18 months ago, using my shotgun approach. And it worked. Like I had with one book, over 14% of all the sales I got in the first month, were from my ads. So when plenty happens, like I used, of course, my fellow outdoors lists, some promo sites and so on. It's so much it's a torrent of data for Amazon algorithms. So they really are not that confused. They see, okay, this new release will promote it anyway. So if you have like, high volume situation, shotgun approach, will not mess things up. But if it's the case of let's say you have a book, three years, and by your marketing efforts, you are a genius. And you have also boughts, other famous authors from your genre yet it will screw up everything.

Alex Strathdee 41:47

I think to add on there, I think it could also prevent you from scaling your ads. Like I think and that's where I came down to is I think that if your, I mean, any way you slice it, the shotgun approach just works phenomenally well and brings orders profit that they would just wouldn't otherwise have. But at the same that's and that's why I've started to ask myself this question. And again, the jury's still out on how this is going to end up. But I've wondered to get to that point where Amazon is organically showing your book. Like I wonder if you can get there with common word targeting? Or if you do have to add some level of getting very specific over time?

Michal Stawicki 42:28

I would say yes, you can. And but it depends on the book. So I have a few unicorns, and they are under my approach for a couple of years, they are still selling 100 copies, or more mo from my ads. But those are a few unicorns usually like I claim it on my website resurrecting books on the sales page that the average is about 30 copies a month, this is what you can get with low beats. Plenty plenty of keywords. That's the reality of it. But on the other hand, selling 30 copies with profit beats that book every single day.

Denis Caron 43:24

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And that's why, especially for fiction authors recommend Facebook ads. Because I mean, they're less warm to the people that you're reaching out to in terms of like, they're not going to Facebook to buy something. They're going to check on their their pictures and memes and all that sort of stuff. But you have potential audience that's much more massive, they could sell much more. Now, I'm sort of experimenting. Now I know both of you are more into the nonfiction space. I don't have any experience with Facebook ads and nonfiction books. But that's something I'd be interested in and potentially take a look at. Eventually, too. Yeah, but Alex's question there, can you Yeah, can you do it with just the the shotgun approach? Or do you have to be targeted Michal convinced me a little bit more to do more shotgun. Truthfully, like more to meet more in the middle more more where Alex is. And what I think I'm going to do is with my book catch the unicorn, the book marketing strategies for fiction authors. I'm going to create a couple of campaigns that are more shotgunning that are more shotgun. And hopefully I can create those in the next couple of days and, and hopefully have enough data that we can go over them next session. I won't Go crazy into the 1000s of keywords. But I'll find something that's a little bit more broad, with low keywords with low bids. Because I do agree like, it's hard to. So I don't know if you guys know much about Facebook, but Facebook before you could target people who like to certain pages, right? So people who like Stephen King, I only want my ads to deliver to those people. But now, because the whole privacy thing of all blah, you can only pick people who are interested in a certain author, not the people who like that page. Now those people are interested in might have liked those page or might not have liked those page, those pages. But what Amazon what Facebook says is trust the algorithm, right, and it's just it's really hard for me to have faith in the algorithm, you know, the algorithm will figure it out. Just it's really hard for me to do that. But I can see some benefit into the algorithm where, especially when you're using dynamic bids up and down, like what does Amazon know that we don't know? I know a lot, right. Obviously, companies, they're, they're wealthy because they have data. That's the most important thing. They have data, right. So what does Amazon know? It's really creepy in a way, like, What does Amazon know that we don't about that specific customer, that they're going to dynamically bid it up? Because there's a higher potential that they're interested in that book, which is crazy, right? Like, it was trust the algorithm, the algorithm will figure it out. It's, it's just I hate, I hate that we have to deal with that. Right? Where you have to have trust in something that you just have no idea about it. And then you ask customer service, and nobody knows either. And they're just spewing off Bs, right? Probably their standard scripts that they came up with. They got that question 100 times and they're like, Oh, this sounds pretty good isn't the answer. And they just give that answer. Right. Yeah, it's, I mean, I mean, it leaves a potential for people like us in these groups to be like, Well, what do we figure out? What's working for you, and what's working, what's not working for you, but I have been swayed personally less, from less, you know, specific targeting to more, more of the shotgunning approach, just because trust the algorithm, is, I need to trust the algorithm a little bit more. Because even me, like, you know, I go rock climbing or something. Right. And like, I don't know, if I trust you the thing, base thing is trust your equipment, right? gotta trust the rope. The rope is tested, it's, you know, it can hold someone my wait times 10. You know, they use go to trust, trust that and at least experiment with it. But that's what Michal did for me today. With his with his explanation, his approach, said trust, remember, today's it, trust your equipment. Or at least test it anyway.

Michal Stawicki 48:17

I would love to say that. My, again, because we know nothing, but I work in IT for PricewaterhouseCoopers in the IT consulting branch. So I know how it works from the inside. And my hunch is that they are going to is too good. Like it's great for physical products, because they have so little connection points. But what I discovered recently with with art of resistance ads, like I put just Kindle and just paperback into separate out arts. And the results are different because it's algorithm. It's like classy advertising algorithm. They try to narrow it down like beautifully to the last one. And it's not exactly what in my opinion Amazon should do with books, especially because they have I'm like I'm convinced they index the whole text of the book. And it's why I'm convinced because I took all of my books, processes, all the words I had inside all the pagers in three words which were next to them to themselves and it sells. So come on. I'm pretty sure it was that were the way so they are trying too hard with books with having like, so much data and tried to narrow it down to that's like the only minus of this category. But it also, like gives us chances like the shotgun approach which come on, it wouldn't work on any other platform, I bet my life on that.

amazon ads overview

Alex Strathdee 50:24

One thing that I'll end off on here it goes back to Denis where you're tuned out with Facebook ads, I am very curious to dive heavier into those because I have worked on a few books that have also been running Facebook ads. And I think that one of the best things for the Amazon algorithm is having traffic come in externally to your book. And so that just seems to really help Amazon want to push those ads that you're you're doing on Amazon. So I am very interested in going deeper into the combination of Facebook and Amazon ads there.

Michal Stawicki 50:58

Yeah, I spoke with Dave Chesson, the creator of publisher rocket, and like he's SEO geek, so he's pretty sure it was that way. You bring the traffic Amazon rewards here. And I would say, guys who are doing it right. Not me, like how I wrote and the Miracle Morning. He is on the every podcast out there. And they are evergreen people are listening to this stuff going through Amazon buying the book, Amazon thinks, okay, people are landing here and buying immediately. This book needs to be great. Come on, let's market it more. And this is how you do it the right way.

Denis Caron 51:52

Yeah, and I mean, just to just to solidify that point, there's something I'm not sure if you guys are familiar, anyone watching this familiar, but there's merch by Amazon, where you can sign up and do t shirt designs and like mug designs and all that sort of stuff. But it's an exclusive program, exclusive that you have to apply. And one of the predicted but not not a lot of people who apply get in to actually start designing. But one of the predicted things is those who get get accepted already have a base, like already have a following that they could drive to Amazon. So yeah, Amazon looks out for Amazon. Right? So Amazon loves it if you bring some external traffic. And it's, it's shown just in the application, right? If you have a following that you can transfer over to Amazon, they'll probably take you it's gonna strengthen your application a lot more. So. Yeah. Yeah, I would agree with that to

Alex Strathdee 53:01

anyone want to throw out some ideas for next week here. So people can have an idea of what they might be here next week.

Michal Stawicki 53:15

Price points. How will they affect advertising profitability and so on? And bidding. I mean, how much you bid? That's like the discussion in itself.

Denis Caron 53:34

Yeah, I think that's a good one. The price balancing out the price points in the bidding to make sure you're profitable. Yeah. That's cool.

Alex Strathdee 53:44

All right. Sounds good. That wraps it up here.

Michal Stawicki 53:49

Thank you guys.

Denis Caron 53:50


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