With this guide, we’ll show you that you don’t need to understand another language to run Sponsored Products campaigns in additional countries. We’ll go over how to create your first campaigns in a country that isn’t your domestic marketplace, and provide tips for optimising these campaigns for long-term success. With just the reporting insights available to you in the campaign manager.
We are going to use a fictitious UK based seller, Hinzelman’s, as an example. One of their bestselling products is a premium airbed called Floatzzz. Hinzelman’s has run a few Sponsored Products campaigns in the UK to help boost sales, and thinks that shoppers in Germany would potentially be interested in the airbed, too. So they decide to launch their first Sponsored Products campaign for Germany.
Launching a Sponsored Products campaign with automatic targeting
We have the ability to advertise in non-English-speaking countries without having to determine all the keywords for that region. For example, we can use automatic targeting for a German campaign without the need for a German-speaking marketer
— Paul Grey, US advertiser
As Hinzelman’s navigates to the campaign manager for Germany, they decide to view the account in their language of preference, English. So the interface looks familiar.
When creating a Sponsored Products campaign in a country other than the domestic marketplace, we recommend leveraging all the automated features available. The main ones are:
matches the ad to a search term used by a shopper looking for the product in the commonly used local language.
After that, it’s time to select a bidding strategy. With ’Dynamic bids – up and down’, Amazon Ads adjusts bids up or down in real time during the auction for every eligible impression by a maximum of 100% based on the likelihood of conversion.
Hinzelman’s uses this strategy because they want to reach as many shoppers as possible who are interested in the product and ready to make a purchase. If they only wanted Amazon Ads to decrease their bids when the likelihood of conversion is low, they could select the ‘Dynamic bids - down only’ option. This strategy would be right for them if they wanted to optimise for total number of clicks, and a lower CPC.
Then they move on to selecting the product they want to advertise, Floatzzz, and set the bids.
With automatic targeting, they can use a default bid, or use a different bid for each targeting group, close match, loose match, substitutes, and complements. We recommend leveraging the suggested bids to help set competitive bids for a particular country. Hinzelman’s uses the suggested bids as a guideline, as they don’t know how much they should invest in Germany yet. They can always change the bids later.
Hinzelman’s checks that the selected bids and budget work together. If bids were higher than the campaign budget, they might not receive any impressions.
Hinzelman’s decides to use the recommended bid for each of the targeting groups.
They ignore negative targeting for now, and launch their first campaign in Germany.
Optimising an automatically targeted Sponsored Products campaign
After running this campaign for two weeks, which is the recommended time to let a campaign run at first to ensure there is enough reporting insights to analyse performance, Hinzelman’s wants to optimise the bids for each targeting group.
Clicking on the ‘targeting’ tab in the campaign manager shows a report that provides insights into how each of the automatic targeting defaults are performing. Hinzelman’s pauses the ones with low performance (for example complements, which have no sales), and increases bids for the targeting groups with good sales and an acceptable Advertising Cost of Sales (ACOS): close match, loose match and substitutes.
Then they adjust the bid for each default based on the suggested bid. Suggested bids and bid range update daily, based on the increase or decrease in competing bids and ads in each auction.
Analysing the reports from Sponsored Products campaigns with automatic targeting
We learned that using automatic targeting campaigns is a very good starting point in order to learn how customers are discovering your products on Amazon in those local languages. You can then use those terms in your manual campaigns and start reaching those customers.
— Ritu, US advertiser
After two weeks, Hinzelman’s also downloads reports for the automatic campaign.
The most useful report for running campaigns in a foreign language is the search term report. They look at the column ‘Customer Search Term’ to see what shoppers actually used to find their product. If this contains a combination of letters and numbers, that means the shoppers came across the ad on another product detail page rather than in the shopping results page.
Hinzelman’s uses the filters on the top to sort for the best-performing search terms. With the main objective of increasing sales, Hinzelman’s looks for the search terms with high sales, and a high ROAS, but also checks that the ACOS is within their ACOS target. In contrast, they additionally look for the search terms with low performance. For example, the ones with low impressions, clicks, or sales, or a particularly high ACOS when there is a high number of clicks without any sales.
Hinzelman’s makes a note of those best-performing and worst-performing search terms, as they will need these later for their manual campaigns.
Based on this example, Hinzelman’s put ‘luftbett selbstaufblasend’ (high clicks, good sales, good ROAS, and ok ACOS), ‘aufblasbares gästebett’ (good CTR, sales, and ROAS, with acceptable ACOS), ‘gäste schlaf luftmatratze’ (very good ROAS and ACOS, despite low impressions) on their list of high-performing search terms. They add ‘premium luftmatratze’ (high CTR and cost, but no sales; indicates the product might not be what the shoppers are actually looking for) and ‘einfache luftmatratze’ (barely any clicks and no sales) on the list of low-performing search terms.
Creating a manual keyword targeting Sponsored Products campaign
Then Hinzelman’s creates a new Sponsored Products campaign, selecting manual targeting. They choose the ad group name and which products to advertise.
After selecting the bidding strategy, it’s time to choose the keywords.
This is where it might seem tricky since Hinzelman’s don’t speak the language of the marketplace where they want to advertise. But they are well prepared now.
Of course, they can use the keyword suggestions provided by Amazon Ads, but they can also enter their own keywords with the two lists of search terms they created earlier. They simply copy/paste the list of search terms that performed well in the automatic campaign into the tab ‘Enter keywords’, ensuring that they use all three targeting types—broad, phrase, and exact—for each. That way, Hinzelman’s sets the targeting to reach more shoppers with relevant search queries, beyond just the ones who use the exact terms that came up in the automatic campaign.
Then they copy/paste all keywords from the list of underperforming search terms (the ones with a lot of clicks but no sales for example) into the field for negative keyword targeting, using negative exact. This ensures that the ads won’t show to shoppers browsing with that specific term.
Creating a manual product targeting Sponsored Products campaign
As Hinzelman’s knows from their domestic campaigns, manual targeting also lets them target specific products, categories, or brands that are similar to the product in their ad. This helps shoppers find the product when browsing detail pages and categories, or generally when looking for products on Amazon.
They select the option for manual targeting when they create a new Sponsored Products campaign, then below the bids in the ‘Targeting’ section the option ‘Product targeting’. There, it’s possible to either choose the suggested categories, or search for categories to target. The categories show in the language of preference, which makes selecting the right ones for the specific product easier.
To target individual products, they can either select the suggested products, or enter the ASINs of products similar to theirs.
They can also exclude brands and products if they don’t want to reach shoppers looking for those specifically.
Hinzelman’s chooses the categories inflatable beds, mattresses, and camping airbeds, and launches the campaign.
Once the campaigns are set up and running, Hinzelman’s wants to see how they’re performing. The key here is to focus on a few reports and key metrics, making sure they have time to do this on a regular basis.
As with the automatic campaign, Hinzelman’s checks the search term report to see which terms shoppers are using to find the product. They add the high-performing terms as additional keywords to their manual campaign and compare the bids for these high-performing keywords to their CPC. If the bid was close to the CPC, they can increase the bid to see if they could potentially get additional impressions. While they look to increase the bids on the top-performing keywords, the suggested bid and bid range is very helpful, because these update daily and reflect current local demand.
They set the keywords with low performance, for example with a high ACOS, as negative keywords. Hinzelman’s has decided that, since they’re launching a product in a new marketplace, they’ll accept a slightly higher ACOS than in their domestic campaigns to help boost visibility and product recognition as they start out. They plan to lower their ACOS target after a few weeks.
Then Hinzelman’s also uses the targeting report to see if a specific match type is performing better or worse for a particular keyword. For the keyword ‘luftbett selbstaufblasend’, the broad match and exact match types are performing well, with good sales and an ok ACOS. To boost these, Hinzelman’s changes the bid in the targeting tab in the campaign manager accordingly, using the bid suggestion as an idea of how much to bid to stay competitive. The phrase match has a very high ACOS, though, so they select this keyword and match type combination and pause it. For the keyword ‘aufblasbares bett,’ the broad match type generated a lot of impressions and clicks, but it didn’t lead to any sales at all, so Hinzelman’s pauses this keyword and match type combination as well. For phrase and exact match, they decide to boost the bids to see if they can potentially generate more impressions and sales.
Looking at the manual product-targeted campaign, they check if the selected categories perform well for them in terms of sales and ACOS. They can refine the targeting further by price or star rating, to help ensure their product matches the shopper interest more closely.
To optimise the campaign further they consider targeting high-performing ASINs from their other campaigns via product targeting (the number-letter combinations from the customer search terms column in the search terms report with high sales and low ACOS). Additionally, they can select low-performing ASINs and negatively target them.
Tying it all together: Optimising campaigns for long-term success
To stay up to date with local shopping trends and maximise their investment, Hinzelman’s checks the reports and optimises the campaigns at least every two weeks. They use the search term report regularly, finding new keywords to add to the manual campaign and new search terms to exclude via negative targeting. With the targeting report, they optimise the manually targeted campaign, using bid suggestions to guide their bid adjustments.
Learning, trying and daily adjustments will lead you to success in the long term.
— Patrick Albus, UK advertiser
With these few simple adjustments, they help optimise their international campaign for long-term success. Still nobody in the team speaks German, but they have grown quite confident now using the search term report to help guide their keyword strategy for the manual campaign. So confident, in fact, that they launch their first automatic campaigns in Italy and Spain to advertise in all marketplaces they sell in.
This is how Hinzelman’s built a simple multi-marketplace advertising strategy.
If they can do it, so can you.
Start by launching an automatic targeting Sponsored Products campaign
After two weeks, use the search term report to create a list of best-performing and worst performing search terms
Create a manual keyword targeting campaign using the two keyword lists
Create a manual product targeting campaign
Check your search term and targeting report at least once a week and optimise your campaigns