Episode 33: Naio Olsen Stahl

Naio blessed me with some Amazon Advertising knowledge, demonstrating how you can continue to peal the layers on the topic with no end in sight.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Segmenting competitors into tiers and creating specific campaigns accordingly
  • Amazon advertising budget attribution
  • The importance of creating high quality Amazon content for your ppc campaigns
  • Why impressions is a frequently overlooked metric, that you want to be looking at
  • Linking together influencers and advertising
  • Defensive advertising strategies if you don’t have a bottomless bucket budget
  • Amazon advertising retargeting campaigns

You can find Naio on LinkedIn here.

Other resources:

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Click here for the RAW unedited transcript
[0:00:01] George Reid: Welcome to It’s Always Day One. My name is George Reid, a former Amazonian turned Amazon consultant. Each week on the podcast, you’re going to hit industry experts, brand owners on Amazon employees share their answers to the basic yet fundamental questions. You should be asking yourself about your Amazon business. Now let’s jump in. Hello, NY Oh, thank you for joining me today on the It’s Always Day one podcast. Nyo is part of the better, and that’s clang over in America without she’s based in Barcelona. On DSHEA. She’s a PPC. Specialists know you want to give us a brief background, add some meat to the bones of what I just kicked off with, and we can get some questions fired at you.

[0:00:41] Naio Olsen Stahl: Yeah, for sure. So my name is Naelson style. I’m originally from New Zealand, but as you mentioned, located in Barcelona at the moment being Europe for about four or five years on DSO, I think a lot of people came into the Amazon advertising space through a kind of natural transition like yourself, former Amazonian people who used to kind of be on the more operation side. However, for me, this has been really my role sort of off the jump kind of started as an Amazon ads intern fresh out of university and ever since for about two years, been working on aled different ad accounts. So all revenue sizes from 20,000 to 20 month? Uh, yeah, big range.

[0:01:18] George Reid: So that’s a huge numbers and quite quite a range there to kick things off. Eso I’ve been doing a little bit of digging beforehand to try and create some different questions for the audience listeners, audience you want to call them today on one of the things I really like flipping through linked Tim was tiered competitors. Now you made this observation. I actually hadn’t really thought of this way of thinking before because you explain a little bit more about what you mean by tiered competitors.

[0:01:47] Naio Olsen Stahl: Yeah, for sure. So I’m gonna always really interested in the competitive targeting process on Amazon because I think that when you get into product targeting and category targeting, that’s where a lot of potential lies that is kind of endless. So there’s there’s always gonna be a new competitive to find on Amazon. They’re always popping up. Eso I kind of thought of the idea of tiered competitive process or kind of targeting because it creates these three distinct layers, and you’ll often kind of intuitively know where you have room to expand. So I could say it. Three different types, so competitive type one is the exact same product. So that’s probably when you’re going to get into a bit more. Um, you know, what is their price point? How does it compare in terms of reviews, then competitors Type two is a directly similar products, and competitive type three would be an indirectly similar niche category. Eso got a good example that I use is if you are selling bed sheets made of silk. Nice. Um, that’s gonna be your competitive type one. So all products aled bed sheets that are made of silk. Okay, you’re targeting one of them. All the different colors, brands, whatever. Then you’re competitive. Type two is gonna be directly similar, but not the exact same. So that’s gonna be bedsheets made of other materials, you know, cotton flannel, micro fight. But whatever it is s also probably gonna be pillows and mattresses and do these things that you’re actually using the product with so It’s a very kind of simple cross sell and then with competitive type three. That’s when you get really more into that broad audience. So you’re looking at indirectly similar but still in the same category. So in that instance, I would go for more like home decor, specifically bedroom focus. So you’d go for alarm clocks, bed canopies. Another one would be, you know, congratulations on your new house, gifting or, you know, greeting cards. And so when you start to kind of build this out there, there are areas that you really might not think thought of before. Um, that just kind of come to become a parent.

[0:03:56] George Reid: On how do Ugo kind of about the process when it comes to budgeting, bidding strategy? Are you looking kind of assigned different budgets to each one of those based on the importance? Or are you trying some of the rough budgets and then, over time, looking to tweak those budgets to see what’s working? So three is working really well, The virgin Very well. You throw your budget towards the what kind of mindset towards that

[0:04:25] Naio Olsen Stahl: for sure, So I think that with this kind of competitive targeting, if you build it out. Highly segmented campaign. So you’ve got one campaign for one competitors? Er it takes a longer time, but you actually get in a fantastic base to actually create those kind of more specified bidding strategies. Eso What I like to do is really, um, sort of make sure that I understand the competitors within the marketplace. So, for instance, if you have competitors who have a cheaper price point than you dio, that’s when you’re gonna be wanna be more conservative with your beds and then on top of that, that also means that if you are running a coupon or a deal that kind of triggers you to target. Then Hatta, you’re gonna increase your bidding or your budget at those points again. If if it’s a more expensive competitors and you’ve kind of put in the work and comparatively analyze them, then those gonna be your prime targets. And I think there’s gonna be in a special focus on sponsor brands. If there a big brand or brig, you know, name that even goes off off of Amazon because I think then you really have to compete in terms of letting them know that um because I think a shopper will always buy from a big brand because they just have that trust and they think about the quality. So if you want to compete with them, that’s when you have tow, um, sort of make sure that they know that you are a brand and you have your own quality. That is competitive.

[0:05:53] George Reid: Yeah. I mean, I know that minds around. If they are a high street brand, let’s call them. They’ve got some brand recognition you’re looking to perhaps steal them away from when they’re sat on the customers sat on their listing or your setbacks and the search results. Using something like a sponsor brand Bab, I’m guessing you’re driving it back to a a storefront, where you’ve got more of a brand experience off your own to convey that similar superiority or other words. To display that you are very much a brand yourself is not some kind of cheap Chinese knockoff seller who’s who’s operating at the basement in the middle of nowhere, like you’re a proper, proper establishment. Is that kind of the message you’re sending with that type of campaign?

[0:06:40] Naio Olsen Stahl: Yeah, definitely. And I think that that is the direction that Amazon is going towards. I think they want more brand presence, I imagine. And I hope that is going to be more placements, especially for sponsored brand images. Eso I think that, yeah, the more that you can do to create that brand and create that story for yourself. That’s kind of how you get the competitive edge against. You know, a lot of these just really cheap sellers that, to be honest, get reviews the’re black hat tactics most of the time.

[0:07:15] George Reid: How important you want to know about sponsored Dr Images and the big area of Focus to me is like the Amazon creative side of things. And that’s creating good content, which is compelling, engaging, luring people in invokes emotion on that’s always been the case. If you look at Facebook advertising, there’s there’s loads of information out there about how to create strong content with the introduction. Then off video ATS, you mentioned there additional placement, responsive brand images. How important is it for brands to be starting to think mawr about the type of content they’re getting specifically for? Amazon

[0:07:53] Naio Olsen Stahl: Really important, I think really important, you know, there the kind of benefit to the sponsored products side is the fact that you blend in so you don’t look like an ad when you’re, you know, in a sponsored product placement. However, that’s where the benefits with sponsored brand images and videos come in is that you can stand out. You can actually have that leverage with shoppers to tell them why, how your product works or what it does or what’s special about it, whatever on. So if you’re not investing in that, you are really just limiting yourself to being kind of blending in. And I think that the most important creative at the moment is video. Just because, personally, I’ve seen on every account that I’ve run it on. It just does incredible with sales and a cause. I’ve seen it too low a course with video. Um, yeah, I I think that if you’re not investing in those creatives, you’re just putting yourself in a lower position toe Other sellers. I think that you need to think about it long term. You know your videos aren’t just suddenly going to go away. I think it’s worth investing in it.

[0:09:04] George Reid: E guess to clarify mine inclination. Is it a case of if you’ve got them really strong graphics, those really strong images, those really strong videos you’re getting that high click through on regardless of whether or not you get the sale. Obviously, if you get the sale, that’s gonna help your relevance mawr. But clarify for the audience to my understanding, if you’re click through rate is higher, you’re likely off winning those bidding battles in the future increases as your click through rate increases. You become more relevant to their for Amazon, um, or accepting of your bid over another in a bidding war. Is that Is that credit I’ve got?

[0:09:42] Naio Olsen Stahl: All right. Um, yeah, that’s the way I see it. So you’re right. Like I think that clicks and click through right has a really big kind of liver within the algorithm as a whole. So I found that that’s why influencing campaigns work really, really well with Amazon products. Because what happens when you, you know, I have a client to They were with an instagram er they made one post. They had about a million followers and instantly, you know, sales grew by at least like 100%. And there was such a long tail after that off sales growth. And I think that was because you had all of these extra clicks all of this really high CTR and of, of course, like sales conversions in a short period of time. And so they’re just Aled goes together in terms off the algorithm, like absolutely loving that and ranking and prioritizing your products. So I think that images can play that same part.

[0:10:40] George Reid: Yes, I guess with with the way the algorithm works, to my understanding, it’s a case of if you’re getting good traffic, it doesn’t really matter if they’re thinking on your organically or think you’re paid at the attribution towards your overall relevance, perhaps increases mawr. If they clicked on the because they’re serving it there for a particular keywords, they’re putting you right in front of them. You’re the person is clicking it, suggesting you are relevant in some capacity. If you could let increase that relevance by improving the content that you’re putting in front of them by image five video that bolsters it further. What I find interesting about influence you talked a little bit about linked in you. The day is how you can kind of work together with influences on your Amazon ads, like are you? You do anything like a search find by with influences. That is, that what some people have noticed is working well, where you’re asking to search a particular term rather than just giving them a link or how we’re using brands utilized influence is fully emerging it with what you’re doing with the advertising.

[0:11:46] Naio Olsen Stahl: I think they do both, to be honest. So I know that, um, you know, it is a kind of swipe up to the Amazon listing, which again, I think that works really well because a lot of shoppers trust Amazon and they haven’t account they have prime. So it works really well in that way. But it has a huge, just kind of natural organic, searched him increases Well, because people are looking for your brand. They’re looking for the other products. Andi, I think the best way to kind of leverage that and just like build on it more is a lot of thes influences actually have an Amazon wish list, and then so what you can do to kind of increase your coverage with them is then go on to target all of the different items on their wish list. So if someone follows, you know this amazing Instagram er and they really like one product, they go and purchase it on Amazon. But then they see yours pop up and they remember Oh, yeah, I saw that a few weeks ago. I should check that up. It’s really, like, just layer things like that. And, of course, bidding on their brand name. People will search for their instagram er, you know, wish list. And you’d be surprised how many brands don’t do this, Actually,

[0:12:54] George Reid: So what you’re saying there is the first is genius and taking that wish list, taking every single item inside of it and going right. But they’re going to be interested in one product that is being promoted. Um, obviously going to be interesting. All of her wish list items. Let’s just continually ping a double pronged approach or a two pronged approach. What you said about the bidding on her name. So you will take X y said influencer. And you were just bid on that name directly that Is that what you said?

[0:13:24] Naio Olsen Stahl: Yep. Correct. So you put on that exquisite influenced her name exquisite Amazon store Amazon Page Wish list. All of those main can keywords.

[0:13:34] George Reid: So you’re taking Oppa’s much real estate related to that name is possible and just grabbing what clicks wherever you can. Essentially,

[0:13:40] Naio Olsen Stahl: absolutely. And that’s way to kind of build your own sort of targeting on them. That’s separate from their actual post, which you know less than they’re doing. You know, God’s work. They’re doing amazing that I’ve really, really been impressed with the impact off influencer campaigns in relation to Amazon. And so the more that you could do that, you know, doesn’t cost you every time they post, you

[0:14:05] George Reid: know,

[0:14:05] Naio Olsen Stahl: just really get your return on. That’s been there.

[0:14:08] George Reid: We talked a little bit there about being offensive and Amazon, which is the way our we describe these types of strategies. But we then got the defensive side, so join is kind of explain a little bit. How do you view being defensive on Amazon? What sort of things that you thinking about what brands are asking you? We defend our brand. Lift it. That’s a

[0:14:32] Naio Olsen Stahl: really good question, because I feel like it really plays into how strong you want to be with your budget. So if you have an endless stream of budget and you’re like, No, I just want to defend my listings 100%. You can do that. You could build out those campaigns where you’re getting every sponsored product listing as long as you have enough essence. Obviously. Ah, sponsored display sponsor brand. You can really build that out. However, if you’re limited with your budget, you it can cost more than you think to get that 100% coverage, and then you’re going to see that your Amazon ads account. You know, the majority of sales and your best. A cost is coming from your branded campaigns. And so I would see it is like as long as you have a healthy you know, minimum of about 60% coverage on your own listings and your brand. What brand name is a bit different? You want to 100% dominate your sponsored brand top of search and also your sponsored product. Top of search. Those I think in non negotiable. You need to be making sure that no competitors jump in there, but in terms of product listing, I think then you have to be realistic about your spend and what kind of goals, because obviously, if you want sales growth, you’re mostly going to get that from external traffic. You know, if someone’s searching for your product listing, they’re they’re probably gonna die.

[0:15:50] George Reid: Yeah, I think a lot of that probably comes down to ensuring you’re doing other things. Well, first. So let’s say you look at the listing. There’s a whole ensuring you’ve got phenomenal content, ensuring you’ve got highly engaging copy, ensuring your answering questions, all the stuff that we will know. We’ve spoken about previous previous podcast. Ensuring that’s being done well to your conversion rate is much higher than if you’ve got a shoddy listing. Shoddy images, shoddy copy on but overall poor offering. E sourcing brilliant the other day, and it was someone asked the question of going When when people are asking for support to grow their particular product in a niche looking at that page, wanna go? You know, do I deserve to be on page one? Is my product actually a good offering for this search term if you factor in the price If you factor in the product that Southee USPS do, I deserve to be there sometimes. Yeah, I’m sure you’ve dealt with clients. I certainly have. Where you’re going, you don’t actually deserve to be there. You’re 20% 30% higher price. And you’re offering nothing for that. It’s the same with advertising. You must. You must cross that bridge, Come across that a lot, right?

[0:17:05] Naio Olsen Stahl: Definitely. And I think that kind of tangentially well connected with that is that I think that impressions kind of traffic that you get with Amazon ads is one of the most underrated KP eyes that we discuss because I think for like, the majority of my clients, I’m getting a minimum off about one million impressions on a week on a weekly basis. And when you think about it, that’s first of all, a lot of eyeballs. But the kind of connection that you have with that is that all of those millions of people who have seen your product listing page not just do they know your brand, they know your images. They hopefully, you know, bought your product. But that also immediately goes into retargeting value. And so you can put that into your sponsor display. But then also, of course, if you’re running DSP that’s gonna be super valuable is Well, um, so I think that’s the exact same thing Where, um as you were saying, if you’re bringing a lot of traffic to a listing, but you’re listening is terrible or if you’re you’re building these amazing campaign so that your number one top of search for your number one keyword that’s great. But yeah, you need to kind of do the secondary, um, sort of analysis there. Do you deserve to be there? How am I sort of taken advantage off these impressions that I’m getting, um and yeah, what? What you’re kind of goals are in terms of whether it’s growth or profitability. You know, it’s two different.

[0:18:34] George Reid: You mentioned there about retargeting, obviously DSPs completely different. Topic him. Get all. Kyle did a good episode with us on that for those who want to go back and have a little gander of that. But speaking a little bit now we’re seeing Mawr Mawr functionality come through with just general Amazon advertising. Rather the DSP platform offering functionality to retarget impressions. Right. You know more about what you wanna explain about that a little bit for those listening

[0:19:06] Naio Olsen Stahl: sure, so Amazon allows youth via sponsored display to re target. Shoppers who have either a already bean to your product listing page or B have already been to a product listing page or the A very similar product. Now that’s kind of something that Amazon takes care of, you know, allowed to choose what that product is. I think they used to. They used to beam or on available. That used to be, um, searches. People who have searched for things on your product used to be purchases people who already purchased your product. But I think they’re playing around with just letting you have just a taste of DSP. So then you eventually purchased the whole thing.

[0:19:49] George Reid: How do you see Amazon, in your opinion? Shifting? Ah, lot of the functionality from DSP slowly over. What do you think they’re gonna hold that back in time? Uh

[0:19:57] Naio Olsen Stahl: oh, That is a good question. I think, in a dream world, Yes, I think that there should be certain aspects of DSP like more of them put into the sponsored sort of side. However, I think that it does have a completely different set up. Um, and I think that they can charge a lot more and kind of maintain it as a separate sort of function. Yeah, Yeah, Exactly.

[0:20:25] George Reid: Okay, We got a quick speed round with three quick fire questions on. Then we’ll wrap things up. So, first of all, most one of my staple on most enjoyable questions. What’s the biggest threat from Amazon business right now?

[0:20:39] Naio Olsen Stahl: The biggest What? Sorry.

[0:20:40] George Reid: Threat to Amazon business.

[0:20:43] Naio Olsen Stahl: Oh, I think Black black hat tactics, people having fake reviews, clicking all your worst reviews to be the most helpful. Hate that button. Please take it away. Um, yeah, yeah. Black hat tactics. Really kind of destroy the cop kind of natural competition on Amazon.

[0:21:03] George Reid: Completely agree. Question number two. Should brands manage advertising in house?

[0:21:10] Naio Olsen Stahl: No. The reason why, Okay, you’re in house. Person might have more time to dedicate to your brand, but they’re not gonna be in the world of Amazon ads. When you work in an agency, you’ve got you know how many people at the moment better. Amos has eight people thes air eight people who work in all different products, all different categories, different price points. We have different targets. Were constantly knowing what’s beta What’s new, What’s changed. Having that bubble is what you’re paying for us. Well, you’re really investing in experts who live and die Amazon ads, whereas if you have in house, they’ll live and die your brand. But they’re gonna have to do more work to actually get all of that intel.

[0:21:52] George Reid: Yeah, I completely agree. There’s a reason why you have experts in every industry Onda that applies completely here, particularly when it comes down to advertise where you could just burn money so quickly on then probably energy into the kind of wrong area. So when final question, if you were running an Amazon business on your own, who would you hire first and why?

[0:22:17] Naio Olsen Stahl: Oh, for my advertising,

[0:22:20] George Reid: whatever is completely up to you, like in terms of the person’s skill, sets their background. What would you be looking for in that first higher?

[0:22:27] Naio Olsen Stahl: I think you need someone who is able to cater to your needs. So if you are a very, very small wolf, I was a very, very small seller, and I’m just really focused on profitability. Then I would go out and look for um, on the ad side or management side someone who understands that I don’t want to spend a lot. I wanna keep my targets extremely low. And they’re kind of price point can match the level of sort of TLC that I want. However, if I’m going big and I’m like, you know what? I’m on Amazon. I’m a big fish. Now, let me let me toss some dollars this way. Then I’m gonna go for the biggest and the best. I’m gonna go for the agency that loves growth that wants to drive profit. And I believe that’s better. A mess. Thank

[0:23:14] George Reid: you. So let’s blow on it if you weren’t going Agency. Bring that you are hiring. You’re bringing someone in house. They’re gonna work full time for you. Is there a particular component that you would be like? Well, I’m gonna advertising. I can nail that bit. Is there? Is there another part of this Would complement the whole business and help grease the wheels if you will.

[0:23:37] Naio Olsen Stahl: Um, I would love someone in house who could work on the external traffic to Amazon. So as we talked about influencers, I’d love for them to analyze who would be a really good fit for my brand um, Facebook ads, perhaps Google ads. Whatever it is, I would love to For them to try toe, um, kind of put it into the Amazon thing from external traffic. I’d also get DSP if I’m honest. I think that Z it’s like a separate tool for for Amazon that has a different focus. In a way, it’s much more kind

[0:24:11] George Reid: of current requirements for the S P.

[0:24:14] Naio Olsen Stahl: I think in the moments like minimum 10,000 month, spend roughly Oh, don’t quite member

[0:24:20] George Reid: on What’s the cost of, er

[0:24:22] Naio Olsen Stahl: you’re asking the wrong person? I don’t know, but I like So shout out, Kyle. He did a kind of master class for us. It very mess, and it was really interesting the to see the kind of differences with DSP. It’s much more about kind of finding customers who aren’t even on Amazon, but who would like your products or have already purchased or whatever it is. Um, it’s like a completely different game, But because it plays into the Amazon world, I think it’s going to be a Mawr and Mawr sort of unique aspect, um, to bring in loyal customers

[0:24:57] George Reid: completely agree. No, thank you. So much for spending 24 minutes, 25 minutes with me today nattering away, hopefully mean enjoyable. And hopefully we’ll get you out again in the future.

[0:25:08] Naio Olsen Stahl: Yeah, absolutely. Sounds good. Nice talking to you

[0:25:11] George Reid: just now. Have a good day.

[0:25:12] Naio Olsen Stahl: Thanks, George by

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