What do you get when you combine Lazar (Sellers Alley), Brent (AMZ Pathfinder) and Sean Smith (PPC AMS Accelerator)? An explosion of really cool real life PPC examples mixed with lots of laughter. Listen to this episode to hear their opinions on current and future trends, keyword ranking and ad placements. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook! Stay tuned for more exciting episodes about PPC!
Hey guys, welcome to the Wild PPC Bunch podcast. My name is Lazar and I’m a PPC nerd. I have over 10 years of experience in online advertising. And currently I’m the owner of the growing Amazon advertising agency called Sellers Alley.
And I’m Brent from AMZ Pathfinder. I started this company five years ago and we’ve been working in online advertising since 2013.
Every week we will spend around 30 minutes covering one topic and it will get nerdy, I promise. We’ll prepare a topic, covering everything from PPC basics, in-depth strategy and current trends.
One thing’s for sure you won’t be bored and you will hear insights, tactics and ideas straight from two experienced agency owners. So strap in for the ride and enjoy.
Hey guys, we have a really special guest today. One of the first Wild PPC Bunch members, Sean Smith. Hey Sean.
Hey, what’s going on Lazar! Thank you for having me, man. This is super awesome, I don’t know. And I’m honored to be the first guest. I didn’t know I was the first guest, but it’s actually like hearing that is really cool. So thanks for telling me that I’m the first guest, because it makes me feel special.
When we put up the episode, we’re going to put on there like feat, like they’re doing in rap albums. Like feat Sean Smith.
We can auto tune the whole thing.
I don’t know if we need to, you have such a good voice already. I think you’re set.
Imagine that. I don’t know if you know the team and everything that we have. We have literally everything from dinosaurs to cars, rockets like…
Yeah, Miami nights song. Trust me, man. I’ve been to the website and I was like, man, this is really cool. Like just set up. I love it, man. I don’t know.
I was definitely into it.
I was super into it. And did you see the deep comment I put on the post?
When you reached out to me, man, I like, I totally like deep commented that post you originally tagged me in because I couldn’t get to it. And I’m a huge, like, I gotta, you know, you do everything like, you know, and so I went back to it like a month later and was like, thanks for concluding me, blah, blah, blah. And then Lazar was like: Hey, you want to?
Ah nicely done, well played, well played. So Sean give us a little bit of background about who you are, where you’re from, what’s your all about?
Sure. So, uh, Sean Smith. I been doing PPC for about four and a half years now, Amazon advertising. Uh, I know Brent from way back in the day, man, back when, uh, you know, just wasn’t as popular as it is today. And, um, yeah, uh, that’s pretty much it. I own a company ppcamsaccelerator.com. And within that, I do, I have a training program for PPC. Um, have a couple of clients that I work with that I’ve been with for a few years now and then also have like software, which is in the training program as well. So, um, yeah, man, I love Amazon advertising. It’s changed my life. It’s just changed how I view the world. And uh, you know, I think, I feel like I’m a better human for it. So that’s, I think that’s a good summary of who I am.
Nice. You are based in Chicago, right? Or the city proper or one of the suburbs nearby?
Duh and smack dab in the middle of downtown Chicago.
I’ve seen that skyline view from a video call with you in the past.
Yeah, magnificent mile looking right at it.
Very cool! Alright. So one question I have like, you know, we’re going to do some interview style. But of course, as is the nature of our podcast here Lazar and I always end up on some side routes and down some little alleyways talking about PPC. How many students, do you have these days? if you can share, you know, a rough number.
So yeah, for my program, I’m going to pull it up real quick in the group. I’m going to give you a rough estimate because we have people who joined that have like employees and things like that. So I would say right now we’ve got where’s it at? Okay. So the group has 267 members, what’d you say like 210 of those are students. So yeah, over the past, you know, started the program of about two and a half years ago, I think. And so we’ve got about 210 members and that’s a mix of, you know, a ranges like this. You know, the smallest account that’s joined us is about 10K a month. And then the largest account that’s joined us is about 7 million a month. And, uh, we also have like consultants and agencies as well. So we get a.. It’s, it’s a good, like, uh, it’s a good aggregation of different thoughts in the Amazon advertising world.
A lot of different perspectives mixed in there. And that’s incredible, the range of 10 K to 7 million. I mean, that’s, that’s a considerable sized business. Um, and interesting that those people all get something from the program and perhaps the network too. Also, people I know. Maybe Erick comes to mind is someone who is a student of yours and also an agency consultant owner. There’s some others I know but can’t think them of off the top of my head. It sounds like it’s been pretty well received. I do remember back in the day, so to speak, when you switched to doing this course and I told you at first, you’re crazy, why would you do that? So, it worked out pretty well.
You’re not the only one who told me I was crazy.
And I got to give you credit for that. So like why, why was there a switch anyway? Cause your were running an agency before that. You know, we’ve been talking on the daily basis about agency stuff and you told me and I was like: Whoa, that’s revolutionary!
Yeah. So I… It’s pretty simple. The reason I switched to doing it.. I do still have a couple of clients, legacy, I call them legacy clients that I’ve been with for years that I just love having. So I’ve got a few of those, but the reason we got into this was just simply because, you know, I bought a program from my mentor and um, at the end of one of his programs, he was like, Hey, you know, you should switch to this model for these reasons. And you know, I really resonated, he, you know, my mentor really took me. I really resonated well with how he approached business and really kind of developed an emotional relationship, even though I don’t really know the guy, but I shared a lot of the viewpoints that he had through his training. And so, yeah, that was pretty simple reason. I was just like, you know, what if he says, we should do it. And these are the reasons why then let’s try it and test it. You know, the worst thing that happens is it doesn’t work. And so, you know, I was willing to take a risk and, um, and that was just because my mentor, who I kind of resonated with was like, let’s do it. And I was like, alright, let’s do it.
Yeah, and you got through a course and the guy’s name was Sam or something.
I’m sure a lot of people listening to this will know who he is. Sam Ovens. Yeah. He’s pretty well known in the, in the space. Uh, I feel in the internet kind of world.
Yeah. I think it’s really great that like, as you mentioned, like there’s whole specter of different clients and different sizes of sellers that are getting value from, from your course. That’s really, really awesome. One of the questions, to be honest, that Brent put in the sheet is basically what’s the usual thing that you find while working with with student accounts these days.
Sure. Uh, you know, I would say really like the big ones that we’re seeing really good results with and returns with as just an advertising, uh, just from ACoS standpoint is Sponsored Brands, video and, uh, Sponsored Display product targeting. And in terms of volume, you know, Sponsored Display product targeting is generating very, very small volume, but it’s, it’s pretty efficient and I’m hoping to Amazon makes more traffic available over time, which I think they will. And so having these seeds planted right now will hopefully, uh, yield more traffic in the future. Cause there are 10 ad placements, which I was pretty impressed with and I was surprised at how little traffic they get for the amount of ad placements they have. So I’m hoping in the future, they roll out more availability maybe from their, uh, you know, their DSP inventory, things like that. And then with Sponsored Brands video, I mean, those are just really efficient, man. Um, they, they tend to have a bigger share of traffic and sales. We’re seeing like 10 to 15, well, around 10% of PPC sales comes from Sponsored Brands video, which is pretty significant roughly for us and ACoS is really good. So I would say those are the two big ones recently that a lot of people getting a lot of value from. And then also another thing that popped up was just how people are launching these days with PPC. You know, I’ve had a lot of conversations with my students and they kind of were like:Hey Sean, how do I launch for PPC? And then they’ll come and bring me ideas and they’ll test those ideas and then they’ll get results that change how I view it. And so we’ve kind of another thing that’s working well is like for example, not running auto campaigns for PPC launches and focusing on more targeted keywords and focusing on like product, using product targeting, a smaller set of keywords that are super relevant. Obviously I recommend you taking those same keywords, doing Sponsored Brands video if possible and Sponsored Display product targeting. But I think that those three would be Sponsored Brands video, Sponsored Display targeting, and a launching methodology. Those are kind of the big three that I think we’ve been kind of discussing these days.
Brent and me talked about automatic campaigns recently. We had an episode about automatic campaigns. Should you have them during your launches? And like, what is the purpose of having automatic campaigns should you run them indefinitely and so on. So it’s definitely good to hear some other perspective how you should use automatic campaigns and if you should use them during your product launches.
Yeah. What are you guys thoughts on it? I’m curious.
Well, I don’t know, like we, we use them as a safety nuts. I know that there are people that like those nickel campaigns, with couple of cents as a bid. We tried them. They are getting pretty good ACoS, but overall they’re not making huge amount of sales. They’re not going to make you millionaires. But usually for us, they are safety nets. We use them from the beginning and until the end and basically they’re, they’re for harvesting. I’m pretty sure Brent thinks the same.
Yeah, I’d say they’re no longer the primary effort you might use when doing a launch in particular because you’re not guiding that spend very well. Especially in the early days when the products for a small family of products, hasn’t been properly indexed for all the keywords that a product should. And hasn’t had all the optimization that it will have in two or three months time. I think that’s pretty well, well understood best practice amongst agencies that are really have their head in the game like us. And do the stuff like day to day and talk to clients on a weekly basis about it. And so good to hear kind of triangulate the opinions from you. One thing I wanted to ask you about Sean, you mentioned is that Sponsored Display product targeting, which is basically like DSP light or like DSP fisher price version. You know, it has the corners kind of rounded off. You said it has 10 placements. That’s interesting. Did you talk with someone from Amazon about the exact places that it shows up?
No, no. When you, when you go through the, when you create the campaign, it’ll show you the different ad placements. It’s kind of like Sponsored Brands, it’ll show you the ad placements. There’s a drop down. From what I saw, you know, when you, uh, you know, when you’re creating a campaign, you’ll scroll down and before you launch it, it’ll say like, uh, creative, you can’t really, you can’t control the creative, but it’ll show you the different placements. And I went through it and it’s 10 different placements, which is kind of a lot. Um, which I was like, that’s pretty cool, man. Um, it’s, it’s more than I’ve seen with.. I mean inventory wise itself, you know, Sponsored Products has a lot more like general inventory, the placements themselves. It seems like, you know, that that Sponsored Display products already has a lot of those. So I’m hoping that more traffic becomes available to that.
Good insight. Yeah and that’s super seeded along with Product Display advertising placements we used to have. I think it’s taken those over for the most part.
It has, it’s eliminated, it’s eliminated the, uh, I think, I don’t know a PDAs. I mean, I’d have to go back, but I know really when, when PDAs were huge, uh, you know, they were only available as Product Display ads. Like it was mainly under the buy box, so I’m not sure what the ad placements are for those, if they’ve made those 10 available for PDAs. Cause I’m doing, I’m like you, you know, focusing on the SD PT, uh, Sponsored Display product targeting. Um, cause you don’t have to do the creative either.
At least for now. In the future will probably get the options. So yeah, great point. So let me hit you with the part two of the same questions after Lazar used part one. So what are some of the trends you see in student accounts? And these are not good or bad things. Just trends.
Yeah. Uh, well, you know, the, the really the, the human race is going through an interesting time in general with, this coronavirus, right. It’s really changed the economy. And so that has been reflected in student accounts and we’ve seen that some students have really just gotten better results because of it. And some students that..Dude it really like took them down, you know. And it’s created a whole new market. Um, you know, there’s a new normal that exists with the masks and with the precautions that people are taking. And so that opens up a new sector of like commerce for people. And so literally I’m working with brands that are launching, you know, these PPE products and creating brands around it. And, you know, these biggest, some of these bigger brands that I work with, they have the resources to just deploy. And so, um, and they’re getting a lot of traction. So it’s really interesting. I think that’s a big trend, which, you know, uh, that we’ve seen with our, with our accounts that like student accounts. And that’s really interesting just to see how it’s affected existing accounts and then how it’s opened up a whole new market and how, you know, uh, for the foreseeable future, you know, we’re having to take precautions that include products that we’ve never had to use before. And so that’s a big one, man, that one’s absolutely massive. And then, you know, a lot of people had issues with getting their products, uh, when you, you know, borders were shut down and things like that. So we saw, you know, people having, you know, they weren’t available for inventory. There were issues. There’s still like Amazon’s limiting inventory for some accounts, if you don’t have a certain inventory score. And these might not just be apical to my students. I know maybe people are talking about this outside of it, but you know, these things affect my students as well and is what we talk about. And so, you know, that’s a big one. And then they’re, you know, going through the, the coronavirus. There’s that long shipping, uh, timeframe that people put on our Amazon put on their platform that caused huge issues for accounts. I mean, ACoS just tanked. And so those are kind of some of the trends we’re seeing across the board. I know those are more related to what’s happening, but I feel like it’s just so impactful that, um, it’s just wild, man. It, it, I don’t know. It’s such a phenomenon, man. Um, yeah, that’s a big one. And then another thing is like, I would say, like, since we’re getting past some, some of those accounts that really benefited from the coronavirus, like their, their sales abnormally increased well after things kind of opened up their sales, you know, went back to where they were. And I think psychologically that’s a huge adjustment for them because they’re, you know, they’re ACoS isn’t as good as it used to be. Um, the volume itself isn’t as good as it used to be. And so they’re having to deal with the psychology of a transition to normalcy when they were like really enjoying the fruits of like what happened during kind of like the quarantine when things were shut down. And so we’ve, we’ve had to troubleshoot through that as well and just kind of discuss, Hey, you know, like this is what the normal account looks like. I know we’re dealing with, you know, it’s going back down. I know you spiked up during this time, but now that we level off, we have to adjust to where we need to be now. So those are kind of the big ones I think that I’m seeing.
Wow. That’s a lot.
Is it too much? Is it too much?
No, that’s like a couple of conversion factors that we’re all dealing with in some fashion. I really liked your last one, about how things come back down to normal. Because, people get used to that high and think: Our sales are up 40% year over year and I would never thought that April would look like this. And then the reality is now late August into September, like.. Okay we are not in the quarter four yet. Prime day is like soonish, but it’s not now. So where are we?
And on top of that, like if you signed a client during coronavirus, right. And everything is going good. And then after coronavirus doesn’t do well. Cause I work with consultants and agency owners, you know, they might, uh, you know, the business owner might sit down with you and talk about what’s going on here. You know, our sales aren’t as good as they used to be, you know. But the business owner themselves is where just business acumen and being the CEO or the executive of your company, you have to be able to see things kind of clearly. And so when you’re working with, you have to look at all the variables, no matter what. You know, sometimes things get cloudy, um, in general judgment gets cloudy and it’s not a bad thing. It’s a human, uh, just a human thing. But being able to be like, okay, we did it. Like we signed you during this time when everything was doing well and now it’s not doing well. We can’t, you know, be like: Hey, it’s, it’s anyone else’s, uh, performance that’s causing these issues. Uh, I think that’s one as well or people signing people, uh, because their account is not as well in there. They want, you know, service providers to really help them or things like that. That’s another thing that we’ve kind of been discussing as well, or I’ve had conversations about.
Cool. So Brent, are we going to continue with the list of questions because we have a whole bunch of them.
Oh, I mean, it depends what you want to do, you want to send him the next one here?
Of course. One of the things that people usually ask is keyword ranking. Um, how is it affected by, by PPC?
Oh man, that’s a really good question, man. Um, they do, this is another one we have a lot of conversations about. Okay. So, um, and I’d love to hear what you guys think if you guys corroborate what I, what we’ve seen, but, um, just to get your insight as well. Cause you guys are in this as much as I am. So what we’re seeing is that just in general, like things just aren’t effective as they used to be. Um, because a few I would take the two biggest variables are the, um, the maturation of technology itself, like Amazon’s algorithm and things like that. And then the maturation of the market, uh, is maturation a word. Did I make that up?
Like I’m a Serb and I’m I, I’m not the right person to ask you know.
Yeah, it’s a word.
Cool, I was like did I just make this up? I was just using like, well, you know, mature plus ation, you know? Alright cool. So maturation by the very word of the day, you know? So, um, so, so that being said like, yeah, keyword rank can be boosted, uh, from intentional, careful deployment of ad spend. But, uh, you have to take into consideration the competitive landscape. And I mean, this is kinda like something that a lot of people have been saying for a long time, but it still holds true that your performance, your performance in rank is it’s a relative metric, you know, everything, you know, I mean most everything follows relativity, right? It’s things are relative. It’s, you know, like a mountain to someone is small, like to a giant is different than a mountain to a human, right? So like, what I mean is that if you’re in a really competitive market and you don’t have a lot of reviews or, um, or sales volume, then Amazon’s gonna look at you and compare you to everybody else. And so even if you spend a lot of money on advertising, if you’re not, if you don’t have the number of reviews and the star rating and things like that, you don’t get the rank, uh, that you would if you had the reviews and star rating. So that one kind of holds up for at least what we’ve seen for a while now. Um, I’m trying to think, I know, uh, I’ve talked to a few people about like branding and making sure you have a store and listings. And I think Amazon is becoming more brand centric. And so having A+ content and having videos on your listings, things like that help with conversion rate. And so, I mean, it’s, it’s a tough one, but keyword rank can be boosted from intentional. I think it just kind of boils down to how well your listing is optimized in terms of like organic indexation, the videos and images and all that stuff. But then also how you are relative to the market. It’s like, but I will say, ah, yeah, yeah. That’s kinda like what it is. I’m in my head. I’m like I have all these scenarios. I don’t want to like, cause like there are other things that can happen. Yeah. So I’m just going to keep it there, man. What do you guys think?
Yeah. Since you mentioned Storefronts. Have you seen.. I saw somewhere that like huge brands are getting logos in a search for a storefront like Adidas or brand like that. When you search for Adidas, you can see in search results in a drop down, you can see a small logo of Adidas and their Storefront there. When you click on it, you just go to the Storefront right away, which is kinda awesome thing. Hopefully we are going to see that for other brands as well not only for the huge ones.
I was just saying, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I saw like a, someone screenshot that on Facebook or something and it popped up and it was an Adidas one. I think we saw the same one, man.
I mean, that’s very exciting because not only do we see that occasionally in search results, but now in the auto suggest box, I mean, that’s like a really high instability and it stands out very clearly.
Yeah. That one small little logo. Yeah, it does stand out. Yeah.
It’s great. Definitely bullish on Storefronts. To like go to the question though keyword rank boosted from ad spend, I would say yes as well. And it depends on how well that listing is oriented towards the keyword. And conversionary, I think consistency of ad dollars is probably more important time was when you just pour money into it back in the day. But I don’t think that works anymore.
You know, we, you know, I will say these students are really good at like creating like product research and listing optimization, but we have some students that only launch with PPC still, only using advertising. Um, actually one of our biggest students in the program, he only launches with PPC still to this day because a lot of people there’s like a trend. I don’t know if you guys noticed, but like people saying you gotta like do search, find, buys and all these different things. But I think it depends on the business itself. Cause I used to think like, Hey, like it’s getting more complex. You need all these different traffic sources and stuff. But after talking to some of my students, I think it just really depends on how they do product research, listing, all that stuff.
We are going to do some A/B test soon for one client. He’s going to launch one product with search, find, buy, and other stuff and the other product without anything apart, like just PPC. So we’re going to see how he’s going to end, but to be honest, still after that is just going to be one test, two products. We’ll probably need to test a bit more in the future. I know that those kinds of tests are super expensive. You don’t want to test that kind of stuff. Well, one thing that I would like to add there when it comes to keyword ranking and so on with PPC, um, what we found in our agency is basically that, uh, if your CTR and conversion rates are lower than the niche average, you’re basically affecting negatively with PPC.
Oh, cool. So CTR and conversion rate lower than niche average, like category average?
We cannot prove it to be honest because obviously we don’t have all the information, like things that we can see from Brandon analytics and that kind of stuff.
That’s cool man.
Maybe triangulating from other accounts or other, for their products in the same area, but even that’s a pretty small set. Yeah.
Honestly, it’s hard to run like strong scientific studies on things in PPC. Cause it’s so expensive and time consuming. Like I feel like most of my stuff is observational, you know, just time in the, in the, in the weeds pretty much.
Yeah. Cool. All right. Do you want to bust through some more of these Sean? Or Lazar should we jump into the next one?
I think we should jump to the next one as we’re pretty low on time. Like we’re already at 25th minute. I’m not sure if you are aware of it.
No, I’m not keeping too close track. Let’s make it a double question. So Sean how do you keep up to date with what’s going on in the Amazon ad world? Maybe you could just reference some features and groups and things you are a part of. And the another one is what features do you think will be made available? Not those that are on your wishlist, but those that you think will actually be made available thanks to Amazon the next, let’s say six to 12 months.
So first question, how do you keep up to date on what’s going on? I’ll be honest. My, um, I would say just, I still spend time in accounts, you know, uh, the way the Amazon generally rolls out features and I have a developer, so he keeps me up to date on API stuff. Um, and we were in the JIRA for the development. So like I would say like my sources are my team. Um, and my students pretty much. And my clients. Those are kind of like my three main sources to be honest. Um, that’s kind of how I keep what’s up to date. Like Amazon I’m on there.. Since I’m in DSP and I’m in the API I get a lot of like email updates from Amazon on stuff. So that’s one. And then the other one is just talking to students and being in Campaign manager. Cause Campaign manager is like the greatest source to keep up because Amazon rolls out features in Campaign manager first. Um, good examples Sponsored Brands video, right? Like they rolled that out in Campaign manager before API or bulk.
Yeah sure did. Now they recently made available to pull the data out of there correctly for API to get it into our reporting stuff.
Yeah, exactly man. So that Campaign manager, I used to be very like bullish on just stay in the bulk files or stay in the software, but really campaign manager, man spending some time there and making sure that you check up on it every once in a while, because Amazon doesn’t alert you about features. That’s for sure. I really wish they would like have just a little box, you know, a little box with like one sentence that just pops up. Hey, here’s a new feature. That would be so nice when I logged in just one time. And then there’s a little button that says I got it and I click on it.
Remember that small staple in Word, with a small message and you click on it.
With a small Jeff.
The Jeff version of clippy. I love it.
I feel like Jeff is so avatar friendly. I’m gonna be honest. So I think it’d be easy to get that one wrong. He’s an avatar.
Since our new features, he’s going to have his sunglasses so he looks more bad ass.
Oh yeah. The Whole Foods, the Whole Foods picture that went viral with the blow up in the background and the arms, Bezos arms.
Yeah. That one. That would be amazing.
Be sure to show that to help people find out what the heck? That is.
I hope he will know what that is. Cause I remember that I was pretty impressed. I was like Jeff, whoa, you’re doing bro.
He’s got some spare time and money I guess.
It’s interesting to see like how many entrepreneurs after they feel like they did something really good with their work, they focus on their health and like at the beginning of their career, you can see like everybody’s super fat and everything. Like they’re not taking care of their health.
Dude. I did. I did that same thing. Follow the trend Lazar, there’s another data point.
I’m with Emil at this point. I lost ten kilos now.
Oh you work with Emil dude. He’s a great guy, man. He’s awesome. He’s he’s a really cool dude.
Actually a questions related to Emil, this is a bit off topic for PPC, apologize. But you have an Oura ring, one of those like sleep trackers?
Dude, I’ve had an Oura ring for, I had Oura ring before most people had an Oura ring. I’ve had it for a really long time. Yeah. It’s a game changer for me.
So this goes into the metrics and data part of Sean here, similar to PPC, you’re tracking your sleep and keeping track of that.
Oh, that’s a whole another episode, man. So I basically took the mental, the mental framework that I had to use for Amazon advertising. And I said to myself, man, this framework really helped me achieve certain financial goals that I had never dreamed of in my life in certain travel and things like that. So I was like, man, what if I applied that to other things? And so yeah. I have like spreadsheets where I track my weight and um, I have like, I track all my, you know, and I take notes. So I definitely took the, the framework, the mental framework that Amazon advertising taught me and applied it to other areas of my life for sure, man. And I love it, dude. It’s so cool. Cause like, dude, like it’s so cool. Cause like when you put it in like a spreadsheet or like you track it over a long time, you’d be like, Whoa, this is cool, dude. Um, it’s so cool dude.
You got me feeling like I didn’t grab one of those things now. I’ve been thinking about it but either way.
It’s dude, it’s it’s fun, man. You’re just like, wow. Like look at my train and be like, yeah dude, it’s kinda like when you a PPC account. Like I’ve been with a brand where we started off real small and now we’re real huge and just to be a part of the transformation and have the data over time and look at it and be like, wow, look at where we were and look at where we are now. And I’m just like, oh dude, this is crazy, but it’s kind of cool.
I think that instills a real sense of like accomplishment over time. That’s one of the things that we find personally gratifying about paid advertising work is that progression.
Yeah, dude, it’s really cool when you work with like fast growing brands and stuff and you see where they go or you’re part of the transformation. It’s really cool, man. You guys can share it.
Yeah. It’s definitely worth it.
Oh yeah. My bad. The second question. Hold on. We got…okay. We’re good. Um, what’s the, uh, next six to 12 months. Um, what features do I think we’ll need? That’s a hard one, man. Amazon..Just the reason I say it’s hard is because, you know, when they rolled out some of the features that they rolled out, they just kind of blindsided me. Like I didn’t expect them. And so, you know, I guess the big one is like more, um, uh, creative control and uh, more.. Dude, I honestly, I don’t even know like specifically, I’ll say generally, but specifically let’s see generally probably creative stuff, just because of like Sponsored Brands, video, you do the creative and things like that. And maybe they’ll make more features available from DSP to Amazon.
I think that is a very good guess. I think that’s extremely likely.
Ultimately they want, I’m sure that like their vision is to democratize it so that like we have full control. That way they don’t have to like have this platform where it’s special. You know, that’s kinda like Amazon’s role, like opiw other people’s work or something like that.
Yeah, It’s one of their internal guidelines. I’ve heard that one before.
Yeah, so it’s like: Hey, like, you know, with DSP, like we manage it. And we also like only give it to certain people, but if it was available to everybody, you know, like, and it’s really interesting how they’re doing it. They’re not just rolling it out at once. Um, maybe they’re doing this intentionally cause like in the overwhelm that can happen. They’re just doing it slowly so that people can like, I guess get used to things. Um, but that’s what I think, man, uh, in the next six to 12 months and then more, uh, I’m hoping that along with these features that.. For example, I really hope in the next six to 12 months, bulk functionality for Sponsored Brands, video, uh, rolls out and for Sponsored Display product targeting, um, as well as an API. So I’m hoping that they write more. I think you can with video, I’m not sure I haven’t looked too much at the API on that. It sounds like it’s only reporting, but uh, is it, uh, you know, I know you’re in their brand. Is it, can you do bid ops with Sponsored Brands video with API?
That’s all, it’s all read only at the moment.
It’s all read only.okay.
Pulling data from it really, really basic stuff. It’s kind of hard for you to imagine how they do it with video. Cause video itself has an asset that..it’s like a large file. Something interesting we had happened recently, one of our Amazon reps who, to put it politely sometimes is not as useful as you wish when it comes to like communication and assistance with client accounts who was actually attached to one of our clients. He gave us these like videos that he had generated using some internal Amazon tool. And they were like really simple, motion graphics, slideshow videos, and they’re suitable for Sponsored Brands and we started running them and they’ve worked very well. Um, this particular client didn’t really have the wherewithal or energy or money or whatever to make videos. And so this guy was like, I’ll just make you some with this tool you have. And uh, we’ve, we’ve been putting more and more requests to this, to this guy.
Yeah, about..I think about like six..kind of awhile ago one of our clients did that as well, the video creative Beta. I think that’s what you’re talking about, right. Where they create a 15 minute or 15 seconds, slideshow with kind of some general music and it’s just, uh, a hero image plus some bullets and then it just alternates. Right.
Yeah I think it’s really similar to that. It must, it must be that name. I actually don’t know what it’s called. I’ve been directly involved with it, but I was talking to someone on my team about it just yesterday or two days ago.
Yeah. We’ve been pretty involved with those. We’ve had several phone calls with different clients and I’ve been getting, uh, uh, I’ve been telling my students about it and clients about and embedding getting them on that. And we’ve been just, say at 15 seconds and then they just optimize it for video. Um, and then that way you can, you know, incentivizes you to spend ads in that specific ad type. So yeah, I liked that program just because, you know, it gives you some insight. Like for example, we’ve, I’ve had, I’ve asked him questions about. Hey, you know, why this length, why this, that? And they talked about how like they tested in 15 seconds was optimal. And so really it’s really nice to get input from them so that if you create your own videos, you kind of have, you know, some insight into like what Amazon has tested and thinks is best in terms of lengths and things like that.
Yeah. Some really key insights to be gained from that, for sure. Cause you know, I think we used to recommend a longer time, but maybe 15 seconds is the right is time there? For example.
That’s really nice insight man.
Right. Do we have time for one more question Lazar? What’s our time looking like here?
Uh, 37 minutes
Maybe one more.
Yeah, a short one.
Yeah, we have two more on the list. So I guess we should go and maybe the second last cause this one I think is good. As far as like misunderstandings, Sean, like you see with your students that come in, especially newer ones, what are some of the biggest misgivings they have about Amazon PPC or the way the system works or the right mindset that they bring to the table or don’t bring to the table. I’m really curious these like newbie students, even if they are, you know, $2 million month sellers, maybe their PPC is not figured out. What kind of misunderstandings and misgivings do they bring with them?
Um, Ooh. Uh, I think one of the big common one is, um, a big there’s like, um, a lot…When people do marketing for services or when they like posting groups, they’ll post really low ACoS numbers and then, uh, some people will be like, Hey, like that’s what I want. You know what I mean? And so, but rather than looking at our own business, they’re looking at like a screenshot or a real screenshots or something like that. And so it kind of like alters how they make decisions rather than just looking at their businesses information. So I think that’s one of them is like comparing yourself to other businesses. Um, cause we all do it right. I mean it’s, you know, low ACoS is like literally the marketing Go To for anyone who is an a PPC agency or whatever, man. I mean, it’s just how people do it. High sales, low ACoS.
I actually did. I actually did go to Namecheap I’m going to look it up after this. So check it out. I mean, if I can get it for six, seven bucks, I will look at it after this. Um, so just curious, but uh, so, um, misunderstandings, I think that, um, I guess one misunderstanding is I guess some people think that like advertising can, um, um, that… When you have bad advertising then like applying good systems will help it. But sometimes it’s other variables like competition or maybe your star rating went from five to 4.5. So like, you know, not being like, you know, them as a business owner has to always understand all the variables that affect everything because there’s, it’s a multi-variant, uh, you know, platform and that’s how everything sells. So that’s one where like, you know, cause I’ve, I’ve told people know about my program just because I didn’t think I could help or I found out that, you know, a lot of competition came into their market or that they lost a piece of their rating. And they’re thinking that like my PPC systems or just really good PPC systems will help them. But it won’t because it’s a conversion rate issue and conversion rate affects advertising and it affects traffic as well because if you don’t convert as well, Amazon sees you as less relevant and may, will penalize you on traffic as well. And so I think that’s a big one. Um, what else? I think that’s really the biggest misunderstanding.
The second one is really the key. And I think that Lazar, you and I can…we really feel that in our job. Like as agency owners, we can do an amazing job with the process, the systems and knowledge we have accumulated in our teams. But if you have a flood of competitors come in, that can just have lower margins because they’re closer to the supply chain. These are things, these are variables that are far outside of our control. And sometimes they’re like, you know, known unknowns and unknown unknowns. This is something that could go wrong we know about, but there are other things that we might not know about. Great example, the COVID? So that kind of slammed into everybody earlier this year. And as you said, really positive impact on some businesses, despite the overall general badness of it, companies really had a hard time and struggled and that’s not something that they could have really foreseen.
Yeah, exactly. And I liked the unknown unknowns and you know, their job, I think as business owners is to like make the unknowns unknown or the unknown unknowns known. You know that’s what you’re searching for in your business. It’s like, it’s like seeking wisdom or knowledge, like the process isn’t that, you know, everything it’s that when you find something that you did know, then you’re like, what else is out there. If I didn’t know this for 34 years? Cause I’m 34. Well then what else is out there? You know what I mean? Like I don’t, I don’t treat accumulation of knowledge as I’m getting closer. I feel like I’m getting further away because if it took me this long to figure it out, then I know there’s just so much more, I think that hunger for like knowledge and, and you know, that stuff really helps Amazon business owners to find, to take those unknown unknowns and make them known.
This is like deeper metaphysics.
This is been philosophy hour with Sean Smith. Thanks everyone for tuning in.
Now, we’ll wrap up with a, with a painting from Bob Ross. Yeah I felt like a philosophy thing would go well with the painting. You know what I’m saying?
Yeah, you are totally right. Okay, cool. Well I think that’s probably good for this round, maybe Sean we’ll have you back on for round two. What do you think Lazar?
Yeah, definitely. I feel like this wasn’t enough, but like Sean, if somebody wants to become your student, how do they reach out to you? And like, where can they find you?
Yeah. Yeah. So you can, uh, I would say, you know, ppcamsaccelerator.com. That’s my website. Sean@ppcamsaccelerator.com is another way. And then I’m always on Facebook as well. Sean Smith. A lot of those running around. So maybe Scott Smith PPC and the Facebook search bar. But I think those three methods are probably the most frequent that people reach out to me on.
Perfect. Well definitely we didn’t cover like 50% of what we’ve wanted to ask you but I’m pretty sure for the first time and like for being…The first time, it’s, it’s more than enough. And thank you so much for being our first guest.
Oh yeah. My pleasure guys. Thank you guys for giving me the opportunity and uh, I think it’s cause I’m so long winded,that about 50%. I tend to, I don’t know, man. You know how it is, man?
Well, Lazar and I have that same exact problem. So put three of us together in one podcast and it can easily go for hours.
12 hours later.
You know like, in French: few minutes later.
That’s from Sponge Bob right?
Dude, I vibe Sponge Bob, not gonna lie.
And with that, let’s leave it there. Thanks guys.
Thanks everybody. Bye.