Facebook Ads for Amazon Are Trash

Facebook Ads for Amazon Are Trash
Short Version:
Amazon doesn't give data feedback to Fb, which makes campaigns directly to the platform useless.

Using SFB giveaway strategies for "launching" on Amazon is a foolish and wasteful idea. Agencies pushing this approach are preying on your desperation and naivete.

There are ways to make it work but you need more pieces and skillsets, as outlined below.

What’s the next step if you’ve built a successful FBA business in the pet chicken space? (yes, you read that correctly)

One of the channels that might be calling you like sunshine to a beach is using Facebook Ads to grow and advertise your business, and that’s usually a great idea…except when it comes to Amazon sellers wanting to use Facebook Ads to grow their Amazon FBA businesses.

Can it work?
Can it be profitable?
Can it be wildly scalable?

The answer to all three questions is “yes…but" -  it requires more pieces than just Facebook Ads and an FBA listing.

1️⃣ Intent vs Interrupt: How people get to Amazon is more important than you realize.

Most FBA sellers don't realize that Amazon is NOT an Ecommerce platform...

Amazon is an intent based search engine, just like Google.  Meaning they want to give people what they are hunting for in the moment of desire.  This is a huge key.

When people are sorting the solutions to their problems, where do they get that info?  They search on Google and YouTube for answers, and when a great many of them are ready to by they take that search to Amazon.

In other words, if you want to know how to keep your pet chicken from running all over the place when you take it on a walk, you search google.  When you find out other chicken walkers use a certain Hen Harness, you go to Amazon and search…and no I’m not kidding, this is a real thing.

The Buyer's Journey, by Steven Black

Facebook is a behavior learning platform that shows you things as a “best guess” based on the things it learns from how you use the platform.  

By showing ads on this learned behavior, you aren’t as guaranteed to show your ads for chicken harnesses ONLY to those people who are looking to buy a harness for their chickens.  This breaks a cardinal rule of how Amazon is trying to maximize user experience.

2️⃣ Amazon doesn’t like to kiss and tell... and that’s a BIG problem.

A racecar without fuel isn’t going very far.  The same applies to Facebook in that FB ads performance is fueled by data feedback. It wants to know what happens after the click so it can both give FB users the best experience in terms of content and ads, and so it can adjust to whom it shows the ads for giving better advertiser performance.

A huge problem with trying to run FB ads directly to Amazon, is Amazon is a “Black Hole” of data.  Meaning it likes to share ZERO info about customers and their on platform behavior.  Even as sellers, we are continually limited about who and how people interact on our listings.

This means with running FB ads to Amazon, we are not only are we likely trying to send people to Amazon who aren’t ready to buy our products, but with the lack of data feedback the algorithm can’t optimize for purchases because Amazon doesn’t share that data.

And NO, the Amazon Attribution program does not fix this foolishness.

In other words, we may have the most amazing racecar available but Amazon refuses to give us any fuel to make it go.

3️⃣ What about "Launch Agencies" + SFB Chatbots?

So. Many. Problems...

First, If you want people to buy from FB Ads, you optimize for purchases on your campaigns.  We covered why this can’t happen in the last section. SFB (Search, Find, Buy) Giveaways means your "leads" are freebie seekers and nearly the entirety of the list built via the chatbot campaign is useless in terms of being qualified for further offers.

There are all manner of “launch agencies” in the Amazon space, with most preying on the desperation and naivete of new sellers, who convince their clients that dropping their pants to whomever will take what they are giving is the way to go for "launching their products".

This is foolish in more ways than I’ll list here, but with regard to FB ads, all you’ve done with SFB giveaways is push FB toward optimizing your future ads to the lowest dumpster fire of unrelated consumers.

Building an Email list and launching to those people is a MUCH better approach and is also one that doesn’t require giveaways.

A 200 person list of better qualified leads will outperform and drive more profits in the way of customer lifetime value than a list of 1000 freebie seekers.

4️⃣ The REAL recipe you need if you want to run FB ads + FBA

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering what can be done to make it all work.  Here are the pieces and how they need to work:

1.  Fb ads (Website Conversions – Purchases as the campaign objective) to a dedicated lander that leads to a Shopify store as checkout.
2.  Have multi channel fulfillment setup via FBA.
3.  Have brand registry setup on Amazon and be part of the Amazon Attribution program.
4.  Make custom audiences of your abandoned cart and checkout audiences and run retargeting via the Reach objective to those audience. Use the links provided via the Amazon Attribution program so you can track the ad attribution on the amazon platform.
5.  Instead of pointing them back to your Shopify store, point them to amazon with an ad having something to the effect of "we saw you left something behind, did you know you can get it on Amazon for a few dollars less"
6.  They'll either click through or go and search you on Amazon and you'll get brand lift that way.
7.  If you're also running email remarketing, make sure the links in the email and ads are different and both using the amazon attribution links so you can at least track where the traffic is coming from.
From The Full Funnel Framework by Steven black

5️⃣ Other skills you’ll need to make the most of FB ads

Aside from a basic understanding of how the platform works itself, here are the other skillsets and pieces that need to come together to make the most of the channel… whether it be by yourself, a team member, or outsourced to a specialist agency or freelancer:

  • MUST HAVE:  A functioning website store with a cart - like Shopify, Woocommerce, Squarespace, etc.
  • WILL NOT WORK with Amazon
  • You’ll need to make a pool of Copy assets for deployment for testing new angles on your intended users
  • Data Analytics Setup and interpretation
  • This includes the use of Google Tag Manager, and a Third Party tracking application like Triple Whale as FB native attribution is trash
  • STRONG understanding of the ads manager interface
  • Campaign Structure for testing and Scaling assets
  • Understanding of Conversion Optimization practices
  • Visual Composition (Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Canva)
  • Videography or Editing (Davinci resolve, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Filmora)
  • Understanding of cashflow planning and funding for scaling adspend AND inventory for keeping pace with the increased spend.
  • Understanding of custom audience segmentation and cross platform retargeting.

6️⃣ A better external traffic source

If you’re looking for the BEST way to run external traffic to amazon, then you need to go heavy on learning Email Marketing.

I recommend setting up multiple entry points as variances on value angles in your copy.  This allows you to see which ones are the biggest drivers, so we have more detail on better optimizing any product listings around the things they actually care about vs silly keyword data.

This also allows you to service a greater portion of the market and lower acquisition costs, by being able to get people on your email list during the PRE-PURCHASE phase of the buyer’s journey and nurturing them toward purchasing by amplifying their problems, building trust, and then positioning your offer as a solution.

You also get the benefit of owning your customers and their data vs people just being order numbers on amazon.  This opens up a huge tool kit of possibilities for getting better reviews, repeat sales, referrals, etc. – and it means you don’t lose them if amazon suspends your account.

I’ll talk more about Email in other articles and content.

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Photo by Brett Jordan / Unsplash

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