I’ve been thinking about writing this blog for a while, but it isn’t easy admitting you’ve utterly and completely failed at something. Writing a blog post about a failure, however, forces me to analyze what exactly I did wrong instead of purposefully forgetting that I’m a failure (which I fail at anyway. Pun intended.) Hopefully, someone can learn from my mistakes as well. Okay then! Time to pull up my big girl panties and get on with the humiliation. It’s not like anyone can see my bright-red, embarrassed face right now anyway.
Let’s start with the facts. I started a product display ad for Searching for Gertrude in March. (For more information regarding Amazon ads and the types of ads, you can read my blog here.) I think I must have been having a complete brain block as I recently re-read my blog articles and noticed that I conclude that a product display ad for Fat Girl Begone! wasn’t worth it. (You can read about that here.)
Here’s how the ad for Searching for Gertrude looked:
Naturally, I thought it looked pretty spiffy. But how did the ad actually do? Here are the stats (And yes, you may feel sorry for me. I sure do):
As you can see, I actually ended up terminating the ad, because it was performing abysmally. But, why? Or better yet, WHY???? At first, I thought my cost-per-click bid (CPC) was too low. So, I raised it to ABOVE the average bid price. That’s when I got the whole two impressions.
After I raised the CPC and only received two impressions, I gave up and cancelled the ad. Then, I promptly shoved the entire experience in a corner of my mind I couldn’t easily access (because that’s what adults do, right?). Over a month later, I found myself at the London Book Fair listening to a variety of lectures on how to sell and/or market books. I realized that I couldn’t sell more books unless I figured out what I had been doing wrong. Darn it! Guess it’s time to figure out where that Amazon ad went wrong.
Amazon ads offers authors the opportunity to target potential readers by product or interest.
When you read the descriptions, it sounds like interest-based targeting is a better bet as it yields more impressions. But the choice of interests in interest-based targeting is limited to these HUGE categories. As you can see from the picture below, ‘interests’ are really just the various genres of books.
I, however, was charmed by the idea of ‘yielding more impressions’ and, thus, I chose interest and, more specifically, historical romance. Now, I’d love to think that every single person who reads historical romance would love Searching for Gertrude. But I’m wrong. That’s just not true. (*Pouts for five minutes*) In fact, one of the things I kept hearing at the London Book Fair was: Who is your reader? You need to target your reader.
Based upon the results of this ad as well as my previous product display ad for Fat Girl Begone!, choosing a broad category for an Amazon ad is not the way to go. Using these broad categories, is the very definition of NOT targeting your reader. Product display ads are displayed on book pages and having my novel appear next to a book that was merely in the same broad category as mine didn’t yield high results. Instead, I should have concentrated on authors and/or books that are similar to the novel I was advertising.
So, my next project is to find an historical romance novel similar to Searching for Gertrude and use that book to target the audience who will see the ad. Fingers crossed.
What about you? Have you successfully used product display ads?