There are 2 main types of campaigns that can be used for Sponsored Products: Automatic and Manual.
Automatic campaigns cast a wide net and help to identify what search terms are working best for your products. Manual campaigns offer a seller more control since they have the ability to refine keywords. If managed correctly, they can offer the best return over time.
Automatic campaigns are a great way to get started with Sponsored Products as they require much less maintenance and usually maintain a “set it and forget it” mentality. These campaigns cast a wide net and help sellers to identify what search terms are working best for your products.
Amazon will scan your product listing to determine ad relevance based on the customer search terms. They work best when the listing’s title, bullet points, and product description are optimized. You can use search data from your automatic campaign to populate keywords in your manual campaign.
Since there are no keywords in auto campaigns, bidding is defaulted to the ad group level, giving you less control.
Manual campaigns provide allow for greater control as you have the opportunity to add new keywords, select keyword match types, and adjust bids accordingly.
When keywords start producing a higher return on ad spend per click, their bids can be increased. Conversely, if they’re not converting the bids can be lowered or the keywords can even be paused. When managed correctly, these campaigns can be the most effective advertising tool on Amazon’s platform.
For best results, do not guess when adding keywords to manual campaigns even if you think you know what search terms shoppers are likely to use to find your product. Automatic campaigns give you the opportunity to validate your assumptions while minimizing risk, before you “hit the gas” with a manual campaign on a specific term.
Structure your campaigns for success:
So how do you set yourself up to be able to effectively move performing keywords from automatic campaigns into manual campaigns? The answer is using a mirrored campaign structure.
How to Group SKUs in Campaigns: Campaign Structure - Best Practices