Virtual Assistants

How to Train Your VA to Handle Amazon PPC

These days, you need a VA to handle Amazon PPC. Running an Amazon Store in 2021 is a time-intensive venture! The days of using Amazon as a side hustle is long past. Not only do Amazon Sellers have to expend extensive efforts into sourcing products and inventory management, but now using Amazon Advertising is unavoidable.

With three quarters of Amazon Sellers already using Amazon Pay-Per-Click advertising, or Amazon PPC for short… Being a part of that remaining 15% and not marketing your products using Amazon PPC is practically a death sentence for your Amazon Business! 

How Long Does Amazon PPC Take?

The next question on every Amazon Seller’s mind is… how much time does managing your Amazon PPC ad campaigns take?

First of all, most Amazon Sellers reported spending between 20-40 hours on their Amazon businesses as a whole. Out of this, from personal experience, we estimate that anywhere between 5-15 hours per week are being spent on Amazon PPC management.

Of course, this will vary based on how much expertise you have in Amazon PPC. Sadly, even if you’re experienced,  unless you have Amazon PPC software, keyword research and bulk uploading Amazon PPC updates will take a chunk out of your schedule.

Most Amazon PPC veterans are optimizing their ad campaigns thrice per week, or even daily. Even if you spend 2 hours on it per day, that adds up to 10 hours a week! Don’t have that much time to spare? Yeah, neither do we. That’s why hiring a trustworthy VA to handle Amazon PPC marketing for your business is invaluable.

How Can I Find a Good VA to Handle Amazon PPC?

Finding a VA to handle Amazon PPC is definitely the easy part. There are a lot of highly qualified VAs out there specifically for Amazon Store management. Some of them have even  completed courses and have glowing recommendations from previous employers. The best way to find a good VA is to go through a VA hiring marketplace. A hiring site can help source the best list of candidates for you, and in the quickest amount of time.

Going through LinkedIn on your own is an option, but likely an exercise in futility. Not only will you get an abundance of results for VAs, you will also have to personally vet them thoroughly, which could take months. When it comes to using a hiring agency, they do all the work for you. They will provide you with a list of vetted candidates, and all you have to do is interview each and decide which VA is the best fit for your business.

How Do I Train My VA to Handle Amazon PPC?

That’s the million dollar question… How do you quickly get a VA up to speed with your business? With inventory management and warehousing, it’s easy, you just need a VA well-versed in logistics and operations, and quickly run them through your own inventory management software and/or strategies. Similarly, for product sourcing or other aspects like social media management, it’s not hard to find someone with the right work experience and network.

Amazon PPC on the other hand, is highly specific not only to Amazon but to each individual Amazon store. Even for VAs with years of PPC management under their belts, every Amazon business has different marketing goals, and is at a different stage in their business cycle. This is why it’s vital to know which areas you need to train a VA to handle Amazon PPC, and how to do it fast.

We’re going to break this article down into the main tasks an Amazon PPC VA will need to do for you, and how you can quickly train them in this process.

1.  Product Portfolio

Before you can start on anything Amazon PPC related you need to run through your product portfolio with your VA. Make sure they know all your products, and major listings. This means listing out products in order of priority. Every Amazon Seller has their bestsellers, some fairly popular ones, and also some slower selling products.

Ensure that your VA is aware which products you prioritize the highest, because this will be important when it comes to allocating PPC ad budgets. Also, if you are planning to launch new products or have a product launch ongoing, absolutely ensure your VA knows that. These are the products that will need the brunt of their PPC management.

2.  Existing Ad Campaigns

If you already have existing ad campaigns, which most Amazon Sellers do, you also need to run through them with your VA. Depending on how many campaigns you have, this will be the most time-consuming task. If your Amazon Store is big, it can number in the thousands. This is why instead of going through them all we recommend splitting them into sections.

For example, if your goal is to have low Amazon ACoS, then you should sort your campaigns by ACoS and segment them into:

  1. High ACoS
  2. Target ACoS
  3. Low ACoS

Instruct your VA to handle Amazon PPC based on this, focusing the majority of their time on analyzing the performance of those low-performing, budget-bleeding high ACoS campaigns. 

Don’t limit yourself to ACoS either, if  you’d rather focus on high ROAS, impressions or conversion rate, segment based on those metrics instead.

The ideal scenario is always for your VA to familiarise themselves with all your campaigns, which they will naturally get to in time. For the training phase, focus on your pain points. It’s your VA’s job to help you optimize bad campaigns.

3.  Delegate Tasks

It likely goes without saying that before you train your VA to handle Amazon PPC, you need to figure out which aspects of your Amazon Advertising Console you want them to handle. Do you want them to handle all of it? Do you only want them for day-to-day bid optimization? Do you want them to completely rework your old campaigns and create better, new ones?  There’s a lot of nitty-gritty tasks associated with running Amazon PPC.

For your reference, here are the major ones you may want your VA to handle for you:

  1. Daily campaign upkeep
  2. Periodic bid optimization
  3. PPC report analyses
  4. Keyword rank tracking
  5. Keyword research 
  6. Competitor analysis
  7. Product launches
  8. Full Reorganization

Delegate all the major tasks you want them to handle, and give brief descriptions of what you expect from each. You can lay out goals per aspect, and monitor their performance based on said goals later on.

4.  Software and Tools

Do you already use some tools or software for Amazon PPC? For example, many Amazon Sellers use a reverse ASIN tool for keyword research and other tools to track keyword rank. Give your VA access to them so they can familiarize themselves with these tools and/or software. Chances are, they are already familiar with them. If not, you can direct them to helpful resources. Most, if not all tools and software have  dedicated tutorials either on their own websites or Youtube.

If you don’t use any, then that’s also fine. Instead, you can ask your VA what tools or software they plan to use, or if they require any. When it comes to managing Amazon PPC, it’s best to have clear lines of communication established from the beginning. Always make sure to ask your VA for what their strategies and techniques are, and what tools (if any) they need to make sure their efforts are fruitful.

5.  Budget Management

Budget management is an integral part of your training for a VA to handle Amazon PPC. Amazon PPC budgets can be demanding, and they get more demanding the more products you have. Set some concrete budget limits for your campaigns, and instruct your VA to work within those budgets.

You can also state how flexible you’re willing to be with your campaign budgets. Is there some wiggle room in your stated budget? Mention that to the VA so that they can allocate your monetary resources in the best way. This is another aspect where you need to be clear and concise. It’s better if you plan this part out before training a VA to handle Amazon PPC instead of improvising on the spot.

Are there certain campaigns or products you want to allocate a higher budget for? For example, a product launch would require more aggressive bidding, which means a higher budget. Try not to cripple your VA too much with a small budget, but also make sure they know the boundaries so they don’t bid too aggressively. What bidding strategies your VA can use depend heavily on your ad budget, so this is a section of training you definitely can’t skip.

6.  Bid Optimization

Arguably the most important part of Amazon PPC, bid optimization is where it gets complicated. There are a multitude of strategies when it comes to bid optimization, a lot of conflicting advice on when to optimize, which campaigns to optimize, how frequently to optimize…

The real answer is that all of those factors depend on how well your campaigns are doing currently, and what your personal business goals are. When it comes to bid optimization, you either have your own schedules and strategies in place that work for you, or you’re actually hiring a VA to handle Amazon PPC so that they can help streamline or improve your existing processes.

If you have your own bid optimization schedule, then inform your VA accordingly. For example, we mass-optimize our bids thrice a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with our own Amazon PPC management software, for three different marketplaces. Remember, bid optimization is highly specific to your own marketing needs, but once a week is a good guideline to follow.

Here is the key information you need to tell your VA:

  1. What campaigns to optimize
  2. How frequently to optimize bids
  3. How to optimize your bids

Part 1 will depend on your goals for campaigns too, if there’s a campaign that’s not doing so well, it will need more frequent optimization. Parts 2 and 3, you can also leave up to the expertise of your VA. Usually, Amazon PPC virtual assistants will actually have a better understanding of Amazon PPC than Amazon Sellers themselves do.

Still, if you want to play it safe, you can start your VA off by having them follow those 3 guidelines before you give them more freedom with your Amazon PPC campaigns.

Get a VA to Handle Amazon PPC

Overall, it’s clear with these six steps we laid out that Amazon PPC is lengthy and time-intensive. Not only that, bid optimization and campaign upkeep is also time-sensitive. As a business owner, you’re not always going to be free and available.

You won’t be able to jump at an opportunity to outbid a lagging competitor, or to reindex a keyword if it suddenly gets deindexed. If you’re not well-versed in Amazon PPC, then you have an even harder road ahead of you because you’ll have to spend hours learning all about it before you can even try to optimize your campaigns yourself.

This is why having a VA to handle Amazon PPC is invaluable. It’s a long-term investment, because with all the time they free up for you, you can invest into expanding your business. The only hurdle with having a VA is training them, and that’s why in this article we laid out the perfect way to train your VA to handle your Amazon PPC.