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Cocktail confectionary brand Smith & Sinclair boosts brand presence on Amazon

The company started when college friends Melanie Goldsmith and Emile Bernard hosted board game nights in an effort to match their single friends. They’d invite friends and friends of friends over, serve drinks and sweets, bring out some board games, and hope Cupid would strike. But what they noticed was their friends’ attention wasn’t on love after all—it was on the cocktail gummies the pair had handcrafted as party favors. Soon after, they began selling their alcoholic sweets in local UK markets before eventually launching their business, Smith & Sinclair, in 2014.

In March 2019, with the goal of increasing visibility of its niche brand in key European countries and driving sales of its products—which now included alcoholic gummies, cocktail glitter dust, garnish toppers, fragrances, and mixers—Smith & Sinclair worked with full-service marketing agency Skye High Media to launch on Amazon.co.uk.

The strategy

Skye High Media crafted a digital advertising strategy that included Sponsored Products, which help Amazon advertisers gain momentum for their product offering by increasing search visibility and driving sales, and Sponsored Brands, which allow customers to discover and engage with a brand as they research on Amazon. The Sponsored Brands campaigns also linked directly to Smith & Sinclair’s Store on Amazon.co.uk, where customers could engage with the brand and full line of products.

Within the Sponsored Brands campaigns, Skye High Media tested ad creative that encouraged consumers to either click directly on the detail pages to drive product sales or on the headline to direct customers to the Smith & Sinclair Store to drive awareness of the brand.

Sponsored Products enabled our team to get the Smith & Sinclair product range in front of the right customers across key areas of the search page in a cost-effective manner. Sponsored Brands on the other hand captured customers further up the purchasing funnel and allowed us to tailor the messaging to specific audience groups.– Mark Pettit, CEO, Skye High Media

For both campaigns, Skye High Media used two bidding strategies—one with a low bid of £0.25 and the other with a higher bid of £2.50—to test which bid price would generate the most traction. Over time, the team was able to build an average cost-per-click (CPC) per keyword for each campaign.

Using Amazon’s recommendations, Skye High Media split its keyword strategy into three sections: branded, category, and competitor keywords. Within each category, it identified a select number of high-performing keywords and researched keyword search volumes to determine appropriate bid amounts. To test, the Skye High Media team used broad, phrase, and exact match types, reviewing the performance metrics to find and remove under-performing keywords. For example, if a search term spent over £50 but only generated 10 clicks despite having 2000 impressions, Skye High Media would add that keyword back into the campaigns as a negative exact match, preventing ads from appearing for that keyword.

Lastly, Skye High Media optimized the campaigns on a biweekly basis, using metrics such as impressions, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), sales attributed to advertising, and advertising cost of sales (ACOS) to track performance. It also used search term reports, which identify keywords customers might be searching for as well as poorly performing keywords, in addition to performance over time reports, which show the clicks, cost per click (CPC), and spend for all Sponsored Products campaigns. It would then increase or decrease bids by no more than 50% each time to try and see improved results quickly for the campaigns.

Once Smith & Sinclair saw success with the advertising campaigns on Amazon.co.uk, Skye High Media replicated a similar strategy on Amazon.fr, with the goal of expanding into key European markets.

The results

Since working with Skye High Media, Smith & Sinclair has seen a 33% increase in sales attributed to Amazon advertising year over year, with the majority of sales generated from its Sponsored Products campaigns. Additionally, Smith & Sinclair’s impressions have more than doubled year over year.

Amazon Advertising allows us to engage with our clients’ customers at different points of their buying journey. Having the ability to reach customers when they’re in a buying frame of mind is a valuable proposition for any brand or agency.– Mark Pettit, CEO, Skye High Media

Throughout the campaigns, Skye High Media guided Smith & Sinclair with these top three recommendations:

  1. Use multiple Amazon Advertising products to reach different consumers along their journey and ensure campaigns are always on to maintain momentum.
  2. Consistently refresh keywords. Remember: keywords are like fashion—you have to watch the trends.
  3. Continually optimize campaigns by running A/B tests across all formats and targeting types.