If you work in B2B, you’ve likely heard about the growth of Amazon advertising. Amazon has been a huge player in the retail space for years, dominating sales and expanding to other verticals just as easily. But they’ve been relatively quiet when it comes to pay-per-click and search advertising – until now.
Though the company is still dwarfed in the digital advertising space by Google and Facebook, its growth is impressive. Amazon ad sales are its fastest growing segment of revenue, topping $2 billion in the last quarter. They recently beat out Oath and Microsoft to become the third largest digital ad seller and are expected to bring in a total of $4.6 billion for the year in ad sales alone.
“The wealth of the data Amazon has on its customers is beyond what those behemoths have,” Ad Age author Shareen Pathak told Digiday. “Google has search data, and Facebook knows interest levels, but Amazon has real power because it knows what people are buying and how they’re doing it.”
The vast majority of people who advertise on the platform agree. Eighty percent, in fact, plan to boost their Amazon advertising budgets. Marketers are seeing the benefits – the site is where people go when they’re ready to buy, after all – and are investing more and more resources into optimizing their strategy, shifting ad dollars away from search and social media advertising.
If you sell even one item on Amazon, ads are worth considering. Have you gotten on board yet? We’re here to break down Amazon advertising a little further, show you how to get started, and give you some best practices to implement for success.
What is Amazon Advertising?
Similar to Google Ads, Amazon ads appear based on a user’s keyword search. Companies bid on keywords to target so their ads show up when those keywords are searched, usually near the top or side of the search results page. These ads typically look identical to regular product listings, differentiated only by a subtle “Ad” or “Sponsored” label depending on their placement.
But what makes these ads especially effective is the user’s state of mind when they search. People only go to Amazon when they’re looking to buy something – they’re already in the consideration and decision stages by the time they type anything into that search bar.
If you type “running shoes” into the site’s search bar, for instance, chances are high that you’re going to buy some running shoes. High visibility on a search results page may be all it takes to close that sale – and that’s exactly what Amazon ads facilitate.
The ads can also appear on a product listing page, targeting you based on a current, relevant search, or searches you’ve made in the past.
Let’s take a look at the different types of Amazon ad units available.
Types of Amazon Ads
Sponsored Product Ads
Sponsored product ads are ads that drive users directly to a product detail page. They’re usually targeted based on keyword – manually chosen by you or automatically chosen by Amazon – and displayed above or below the search results page and on other product detail pages.
With product ads, you can control your daily spend and campaign duration. Similar to the ads manager on Google or Bing, you can also create multiple ad groups and campaigns, so you can organize your advertising strategy in a way that makes sense for your business.
Sponsored Brands (Formerly Headline Search Ads)
Sponsored Brand ads are ads with a slightly different look and feel. These ads also use keyword targeting, but typically take up the most real estate at the top of a shopping search results page.
Only available to sellers that are registered brand owners, you can customize these ads more heavily, picking up to three items, a brand logo, and a unique headline to feature, giving you greater control over your brand’s creative and messaging. You can also have more than one landing page, with shoppers who click on your headline or logo going to a custom landing page of your choosing or your Amazon store, or if they click on a specific item, going straight to that item’s product detail page.
Product Display Ads
Product display ads typically appear based on user interests or on pages of related or targeted items, not based on targeted keyword searches. They blend in a little less subtly than other Amazon ad units and usually appear in a number of places, including on detail pages under the product descriptions and/or under the cart information on the right-hand menu.
8 Must-Know Tips for Advertising on Amazon
Before jumping head first into Amazon advertising, memorize these tips, which will help you make the most out of your advertising strategy.
1. Test, test, test!
With so many ad units, so many products in your store, so many targeting options, and more, finding the optimal ad strategy can be difficult. Make sure to test every ad before going all in, so you don’t waste those precious ad dollars.
2. Optimize your product detail page first.
Most ads lead to your product listing page. Before blowing your budget on an ads that don’t convert, make sure your listing page is optimized, including the product title, description, images, customer questions, and more.
3. Provide all the information you can.
Make sure your ad copy doesn’t just say, “woman’s black hoodie.” Be as specific as you can be – include colors, sizes, dimensions, product features, and other relevant specs so users know exactly what they’re getting.
4. Learn your keyword match types.
Know the difference between exact match, broad match, phrase match, and negative match. These match types make all the difference in ensuring your ad is served to the right people. (If you sell musical flutes, you don’t want your ad to show up under a “champagne flute” search!)
5. Bid competitively.
Amazon ads run on a cost-per-click basis. Similar to Google Ads, you’ll want your ads to appear in prime real estate on the first search results page of your targeted keywords. Start by bidding your max CPC, taking stock of your placement, and lowering your bids strategically from there.
6. Remember the rules.
Don’t use unsupported claims in your ad, like “best” or “top-selling.” Use regular punctuation and capitalization and don’t misspell any words. Ads that look like they belong in a spam folder will not get approved.
7. Try a combination of different ad types.
Spread your ad budget on different ad units. Try sponsored product ads, display ads, and sponsored brand ads to see which gives you the best ROI. Chances are high you’ll find a unique combo that works best for you.
8. Not sure where to start? Try automating your campaigns.
From keyword targeting, to keyword bidding, you can automate most of the advertising process. Obviously, you’ll want to check in on your campaigns and analyze your results regularly, but automating things initially gives you a good place to start, so you can adjust from there.
Where Does Video Fit In?
You can definitely use video to optimize your product detail and seller pages, but video ads on Amazon take slightly more effort to get up and running.
Still, think about the ROI of a video ad on the shopping site. Combine the effectiveness of Amazon advertising, which targets people in buying mode, with the engagement and conversion rates of video ads, and you’ve got a winning recipe.
Video ads give you the opportunity to drive traffic to your Amazon product detail page or to a custom Amazon landing page.
The video ad functionality and features offered by Amazon will only continue to grow. Start testing the waters now and see how your business can benefit from including these tips in your ad strategy. Follow these Amazon video ad specs and start creating content that’ll boost your ROI. With the right product video (or videos), you can optimize your product listing, your seller page, your search ads, and more. Plus, we can help if you get stuck!