Ecommerce sellers around the world have their eyes on Amazon digital advertising. With opportunities to promote products to over 310 million active customers, it‘s no wonder these marketing services are gaining so much attention.
Reports show spending on Amazon ads grew by over 65% in 2021 alone, topping $31 billion globally. Sellers big and small are flocking to Amazon ads to fuel their growth and stay competitive. But why exactly are these services sparking endless conversations?
For starters, Amazon dominates the online retail space, controlling over 40% of US ecommerce. Tapping into this massive existing audience gives sellers immediate scale. Amazon‘s powerful data also allows uniquely targeted advertising based on purchase intent and browsing history.
Performance-driven formats like Sponsored Products make spending highly measurable, with detailed campaign analytics guiding optimization. Automation features help streamline large-scale advertising. And services are accessible for all – sellers of all sizes can self-serve ads and see results.
But beyond the direct response sales opportunities lies branding potential. Services like Amazon DSP and Stores help establish brand presence and affinity both on and off Amazon. Video ads and Amazon Live facilitate deeper engagement.
In short, Amazon advertising offers reach, targeting, measurability and creativity – everything brands need in today‘s digital marketing landscape. As competition heats up, sellers are realizing Amazon mastery is mandatory for success. By embracing these marketing services, they hope to stake their claim in the world‘s largest marketplace.
For sellers looking to capitalize on the potential of Amazon advertising, here is an in-depth guide to the key services and best practices.
Amazon Advertising Options
Amazon offers a full suite of digital marketing formats to fit diverse needs:
Product ads shown in search results and product pages based on keywords. Ideal for direct product promotion and sales.
- Appear above or below organic search results
- Target by keyword, product category, or competitor product listings
- Pay-per-click (PPC) pricing
Brand awareness ads featuring logos, promotions, and custom brand stories. Help establish brand identity and visibility.
- Prominent placement at top of search pages and product detail pages
- Combination of product, logo, headline, and description copy
- Pay-per-impression (CPM) pricing
Headline Search Ads
Highly visible banner ads ideal for cross-promoting products and brands.
- Located below search bars on category and search pages
- Can showcase up to 3 products and 1 brand
- Pay-per-click (PPC) pricing
Banner ads on Amazon sites and other premium publishers to reach broader audiences.
- Run off Amazon on sites like CNN, Forbes, Buzzfeed and more
- Target by demographics, interests, purchase intent
- Pay-per-click (PPC) pricing
Powerful display and video advertising platform with advanced audience targeting and measurement capabilities.
- Use Amazon‘s data and partner data for precision targeting
- Attribution tracking across sites
- Sophisticated platform for large brands
Custom brand storefronts beyond just listings to tell brand stories.
- Showcase products, videos, blogs, brand story
- Optimize experience for mobile
- Link Stores to marketing efforts
Live-streaming video broadcasts where viewers can purchase featured products in real-time.
- Share product details and engage viewers through chat
- Limited deals create urgency
- Replay value through recaps
Setting Up Amazon PPC Campaigns
Well-structured Amazon PPC campaigns are essential for success. Follow these best practices:
Conduct Thorough Keyword Research
Leverage keyword tools to identify high-volume, relevant search terms people use to find your products. Analyze competitor terms. Categorize keywords by themes.
Tip: Long-tail keywords tend to convert better as they indicate more specific buyer intent.
Craft Compelling Ad Copy
Write creative ad headlines, descriptions, and displays that capture attention and communicate key product benefits clearly. Highlight differentiators.
Tip: A/B test 2-3 versions of copy to see which resonates more.
Set Informed Bids
Determine bid prices based on campaign goals, historical performance data, expected conversion value and metrics like ACoS. Adjust bids gradually over time per results.
Tip: Bid higher on proven winner keywords driving conversions.
Structure for Success
Organize tightly related products into ad groups around themes. Keep campaigns focused and structured for optimal bids and targeting.
Tip: Limit campaigns to closely related products. Broad campaigns struggle.
Leverage negative keywords, category and competitor targeting to show ads to interested shoppers. Reduce irrelevant impressions.
Tip: Add non-brand keywords as negatives to avoid bid overlap.
Optimize Landing Pages
Send traffic to relevant, high-converting product and brand pages with convincing info and calls-to-action.
Tip: Ensure mobile optimization for 70%+ mobile traffic.
Monitor and Tweak
Check campaign analytics daily and tweak bids, budgets, keywords and copy based on performance data. Capitalize on successes.
Tip: Use auto campaigns sparingly. Manual wins for serious sellers.
More Ways Brands Can Market on Amazon
Beyond PPC ads, sellers have many options to boost marketing:
- SEO Optimization – Optimize on-page elements like titles, descriptions, images, and back-end keywords to improve organic visibility.
- Product Content – Compelling product detail pages, videos, and blogs better inform buyers. Update frequently.
- Influencer Marketing – Partner with relevant influencers and content creators to promote products and deals.
- External Traffic – Complement Amazon efforts with Facebook/Instagram ads, Google Ads, email marketing and more.
- Customer Service – Prompt issue resolution earns positive reviews and loyalty. 24/7 support ideal.
- Affiliate Marketing – Recruit other sites and influencers to promote products through affiliate commissions.
- Amazon Stores – Build customizable brand-controlled storefronts beyond just listings.
- Amazon Live – Reach shoppers in real-time with live video broadcasts and limited deals.
- Social Media – Engage target audiences through Amazon shoppable posts and branded content.
With the right combination of initiatives, sellers can connect with shoppers across channels and life stages. Consistent optimization is key to maximizing reach and conversion.
Critical Optimization Factors
Beyond advertising, sellers need to optimize every aspect of the customer experience:
Boost Product Listings
Compelling titles, informative descriptions, high-quality images, video demonstrations and peek inside previews boost visibility and conversion.
- Titles: 100 chars, keywords at beginning
- Features and benefits focused descriptions
- Lifestyle photos, infographics, videos
- Consistent branding
- Detailed specs and dimensions
Collect Positive Reviews
Proactively seek authentic positive reviews through email and insertion requests. Reviews heavily influence buying decisions.
- 50+ reviews ideal
- Respond professionally to negative feedback
- Monitor review trends
Offer Competitive Pricing
Position prices competitively using analytics to maximize volume and profitability. Adapt pricing strategies per lifecycle.
- New products: Market penetration pricing
- Mature products: Skimming strategy
- End-of-life items: Clearance sales
Informative, optimized content beyond listings captures interest. Refresh blogs, videos, and guides regularly.
Refine Account Health
Improve performance scorecard metrics around order defects, refund rates and policy adherence. Limit violations.
Tools like Brand Analytics gauge brand health and reveal opportunities in areas like reviews, availability and relevance.
Optimize Supply Chain
Efficient inventory and logistics avoids stockouts and storage fees. Balance automation and personalization.
Tout unique features, value adds, warranties, or services to stand out from the competition.
Support New Launches
Give new product launches a boost with promotions, advertising, and influencer campaigns to quickly gain traction.
Follow Amazon’s Advertising Policies
Adhering to Amazon’s guidelines around advertising prevents costly account suspensions and restrictions. Always:
- Promote authentic products offered in Amazon Store
- Comply with Amazon‘s branding policies if using logos
- Avoid misleading product claims or unsubstantiated comparisons
- Honor policies around special events like Prime Day
- Disclose relationships with any endorsers
- Follow rules regarding restricted product ads
- Have proper brand registry and authorization
Review policies regularly and conduct ad content audits to identify any compliance gaps.
Tracking Performance and Results
Regularly monitor key PPC metrics to gauge performance and identify optimization opportunities:
Impressions – Number of times ads were shown
Clicks – Number of ad clicks
Click-through-rate (CTR) – Clicks/Impressions
Cost-per-click (CPC) – Average cost per click
Spend – Overall advertising spend
Sales – Total sales generated
ACoS – Advertising Cost of Sale – Total Spend / Total Sales
Budget Utilization – Percentage of budget used
Keyword Conversion Rates – Sales per keyword
Analyze trends over time, drill-down by factors like match type and product, and leverage inside Amazon‘s reporting.
Optimization Best Practices
Follow these tips for continuous PPC optimization:
- Gradually scale budgets to refine campaign elements before aggressive spending
- Build ad groups around closely related products and keywords
- Utilize negative keywords extensively to reduce irrelevant clicks
- A/B test at least 2 ads and landing pages to improve performance
- Analyze search terms for low converters and add negatives
- Sort keywords by performance and adjust bids accordingly
- Eliminate consistently underperforming keywords after sufficient testing
- Create urgency with time-based promotions like limited-time deals
- Check reports daily and action key opportunities – don‘t "set and forget"
- Follow Amazon‘s guidelines to safeguard your account
- Leverage automation for initial setup then manually refine
Amazon advertising rewards focus, discipline, and meticulous optimization based on data.
Common PPC Pitfalls
Avoid these common mistakes that can sabotage PPC results:
Weak Keyword Targeting
Using overly broad keywords or failing to research buyer keywords leads to irrelevant traffic and low conversions.
Poor Quality Scores
Low click-through-rates from weak ads or targeting cause lower Quality Scores leading to higher costs and lower ad ranks.
Misaligned Goals and Copy
Ads that simply tout products without relevant messaging aligned to campaign goals underperform.
Bloated Ad Groups
Too many loosely related keywords and products jumble targeting and limit bid adjustments.
Ignoring Negative KWs
Not using negative keywords leads to wasted spend on searches where your product is irrelevant.
Low Landing Page Quality
Sending traffic to thin, low-converting product pages squanders potential conversions.
Bidding randomly without considering historical data, margins and goals causes subpar results.
Failing to Refine and Optimize
Not regularly checking analytics and tweaking based on learnings causes campaigns to stagnate.
Ignoring Amazon‘s advertising policies around misleading claims or restricted products puts accounts at risk.
Stay diligent to avoid these pitfalls through continuous optimization and learning.
The Power of Amazon DSP
For advanced performance, Amazon Demand-Side Platform (DSP) provides robust capabilities:
Leverage Amazon‘s shopper data, purchase-based segments, and advanced 3P data for hyper-targeted ads.
Household-based targeting connects with consumers across devices and environments.
Video Ads at Scale
Access premium long-form videos like TV shows and movies to boost engagement.
Seamless Amazon Integration
see product search lift, store visits, product views and sales directly in DSP.
Robust analytics connect ad spend to site conversions to quantify real ROI.
Managed Service and Support
Advisors provide strategic guidance, campaign management and optimization.
For big budgets, DSP brings Amazon advertising to the next level through precision targeting, measurable attribution, and expanded creative options.
The Power of Amazon Stores
Beyond listings, Amazon Store offers brands a custom ecommerce site presence. Benefits include:
Showcase Brand Identity
Share your brand story, values, images, videos and credentials beyond just product listings.
Extended Product Catalog
Feature your full line of product ranges, not just best sellers eligible for Prime.
Publish rich blogs, guides, and videos to engage visitors and enhance SEO.
Visual Design Control
Customize look and feel with brand colors, logos and navigation.
Optimized Shopping Experience
Curate categories, collections and product paths ideal for your offerings.
Add lead capture mechanisms like quizzes, surveys and email sign-ups.
Linked Data Hub
Seamlessly connect Store to other initiatives like advertising and social campaigns.
For sellers looking to grow beyond Amazon, Stores provide an owned presence with full creative freedom and marketing capabilities.
Amazon advertising continues evolving quickly, with emerging capabilities like:
The live video shopping trend comes to Amazon. Demonstrate products in real-time with shoppable streams.
Reach cord-cutters moving from traditional TV to streaming entertainment options.
Expand beyond visual ads with voice-enabled audio ads on Alexa.
Interactive Ad Units
Innovative formats like playable demos, mini-games and more engage customers.
Connect ads to sales conversions across websites and associate them back to media spend.
Test ads in Amazon‘s digital out-of-home network or Twitch to find ideal audiences.
Stay on top of new developments by continually testing on Amazon‘s evolving advertising platforms.
The Power of Amazon Marketing Agencies
For sellers new to Amazon or those managing sophisticated needs, partnering with an Amazon marketing agency pays dividends. Consider an agency when:
- You need guidance navigating Amazon‘s vast, ever-changing ad ecosystem
- Managing large-scale advertising internally strains resources
- You lack advanced software, tools, and data for robust targeting
- Specialized skills in video production, branding, retail media, etc. required
- Objective outside perspective needed for unbiased optimization
- Dedicated account management and full-service execution desired
- Your needs exceed self-serve capabilities
Choose an agency with proven Amazon expertise across both advertising and marketplace management. Take time to understand capabilities, experience, results and services to find the right fit. With the right partner, tap into the full power of Amazon marketing.
Amazon advertising presents incredible opportunities for brands to connect with buyers and drive sales in a measurable, optimized way. As competition increases, a strategic approach combining Amazon‘s suite of marketing services with marketplace best practices will become imperative. Leverage the tools, support and knowledge needed to maximize success on the world‘s top online retail destination.