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What is Amazon Advertising?

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Amazon Advertising

With almost 200 million shoppers visiting Amazon’s websites each month, it is by far the largest shop in the world—the 800-pound gorilla of online shopping. So, it makes perfect sense to want your product prominently displayed in front of all these shoppers.

Unfortunately, so does everyone else: in the US alone, Amazon US lists over 600 million products. Which means, you need to find a way to put your product in front of all those visitors, or your competition will.

Enter Amazon Advertising, (formerly known as Amazon Marketing Services or AMS.) Launch in 2012, Amazon Advertising platform allows you to get your products featured on the world’s biggest online store, which in turn can help with brand awareness and product visibility, with the ultimate goal of increasing sales. There are three kinds of available advertising: Sponsored Brands (formerly known as Headline Search Ads), Sponsored Product Ads, and Product Display Ads. Together, they can make your sales take off!

Advertise Worldwide

Since its 2012 launch, Amazon Advertising has been expanding, both geographically and in terms of products. It is now available for most countries where Amazon has a presence, namely:

As for products, Amazon allows products in the following categories to be promoted (this is not an exclusive list; books are eligible for Sponsored and Product Display Ads in the US).

Even though Amazon is always expanding their ad’s reach, it’s still not available for all products or countries. For example, you can only advertise with Amazon Advertising if you are an Amazon vendor. And third-party sellers were only invited to Amazon Advertising in 2017, finally allowing a new group of users to access the platform, although they had access to a limited version of ads through the Seller Central platform.

Who Can Qualify for Amazon Advertising?

Amazon Advertising is currently available to anyone with a Seller Central account, but to unleash its full potential you will need a Vendor Central account. This will allow you to both sell your products through Amazon and create any kind of Ads.

What is the Difference Between a Vendor and Seller Account?

The difference between a Seller account and a Vendor one is that Sellers list, price, and market their products themselves, whereas Vendors sell their products to Amazon, which then lists and sells them on to its users.

Another difference is that shoppers of Vendor products will see a “Sold by Amazon” notification on the product page. This can boost their trust in the product, leading to more sales.

Also, Vendors avoid Amazon seller fees such as costs for referrals, fulfillment, or even having an account. Instead, they pay a small monthly fee, which allows them to sell unlimited products. This fee also covers fulfillment by Amazon and gift wrapping options.

The greatest difference, however, is that Vendors also enjoy the full marketing opportunities provided by Amazon Advertising

How Does Amazon Advertising Work?

Amazon Advertising works the same way as other Internet-based Ads—through a lightning-fast bidding system. Whenever Amazon chooses which ad to display on a specific page, numerous Ads bid against each other behind the scenes. Budget is only one of the factors determining the winner, as Amazon also uses a ranking system to select the most profitable Ads.

Once your Ad has been picked, it is displayed on Amazon’s search page. You pay every time someone clicks on your Ad. This model, called Pay-Per-Click (PPC), has the advantage of letting you display your Ad as often as you wish to maximize your brand awareness. However, if you don’t target it correctly and hardly anyone clicks on it, Amazon will lower its ranking and display other Ads instead, no matter how high your bid. This explains why a common complaint with Amazon Advertising is, “Amazon never displays my Ad.”

Targeting Your Audience

Since you pay Amazon when someone clicks on your Ad and when you make a sale, Amazon is rewarded for effective advertising. It is to both Amazon’s and your own interest, therefore, to run the best possible campaign.

In order to maximize clicks and get the most out of your Ad, you need to target your audience as best as you can: an audience which is interested in your product will click on the Ad more often. It’s a win-win for everyone, including Amazon. But it’s notoriously hard to pinpoint the best audience for your product.

Targeting is achieved in three ways. You can:

  • Select a number of keywords. When people search for them, your Ad will be among those bidding for display.
  • Select a number of interests or categories. Instead of picking individual products to target, category targeting allows advertisers to reach products within related categories or customer interests. This way, you can target potential customers based on their shopping habits, introducing yourself to a large audience.
  • Last, select similar products. When people open a product page, your Ad will be displayed on the right-hand side of that product details page.

3 Types of Amazon Advertising Ad Campaigns

Once you have narrowed down your audience, you can choose from a number of different kinds of Ads to show them:

 

Amazon Sponsored Brand Ads (Formerly Headline Search Ads)

Amazon Sponsored Brands Ads (formerly Headline Search Ads) allow brands to promote three or more products and drive traffic to any of the following destinations:

  • The Amazon Store for your brand
  • Any page that showcases your products on Amazon (i.e. a brand page)
  • A custom landing page on Amazon, e.g. a best selling product.

As the name suggests, Sponsored Brands Ads appear when you search for an item, at the very top of the Search Results page (marked in green):

You may notice in the above example how Amazon displays its own Ads. Yes, depending on your product, there are times when your product may have to outbid Amazon itself. In fact, Sponsored Brands are not for everyone, as third-party sellers need to be accepted into the Brand Registry program in order to qualify for them.

Amazon Sponsored Brands is particularly effective for brand building. Their size and position on the page ensure they are noticed, while the fact they can link to a brand page allows you to promote your entire brand instead of a single product alone.

Customers who click on Sponsored Brands Ads are likely at the beginning of their purchase phase, so it is best to send them to the Brand page where they can view a variety of products on a branded page.

Image Source: Amazon

You may notice in the above example how Amazon displays its own Ads. Yes, depending on your product, there are times when your product may have to outbid Amazon itself. In fact, Sponsored Brands are not for everyone, as third-party sellers need to be accepted into the Brand Registry program in order to qualify for them.

Amazon Sponsored Brands is particularly effective for brand building. Their size and position on the page ensure they are noticed, while the fact they can link to a brand page allows you to promote your entire brand instead of a single product alone.

Customers who click on Sponsored Brands Ads are likely at the beginning of their purchase phase, so it is best to send them to the Brand page where they can view a variety of products on a branded page.

A Brand Page is a great way to promote your entire brand. Image Source: Amazon

Amazon Sponsored Brands are also great for promoting a range of products. Since you can display up to three products, this lets you advertise a wide range of them, e.g. from your more inexpensive to the more expensive ones. This means that Ads can be cost-effective, too, as you effectively get three times as many Ads for the price of one.

The best part about them, however, is their placement: since they appear at the very top of a search page, there is no chance your Ad will be ignored or missed by shoppers, especially as you can use your own Ad copy to catch the shopper’s eye.

Furthermore, their targeting is ideal: your Ads will only appear on the screens of people actively searching for the kind of products you sell, which means you have excellent chances of converting these views into actual sales.

Amazon Sponsored Product Ads

Amazon Product Display Ads

Author

michael-meyersearchnurture-com

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Lindsay, Business Development Manager image description

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Hi there! I'm Lindsay, the Business Development Manager at Search Nurture. I speak to a lot of different business owners, VPs, brand managers and marketing managers. Some know they need to be more competitive in their market but just don't have the knowledge. Some have the knowledge but lack the support to implement everything they need to do. Some just need to get some clarity and guidance on their digital strategy moving forward.

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