It’s been 25 years since Amazon first launched and the company is well on its way to taking over the world. In fact, worldwide it’s estimated that Amazon Prime has over 200 million users. It’s a staggering number, but what’s more staggering is that figure only represents a fraction of the amount of Amazon users overall.
Despite this, a surprising amount of eCommerce sellers are missing out on selling on Amazon. Especially when you consider the advertising opportunities Amazon as compared to other digital channels like social media or Google.
This is why we’ve put together our Amazon advertising guide for beginners.
Just like other digital marketing channels like Facebook or Google, Amazon offers advertising options to its sellers. There are a variety of advertising options to pick from and they’ll appear in different formats across the platform.
The most common type you’ll see are just like the pay-per-click search ads Google offers. So a user will type in what they’re looking for on Amazon and some search results will appear. At the top of these results will be ads or ‘sponsored posts if you prefer.
Similar to other forms of paid advertising, you’ll be able to spot Amazon ads as they’ll have a subtle ‘sponsored’ or ‘ad’ text within the product listing.
Again, similar to Google search ads, you bid on specific keywords to appear in these advertising spots. If you win the bid, your product will appear for the user and your visibility is improved. You’ll only be charged if a user clicks on your ad.
There are other ad types as well, which we’ll explore in-depth later on.
Amazon advertising is an incredible tool for businesses, especially smaller ones that can’t compete in the search engine results or haven’t got enough money to plow into huge marketing campaigns.
All businesses know how overcrowded the internet has become with other sellers. Even if you’re already selling on Amazon, you might not be seeing the results you want to in terms of sales.
This is because there are more than 5 million sellers on Amazon. While it’s an incredible platform to sell on, it’s very competitive for particular product categories. Advertising on the platform can help get more eyes on your product and increase your sales substantially.
This isn’t the only benefit either.
All these extra eyes on your brand can do wonders for brand awareness. As you don’t pay unless customers click on your ad, it can be a great, cost-effective marketing exercise for increasing product awareness.
The pay-per-click model has other perks too. For starters, it’s super easy to manage your spending. You set the bids and budget, so you’ll never pay more than you’re willing to spend unless you make an error!
This means it’s basic maths figuring out where you can make improvements. Once your campaign has been running for a little while, you can use the key metrics to increase your margins, conversion rates and amend bids to see the best returns.
Amazon ads also have a rather impressive conversion rate, standing at between 10 - 15%. Compare that to a 3.8% average conversion rate for Google search ads and it’s a no-brainer as to where your marketing budget would be best placed.
A final benefit is that there is some evidence to suggest that your organic rankings on Amazon will improve as a result of your PPC efforts. This isn’t to say Amazon rewards businesses who advertise with them only. But if a seller or product is popular, Amazon’s algorithm will prioritize it higher in the rankings as it delivers a better experience for its users.
The improvement in organic rankings may also be because you’ll be more likely to dedicate time to optimize your product listings. This will benefit both paid and organic results on Amazon.
Much like with PPC campaigns in Google Ads, it’s difficult to give an exact idea of how much Amazon advertising costs on a per click basis.
This is because of how competitive different product categories are. For example, if you’re selling beauty products, this is a very competitive category on the site with a higher cost-per-click. Whereas if you’re selling niche pet supplies, chances are your cost-per-click will be much lower.
As it stands, the average cost per click on Amazon is between $0.20 to $3, though there are some outliers to this average. But for the vast majority of sellers, the platform represents a very cost-effective advertising option.
Now you’re sold on the benefits of it, we’ll start getting into the nitty-gritty of Amazon advertising for beginners, starting with the different types of ads.
The two main categories of ads you need to understand first are self serve ads and premium ads.
Self-serve ads are the ones we’ve talked about a lot above. They function just like Google search ads, in that they appear on search results pages within Amazon when a user types in a given query.
Premium ads are much more akin to display ads shown across the Google Display Network. They appear on Amazon in banner and sidebar ads, as well as on other websites.
With that distinction made, let’s look at the different formats of ads available. There are three main types.
Sponsored product ads are the most common type of Amazon ad. They’re very similar to Google Shopping network as if you use those already. They send users to a specific product listing you have on Amazon.
They’re displayed at the very top of search results, as well as within other product detail pages. As explained above, you use keywords to target them. Like on Google Ads, you can use a variety of match types to do this including broad match, phrase match, and exact match.
Sponsored product ads are popular for a couple of reasons. First, you don’t have to be brand registered to use them. You just need to have a professional seller or vendor account on Amazon.
Second, they’re super easy to set up, no matter how new you are to PPC advertising. You can opt for automatic targeting, which means you don’t even have to pick your keywords. Amazon will use the information from your product to target your ads for you.
Also known as headline search ads, these ads appear in the search results like sponsored product ads, but they’re always above the search result listings.
These ads are cost-per-click and there are a few different options to pick from including collection, store spotlight, and video.
Collection sponsored brand ads display a group of three products of your choosing. If a user clicks them, they’ll be directed through to the given product listing page.
Store spotlight sponsored brand ads advertises your storefront. Within this ad, you can of course highlight certain products, but there will be a large logo for your brand within the ad as well.
Video sponsored brand ads are exactly what they sound like, a video option for advertising a product. Videos are very eye-catching for users as they stand out in otherwise static results pages.
Sponsored brand ads are also keyword targeted, but the minimum bid per keyword is $0.10 and the minimum campaign budget is $100 or $1 a day. You can also only use exact and phrase match keywords for this ad type.
The big appeal of sponsored brand ads is how prominent they are in the search results. They appear above any of the results, in a large ad format, giving your brand and products prominence over all competitors.
To use sponsored brand ads, you need to be brand registered. This makes them a little more exclusive. If you’re dealing with copycats and cheap competitors, sponsored brand ads can give you a real edge over the rest.
Last, but by no means least, we have product display ads. These don’t work the same way as the previous two self-serve ad types. Product display ads are the premium ad type we mentioned above.
They’re not keyword targeted, instead, they’re product and interest targeted. But they do similarly send users through to a product listing page and are cost-per-click.
Each product display campaign is limited to one target type, so you can’t target based on both products and interests. If you want to target on interests, there is a long list to pick from. For example, if you sell athletic equipment, you might target shoppers interested in running.
Targeting based on products works in a similar way. You pick from a long list of products that you would like your product to appear with. So using the athletic equipment example above, you might target products like sneakers.
These ads can show up on the sidebar of search results, on review pages, in emails, and more. They’re a great option for building brand awareness.
Like sponsored brand ads, this ad type is only available to vendors or brand registered sellers.
Amazon advertising is quite straightforward. But there are some clear best practice guidelines to follow to reap the best results.
Similar to Google Ads, the way you structure your Amazon account will make or break you. Especially if you have hundreds of products on Amazon, if you don’t follow a logical structure, you’ll soon find yourself lost in nonsense analytics and overwhelmed.
A good strategy is to as a minimum have a separate campaign for each of your different product categories. Within each of these campaigns, you can create more specific ad groups with precise keyword targeting. A good rule of thumb is no more than 30 keywords per ad group.
This solid foundation ensures your ads are relevant, which will increase their success.
Great ad copy can help you stand out in a sea of Amazon ads, so creativity and humor will serve you well here.
A sense of urgency can also aid you, so if you’re running a promotion, make sure that’s obvious in your ad copy.
Most importantly though, your ad copy should be precise. It should be obvious what you’re selling, with the most important details about that product included.
As in Google Ads, some of your best keywords will be branded competitor keywords. Make sure you’re not missing out on these on Amazon either.
Chances are you already know your main competitors. But if not, you can research this by searching for your main keywords and seeing which branded items come up.
Again, like on Google Ads, you’ll need to use negative keywords to avoid wasting your budget on clicks you don’t want.
You should do this alongside using the right match type. In general, it’s good to avoid broad matches unless you have the budget to burn as they’ll appear for less relevant searches. Phrase match is good for catching new longtail keywords you might not have included.
It’s tempting to stick with just sponsored product ads because of how easy they are to set up and the quick results they can bring in, but don’t stop here!
Try all the different ad types available to you to see which brings your business the best return on investment. Sponsored brand ads in particular often see great results, while sponsored display ads allow for excellent remarketing. All three ad types together will bring you the best returns for your efforts.
As you can see, Amazon advertising is a great option for eCommerce businesses that want to see quick results on the platform for a low cost. There are many different advertising options available on the platform, all of which are quite easy to set up initially.
Managing your Amazon advertisers account to ensure it’s running at its full potential is another matter entirely. It can be quite time-consuming and many businesses simply don’t have the resources. That’s where we come in.
BlueTuskr is a full-service digital marketing company that specializes in PPC marketing. Get in touch to find out how we could help your business.