Amazon is an absolute beast in the online marketplace. Actually, it’s the beast if we’re being honest. And if you do business online, chances are you could (and should) be selling your products on Amazon. If you aren’t, you’re missing out on some solid potential for consistent revenue for your business.
According to Business Insider, Amazon accounted for 54.9 percent of all online sales during this year’s Black Friday and 45 percent on Thanksgiving Day. Combined, that amounted to 12.78 million transactions. Amazon itself reports that one in three customers trust ads they see on Amazon more than ads they see elsewhere on the web. As you can see, Amazon’s clout and reputation should be reason enough to for you to consider advertising with them, but at what cost?
Well, it depends. There are two types of advertising you can utilize with Amazon: premium ads and Amazon marketing services.
You’ll need some deep pockets in your advertising budget to place premium ads on Amazon, with a minimum investment of $35,000 required. But with the large price tag comes the potential for great value.
Amazon premium ads offer a full suite of display options, many of which are exclusive to Amazon, including traditional web ads, as well as eCommerce, programmatic, and video ads that can be seen on any device. The package may also include some offline options, like having your logo on Amazon boxes or lockers.
With Premium Ads, you won’t need to do all the work on your own either, as you’ll have an Amazon advertising consultant running your program every step of the way. You’ll be able to leverage Amazon’s insights on shopper behaviors to reach your ideal audience and measure how well your ads are performing so you can make changes.
All in all, you really do get what you pay for with Amazon Premium Ads, but it has to make sense for your business. Because of the large investment it requires, Premium Ads won’t be an option for many small businesses, who simply don’t have the marketing budget to make it feasible. Luckily for you, Amazon Marketing Services offer another, more budget-friendly option.
Related: Intro Into Amazon Marketing Services
Amazon Marketing Services
Amazon Marketing Services will help your target customers discover and buy your products. Amazon’s algorithms can place your ads in front of customers right when they are shopping for something that is similar to your product.
Unlike Premium Ads, Amazon Marketing Services ads are self-serve, and will be targeted to your customer’s search terms or shopped products and tracked interests, which helps you reach your ideal audience. They’ll bring a lot of visibility to your brand and help drive traffic to your products. Best of all, these ad campaigns are highly customizable, offering the flexibility to choose your own bid and budget, then track your ROI with Amazon’s detailed reporting.
Using Amazon’s Marketing Services gives you full control over your ads. You will choose how much you want to spend when you decide what you would like to bid for each click on your ad. Since all of Amazon’s self-serve advertising solutions run on a cost-per-click program, you will only be charged when someone clicks on your ad. This sliding payment scale is attractive because there will be a low minimum investment for you, but the more aggressive you are, the more likely your ad will be displayed.
The bid you place on an ad is the maximum cost that you are willing to pay when someone clicks your ad. If a competitor who offers a similar product outbids you for ad placement on the same search items, they will most likely receive better placement on the display or appear instead of your ad.
Amazon Marketing Services Ad Types
There are three different types of ads with Amazon self-serve Marketing Services. They are Sponsored Products, Headline Search Ads, and Product Display ads.
- Sponsored Products
Sponsored Products allow you to advertise your products with keyword-targeted ads. Your ads will be given highly visible placements on search results pages. You can choose your own keywords or let Amazon pick for you through its automatic targeting system.
A Sponsored Product ad could help you increase your revenue because they go in front of your customers when they are searching for a product similar to yours. They are perfect to use when you have a new offer, like a seasonal promotion or clearance item, or simply want a product to gain more visibility.
- Headline Search
Like Sponsored Products, Headline Search Ads are keyword-targeted and will appear above the search results when a shopper does a query that matches your keywords. With this option, you can have a custom headline and logo for your brand that will help drive customers to a page that features a collection of your products. For this reason, you should only run headline search if you have 3 or more products to feature. Headline Search ads are great for generating sales and growing brand awareness,
- Product Display
Product Display ads work a little different in that they are not keyword-based. These ads actually target products, product categories, or shopper interests. Your Product Display ads may show your competing product in related product detail pages, customer review pages, or even in merchandising emails.
Perfect for companies that want to improve their brand awareness, Product Display ads get in front of shoppers in the final stages of their decision-making process. This gives you last-minute influence over your potential customer before they buy. If they choose to buy from you instead, you can even capitalize further by getting them to buy more while they’re in the purchase mindset. That’s because you can target your own products with display ads on your product detail pages, allowing you to up-sell your offerings
How To Plan Your Amazon Marketing Services Ad Campaign
Before you can begin a self-serve ad campaign, you must first be an Amazon seller. If you are, you next must consider your goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). Determining your specific goals, as well as how you plan to measure them using your KPIs, will help you decide which ad types you would like to run.
If your goal is to generate revenue and return on ad spend (ROAS), you should consider the actual target figures that you want to reach. As we mentioned above, the best ad types for these goals would be Sponsored Products and Headline Search. For those who want to grow more brand awareness, Product Display and Headline Search will be your best options. And if you hope to generate more revenue AND boost your brand awareness, Product Display and Headline Search are your go-to ads.
When you take a look at the items you want to promote, you should create separate campaigns for each different category of products that you offer. For example, if you are a clothing retailer, you should create separate campaigns for each of the following: t-shirts, tank tops, pants, etc. Each product type should run separately, because customers will search for them using different keywords. However, if you have some products that are relevant to the same keywords, you can group them together in the same campaign.
You will add a keyword, or keywords, to your Sponsored Products or Headline Search campaigns. These terms are matched with the words shoppers use when they search for products on Amazon, which helps determine when your ads should appear.
Product Display ads are targeted by products, product categories, and/or shopper interests. These ads will be more helpful if you are looking to boost your brand awareness. With Product Display ads, you will actually target your competitor’s top products to display your ads, so customers will be introduced to your product as another option. You can even capitalize on your own pages by placing ads for your other, similar product offerings.
Once you’ve figured out your ad type, goals, and planned how to customize your ad campaign, you will log in to Seller Central on Amazon and click the advertising tab. From there, select your ad types, products and targeting based on the plan you set up. You’ll then set up your budget and bids.
It’s wise to begin with Amazon’s bid recommendations and then optimize your bids based on your ad performance. Amazon recommends starting off with Sponsored Products, because it’s the easiest to setup. You won’t need to use any images or create copy for your ads, and they go live immediately. You’ll also be able to take advantage of Amazon’s shopping expertise and use automatic targeting to learn what your ideal customer is looking for online.
Amazon recommends that you let your campaign run for a few weeks to gather sufficient data to learn what is working and what isn’t. As time goes on, you’ll learn to make the proper adjustments to your campaigns, whether it’s fixing your targets or rethinking your keywords, to get better results. When you find your niche and market your product to the right shoppers, advertising with Amazon can put your brand in front of a lot of eyes and be a good extra stream of revenue for your business.