The Beginner’s Guide to Amazon Ads

It’s no secret that Amazon is dominating the world

Today, the word ‘Amazon’ has become synonymous with online shopping. Ever since it was launched 25 years ago in Jeff Bezo’s garage, the online retailer giant has flourished and is expanding into new markets with various products, service offerings and acquisitions. In fact, there are currently around 300 million Amazon users! 

With Amazon’s incredible popularity as the central hub for online shopping, there are a myriad of business and marketing opportunities. If you are in the e-commerce industry, selling and advertising through Amazon is a fantastic way to maximise sales and gain exposure among a competitive marketplace. 

In 2018, Amazon launched ‘Amazon Advertising’ (previously known as Amazon Marketing Services or AMS) as an advertising solution involving a search function. It operates similarly to Google pay-per-click ads where sellers only pay when customers click on the ads. 

According to Amazon, an overwhelming 76% of customers use the search bar to find a product. 

Additionally, many customers on Amazon also use the site to check and compare prices, discover new products/brands and start product searches. With such a huge potential audience, it is crucial that you begin to use Amazon Ads to grow your business. 

To get you started, here is a Beginner’s Guide on Amazon Advertising, which will take you through a journey of learning the different types of ads, marketing strategies to implement and how to sell on the e-commerce platform.

Amazon Sponsored Ads 

Amazon Sponsored Ads are pay-per-click display ads which use keywords for individual products that appear on search results and product pages. There are 3 main types of keywords which can be used for manual targeting campaigns – broad, phrase and exact. 

  • Broad keywords – words which come before and after the target keyword. For example, if the target keyword is rubber gloves, then the broad keyword could be yellow. These keywords enable your ads to get the highest exposure and traffic. 
  • Phrase keywords – involves the sequence of words which can change the context of a search query. Your ad only shows when a person’s search involves the exact phrase of your keyword or a close variation, with some additional words before and after.
  • Exact keywords – a search query must contain the exact keyword for your ad to show up and there should be no words before or after it. 

With Amazon’s sponsored ads, you can use the automatic keyword targeting which relies on an algorithm to target the most relevant keywords for your product ads. It also allows you to monitor and track your performance via a reporting tool which displays your ad’s clicks, sales, spending and Advertising Cost of sales (ACoS). 

How to use Amazon Sponsored Ads?

  • Targeting – you can find keywords which have low conversion rates (unprofitable) and flag them as negative. This is really important because even if these keywords have a high click-through-rate (CTR), their low conversion rate means that the ads are not targeted towards shoppers who are considering making a serious purchase decision. 
  • Bidding – you can find this option in the Manual Targeting ad campaigns. You can leverage Bid+ to increase the chance of your ad appearing at the top of the search results. However, this only works for ads that are eligible. When you use Bid+, you can increase your default bid by up to 50% which means you don’t have to constantly adjust your bids manually and keep your ads competitive. 

Amazon Headline Search Ads 

Amazon Headline Search Ads (or Sponsored Brand Campaigns) allows you to promote keyword-targeted ads of several products alongside search results. You can target the following main types of keywords: 

  • Branded product keywords – the combination of your brand name and the product. Example: Apple iPhone 
  • Complementary product keywordsa bundle of two products that are usually sold separately but can be used to fuel demand for each other, such as bread and butter 
  • Competitor branded keywords – keywords used by your competitor brands and products 
  • Out-of-category keywords – these are keywords which are related to the search query but don’t exactly match the product category
  • Sponsored products automatic targeting keywords – successful search queries from your Automatic Targeting sponsored products campaigns 

To increase clicks and maximise sales, Amazon Headline Search Ads also let you feature up to 3 products in your ads while enabling you to customise and even trial the ad’s image, headline and landing page. Similar to the Amazon Sponsored Ads, it also lets the user to track your ad’s performance. It’s highly recommended that you include the product’s top benefit in the ad headline since mobile shoppers can only see the main image and headline. 

If you want to know how much you have to pay for Amazon Headline Search Ads, Amazon uses a pay-per-click, auction-based pricing model. This means that you’ll never pay more than what you bid per click. Other than manual bidding, you also have the option of using automatic bidding, which optimises your ads for conversion.

Amazon Product Display Ads 

Amazon’s product display ads are pay-per-click ads that appear on product detail pages, customer review pages, above the offer listing page and below search results. They can also appear on abandoned cart emails, follow-up emails and product recommendation emails.

For Amazon product display ads, there are 2 types of targeting: 

  • Product targeting – contextual form of targeting where you can target specific products and related categories 
  • Interest targeting – behavioural form of targeting where you can target shopper interest and gain brand exposure 

To leverage this marketing tool, you should use product targeting on competitor pages, complementary product detail pages, your own existing product description pages to cross-sell and upsell similar products, and finally, on other related product categories to extend your reach across Amazon’s catalogue. 

Amazon’s product display ads can appear on your preferred category pages to advertise on, customise your creative and provides a reporting tool that displays the analytics for your ad campaign, such as clicks, total sales, units sold and average cost-per-click (ACPC).  

Amazon Native Ads 

Amazon native ads can be embedded on your own brand’s website. The key to ensuring their success is to make sure that they remain relevant to the pages you place them on. It also creates a seamless and natural step to more conversions. There are 3 main types: 

  • Recommendation ads – these are ads which can be placed on related-product article pages on your website. Depending on the initial customer’s search query, these ads will change and Amazon will populate your most relevant product recommendation based on your webpage’s content and visitors 
  • Search ads – these ads populate your website based off keywords that are searched on the website or on Amazon
  • Custom ads – you can select your own personalised combination of products you’d like to promote and and embed them on the product article pages 

Amazon Video Ads 

Amazon video ads appear on Amazon-owned sites such as IMDB, Audible and Twitch. You can purchase Amazon video ads despite not selling products on Amazon. You can also set your ad’s landing page as an Amazon product page, your own website or any other Internet web page.

However, this can be a costly option for many businesses since it usually costs a minimum of around $35,000 in order to be eligible for Amazon’s managed service option, which lets you liaise with Amazon’s video ad consultants. 

Amazon Stores: E-Commerce and Selling Your Products 

Amazon Stores is a free multi-page store hosted on the Amazon website where businesses can showcase their products. Essentially, the platform acts as a curated product portfolio, where there is no coding needed, and users can use drag-and-drop tiles or predesigned templates to create a customised online store. 

With Amazon Stores, brands can have their own unique Amazon URL and can monitor traffic sources and analytics, along with customer/sales insights. Using this platform, brands can direct their marketing activities outside Amazon, or alternatively, they can drive shoppers to their own website/Amazon page. 

How to use Amazon Stores Effectively 

  • When you create an Amazon store, you can use the analytics tool to find the top-performing keywords which have converted to sales. It also notifies you which are the best-selling products, which then makes you consider which products to use for a paid ad campaign 
  • The fundamental tips for an Amazon Store is to simply use clear professional (high-resolution) photos, legible captions and visible pricing labels. It is recommended to showcase your best-performing products 

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