Amazon Advertising Console is your ticket to eCommerce success. Learn how to drive more sales today with Sponsored Product, Brand, and Display ads.
If you invested $1,000 in Amazon ten years ago, how much would you have today?
How about if you invested that same amount back in 1997 during Amazon’s IPO?
Over $1.3 million.
Isn’t it fun thinking about how much money you could have made, only you didn’t because you were hesitant to put a thousand dollars of your hard-earned money into this:
Which was being run by this guy:
If that doesn’t scream good investment, we don’t know what does.
Don’t feel bad. You weren’t alone. We all missed out on the Amazon gravy train. But let’s learn from our foibles and not make the same mistake twice.
Today, Amazon is the world’s largest retailer and one of the biggest businesses in the galaxy. And it’s growing bigger by the day.
Amazon currently has:
- Over 150 million Prime subscribers
- Over 300 million active users worldwide
- Around a half-billion products on sale
In one month alone, over 190 million people visit Amazon.com. That’s more than the entire population of Russia. RUSSIA!
Try this on for size – here is a mere 1.6 million in Moscow watching Metallica. Go ahead… we know you want to sing along.
All that adds up to one thing — a whole lot of eMoola. This comes from:
- Prime members spending an average $1,400/year
- Non-Prime members spending an average of $600/year
Those averages aren’t all that surprising considering 89% of consumers are more likely to buy from Amazon than other eCommerce sites.
What’s all this mean?
Well, for one, we all blew it by not investing in Jeff Bezos when all he had was a desk and a crooked sign.
Two, it’s Amazon’s world, and we’re all just buying in it.
And three, you NEED to be advertising on Amazon today.
Why You Need to Advertise on Amazon Today
Did you know that along with all those books, electronics, and Unicorn Meat, Amazon also offers just as vast an advertising platform to help you grow your business?
It does. It’s called, aptly enough, Amazon Advertising. And it is your key into the wide, wonderful world of Amazon and its loyal users.
We recently reviewed why Amazon Advertising is the next best thing for your eCommerce marketing.
In short, the reason why is because it’s AMAZEBALLS.
(Which, not surprisingly, is an actual product sold on Amazon.)
Having already previously seen why it’s such a smart move, now we want to take a closer look at the nuts and bolts of how Amazon Advertising can help businesses grow.
Amazon Advertising contains two distinct divisions, each with its own services.
- PPC – Implemented via the Amazon Advertising Console
- Display – Implemented via the Amazon Demand Side Platform (DSP)
Below we’re going to dive deeper into Amazon Advertising Console (tackling Amazon DSP in another post). This includes breaking down its different ad types and offering tips for being competitive on each.
Basically, we’re going to show you how to win Amazon.
Or, as we like to think of it, provide a one-stop shop for everything you need to be amazeballs.
You might have missed out on investing in Amazon the first time around.
And the second.
And probably a whole bunch of other times over the past 30 years.
But that stops here.
On average, businesses who invest their ad spend on Amazon have found:
- $0.97 Cost Per Click (CPC)
- 47% Conversion Rate (CVR)
- 42% Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS)
With numbers like those, trust us, you’ll be pleased with the dividends provided by Amazon Advertising, and you won’t have to wait years to see returns.
So let’s start investing.
What is Amazon Advertising Console?
Amazon Advertising Console is Amazon’s pay-per-click (PPC) arm of marketing.
Originally launched in 2012 as Amazon Marketing Services, the platform is home to the eCommerce site’s three core ad services:
- Sponsored Products
- Sponsored Brands
- Sponsored Display
Merely having a finely-tuned product detail page can only take your brand so far these days. While organic listing optimization can skyrocket your sales, Amazon’s marketplace has become too competitive for that to be solely enough. So, to truly succeed, you need to do more than just put your products on Amazon. You need to promote them too.
Enter Amazon Advertising.
Amazon Advertising Console lets brands get in front of the right customers at the right time using the right paid media. After all, your products won’t sell themselves. But sponsored ads will.
That, and they:
- Increase product discoverability
- Drive traffic to your product detail pages
- Create brand awareness
- Provide a competitive advantage
- Help liquidate stale inventory
- Help launch and promote new products
Did we mention they also improve sales? Well, they do – by a lot.
But with three different options available on Amazon Advertising Console, it can be difficult choosing where to start. So let’s figure it out, together.
First up, let’s determine your goals.
Know Your Amazon Advertising Goals
Digital marketers love KPIs something fierce. Typically there’s one that captures hearts better than the rest on AmaBezos: Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS).
Has a nice ring to it, wouldn’t you say?
ACoS is the percentage of total sales spent on advertising. It is calculated using the formula:
Ad Spend ÷ Sales = ACoS
Many will tell you that the idea is to have as low an ACoS as possible. While that is often the case, it is not the gold standard.
When it comes to ACoS, you have three goals to choose from:
- Increase Efficiency (Low ACoS) – Sacrifice sales volume for higher profits and lower CPC
- Increase Brand Awareness (High ACoS) – Sacrifice profits to boost sales and visibility
- Sustain Gradual Growth – Grow sales revenue and profits over time
Which goal you choose all boils down to how much of a hurry you are in and what benchmarks you need to achieve.
For example, a business selling a time-sensitive product, such as Christmas gifts, might want to increase efficiency (and target a low ACoS). Whereas a new business entering a highly competitive niche might want to increase brand awareness (and target a high ACoS).
Ultimately, over the long term, most will settle on finding that sweet spot where they can maintain consistent, gradual growth, pairing as low an ACoS as possible with as high a sales revenue as possible.
Once you land on your goal, you can then determine the best way to achieve that goal.
Know Your Amazon Advertising Strategy
As with any online advertising platform, with Amazon Advertising, there is no shortage of strategies to achieve your goals. What is different is how you implement those strategies.
Here’s a quick look at some recommended strategies for Amazon Advertising.
- Customize Product Audiences – An audience targeting strategy that lets you target customers based on what they’re browsing and buying on Amazon. Target or exclude audiences around keywords searched, pages viewed, or products purchased.
- Manage Bids – Bidding strategies that involve increasing or decreasing your keyword bids based on performance and where you want your ads to appear most. Use modifiers like Dynamic Bidding or Bid by Placement.
- Target ASINs – A strategy unique to Amazon Advertising that lets you target specific categories and product detail pages using the Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN). Great for placing ads directly on competitor product pages.
- Isolate Search Terms – A keywording strategy that narrows down top-performing broad and phrase match keywords to create exact match isolated campaigns around the winners. Use this strategy along with negative keyword sculpting to A/B test your way to search success.
When forming your keyword strategy, it’s important to remember how Amazon differentiates between keywords and search terms.
- Keywords – Used by advertisers to define Sponsored Product ads around specific words.
- Search Terms – A string of words used by shoppers to find a product.
Amazon matches shopper-input search terms with advertiser-set keywords to display the most relevant products and ads. The phrase “keywords” is often used to describe search terms and queries. That’s okay in everyday talk, but make sure when strategizing on Amazon ads, you take into account the difference between search terms and keywords.
Also, strategize which stage of the sales funnel you want to target.
One of the many perks of Amazon Advertising is that it epitomizes “full-funnel advertising.” We won’t go as far as to say they invented it, but they’ve definitely taken it to the next level — all to your brand’s benefit.
Last but not least, your strategy will depend on which ad type you use.
The 3 Ad Types of Amazon Advertising Console
Before running Amazon’s ads, you’ll need to register your brand with Amazon. Once that’s done, you can start playing with all the fun things they have to offer.
Let’s take a look at them.
Sponsored Product Ads
Sponsored Product ads are the most popular and prevalent on Amazon. They are also likely where most of your Amazon Advertising investment will be spent.
These PPC native ads can appear on other product detail pages (like those of competitors) or intermingled in search results. Their only distinguishing mark is the word “Sponsored” shown in grey. Which is great because grey is a dull color, and no one ever pays any attention to it. (Unless we’re talking about the grey stuff. That stuff is delicious. Don’t believe us? Ask the dishes.)
A good strategy to succeed with Product Sponsored campaigns includes a combination of:
- Keyword isolation
- ASIN targeting
- Bid management
- Negative keyword sculpting
- Listing optimization
Since Sponsored Product ads are so closely tied to your product detail pages (as in they link directly to them), listing optimization is a must. That’s because ads that contain the same keywords as the product detail pages they promote return lower CPCs and higher impressions, as well as create a seamless experience.
The fact Sponsored Product ads look so much like the other search results also make them feel less ad-sy and more authentic.
That’s a beautiful thing.
Shoppers can turn “ad blind” (a very serious condition) quickly. They are less likely to buy something when they feel it is forced upon them, and are more likely to add it to their cart when they think they found it of their own volition.
Never underestimate the power of discoverability. Or Sponsored Product ads.
Sponsored Brand Ads
Sponsored Brand ads are great for businesses whose goal is to increase brand awareness.
Like Sponsored Product ads, they appear in search results; only instead of featuring a single product, they showcase several products from a single brand. Originally called “Headline Search Ads,” Sponsored Brands appear at the top, bottom, and side of search results, and include your brand logo, a custom headline, and up to three of your products.
You read that right — THREE!
As in the number of musketeers, kings, and ninjas.
Sponsored Brands are ideal for getting your brand and several of your products in front of potential customers all at once.
These ads use a keyword bidding system that includes bidding on branded and competitor terms. To succeed a good strategy involves:
- Optimizing your Brand Store
- Adding effective product and brand images
- Segmenting branded and non-branded searches
- Customizing ad copy to reinforce target keywords
- Isolating search terms with negative keywords
- Optimizing bids according to your target ACoS
- Prioritizing bids that place your ads above the fold
And with that, thanks to Sponsored Product and Brand ads, you can now dominate Amazon search results. Now let’s dominate everywhere else.
Sponsored Display Ads
Sponsored Display ads are the latest and greatest thing to happen to Amazon Advertising.
What makes them so great?
They let sellers reach customers when they’re on Amazon… and off Amazon.
Did you hear that? ON and OFF!
We’ll let that sink in.
Sponsored Display combines all the ease-of-use of PPC ads with the vast, hyper-targeted reach of display ads. The notable difference between these ads and the other PPC ads we shared above is that they do not appear based on keyword searches, rather behavioral actions.
In short, they are used to reach people as they surf Amazon and the web who have previously viewed your product or similar products – remarketing for Amazon.
Here’s how they work.
You: I need a new camera.
Amazon: We’ve got cameras.
You: On second thought, I don’t know if I need a camera.
***TWO DAYS LATER***
You: Oh wow, it’s going to snow a lot this week. I should’ve bought that camera.
Sponsored Display Ad: Heyyyy.
In late 2019, Sponsored Display replaced Product Display. Confusing? Yeah, kinda. Which is why you’ll probably still hear people refer to both interchangeably.
But they are not the same.
The switch was an effort to better incorporate the capabilities of Amazon DSP to users of Amazon Advertising Console. There are a lot of great things about Amazon DSP, but it can require minimum ad spends and a little more know-how to set up.
Sponsored Display ads let everyone get in on the fun.
Sponsored Display ads appear on product detail pages and other pages across Amazon, as well as off Amazon on third-party sites (as shown above). When someone clicks one of your Sponsored Display ads, they are taken to your product detail page.
To take advantage of Sponsored Display ads, all you need to do is:
- Select one of two targeting strategies
- Audience Targeting – Based around shopper view history or interests
- Product Targeting – Based around product or categories
- Set your bid and budget
- Choose the products you want to promote
- Let Amazon automatically create your ads and place them where people are most likely to engage, either on or off Amazon
Thanks in large part to that last automated step, Sponsored Display offers an easy and fast way for brands to access Amazon’s ad network of internal and external websites and apps.
Here’s a breakdown of where these ads will appear, based on the type of targeting you choose:
As cool as Sponsored Display ads are, they might not always be the right fit for your goals. Ultimately, the decision will come down to a few factors, like where in the sales funnel you want to target.
You should use Sponsored Display if:
- You want to target the lower half of the sales funnel (i.e. Intent and Purchase)
- You want to retarget shoppers
- You are okay with handing over the reins to Amazon
You should NOT use Sponsored Display if:
- You want to target the upper half of the sales funnel (i.e. Awareness and Consideration)
- You want to know where and when your ads will appear
- You want to customize your ad copy and design
Conclusion: Amazon Advertising is a Bull Market
So, here we are. Debating whether or not to invest our business spend into Amazon Advertising.
If you want our advice….
We know for a fact Amazon (and eCommerce across the board) is on the rise. We’ve just seen that Amazon Advertising Console offers a diversified portfolio of ad types, each providing their own unique value in reaching your goals. And sellers all over need new ways to stand out from the competition.
So, with all the options out there for online advertising, is it worth investing in Amazon?
You bet your ASIN it is.
And just think, years from now, you won’t be kicking yourself for not getting in when the getting’s good.
Like when you passed up buying Amazon’s IPO for some Nintendo 64 video games.
Next up, we’re going to look at Amazon DSP in-depth and show how tapping into display ads can take your business to the next level. Then we’ll follow that by looking at how both Amazon Advertising Console and Amazon DSP can seamlessly work together in your marketing strategy, showing which service and ad types you should use at which stages of the buyer journey. Stay tuned for the latest in our Amazon series!