Everything You Want to Know About Amazon Advertising


For businesses that sell physical goods online, there’s no such thing as too many sales channels or advertising mediums. So, if you aren’t using Amazon – and specifically Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) – then you’re missing out on a chance to expand your footprint.

What Is It?

AMS’s Sponsored Products is one of the single most powerful advertising platforms on the internet. It ranks right up there with Facebook and Google in terms of cost-effectiveness and reach. But what is it?

Put simply, Amazon advertising allows Amazon sellers to create PPC advertisements that are presented at the top of the results when users search for products on the site. In other words, if someone searches for the keyword “portable iPhone charger” and your advertisement is targeting that same keyword, then your listing will show up at the top of the search results. You’re essentially paying your way to a page-one listing.

Like Google AdWords or Facebook Advertising, Amazon Sponsored Products require sellers to input bids. This creates a competitive advertising market in which competitors compete for impressions based on the amount they’re willing to pay. First and foremost, this benefits Amazon. However, it also allows advertisers with deep pockets to control their ad placements.

How Does It Perform?

Amazon advertising performs relatively well when you consider the simplicity. Sellers are only given a handful of options, the biggest of which is a decision between automatic targeting and manual targeting. With automatic targeting, you simply choose keywords and then Amazon targets users who conduct searches with those exact terms. With automatic targeting, your ads are delivered to “relevant customer searches.”

If you’re in an ultra-competitive niche, then you must be willing to spend in order to earn impressions. However, if you’re in a smaller niche that doesn’t have as much demand, you may find it possible to pay just a few cents per click.

How To Set It Up

Setting up your first Amazon sponsored products campaign may seem difficult at first, but it’s actually fairly straightforward. Think of a sponsored product ad as a three-tier hierarchy. At the top, there’s the “campaign.” This is the overarching advertising campaign and everything else runs underneath it.

The second tier is “ad groups.” You can set up multiple ad groups underneath a single campaign, which allows you to advertise different products in your store (for example). The third tier involves actual “products.” Here you set up individual ads and keywords. These are the ads that will actually be displayed.

In order to begin advertising, you’ll need to follow Amazon’s step by step instructions and create a campaign, ad group, and product(s) – in that order. When doing this, you’ll probably have questions about which keywords to use in which ad groups and which ad groups should contain which ads, but don’t get frustrated.

“There isn’t one perfect structure that is ideal for all sellers,”says one Amazon seller. “The right structure is more dependent upon the size and homogeneity of the seller’s selection, the seller’s strategic targets, and other points of consideration.”

Key Things To Keep In Mind

As you begin to use Amazon’s advertising platform – or at least mull over the possibilities – here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • No perfect solution. “Don’t expect slow moving products with low national demand to benefit greatly from this type of advertising,”expert David McLean says. Do expect this advertising tool to work wonders when you have a unique story or benefit.”
  • Post-click matters. Too many sellers focus all of their energy on getting people to click their ads and not enough on the product listing itself. Remember that a click is nothing more than a waste of money if the customer doesn’t convert.
  • Monitor your results. Just like any other advertising efforts, it’s critically important that you monitor your results and test the efficacy of all ads.

Works Best For…

Who does Amazon’s advertising platform work best for? Is it big brands or small startups? Is it businesses with a strong Amazon presence or those just starting out? Is it advertising experts or those with no formal training in advertising?

The answer to all of these questions, whether it satisfies you or not, is yes. Amazon’s advertising platform has proven useful and high returning for almost everyone. The key is to find your sweet spot. The right keywords, an accurate bidding strategy, and carefully chosen daily budgets are key.

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* Adapted lead image: Public Domain Dedication (CC0) Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com

Posted in PPC

About the Author: Larry Alton

Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship.

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