A Beginner’s Guide to the Amazon Advertising Types

When it comes to advertising on Amazon, there’s plenty to unpack. We break down the three main ad types for third-party sellers, highlighting the ways you can ensure your products get the visibility they deserve.

Much has changed about Amazon in recent years, but arguably no aspect of the platform has advanced more than advertising on Amazon.

Over the past year, Amazon Advertising’s growth rate accelerated past its other products, AWS, third-party seller and subscription services, and its online store.

Before Amazon Advertising becomes even more critical to sellers’ success, every Amazon seller should be aware of the opportunities in the Amazon Advertising Console.

No matter if you only sell one product or manage an extensive catalog, Amazon Advertising could be the key that unlocks the next evolution of your online business. But understanding what ads are, how they can scale your business to new heights, and which ad type is best for you must come first.

What are Amazon ads?

Much like the typical advertisements you see on billboards, television, or between YouTube videos, Amazon ads are a way for brand owners to gain exposure and visibility by paying for premium digital real estate.

As we know, exposure and visibility are the heartbeats of being profitable. If customers can’t find your products, they can’t buy them! But standing out among the millions of products on Amazon isn’t easy.

Amazon Advertising is pay-per-click (PPC), so sellers only actually spend if it’s increased visibility.

Of course, as the old saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink,” meaning the visibility doesn’t inherently lead to a sale. Undoubtedly, a strong product and an appealing product listing are foundational selling elements that cause turn clicks into conversions.

[RELATED: What Is Amazon PPC?]

What are the benefits of Amazon PPC?

The benefits of PPC are far-reaching but primarily break down to getting discovered, increasing sales, and controlling costs in the process.

Product and brand visibility constantly ranks among the most critical topics for sellers. Advertising provides an outlet for sellers actively seeking more exposure for their brand or products.

As previously mentioned, the pay-per-click model ensures you pay only for advertisements that are seen. Since you place the bids and set a budget, you never pay more than you’re willing to spend. Once you know your margins and get a solid understanding of your conversion rates, you can place bids accordingly to maximize your profits and scalability.

As a whole, the advent of advertising on Amazon solves many issues simultaneously. Even better, all sides benefit when adequately performed. Sellers pay Amazon for valuable digital real estate. Shoppers are shown products they’re looking to purchase, and sellers profit as those sales accumulate.

Additionally, there are tertiary benefits of advertising, some of which can be directly measured and others that are indirectly impacted. Organic rank remains the holy grail for Amazon sellers, and it’s very likely that you’ll notice your organic keyword rank improve as you gain purchases through via PPC.

For example, if you sell coffee mugs and customers purchase your product through an ad they found when searching for “cute mugs”, you may see your organic rank for “cute mugs” boosted as a result.

How do you access the Amazon Advertising Console?

Fortunately, the process for accessing and setting up Amazon Advertising is simple! First, you must register your Seller Central account for advertising.

Once you’ve successfully registered, you can find it within your Seller Central account under the Advertising tab. When hovering over the Advertising tab, a dropdown menu should appear. Next, click on the Campaign Manager option in the dropdown menu.

From there, select the “Create campaign” button, and you’re ready to start advertising!

The 3 Primary Amazon Ad Types

Choose between three unique ad types for your ad campaign.

Amazon Sponsored Products

How Amazon Sponsored Products appear to shoppers.

Mission: Improve visibility of individual products with ads that appear in search results and on product pages.

List of eligible marketplaces for Sponsored Products

In all likelihood, Sponsored Product ads are the ad type you’ve been most exposed to on Amazon.

With Sponsored Products, there are two unique ways to set up your campaigns that determine where your ads will be displayed.

  1. Automatic-targeting ads: This targeting method leaves the heavy lifting to Amazon. Similarly to Amazon’s algorithm scanning a product listing to find keywords to index and rank for, Amazon automatically decides which keywords and/or products a product will appear under in an ad.
  2. Manual-targeting ads: A more hands-on approach, where the seller decides which keywords or products to compete for through bidding.

For manual-targeting campaigns, sellers can bid on the placement of their ads in two ways:

  • Keyword Targeting lets you be seen in search results for desired keywords and is a way to generate traffic through search. Ideally, these keywords are relevant and accurate to your product for maximum conversions. For even more strategy execution, sellers can choose between exact match, phrase match, or broad match depending on how targeted the campaigns will be.
  • Product Targeting allows you to be displayed on a product detail page of another product and generate traffic from complementary or competing listings. For example, if you sell peanut butter, you may want to be displayed under competing peanut butter listings, or you may visible under an item that is frequently purchased with peanut butter, like jelly.

Pro Tip

It may be best to run automatic targeting ads and let them run for 7-10 days with a budget you feel comfortable with when starting. After the campaign has ended, dig through the reports to view performance by keyword or ASIN, and utilize that data to set up manual campaigns.

Viral Launch’s Kinetic PPC tool helps with each stage of Sponsored Products. Featuring unparalleled Amazon data, easy-to-read reporting, and helpful campaign templates, Kinetic PPC is perfect for creating and managing Amazon ads like a pro!

Get Your 14-Day Free Trial to Viral Launch

Amazon Sponsored Brands

How Sponsored Brand ads appear to shoppers.

Mission: Boost brand awareness with your logo and a customized headline in ads that appear in search results.

Formerly known as Amazon Headline Search Ads, Sponsored Brands advertisements promote entire brands. Sponsored Brands ads allow for three formats to choose from; product collection, store spotlight, or video.

A typical product collection ad showcases a company logo, a slogan or tagline, and up to three products at a time for customers to view. If the customers likes what they see, they’ll click on the product that stands out and be led to the product detail page.

This allows larger brands that specialize in a product market to build brand awareness and showcase multiple products at once.

Similarly, store spotlight ad types look similar but drive traffic to a storefront or subpage within a storefront.

Sponsored Brand videos present a unique opportunity to tell your brand story and at the same time, showcase how or when your products are used. Unlike other video ads such as Facebook, the videos default to autoplay, ensuring your ads are seen.

Amazon’s recommended practices for Sponsored Brand videos:
  • Know your audiences — Your content should be educational, demonstrative, and product-focused.
  • Show your product — Research shows that videos that feature the product prominently within the first second typically perform better than those that don’t. Do not waste your chance to engage shoppers by fading in from black or starting with an empty frame. Hook them from the start!
  • Keep it brief and focused — Amazon recommends keeping the video length between 15–30 seconds to relay your message and hold customers’ attention. Limit your content to just a handful of key selling points to ensure your message is received.
  • Optimize for the format — This video unit auto-plays without sound and runs inline in the search results with no option to go full screen. Your videos should work without sound, and you’ll need to ensure that on-screen text can be easily read on a mobile device and isn’t obstructed by the user interface that is positioned within the video area
  • Consider the loop — Once this video ends, it will automatically loop. Consider adding an end card to allow for some breathing room, or get creative and make your loop seamless.

Amazon Sponsored Display

How Amazon Sponsored Display ads appear to shoppers.

Mission: Grow your business by reaching relevant audiences on and off Amazon using this self-service advertising solution.

The most recent addition to the Advertising Console, Sponsored Display ads currently offer the unique opportunity to advertise on and off Amazon.

Brand registered sellers can choose from two targeting options: product targeting and audiences.

Like Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, sellers can run product targeting ads. In the same fashion as the other ad types, sellers can pinpoint competing or complementary products. Regarding strategy, it’s best to target competing products that your listing has an advantage on. Review quantity or quality, price, or a lack of captivating creatives are prime indicators to look for when hunting potential product targeting victims.

On the other hand, Sponsored Display audiences are a method of reaching customers with high buy-intent. Through Amazon, Twitch, IMDb, and Prime Video, Amazon tracks shopper signals such as interests, lifestyle, in-market, and life stage.

Without a doubt, this consumer information is PRECIOUS for highly targeted, highly efficient ads. At the moment, audience ads are the only way to advertise through Amazon outside of Amazon’s digital walls, as they’re displayed on third-party websites and apps.

Summary

Generating exposure remains absolutely critical to longstanding seller success. For the foreseeable future, advertising appears to be the best bet to earning visibility and driving profitable sales.

As Amazon Advertising continues to grow, sellers that master advertising will be handsomely rewarded. Those who don’t will be facing an uphill battle against sellers picking up cost-efficient sales in droves through PPC. With record-setting revenue growth for Amazon and a system that rewards all who participate, Amazon Advertising is here to stay.

Now that you know the three main ad types feel free to take the next steps! If you’re ready to start advertising, best of luck on your PPC journey. If you could stand to learn more, enroll in our FREE Amazon PPC Playbook today!


Amazon Sponsored Brands Guide for 2021

What is Amazon Sponsored Brands, how does it work, and how can it help you grow your online business? We answer those questions and more.

When it comes to selling on Amazon, visibility is the name of the game. As product markets mature and become saturated, earning that visibility becomes increasingly difficult.

So how can you avoid getting lost in the sea of products?

For some, the answer is advertising.

Just as companies can spend money to advertise on television, radio, or other platforms with an audience, Amazon sellers can advertise directly on Amazon. Since exposure is such a valuable element of selling on Amazon, any opportunity to differentiate your products or brand from the competition should be explored.

Amazon offers a few unique ways for sellers to advertise their products. We’ll take a look at all of them in the near future, but today we’re zeroing in on Sponsored Brands, formerly called Headline Search Ads, or HSA.

[Suggested: What is Amazon PPC?]

Overall, Sponsored Brands allow Amazon sellers to showcase their product line and shine a light on their brand in a unique way. Since the topic of advertising can be foreign for many sellers, we’ve answered a few of the common questions below to help you understand what it is and if it’s an avenue worth pursuing to grow your business.

Can I use Sponsored Brands?

If you have successfully signed up for Amazon Brand Registry, yes! No matter if you’re an individual seller, vendor, or agency, you can utilize Sponsored Brands advertising to improve discoverability.

[Check out: A Seller’s Guide to Amazon Brand Registry]

Additionally, enrolling in Amazon Brand Registry comes with a bevy of benefits such as Enhanced Brand Content, protection from resellers, customizable product pages and storefronts, and more. Amazon continues to add new features regularly for brand registered sellers, so becoming registered could open up possibilities you didn’t know existed!

Why would I use Sponsored Brands?

Simple! To get your product in front of more customers.

With so many products on Amazon, it’s easy to get lost in the mix. By utilizing Sponsored Brands, you take control of spearheading your efforts to be seen by more customers. As a seller, you can follow all best practices, but you still need customer visibility or else those efforts go to waste.

Products with positive reviews, high-quality images, and sales-inducing copy optimized for search are more likely to convert clicks to sales, but earning that click can be difficult with increased competition.

In addition to increasing visibility for sales, Sponsored Brands also allow sellers the opportunity to drive brand recognition like never before. Since most Amazon sales happen via search and not through storefronts, the options for promoting and growing your brand have been limited. With Sponsored Brands, Amazon businesses now can stand out from the crowd, drive traffic, and build loyalty.

Where would customers see my ads?

While Amazon allows for advertising in a few forms that appear in various locations, Amazon Sponsored Brands ads appear in three areas:

  • In the top of search results for selected or relevant search terms
  • At the bottom of search results for selected or relevant search terms
  • On product detail pages for similar or complementary products

Depending on your account, you may also be able to display Sponsored Brands videos in search. If you’re enrolled in Brand Registry, check within your account to see if you’re eligible for videos. Within search results, they’re a surefire way to stand out from competing products, quickly highlight features, and explain your product in a way others can’t!

How can I make the most out of Sponsored Brands?

To achieve optimal results, make sure your ads are visually pleasing and interesting while capturing your brand voice. You want customers to walk away from your ad with an understanding of what your brand is about and give them a reason to click on your ad to see your linked store.

Successful ads will have professional quality creatives that accurately represent your store. With customizable layouts to choose from, you gain even more control over how your brand will be viewed.

“Sponsored Brands is a visually appealing advertising format and we believed it was important to incorporate it into the strategy from the beginning, especially because it can be the first thing that appears when someone searches for anything relevant on Amazon. We knew based on prior experience there was demand for that ad space and we wanted to appear in results before our competition.”

Pilar Martínez Sanz, Senior Consultant, Labelium

This means you can create ads that best showcase your brand and have control over how you want to tell your brand story on Amazon.

How can I measure the performance of my ads?

As Amazon continues to evolve its advertising options, they’ve updated how you measure performance. Instead of leaving you in the dark on how your advertising efforts are performing, Amazon includes built-in metrics to inform you of the impact they’re having.

Specifically, Amazon recommends three metrics to gauge performance:

  • Impressions
  • New-to-brand metrics
  • Return of ad spend (ROAS)

Impressions are defined as when an advertisement is displayed on a user’s screen. For example, if a customer makes a search and your ad appears, it counts as an impression whether or not the customer clicked on your ad. This can help you gauge how often it’s shown to customers and serves as a helpful statistic to understand an ad’s reach. Perhaps just as important, you can also view your click-through rate (CTR), which tells you the percentage of those impressions that are being clicked on.

New-to-brand metrics can be especially helpful for established brands, as they gauge ad performance in regard to customer acquisition. These educate you on if your ads are doing based on each customer’s familiarity of your brand. Are your ads growing your brand to new customers and/or appealing to previous customers? These metrics inform you of those aspects.

Return on ad spend evaluates your campaigns’ efficiency from a monetary perspective. The higher the ROAS, the more bang you’re getting for your buck. Think of this as your return on investment metric.

While not displayed in your Seller Central dashboard, the almighty organic rank can be influenced by your ad performance. As customers find your products and brand through search and make purchases, you’ll likely see your organic rank improve as a result.

Since this isn’t displayed in your Seller Central metrics, it may be difficult to monitor. Utilizing a third-party tool such as Listing Analyzer that tracks organic and advertising rank for individual ASINs over time can be a hack to understanding the relationship between advertising and rank when doing product-specific ads. With brand ads, this can be a little more difficult. But if you notice that a specific product is earning more clicks and purchases due to Sponsored Brands, you’ll likely notice a correlation with organic rank.

As any experienced seller will tell you, there may not be a more critical way to achieve heavy sales volume in a cost-efficient way than organic rank.

How can I get started with creating my Sponsored Brands ads?

If you haven’t experimented with Amazon advertising in the past, you must go to advertising.amazon.com and register to access the advertising console.

Once registered or if you’ve had experience advertising on Amazon, you just need to sign into your seller account and select the Sponsored Brands campaign type and follow the step-by-step instructions to setup your advertising campaign.

Within the instructions, you’ll be able to customize a few aspects of your ad based on your goals and resources. Based on what you’re looking to get out of your ads, you can select your start and end dates, as well as your daily budget.

Within the Advertising Console, choose between targeting products or keywords based on your strategy.

As you walk through the settings, you’ll have the option for product targeting or keyword targeting ads. Keyword targeting makes your ad eligible to be shown when customers make searches. Depending on the product market, you may want to consider if it makes more sense to spend money on the primary keywords, which likely have a higher cost per click, or low-medium keywords with less competition and may allow for higher efficiency.

Product targeting allows you to be strategic with targeting competitors. Have a similar product to a high-performing competitor at a lower price? Noticed a top-seller has a string of negative reviews that might cause customers to buy elsewhere? These are just a couple examples of how you can create product targeting ads on prime real estate.

It may be beneficial for those starting out to start off with a smaller budget and let the ads run for a few weeks to develop a respectable, reliable sample size.

As you let the beginner campaigns run, you can make tweaks and modifications to monitor performance. Experiment and figure out what works well and what turns customers away. Split testing ads as you get started can be ideal for multiple reasons.

While risking short-term losses is tough to get excited about, it’s all about the long run. Suppose you are serious about implementing ads into your marketing. In that case, the short-term loss while testing out various ads, targeting types, and designs can pay off exponentially with developing your strategy. Each product market will have unique differences that impact performance, and experimentation across various ad types can help accelerate the learning curve.

In Closing

As competition among Amazon sellers heats up, the importance of executing intelligent strategies become amplified. Since exposure is a prerequisite for sales, every opportunity to get more eyeballs on your products and increase brand familiarity should be explored.

Amazon Sponsored Brands is undoubtedly worth looking into for anyone eligible for it. Amazon Advertising has generated plenty of money for Amazon and driven tons of sales towards those doing it right. As Amazon continues to expand and evolve the marketing opportunities for sellers, it’s better to be an early adopter of these methods.

Gaining brand recognition on Amazon has been a challenge since the marketplace began accepting third-party sellers, with rare exceptions like Anker being rewarded handsomely for achieving such high stature. Now, as Amazon increases opportunities to separate your brand from your competition, Sponsored Brands ads could be a silver bullet for expanding and scaling your Amazon business.

Want informative guides on Amazon PPC and other ways to grow your Amazon business? Type your email below to get our weekly updates sent directly to your inbox!