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How to Advertise on Amazon in 2021

Caroline Powell
Caroline Powell Author

Amazon Advertising is taking over. For a simple search like “water bottle,” the first four rows of results are entirely sponsored ads or other promoted items.

amazon sponsored advertising

Really, you search for a keyword, and Amazon shows you top product results for similar keywords. That doesn’t even mention the “Editorial recommendations” that pop up as well.

Looking to Optimize Your Ads?

CHAPTER I I. What Types of Amazon Advertising Exist?

The sheer volume of advertising placements can make it impossible to learn how to advertise on Amazon, so we’re here to put your mind at ease. For more details on getting started with Amazon Advertising, read our full guide.

Amazon Advertising Amazon PPC: Your Guide to Sponsored Advertising

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1. Sponsored Product Ads

This is the original and most common ad type. Whenever shoppers click on the “Sponsored” listings sprinkled in the search results, that’s a Sponsored Product Ad. 

For advertisers just getting started you’ll spend most of your time on Sponsored Product Ads, be them “manual” and “auto-targeted.” These ads target customers while they’re searching for products, so the keywords and phrases you choose should mimic buyer intent

If you compete with others on the listing for the Buy Box, you’ll only be charged for the ad when you are winning the Buy Box. 

There are a few other placements that are considered Sponsored Products Ads, besides those seen in search results:

  • Featured From Our Brands: The products targeted by these placements are Amazon-owned brands.
  • Sponsored Products Related to Your Search: These will show in a grid-like view at the very bottom of each page of search results. 
  • You Might Also Like: These are primarily displayed on mobile devices when on a product listing.
  • Added to Cart: Yes! There are opportunities for Sponsored Product Ads on the product detail pages and after an item has been added to a shopper’s cart. 
  • Thank You for Your Purchase: After a customer has placed their order, they’re redirected to a confirmation page that includes even more Sponsored Products Ads placements.

2. Sponsored Brand Ads

How else can you advertise on Amazon? With Sponsored Brand Ads, previously known as Headline Search Ads.

Sponsored Brand Ads are only available to brands who have enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry with three or more ASINs that can be advertised in the headline area. Additionally, Sponsored Brand Ads can be used by Brand Registered sellers to drive to their Amazon Storefront. If traffic is going to a Storefront, sellers need only advertise a single ASIN. 

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This is one of the strongest brand awareness opportunities available to Amazon sellers. A buyer searching for “fitness” is a more casual shopper, simply browsing for items they may need for a home gym. They don’t have any brand loyalty which means that they’re looking for products with good reviews and eye-catching ads.

Even more than that, this is an opportunity for lesser-known brands to beat out larger competition. With “fitness,” you’re technically competing with FitBit, Garmin, Swell, Nalgene, Reebok, and countless others. Did any of those well known brands show up at the top of my search? No, it was a lesser known “URBNFit.”

Additionally, Amazon has added the ability to utilize Sponsored Brand Video Ads. These generally show up on page one of search results, slightly below the fold. 

Brands can also capitalize on “Brands Related to Your Search.” These ad placements will link directly to a brand’s storefront, and are placed at the bottom of the search results page. 

3. Sponsored Display Ads

Formerly Product Display Ads. These are also only available to those who are brand registered. Sponsored Display Ads function differently than your Sponsored Brands or Products Ads. With these, you’re targeting ASINs, categories, or varying audiences. 

One of the main advantages of Sponsored Display Ads is the ability to steal traffic from your competitors. Yes, this is common amongst the other types of ads, but only these have the chance to show up on a competitor’s listing. On these competitor’s listings, you can show up below “Add to Cart” or below bullet points.

Amazon PPC, types of sponsored advertising

4. Demand Side Platform

The Demand Side Platform is available for brands selling both on and off Amazon. It is the only Amazon Advertising opportunity that drives traffic to your website, not your Amazon storefront or product listings.

This is extremely beneficial for driving traffic to your external landing pages. When someone lands there, you’re not concerned they’ll see a competitor’s product in the “Sponsored Products related to this item” or “What other items to customers buy after viewing this item?” sections. 

These are far more targeted as you’re able to utilize data available to Amazon from millions of buyers. There are options for geo-targeting, behavior targeting, or by other interests. 

CHAPTER II II. How Do You Advertise on Amazon In Practice?

There is no set formula for how to advertise on Amazon. Depending on your business’ product category and marketing goals, it’s likely you’ll need to implement a combination of all of the different advertising types Amazon has to offer.

Here’s a digest of our most asked questions concerning tactics, strategies and best practices in 2021.

Do you recommend using Amazon’s Bid+ in PPC for flexible bidding?

No. Bid+ is useful for a hands-off approach. Bid+ gives Amazon permission to raise bids up to 50%. Bid+ doesn’t make sense if you’re not actively managing your ad spend.

When you download a report from an auto targeted campaign, what are the most important keywords: the ones that converted to sales, clicks or impressions?

The more important keywords will normally be the ones that have converted the best. These keywords will have plenty of impressions and clicks, but will also have a higher conversion rate to sales.

What is a “winner” keyword? How do you define it? Impressions? ACoS percentage?

A “winner” keyword can be a keyword that is providing great results in your campaign. These keywords can have a lot of impressions but also have a great conversion rate, too. You can also monitor this by seeing which keywords are in you desired ACoS range.

How do you know when it’s a good time to end a campaign because it’s been so successful the product can now sell on its own?

If you have so much success and nobody is competing with you, then it makes sense to turn it off. Chances are, you have a great conversion rate and a low ACoS. So if a competitor tries to start advertising on a keyword you are winning, your conversion rate history will continue to drive a low ACoS. This means it will cost the competitor more to try and take a keyword away from you. By shutting off your ad, you are opening yourself up to risk by letting a competitor jump in and win your keyword.

What happens when the daily budget runs out? Does the campaign pause automatically then start again the next day?

If you have a campaign with a $10 daily budget and you spend your whole budget before noon, then your ads will just top showing for the day. Basically, once your budget is gone other ads will then be displayed.

In order to understand when your ads have the greatest chance of converting, you must use PPC software. Doing so manually in Seller Central using trial and error will increase ad spend, waste time, and frustrate you in the process. An all-in-one tool like Seller Labs PRO will help you execute your strategy effectively, decrease your ACos, and improve your ROAS. 

CHAPTER III FAQ: Using Seller Labs Pro for Amazon Sponsored Products

Would you recommend running two campaigns per product with Seller Labs PRO?

Yes. We recommend running an Automatic and Manual campaign for each product you want to advertise. Seller Labs PRO will bundle the two campaigns together, though, in what’s called an “Managed Campaign”. They’re bundled that way so you can easily move bids, negative keywords, search terms, etc. between the different campaigns. This method allows sellers to aggregate data easily.

Can you take a search term, analyze it and use it as a keyword?

Yes. You can view user search terms within Seller Labs PRO and can set these terms as exact match keywords.

If you only put one variation in the ad, and the buyer purchases a different variation will that show up as a conversion or not?

By default, Seller Labs PRO will pull in each variation of your product. This will make sure that any sale made (no matter what variation) shows on your account.

Does Seller Labs PRO link to existing campaigns?

Yes. When you sign up for Seller Labs PRO, it will pull in all of your campaigns as well as 60 days of historical data from Amazon. Give it 24 hours to populate, though.

Once I have setup a campaign in Seller Labs PRO, is there a way to go back and add an auto campaign on top of the manual campaign I’ve already created? And do the manual and auto campaigns count as one or two toward the campaign limit?

Yes. You have the ability to create a new campaign using automatic targeting and can add it to your existing managed campaign. This means that you do not need to have a separate Ignite managed campaign for both of your auto and manual campaigns.

When I sign up for Seller Labs PRO, what happens with my existing ad campaigns?

You can import your existing campaigns and convert them into Ignite managed campaigns.

Can we run different campaigns for different companies? And is there a limit to the number of campaigns that can be running?

Each Seller Labs Pro subscription is determined by the number of Ignite managed campaigns you wish to have running at once.

I’ve been running Sponsored Products ads for three years. Will ignite evaluate my history on current campaigns and make suggestions? Or do I have to create new campaigns within Seller Labs PRO first?

Seller Labs PRO will evaluate campaign data from the last 60 days. Data will then start being collected by Seller Labs PRO moving forward. For example, on day one of using Seller Labs PRO you will have 60 days of historical data. The next day you will have 61 days and so forth.

Where do suggest having the Seller Labs PRO confidence slider at when beginning a new campaign?

It depends on your risk and money you’re willing to spend on learning. We recommend letting the confidence level to get to 75 and 80% before taking any sort of action. If you’re bound by time and money, you’ll want to take action before the confidence slider gets above 75%. Try to keep the confidence level above 40% so it’s more than a hunch. The confidence rating is based on historical data from a campaign.

How can I add an auto campaign into a previously created Seller Labs PRO manual campaign?

You can click the “Link another Campaign” button in the “Associated Campaigns” section of your PRO campaign. You will then be able to add an existing campaign to your new PRO campaign.

Caroline Powell
Caroline Powell Event Manager, Partner Specialist, and Marketing Expert at DISQO

Caroline is an Event Manager, Partner Specialist,and Marketing Expert at DISQO. When she's not offering excellent customer support she's doing pirouettes and cheering on the UGA Bulldogs.


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