In recent years, Amazon has overhauled its advertising capabilities with a suite of ad products and formats that is now rivaling Google and Facebook. This guide will discuss the three core advertising products Amazon currently offers: Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Display. In addition to these three campaign types, Amazon offers several other ad products such as audio ads, OTT video ads, and Amazon Store ads, as well as the Amazon DSP which allows advertisers to purchase display, video, and audio ad inventory programmatically. For new sellers enrolled in Amazon Seller Central, Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Display campaigns are the most likely candidates to dip their feet into the waters of Amazon’s advertising platform. All sellers enrolled in Amazon SellerCentral are eligible to run Sponsored Products campaigns, while Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display campaigns require sellers to be enrolled in Amazon’s brand registry.
Sponsored product campaigns promote individual product listings on Amazon by showing ads to users on Amazon in shopping search result pages and product pages. This campaign type has the lowest barrier of entry for new sellers in Amazon’s advertising product offering, as it does not require enrollment in Amazon’s Brand Registry. All professional sellers, vendors, and agencies are automatically eligible to run Sponsored Product campaigns. Sponsored Product ads are run at a cost-per-click (CPC) basis and allow advertisers to select targeting based on individual keywords or by individual products to target shopper searches. Advertisers can view Sponsored Product campaign performance by each product being advertised, as well as by each target keywords and target product within the Amazon Advertising dashboard.
Setting up an Amazon advertising campaign consists of logging into Amazon SellerCentral, navigating on the Advertising > Campaign Manager tab, and clicking on the “Create Campaign” button. From here, sellers will see all the campaign type’s they are currently eligible to run. The first major choice facing advertisers when setting up a Sponsored Products campaign is to choose between Automatic and Manual Targeting. By selecting Automatic Targeting, Amazon will target keywords and products it deems similar to the products selected to be promoted within the campaign. Automatic targeting analyzes product titles, features, descriptions, and product keywords to create a list of target keywords and target products. Alternatively, sellers can choose to develop their own list of target keywords and products to target their ads to. For sellers new to Amazon Advertising, its recommended to test both automatic and manual targeting to see what is more effective in driving sales and take learnings from both targeting strategies into optimizing the campaigns around top performing target keywords and products.
Amazon Brand Registry
It is strongly recommended that eligible Amazon sellers enroll in Amazon’s Brand Registry in order to gain access to additional advertising product types (Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Display, Amazon Stores), as well as access to a suite of tools designed to build and protect a brand on Amazon. Outside of access to additional advertising types, Amazon Brand Registry’s largest benefit to sellers is likely the A+ Content feature which allows sellers to develop a fully fleshed out Amazon brand page featuring rich text, images, and videos. These more robust brand pages help drive conversions, build brand loyalty, and increase traffic and sales across the brand’s product offering. To enroll in Amazon Brand Registry, a seller must have a registered and active text and/or image-based trademark. This same trademark must also appear on the packaging or products being sold in the Amazon seller account. Once enrolled in Brand Registry, both Sponsored Brand and Sponsored Display campaigns become available.
Sponsored Brand campaigns operate similar to Sponsored Product campaigns in that they are run on a cost-per-click basis and incorporate targeting by either target keywords or target products. Sponsored Brand campaigns differ from Sponsored Product campaigns at the ad creative level. Rather than promoting single product listings, Sponsored Brand campaigns promote a brand page or multiple products offered from the same brand.
Options for Sponsored Brand ad creative include product collection ads, store spotlight ads, and video ads. Product collection ads offer a carousel format of a brand’s select products alongside the brand name and logo. These link directly to each product listing featured in the carousel and can be a great way to drive traffic and sales to a brand’s product catalog instead of focusing on a single product. Store Spotlight ads offer a similar carousel structure but instead link directly to a brand’s page on Amazon. For some sellers, driving shoppers to their brand page (equipped with A+ Content features by enrolling in Amazon Brand Registry) often leads to higher average order value and increased brand loyalty by showing users all products a brand has listed for sale along with compelling rich text, image, and videos highlighting the brand and its products. Sponsored Brand Video ads link directly to a product page and feature an auto-playing video.
Sponsored Display campaigns are another cost-per-click advertising option available to sellers enrolled in Brand Registry. Sponsored Display ads can reach users both on and off Amazon with the option to either select specific products and product categories to target in order to serve display ads featuring a single product image to users on Amazon, or instead remarket to shoppers who have previously visited a specific product details page and serve those shoppers single product display ads wherever they may be across the web. These display ads can reach users across social platforms, as well as in display ads on websites enrolled in Amazon’s DSP. Sponsored Display campaigns can be an effective tool in building brand & product awareness, along with re-engaging users who may be lower in the conversion funnel and have already visited a product details page but have not yet made a purchase.
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