So you may have heard of AMS / Amazon Marketing Services (now known as Amazon Advertising, following a recent update), but do you know when each of the different ad types should be used? Or do you simply just set them up and hope for the best? Well, fear not because we will guide you through some of the best techniques for utilising Amazon’s various advertising options to help you make your campaigns more efficient.
First up, product launches!
If you are launching a brand new product on Amazon then you are almost certainly going to need to give it a helping hand. Unlike existing product listings, new products have no sales history or any customer reviews, two of the most critical elements for achieving a high rank in Amazon’s search results and in turn sales. As a result, advertising your new product can help to increase visibility and boost organic discoverability. Running either a Sponsored Products or Headline Ads campaign can and should be seriously considered when launching new products as it is the simplest and most time efficient method for generating initial sales of your product. Sponsored Products enables your listings to appear at the top of search results (or at the bottom depending on how your ads compete in the auction), clearly, this is a major plus so long as you are targeting relevant search terms. Headline Search Ads are effectively banner ads and will appear right at the very top of the page and can highlight more than 1 product. So if you are launching a range of products that are similar, this can be very effective. The other key point to remember with Headline Ads is that you can include some copy to really sell your product, making the consumer’s decision to click on your ad even easier.
What next, protecting your brand…
So you’ve successfully launched your products on Amazon and are achieving good sales, but you’ve noticed that competitors and 3rd parties are attempting to muscle in on your turf? Well, using Headline Search Ads can be a great way of reducing their visibility on your branded searches. Sure, it may seem a bit counterintuitive to be paying money on advertising to people who have already searched for your product, but, if you aren’t taking advantage of this advertising space you can be sure that your competitors will. And you don’t want to give them any opportunities to easily steal away potential customers, do you?! Running a Headline Search Ad on your branded terms means that you have maximum brand visibility and really reduces the chance of consumers dropping out of the funnel at an early stage. To really maximise this tactic, you could also consider running Sponsored Products on your own branded searches to hopefully completely remove any reference to other brands and competitors on the results page. As you can see in the image below, Brabantia is successfully utilising this tactic on amazon.co.uk.
So, you’ve stopped competitors muscling in on your sales, what else are ads good for?
Well, if you are a Vendor Central user then you have access to AMS which means you are able to run Product Display Ads (sorry Seller Central users, this isn’t currently available to you but continue reading to learn more ways to utilise Amazon ads). Product Display Ads can be targeted at other competitors’ products in an attempt to steal away their customers. These ads appear on the product listing, just underneath the Buy Box (where better to steal away a purchase from a competitor than right at the last moment!) and you can be as targeted as you like. You can add the exact ASINs that you want to target your ads on, so if there is a particular competitor product which you know is popular then you can target this and attempt to win some sales. It can also be worth using Product Display Ads to protect your own brand, clicks on these ads are typically quite cheap so it could be worth setting aside a little bit of budget to stop your customers falling at the final hurdle. Philips is actively targeting competitor brands as you can see in the example below with an ad for its Hue lighting appearing on Hive’s smart light product listing.
Should you only be worried about driving sales?
Sure, driving sales is the key reason why people run advertising campaigns. Nobody runs ads hoping not to sell a product, but other factors can be taken away from advertising campaigns aside from sales alone. Running an automatic ad campaign can be a great way to identify new keywords which you can then work into your product listings. These campaigns may throw up some search terms which you would never think of but are quite clearly converting, when this happens it would be foolish not to take note and update your listings (even if it is simply adding it to your backend search terms).
What’s next for advertising on Amazon?
Amazon is constantly looking to tweak its advertising platform and the latest announcement is the introduction of the ‘Extended Ad Network’. Currently, this is only open to people who have been invited to trial the network, however, it may be coming to you soon so here’s a quick lowdown. The extended ad network allows advertisers to promote Sponsored Products (only automatic campaigns) on external websites, so in other words, not on Amazon. This could mean new shoppers end up directly on your product listings when they may not have searched Amazon for your product. In short, the extended ad network could lead to a significant boost in traffic to your listings with very little effort. One obvious drawback at the moment is the inability to exclude sites from campaigns, meaning you have no control over where your ad is displayed. Obviously, this could be a big issue for some people, so we would expect to see an option for excluding sites added when it is rolled out to all users. One further drawback is that manual campaigns are not currently eligible either, so only auto campaigns which could lead to higher ACoS.