September 08, 2021

A 101 Guide to Amazon PPC: 18 Commonly Asked Questions About Sponsored Ads

At some point, each seller thinks: “I have released a product. Now, how do I stand out on the Amazon search result page and get customers' attention?”.

One reliable way to stand out on this highly competitive platform is sponsored advertising. In this article, Ihor Dubovetskyi, co-founder and CEO at Profit Whales, helps entrepreneurs entering the Amazon marketplace (or who want to improve existing product results) get familiar with the three types of sponsored ads, including their differences and functions.

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How Does Amazon PPC Work?

Amazon PPC (pay-per-click) is a progressive advertising model that allows sellers to promote their brands and products actively. It requires a fee for each click. Sellers also use PPC ads to develop brand awareness and increase sales.

With this in mind, let’s consider each of the three types of Amazon ads:

  • Sponsored Products
  • Sponsored Brands
  • Sponsored Display

Sponsored Products  are PPC model ads with an aim to promote individual product listings to Amazon visitors. The goal here is to increase the product's visibility, drive more traffic to the listing, and increase sales.

What are the front-end assets of the Sponsored Products ad?

The visual, customer-facing element of the advert consists of the main image, title, price, shipping time, rating, and reviews. Each of those assets is very important because they can convince customers to purchase the item or even dissuade them (e.g. due to a low-quality product picture, very long shipping times, low ratings, etc).

Where are Sponsored Products located?

Sponsored Products ads show up at the top of the search result page and at the bottom of the product's listing. At the top of the search result page, ads look very similar to organic search results.

What are the main advantages of Sponsored Products?

One of the main benefits of Sponsored Products is the scale of the audience (see impressions in the graph) that they are visible to.

When comparing the metrics from this graph to those of the other two PPC types, it becomes clear that this type of advertising can introduce your product to the widest range of Amazon visitors.

That's why it has to be included in any strategy for a new product launching.

Should I choose automatic or manual campaigns?

Before creating a Sponsored Products campaign, sellers need to decide whether it's more suitable for their business to set up automatic or manual campaigns.

Here are the differences:

  1. An automatic campaign targets the ad by the product information, while a manual campaign targets the advertisement by the keywords that the seller picks manually.
  2. The bidding terms of the campaigns aren't the same either. Advertisers who want to work with auto campaigns can only choose bids per campaign, while sellers who pick manual campaigns can bid per keyword.

For sellers, there is no straightforward rule on which type of campaign to select. Nevertheless, automatic campaigns are recommended for beginners due to Amazon's control over the targeting process. The Amazon algorithm shows ads to the most relevant searches, and it’s less likely that you’ll make a mistake with manually chosen keywords and waste your budget.

Manual campaigns, on the other hand, give advertisers much more power and control. Sellers can do research and find the most popular, relevant keywords to use in their campaigns. If you’re a Semrush user, take advantage of the Keyword Wizard tool, designed to help you research and analyze keywords for Amazon’s search engine and improve your listings’ visibility in Amazon search.

So, more experienced sellers can take advantage of both campaign types and be familiar with all search trends through auto campaigns, while maintaining control with the help of manual campaigns.

How do I create a Sponsored Products campaign?

  1. Go to “Campaign manager” in Seller Central.
  2. Choose “Sponsored Products” as a campaign type.
  3. Think of and type in a campaign name that will be visible only to you.
  4. Determine the campaign end date in case you already know the campaign`s duration.
  5. Decide the daily budget that you will allow Amazon to spend.
  6. Select targeting type: automatic means that Amazon targets products and keywords for your product, and manual means that you target customer searches and choose bids in your ad.
  7. Pick the bidding strategy.
  8. Create an ad group.
  9. Choose the product you want to advertise.
  10. If you decided to make a manual campaign, then add a list of researched keywords, a bid for each keyword, a list of negative keywords, and the competitors` products targeted to your ad.
  11. Launch the ad.

Sponsored Brands  is the second type of PPC advertising on Amazon. It’s designed to help develop brand awareness, and presents pictures of up to three brand products or one product video.

What are the front-end assets of the Sponsored Brands ad?

Sponsored Brands that advertise three products consist of the products’ pictures, titles, prices, rating, a number of reviews, and, in addition, brand logo, brand name, and shipping time.

Sponsored Brands that advertise one product include the same details for the single product, except for a video instead of an image.

Where are Sponsored Brands ads located?

Sponsored Brands appear at the top of the search result page and in the middle of it.

What are the main advantages of Sponsored Brands?

Brands advertising brings a lot of benefits to Amazon users. The biggest plus of those ads is enhancing brand recognition among platform visitors. Even customers who don't purchase the advertised product will notice it and potentially buy it because of the memorized brand.

Another reason for launching a Sponsored Brands campaign is the possibility to show the product's video in the ad. Lifestyle videos can present products from the sides of pictures and display all the features buyers might look for.

Although this graph illustrates lower impressions than the previous graph for Sponsored Products, the Click-Through-Rate (CTR) result is 15% higher. This proves that Sponsored Brands ads are more successful in driving traffic to a listing.

How to make Sponsored Brands ads:

  1. Go to “Campaign manager” in Seller Central if you already have a registered brand on Amazon.
  2. Choose “Sponsored Brands” as a campaign type.
  3. Think of and type in a campaign name that will be visible only to you.
  4. Determine the campaign end date in case you already know that campaign`s duration.
  5. Choose between daily and lifetime budget; then enter the actual budget you will allow Amazon to spend.
  6. Select the brand you want to promote (if you have more than one).
  7. Pick whether you want your landing page to be an Amazon store or a new product listing page.
  8. Create the Featured Ad copy.
  9. Pick between keyword and product targeting.
  10. Select the relevant bidding strategy for your campaign.
  11. Add a list of negative keywords.
  12. Launch the ad.

Sponsored Display  is the third kind of Amazon PPC advertising. It’s designed to improve your product’s visibility and “steal” your competitor’s traffic.

What are the front-end assets of the Sponsored Display ad?

Just like Sponsored Products ads, Sponsored Display ads show a product’s picture, title, and rating, as well as a number of reviews.

Where are Sponsored Display ads located?  

Sponsored Display appears on the product detail page, a search result page, and the Amazon home page.

What are the main advantages of Sponsored Display?

Unlike Sponsored Products, Sponsored Display features interest-based and product-based targeting. The goals of this advert type are to improve brand awareness in your niche, attract more buyers to the listing, expose advertised items to new viewers, and interest customers that are checking out similar products.

By comparing the graph below to the Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands ones, it is clear that Sponsored Display has a lower CTR than other ad types on average. Nevertheless, the Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) is much higher, which means that Sponsored Display is one of the most profitable types of advert to launch.

How do I launch Sponsored Display ads?

  1. Go to “Campaign manager” in Seller Central.
  2. Choose “Sponsored Display” as a campaign type.
  3. Think of and type in a campaign name that will be visible only to you.
  4. Determine the campaign end date in case you already know the campaign`s duration.
  5. Decide the daily budget that you will allow Amazon to spend
  6. Create an ad group.
  7. Select targeting type between “Audiences” and “Product targeting”.
  8. Pick a product for advertising.
  9. Define your Custom Audiences.
  10. Customize the ad creatives or let Amazon do it for you.
  11. Launch the ad.

Is Amazon PPC Worth It?

Some sellers might not be sure that Amazon PPC ads are a useful tool. Some might say they are just a waste of budget. However, PPC ads are the best way to introduce new products on Amazon because, at the start of your Amazon journey, organic rankings don't allow you to increase sales and become more powerful in the market. Ads help drive more traffic to the product listing; the same way it works for experienced sellers. Amazon advertising develops brand awareness and provides the opportunity to defend products by targeting other products of the same brand.

To sum up, every PPC ad type on Amazon plays a significant role. A lot of advertising strategies with diverse aims are based on launching all three types. However, advertisers need to analyze the niche and determine the proper budget before setting up their campaigns.

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