It’s hard to imagine Amazon without ads. Yet prior to 2012, they didn’t exist — and even then, they looked different than they do today.
Back then, the offering was known as “Amazon Marketing Services” (AMS), which was exclusively for first-party (1P) vendors. In 2018, Amazon combined AMS with its campaign manager tool, rebranding it as the Amazon Advertising Console we know today.
Amazon has carefully designed three pay-per-click (PPC) ad types for sellers, each with different benefits to support your unique marketing strategy. Want to capitalize on your Amazon Advertising strategies? First, get to know your tools a little better.
Amazon Sponsored Products
Amazon Sponsored Products are ads for individual listings. These ads target mid- to lower-funnel buyers, so they’re great for driving sales volume and achieving a higher return on investment (ROI). They appear on search results and product detail pages using keywords in multiple categories like:
- Broad keywords – Short phrases that account for shopper variations like adjectives before or after the main keywords (e.g., extra large tent).
- Phrase keywords – A sequence of words that change the search context based on how they’re arranged (e.g., extra large tent vs. tent for large gathering).
- Exact keywords – Precise keywords that restrict shopper searches to specific phrases for your ad to appear (e.g., tent vs. pop-up tent).
To measure your ads’ performance, Amazon offers a reporting tool that identifies each campaign’s clicks, spend, sales and advertising cost of sales (ACoS).
Sponsored Product Ads help you increase visibility and sales momentum when you launch new products to eventually clinch the top search result for specific keywords. In fact, the marketplace giant claims Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) saw an average weekly lift of more than 54% in glance views within the first year after launching a Sponsored Products campaign.
Amazon Sponsored Brands
Whereas Sponsored Product ads lead to individual listings, Sponsored Brand ads promote multiple products as part of a comprehensive brand. They require a headline, logo and up to three featured product links to promote your brand. These are also keyword-based ads that appear above, below and next to search results, but they require an auction-based pricing model. Instead of redirecting to a specific listing, you can direct shoppers to your product page or Amazon Storefront.
Sponsored Brand ads also allow for different keyword types, including:
- Branded product keywords – Your brand and the product you sell (e.g., YourCo socks)
- Complementary product keywords – Keywords comprised of two product names that are often sold together (e.g., peanut butter and jelly)
Sponsored Brands also give you more control over your ad’s appearance, as you can preview before launching and even add video to increase engagement and conversions. In fact, according to Amazon, advertisers who used the Sponsored Brands video ad format saw a 108.1% increase in click-through rate (CTR) compared to advertisers only using the Sponsored Brands product collection ad format.
Amazon Sponsored Display
Sponsored Display ads are PPC ads that appear on product detail pages, but they also show up on customer review pages, listing pages and below search results. Amazon offers a self-service platform to target customers both on and off the marketplace so you can increase campaign efficiency.
That means you can use them in retargeting efforts like abandoned cart emails, recommendations and follow-up communications. Whereas other ad types aim to build visibility and awareness, Sponsored Display ads’ main objective is to cross- or up-sell customers. Sellers who use Sponsored Display ads claim that 82% of their sales are driven by new-to-brand customers.
Sponsored Display ads are different from Amazon’s demand-side platform (DSP), which allows you to programmatically buy ads and use your Amazon data to purchase video, audio and display ads across the internet. The main difference is that Sponsored Display ads can only drive conversion within the Amazon marketplace, while DSP can funnel traffic to other websites.
Your Total Amazon Ad Strategy
While each Amazon ad type has its differences and benefits, no one size fits all. No type is better than another. It truly depends on your brand’s advertising goals. However, to drive long-term success and achieve optimal results, we recommend integrating all the ad formats to your Amazon Advertising strategy, so you have a diverse program that captures as many buyers as possible.