Types of Amazon Ads: Which To Use


If you have yet to tap into the advertising potential of Amazon, you’re leaving valuable opportunities on the table.

With more than 12.9 million Prime subscribers in the UK alone, and countless other shoppers accessing the platform daily, the Amazon marketplace offers immeasurable routes to more sales and greater revenue.

However, with millions of other products all competing for shoppers too, you’ll need to know which Amazon Ads to use – and when to use them – to stand out from the crowd.

With so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to begin. To help steer your advertising efforts in the right direction, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide. It details the different types of ad formats available and how to choose between them.

Amazon PPC Ads

Amazon’s self-service pay-per-click ads are an incredibly effective way to promote products to Amazon shoppers.

Like other PPC programs, Amazon Ads operate on an auction system. As an advertiser, you’ll provide a list of target keywords (words you’d like to trigger your ads) and set a budget.

Your adverts will then be served alongside Amazon search results, on product detail pages and landing pages.

Amazon PPC ads are beneficial for several reasons:

  • You control your budget and can increase or lower the amount you wish to spend at any given time.
  • You can target your ads to reach the most relevant shoppers for each product.
  • You can turn your ads on or off as needed.
  • You can create and launch campaigns in minutes, allowing you to boost product visibility quickly.
  • You can use different types of PPC ads to achieve different marketing goals.

There are three main types of Amazon PPC ads:

Sponsored Product Ads

Sponsored Product Ads are a powerful advertising solution. They enable sellers to promote individual products directly within Amazon’s search results. This type of ad appears alongside organic search results with a small label tagging the ad as ‘Sponsored’ (to differentiate it from organic, non-paid for results).

Sponsored Ads allow brands to target specific keywords in a similar way to Google Ads. The price you’ll pay for each click varies depending on the keywords you’re targeting, ad position and your bid amount.

The benefits of using Sponsored Products are varied. They quickly increase your product’s visibility, for example, can generate more impressions and increase click through rates. Plus, they can give your sales figures a huge boost.

Sponsored Brands

Sponsored Brands ads are a great way to enhance brand awareness on Amazon. You can also use them to showcase a number of different products and direct targeted traffic to your brand’s Amazon Store.

These ads feature a custom headline, logo, and up to three products in a banner format. Sponsored Brands ads give you more control over the aesthetic of your advert – and you have the option to add a video to encourage more clicks and sales.

They are displayed at the top, bottom, or within search results. The aim of this type of ad is to help shoppers discover your brand and explore your product range.

Only brands registered with Amazon’s Brand Registry can create Sponsored Brands campaigns. To qualify, you’ll need to have an active trademark and meet a range of other requirements.

Product Display Ads

Product Display Ads offer sellers an opportunity to target customers who are actively browsing related product detail pages or specific interest categories. They appear on Amazon’s shopping results pages and other third-party websites or apps.

Deploying this ad format can be an efficient way to capture the attention of shoppers who are already interested in products similar to those you’re selling, but haven’t yet considered your offering.

Product Display Ads are great for retargeting – this means your ad will be displayed to individuals who have already explored your brand or product listings before but haven’t proceeded to make a purchase.

Coupon Ads

Coupon Ads provide an additional incentive to shoppers by offering a discount on product purchases. By highlighting exclusive deals or offers, brands can encourage shoppers who may be on the fence about buying to proceed to check out. Offering coupons and promotions can be a very effective way to boost conversion rates and grow sales figures.

Being strategic about when you offer coupons can help your business to meet its wider goals. You could reserve your most impressive offers for Prime Day and its build-up, for example, in order to get the maximum benefit from the increased traffic flowing through the marketplace.

Amazon DSP Ads

Amazon’s Demand-Side Platform – more commonly referred to as Amazon DSP – is an advanced advertising solution. It enables advertisers to programmatically buy ads to reach audiences on and off Amazon and is intended for advertisers making large-scale ad purchases.

You don’t need to be an Amazon seller to buy ads via Amazon DSP, but if you are an Amazon seller, buying via DSP gives you access to Amazon’s powerful first-party data and shopping insights. This can seriously boost your sales performance.

Access to DSP is offered on a self-service basis – for advertisers already comfortable with programmatic ads – or as a managed service, where an Amazon ads expert will assist. There is a high minimum monthly spend threshold for DSP access, which means it is better suited to established sellers and advertisers.  

Video Ads

Video Ads are a dynamic and engaging ad format that empowers advertisers to highlight their products or bring their brand story to life through immersive video content.

Video Ads can be displayed on Amazon and on other websites and apps that are either owned by Amazon or are Amazon partners. Because of this, Video Ads allow brands to reach an audience beyond the confines of the Amazon marketplace.

Video Ads historically have a high conversion rate. They offer an array of benefits including the ability to build brand awareness and consideration. Because video tends to perform well overall as a marketing tool, with better recall than text-based content, it continues to represent great value for money long after the initial ad has played.

Custom Ads

Customised Ads, also known as Custom Display Ads, provide flexibility and control over the creative elements of your ad campaign. Advertisers can work with Amazon’s Brand Innovation Lab to design unique display ads that align with their brand identity. By working with Amazon, advertisers can create creative campaigns that are informed by first-party shopper data. This means the ads are designed to reach your target audience in the most effective way possible. It’s not necessary to sell your products on Amazon to work with their Brand Innovation Lab.

Amazon Posts

Amazon Posts are a social media-inspired shopping experience (currently running in beta) that allows brands to share curated content about their products.

Brands can create Posts at no cost as often as needed. Much like a social media post, Amazon Posts are made up of images, captions, and product tags.

Posts appear on product detail pages, enhancing the customer’s shopping journey, and amongst your own Post feed. Sharing Amazon Posts with shoppers allows them to see your product in a realistic setting and encourages them to explore your brand and products further.

Let’s say you’re a brand that sells outdoor camping gear on Amazon. You can create a series of Posts that showcase your camping gear in various real-life settings, such as a tent pitched near a serene lake, surrounded by beautiful mountains. In the caption, you can highlight the durability and weather resistance capability of the tent, emphasising how it’s perfect for the avid outdoor adventurer. You can also tag the tent, so viewers can go straight to the product listing to find out more.

Amazon says its Posts format is intended to give shoppers a more immersive and realistic view of products being sold via Amazon.

Amazon Live

Amazon Live is a way to live stream video content, showcase products and interact with customers in real time. With Amazon Live, sellers can demonstrate product features, answer questions, and provide exclusive offers to viewers. For instance, imagine you’re a beauty brand selling your products on Amazon. You might decide to host a live video streaming session on Amazon Live to showcase your new skincare line. The session is scheduled to last for an hour, during which you’ll demonstrate product features and answer questions. You may also provide exclusive offers to viewers.

As the live session begins, you greet viewers and introduce yourself as the founder of the skincare brand. You start by explaining the key benefits and unique ingredients of your products, emphasising their effectiveness in addressing common skincare concerns. Maybe you’ll also demonstrate how to properly use each product.

Throughout the stream, viewers can ask questions in real-time using the chat feature. This interactive dialogue creates a sense of trust and allows potential customers to feel confident in their purchasing decisions, encouraging brand loyalty and growing sales.

Amazon Audio Ads (Beta)

Amazon Audio Ads provide a new way to reach customers through voice-activated devices like Amazon Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices. These ads allow advertisers to deliver personalised audio messages to customers while they engage with their devices.

Amazon Audio Ads present a unique opportunity to connect with customers in a hands-free and convenient manner. Users can respond to Alexa’s CTAs, such as requesting more product information, without having to stop listening to their audio content.

Not sure how effective this is? Consider this: you’re a marketing manager for a coffee brand, and you’re looking to promote your new line of flavoured iced coffees. You start by creating an engaging audio message that highlights the unique flavours and refreshing qualities of your drinks. The message is designed to capture the attention of listeners and generate interest in trying out your products.

Through Amazon’s product targeting capabilities, you can narrow down your audience based on factors such as demographic, location, and even previous purchase behaviour. This ensures that your message reaches the right people who are likely to be interested in your beverages. Once your campaign is live, users who interact with their Amazon Echo or Alexa-enabled devices can hear your audio ad as they’re going about their daily routine, just as they would a traditional radio ad in times past.

Lockscreen Ads

Lockscreen Ads appear on the lock screen of Kindle E-readers and Fire tablets, providing advertisers with high visibility and direct access to customers. These ads display personalised offers, product recommendations, or relevant brand messages. Because these ads capture the attention of users each time they need to unlock their device, they’re an effective way of increasing brand exposure and driving conversions.

These types of ads can be especially effective for sellers operating in categories such as books or technology. For instance, a customer who is interested in reading thriller books might see an offer for a discounted new thriller on their Lockscreen Ad. The ad provides a brief synopsis, glowing reviews from renowned authors, and a direct link to purchase the book at a discounted price. Intrigued by the ad and offer, the customer makes their way to the online store to purchase said book.

Optimising Amazon Ad Campaigns

Once you’ve chosen your desired ad formats, you’ll need to invest time in optimising your ad campaigns to eke out the best possible performance and ROI. Here are some best practices to consider:

Perform Detailed Keyword Research

Keyword research is key to optimising your Amazon ad campaigns. Begin by understanding your target audience and identifying the keywords they are likely to use when searching for products like yours. To do this, use tools like Amazon’s Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and third-party platforms to gather data on search volume, competition, and relevant long-tail keywords. Then, incorporate these keywords into your product listings and back-end search terms to improve your visibility and increase the chances of appearing in relevant search results.

You should use a variety of keyword match types to ensure optimal targeting and performance.

Don’t forget, this is an ongoing process. Search trends change. You’ll need to keep a close eye on your Amazon analytics to understand which keywords are working and which ones needs further adjustment.

Create Compelling Product Listings

Focus on creating informative and persuasive product listings that highlight the unique selling points of your products. You can do this by using high-quality images and writing engaging, detailed and accurate descriptions. Information such as colours, dimensions, model numbers and product numbers are all helpful.

Product listing optimisation will not only enhance your organic search rankings, but it’ll also help to boost conversions.

Mix-and-Match Ad Formats

As we have covered in this guide, Amazon has a number of ad types and formats to choose from. Each suits different campaign goals and budgets. Experiment with ad formats to target different stages of the customer journey. For instance, Sponsored Products are effective for targeting customers who are looking for specific items, whereas Sponsored Brands are more useful for building brand awareness.

Monitor Campaign Performance

Once your campaign is up and running, regularly monitor it to identify areas for improvement. Analyse metrics such as impressions, click throughs and conversions, along with the average cost of sale (ACoS) to gauge how well your campaigns are performing.

Optimise Bids

With your ad campaign up and running, you can experiment with different bidding tactics. Through trial and error, you’ll be able to find the approach that yields the best results for your specific goals. It’s important to regularly review and adjust your bids based on the performance of your keywords and ads, so that you can allocate your budget strategically.

Use Negative Keywords

Negative keywords play a significant role in improving ad targeting and preventing irrelevant clicks. For instance, if you’re selling high-end luxury watches, you might want to add negative keywords like “cheap watches” to avoid attracting budget-conscious shoppers. You’ll need to regularly review and update your negative keyword list based on search term reports to ensure your ads are displayed to the most relevant individuals.

Optimise for Mobile Devices

With a significant portion of today’s online shoppers using mobile devices, it’s vital that your Amazon ad campaigns are optimised for mobile, with clear and visually appealing content. Make sure to test your ads across various mobile devices and screen sizes so you can be confident that they appear and perform as they should. 

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