The Anatomy of a “Good” Amazon Advertising Strategy


Around this same time last year, brands were beginning to plan and prepare for the surge of Amazon Prime Day. This year, things are different. COVID-19, and the resulting e-commerce boom, put a lot of pressure on Amazon’s supply chain. Amazon is now in a state of recovery and has reportedly made the decision to reschedule Prime Day for September — leaving a mid-year promotional gap that’s going to be difficult to fill.

Even with Prime Day rescheduled, brands can create their own digital boost with the right advertising strategies. Amazon Advertising has developed over the years to become one of the top ad platforms in the digital marketing space, and having the right strategies in place can help brands drive consumer interest throughout the year.


What makes a “good” Amazon Advertising strategy?


Successful advertising on Amazon is about leveraging Amazon’s full suite of ad products to merchandise your catalog, increase discoverability, and drive organic traffic in the long term.

Jackson Hathaway, Netrush Senior Manager, Digital Marketing

Amazon Advertising is multi-dimensional. Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brand, and Sponsored Display — all of these functionalities should work together in an advertising strategy. But how do they all fit together?


Sponsored Products

Sponsored Products ads temporarily place listings at the top of search engines and are very effective at reaching shoppers that search for specific products. In order to get the most out of these types of ads, your products must display above the fold, which means winning bids on top positions for strategic keywords.

Brands can ensure their products are winning the right positions by separating each product into its own ad group. Then bids should be tiered out to control where each product displays. Highest priority products would get the highest bid, and then the products that follow would get slightly lower bids.

Of course, before you can do any of this, you have to put in the legwork to make sure that you’re targeting the right keywords to reach the right shoppers, but we’ll get a little more into that later.


Sponsored Brands

While Pponsored Products ads are narrowly focused on promoting a single product, Sponsored Brands ads have a much broader focus. Sponsored Brand ads complement your sponsored product campaigns by directing shoppers to a brand store page. In short, Amazon store pages provide brands with a landing page on the Amazon marketplace. These pages offer a lot of creative flexibility and provide more control over how a brand’s catalog is presented.

Featuring the same products on a brand store that are being promoted through Sponsored Products campaigns is a great way to take advantage of this extended functionality. For instance, if a brand was running a Sponsored Products campaign to promote a new product, that new product could also be featured in the hero section of the brand’s Amazon store.


Sponsored Display

Before we get into Sponsored Display, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. Sponsored Display is still technically in beta. Brands need to be enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry to use it, and it can only be used to advertise products in eligible categories. Learn more about the requirements for Sponsored Display by visiting this Amazon Resources page.

With those considerations in mind, Sponsored Display ads are a very versatile tool. They can re-engage shoppers that viewed a product, but didn’t end up buying. They can engage audiences with certain identified interests. They can even target shoppers that are browsing competitive brands or similar products.

Because display ads often appear on product listings, they’re great for cross-promoting products and work very well alongside Sponsored Products campaigns. Sponsored Products ads drive traffic to the listing, and then display ads promote related or complementary products. Using display ads in this way is very effective for increasing basket sizes.

Unlike the other ads we’ve talked about, display ads can appear both on Amazon and on third-party websites. This range gives brands the ability to cast a very wide net, but there’s also a risk of becoming too broad and then missing the right shoppers completely. That’s where targeting comes into play.


Reaching the right audience at the right time with better targeting

On Amazon, finding the right audience is a learning process. At first, it’s best to start off with automatic, broad-match targeting. This kind of targeting isn’t always the most efficient, and it might not maximize return on ad spend, but it gives brands an opportunity to learn about their audience. After campaigns run for a month or so, brands can review campaign performance to better understand how their audience searches and transacts. Then, brands can start cutting back on what doesn’t work and expanding on what does.

It’s important to remember that there is no finished state in Amazon advertising. Targeting may get too narrow at times and need to be broadened, and vice versa. Most aspects of Amazon Advertising need to be constantly monitored and adjusted. Be patient at first. Creating a winning advertising strategy takes time and investment, but when it’s done correctly, the results are well worth it.