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The essential guide to using Amazon Media Ads

By Edward Halsor

The Media Image


The Drum Network article

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July 23, 2019 | 5 min read

Amazon is quickly challenging the digital ad duopoly of behemoths Google and Facebook. In fact, 2018 saw a 117% year-on-year increase in ad revenue for Amazon. With 91% of US households shopping on Amazon and an incredible 52% of all US households holding an Amazon Prime membership (that’s more than have a landline phone!), it’s not difficult to see why. Here at The Media Image, an increasing number of our clients are asking us to expand their marketing efforts into this lucrative platform.


The Media Image provide a succinct guide on how to get started on Amazon Ads.

Given the relative recency of the offering of self-serve ads on Amazon, it is little wonder that so many marketers and agencies can’t count Amazon Ads proficiency in their repertoire alongside Google and Facebook. So, enter our Amazon Ads 101: everything you need to know to get started advertising on Amazon.


You need to give your brand the best chance of success, so before you start advertising on Amazon you need to lay the groundwork. We have found that setting up an Amazon Store is an important first step. Stores aren’t an ad type – they are a customizable branded page, akin to a micro site within Amazon; you even get your own Amazon web address. This page is your own; there are no other ads meaning that users won’t see your competitors if they navigate to your store.

We have found that Amazon Stores are ideal landing pages on ads that target branded and non-product specific keywords. For example, a skincare brand could send traffic from “best skincare” search queries to their store. From here the user can interact with the brand undistracted by competitor brands.

Amazon Stores are also ideal for Brands that don’t have a shoppable site of their own, and since you get your own web address, brands can direct traffic to Amazon Stores from other non-Amazon media types, such as Google Search Ads.

Sponsored Products

Sponsored Product Ads are Amazon’s bread and butter. They are keyword targeted Cost per Click search ads that appear in Amazon’s results page ahead of organic product postings. Think of them as a cross between search ads and shopping ads on Google, but in a strictly ecommerce environment, and you can begin to understand how powerful these ads can be in driving sales.

Since a brand’s organic listings often do not appear ahead of Amazon’s own brand alternatives in the search results, we have found Sponsored Product ads to be a useful (and relatively cheap) way of ensuring products always appear at the top of the search results page for branded terms, thereby maximising sales.

Sponsored Brands

Formally headline search ads, Sponsored Brand ads are a sort of self-serve banner ad that appears at the very top of the search results page in a landscape banner, ahead of Sponsored Product Ads.

The creative options of this ad type are limited, but their prominence on the page and sizable real estate mean that they are an attention-grabbing ad format to employ. Here at TMI, we have had particular success running Sponsored Brand ads on competitor targeted keywords as a way of stealing traffic, and sales, from our competitors. We have found that targeting competitors in this way on Amazon produces sales in higher volumes and with better ROAS than on Google Search.

The catch? CPC’s are typically more expensive than Amazon’s Sponsored Products, and comparable keywords on Google Search. With careful optimization though, Sponsored Brands can be an efficient ad type.

Product Display Ads

Product Display Ads are a different form of ad than the other two; these ads are interest or product targeted, rather than keyword targeted. In other words, advertisers can select from a list of interests and target users who share those interests or select from specific products and your ads will appear on pages that include these products. These ads do not appear in the search results, but next to or below the search results in the same vein as traditional display ads. A particularly attractive feature of this ad type is that they can also appear within Amazon marketing emails.

Unfortunately, this is the only ad type that Amazon will allow to be targeted using interests. This seems like a missed opportunity to us – Amazon has a vast amount of valuable shopping data that it does not seem to be fully utilising. Given that Amazon Ads is still a fledging part of the retail juggernaut that is Amazon, it seems only sensible to assume that this data will soon be leverageable in more of Amazon’s ad products in the months and years to come.

Amazon isn’t going anywhere – time to learn the basics now!

Edward Halsor, account manager at The Media Image.


Content by The Drum Network member:

The Media Image

The Media Image (TMI) is an independent performance media agency offering a paid search led full-service digital media solution built on the principles of people,...

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