According to Statista, Amazon already controls half of the US online retail market. Even if you aren’t an Amazon Seller, understanding the basic structure of Amazon PPC campaigns will help you understand your competition and how it works.
Amazon Ad Formats
Amazon PPC advertising has skyrocketed in recent years. In 2012, there was only one ad type and one targeting option. Now, there are three main ad types and two targeting options. A crash course in these three ad types will assist you in better structuring your campaigns!
Starting with the most common ad type, Sponsored Products are the ads that appear on the Amazon search result page, also known as a SERP. When you search “gym bottles” on Amazon, for example, you get the following results:
The first four gym bottles, as you can see, have the “Sponsored” tag, indicating that they are a Sponsored Product ad. The seller in question is running these ads through Amazon PPC ad campaigns.
Sponsored Product Ads have four ad placement options:
- Top of the search results
- The center of the search
- Product detail pages at the bottom of the search results
These assignments are pretty self-explanatory. When you click on a product, ad placements on the product detail page appear as an ad carousel near the bottom of the page. (We’ll go over these in greater detail later!)
The top of the search results should be targeted because Sponsored Products at the top of the page generate the most sales. It’s a well-known fact that more than 60% of people never look past the first page of search results. This is, of course, also true for Amazon.
Types of Targeting
Sponsored Product ads support two types of targeting: keyword targeting and product targeting. This means you can either target a “keyword” like “gym bottles for men” and place your sponsored ads on that SERP, or you can target a product ASIN like a competitor’s product.
ASIN-targeted Sponsored ads will appear in the ad carousel at the bottom of the Product Detail Page. The section along the bottom of the screenshot below titled “Products related to this item” is actually ASIN-targeted sponsored ads.
Types of Campaigns
You can also choose between automatic and manual targeting for Sponsored Products. To distinguish these from the “Targeting types” discussed in the previous section, we’ll refer to them as “Campaign types.” Automatic campaigns and manual campaigns are the two types of Sponsored Products campaigns.
Automated campaigns are exactly what they sound like. The Amazon algorithm will generate a list of relevant keywords or products for you to target. Essentially, you’re handing over control to Amazon. Automatic campaigns can quickly deplete your budget if left unsupervised, but they are excellent for gathering keyword data.
Meanwhile, manual targeting is the process by which you decide on all aspects of your Sponsored Products ad campaign. You are the one who enters a set of target keywords or product targets and decides on the corresponding bids for each. Make sure you’re targeting the same products and volumes in the same ad group. Create separate ad groups for keywords with different keyword match types (exact match, broad match, and broad match keywords). Most sellers prefer manual targeting because it gives you the most control over your Amazon PPC campaign budget.