A Complete Amazon Advertising Guide for Brands: From Sponsored Products to DSP

Explore the diverse spectrum of Amazon PPC campaign types. Optimise your advertising efforts on the world’s largest online marketplace.

Elise Jackson

Post details

  • AUTHOR: Elise Jackson
  • CATEGORY: Amazon Advertising
  • DATE: 12/08/2023

Amazon ad campaigns are one of the most powerful tools for driving discoverability and sales for Amazon sellers.

There is no better place to invest your budget than where the consumers are browsing with the intent to purchase.

Amazon advertising campaigns provide a very measurable form of gaining success on Amazon, and there are a number of things you need to know before starting off with Amazon PPC and DSP campaigns.

We’ve put together the ultimate guide to help you kickstart your Amazon advertising venture. Inside, you’ll find detailed insights into various types of ads you can use on Amazon and how to make them work best. Whether you want to do it yourself or team up with an Amazon Marketing Agency, this guide serves as your reliable navigation tool.

We have also put together an Amazon advertising plan template to help you put together your amazon ad strategy, keeping it either as a record or even communicating it effectively to your colleagues, if needs be.

 

amazon advertising plan template

What are Amazon ads?

Amazon Advertising, previously known as Amazon Marketing Services (AMS), describes Amazon’s ad solutions and is strategically positioned across various sections of the Amazon landing page, seamlessly integrated into the fabric of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). These ads serve as beacons, guiding shoppers toward products that cater to their needs.

Amazon Advertising can be divided into two main types Self-Service Amazon PPC Ads and Managed-Service Amazon DSP Ads.

 

Self-Service Amazon PPC Ads

  • These ads are for sellers who want to reach more customers on Amazon.
  • They’re most commonly used by professional sellers and Brand Registered sellers.
  • Self-Service Amazon PPC includes:
    • Sponsored Product Ads: Crafted to elevate the visibility of individual products, these ads are tailored to appear alongside organic search results.
    • Sponsored Brand Ads: Designed to enhance brand recognition, these ads showcase a brand’s logo, a curated selection of products, and a captivating tagline.
    • Sponsored Display Ads: Capitalizing on the power of product targeting, these ads extend beyond Amazon’s confines, reaching potential customers even as they explore the broader web.
  • If you’re a Brand Registered seller, you also get access to Amazon Stores, Amazon Attribution, and Amazon Live as part of Amazon Advertising.

 

Managed-Service Amazon DSP Ads

  • Amazon DSP (demand-side platform) is managed by Amazon.
    • Amazon Demand-Side Platform (DSP): Offering an advanced toolkit for precision targeting, DSP empowers brands to engage with potential customers both on and off the Amazon platform.
  • It’s available to both advertisers and agencies, even if they don’t sell products on Amazon.
  • Unlike setting up PPC ads on your own, you’ll need to talk to an Amazon Advertising account executive to start using Amazon DSP.

 

Benefits of Amazon Ads

The awesome thing is that brands can use these Amazon ads differently to suit the brand and budget and also to fit in with the specific marketing objectives.

For example, brands that are more focused on brand awareness might invest in Sponsored Brand and Sponsored Display ads. Sponsored Brands gives great early-funnel visibility on Amazon and Sponsored Display is displayed both on and off of Amazon, giving you a great opportunity to show your brand to third-party websites.

On the other hand, brands launching a new product and looking to sell to increase organic positioning should invest more in Sponsored Product ads.

By seeing the results of how the ads are performing, using crucial data provided by Amazon, you can learn more about your target and prospective customers, what search terms they are using and what your competitors are doing. This helps turbo-charge e-commerce strategies and ultimately can lead to more success!

 

How to put together an Amazon Advertising Strategy for your Brand?

In order to put together an Amazon advertising strategy that guarantees that you win and sparkle on the platform, you will need to ensure that you cover the below points first:

 

Set goals for your advertising activity

Begin by deciding what you want from your ads. Whether you want to sell more or make your brand known, Amazon helps you match your goals. If sales are key, track Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS). For brand awareness, focus on impressions. Amazon divides the product page into “Objectives” to make picking the right ad type easier. For example, if you aim to grow brand awareness, go for video ads, display ads, audio ads, or custom ads. By working from your goals, your Amazon plan will fit your business.

 

Understand Your Audience

One of the crucial steps in Amazon advertising is to know who you’re targeting. Just like setting your goals, deciding on your target audience is vital. Who are the people you want to see your ads? Are they looking for a specific product? Are they interested in solving a particular problem? When you have a clear idea of your target audience, you can speak directly to them. This helps in making your ads more effective and increases the chances of attracting the right customers. So, before you dive into creating ads, take the time to understand your audience and tailor your Amazon ad strategy accordingly.

 

Select the right products for your amazon ad campaigns

Picking the right products is crucial. Ads for your popular products have better chances of making sales. Also, check they’re available and priced well. If you’re launching a new product, think about your goals and check if Amazon suits your product.

 

Make your product pages to the point and engaging

While ads bring people to your product pages, the page itself does the real job of converting visitors into customers. Knowing your target audience is important as this is your chance to speak to them by not just focusing on the product features but also how the product is ideal to solve their pain points. Ensure that your product page have clear titles, use compelling and high resolution images, and share useful product information.

 

Decide where to place your ads

Amazon offers many types of ads which you can choose to place on various devices, from voice ads on Alexa devices to video ads on Fire TV. Based on your needs and budget, decide what is the best option for your brand. Then, explore specific options that meet your requirements.

 

DOWNLOAD NOW: Amazon Advertising Plan Template

 

Deep dive into the different types of ads available

Amazon Sponsored Product Ads

Starting your Amazon advertising adventure is as easy as embracing Sponsored Product Ads. Whether you’re brand-registered or not, this is your gateway to a simple and effective form of PPC (Pay-Per-Click). After diving into smart keyword research, setting up a Sponsored Product campaign takes only minutes.

These ads are displayed both at the top of Amazon’s search result page and among the organic search results. They’re also scattered across rival product listing pages. Here’s an example of how sponsored product ads appear on the search results page of Amazon.

 

Amazon Sponsored Product Ads

As of August 2023, Amazon announced the expansion of Sponsored Product ads to Off Amazon premium placements such as Pinterest, BuzzFeed, Hearst Newspapers, Raptive, and Ziff Davis brands such as Lifehacker and Mashable.

How to set up Sponsored Product Ads

There are two types of Sponsored Product campaigns; manual and automatic, and both have the options to target keywords, products and categories.

  • Automatic-targeting ads: Amazon takes the reins here, selecting keywords based on your product. It’s great if you’re unsure about the right keywords. This way, you can see which keywords lead to sales. Just remember, this lacks the optimization options manual targeting offers.
  • Manual-targeting ads: The control is yours. Decide on keywords or products to target, set bids, and determine search specifics. The three keyword match type options available are:
    • Broad match: Keywords can appear in any order with additional words. For instance, “smart teapot” could match “black smart teapot set”
    • Phrase match: Targets the keyword phrase in the entered order, with extra words before or after.
    • Exact match: Requires customers to type your keywords exactly. Only “smart teapot” will trigger the ad.

 

Choosing keyword match type on amazon platform

 

In the world of manual targeting, you can delve further into:

  • Keyword targeting: Choose keywords to target, such as “bullet journals”, “dotted journals” and more.
  • Product targeting: Here, you can aim at your competitors’ listings instead of keywords. If you’re into bullet journals, you can target their ASINs to display your ads under the “Products related to this item” section.

 

Products Related Items

You can run both keyword targeting and product targeting campaigns side by side.

 

Essentials for Sponsored Product Ads

  • You don’t need brand registration, but a professional Amazon seller account or Vendor status is necessary.
  • Your product must be Buy Box eligible.
  • The cost depends on your daily budget and keyword bids. Click costs can range from £0.05 to £10, depending on your niche.
  • To start, a daily budget of just £1 is enough. However, increasing it to £50-£100/day is recommended. You can even start with £5-£10/day and make adjustments.

 

Automating Repetitive Amazon Advertising Tasks

Does some of the tasks above sound repetitive and potentially resource heavy? Fret not! We have developed an Amazon advertising platform known as “Fern” designed to assist you in implementing a sophisticated strategy and gaining more insights into your performance metrics. 

What’s Fern’s secret? It offers flexibility in creating rules based on an IFTTT (IF THIS THEN THAT) model. Want to automate bidding and budget decisions? Done. Need to make sure your spending stays on track all month? You got it. Fern takes on those repetitive tasks that once slowed you down, so you can focus on the big picture.

“Fern” is our supsuperhuman automated team member and is a standard tool for all our clients. Even brands equipped with internal dedicated Amazon teams often opt to utilize it for achieving success.

Ready to meet Fern? We’d love to chat with you. To learn more about Fern, feel free to schedule a call with our team.

 

Interesting facts about Amazon Sponsored Product Ads

  • Most popular ad type on Amazon, making up 65%-75% of ad spend.
  • Higher conversion rate among all the different types of ads.
  • Seller Central Sponsored Products appear on the search engine results page (SERP), on the right sidebar and product detail page of product listings similar to the product.
  • The ad only shows one single product.
  • Best ad type to build momentum and grow revenue through ads.
  • Defend and win top positions in the search results for specific branded and non-branded keywords.
  • Target top competitors with similar product characteristics.

 

Amazon Sponsored Brand Ads

Sponsored Brands, formerly known as Amazon Headline Search Ads, are creative cost-per-click (CPC) ads that feature your brand logo, a custom headline and multiple products that appear in relevant Amazon shopping results. You can also enhance your ad by creating a Sponsored Brand Video, that stands out on the desktop and mobile shopping results.

 

Example of Sponsored Brand Video

 

These ads excel at building brand awareness. They usher all traffic to your customized Amazon storefront or a brand-focused landing page on Amazon. Here’s the magic: no competitor listings. Only your products shine.

Sponsored Brands Ads follow the pay-per-click model. Costs depend on your daily budget, keyword bids, and your category’s competitiveness. These ads are exclusive to brand-registered sellers or vendors, setting you apart from competitors.

 

How to set up Sponsored Brand Ads

You have three formats to choose from with Sponsored Brands:

  • Product Collection: Advertise up to three products at once, sending traffic to your Amazon Store or a dedicated landing page. It’s a brilliant way to uplift newer or lower-ranking products by pairing them with high-performing ones.
  • Store Spotlight: For those with an Amazon Store, Store Spotlight is your go-to. It showcases three different product categories, along with specific store subpages. A gem for brands offering diverse products.
  • Video: Sponsored Brands Video ads offer a competitive edge. Videos are eye-catching, automatically playing to seize attention. Amazon suggests 15–30 second videos with informative visuals and subtitles.

 

Choosing your ad format on amazon platform

 

Essentials for Sponsored Brands

  • Enroll in Brand Registry or be a Vendor.
  • Feature top-performing products for maximum clicks and sales.
  • Change one element at a time, and run tests for at least two weeks.
  • Test different pages to optimize conversion rates.
  • Pick from keyword targeting or product targeting.

 

Interesting facts about Amazon Sponsored Brand ads

  • Typically makes up 25%-35% of ad spend.
  • Ability to create/provide Amazon with a custom headline, custom image and the brand’s logo for the ad.
  • The ad can show a maximum of 3 products.
  • Sponsored Brand campaigns are linked to a landing page, which can be a Storefront or a product list.
  • As well as Sponsored Product ads, Sponsored Brand campaigns can target keywords and competitors.
  • Perform at a high conversion rate by advertising your products with Sponsored Brand Video.
  • Top of the funnel, allows brands to educate consumers & introduce them to their brand through further content and links to their website.

 

Essential for Sponsored Brand Video

  • Viewers are 95% more likely to retain a message when it’s in a video compared to 10% when reading text.
  • You have around 15-30 seconds to create an impact, once the video finishes it will loop back to the start.
  • Once 50% of the media is on the screen, the video will automatically play. Videos start without audio but there is an option to unmute.
  • Focusing the video on your product and its unique selling points should happen within the first few seconds of the video.

 

Amazon Sponsored Product Vs Sponsored Brand Ads

Let’s explore the difference between sponsored products and sponsored brand with the following example.

Imagine you’re searching for “black sunglasses for women 90s” on Amazon. The first ad you might see is Maui Jim’s sponsored brand post. It shows a few different Maui Jim sunglasses helping people get to know more about the brand and drive sales:

 

If you scroll down, you will see single sponsored product ads natively incorporated in the Amazon search page.

 

 

Another example of sponsored product ads can be found on a product page just below the “Buy Now” button. When clicking on the sunglasses by UMLIPOT brand, under the “Buy Now” button, there’s an ad by SOJOS.

 

 

A sponsored brand ad can show a few of your products simultaneously and works best if you want to increase the brand awareness of your product line.

On the other hand, a sponsored product ad is a cost per click advertisement that promotes just one product. It’s ideal if you want to increase sales for a specific product or if you are targeting a specific niche.

 

Important changes to sponsored brand campaigns on Amazon in 2024!

Amazon has announced that they are implementing new requirements for campaigns that use the Sponsored Brands product collection ad format.

 

What are the new Sponsored Brand campaign changes?

Starting on January 31, 2024, new campaigns using the Sponsored Brands product collection ad format will require a custom image that meets Amazon’s policy.

If your existing product collection ads don’t contain a custom image then they will cease serving after May 31, 2024.

 

How does this affect your campaigns?

If you have active Sponsored Brands product collection ads that currently only feature product images, then it’s crucial to add a custom image by May 31, 2024, otherwise, your campaign will not be eligible to run.

For new product collection campaigns created after January 31, 2024, a custom image will be required.

 

What is a custom image?

Brands can choose between automated or custom image uploads for sponsored display campaigns, but this is now going to be a requirement for Sponsored Brands. Custom product images simply mean uploading your unique graphics or photos that have not been generated by Amazon, including those with bespoke backgrounds and colours, to help convey your brand and product story.

 

What if you don’t have a suitable custom image in your campaign?

If you are running existing campaigns and don’t have a custom image – don’t fret! Here are a few options for what you can do:

1. Edit your campaign to include a custom image from your computer or asset library.
2. If you need to generate a custom image but don’t have the time or £££ then consider using GenAI image to generate your product against a background. This is in the beta stage though so this is only an option if it’s available if you’re one of the ones who has access. That being said you could use one out with Amazon. (Don’t tell them we said that!)
3. If your existing campaign links to your Store landing page then Amazon Ads can generate an image from your Store in your ASIN-only product collection ads.
4. Do you have video assets? Then a dynamic solution is to upload alternative ad formats like Sponsored Brands video ads or Store spotlight ads if you have a store.

 

Amazon are always coming out with updates like this that can impact your performance. So, it’s essential to take action to ensure your Sponsored Brands campaigns continue to perform effectively and reach your target audience.

The next steps are to add ‘review your campaigns and make the necessary updates to comply with these changes’ to your to-do list.

 

Amazon Sponsored Display Ads

Sponsored Displays are self-service display ads that are available to Amazon sellers. What sets Sponsored Display apart is its ability to connect with relevant audiences both on and off Amazon. Yes, you read that right – you can now engage customers not just on Amazon but also on third-party websites and apps, like PDPs, shopping result pages and in select marketplaces.

What makes Sponsored Display unique lies in its targeting strategy. Not only you can target categories and competitors’ products, but you’ll also be able to tailor your reach based on customer interests, shopping behavior, and their previous views of your product’s detail page, known also as retargeting.

 

How to set up Sponsored Display Ads

In order to set up Sponsored Display ads you get to choose from the following:

  • Product Targeting Ads: Reach customers who browse your products, your competitors’ offerings, or related categories. This can include ads placed directly on your competitor’s listings.
  • Audiences:
    • Views Remarketing: Retarget customers who’ve previously viewed your listings. Reinforce their memory of your product and increase conversion rates.
    • Interests: Boost brand awareness by displaying your products to shoppers browsing similar items. Amazon showcases your ads to customers interested in products related to their previous views.

 

Choosing targeting on Amazon platform

 

Choosing audience targeting on amazon platform

 

Sponsored Display Ads operate on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis. Your budget determines your visibility, and you’re charged per click. The beauty is, you’re not targeting keywords but customers’ interests.

 

Essentials for Sponsored Display ads

  • Just like Sponsored Brand ads, this dynamic tool is exclusively available to brand-registered sellers and Vendors.

 

Interesting facts about Amazon Sponsored Display ads

  • Help promote your products on and off Amazon.
  • They usually perform at a lower conversion rate than Sponsored Product & Sponsored Brand campaigns.
  • As Sponsored Products & Sponsored Brand campaigns, Sponsored Display ads can target top competitors with similar product characteristics.
  • Apply retargeting strategies by targeting audiences based on product detail page views or purchases, as well as the audience’s lifestyle segments.
  • Ability to create/provide Amazon with a custom headline, custom image and the brand’s logo for the ad.

 

Amazon Demand-Side Platform (DSP)

In addition to the above ad types, there is also the Amazon Demand-Side Platform (DSP), which is a platform that programmatically – which is the automated buying and selling of digital ads – allows you to buy ads and can be used by brands that do not sell exclusively on Amazon.

DSP ads do a couple of things; they can either send traffic to a product listing on Amazon or send them to an external website. However, DSP is an advanced strategy, so we recommend that brand advertisers start with Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands & Sponsored Display before moving on to DSP.

DSP can either be operated as a managed service by Amazon, or self-service. Amazon DSP Ads operate on a CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) pricing model. The cost varies based on the placement and format of the ad. At present, only managed-service options are accessible. By going self-service with a partner such as This is Unicorn, you can access and test DSP with a smaller budget and better management and reporting. Contact us to find out more.

 

Read more about the differences between Amazon DSP and Sponsored Display.

 

Finally, although not an ad type, you can also use your brand store on Amazon in order to increase brand awareness or drive sales to your products.

 

amazon ads audit

 

Although brands might invest more in one than the other, it’s important to note that you don’t have to choose one OR the other ad type, but rather we recommend that all ads are used in conjunction to expand reach and visibility and influence customers at multiple stages of the customer decision journey.

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