28 Apr Amazon PPC: The Best Strategy for eCommerce Companies
Amazon’s vision is to be a one-stop shop for online sellers. From fulfillment to the marketplace and advertising, it lives up to its promise. However, Amazon PPC advertising isn’t always intuitive and, if you’re not careful, you can waste marketing dollars very easily.
Amazon hosts around 9.7 million sellers worldwide. The large amount of competition can drive up advertising costs.
While it’s important to start with a great product, positioning that product in front of your buyers is critical. Every seller is vying for your buyers’ attention, and it’s critical that you get there first.
Ads are a standard feature in any online experience today, and Amazon’s marketplace is no different. Last year, Amazon made around $31 billion from its advertising business. Amazon PPC ads are made to improve the seller experience, and help sellers reach their buyers among the competition on the platform. Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of Amazon advertising.
What is PPC
PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click. Just like Google Pay-Per-Click campaigns, Amazon ads target your customers on the platform ahead of organic listings, and you only pay for each ad conversion. However, Amazon PPC ads are an internal system, and are displayed on the platform, in search results, or on partner platforms.
Amazon PPC campaigns allow brands and sellers to target specific keywords. These keywords are meant for relevant buyers, and attract them at the point of purchase. Well-chosen keywords should drive more conversions.
Any brand or third-party seller can use Amazon PPC ads to drive sales. In fact, three out of four sellers on Amazon utilize PPC ads as part of their marketing strategy.
Why are Amazon PPC Ads Important for eCommerce
As mentioned, Amazon’s selling platform is vast. Without effective marketing and advertising, it’s easy for your products to get lost in the weeds. Ultimately, your competition has every opportunity to beat you to the punch, without an ad strategy.
PPC ads put your product in front of customers. You need to show buyers that you know what they need, and that your product is the high-quality solution they are looking for.
Targeted Amazon PPC ads boost sales. However, they can also boost your organic reach in the long term. As your product becomes more popular, the more relevant it appears to Amazon. Not only are you targeting customers with your ad keywords, but Amazon starts to do some work for you, too. An Amazon PPC strategy is a long-term effort, but can make a real difference to your business.
However, it’s important to bear in mind that it’s easy to overspend on PPC ads. With the wrong strategy, you will target the wrong buyers, and just waste money. Understanding your buyers, your product, and the right strategy will help you to make the most of Amazon advertising.
Types of Amazon PPC Ads
To begin building a strategy, you need to understand the types of Amazon ads available to third-party sellers. If you’ve spent time on the platform, you’ll probably already be inadvertently familiar with these.
Sponsored Products Ads
Sponsored products ads are the most popular type of PPC ad on Amazon. They are also widely considered to be the most effective.
A sponsored products ad appears in search results and on product detail pages. They are made to look similar to organic product listings. You might see these under headings like “sponsored products similar to this item” in product detail pages, or “sponsored item” in search results.
Your product image and title are shown, just as they would be organically. However, a sponsored products campaign appears above organic listings, both in search and on product detail pages.
Sponsored Brands Ads
Sponsored brands ads appear much more prominently than sponsored product ads. These appear as a headline on the search results page. Video sponsored brands ads can appear further into the search results, but have a similar format.
These are made to advertise more than one product. They are also much more visually rich than sponsored products ads. You can take advantage of multiple product images, or video content.
They draw attention to what you have to offer as a brand, rather than a singular product. Depending on what the buyer clicks on, they may direct to a product page or your storefront. You do need to have an Amazon brand to implement these types of ads.
Sponsored Display Ads
Sponsored display ads are tailored towards retargeting potential customers. These take advantage of Amazon’s connections, as sponsored display ads can be shown on affiliate websites.
Typically, they contain products that a consumer has visited before. The idea is to remind them of their interest in the purchase, and regain lost sales. The ad often appears as a sidebar on other websites that they visit.
Sponsored display ads do also appear on the Amazon platform, in order to bring that buyer back to your product page. Once again, you do need to have a registered brand to make use of these ads.
Amazon PPC Strategies
The right PPC strategy will ensure that your advertising spend generates real sales. Ads can be costly when they aren’t done right. You need to understand your buyer, your products, the platform, and your ads to extract the best ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend) for your Amazon eCommerce business.
The first step to an effective Amazon PPC ad strategy is to do your research. Understand how the various types of ads work and what your customer is interested in.
You should also take the time to research your target buyers. The more you know about them, the more targeted your ad campaigns can be, which in turn helps you keep spending down and optimize your ROAS.
Run smaller test ad campaigns for each kind of Amazon PPC ad and on different audiences. This will help you to get to know the platform, and get a taste of how different ad types resonate with your buyers. The idea is to test and learn to understand what messages and formats drive the most conversions for what audiences.
Similarly, research keywords for your products and your customers. Consider what they are searching for, and where your products need to be positioned. Utilize these keywords to create your ad campaigns. However, bear in mind that it’s better to target fewer specific keywords, than target many keywords that aren’t as relevant.
Use these test ad campaigns to gain a better understanding of your buyer, and the right keywords and ads to reach them. The results of these tests will form the basis of your ad strategy.
Choose the Right Ads for your Business
As mentioned, the only real way to find out which ads work best for your business, and reach your customers, is to test them. Testing is a key strategy for any kind of marketing or advertising campaign to help find the right keyword combination for you.
While different ad types have varying results by nature, generally, the better ROAS, the more effective that ad is for your business. If an ad generates more sales, then it’s doing its job.
Generally, sponsored brands ads are the most lucrative. They generally produce the most sales, improving your return on ad spend. However, there are other factors that impact your ad performance, including product prices. Therefore, as mentioned above, testing and learning is the best approach.
Higher prices might seem like the best way to improve your ROAS, but these sales are harder to secure. There are many different elements that impact your ad strategy, depending on your business and your market. This is why testing different ads for different products, and learning from the metrics, is the best way to secure an ad strategy that works.
Targeting refers to the choice of keywords used to target your specific customers, with your ads. The automatic strategy allows Amazon to do some of the leg work for you. Amazon chooses keywords based on your products, and what the algorithm determines is relevant to those products.
As your ads perform, or don’t perform, over time, Amazon adapts your keywords to suit those that are resonating with your buyer. Therefore, your ad strategy is optimized for conversions over time.
There are four different types of keyword matches that you can use:
- Close match: These are ads that appear when your customers use search terms that are closely related to your product.
- Loose match: These ads appear when shoppers use keywords or search terms that are less related to your product, but are loosely relevant.
- Substitutes: These ads target customers that are searching for products that are similar or the same as yours, but from a different brand. Your product is offered as an alternative to that brand.
- Complements: These ads target shoppers on product listings or product detail pages that complement yours. For instance, if they are purchasing a printer, they might need to purchase ink cartridges in the same order.
Typically, close and loose match keyword strategies are the most effective, and generate a higher ROAS over time. However, it’s important to find out what works best for your specific brand and product listings. As above, ink sellers might benefit more from the complements strategy than many other sellers.
Manual targeting is a much more hands-on and autonomous approach. You choose the keywords that you think best suit your shoppers. You can bid on these keywords for your ads.
However, manual targeting only displays your ads when your buyer searches the specific terms that you have chosen. This allows you more control over your ads, and your ad optimization. This approach makes the most sense if you need to retain more control over your ad budget.
You can also make your own adjustments over time, as you see the results. This is a more manual form of optimization, and results in a lower ad spend.
Video Ad Strategy
On the majority of platforms, video ads are one of the most impactful ad types. Social media ad platforms favor video content, as they engage the buyer more easily than simple photo ads. The same goes for Amazon PPC video ads.
As mentioned previously, sponsored brands ads now offer a video feature. Video ads can showcase one specific product with high-quality video content, like a TV ad, but more targeted to the specific buyer.
During your testing process, implement Amazon video ads into your sponsored brands ads. Video content engages buyers quickly and retains their attention for longer as they scroll through search results.
On the Amazon marketplace, it’s worth noting that video ads improve the trust in your product. If your consumers can physically see your product, and see it in action, this is a more credible demonstration of the quality of your product. Consider testing the engagement levels and conversions with video ads.
At Yardline, we understand the Amazon marketplace, and how difficult it can be to stand out from the competition. The best ad strategies require investment, to test keywords and targeting, and optimize your efforts. Our eCommerce experts offer capital to invest in your business, and advice on where to invest for maximum growth.
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