To effectively sell on Amazon, it's not enough to just optimize your product listing and conduct SEO advertising. Your marketing strategy should also incorporate tactics, including using pay-per-click (PPC) ads in their various formats. Three-quarters of Amazon sellers are already using at least one ad format. This could explain why sponsored ads appear in more than 40% of Amazon search results. To help you launch a successful PPC campaign, let's look more closely at the different Amazon ad formats.
15 Amazon Ad Ideas to Jump Start your Amazon Strategy:
Types of Amazon Ads and Examples
There are currently 1.5 million active sellers on Amazon, which carries more than 12 million products. But the total exceeds 350 million products when you include items sold by the e-commerce giant's third-party sellers.
Read on to discover more about each Amazon ad format, its benefits, best practices, and some examples you can learn from.
Sponsored Product Ads
These ads promote a particular product and appear with a gray-colored "Sponsored" tag above the product title. You don't need to make a marketing copy for this format as Amazon uses your listing content for the ad. The product ad also shows the item's star rating, number of reviews, and cost. When clicked, this ad format takes shoppers to the item's product detail page.
The most common of all ad types, sponsored product ads make up the first seven results of a typical Amazon search—meaning they appear before organic listings. However, they come below brand or headline ads, which always take the top deck of search results. You'll also find these ads on the product pages of other items like it, that is, your competitors' product listings.
Benefits: This ad is effective for marketing a new product or an item with a low organic rank due to the instant visibility it provides. It's also helpful if you're aiming to target a niche audience as your ad will appear in other product pages related to your item.
- Place a high bid for your keywords to make your ad appear on top of the page. Otherwise, it will appear somewhere in the middle or even at the bottom of the page where fewer people will notice it.
- You can manage when your ads will appear in searches through keyword and product targeting on the campaign manager of your Amazon seller account. Amazon keyword tools can show you the keywords and search terms that perform best so you can place your bid on top-performing words. This will also then guide you in selecting the group of words to use to concisely describe your product to capture your target audience's attention.
It's also advisable to use negative keywords and product targeting. This refers to words you don't want to appear in search queries together with your target keyword. They include words that aren't related to your brand or product. For example, if you're selling plain colored, 100% cotton shirts, you can include "polyester" and "printed" in your negative list.
Here's how some brands used this ad format and the strong points of their content:
RENPHO Digital Weighing Scale
- The ad is well-positioned, being first among the sponsored product ads in a page that's dominated by another brand—Withings scales appear on top and beside the RENPHO product.
- The scale is reasonably priced compared to the two products beside it.
- The keywords "BMI," "Body Composition Analyzer," and "with Smartphone App" summarize the product's capabilities.
- The ad offers a $4-coupon to Amazon Prime members
- The item’s 4.7-star rating with over 201,000 reviews is an indicator of its popularity and justifies its "Amazon's Choice" sticker.
Grill Heat Aid Barbecue Gloves
- The product title includes words that emphasize its most prominent features, particularly its ability to withstand heat of up to 1,472 degrees F.
- The ad's 4.5-star rating indicates wide public trust.
- It states a $12 price markdown.
- The photo shows both sides of the glove: the palm side and the back of the hand.
- Bonus: It also has an Amazon's Choice sticker.
Cliganic Lip Balm Set
- The inclusion of "organic" and "natural" makes the ad appealing to environment-conscious buyers.
- Its "Climate-Pledge Friendly" sticker means the product passed Amazon and third-party sustainability standards—another credibility builder.
- It specifies the number of sticks per box and the quantity to expect from each stick.
- The photo is clear enough that shoppers can identify the different flavors by looking at the labels.
Sponsored Brand Ads
These ads—formerly referred to as headline search ads—usually have a banner look and are found on top of an Amazon search results page, above Sponsored Product Ads. They can also be displayed on the side or anywhere within a search results page, depending on your bid amount. Brand ads also appear on the product detail pages of items related to those advertised. It comes in three sub-types: product collection, store spotlight, and video, which we will discuss in detail later.
Benefits: Using brand ads allow your target buyers to visit your Brand Store when they click on your logo. This mini e-store within Amazon—a webpage exclusive to your brand—is available as a free service only to brands or third-party sellers enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry. Other brands can't place ads on this virtual storefront.
You can craft a tagline that will embody your product's main selling point. This format also helps expand awareness for your brand and motivates shoppers to discover—and buy—the other products you offer.
- Since you can customize your brand store, it's best to align its content to your marketing strategy. You can combine ad copy with a gallery of images and video as well as tailor-fit headers and footers to suit your brand.
- To determine if the content matches your customers' interests, regularly check your click-through rate (CTR). A CTR of 0.5% and above is considered decent enough while a CTR below 0.3% is considered low.
- Consider testing the sequence in which the products appear in your Brand Ad by changing one variable at a time every two weeks.
- When choosing keyword targets, select Broad Match. This way, your product or brand will show up even in searches that include your competitor's products and related categories.
Sub-formats and Examples
This sub-format features your brand name, logo, tagline, and up to three products. You can use this ad type to draw attention to products with a low organic ranking. You can feature one popular product in the trio to ensure that shoppers will click through the ad.
- This ad uses a catchy tagline: "No Nonsense Products. Just Superior Skincare."
- It comes with an image featuring the first product in the collection (face moisturizer).
- Each of the three products in the ad has a 4.7-star rating.
- This ad's straightforward tagline is also a call to action.
- The products in the collection only have price indicators and no other differentiators, enticing shoppers to click each one to get further details.
- The "Limited-time Deal" sticker on the last item creates a sense of urgency among interested shoppers.
These time-bound offers are great for boosting sales and reducing your inventory. A star rating of at least 3.5 stars and at least five seller feedback ratings monthly are among Amazon's criteria for lightning deal eligibility.
As the name suggests, this sub-format takes shoppers directly to your Brand Store when they click any image on the ad. It contains your product categories, serving as your company's catalogue-at-a-glance.
This ad type is what you need if you sell various items across several categories. However, only up to three categories can be included in this sub-format. The category labels and images are customizable. Clicking on the category name or image above it takes shoppers directly to the corresponding category page of your Brand Store.
- The order in which the product categories appear on the ad reflects its arrangement on its Amazon Brand Store, starting from its currently most best-selling item: the Ecobee smart thermostat.
- The ad appears for competitor keyword searches such as “Wyze” and “Nest.”
- The brand used a snappy tagline to drum up what its appliances are supposed to stand for: "Customer. Security. Energy savings."
Tender & True
- The tagline of this ad informs the public about the scope of this pet food maker's product line. This entices prospects to click on the logo, CTA, or tagline to know more about the brand's offers besides the three categories that appear on the ad.
- On its Brand Store, six colorful circles above the menu name the general features of its products' ingredients: certified organic, farm-to-bowl, humanely raised, sustainable seafood, corn/wheat/soy-free, and responsibly sourced. Also, the brand immediately clarifies the kind of pets that it caters to by placing two images side by side with the words "Shop for Your Dog" and "Shop for Your Cat" below the menu bar.
These ads show up with three elements: the video, a still image of the product, and the product's name with a CTA, star rating, and the number of views. They're usually displayed halfway down the first page of Amazon search results.
A brand video automatically plays when at least half of it is on the user's screen. Because they're moving pictures, they readily stand out and add a "surprise factor" when they appear in search results.
As brand videos auto-play without sound by default, it's advisable to add informative captions to them. They should be short (over 15 seconds but below 30 seconds) and to the point. Remember to follow Amazon's guidelines against showing prohibited content. Skip introductions and fade-in effects. The videos also loop automatically so make the start and the end blend seamlessly. Avoid any voice-over but pick appropriate or upbeat background music.
Dupray Voila Steamer
- Instead of opening with the product's name, the brand uses the first few seconds of the video by flashing words that describe the steamer's benefits—"Unwrinkle. Refresh. Sanitize."
- The ad goes on to show its ease of use ("Ready in 30 seconds") followed by side-by-side images of a lady's sleeveless top before and after the steamer smoothens it out.
- Viewers get to further see the item's versatility as the video shows that the steamer can be held upright or with its head down like a flat iron. The steamer is also shown being used on both cotton and satin fabrics. The ad concludes by flashing the words "Compact. Light." as the steamer is placed on top of folded clothes inside a suitcase.
- The ad uses upbeat background music and no voice-over so it can be used on other marketplaces or platforms.
TheraBreath Oral Rinse
- The ad aimed to inject brand credibility by featuring its founder, Dr. Harold Katz, who appears in a white dental lab coat. The voice-over briefly explained that TheraBreath was invented out of the dentist's "worry about the world's oral health problems."
- The ad could be understood even on mute due to the succinct captions about the mouthwash's features: 24-hour freshness, cavity-fighting properties, relief for dry mouth, and healthy gums.
- The ad shows that the product's price has been nearly slashed by half. An even lower price is available for those who will subscribe to Amazon's Prime membership when they make a purchase.
Sponsored Display Ads
Display ads are unique in that they show up in U.S.-based third-party websites and apps besides appearing on Amazon search results, product detail pages, and the customer reviews section. The e-superstore generates display ads based on the item or items recently viewed by a shopper. Thanks to behavioral analytics, Amazon is able to keep track of these buying patterns, which also include products that shoppers purchased, rated, or included on their wish list.
Benefits: Display ads are great for introducing your brand or raising awareness about your product to a niche market. Other than targeting competitor pages, you can also set these ads to appear on your own pages to upsell similar or complementary items. They're also useful for re-marketing your product to searchers who have seen your listing in the past month.
Tips: To use this format, you need to select the product category in which your ad will appear. You can also target pages according to the shopper's interest. You'll then find your ads below the bullet points on the product details page or the Buy Box under your chosen category.
Screen Mom Screen Cleaner
- This ad is in vertical form when it shows up on the search results page for "screen cleaner kit." Meanwhile, it appears as a horizontal ad on the products page of a similar item, the iRoller cleaner. The brand's inclusion of a 5% discount for those who will subscribe to Prime when they order will help improve CTR.
- The item has a high star rating of 4.7.
- While the product name or title gets cut off in the vertical format, the horizontal ad is able to include the surfaces on which the cleaner can be used.
LTGEM Hard Case for JBL Bluetooth speaker
- The brand had to choose an exact product category where this display ad should appear. It's found before the "Customer Questions & Answers" section of the JBL Flip 5 product page as the Bluetooth speaker would fit in the case like a glove, with room to spare for accessories.
- Its perfect 5-star rating boosts its clickability.
YRONG Eye Mask
- This ad appears under the Buy Box of two related products by Mediviz and Avenova—a clear attempt by the brand to present itself as an alternative in the same category. YRONG is within the same price range as the eye mask of the two other brands.
- The brand included a 30% discount as part of its sales pitch.
Amazon Native Ads
This ad format is available to bloggers and website owners who'd like to monetize their webpages by promoting products sold on Amazon.
By using Amazon's linking tools, you can select the type of Native Ad that will appear on your site. You can earn up to 12% in advertising fees through Amazon's Native Shopping Ads program.
- Native Custom Ads lets you choose the specific products that will go to the ad block. This type of Native Ad will suit webpages in which you list a specific set of items, as in a review. You can specifically select only the items that you will mention in your review to appear in the ad block.
This review site featured four different spinner luggage brands for a recent article. Its readers can click on each product from this ad block, which appears above a chart that briefly explains the characteristics of each. There are longer product reviews for every suitcase in which an image with an Amazon buy link also appears.
- Native Search Ads allow you to pick a search phrase or product category relevant to your webpage's content. Amazon will then choose the items to show based on the phrase you chose as a "search term." This ad type will work well if you're not after specific products but items that are directly related to your topic.
Electronic fire pits
The ad block that appears in a blog of a backyard care website appears to have chosen this ad option. Four items with different price ranges are included in the ad block found below its discussion of "Electronic Fire Pit," which does not mention any products.
- Native Recommendation Ads have restricted settings compared to the two other native ad types. However, it does give Amazon the freedom to display products depending on the content of your webpage as well as the site visitor or reader’s search behavior just before arriving at your site. This makes the content of the ad block unique at any given time for each individual.
This coffee brewing website published an article about its "top 5 picks" for coffee bean grinders. The ad block below the heading "Shop Related Products" also features grinders but none of them were part of the review.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Amazon's cost-per-click (CPC) auction and how does it work?
Like many e-commerce platforms, Amazon only charges you for each click your product listing receives based on its PPC model. Thus, actual CPC—or the amount you have to pay each time a shopper clicks on your ad—goes through an auction or bidding. Your bid is the highest amount you're willing to pay for a click on your ad.
To take part in the bidding, you need to choose between keyword targeting and product targeting. In keyword targeting, you bid for the search terms that you know your target audience is likely to type in their searches so that your ad will come out during those queries. On the other hand, you bid for product categories, product features, or even brand names—including your competitors! —in product targeting.
Amazon chooses and ranks which ads to display and the order in which they will appear. The seller who puts the highest bid on keywords or product categories that are most relevant to a shopper's query wins the auction. This means the winner's ad appears in their chosen placement, but the CPC isn't equivalent to the winner's bid amount. They only need to pay one cent more than their competitors. For instance, you bid $2 but your competitor bid $1, Amazon will ask you to pay $1.01 and not $2.
How much should I budget for each type of Amazon ad?
As part of your PPC management, it's best to be aware of the cost of each ad format. CPCs can range from $0.02 to $3 while the average cost is $0.35. But it can go beyond that and vary based on your chosen ad type, product category, and marketplace (demographic target). You can bid for sponsored product ads, brand ads, and display ads for as low as a few cents. Meanwhile, audio and video ads are the most expensive. Amazon pegs the minimum budget for audio ads at $35,000 as they're sold on a cost-per-thousand impressions basis. Such ads will also require coordinating with an Amazon Ads account executive.
The superstore also says that a budget of $10 daily will be enough to boost sales, but it will be wise to take the advice of seasoned marketers on Amazon marketing services. This includes calculating your average cost of sale or the amount you spend for production, overhead, and others to obtain leads when planning your PPC campaign.