Amazon attracts over 180 million U.S. visitors monthly – all or most with shopping on their mind. It is no surprise that firms like Unilever and Procter & Gamble see it as the next consumer battleground.
While this might seem intimidating to most small or medium-sized business selling on Amazon, Amazon Marketing Services (aka Amazon ads or Amazon advertising) offers your brands a chance to compete with the more prominent brands for a spot on the search results page.
But what are AMS Ads?
The service launched in 2012 to most businesses and brands based out of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. AMS helps sellers find more buyers and advertise their products more efficiently.
Vendors can use the various tools available on the AMS to design and launch a product or interest-targeted ads that display when their potential customers search for keywords and related products.
It also uses shoppers' interests to serve ads to consumers. They can also register and access the self-service platform for free; payment occurs once potential customers click on their advertisements.
You can manage your campaigns by yourself, or use a third-party campaign management service if you are a beginner, it is usually best to start small and manage by yourself.
How Much Do Amazon Marketing Services Cost?
For any self-publisher or vendor, registering and setting up your Amazon Marketing Services account is free. However, deciding on a marketing budget is where it starts to get tricky, especially for first -time self-publishers on Amazon.
Amazon's search engine aims at helping products achieve higher search rankings. This means it can be difficult for new products to show up at the top of Amazon's search results without spending extensively.
It is essential to mention that creating optimized and keyword-friendly content can go a long way to increase your chance of being discovered by your potential readers. But you have to invest in Amazon Ads if you plan on boosting the discoverability of your book(s).
An aggressive ad campaign that includes product photography, product copywriting, product optimization, and advertising can cost you between $5000 to $60,000 monthly. Your budget, however, depends on your goals, budget, and your product category.
Some categories are highly competitive, and bidding can be pricey. To win in such groups, you have to ensure you get the mix of relevant keywords and ad spends right, or else you'll keep on increasing your marketing spend with no corresponding increase in sales.
The minimum spends for any campaign is $100 on an all-time campaign budget and $1 for a daily budget. AMS will only charge you for the cost of clicks your ad received but never more than your budgeted spend.
It is recommended you start with a $10 daily budget, especially if you aren't fully conversant with the AMS platform.
That way, you can closely monitor and optimize the performance of your campaigns without losing too much money as most beginners do – due to poorly optimized ad campaigns with massive spending.
Only Pay for Results
The Amazon Marketing Services platform uses a cost-per-click (CPC) model. You would need to choose the maximum amount you are willing to spend for each click and when you enter a bidding process with other self-publishers.
The good thing is no matter how competitive the bidding is, you only pay once someone clicks on your ads. The CPC pricing model means you have greater control over your ad spend. The minimum cost per click is $0.10, but you can decide to spend more depending on your budget.
The Amazon Marketing Services platform also allows you to monitor your key performance indicators, and optimize where and if necessary. When compared to other platforms such as Bing, Google, and Facebook, Amazon Ads is more cost-effective on a cost-per-click basis.
Based on commercial intent, AMS ad campaigns are also more effective – as most buyers who engage with ads on Amazon have a high purchase intent.
It is easy to get carried away with all the other elements of the marketing campaign, such as copywriting and photography. But the essential part of the ad campaigns is conversions.
This is where Amazon is heads above most other platforms. You only pay for the results gotten – nothing more, nothing less.
Choose How Your Ads Are Seen on Amazon
There are three types of Amazon ads you can run on the Amazon Marketing Services platform.
Sponsored Product Ads
Sponsored Product Ads are Amazon's version of the ads you come across on the Google Shopping Network. These ads are usually content-driven (automatic) or keyword-driven (manual) targeted ads that appear on the right side of the top/bottom of the Amazon search engine result page.
They give you more control over product visibility and merchandising when selling on Amazon. Your product(s) appear once consumers search using the specific keywords you bid for with your ads.
They are called the middle of the funnel ads because they show up in locations where the consumer is comparing different options of a product before purchase. You also only pay once someone clicks on your ad and is directed to the product detail page where your offer is listed.
They are particularly popular with self-publishers and third-party sellers because they are easy to create, and your ads get approved within an hour of creating them.
You can also choose from either broad match keywords (include the keywords after, in-between, and before), exact match keywords (use the correct keywords you are bidding for) or phrase match keywords ( include the keywords before or after).
Product Display Ads
Product Display Ads appear on the right-hand side of the product page. You can usually spot them just below the “Buy” button and shipping information form. While they look similar to the Sponsored ads, they are focused on brands rather than an individual product.
These ads are usually the more dynamic of the three ad types. You can add a headline, featured images, and your logo to make it more compelling.
With this ad type, you can target consumers either via product targeting or interest-based targeting. However, you can't use both targeting types for the same campaign; each of your campaigns is limited to either product targeting or interest-based targeting.
Buyers are directed to the page that contains the product details with this ad type. It is also priced using the cost-per-click pricing model. Unlike the Sponsored Product Ads, you can't use keywords – based targeting when you set up a campaign of this nature.
Product-based targeting allows you chose which pages your ads will appear on. You can use the Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) or related product pages as the criteria for where your ad will appear.
These factors help you appear on competitors' pages or product pages that are costlier than yours. You can use keywords, ASINs, and the Universal Product Code (UPC) to ensure your product display ads deliver their dollar's worth.
Interest-based targeting allows you to select relevant shopper interests. These interests define where and when your ads appear.
Product display ads can appear across the mobile web, desktop, and the Amazon mobile app. They also appear on the customer reviews page, Amazon recommendation and follow-up emails, the bottom of the search results page, and the right side of the page.
Headline Search Ads
Headline Search Ads are the ads that appear on-top the search results page (above sponsored product ads). They can include custom copy and a featured product image. You can also link to your personalized brand's landing page, which could consist of your product images, information, and links.
AMS is quite flexible with the keyword match types you can use when setting up your Headline Search Ad. The Headline Search Ads only allow you to use the phrase match keyword type ( include the keywords before or after) and exact match keywords (use the correct keywords you are bidding for).
These keywords can also be used to promote three or more products together.
Choose Where Your Ads Are Seen
Depending on which of the ad types you set up for your campaign, your ads can appear across a variety of media channels. They can appear on your Amazon desktop website, tablet, mobile devices, and even on external sites.
With Product Display Ads, your campaigns can appear on the various Amazon-owned and operated sites, apps, and devices. It will also appear on third party sites that are part of the Amazon Ads Network.
Headline Search Ad and Sponsored Product Ad campaigns appear on the Amazon search result pages and product pages. These ads lead potential buyers to a specified page on Amazon.
A Powerful Addition to Product Detail Content
Experienced self-publishers understand that while spending time wisely on AMS ads is essential, getting your keywords right is also critical to winning the battle for the first page of the Amazon search results page.
A well-primed organic search strategy is a relevant tool in your marketing toolbox. The combination of well-written and properly optimized content and an AMS ad campaign is highly effective at delivering on your sales goals for your book.
Tools such as Publisher Rocket (formerly known as KDP Rocket), created by Kindlepreneur, ensure that your keywords, ad messaging, and product messaging sync. We covered Rocket's AMS keyword research feature and more in our Publisher Rocket review.
This helps you deliver a marketing message that is coherent and single-minded. Achieving this level of single-mindedness with your messaging also rubs off on your brand identity, providing your potential buyers with the confidence to choose your product from the plethora of ads being served by your competing sellers.
Getting this detail right is essential to getting the desired results with your ad campaigns. You also need to ensure your ad copy and keywords are specific, compelling, and urgent.
These help you stand out among the crowded search results on Amazon. Specificity also helps you put in the critical information your buyers are looking out for in your ads.
If you are selling on Amazon, you definitely should advertise on Amazon with AMS ads. It is an excellent platform for product-focused businesses like yours.
Amazon ads not only give your book the opportunity for more eyeballs and possibly more buyers, but it also improves your organic rankings on Amazon. Your sales history and customer reviews are significant factors in achieving improved organic rankings.
For any discerning self-publisher, it honestly can't get any better. You need to ensure you use the right visuals, compelling and precise copy, and the right keywords. Following these ground rules enables you to get the best out of your book campaigns on Amazon.
Are you ready to get your book off the ground with Amazon ads?