Are you making the most of Amazon’s advertising suite? Are you sure? Because amid global turmoil, a major stock market crash, and murder hornets, Amazon’s stock soared to record numbers on the way to 2021, and it has continued to update and evolve its advertising options in an effort to help brands capitalize on all of this new growth.
What does this mean for you? Well, just as Amazon has been ramping up, it’s time for advertisers to ramp up with them. If your brand relies on ecommerce, then Amazon Advertising should be a major part of your overall marketing strategy.
If it doesn’t, then giving Amazon Advertising a look is still worthwhile – because regardless of what you’re selling, and where you’re selling it, you want ads on Amazon and its dozen high profile acquisitions.
Sponsored Brands and Display
We don’t need to explain why branding matters on the Internet. Amazon is no exception and has even expanded its options for brands to further draw in audiences, create connections via live video, over-the-top (OTT), and creative display ads, and capitalize on the power of branding via pay-per-click brand ads.
These are sponsored brand appearances on related searches and items, so potential customers continuously see your brand name and logo as they search for items in your particular niche or industry. Clicking on a sponsored brand also funnels users into a customized sales experience, via your own brand page – complete with current offers, new arrivals, and categorized inventory.
New additions to the sponsored brands feature include video, brand stories, your very own Amazon Store, Amazon Posts, and Amazon OTT.
Then, there’s sponsored display. This is Amazon’s on- and off-site display ad function, allowing you to create campaigns on-the-fly.
Not sure where to start? You’re not alone. Amazon has been ramping up its advertising upgrades and features with the pandemic, leaving some retailers in the dust. If you’re new to testing your ad campaigns on Amazon, be sure to work with someone with prior experience.
Amazon Attribution is a new service in beta mode focused on providing ad campaign data and ad analysis for brands on Amazon, particularly regarding user behavior off-site via search, social media, video ads, display ads, and even email marketing.
The idea behind Amazon Attribution is to help marketers trace how each of these efforts directly translated into shopping activities and impressions on Amazon – so you can home in on what works, eliminate what doesn’t, and get fresh, data-driven ideas to optimize your ad investment on Amazon and elsewhere.
Amazon Live and Amazon OTT
Amazon launched over-the-top (OTT) video in 2019 and hasn’t slowed down with the investment in video ad functionality.
While display and audio ads still play an important role in your strategy – especially with Amazon owning both Prime Music and Audible – Amazon has been pushing video, in the light of how video ads have exploded in 2021. Today, about 80 percent of all internet traffic comes from watching streamed video.
Amazon Posts is another function in beta that attempts to introduce lifestyle-centered curated brand content to viewers and users browsing the platform. Basically, brands can now create Posts to promote individual products, or the brand itself, whenever users browse relevant categories.
Users that click through your Posts will be brought to your brand feed – and from there, they’ll click through to your product pages, and the eventual shopping cart. Or at least, that’s the idea. Amazon Posts is still in beta, and is currently only available on mobile (both through the Amazon app and the mobile web version of the platform).
Are You Making the Most of Amazon DSP?
Another one of Amazon’s critically important tools for both search marketers and ecommerce experts is Amazon’s demand-side platform (DSP).
You don’t need to be a brand on Amazon to use its DSP. Anyone can take advantage of Amazon DSP to start managing video, display, and audio ads to drive traffic back to their main site and make use of Amazon’s massive resources, including the Amazon network (which includes properties like IMDb, Twitch.tv, Audible, and more), and the platform’s over 2 billion visitors per month.
Making use of Amazon’s DSP is surprisingly easy. All you need to get started is an Amazon DSP account (separate from the Amazon Ad account you’re using for Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Display, and other Amazon Advertising options), and your ad assets.
The platform itself is straightforward, albeit a little simple. Don’t expect specific information on how well your CTA performed, or which CTA performed best. You will get information on impressions and performance but expect that data to trickle in over time as the ad gets going. Also note that ad assets may have to be adjusted for Amazon – don’t just reuse the same assets you’re running on Facebook. Amazon has its own guideline for ideal ad specs.
Amazon and eCommerce in 2021
After the ecommerce insanity that was 2020, it’s hard to confidently predict what the near future is going to look like for both Amazon and its alternatives/competitors.
Making sure your brand is performing well on the world’s largest and fastest growing marketplace is definitely an absolute must – as is ensuring that you’re also being optimal on other channels as well, whether it’s via your website, social networks, or organic traffic through Google. Don’t neglect ecommerce alternatives, whether on your own site or elsewhere – we all know how dangerous it is to put all of our eggs in one basket, even if it’s an incredibly profitable and convenient basket.
But as we continue to move towards a post-pandemic world, one thing seems clear: ecommerce growth shows no signs of slowing down, and it’s likely that people will continue to heavily incorporate online shopping into their day-to-day even as brick-and-mortar shops reopen.
Need help making heads or tails of Amazon’s ever-expanding suite of advertising options in 2021? Be sure to work with a partner that knows what they’re doing. You don’t need to take advantage of every single tool Amazon throws your way – but even a simple strategy takes understanding of how Amazon pushes and promotes products, mobilizes leads, and responds to off-site optimization.