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  • Sarah Scourfield

5 things to know about advertising on Amazon

In an age gone by, would be sellers could list their products on Amazon with little more than a few images, an accurate title and a product description and then just wait for the sales to roll on in. In case you are in doubt, I regret to inform you that those days are sadly long gone. Most major brands have a large presence on Amazon with dedicated resources focussed on protecting and growing market share. This trend has only been accelerated as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and so it requires all sellers to be even smarter when it comes to advertising, in order for their Amazon business to flourish. Simply put, without an effective PPC strategy, any Amazon venture is doomed to failure. Understand the 5 tips below and you might just be one of the winners!


1. Pay per click

Amazon charges people and businesses to advertise their products on Amazon. It does this by charging a fee each time a potential customer clicks on a sponsored ad. Importantly, Amazon does not charge if a customer clicks on an organic placement ie one that doesn’t have the sponsored mark alongside the image. It also means, unlike other forms of advertising off of Amazon, nothing is paid if a customer views the ad, but doesn’t click on it.


2. Bids are not an exact science

Amazon has a fixed number of advertising slots for each advertising type and in order to feature in these slots, an advertiser needs to have a combination of a higher bid and a higher relevancy versus the competition. You only however pay the bid of the advertiser who came second in the auction to you. This means that you may pay less than you have bid. It also means that you may need to bid higher than you would like to just to win the auction, but the actual cost may be in line with your budget. Advertisers therefore need to be flexible and regularly check in on bids to ensure target metrics are being met.


3. It’s not just about keywords and product targeting

Advertisers have the option to bid on either keywords or specific products in the majority of Amazon’s advertising placements. Amazon has also more recently launched audiences and categories, where an advertiser can target specific customers based on their interests and previous shopping behaviours, as well as targeting whole categories of products.


4. Exact, phrase and broad matches

With keyword targeting, an advertiser bids on specific keywords according to the match type. An exact match will kick in if a customer search term is exactly the same as the keyword being bid on, while a phrase match keeps the order the same but may be part of a larger phrase customer search term. Broad matches by contrast kick in when one or all of the words being bid on are used in the customer search term and can be in any order. A broad match can be modified to ensure that specific words being bid on must be included in the customer search term.


5. The gold standard

You know you’ve got a well structured advertising account when you have campaigns organised by advertising strategy eg category, defensive and competitor terms, as well as by advertised product and targeting type. You will also want to have separate campaigns targeting adjacent categories that you are trying to break into, since the advertising strategy will differ to the main category your product sits within, where the benefits of your product are better understood.


Setting up often 100+ campaigns to cover all of this is a stretch for most Amazon sellers and the maintenance of the campaigns verges on being impossible for many, where you will have many hundred targets within each campaign. This is where we at Unicorn Orange can step in and do the heavy lifting. We offer a variety of advertising packages to suit our clients needs and can create a bespoke plan with monthly targets, designed to hit your goals on Amazon. For more information, contact Ed Sweet (ads@unicornorange.com).