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Everything you need to know about Amazon Sponsored Display

Kennedell Amoo-Gottfried
March 24, 2022
September 16, 2022
Everything you need to know about Amazon Sponsored Display

It’s often said that to see where things are going you should also see where things have been, and the same is obviously true for marketing.

Amazon’s Sponsored Display ads allows you as a vendor to have your products shown to consumers that previously viewed them, or similar products sold by competitors or in similar categories, bought other things from you or searched relevant keywords.

Unlike Amazon’s Sponsored Product or Sponsored Brands ads, both of which use keywords - typically of your own choosing - to target the ads, Sponsored Displays will use audience demographics Amazon already has and target customers automatically based on their shopping patterns. 

They will typically show up on product detail pages, the top of offer listing pages, under the right sidebar’s buying options, and on customer review pages.

One of the main advantages is that, unlike Products or Brands, Display lets you venture outside Amazon itself and place your ad across third-party sites, while still ensuring it is put next to relevant content and driving traffic to your product.

But if you’re already using other ads like Sponsored Products or Sponsored Brands, is it really worth it to get Sponsored Display on top of it? Yes, while it is the least effective of the three, it is definitely worth devoting at least a bit of budget - more than 5% but probably less than 20% - to experimenting with Display ads and seeing where it takes you.

Why should I use it? 

Let’s face it, if you’re just getting started out selling on Amazon, Display is not your first port of call. You’re going to want to first build a solid foundation through Sponsored Products and Brands.

But, if more exposure for retail-ready products is what you want, Sponsored Display is a great way to do it. Sure, Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands lets you have more control over the targeting, but the flip side is that you will be able to reach customers you had not thought of targeting, but who will still be susceptible to the marketing because they already looked for it before! The advantage is clear. 

You will be able to drive more traffic to your products and capture more of the attention at the upper levels of the conversion funnel. 

A potential downside is that while Sponsored Products and Sponsored Ads show up on the search engine results page, Sponsored Display does not, meaning that it will have a lower conversion rate than its cousin ad programs. This also means, however, that it is likely to be less competitive and have a smaller impact on your overall spend.  

The primary advantages of throwing Display in your ad toolkit are that, as a remarketing, it will increase awareness that already exists for your brand within the segment, strengthening its presence in the mind of the customer. It will also, of course, drive traffic to your products, including by placing your best products directly into your competitors’ listings.  

How do I do it?

The process of actually setting up a Sponsored Display campaign is quite simple: 

  • From your Campaign Manager, select Create Campaign.
  • Of the resulting selection, which will include Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, select Sponsored Display.
  • Choose which ASIN you want to base the campaign on and set up a CPC bid for it - the minimum is $.02 per click.
  • Choose a name, duration and budget for the campaign - keep in mind that the minimum daily budget is $1 and that the recommended running time is around a month in order to get an accurate idea of its effectiveness.
  • Preview and submit the ad.

Just because you don’t get as much control over your targeting with Display doesn’t mean you don’t have any. Amazon will give you three main choices: 

  • Views remarketing: This one let’s you go after shoppers that have seen your products over the past month but have not bought anything from you, serving as an effective tool to re-engage with them. This will have the largest audience and it is advisable to use it as a first step before going on to the rest.
  • Searches remarketing: Let’s you target people who have searched for keywords related to your product but who have not necessarily seen your product. Unlike other target audiences, this one will be based on a cost per thousand impressions rather than cost per click. 
  • Purchases remarketing: Let’s you target those that have already bought from you in the past. Like with Searches remarketing, it is based on a cost per thousand views model. Unlike the others, which reach a wider audience but are more geared towards increasing exposure, this one will reach the smallest audience and is more aimed at developing the lifetime value of a customer.

In addition to audiences, you will also be able to target product pages and categories, which will be helpful if you’re trying to sell complementary products.

If you’ve only got a few products on sale, it would make sense to put them all on a single campaign. If you have many products, however, keep in mind that they will have the same bid, so don’t put too many products that have large differences in their conversion rates.

Amazon will also give you a helping hand in estimating on how many impressions you would likely get for a given target based on the bid you submit.

In the end, Display is  - by itself - less effective than Products or Brands, but using them in combination will result in a multiplying effect that will go a long way towards maximizing impressions.

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