Even as it chips away at Google's and Facebook's ad revenue, Amazon remains the fourth-largest digital advertising seller worldwide behind Google, Facebook and Alibaba -- explaining why Merkle on Tuesday released its second annual Amazon Ads Playbook.
This year’s 15-page report, The Amazon Advertising Flywheel Strategy Guide, details Amazon advertising’s effect and impact on vendors and sellers. It also examines the main components that comprise the flywheel, which analysts define as owned, paid, and earned media.
The guide details Amazon's product detail pages, brand registry and Amazon Stores, and provides strategies to increase brand visibility on Amazon with paid media.
Some of the more notable changes Amazon made to its advertising model last year came in paid media. They include a new campaign performance dashboard and API bidding capabilities for both Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands. Headline Search Ads were rebranded as Sponsored Brands, expanding the number of possible placements on the site, along with manual bidding options. The company also rolled out Portfolio budgeting that allows advertisers to create groups that run on one campaign under one budget.
The ability to showcase Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) became an option in the Amazon Store, Amazon owned-and-operated mobile app inventory now integrates into the self-service DSP, and five additional display Advertiser Audiences have been introduced.
Audience targeting is only available through Amazon display and video ads. Some of the audiences available include people who have viewed similar products on Amazon, people who have viewed any of a company's brand products, and lifestyle-related audiences (people who historically have shown interest in a given category, according to the guide).
Employing a paid-media strategy using display and search allows advertisers to drive customers to their owned media at every point through the Amazon purchase process. Merkle reports that one if its clients saw click traffic from a branded keyword rise 245% by running both programs concurrently.
The report suggests using a mix of higher-funnel display ads, such as video, and lower-funnel ads, such as ASIN retargeting, as a way to engage consumers at every point in the purchase process.