Sponsored Products campaigns appearing off Amazon.

Sponsored Products Campaigns Appear Off Amazon

Ryan Faist

Ryan Faist, Channel Key

September 1, 2023

This blog was updated on March 12, 2024.

Did you know that Sponsored Products reach customers beyond Amazon shopping results? In August 2023, Amazon announced that brands can use Sponsored Products to target shoppers on certain premium apps and websites, including Pinterest, BuzzFeed, Hearst Newspapers, Raptive, and Ziff Davis brands like Lifehacker and Mashable. Amazon did not disclose the full list of apps and websites where Sponsored Products can appear. However, it stated that the expansion would begin small and grow over time.

Brands using Sponsored Products did not need to take any action to appear on these sites or apps. Sponsored Products ads automatically show up when Amazon determines a customer is likely to be interested in your product, based on relevant page context, the campaign, and cost-per-click parameters that you have already established. Campaign reporting is available in the Sponsored Products placement report.

“Sponsored Products has always been about helping customers discover products they may love,” said Colleen Aubrey, Senior Vice President of Amazon Ads Products and Technology, in a press release. “We’ve been building and evolving Sponsored Products in our store for more than 10 years, leveraging advanced machine learning algorithms to show advertising that’s highly relevant for customers, and therefore highly effective for the advertisers that choose to use it. We are excited to now apply what we’ve learned about connecting customers and products in meaningful ways to a range of great websites and apps.”

Sponsored Products 101

Sponsored Products are one of Amazon’s most popular and effective advertising levers to help brands reach customers. According to CNBC, Sponsored Products account for about 73% of most retailers’ Amazon ad spend. These cost-per-click ads promote individual product listings by appearing where customers will see them, such as the first page of shopping results.

Sponsored Products allow advertisers to choose their budget, bids, and targeting parameters. This helps brands of any size reach a wide variety of goals, including generating awareness of a new product, promoting seasonal items, clearing excess inventory, or showcasing best-selling items. Sponsored Products are available for professional sellers, vendors, book vendors, Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) authors, and agencies. Products must be in one or more eligible categories and be eligible for the Featured Offer to utilize Sponsored Products. This type of Amazon ad helps brands achieve the following objectives:

  • Gain visibility
    Ads appear right where customers will see them on Amazon, such as the first page of shopping results and product pages, to help shoppers discover your products.
  • Increase sales with relevant ads
    Sponsored Products can help you grow your sales on Amazon by reaching customers who are browsing for products like yours and directing them to your product page.
  • Control costs with CPC ads
    You pay only when customers click your ads. You control how much you spend by setting your budget and choosing how much to bid per click.
  • Measure advertising success
    Track a variety of sales and performance metrics that allow you to measure the direct impact of advertising on your business on Amazon and optimize your campaigns.

How Advertisers Can Use Sponsored Products

Sponsored Products are often the first ad solution that brands utilize when building their presence on Amazon. The ad creative is automatically generated for you. With automatic targeting, Amazon will match your ads to shopping queries and products. This means you can create and launch a campaign in just a few minutes. You can even advertise in countries where you don’t speak the language, since automatic targeting selects shopping queries for you.

No matter your level of advertising experience, Sponsored Products can help increase the visibility of your products on Amazon. These ads reach customers as they shop and feature familiar elements to the Amazon shopping experience, like star ratings, product images, and the Amazon Prime badge.

Since you can choose your own budget, bids, and targeting, brands of any size can use Sponsored Products to reach a variety of goals. To get started, just follow these steps:

  • Pick Your Product(s)
    Help create demand for new items or give your bestsellers an extra lift. Choose similar products to advertise in your campaign, and make sure they’re priced competitively enough to win the Buy Box.
  • Give Your Campaign a Name
    Keep it straightforward so you can easily find it later.
  • Set the Budget You Want
    Just $10 a day can help you get clicks and sales.
  • Choose Your Duration
    Amazon recommends running campaigns for at least 8 weeks to generate accurate data.
  • Select Your Targeting Type
    You can configure your targeting manually or let Amazon do the work. With automatic targeting, Amazon will target keywords and products similar to the one in your ad. Enter one bid, and you’re done.

Sponsored Products Keyword and Product Targeting

Your ad can serve impressions in a variety of scenarios that are determined by two types of targeting: keywords and products. These options vary depending on the advertising campaign type you’re using. For example, keyword targeting is available for Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands campaigns. Product targeting is available for Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Display campaigns.

  • Keyword Targeting
    Keyword targeting allows you to choose keywords to show your products in customer searches and detail pages. Use this strategy when you know the search terms that shoppers use to search products like yours. For example, if your product is a phone case, you may choose the keyword “phone case.” When a shopper searches for a product with the search term “phone case,” your ad is eligible to show in search results and detail pages.
  • Product Targeting
    Product targeting allows you to choose specific products, categories, brands, or other product features that are relevant to the product in your ad. Use this strategy to help shoppers discover your product when browsing detail pages and categories, or for Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, when searching products on Amazon. You can target categories and products individually or target a combination of categories and brands in the same campaign.

Amazon provides targeting recommendations under the “Suggested” tab in the Product targeting section. To prevent unwanted impressions, you can specify a negative list of brands and ASINs that the ad will not be matched to. For example, if the product in your ad is a “Brand A” shoe for women, you can choose to target the category “women’s running shoes” for all search results and detail pages relevant to this category. You can also choose to target the brand “Brand B” because it’s a brand similar to “Brand A,” or you can target price points, star reviews, or variations of similar products.

Sponsored Products Automatic and Manual Targeting

Targeting uses keywords and products to show your ads on search and detail pages to relevant shoppers. For Sponsored Products campaigns, you can create two types of targeting: automatic and manual.

  • Automatic Targeting
    With automatic targeting, Amazon will match your ad with keywords and products that are similar to the product in your ad. Amazon chooses keywords and product matches based on shopper searches related to your product information. Automatic targeting allows you to create a campaign easily and quickly. After your campaign has been running, you can view its performance in your campaign manager to monitor impressions and clicks to your ad and modify the targeting to meet your business goals.
  • Manual Targeting
    For more advance advertisers with targeting experience, manual targeting helps you specifically target keywords and products. You can choose different match types for keywords and choose categories, products, brands, or features related to your product.

Channel Key Takeaway

Sponsored Products are the most widely used ad solution on Amazon. When launching Sponsored Products for a new ASIN, Channel Key recommends setting up a “test” campaign with a small budget and automatic targeting. After your campaign runs for a week or two, you will see which keywords triggered the most clicks and sales. You can use this information to create your actual campaign with manual targeting, negative keywords, and a higher budget. However you create your Sponsored Products campaigns, always remember that a strong Amazon marketing strategy involves a strategic combination of multiple advertising levers, including Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Display, and Amazon DSP.

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