Definitive Guide: Sponsored Display Ad Types (2021 Update)

By Joe Rideout on June 1, 2021

Sponsored Display (SD) is Amazon's self-service display advertising solution. With no minimum budget and a PPC model for bids, SD is designed to make display ads accessible to anyone who sells on Amazon.

Amazon has been adding so much under the Sponsored Display umbrella recently we thought it would be good to put together a definitive guide of each of the ad types that fall under SD and what regions and advertiser types that can access them.

Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 9.00.42 AM.png

Product Targeting

The product targeting tactic, also referred to as contextual targeting or enhanced product targeting, is now available to all sellers and vendors in most regions Amazon Advertising operates in (see above). If you sell in these marketplaces and are using Perpetua, you can launch sponsored display ads with product targeting directly in app. Perpetua's ad engine will automatically harvest high-performing product targets from existing Sponsored Product campaigns and automatically set bids based on past performance to optimize for future sales.

Amazon is touting this tactic as the most-assured way to have ads appear above the fold on the product detail page, and our results are consistent with this claim. Our data shows that 42% of Sponsored Product Ad spend is allocated to product pages, and 30% of total sales occur on these placements. SD product targeting campaigns also support customizing the ad creative with a logo and a 50 character headline.

image (33).png

SD Product Targeting campaigns allow you to target either individual ASINs or categories in a single campaign, with a custom CPC bid set for each target. Categories can be further refined by brand, price range, star rating and shipping types.

Screen_Shot_2020-09-01_at_2.55.35_PM.png

Screen_Shot_2020-09-01_at_2.55.46_PM.png

Considered manual targeting campaigns, these provide a high degree of control over which product pages are targeted and what the advertiser is willing to pay for clicks on each.

Who should be using it?

Every advertiser with brand registry should be leveraging Sponsored Display Product Targeting. If you're not leveraging this valuable inventory, your competitors are.

Audiences

Amazon now has several audience-based targeting types within SD: views remarketing & Amazon audiences, searches and purchases (searches and purchases still in closed beta). Although Views remarketing and Amazon audiences can be in the same campaign, we view them as being two distinct types of targeting.

Untitled.png

Views Remarketing

At a first glance it's easy to assume that Views Remarketing will only target shoppers who previously viewed your product detail page (all that was previously available through Views), but it now has a lot more to offer.

There are now 3 types of targets:

  1. Advertised products

  2. Similar to advertised products

  3. Categories (with options to refine)

With a single bid for each target, these campaigns remarket to customers on and off Amazon that viewed the details pages of the targeted segment within the last 30 days but haven't purchased. Little control is provided over where these ads are shown and the audience is based solely on the advertised ASINs.

If you have a flexible budget, we encourage you to activate this tactic right away. We also encourage you to test this audience if you have a product with a higher price point and and a longer consideration period, as retargeting allows you to remain top of mind for the shopper along their purchasing journey.

Amazon Audiences

Amazon's newest Sponsored Display tactic in Amazon Audiences - targeting that will look very similar to you if you are familiar with the Amazon DSP. There are 4 types of Audiences:

Lifystyle

  • e.g. Frustration Free Packaging Shoppers, Early Adopters

Interests

  • e.g. Book enthusiasts, Premium Candy & Chocolate shoppers

Life events

  • e.g. New Parent, Getting Married

In-market

  • e.g. Women's Swimwear Bottoms, Drill Bits

These audiences can be great for building brand awareness as a top of funnel marketing tactic. Since there are so many options, we recommend starting with many targets, and then seeing what works for your products. Important to remember that top of funnel tactics should not be measured by ACOS - instead we recommend measuring success with CPC - the cost you pay to make a shopper view your product detail page.

You may be wondering why use Amazon DSP if you have access to these audiences, but there are a few features still limited to Amazon DSP:

  • Exclusions of recent viewers/purchasers to ensure you are keeping this as a top of funnel segment

  • Full creative customization

  • Access to 3rd party audiences

For the above reasons, we still think that Amazon DSP is the optimal ad unit for these top of funnel strategies. However as there are barriers to getting started on the DSP, these are still a great option for advertisers.

Searches / Purchases

These tactics are currently available to a limited set of US sellers in closed beta. Like with Views, these audiences are based off of shopper behavior around the advertised products and cannot be customized. Unlike every other SD tactic, these two audiences both have an impression-based CPM bid rather than a CPC bid.

Searches

The searches audience allows you to reach customers on and off Amazon that searched for keywords relevant to your advertised products.

Purchases

The purchases audience allows you to reach customers on and off Amazon that previously purchased your advertised products. This tactic is especially effective for products that are consumable - for example pepper - that are likely to require repeat purchases. Additionally, you can use this product to upsell complementary products — like a pepper grinder.

Where to start with Amazon Sponsored Display Ads

Staying on top of each new SD ad and targeting type as they become available can be a daunting task. At the same time, new ad types often have early-mover advantages since not all advertisers are quick to adopt them.

If you want to learn more or if we can help support your full funnel advertising strategy in any way, reach out to us at hello@perpetua.io and we would be happy to present you with our recommendations.