For years now, digital marketing experts have touted the unshakeable duopoly of Google and Facebook. Now, Amazon has gatecrashed the party with its digital advertising platform’s display and sponsored ads.
With Amazon’s $900B+ market capitalization, it’s hard to name what Amazon isn’t doing these days—content and streaming video, grocery delivery, smart home hardware, and home services are simply bullet points in its all-encompassing “eCommerce” label.
The breadth of its offering indicates that Amazon is a key focal point for consumers and marketers alike, having had a projected 50% lift in advertising spend in 2018 alone. Studies are also showing anywhere from 50-60% of product searches beginning on Amazon. And, when search queries begin on any eCommerce site, those are high-intent and generally high-converting searches.
Consider these other aspects of the Amazon ecosystem:
It’s no wonder, then, that many retail brands are eagerly optimizing their media mix to include Amazon. Just like when Facebook started boasting its 50 million daily active users in 2007, this is an important time in eCommerce and a huge opportunity for brands to get in front of this high-intent audience.
What makes Amazon’s Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands ads so great for seasoned biddable search media practitioners is that they both use keywords to target users. Because of this, you can bring over keyword learnings and your own skill set from other search platforms to get in front of a fresh and valuable new audience on Amazon.
However, since consumer behavior on Amazon and traditional engines differ, the way to drive maximum success is to stay aware of these differences when honing your keyword strategy—even if you don’t have years of pay-per-click experience under your belt.
The most fundamental difference with Amazon is that the majority of searches there are specific to a product (“sunscreen”) or brand (“Covergirl sunscreen”), and not informational (“should I be using sunscreen”), navigational (“drugstore”), or laden with superlatives or modifiers (“best sunscreens 2019”).
So, while “targeting relevant keywords” is a broad umbrella concept, breaking it down more granularly—and coupling this concept with the underlying mindset of Amazon searchers—will help brands achieve maximum return on their Amazon Advertising goals.
At Marin, we have a deep bench of Amazon tips to drive your success, but for starters you can try these three tactics to fine-tune your keyword strategy.
What this means: Target keywords of your competitor brands and products.
Play offense with your keywords, and target your competitor brands and products to capture users searching for the competition. Be strategic about how you bid on your competitors’ brand versus products. A product that’s in direct competition to yours is worth a higher bid, as opposed to an entire brand that has a number of out-of-category, non-competitive products.
What this means: Target your brand name and product name or some variation of it.
Safeguard your brand from competitors and retain loyalists. There’s a school of thought that says you can win brand terms for free through organic listings. However, dominating Amazon’s search results with your brand not only plays defense against your competitors who are likely bidding on your brand terms, but strengthens your brand with a ubiquitous presence.
What this means: See what works and run with it.
Use the remainder of your keywords to prospect and build your upper funnel. Target complementary product keywords and out-of-category keywords to grab users who are active in other, related purchase cycles.
Once you can start intelligently “targeting relevant keywords,” be vigilant about analyzing your data. Scale up your best performers while throttling back your low performers, but be mindful of external factors that could change your keyword performance over time—such as seasonality, the release of competing products, sales or promotions on other channels, or positive or negative PR.
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