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Advertising with Amazon Marketing Services

5 MINUTE READ | October 18, 2017

Advertising with Amazon Marketing Services

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Abby Long

Abby is PMG’s senior managing editor, where she leads the company’s editorial program and manages the PMG Blog and Insights Hub. As a writer, editor, and marketing communications strategist with nearly a decade of experience, Abby's work in showcasing PMG’s unique expertise through POVs, research reports, and thought leadership regularly informs business strategy and media investments for some of the most iconic brands in the world. Named among the AAF Dallas 32 Under 32, her expertise in advertising, media strategy, and consumer trends has been featured in Ad Age, Business Insider, and Digiday.

Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of our Amazon Series, along with Part 2 – Strategies for Advertising with Amazon and Part 3 – Strategies for Amazon Advertising

Valued at $430 billion and with over 300 million active users with an estimated 80 million American Amazon Prime members, it’s no secret that Amazon is the e-commerce giant; a key player every brand wants in their Holiday playbook. As Digiday shared a few weeks ago, Amazon has been ramping up their advertising business by adding a Manhattan office to support New York media agencies and brands, and recently extended its self-serve programmatic offerings so ads can be bought through Amazon Media Group.

It’s obvious that Amazon has advertising on the brain, so we’re taking the time to dive into their advertising solutions, their competitors, and so much more in a three-part series. First, we’ve explored how brands can advertise with Amazon to drive sales, boost awareness and help consumers along their customer journey.

Amazon’s first-party data reflects every stage of the consumer journey on and off the Amazon ecosystem for millions of shoppers, from awareness to advocacy, through the use of remarketing pixels and advanced targeting segments.

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There are three product search and display advertising opportunities provided by Amazon Marketing Services for your brand to take advantage of:

Along with these three ad buckets, Amazon also offers video advertising, device-based advertising, and ads designed for its entertainment streaming service. A custom advertising feature that can include a full homepage takeover of or Amazon boxes as ad inventory for brands is available as well.

Amazon uses a variety of targeting segments to reach specific shoppers including:

  • Behavioral Targeting – based on historical search, browsing and purchase history

  • Demographic and Geographic Targeting – based on age/gender, location, income level, and time of day

  • Lookalike – pixel-based, used to extend campaign reach, anonymous customer match

  • Contextual Targeting – based on the detail page a consumer is actively viewing

Sponsored Products are keyword-targeted ads that use a cost-per-click, auction-based pricing model that can begin with a low daily budget. These ads typically appear within search results on and below the fold on product detail pages. Since they are similar to Google Shopping Network Ads, Sponsored Product Ads can help to drive Amazon searchers right to the specific products you’re selling through keyword targeting.

Amazon recommends that advertisers:

  • Target keywords relevant to the products you are advertising.

  • Use keyword suggestions then optimize future campaigns based on performance.

  • Refer to the category bidding guide to set your bid.

Headline Search Ads are keyword targeted ads with a custom text headline displayed as a headline banner ad that uses a cost-per-click, auction-based pricing model that can begin with a low daily budget. These ads typically appear above search results on and use keyword targeting to target shoppers and can be scheduled to run up to four months in advance.


Amazon recommends that advertisers:

  • Target keyword relevant to the products on your ad’s page.

  • Use phrase match to maximize the impressions for your ads.

  • Create engaging headlines to encourage shoppers to click your ad.

Product Display Ads by Amazon are product or interest targeted ads with a custom text headline that uses a cost-per-click, auction-based pricing model that can begin with a low daily budget. These ads typically appear on related product detail pages, below the fold on search results pages and offer listing and customer review pages.

Display ads by Amazon offer two ways to target shoppers: product-targeting and interest-based targeting. These advertisements drive shoppers to the product’s detail page with the ads appearing to the right or at the bottom of the search results, on the customer reviews page, at the top of the offer listings page and in the Amazon marketing emails.

To target product detail pages that shoppers may be visiting to purchase your products on, product-targeting display ads help to target specific products or related product categories. To reach a broader audience, Amazon lets advertisers utilize display ads for interest-based targeting that allow advertisers to select shopper interest categories when setting up their display ad.


Amazon recommends that advertisers:

  • Advertise products with good customer reviews or A+ detail page content.

  • Keep the box checked to expand targeting to other related products to increase impression volume.

  • Preview your ads to confirm the logo is clear and legible.

Since Amazon’s advertising solutions operate on a cost-per-click, auction-based pricing model, it’s important that you plan out ahead of time. To do this, it’s recommended to use clear headlines that keep the promotional copy actionable and specific that’s approved by your internal teams ahead of time. By setting up your product detail pages with high-rated products, high-quality images, and the correct information, your campaign is better optimized for success. Especially since 91% of shoppers would not consider purchasing a product that received fewer than three stars.

Another recommendation is to bid manually and carefully monitor your budgets to ensure you don’t run out mid-campaign and to check up on the live campaigns at least once a week to evaluate performance and measure against your KPIs. While each of these provide different advertising opportunities for your brand, Amazon recommends that you can maximize your impact by using all three ad products together.

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For more strategies, keep an eye out for another post about Amazon Services that’s coming soon.

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