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How to Drive Success with Sponsored Display and Amazon DSP Advertising

The advancement of eCommerce technology has allowed advertisers and brands to advertise on Amazon effectively. Among those ways are by advertising through Amazon Sponsored Display and Amazon DSP (Demand-Side Platform). Known for increasing brand visibility, these ad types have respective features that allow brands to stay on top of their game. 

While both ad types are known for driving more success to the brands that utilize them, Sponsored Display and Amazon DSP ads differ in terms of the ad solutions they can offer to advertisers looking to try different strategies on and off Amazon. 

How to Drive Success with Sponsored Display and Amazon DSP Advertising

The Differences Between Amazon Sponsored Display and Amazon DSP

To succeed in Amazon, not only should advertisers take advantage of what Amazon already offers within its eCommerce platform, but also the various platforms outside of it. These platforms include Fire TV, streaming services, Kindle, Amazon Live, and other related apps. While both ad types can be used on third-party platforms, Sponsored Display and DSP differ in several aspects, allowing advertisers to pick and choose the ad type features that fit their ad’s requirements the best.

To help you choose the right ad type, we’ve categorized their differences below:

  • Ad Placement and Traffic Generation

Both Sponsored Display and DSP help boost brand awareness and sales, however, they differ in terms of eligibility in ad placement. Sponsored Display ads can only exist within Amazon’s eCommerce platform, apps (in select marketplaces), and third-party websites. While this ad type can reach specific audiences on the platforms mentioned, it doesn’t allow traffic to be sent to external websites.

In contrast, Amazon DSP ads can exist both on Amazon as well as on and off Amazon’s Owned and Operated (O&O) websites (Amazon devices, IMDb, Woot, Shopbop, Digital Photography Review, Zappos, Goodreads, Twitch). Another feature of Amazon DSP is that it allows advertisers to send traffic to the brand’s Amazon listings or an external website not associated with Amazon. 

  • Brand Eligibility

To get started with Sponsored Display and Amazon DSP ads, your brand needs to be registered on Amazon. Through Amazon’s Brand Registry Program, not only will you be able to launch your own storefront, but it can also protect your brand from malicious actions. 

Once your brand registration is complete, you’ll enjoy several privileges such as having complete ownership of your products, trademarking your products (if your brand doesn’t have a registered trademark yet, Amazon’s IP Accelerator can help protect you with a pending trademark), establishing control over your product listings along with the information you provide for them, and having Amazon’s enhanced customer support. 

This way, other Amazon sellers can’t claim your products, create product listings using the details from your products’ listings, and earn all the profits you should have been reaping. 

  • Minimum Advertising Budgets

With a minimum spend of $1 and having all traffic contained within Amazon (specifically, to your Amazon listing), Sponsored Display ads make it easy for Amazon brands to start running ads on the platform without worrying about their budget. The lower budget requirement not only attracts more brands to try out Sponsored Display ads but also gives you more time to experiment with advertising strategies before committing to a larger ad spend.

The budget requirement for Amazon DSP ads is heavier compared to Sponsored Display as it offers not only more visibility but better features as well. These features include access to more detailed reports and insights into your audience. DSP’s self-service solution requires a minimum monthly spend of $10,000 while the other option, Amazon Managed Services for DSP, requires $35,000. The Amazon Managed Services DSP option brings in Amazon’s programmatic advertising buying experts. 

Is the Amazon DSP minimum spend currently out of your budget? Our experts at AMZ Pathfinder can help you get started on a budget of less than $10,000. Get in touch with us today!  

  • Cost Structure

The difference between Sponsored Display and Amazon DSP’s cost structure is quite simple. Sponsored Display uses a Pay Per Click (PPC) structure which is based off the average cost you’ll pay every time your ad is clicked on.  On the other hand, Amazon DSP uses a Cost Per Mille (CPM) structure which is the average cost you pay for every 1,000 impressions of your ads. 

  • Targeting Audiences

Depending on your strategies, each ad type has different offers that can fit your end goal. Sponsored Display ads give advertisers three targeting options to choose from: views remarketing, audience interests, and product targeting. While these targeting options vary, they are limited to their specific targets. 

Unlike Sponsored Display’s specified targets, Amazon DSP allows you to create custom audiences based on factors such as user activity data. By utilizing the data taken from your own customers, you’ll be able to create custom and well-targeted audience segments for your ad campaigns.

Using Amazon’s powerful first-party consumer data, Amazon can help you target specific audiences by giving you direct access to the information you need to launch your ads more efficiently. The information Amazon DSP provides come from its eCommerce platform’s shoppers who contribute to searches, social media activities, cookies and etc.

For Amazon DSP targeting, advertisers can target Amazon Audiences and Custom Audiences. Amazon Audiences include options for behavior, demographic, lifestyle, device, in-market, audience lookalike, and contextual targeting. For Custom Audiences, DSP gives you the option to reach advertiser audiences and to retarget or remarket. 

READ MORE: Here’s a deeper dive into Amazon DSP’s Targeting Capabilities

Amazon Sponsored Display

Dedicated to helping advertisers market their brand to customers browsing and shopping on and off Amazon, Sponsored Display is a self-service advertising solution for growing brands on Amazon. Another goal of Sponsored Display is to allow you to reach relevant audiences and drive them from discovery to purchase. 

It’s important to note that Sponsored Display ads are mostly “retail aware”, meaning your ad campaigns will automatically pause once your products go out of stock or if they’re no longer a Featured Offer. This retail-centric feature helps you gain control over your unique campaigns and to drive performance intuitively.

Below are some of the tried and tested best practices for Sponsored Display ad campaigns:

  • Product Selection: Include high-performing products and new products on Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands

Among the best ways to choose products for your ad campaigns would be to use products that have been advertised successfully in the past through Sponsored Brand and Sponsored Products campaigns. Another type of product that has a higher possibility of performing well on Sponsored Display is those that have generated good conversion and click-through rates (CTR) by way of Sponsored Ads Products.

Your brand’s newly-launched products are also good to include in your product targeting and audience campaigns. Even with low detail page views, ad campaigns for your new products can target complementary products as well as audiences who have viewed similar products like yours. Doing this will eventually drive impressions and traffic to your new product quicker. 

It’s also important to make sure your product listings are retail-ready before you include them on your Sponsored Display campaigns.  

  • Product Selection: Include products running on deals

If there’s anything that attracts Amazon shoppers quickly, it’s great deals and savings. Take advantage of this by including product offers on your Sponsored Display ads. Sponsored Display supports automated deals and savings badges which can help shoppers spot special offers. It’s common for deals to get up to a 42% increase in Sponsored Display ads, unlike the regular ads that aren’t associated with special offers. 

It’s best to advertise your special deals on big calendar events such as Christmas, Easter, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc.

  • Targeting: Target your own products

Many shoppers discover new products when they’re served ads during their visits to different product detail pages. Targeting your competitors’ products gives you a competitive advantage even when customers are looking through your competitor’s product detail page. However, you can also do the same thing with your products.

When it comes to product targeting, you don’t always have to target a competitor’s product to give your products more attention. Another strategy you can try is targeting your own products through Sponsored Display. Targeting your own products is also said to increase your ads’ CTR better than other campaigns that target other pages. Cross-selling is also a high possibility as having your other “frequently bought together” products on your product’s detail page can encourage your customer to become interested in purchasing more products from your brand.

  • Targeting: Target full categories

Sponsored Display also gives you the ability to target full categories using its category targeting options. Through this option, you can target a wide range of potential customers who have browsed or are currently browsing products in your brand’s category or related categories. 

On average, advertisers who utilize Sponsored Display audiences to get up to 82% in sales driven by new-to-brand customers. This is because the relevancy models of Sponsored Display give you the opportunity to reach out to new customers by allowing you to target entire categories and show your ads on the detail pages of relevant products.

  • Targeting: Explore all targeting options

The targeting options also vary for both ad types. Sponsored Display ads can target products, views remarketing, and audience interests. You can also target In-Market and Lifestyle audiences as well as retarget users who have viewed or purchased your product in the past. 

  • Monitoring: Regularly monitor your campaign performance

Like in any advertising platform, it’s important to keep monitoring your ad campaigns to make sure they’re performing as intended, nothing is a miss, and your budget is being regulated. Checking them regularly can help avoid running out of daily budget and missing out on any potential impressions. 

If you’re new to Sponsored Display, it’s recommended that you run your campaigns until you have enough traffic and sales insights collected. Once sufficient campaign metrics have been gathered, you can review them in Campaign Manager to make informed conclusions before deciding on your next steps for optimization.

  • Monitoring: Audit and measure your campaign’s performance based on your campaign goals

Another monitoring task you need to be on top of is your ad campaign’s performance. Before any ad campaign is launched, a goal or objective for the campaign is always determined. By checking, auditing, and measuring your campaign metrics, you’ll be able to measure your ad campaign performance with the goals you want to achieve. Doing this will help you create a benchmark for your Sponsored Display performance which you can compare with your goals and objectives.

READ MORE: So you want to get started with Amazon Sponsored Display?

Amazon DSP 

Unlike the rest of the ad types on Amazon, Amazon DSP can be overwhelming when you look around the first time. Not only that, but Amazon DSP also has its own terminologies, platform, formats, etc. While it may take time to learn how to get around the DSP platform, mastering it is rewarding and worthwhile. In case you get lost, there’s always the DSP Help Center and our comprehensive collection of Amazon DSP content to help you.

To help maximize your Amazon DSP performance, here are some best practices you can try on your next Amazon DSP campaign:

  • Creatives: Make your brand creatives recognizable

Your brand creatives are not only important to your Amazon Store but for your ads as well. Having brand creatives that represent your brand well, is legible, and is compliant with Amazon’s creative guidelines are just some of the ways you can become recognizable on Amazon. 

We’ve also created a detailed blog to help you get started on using eCommerce creatives for your Amazon DSP strategy!

  • Creatives: Highlight Customer Reviews and Ratings

No matter how great your branding is and how wonderful your Amazon product creatives are, Amazon shoppers will still rely on your product’s reviews for their purchase. In fact, 73% of buyers say that what encourages them to trust a brand and purchase from them depends on the business’ positive customer reviews. Amazon has made it its duty to help customers make informed decisions by making sure the reviews on the products listed on their website are legitimate and from verified purchases. 

Looking to level up your brand’s trustworthiness? Here’s how to get more reviews on Amazon!

  • Audiences: Take advantage of Audience Insights

Audience Insights, a dashboard available in Amazon DSP, helps you determine whether an audience for your brand is relevant and shows you the type of reach you can potentially achieve with that audience. The insights it offers include information about demographic trends, brand engagement, and temporal trends. This information allows you to understand your audience’s activities such as when and how they shop, making it easier to create retargeting campaigns that cater to specific audiences.

  • Audiences: Exclude Specific Audiences

Amazon DSP allows you to exclude specific audiences that don’t fit in your scope of audiences to target. By eliminating the audiences you don’t want to target, you can focus on targeting new customers who fit your target requirements. Doing this will, prevent redundancy, eliminate wasted ad spend, and allow you to include highly relevant audiences thanks to the overlap report.

  • Optimization: Adjust your Frequency Cap

When your ad impressions are low, you need to consider adjusting the frequency with which the ads are served. Frequency capping, or impression capping, is useful for limiting the number of times your ad is shown to individual customers as showing them at a high frequency can make your ad look less appealing. Once a customer is shown an individual ad, their inclination to click or engage with your ad will lessen, making it imperative to limit the frequency instead. 

You can also optimize bids, audiences, and sources to make sure your ads remain relevant and interesting to your target audience.

  • Optimization: Don’t overdo optimizations during the monitoring period

When it comes to optimizing your DSP ad campaigns, it’s important to set a period in which you’ll let the campaign run before making the decision to optimize them. It’s recommended to set at least 7-10 days or 2-3 weeks for performance monitoring. Waiting is necessary in order for Amazon DSP’s algorithm to have enough time to learn any changes from the optimizations you’ve implemented. Over time, you will be able to set a routine for optimizing your existing campaigns based on previous insights.

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