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E-Commerce for Brands

Deciphering Amazon Ads

Understand Amazon Ads and How to Rock Them in 2022

Destaney Wishon, the CEO, and co-founder of BetterAMS, joined the show E-Commerce with Coffee?! to talk about Amazon ads. Listen to the interview and you’ll hear Destaney deliver a didactic view of what’s new on Amazon and how brands can set ads up for success.

The interview starts with a quick look at how Destaney came to co-found an Amazon ad business. Amazon ads were launched in 2012, which is hardly long ago at all. So, how does someone like Destaney find herself opening an Amazon ad agency?

For starters, Destaney is from Rogers, Arkansas, known as the hometown of Wal-Mart. “I was always surrounded by vendors,” she describes. The commercial environment in Rogers is a unique one, and Destaney regularly met remarkable people and learned about equally remarkable opportunities. Listen to the podcast for the full story.

Today, with Destaney’s deep knowledge in Amazon ads from her work at BetterAMS for the last four years, her insights include technical tips as well as a bigger look at the industry and how it’s changed (and how it’s changing again). Shifts are coming fast, she says, and it’s podcasts like this episode of E-Commerce with Coffee?! that can make the difference to keep brands ahead of the curve.

Keep reading to see what Destaney had to say!

Understanding Amazon Ads

To understand any type of Amazon ad, it’s important to appreciate the differences between advertising on Amazon versus Facebook or Google.

“If you don’t have a converting listing [for your Amazon ad],” Destaney says, “your ad won’t work.”

This might seem self-evident, but when compared to Facebook and Google ads that point to squeeze pages (with the purpose of starting someone in a content marketing funnel), Amazon ads are directed instead at warm buyers with the intent to close that sale.

Sponsored ads are another point of interest in Amazon ads today, and Destaney outlines how brands can easily get started with these SEO-beneficial listings boosters:

  1. Take the number-one keyword you want to rank for and type it into Amazon.
  2. See the first listing? That’s a sponsored ad.
  3. Prepare your product listing and ad strategy because you can bid for that place, too.

Destaney also hashes out the recent shift to Amazon video ads. “The best part about video ads is that they’re PPC,” she notes. This means you’ll only get charged when users click on the ad. Even a user who watches the video all the way through but doesn’t click through still won’t result in a charge.

Yes, you read right. That’s free branding!

Amazon wants people to click on those videos so they can charge you, of course. This works in your favor, because Amazon uses all its data on users to favor showing your video to those who will click (and, hopefully, buy your product).

Videos used in Amazon ads are product-specific, Destaney elaborates. More basic videos tend to get better results over those that are long or overproduced. Listen to the full episode for Destaney’s example of a successful video along with more tips on how to master this ad group.

2022 Challenges for Brands in Amazon Ads

Destaney also covers ground in the interview about the unique challenges brands face in 2022. Amazon “ad world” is an increasingly competitive space, and both small and big brands are suffering:

  • Small brands are scrambling to keep up with rising ad costs
  • Big brands counted for too long on brand recognition, and now smaller competition is pushing them out of the ad space

There’s also the eternal problem of bandwidth — i.e., what time e-commerce brands and manufacturers have to navigate these choppy waters. “I see a brand doing everything, but no ‘one thing’ super well,” Destaney laments. It’s the reality of brands scaling fast with each leader wearing multiple hats.

As a result, Destaney says, Amazon ads are one of those opportunities that aren’t being capitalized like they could be, because even brands who are doing ads don’t have the time to do them as well as they could.

Every day there are more strategies spun to brands as the “one key” to winning on Amazon. The more “must-do” strategies are out there, the more brands will scramble to do it all while ultimately becoming a master at none.

Maybe you’ve had your eye on repricing, or review strategies, or new AR-rich product experiences, for instance. Those are all valid strategies, but you should only bite one off at a time.

Today might be the day for Amazon ad strategy to be that one focus.

You can focus on ad strategy while outsourcing the creative production. This wins you back even more time. “On Amazon, 70% of ad collateral requires zero creative control,” Destaney says. She then points to video content and other creative ad collateral as something brands can outsource to spend more of their own time getting deeper into the strategy piece.

Listen to the full interview for more from Destaney on trends in ad costs, what Amazon is doing about it, and how to use the different Amazon ad types for their intended purposes.

It can be intimidating to dive deeper into Amazon ads with spiking ad costs and rising competition. There are more users on Amazon today, though — it’s not just more brands on the platform. This means there’s a ripe opportunity for the brand willing to take it.

“There’s no way for any one individual to keep up in this environment,” Destaney advises. Take her advice — watch or listen to the full interview on this episode of E-Commerce with Coffee?! and count on her to keep up on the shifts in the ad world for you.

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Alex Borzo

Alex Borzo

A content contributor at Amber Engine, a software company passionate about eCommerce