November 14, 2018 By Chris Montenegro, Marketplace Manager

Brands/Companies who sell on Amazon Seller Central have been missing out on some key advertising features/benefits that historically have only been available on Vendor Central. A recent BETA release by Amazon now allows sellers to target customers with Sponsored Product Ads using more targeted efforts by being able to choose specific products, categories, brands, or other product features. Another feature, we have all been waiting for on Seller Central Advertising, is the ability to add negative keywords in auto campaigns. Well, the wait is over and Amazon advertisers can now negate bidding on keywords that are using up too much budget and/or not converting customers for purchase. This is exciting news for sellers as it grants them more opportunities to market to customers and optimize their advertising efforts.

Amazon targeting

The Breakdown of Changes

Category Targeting:

Advertisers can now target customers by categories which allows sellers to market to browsing customers in the categories in which their product is or is not classified. There is also an option to further refine your categorical targeting by selecting product features such as brands, price, and review rating.

This could be beneficial to advertisers in a multitude of different ways and strategies. Some examples of these benefits could include:

  • Targeting brands who are direct competitors
  • Targeting products with lower review ratings than your product
  • Targeting products that are more expensive than yours
  • For brands with higher priced items- Exclude lower priced items
Amazon product targeting
Targeting Options:

Advertisers can further narrow their targeting after selecting a category and refine results by:

  • Selecting specific brands within that category
  • Setting a price range of products to target
  • Setting the Review Star rating threshold of products to target
Amazon refine category product testing

Product Targeting:

Advertisers can also now target customers by product. This is similar to what’s been available on Product Display Ads but with the ability to advertise multiple ASINs and set your bid levels individually by ASIN. This feature allows advertisers to specifically target competitors’ products by ASIN or target their own products for upsell/cross-sell strategies.

What’s the benefit of product targeting? This targeting opportunity can be utilized in a couple different ways. The most obvious benefit would be the ability to target your competitor’s product and show your products ads on the actual product detail page of a specific product. Another benefit would be that you could target your own product pages with sponsored ads in order to cross-sell or upsell purchasing customers with complementary products or accessories. One could create a brand defensive strategy using this targeting by targeting your own product solely to take up the advertising space on your product detail page so Amazon customers on the product page see more of your products ads and less of the competitions.

Amazon individual products



Negative Keywords:

Auto campaigns are a great way to do keyword discovery and also drive revenue but it was always been difficult to optimize these advertising efforts as there was no way to block or negate Amazon from bidding on keywords that are not converting customers and/or using up a lot of the ad budget.

Amazon negative keywords

The basic strategy for advertisers on seller central has been to run auto campaigns and pull high-performing keywords out of these auto campaigns and into manual. The issue here is that when you do so, Amazon is still bidding against this key term in the auto campaigns so theoretically you could be cannibalizing your advertising efforts and bidding on the same keyword multiple time in your advertising strategy.

Adding this negative keyword feature also allows a seller to create a brand offensive strategy and correctly delineate sales associated with branded search terms. An advertiser could create a manual campaign specifically targeting branded keywords, then put those same branded keywords into the negative keyword section of an auto campaign to extract and track sales associates with branded searches. We see many brands relying on auto campaigns to drive revenue but when you look at the search term report, 90% of those sales are attributed to branded searches (customers already searching to your product). The negative keyword feature will allow advertisers to correctly see and separate sales data driven by true advertising efforts rather than branded keywords.

Amazon Negative product targeting



The Wrap-Up

As advertising on Amazon gets more competitive and saturated by the day it is important to stay up to date with these changes and adjust advertising strategies/budgets to take advantage of these opportunities. Because they additions are so new, some strategies we might see in a year’s time just don’t exist today so the advertisers who test and optimize these strategies now will be ahead of the competition.

We understand that Amazon advertising has already been a major pain point for a lot of advertisers and with the new changes, they may feel as lost as ever. Digital Operative prides itself on its capability to stay on top of these updates for our clients and ensure that we are providing the best strategies and guidelines to take advantage of the existing opportunities and those just released in this BETA release. The right digital partner in this area can really set a business up for success and we welcome you to reach out to us to see how we can help you navigate these new advertising waters and reach your goals on Amazon.

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