Most Amazon sellers know all about Sponsored Products ads, and good amount about Sponsored Brands ads.
But a large percentage never even touch Sponosored Display ads.
There are a lot of different settings, formats and capabilities that feel a bit alien to your run-of-the-mill PPC campaign.
However, herein lies the opportunity for growing brands to capitlize on the unique placements and strategies on offer.
To talk through all these wild and wonderful options, we brought Stephen Noch from Ocean PPC onto the show.
In this episode, we talked about how Sponosred Display ads work, who should be using them, and the best strategies to get started with.
Don’t miss this one!
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- 00:00 – Introduction to Guest – Stephen Noch
- 00:37 – Stephen Noch’s Background
- 02:43 – Understanding the Full-Funnel Concept
- 05:15 – Crafting an Effective Marketing Strategy for Smaller Brands
- 08:01 – Sponsored Products vs. Sponsored Brands Approach
- 12:25 – Key Differences in Amazon Sponsored Display
- 19:10 – Amazon Sponsored Display vs. Facebook Ads: A Comparison
- 20:46 – Audience Targeting for Sponsored Ads
- 23:55 – Navigating the Creative Side of Sponsored Ads
- 30:56 – Additional Tips on Audience Targeting
- 36:09 – Key Advice on Amazon Advertising
- 38:19 – Where to Connect with Stephen Noch
Hi, folks! Welcome to another episode of The Brand Builder Show. And if you’ve ever wondered what the heck Amazon sponsored display ads are, well, this episode is going to give you an overview of what they are, how you can effectively use them and whether they are even the right option for you. To discuss that topic, I brought on Stephen Noch to the show, host of a great podcast himself too. Stephen, why don’t you give us a little bit of information about yourself. Tell us a bit about your podcast, which will obviously give people all the details for at the end as well. And yeah, let us know what you’ve been up to last few years and what you’ve got to do, the point you’ve got up to in your journey now?
Stephen Noch 00:36
Yeah, absolutely. So as you said, Ben, I’m Stephen, I’ve been in the Amazon advertising space for a little over four years now, I’ve been managing my own book of business, just managing the ads for some select clients been doing that for the past three years. And overall, I just really love the space. And I used to be on a different podcast known as the PPC Den Podcast put up by Ad Badger. And frankly, I think that was when I did the most advancement in my own knowledge is when I was forced to constantly be speaking on a new topic. And so recently, a business partner and I started off with a new podcast called “That Amazon Ads” podcast. And yeah, we just we exclusively focus on Amazon ads, and it keeps us sharp, and hopefully the information and knowledge that we’re sharing is helpful to whoever’s listening.
Ben Donovan 01:27
Yeah, absolutely. There’s no actually many dedicated Amazon ads podcasts out there. So I’m sure that our listeners will be jumping on that. Because, yeah, I mean, PPC Den was the only one that I was aware of, you know, up until recently, and the only one I’ve got on my sort of podcast app. But I’m definitely going to be diving into more episodes as well, because it’s a valuable resource, I’m sure. So yeah, no, thanks for coming on the show today. And looking forward to the conversation. Obviously, a sponsor display is something that not many people talk about. There’s not too much content out there about it, because it’s maybe was definitely a lesser used option. But we want to kind of break down whether it even has a place in the average Amazon sellers armory. But before we get into that, I just thought it’d be good to have a bit of a conversation about the idea of funnel marketing, because a lot of Amazon sellers, maybe don’t consider the idea of building a top of funnel audience. You know, that kind of terminology is even alien to them. They just want to run out, make sales and run away with the profit. Responsive display really does tap into more of a full funnel approach. Do you think that whole full funnel approach is important for Amazon sellers? What’s your take on it?
Stephen Noch 02:43
Yeah, so I will clarify. Generally speaking, I’m kind of a search marketer through and through. So when it does come to display tactics, I think I have a little bit of a bias more towards search. I know there’s a little bit of rivalry between the display ad buyers versus the search ad buyers and both sides thinking their tactics are better. So you know, take everything that I’m saying with a grain of salt, but yeah, essentially the the full funnel concept is that you have three different parts of the funnel. Sometimes we abbreviated as TOFU, MOFU, BOFU, which is basically just your top of funnel, your middle of funnel and your bottom of funnel. And Amazon search itself is a very bottom of funnel tactic, meaning the people who are coming through are very hot leads, you know, especially if they’re searching say specifically for your brand, right my brand is is Stephen equipment, and they are typing in Stephen equipment on Amazon, which is obviously a purchasing platform, the intent there is extremely high. And so that would be very deep down at the bottom of the funnel, which is essentially kind of where the customer is at in their journey, whether they’re, you know, browsing, researching, or if they’re coming in to buy so. So those types of searches are super bottom of funnel, and then sometimes we’ll work our way up towards the middle of funnel, which, rather than just being focused on conversion, we’re actually focusing on consideration and we’re just trying to get people to consider us, to think about us, try to plant some seeds, get in their heads, and just, yeah, we just want to make sure that we’re part of their thought process when they’re considering which product they’re going to buy. And at the very top of the funnel, we have awareness, which is just letting people know that we exist. And so you know, people you can think of it as like a billboard for example, if you’re a new product that’s out there and you set up a billboard you’re not necessarily trying to drive a sale you can’t really attribute sales to that to that billboard in any way. But your your main objective there is just to make people aware of who you are so that hopefully you know if you’re selling say Colgate toothpaste, and you’ve got a big brand there that’s advertising Colgate I mean, obviously everyone’s heard of Colgate. Let’s just say for the sake of the example you haven’t, next time you’re you’re walking through a target or whatever, because that’s the He’s been planted that awareness eat, you know, you’re a little bit more familiar with this brand. You You’ve heard of it before, maybe in your mind whatever the messaging was made you think it was reputable and reliable. And so when you see it on the shelf there, you are more inclined to pick up that product versus another one you haven’t heard of.
Ben Donovan 05:15
Yeah. You mentioned Colgate there. And I know, I’ve studied a bit about the marketing behind Coke, like their whole thing is staying top of mind staying very present. Is this a, something that’s only for big brands? Or should smaller, smaller, smaller brands be considering these principles? Or is there a stage where it becomes more relevant in terms of size of business?
Stephen Noch 05:40
Yeah, so in my experience, it’s very difficult to be profitable with those super high funnel awareness campaigns. And a big reason for that is just by nature of where the customer is at in their journey, they’re not necessarily ready to buy. And so the attributed sales are gonna be really low, especially with Amazon only giving us a 14 day window, the chances of you being able to, you know, reach someone who’s never heard of you before. And within 14 days, get them to consider you and then convert is pretty low. And so you won’t always see those attributed sales. So the ad costs will usually be high on these campaigns. And we’ll talk you know, more in depth about why sometimes the a cost is absurdly low. But yeah, I would say generally speaking, where I have seen display tactics performed the best are for larger brands with larger budgets that have essentially fully saturated the middle and bottom of funnel. So you know, those bottom of funnel keywords, if you’re fully dominating the impression share, you know, if your ads are all up there, at top of search, you’re winning all the top of search placements for all your key keywords, and your organic ranking is good. And you’ve basically hit the limit of search where your sales can’t grow any more on search, because there’s no more search terms to grow sales on like when you’ve hit that point of fully saturating, the the highest opportunity there with with those low funnel keywords, yeah, then you want to start climbing your way up the funnel. So my general recommendation is that it’s certainly not for everybody, these awareness tactics with display. Now, we should also clarify, there are retargeting tactics with display, which is a lower funnel tactic of display, we’ll come back to that later. But for now, we’ll just kind of talk about these awareness plays. Yeah, for me, those awareness plays are kind of a last resort. So that’s, that’s when you’ve fully saturated all the other parts of the funnel, because that’s where the row as is gonna be the highest, that’s where conversion is going to be the highest, you certainly want to make sure you’ve taken advantage of all of that, especially if you do have a limited budget. To me, it doesn’t make any sense if you have, say, a $10,000 budget, and you can drive a $10 row as an all the bottom of funnel keywords, makes no sense to me why you would take 1000 of those dollars and reallocate that towards high a higher funnel tactic, when you know, your net total sales would just not be as strong.
Ben Donovan 08:01
Yeah, I think that’s a really good framework to give sellers a benchmark to be able to think of at what point do I consider it, you know, when you are maxing out those opportunities, which does bring us excuse me, like a good segue into the next thing that I really wanted to talk about. And that is the difference between sponsored products and sponsored brands and sponsored display just to give people maybe that are newer to the platform, a bit of an idea. What are the differences there? Because, I mean, the first thing that sort of springs to mind is do you have a similar approach to sponsored products and sponsored brands that you want to maximize every opportunity with sponsored products before you delve into sponsored brands? Or do you take a bit of a different approach, though?
Stephen Noch 08:48
Yeah, that actually is a really good question. I typically treat sponsored brands as if they were just sponsored products, in terms of the strategy, optimizing towards a certain a costs or whatever it may be. They are a bit of a flashier, sponsored product campaign. And from I haven’t fully tested this, but I think just like my hunch tells me this has been the case that when we are running sponsored brand ads or sponsored products actually do better. And I think part of that might be because if you if you’re winning that type of search placement with sponsored brands, and you know, let’s say someone searching for toothpaste brands or whatever, and your brand appears on that sponsored brand placement, and no one’s ever, this person’s never heard of your your toothpaste brand before, but you just want an impression there. And let’s just say, you know, a lot of people kind of scroll past those sponsored brand ads because they clearly look like ads. And they just scroll down just to get to the actual search results. And so you essentially got a free impression, which is kind of cool because usually on these display models, they’ll charge you for impressions, not for clicks. And so actually we have sponsored brand ads but what is great is if is if people aren’t I clicked on your sponsored brand ad, and you’re getting that impression, you’re getting that awareness and they scroll past you. And once they get into the search results, and they’re comparing your product to another product on the search page, and the other product brands they’ve never heard of before, and your brand they heard of, you know, two seconds ago when they just saw your ad up there. And, you know, maybe subliminally, psychologically, they’re more inclined to click on your product now. So I do think there is some of that where sponsored brands can influence and improve the performance of your sponsored products or organic placements in search as a result of that.
Ben Donovan 10:33
Yeah, it’s good to note because I do pretty much exactly the same just treat sponsor brands, like just another placement for sponsor products, because they function in almost exactly the same way. You know, and you can target the same keywords, you can use the same bids, and it’s very similar setup, isn’t it? So, yeah, it’s good to hear that that’s, you know, what you’re doing as well.
Stephen Noch 10:54
There’s certainly though the flashiness of them. And, and I think Amazon’s made sponsored brands, much prettier than they were a couple years ago, with the featured lifestyles are testing all kinds of different formats, lifestyle images, that is and blowing up images to make it really popping off the page to people. And we have seen performance improve on those click through rates and conversion rates have improved with some of those changes that Amazon’s been doing to the format of the sponsored brand ads. But with that, obviously, the the CPC have gotten much more competitive as those spots are highly coveted. So for that, it really does become a little bit of a balancing act between how much can you actually afford and stay profitable, where you’ve certainly with, with some clients that are, you know, higher up on that on that funnel, because of just because they fully kind of tapped the opportunity and sponsored products, we do invest a little bit more in sponsored brands, even at a loss, because of the important stuff that we see on the positive impact everywhere else when when we’re winning those. So yeah, sometimes we do run those sponsored brands, the CPC is so expensive. Some of our keywords, universe sponsored products to throw an example, our average CPC is around 50 cents. And on those sponsored brands, it’s like $1.50 for this one brand in particular. So we’re not necessarily profitable on those sponsored brand ads, but they help kind of improve our performance elsewhere. And, again, this is a bit of a unique account with a very large budget, large brands. So certainly you have to tailor each strategy to each individual account based on context and everything involved.
Ben Donovan 12:25
Yeah, good. Okay. And then in terms of some of the key differences, then with sponsored display, obviously, bidding is the first thing that’s, that’s very different in terms of you can reach pageviews, or conversions, which you people are so used to running ads, their cost per click to then suddenly see, you know, CPM calculations coming up at us, that’s quite a change. Can you give us a bit of a summary of how that side of things works?
Stephen Noch 12:51
Yeah. So as you said, there, there are a few different ways in which Amazon is going to actually let you choose to run these ads. And as a quick kind of disclaimer, if anyone’s ever heard of Amazon DSP, and it’s kind of wondering more what what that is, that is the Amazon decide demand side platform, which is essentially Amazon. Amazon is essentially supplying media placements to whoever has demand for it. So you can kind of buy these buy up these media inventory placements. And that DSP platform is all display, and display advertising and CPM based. And because it’s a bit of an exclusive platform to get access to Amazon wanted to create a little bit more easier, lower barrier to entry, self service, kind of concept with those types of display ads. And so that’s where they created sponsored display, which is actually very, very similar to the Amazon DSP. So in case if anyone’s wondering, should I be doing sponsored to display? Should I be doing Amazon DSP? Sponsored display is going to get you probably 80% of to what the Amazon DSP would be able to provide. So you’re pretty much mostly there. But yeah, one thing that is different about the sponsored display versus DSP is that you do have that option of Do you want to pay per click? Or do you want to pay per 1000 impressions, and that would be the CPM cost per mil? Mil I believe being Latin for 1000. So
Ben Donovan 14:16
A bit confusing.
Stephen Noch 14:18
Yeah. So with that model, a couple things to keep in mind are that the attribution is going to be different. It’s going to be the sales attribution is going to be applied to whatever you’re paying for. So if you’re paying for clicks, they will only be attributing the sales to your clicks. If you’re paying for impressions, they will be attributing the sales to impressions. And in my experience, often when we are doing those kind of view based impressions. It seems that Amazon tends to over attribute the sales that are happening. And part of why I think that is Amazon might serve a display ad to someone as They’re already on their way to checkout and you know, your products already added to the cart and everything. And then that impression appears to them as they’re checking out and, and they end up buying the product and gets attributed to the, to the display ad. So that is just one thing to kind of keep in mind. But yeah, as you said, you listed out there as reach, there’s visits, there’s conversions, that’s Amazon’s kind of way of saying top of funnel, middle of funnel, bottom of funnel, and you can kind of pick the strategy that you want to use with these display ads. And so with reach, which is essentially trying to maximize your impressions, that’s kind of maximizing your awareness, that’s going to be a CPM based model. And so, certainly, you know, you should be testing out all these different strategies and the different tools that Amazon lets you do and see what works for you see what makes sense for you. If you’re trying to optimize towards visits, so yeah, so in that reach category, Amazon’s gonna say, Hey, we’re gonna get you as many impressions as possible. You know, we’re going to try to like, keep that CPM as as low and as affordable as possible, and just get as many possible impressions as we can. In that scenario, Amazon’s not necessarily caring if people are clicking on your ads or not, they just want to make sure that the ad is popping up that you’re being seen.
Stephen Noch 16:17
Now, for me, personally, I haven’t been super impressed by the placements of sponsored display ads. You know, a lot of times they are all like the peripherals of the pages. And if someone’s not clicking on them, I’m not really sure how effective they are actually creating that reach. You know, it’s like, almost, if you’re already a brand like Coca Cola, that already has some good recognition that all you have to do is, you know, if you’re at a, like a football stadium or something, and there’s little Coca Cola things like all over the stadium, just it does, there’s no messaging nothing, it just says Coca Cola. And I think that’s, as you said, Ben, just to keep keep it top of mind, you know, just keep people being aware. But if you attributed every single person, every single sale, and that every single sale of coconut stadium, if that was attributed to that Coca Cola ad, that would probably be a little bit of an over estimate of the actual impact of that. And so that’s just kind of an example of one thing to keep in mind with those awareness tactics with sponsor display, and how those CPMs actually work. Now, did you want to add to that, so I’m just gonna keep going through this list?
Ben Donovan 17:22
It’s fun, more, I mean, my question is just going to be to take a similar approach to where you said about, you know, maximizing sponsored products and brands, then sponsored display, when you tip over into sponsored displays in a case of then maximizing the conversions bidding aspect. And then if you’ve still got budget, you got crazy money coming up here, and then you want to reach? Is that how you would kind of approach it?
Stephen Noch 17:45
I probably would. Yeah. So to kind of flip to the bottom of that the conversions tactic that Amazon lets you do, that is going to be a CPC model. So you’re only paying for when people click on your ad. And what you’re typically what Amazon is, essentially going to do is, is kind of adjust those bids based on the likelihood of conversion. And we don’t exactly know how Amazon gets that data could be based off of the user’s search from history, whether they’re in market for your product, whatever. But Amazon will kind of increase those bids to try to get that click if they think there’s a higher likelihood of conversion here. And the conversions tactic within sponsored display is certainly the most popular for everyone that is, is using these tactics, and I think, especially because if anyone doesn’t really know what’s going on, anyone who opens up, you know, a new sponsor display campaign, and they see “Hey, would you rather maximize impressions, maximize clicks or maximize sales?” Everyone’s always gonna go sales, you know? So that’s kind of just like, where our minds default to. And so, yeah, that’s certainly the most popular and for that purpose, those CPCs on the conversion tactic have gotten expensive. pretty frequently, I think I’m seeing sponsored display CPCs run up pretty high, even higher than than sponsored products. So yeah, everything kind of just needs to be tested in and calibrated towards your own preferences.
Ben Donovan 19:10
Does it work in a similar way to with Facebook ads, if you choose the conversions, your ad will be served to people that that Facebook pixel understands have converted more often when clicking on ads? Versus page likes, whatever? Is it working the same way Amazon will serve if you choose conversions of service to more people that have shown that they can vote? And same with clicking people, etc?
Stephen Noch 19:35
Yeah, that’s a great question. I’m not a Facebook ads expert, though I’m a little bit familiar with it and have some some peers who are smarter than I am in the in the space. But my assumption there would be that yeah, if you’re trying to optimize towards sales or conversions with Facebook ads, it’s still going to be a CPM model. But essentially, they’re just going to be trying to place more of those in front of you but who are, yeah, maybe deeper into their, into their own customer journey and whatever, whatever data that Facebook is able to use. Yeah, my assumption would also be that the CPMs on that are a little bit higher for those conversions. Because, you know, if everybody else is really trying to get up to those conversions as well, and increasing the bids on that, Amazon’s probably taking those those audiences that are kind of overlapping between all of the advertisers and the market price on those, you know, conversion based audiences will probably be bid up a little bit. Whereas if you were to go after awareness, and you just want to maximize the total impressions and reach that you can get not so concerned with sales at the moment, the CPMs, there might be a little bit lower, as they’re not quite as competitive. So that would be kind of be my assumption. And yeah, Amazon might be doing something similar.
Ben Donovan 20:46
Yeah. Okay, cool. After bidding, the next measures, different areas is targeting. Obviously, there’s products targeting, which a lot of sellers will be familiar with, but the one that a lot of sellers won’t be familiar with is the idea of audiences. Can you talk us through a little bit of that?
Stephen Noch 21:03
Yeah. So that is kind of, in my opinion, the biggest separator and advantage of sponsored display, sponsored products sponsored brands are restricted to only being able to target keywords, and target other products on Amazon. So you can, but yeah, I mean, that’s pretty much it. And we know that with audience targeting, that opens up a lot of capabilities. And what Amazon actually Amazon’s like, custom audiences that they have built, are actually pretty impressive. So I’d recommend anybody just open up a sponsored display campaign, jumped down to audience targeting, flip through all the options that they have. It’s pretty wild. And especially when you think about all the data that Amazon has on its customers, from, you know, you can target you can you can target George Clooney fans, as as an audience in case you’re selling George Clooney merch or something. But you know, Amazon has, you know, prime so they know everything that you’re watching, they know all of your interests, they know your entire purchase history, your entire search history. They, you know, they own Twitch now. So if you are doing anything on Twitch, they know everything about you pretty much and who knows if our echo devices or Alexa are all spying on us as well. So, you know, if they’re incorporating all that data into build their audiences as well, maybe that’s something you’re able to tap into. But yeah, when it comes to that Amazon has lifestyle, so you can target people based on you know, if their parents, if they’re high spenders is kind of an interesting one. So Amazon, you can, you know, Amazon’s always going to know the high spenders based off your purchase history. So if, if you have a particularly expensive product, yeah, high AOV product, you can go after the high spender audiences. Early adopters is a cool one, if you just invented a new product, people who have that lifestyle, something else you can do, they have, and they kind of break down their audience targeting into four segments. So they have lifestyle, interests, life events, and an in market. So lifestyle, it’s kind of what we just described, interest is basically just going to be, you know, based on your search history, what does it seem like you’re interested in your hobbies, whatever. And then they have life events, which could be you know, someone’s in the baby registry on Amazon, you might be an expecting, or maybe just had a baby. So they can, you know, classify that. And then there’s in market, which is, you know, if you’re actively searching for products, and you haven’t bought anything, yet, they’ll throw you in that category. So yeah, so you can go after all those you can target people who are more to healthy eating people who are care about their hygiene, people who are recently married, pet owners, currently shopping for a certain product, all of those are different types of audiences that Amazon creates. And it’s a pretty expensive list. So I would certainly recommend someone running through there and, and there’s also a search bar, I believe. So you can, if you’re wondering, you know, if you sell say ceiling fans, or something like that, and you just want to do a search for like fan or ceiling and see if there are any audiences that pop up and maybe there is one where Amazon says in market for ceiling fans, and you can start targeting that audience.
Ben Donovan 23:55
Yeah, nice. So many options, obviously. Those options, the broadness of that comes with, as we’ve already discussed those caveats of extra cost and needing to factor in. But it’s yes, fascinating, the level at which you can actually scale those ads there. The next and final thing that I’ve got on my list is just the creative side of it. In my experience, just pretty similar to sponsor brands in terms of there’s you know, a logo, headline custom image or custom video that you can customize but is there anything more than that anything different that I haven’t picked up that?
Stephen Noch 24:32
No, you got it. They did start making these very similar to sponsored brands, which is cool, given people more ability, and it’s also nice that we have any customizability with these sponsored display ads. I just recently started testing sponsored display video. Don’t think I have any results yet. Although I could maybe try to check on this podcast and see if see if anything pops up but
Ben Donovan 24:57
I’ve noticed that they maybe it’s been on their wall and I just am slow on the uptake but sponsored brand video ads seem to be appearing on the product detail page now. I saw the targeting option come up ages ago, but then I could never actually find one on a product detail page. But I think that sponsored brands, I know obviously they’re sponsored display ones as well. But maybe they are just sponsored display video ads. I don’t know.
Stephen Noch 25:19
Yeah. You know what, that is actually a great question. And I haven’t seen sponsored display ads appearing on or sorry, sponsored brand videos appearing on product pages just yet. But I do wonder if that’s as you described the maybe that a sponsor display videos,
Ben Donovan 25:37
Because the targeting option, it’s been there for ages, you can target product detail pages from sponsor prime videos, but just had never seen video of like a video ad on a product detail page for ages. But now I started seeing loads of them. And I wasn’t sure if it was sponsored brands or sponsored display.
Stephen Noch 25:58
Yeah, yeah. So I did pull up really quickly. So yeah, I’ll look into that. That’s a really good question. I do know that sponsored brand videos have started appearing on top of search, which has been also interesting to see. But I haven’t. Yeah, I haven’t yet seen them on. I haven’t seen any videos yet on product detail pages. But if I did see one, I’ll try to if I do see one, I’ll try to dissect if that’s either sponsored display or sponsored brand ad. And I could shoot you a message. And sure you could just throw it in the park.
Ben Donovan 26:31
I’m sure the listeners are not sort of overly concerned with. Yeah, yeah, we joined easy. I just thought thought was interesting. It was only like in the last week. So maybe it’s just something that’s, that’s pretty new and the way they’re putting them out there. But yeah, interesting. Amazon are always changing stuff on the way stuff. Oh, absolutely.
Stephen Noch 26:52
I’ll let you know what I have going on here with it with a client. This client launched a brand new product, it’s a bit of a unique product. No one really knows that this product exists because they’re kind of like the first of their type. But it is in the golf accessories kind of niche. And so it’s been kind of difficult to get the word out about that this product exists. You know, we’re going very actively after keywords in search, such as golf accessories, whatever golf gifts for men. And those are, you know, that’s something else like to also keep in mind, like, it’s not just these different tactics that we could call top of funnel bottom of funnel. It could also it could also be types of keywords. So if someone just types in golf, and that’s the keyword that could probably be very top of funnel, because it’s not, it’s not as powerful. If you’re selling golf driver head covers, you know, that would be a more bottom funnel thing. But if someone types in golf, and you’re gonna try to sell your golf driver head cover to them, you know, that can be considered a top of funnel kind of keyword tacky. But what we are trying to do is we do have some really good videos for this product. We’re featuring them in sponsored brand video ads. And we’re primarily trying to build awareness in that sense. And so for that we’re kind of looking at, we’re not necessarily trying to get the sale, we’re just trying to get people to click on it because our videos engaging, we think our product is probably interesting to people. And we do find that the click through rate is is really, really high. It’s it’s way above average for us. So it’s certainly an engaging product. But then when people get to the product page, it maybe wasn’t exactly what they were looking for at that time. But we end up following up with a sponsored display ad. That has retargeting audiences that viewed our ad but did not purchase it. And so that sponsored brand video ad is really good at driving that awareness, getting people to consider the product. And then we end up coming back with with those conversion tactics with the sponsored display side. And we did recently also launch a sponsored display video ad because we were curious to see if we do the same video with sponsored display. You know, if people saw the video once on a sponsored brand video, if they see the video again, is that, you know, are they more inclined to maybe come back and check it out again. And just looking at the CPCs right now between those two sponsored display tactics. So we have just like the typical ad with the logo and headline and then we got the video, our normal sponsored display ads around 75 cent CPC, and the sponsor display video is $1.30. So it’s, it’s certainly a lot more competitive there. And just to kind of put that into some further context, if I look at the CPC for this product, across the whole account, we’re at right around an 80 cent cost per click which is quite high because for given our margins in the low conversion rates, and since it’s a new product, but most of those high CPCs are coming from the sponsor brand videos, which are running around $1.50 and the sponsor display video which is pretty similar, but our sponsored products are much lower around like 40, 50 cents. So those are all things to keep in mind as well just like the cost of these media buys.
Ben Donovan 29:58
Today it’s just because of limited time placements with videos?
Stephen Noch 30:02
Probably yeah, and just highly coveted. And that’s something that I do think is interesting is a lot of times brand owners, especially from the from the agency side, right? A lot of times when I speak with clients, they really want to make sure their brand, their winning that sponsored brand spot because they like it. They think it looks really cool. Yeah. And they may like it more than the performance is kind of indicating that they should like it, you know? So I’ve certainly had that scenario where a lot of times, we’re probably overpaying for things just because the client wants to make sure that they’re there, even if the sales aren’t coming through, and it doesn’t really make sense, or it’s not profitable. So, but that’s kind of just like the kind of the way things go sometimes.
Ben Donovan 30:43
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Okay. I mean, I’ve kind of covered all of the main areas that I wanted to ask about responsive display. Is there anything we haven’t talked about or haven’t asked that you think’s worth mentioning?
Stephen Noch 30:56
Yeah, the one thing that I did want to mention is the sponsor display when you are picking those audiences, whether it’s your target people who viewed your product, you can also get people. Yeah, so Amazon has those, those four audiences that we spoke to, we spoke about, but then they also have a few other options, which is, you can target to people based off of their product views or their product purchases. And so those can be really, really helpful as well. So with views remarketing, Amazon will give you a look back window from seven to 90 days. And so what we typically do there is, you know, we’ll say, hey, if anyone viewed our product in the past, like 30 days, but didn’t purchase it, or you could change it to seven days, you know, test around a few different things, see what works. I like to kind of do like seven to 14 days, just to kind of make sure that the attribution window of everything is still accounted for. But yeah, people have viewed your product. And the one thing that unfortunately, we can’t do, it displays, we can’t negate audiences. Because what I would love to do with that view, is I’m gonna say, you know, someone viewed my product and purchased it, I don’t want to keep spending money on promoting it to them again. So what I would love to like to be able to do is to view a target people who viewed my product but did not purchase it. So I would like negate the audience’s who have purchased my product. Now, the Amazon ad reps have told me that that’s already included. Like it’s built into the views based thing that automatically negates people who purchase the product. So I guess we’ll just have to trust them on that one. But that’s one thing that the DSP will allow you to do is Amazon DSP allows you to actually negate audiences, which, you know, anyone who’s familiar with search advertising, we know how important those negative keywords can be. When it comes to display those negative audiences are just as important. So that’s one thing that we can you can do is you can target people based off of if they viewed your products, you can target people if they viewed products that are similar to yours, so probably competitors, or if they viewed entire category. So if anyone viewed the golf accessories category, you know, we can target people based off of that. And then Amazon also has a views remarketing option for purchases. And for that one, the look back window actually goes up to 365 days. So you have a pretty long look back compared to just the 90 days that you get with the view remarketing. So with purchase remarketing, you can look back to you know, 365 days, and that targeting people based off of their purchases can be really good. If if you’re, you know, I wouldn’t necessarily use that for oh, if they bought golf equipment in the past, they might be interested in golf equipment or whatever. I wouldn’t necessarily do that. I would if you were trying to do that. I think you’d be better off looking at the in market audience that Amazon has created. Where I find retargeting people based off their purchases is really shines is for subscription based models, where you know, if you’re selling nutrients or supplements or something and you know, some you know, maybe you’re selling L-Theanine, and most of your competitors, capsules, and your capsules are like 30 Day supplies, what would be a great one is you target someone who bought this within the past say 45 days, but they didn’t buy it within the last 30 days, which means that their subscription might be running out it’s time for them to get another one. And that’s one tactics that you can do so yeah, you can you can target people based off of especially for brand offense to if you know someone purchased your product 30 days ago, you can start targeting them again because maybe it’s time for them to re up and you want to make sure that you get them to rebuy your product before they type in L-Theanine again trying to find your brand and during that process, they end up seeing another brand that has more reviews, you could potentially lose that returning customer so making sure you retarget them with your products that they don’t even go back to the search funnel again. They just click on your ad and buy it but same with competitor products if they bought a competing product 30 days ago, you can start hitting them up it’s time for them to switch over to your brand and and yeah, I think those are the the only other kind of targeting tactic capabilities. Again, there’s no ability to negate audiences. I really hope Amazon releases that soon. And I expect that they would because they’re trying to, you know, it seems like every day, the sponsor display is getting a little bit more close, closely identical to the Amazon DSP.
Ben Donovan 35:17
Yeah. It seems like they’re really trying to match sort of Facebook ads and the more full funnel off and on Amazon approach on the
Stephen Noch 35:26
Ben Donovan 35:28
Cool. Well, I mean, this ninja tips right there, especially the end there. There’s some, you know, some unique ways of testing this stuff out. So really, really helpful overview of sponsors to display obviously, it’s quite a complex, deep topic. So people probably get to dive into the rabbit holes of this for hours upon end. But that’s been a real useful foundation. So thank you very much. The last thing I wanted to ask was just, if you have a sort of, I know you’ve given a few ninja tips there, but just a general your number one top Amazon PPC tip that you would give to every seller that maybe they haven’t heard before, and I’m putting you on the spot here, but that you would say make sure you do this with your Amazon advertising.
Stephen Noch 36:09
Yeah, I would, I would say my number one tip is proper bidding covers a multitude of sins. And it’s a bit it’s a bit of a die hard thing there for a hill that I die on there is, is I sincerely believe and I believe that because I’ve seen it in my own kind of results and success and everything. But if you can get the bidding, right, everything else is going to kind of work its way out. I mean, if you have horrible keywords selected and just horrible, horrible keywords, if you’re able to bid properly and have the right like formulas and logic setup, it’ll down bid your your irrelevant keywords or search terms down to like a two cent bid effectively pausing them, and it will take care of that and it makes it less important that someone you know, exactly negate everything and perfectly harvest all their keywords. Now, of course, keyword bidding isn’t 100% of hands on management, we still need good keyword harvesting rules and, and and good campaign structure and all that. But I would certainly say it’s the the 20% of effort that yields 80% of results. And we certainly have quite a few YouTube videos out talking about how you can kind of figure that out some different conditions where we’d apply one formula versus another and how to keep everything mathematically focused. And, you know, I certainly think that anyone who’s just trusting these blackbox algorithms from third party tools. They’re just like, oh, use our AI. The AI doesn’t know, everything that you know about your account. You know they can’t tell how they don’t really know, overall, you know, how are your sales up versus last year versus this year? Do you have deals going on? Do you have products going in and out of stock. here’s so many other variables involved outside of just what the API is able to give these tools. And so I highly recommend people are taking a little bit more of a, I call it a semi automatic approach, you know, we still do some things that are automated through bulk sheets are even if we are using a third party tool, we’re like automating stuff, but they’re manual at the same time because they require different user inputs. That change each time that we run them just to kind of make sure that it’s not fully on autopilot or cruise control that we are, you know, managing a couple of inputs to keep things balanced.
Ben Donovan 38:19
Yeah. Yeah, those are great thoughts. And my next question was going to be or the final follow up question was going to be, what kind of formulas you’re using, but that’s a good segue to your YouTube content and everything that you’re pumping out, because that will be a question. There’s a bit more in depth and a 32nd answer. So. So yeah, where can people find all more of your stuff? The YouTube the podcasts? Let us know.
Stephen Noch 38:43
Yeah, just Well, before I do that, I’m gonna say one last thing on Smarter sponsor display that I think some people might be I’m sure someone’s out there wondering what should my spend splits be between sponsored products, brands and display. And I’ll tell you benchmark, what has been a benchmark for most accounts from from data that I’ve looked at from data aggregators, it’s typically around 80% of account spenders go into sponsored products around 15% is going to sponsor brands and then around 5% on sponsored display. And across all of those the A cos steps up slightly from sponsor products, sponsored brands responsible sponsor display that a cost is slowly kind of creeping its way up as the CPC has also creep their way up. But for me, personally, I think that’s a pretty good split my sponsor display as well, I mean, for this large brand that I have that’s on Amazon DSP, that’s around 40% of their total Amazon spend. But that’s certainly an exception to the rule for most of the other smaller brands that I’m working with. Sponsored display is somewhere between like, three to 4% of our total spend there and, and it’s that low primarily just because of that’s what the performance dictates. You know, we allocate And, and yeah, the CPCs are going to be adjusted according to performance. And right now, the performance dictates that the conversion rates are so low on those sponsored display campaigns that they deserve bids at x price, which is causing them to not spend a lot. So it’s still helpful for getting you know, you know, if the sponsor display campaigns are driving another five to 10% of revenue, hey, that’s a win, you know, we’ll take it but for the most part, it’s it’s pretty low spend. So keep that in mind those spend splits.
Ben Donovan 40:30
Yeah, like you say is a good framework to work on is maximizing that because if you’re spending 80% of your budget on sponsored products, that’s going to be generating the most of your results. So if you can maximize that maximum maximize sponsored brands, then if you’re looking for more opportunities, add in that extra sort of cherry on top of the cake, or on top of the icing, icing on the cake, whatever that phrase is, is probably where sponsored display comes in. Yep.
Stephen Noch 40:57
So to reach me to get in touch. LinkedIn is probably the best bet I check it pretty regularly. So reach out connect. If you want to follow our podcast, look up That Amazon Ads podcast. We’re on YouTube, Spotify, Apple podcasts, and drop us line, drop some comments, subscribe, we do our best to respond to everybody and and we usually call it some good questions on the on the podcast and answer those everyone else can kind of listen in as well.
Ben Donovan 41:26
Awesome, man. Well, we’ll leave all of those details in the show notes and description of stuff as well so people can subscribe and get in touch and all those good things. Thanks for taking the time out. I really appreciate it. It’s been a a nerdy, geeky conversation, but one that I hope will bring value to a lot of people. So thanks for taking the time out.
Stephen Noch 41:44
Yeah. Thanks, Ben.
Ben Donovan 41:47
Amazing. Well, thanks, everyone for listening. Hope you’ve enjoyed that episode. Let us know if you have any questions or other topics along the Amazon advertising spectrum that you want us to cover on the podcast. And make sure you do check out Stephens podcast to get subscribed, it will be great content to help you on your journey. If you’ve liked this episode, please do give it a like a subscribe, all that good stuff. And we’ll see in the next episode same time next week. Take care