With over nine million marketplace sellers across Amazon, it’s becoming more and more difficult for brands to stand out — even as today’s consumers shop online more every day. If you’re not re-engaging your potential customers, your competitors will be.
The good news? Advertising to the audiences available within the Amazon Demand-Side Platform (DSP) can help increase your brand awareness both on and off Amazon. Through Amazon’s DSP, you can keep your brand messaging consistent with a full-funnel strategy.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What is Amazon Demand-Side Platform / DSP?
- Where does the Amazon DSP program fit into the marketing funnel?
- Amazon Demand Side Platform ad types
- How to use Amazon DSP
- Amazon DSP success story: R+Co
- Amazon DSP success story: Running OLV with our CPG Client
What is the Amazon Demand Side Platform (DSP)?
Amazon DSP — also known as Amazon’s Demand-Side Platform — enables advertisers to programmatically buy video and ad placements.
Programmatic advertising uses data to decide which digital advertising spaces to buy and how much to pay for them.
Advertisers are increasing investment in the Amazon DSP, which allows brands to use Amazon targeting capabilities in showing ads not only on Amazon owned-and-operated web properties but also those that it does not control.
According to the Tinuiti Amazon Ads Benchmark Report, In Q3, 51% of Amazon DSP investment went to properties owned and operated by Amazon, including the primary Amazon website and app as well as other sites like IMDB. Amazon owned-and-operated share of spend remained meaningfully above Q3 share throughout the final quarter of the year, and rose all the way to 61% in December, as advertisers focused on converting consumers who were close to purchase deep in the holiday shopping season.
Where does the Amazon DSP program fit into the marketing funnel?
Through Amazon DSP, you can programmatically reach your audiences across both Amazon’s own sites and apps (like IMBD) and leading publishers’ sites. Here’s how Amazon ads fit throughout the funnel:
Ad Console campaigns mostly cover the mid- to low portion of the funnel. These campaigns work towards driving purchases, while DSP works throughout the whole advertising funnel from awareness to purchase. Having the capability to retarget customers through DSP keeps your brand top-of-mind for prospects and previous customers.
In this post, we’ll focus specifically on the mid-and upper-funnel advertising strategy: the consideration and awareness buckets. The targeting strategies we’ll cover work for businesses that sell both on and off Amazon. These upper-funnel campaigns will ultimately help you fill your retargeting campaigns and grow the number of people you target at the bottom of the funnel.
As of December 2020, advertisers now have access to thousands of third-party audiences from dozens of branded data providers in Amazon DSP. Prior to the launch, Amazon and third-party audience data (operating independently) made audience discovery and media planning somewhat difficult for advertisers and sellers. Amazon, advertiser, and third-party audiences can now be found all in one location – a big win for advertisers across the board.
“When advertisers see a retargeting ROAS that has plateaued, we often recommend considering a full-funnel Amazon strategy. This allows for increased scale, reaching consumers who are interested or “in-market” but not necessarily dedicated to a specific brand. Those consumers are then led down the funnel to help fuel the audience pool for future retargeting efforts.”
– Natalie Samson, Marketplaces DSP Senior Manager at Tinuiti
Amazon DSP ad types
Now that you know how to target the right audience, it’s time to create some ads. Here are four main ad types available to your brand through DSP.
1. Dynamic e-commerce
Amazon’s machine learning offerings are becoming more impressive and approachable every day. Dynamic e-commerce ads automatically optimize which creative shows based on your campaign goal. To encourage customers to view the product on Amazon, you can include coupon codes or customer reviews in your creative. Dynamic ads can only link to a product detail page.
Thanks to machine learning, Amazon can offer up the following:
- If a customer is likely to read reviews before purchasing a product, they’ll serve a dynamic ecommerce ad with a review
- If a customer is more of an Impulse buyer and they will show them a dynamic e-commerce ad with an add to cart button
2. Static ads
Static ads don’t have any dynamic elements, so they need specific calls-to-action, like “Shop Now.” We recommend using these ads as mid- and upper-funnel tactics to draw shoppers in and help grow brand awareness. These ads lead back to an Amazon storefront, product detail page, or custom landing page.
3. Video ads through DSP
Video is a great way to tell your brand story and create an emotional connection with your audience. Video ads through DSP can run within video content (in-stream video) or as part of a display ad (out-stream video). You can link your video ads through DSP to a product detail page on Amazon or to your own site. Creating video ads through DSP also means you can leverage Amazon’s audiences to target the right shoppers.
4. Over-the-top video ads (OTT)
OTT ads also run on the DSP platform. These non-skippable, full-screen ads are a great way to reach millions of people on connected TV sources (like the Amazon Fire TV Stick). You can target specific Amazon audiences, but keep in mind that these ads are not clickable.
Amazon DSP Placements Options
On-Amazon ad placements in the following 300×250, 160×600, and 300×600 are available on:
– Homepage Above the Fold
– Homepage Below the Fold
– Search Skyscraper
– Read All Reviews
– Detail Page
– Thank You Page
On-page ad placements in the following 970×250 and 980×55 for product image only are available on:
– Homepage Below the Fold
– Detail Page Below the Fold
– Deals Page
– Offer Listings Page
Available to managed service advertisers in the US for 650×130 and 245×250 ad placements for product image and shop now variation only.
Available in all 320×50, 414×125, and 300×250 placements on Amazon mobile web for smartphones.
Available in all 320×50, 414×125, and 300×250 placements except the search page on the Amazon Mobile Shopping app for smartphones.
Check out more examples of Amazon DSP campaigns.
How to use Amazon DSP
Before you dive into the upper funnel strategies, make sure that your product is retail-ready:
- Your images are high-quality
- Your bullet points and descriptions are fully optimized
- You have at least a 3.5-star rating
We also recommend running Ad Console campaigns for branded searches at the same time. If your DSP efforts work, and you increase your brand awareness, you will also see an increase in branded searches.
Not every product has a budget for a full-funnel approach and not every product makes sense to run year-round, full-funnel strategy. That said, you need to make sure you have an always-on approach to retargeting, then layer in mid- to upper-funnel efforts as needed.
Leveraging customer data to target shoppers
Amazon offers audience insights to help advertisers understand their audience based on:
- Demographic trends
- Temporal trends
- Brand engagement
With this information, you can add demographic targeting into your upper-funnel strategies, such as targeting a specific age group. This can be especially helpful if you have a limited budget and need to limit your audience reach.
Prospecting with DSP audiences
There are two different ways to use audiences on DSP:
1. Advertiser Audience (aka using your company’s first-party data)
This is a great choice if you already have a lot of data on your customers and prospects. By using pixels, DMP audience transfers, and/or CRM data, you can reach Amazon customers who have already engaged with your brand.
For example, you can:
- Upload a list of customer or prospect emails into DSP
- Create a lookalike audience
- Run a targeting strategy off of that audience
If you place a pixel on your site for retargeting, you can also create a lookalike audience based off of that pixel.
2. Amazon Audiences
Amazon’s Audience Solutions let you reach audiences based on their:
- Interests and behaviors, such as specifically shopping for products in a certain category
- Demographics, such as age, income, or education level
Within the behavioral audience targeting, Amazon has three segments:
- Lifestyle segments that reflect broad interest groups (such as homeowners)
- In-market segments based on what customers have searched for or browsed
- Retargeting segments made up of Amazon shoppers who have viewed but not purchased your products
Amazon Audiences is one of the biggest benefits of using Amazon’s DSP. Using audience insights helps you understand how and when your audience shop, which in turn makes it easier for you to build out retargeting campaigns based on your audience’s data and behavior.
Amazon DSP success story: R+Co
When R+Co first launched on Amazon their products flew off the shelves. They were operationally healthy and had amazing reviews. But after a while, things began to slow down a bit.
The Tinuiti and R+Co teams had to go back to the drawing board and ask themselves:
- What is it that we’re not doing?
- What should we be folding into our advertising strategy to continue to see this growth on Amazon?
They began to invest more heavily in their branding to take full advantage of the real estate on Amazon where they could show their creativity and brand story.
The Tinuiti team designed and built out R+Co’s Amazon Store. Stores can act as microsites that allow brands to create a customized experience on Amazon.
R+Co made sure that they showed up on both branded and non-branded Amazon search engine result pages (SERPs). They had high brand awareness from selling across other platforms but wanted to make sure they showed up for the relevant searches — whether a shopper included their brand name or not.
With that buttoned-up, R+Co began to layer in a more full-funnel Amazon DSP strategy.
Want to learn more? Find out how Tinuiti implemented a success Amazon DSP strategy for R+Co to increase:
- Detail page views by 85%
- Units sold by 70%
- Total sales by 48%
- Return on ad spend (ROAS) by 36%
Now you’re ready to start using Amazon DSP to fill your marketing funnel and improve your customer acquisition.
As a reminder, here’s your order of operations:
- Set goals for your DSP ads
- Identify your audiences
- Choose strategic placements
- Build out and execute your campaign
- Analyze and optimize
- Do it all again!
Amazon DSP success story: Running OLV with our CPG Client
When we started managing this CPG brand’s Amazon DSP back in September of 2021, we launched with Retargeting and In-Market targeting. We were seeing steady sales for the first couple of months, but limited scale within our retargeting campaign, and things started to flatten out a bit. We were able to unlock some additional budget and asked ourselves:
- What strengths can we capitalize on that this brand has already that can help us scale their campaigns?
- What should we be adding to our advertising strategy?
One thing we knew off the bat is that this client had some of the best creative assets we’ve seen. They had really great video assets, so we decided to launch an OLV (online video) campaign. We considered launching STV, but since the immediate goal was to increase our retargeting pool, we landed on OLV instead because it is clickable, while STV is not. We also needed to identify our audiences for this campaign. We layered in a few highly-relevant In-Market and lifestyle audiences.
We launched OLV at the beginning of January, running two different videos leading to the same product detail page. Right off the bat, we were averaging a CTR between 2.0% – 4.0% each week, driving over 6K clicks and 6K DPVs each week. OLV was about 40% of our “Upper Funnel” budget, but it was driving 70% of the incremental detail page views. We found that the eCPDPV (cost per detail page view) for OLV was about half the cost of our Display Consideration campaigns, so we started to allocate more budget to the OLV campaign.
- The purchase rate for the Retargeting line items has been increasing since launching OLV
- Jan –> Feb: Purchase Rate increased by +50%
- Feb –> March: Purchase Rate increased by +30%
- Delivery rates increased in our retargeting pool, as we were adding an average of 5-6K incremental individuals to our retargeting pool each week
- Cost per Detail Page View was far more efficient in the OLV campaign than our evergreen display Consideration tactics while utilizing the same audiences
We are continuing to scale our OLV campaign, and we have added additional products with incremental budget with the goal of expanding those retargeting pools and driving overall awareness.
As a reminder, here’s your order of operations when launching an OLV campaign:
- Set your campaign goals
- Identify relevant audiences
- Choose a strong video:
- 15 or 30 second is Amazon’s best practice
- Make sure the creative showcases the Brand and/or product you’re advertising within the first couple of seconds
- Ensure you have enough budget to ensure statistical significance
Interested in learning more about Amazon DSP? Contact us today for more information.