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As the online mail order company Amazon continues to grow, so does the wide variety of products it offers. For this reason, it is particularly difficult to land your own product on the first search results page in the most popular product categories. However, this is an important factor in generating sales because, as is already known from search engines such as Google, the other results pages on Amazon also receive hardly any impressions. And a product that is not seen will not be bought.

Amazon offers a number of advertising options so that smaller retailers and new products also have the chance to gain impressions and sales. In this way, you can significantly increase the visibility of your own products. In this article, you can find out what options there are for advertising on Amazon and how they work.

Sponsored products

Sponsored products are paid advertisements that appear on the first search results page for certain search queries. They are therefore used to bring a product to the front and are therefore ideal for new products or those that are further down in the organic search results. However, sponsored product ads can now also be displayed on product detail pages. The ads are billed per click. More precisely, a bid is placed for the maximum CPC (cost per click) on the basis of which the highest bidder wins the ad space. For each click on the ad, the bid of the second highest bidder + 0.01 Euro is paid.

sponsored products


The following requirements apply in order to set up sponsored product campaigns:

  • A professional seller account
  • Sponsored Product campaigns must be activated for the corresponding product category
  • The product must have the Buy Box
  • The CPC bid must be competitive

Automatic campaign

For sponsored products, there is a choice between automatic and manual campaigns. For an automatic Sponsored Product campaign, you only need to enter the daily budget, the standard bid for the CPC and the product to be advertised. Amazon uses the keywords in the product listing and the product category to decide which keywords the ad should be displayed for.


  • Visibility can be significantly improved with little effort
  • Amazon takes over the keyword research


  • No influence on the display of ads
  • Generally higher ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sale) than with manual campaigns

Manual campaign

A manual campaign requires a little more time to create, but also offers more options. The biggest difference is that you determine the relevant keywords yourself. Both Amazon's suggestions and your own keywords can be used. When defining the keywords, you can choose between the match types Exact (search query must be identical to the keyword), Phrase (search query must contain keywords in the specified order) and Broad (search query must contain keyword(s) in some way). Negative keywords can also be entered for better narrowing down. In addition to the daily budget, the standard bid and the product to be advertised, keyword-specific CPC bids are also submitted, which override the standard bid.


  • Very precise, controllable display of the ads
  • keyword-specific CPC bids
  • Focus only on top keywords possible


  • Greater effort in the creation and optimization of campaigns

Tip: It can be a practical strategy to run both automatic and manual ads. This way, additional relevant keywords can be identified through the automatic ad and later integrated into the manual campaign. You can find more details and tips as well as precise instructions for creating Sponsored Product campaigns here in this article.

Product orientation

For some time now, sponsored products can also be displayed on product detail pages. You can choose between category targeting and product targeting. It is also advisable to use both here. For example, you can select competitors on whose product detail pages you want to advertise, while at the same time you can use category targeting to advertise on product detail pages that you did not have in mind. If some of these product detail pages turn out to be profitable after some time, they can be included in the campaign with product targeting. It is possible to set negative product orientations in order to exclude certain products from targeting. In addition, details such as products of certain brands, a price range or customer ratings can also be specified for the selection of product detail pages.

Tip: It can't hurt to start an additional campaign for advertising on your own product detail pages. This will generate more sales and at the same time prevent the competition from poaching potential customers. You can find further information, tips and instructions for product targeting here in this article.

Sponsored Brands

Until recently, Sponsored Brands ads were known as Headline Search Ads. These show three similar products of a brand prominently on the search results page, above or below the organic results. Sponsored Brands ads are also based on the search terms entered and are billed according to CPC, i.e. payment is made per click. As the former headline search ads were only available for large, strong brands for a long time, the products advertised through sponsored brands ads are still often classified as professional and trustworthy.

sponsored brands


To advertise with Sponsored Brands ads, the following requirements apply:

  • Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) participants
  • Or sellers with their own brand, which is registered via the Amazon trademark application
  • Only products that belong to the brand can be advertised
  • At least three similar products are required

Create Sponsored Brands Ads

The Sponsored Brands Ad can either be placed on the Amazon Brand Store of the brand or to a list page containing similar products. To create such an advertisement, the list page must first be filled with corresponding products, if desired. These products should be kept as uniform as possible and be relevant to the user's search query. The ad itself contains three similar products, while the list can contain significantly more.

In addition to the three products, the ad consists of a headline, the brand name and a main image. In contrast to the sponsored product ads, there is room for customization here. Here too, the desired keywords must be specified with the match types, on the basis of which it is determined whether an ad is placed. You can enter your own keywords or take Amazon's suggestions into account. One advantage of this is that the relative search volume of the keywords is shown. Finally, all you need to do is enter the daily budget, the duration and the campaign name and the ad can be activated by an employee. You can find detailed instructions on how to create Sponsored Brands campaigns here here.

Product Display Ads

Product Display Ads on Amazon are advertisements that can be displayed on product detail pages, in search results or in customer reviews. They advertise a specific product and redirect to the corresponding product detail page. Costs are also incurred per click on the ad (CPC), but a major difference to the other two advertising options is that display ads are not keyword-related. The decision as to whether the ads are displayed is based on interest-based targeting or the targeting of specific products or product categories.

display ads


The creation of Product Display Ads campaigns is currently only reserved for participants in the Vendor/Vendor Express program.

Create Product Display Ads

First of all, you can decide whether interest-based or product targeting should be used for the ad. If the latter is selected, you can choose between product category or specific products. In the latter case, the product detail pages on which the ad is to be displayed can be selected manually using the ASIN. This procedure is time-consuming, but very accurate.

If you want to go faster, product category targeting is recommended. Alternatively, the products can also be extended to closely related products so that less manual work is required. Various formats can be selected during creation. The ads consist of a headline, the brand name, a product description and the brand logo. Price, images and reviews are automatically transferred. Finally, all you have to do is enter information on VAT registration and the campaign can be activated.

Tip: Here, too, it is worth using the advantages of both targeting variants and including products that prove to be promising in the product targeting campaign. You can find more tips and detailed instructions on creating display ad campaigns here in this article.


Amazon therefore offers three different ways to improve the visibility of its own products through advertising. Sponsored Products are ideal for generating initial sales with new products, while Sponsored Brands Ads draw attention to your own brand. Product Display Ads ensure the most prominent display on the product detail pages. However, what all three advertising options have in common is that the performance of the campaigns should be regularly monitored and optimized, as this is the only way to achieve the best possible profit from the ad placement.

Tobias Dziuba

My name is Tobias and I am the founder and managing director of the Amazon agency Adsmasters GmbH based in Düsseldorf.

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