How to Use Amazon Display Ads to Sell More Books (Part 3)

In Part 2 of this blog series – How to Use Amazon Pay-Per-Click Ads – we showed you how to set up pay-per-click advertising campaigns on Amazon. Now let’s move on to Part 3:

How to Use Amazon Display Ads

How to use Amazon Display ads to sell booksAmazon Product Display Ads are generated based on book genre, related books, and even other products that you identify. Ads display in two places:

  • Book or product detail pages, on the right under the Purchase buttons.
  • Kindle e-reader screensavers and home screens.

Ads run based on a date range you set. Campaign-level reporting available, but you won’t see any granular detail, such as which products converted the most sales.

Using Amazon Product Display Ads for books can be challenging because they aren’t as well-targeted as the keywords you can identify with Sponsored Ads. With display ads, you can only target your ads to specific products and categories, not by keyword.

Because of this, you may want to focus your efforts on Sponsored Ads (keyword-based marketing).

With that said, we’ll walk you through the steps for Amazon Display Ads in case you want to give them a try!

How to Create Amazon Display Ads

  1. Login to KDP. Start by going to your Kindle publisher account and logging in: http://kdp.amazon.com.

Note: If you already have other ads running on your Kindle titles, you can create new ads from the Amazon Marketing Services dashboard: https://ams.amazon.com/.

  1. Click on “Promote and Advertise” next to your book title.
  2. Click on Product Display Ads. amazon marketing services pay per click ads
  3. You will see two ad options:
  • By Product – Set up display ads based on similar products/books that you select.
  • By Interest – Ads appear on Kindle e-readers and to some Amazon shoppers when they browse categories you select for your ad.

This is what you’ll see:

Target Ads by Product

If you choose to target your ads by product, you can search for similar books and even other products on Amazon. For example, if you wrote a book about the importance of vitamins, you might want your book to display alongside popular vitamin supplements.

Here’s what it looks like:

Add Lots of Related Books and Products – The more competing book titles you add, the better chances of your book appearing with the right potential buyers. As you did when setting up keyword-based ads, beware of associating your book with titles that don’t fit your genre or intended audience. You wouldn’t want to promote a book about financial planning to the Harry Potter audience. Sure, Harry Potter is popular and generates lots of views on Amazon, but it’s unlikely that readership there fits your ideal target audience.

If you have trouble locating a specific book or product through the wonky search results that show up in the ad interface, go locate the book on Amazon yourself and then copy its “ASIN” number (unique identifier) and use that in the search box.

The key to success here is to choose books and related products that match your ideal readership.

Here is an example of how an ad looks:

example of amazon marketing services display ad

Check or Ignore the Box at the Bottom – After you’ve finished adding books and/or products to your ad criteria, you will notice a checkbox at the bottom that reads: “Automatically extend your reach to include related products, such as those frequently bought with your book (recommended).”

There are two considerations when deciding whether or not to check this box:

  • If you DO check the box and allow Amazon to factor in related books it thinks should be included, you won’t know for sure if your ad performance is based on the products you selected or based on Amazon’s additions to your ad set (Amazon will not report what titles it includes here). So, if your ad under-performs, you won’t know why. And if does well, you won’t know why. However, since Amazon has its own algorithms that are presumably optimized to help you get the best results, you may want to select this option and hope for the best.
  • If you DON’T check the box, your display ads will be based only on the products you selected. So, whether your ads under-perform or do well, you’ll know it’s because of the products you selected.

Bottom Line: It’s your choice. I personally check the box because I have some faith that Amazon knows what it’s doing, but you may not agree!

Alternate Solution: If you have some budget to play with, try your ad set both ways. Create one display ad WITH the box checked and another identical ad WITHOUT the box checked and see which performs better!

Set Campaign Budget – The minimum campaign budget is $100. If you find that the ad isn’t performing as you planned, you can pause the campaign at any time.

Click Submit – It will take a day or two for your ad to get approved. Note that Amazon may decline the ad if it’s not targeted to the right audience.

Target Ads by Interest

If you choose to target your ads by interest, you can select product categories:

How to Use Amazon Display Ads to Sell More Books

Beware – This is an incredibly broad advertising strategy. Unless your book has major appeal across an entire genre/category, this is unlikely to net great results. We strongly recommend sticking with product-based ads, or better yet, keyword targeting.

Set Your Bid – You will be able to set your cost-per-click bid rate, and the average bid will vary depending on the popularity of the category. For the business category shown above, suggested bid rate is currently $.16 to $.27.

Note that you will only be charged the rate of the actually rate when your link is clicked by an Amazon shopper. So, if the top bid for your category is $.18 at the time of the click, you will be charged $.18, even if you set your bid at a maximum of $.25.

Set Campaign Budget – The minimum campaign budget is $100. If you find that the ad isn’t performing as you planned, you can pause the campaign at any time.

Monitor Display Ad Performance

You can view the results of your ads from the Amazon Marketing Services Dashboard: https://ams.amazon.com/ads/dashboard.

You will be shown the number of impressions (views) your ad generated, number of clicks received, amount spent, and total sales. The challenge is that you won’t know exactly what is working or not working because there is no detailed reporting like Amazon offers with its Sponsored Products ads.

This 4-part blog series includes the following:

Part 1 – How to Use Amazon Advertising to Sell More Books

Part 2 – How to Use Amazon Pay-Per-Click Campaigns (POPULAR TOPIC)

THIS POST: Part 3 – How to Use Amazon Display Ads

NEXT POST: Part 4 – How the Amazon KDP Select Program Works for Nonfiction Authors

Download a printable copy (24 pages!) of this 4-part report:
Access the Amazon Report here.

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