When I launched the Lean Media book, one of the most important promotional tools was Amazon Advertising (formerly Amazon Marketing Services, or AMS), a self-serve advertising platform available at advertising.amazon.com. It allowed me to start promoting the book even before it was released, by sending potential customers to a preorder page. You can use Amazon Advertising ads for books, gadgets, tools, and other products sold on Amazon.
One of the ads I created is a headline search ad that directs people to different Amazon product pages for Lean Media (for instance, paperback, kindle, and hardcover editions). I uploaded a piece of artwork from the book, entered some text (“If you make media, you need an edge”), bid on scores of keywords, and set a daily budget of $5. Amazon approved the ad, and that day shoppers started seeing the ad when they searched for one of the keywords or phrases:
If I did not have that ad running, someone searching for Lean Media would only see the book by scrolling down the page of Amazon search results, or maybe by going to the second or third pages of Amazon search results. However, with the headline search ad it now appears prominently above all other titles matching those keywords.
Every time someone clicks on the ad, Amazon charges my company a small amount of money—currently, about 20 cents per click. The people get taken to the Amazon product pages for the different editions of the book. Most don’t do anything, but a small percentage end up buying Lean Media.
At first, I was skeptical the ads would work. In past years, I had experimented with Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, but the results were disappointing. Despite lots of testing with different keywords, images, and messaging, my Google and Facebook campaigns always cost a lot more than the sales they generated.
It was a different story when it came to Amazon ads. I was pleasantly surprised to see modest sales taking place on Amazon within a few days of starting the campaigns.
This short video explains what Amazon Advertising ads are and also shows some examples: