Amazon ads use keyword targeting that surfaces results based on words and phrases that customers search with. In order to make sure your ads reach the right customers at the right time, it’s important that you understand and properly leverage the targeting methods Amazon offers.

Amazon Targeting: Manual and Automatic

There are two targeting options you can use when you create an Amazon Sponsored Products campaign: manual and automatic. Manual targeting lets you apply your own keywords to the campaign. Conversely, automatic targeting doesn’t require you to input any keywords—Amazon automatically collects and targets relevant keywords for the products you want to advertise, based on the information in your product detail pages.

When to Use Manual Targeting

Manual targeting is ideal for advertisers who prefer full campaign control. It allows you to set bids at the keyword level, letting you bid more competitively on keywords that perform well. If you already know what keywords your customers search with and can supply a list, this targeting option is for you. Additionally, you can use Amazon’s suggested keywords to help inform your keyword strategies.

Note: Manual targeting is available for both Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands ad types.

When to Use Automatic Targeting

Automatic targeting can be great for expanding reach beyond your existing customer base. For example, it may be perfect for an advertiser who plans to launch a product in a new category. Since you don’t have to enter keywords by yourself, it helps save time when you create a new campaign. If you’re new to the digital advertising world, this targeting option will be a great starting point for you. It also allows you to discover new keywords that generate clicks and sales.

Note: Automatic targeting is available for the Sponsored Products ad type only.

Your Customers Are “Always On”

You should leverage an always-on approach of running your campaigns with both manual and automatic targeting. Be sure to select the appropriate targeting methods for your campaign goals and products. For example, run a manual targeting campaign using high-performing keywords with best-selling products, and run an automatic campaign to launch new products.

You can use both targeting methods in concert by running an automatic targeting campaign to gain insight on what keywords generate higher clicks and sales than others, and then applying those keywords to a manual campaign and setting more competitive keyword-level bids. Diversify your targeting methods and keep optimizing your campaigns based on what you learn from the performance, so that you reach as many customers as possible, as effectively as possible.