ASIN Defense Strategy | Here’s Why You Need It

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Most brands neglect setting up an ASIN Defense Strategy on Amazon. This is a crucial mistake, which can really harm your conversion rate.

Let’s say you are searching for your sponsored items on Amazon. Do you notice competing ads ranking higher in the search results?

If that’s the case, it may mean that competitors are stealing your conversions. How can this happen? And how can you kick them off your listings?

This is where an ASIN defensive strategy can help you out. Today, we’ll explore why you should invest in effective Amazon defense ads to protect your sales.

Let’s dive right in.


What are Defensive Ads?


It’s quite simple. An Amazon defense strategy protects your branded keywords from ‘getting poached’ by sellers.

Branded keywords are terms that are unique to your products, or to your brands. They help you stand out on Amazon from the knock-off items.

When you have a fair share of a product segment, competitors may seek to benefit from your success. To do so, some brands may run offensive ads. This means that they’ll bid on your branded keywords to get a placement next to your own product.


offensive ads amazon


In the long run, offensive ads could affect your search placement and hurt your sales. An ASIN Defense strategy can help you prevent such risks, or at least mitigate them.

Related content: Branded Keywords – How to Defend Your Brand on Amazon


How ASIN Defense Ads Work


As we mentioned before, offensive ads use keywords and product targeting to bid for placements beside your own listings.

The concept is similar to regular sponsored ads.

However, defensive ads strive to occupy as much ad space as possible. That way, competitors will have a hard time placing their own ads in your product listings.


defensive ads amazon


You can also think of it this way: defensive marketing lets you advertise in your own product pages.

So, you reduce the chance for competitors to steal customers away.

Here are some extra benefits of running ASIN defense ads:

  • Boost your Amazon search placement
  • Showcase new offers to returning customers
  • New conversion windows for non-committal buyers
  • Outsell similar or related product offers
  • Reinforce brand awareness


Why Set Up an Amazon ASIN Defense Strategy?


Brands can tell the difference between organic and paid search results. That’s not always the case with customers.

Amazon ensures that ads blend into search results. They are made to look like organic product listings. The goal is to improve the shopping experience for customers. However, it also makes it harder for sellers to boost visibility on Amazon search ranks.

Search Engine Journal states that 35% of Amazon users click on the first listing of their Amazon search. Plus, 64% of all clicks go to the top 3 search results.

Sellers naturally want to hold the top search placements. Here lies the importance of creating an effective Amazon marketing strategy.

But it’s also important to hold your placement with an ASIN defense strategy.


Top 3 Amazon ASIN Defense Strategies


Let’s say you’ve set up an effective Amazon marketing strategy for a single product. It includes high-ranking targeted keywords and a few sponsored ads.

After much hard work, most customers now buy that specific item from you. Great! But now, competitors are looking towards poaching your keywords to steal your base. So, you have to defend your keywords. What’s the best way to do so?

Look no further than Sponsored Campaigns! Also known as CPC (Cost Per Click) ads, they are among the most popular Amazon marketing strategies.

As you may know, this is a product targeting strategy that relies on keywords. You also know that great Sponsored Ads drive ROI, reduce ACoS, and boost conversions.

But, did you know that Sponsored Campaigns are also excellent Amazon defense resources?

Let’s review the ASIN Defense strategy for the three types of Sponsored Campaigns:

Related content: Sponsored Products vs Sponsored Brands


Sponsored Products ASIN Defense Strategy


These are the regular CPC ads, which feature a single item from your catalog. You can display them alongside product listings and search results.

Sponsored Product ads are easy to set up. You only need to choose an ASIN to promote, submit targeted keywords, and set a budget.

Here are some Sponsored Products defense strategies to consider: 

  • Catch-all. In short, this is a campaign that targets all products. The goal is to take as much space in Amazon’s ad carousels with your own listings.
  • Top item defense. Concentrate on protecting your high converting products. These could be top sellers, or items with high customer ratings/reviews.
  • Substitution. It’s especially useful when you have very similar product offers. It’s about creating ads related to the main listing. For example, new product models, or accessory items for a parent ASIN.
  • Upsell. Offer alternative offers to customers. For example, an audio seller could offer budget-friendly speakers or headphones, alongside their more expensive counterpart.


Sponsored Brands ASIN Defense Strategy


Sponsored Brands highlight up to three products in a single space. They are also PPC-based and a bit pricier than Sponsored Product, but you only pay when someone clicks on the ad.

You can use a Sponsored Brands carousel to showcase different products on a single listing page. This can prevent other ads from hijacking your space. Plus, you’ll also increase your brand’s visibility on the spot.

Another great strategy is to use Sponsored Brands to promote your Amazon Store. This way, you can invite customers to look through your complete product catalog.


Sponsored Display ASIN Defense Strategy


Sponsored Display ads are not keyword-centric. Rather, they track user behavior and interest for 30 days. Sellers can then use the results to target customers with high engagement rates.

Sponsored Display placements are very prominent on Amazon, especially on the mobile app. Plus, most sellers don’t take full advantage of Sponsored Display. This translates to higher conversions at a lower CPC rate.

The best defense strategy for sponsored display is to mirror your Sponsored Products approach. It’s easy to set up, since you’ve done all the legwork already. Plus, you’ll combine both campaigns to boost your ASIN Protection.

Note: Sponsored Display is an exclusive feature for Brand Registered sellers.


How to Create an ASIN Defense Strategy


The process to create a defense ad campaign is the same as when you set up a regular Amazon ad. The main difference is that you’ll now target the keywords and products within your pre-existing ads.

Let’s review the complete process:

  1. Log in to Seller Central, and click on Advertising.
  2. Here, select Campaign Manager and go to Create Campaign.
  3. Choose a Campaign Type to set up:  Sponsored Products, Display or Brands.
  1. Now submit the Campaign Details. This includes duration, budget and targeting.
    1. Automatic targeting lets Amazon select items and keywords similar to your listing.
    2. Manual targeting enables you to submit specific keywords to reach niche audiences.
  1. The next step is to select a Campaign Bidding Strategy. The available options are:
    1. Dynamic bids (down) lower your bids when Amazon deems the ad won’t generate many conversions.
    2. Dynamic bids (up and down) adjust bidding depending on the ad’s conversion rate.
    3. Fixed bids retain the initial bid at all times, unless the seller makes a manual adjustment.
  1. Now, create an Ad Group to target. It’s best to set up category groupings. This is so you can defend category-related items with similar keywords. It’s also great to focus on one type of targeting:
    1. Keyword targeting is quite effective. This is especially so when you know which terms customers use most to find your listings. 
    2. Product targeting focuses on highlighting item features. This will help new users find your offers. 
  1. Submit your keywords. Remember to target your branded keywords, and cover as many related terms as possible.
  2. Review the data, and click on Launch Campaign.


Final Thoughts


New sellers enroll in Amazon every day. They are all looking to take every opportunity to outsell competitors.

So, don’t understate the importance of an Amazon ASIN defense strategy. A few defensive ads can give you an additional layer of protection. At the same time, you will boost your market visibility.

This is easier said than done, of course. Unfortunately, too many brands run disjointed ad strategies. This prevents them from achieving long-term success.

It can be helpful to get a brand audit from a team of experts who are well versed in the Amazon Marketplace. The right agency can improve your sales funnel to drive brand awareness and revenue.

With the proper strategy, you can rest assured that your listings will mostly show your own products.

At the least, you’ll drive customers away from invading ads. It’s a win-win for you!

Go ahead and defend your turf on Amazon. When you protect your brand, you are protecting your market share, and your value to customers.



Esteban Muñoz is an SEO copywriter at AMZ Advisers, with several years’ experience in digital marketing and e-commerce. Esteban and the AMZ Advisers team have been able to achieve incredible growth on the Amazon platform for their clients by optimizing and managing their accounts and creating in-depth content marketing strategies.

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