What is Sponsored Brands?
Amazon Sponsored Brands Ads, are ads that appear both in the search results, product pages, and checkout pages. Formerly known as Amazon Headline Search Ads, these appear via product attributed targeting (PAT) on product pages. These ads normally show up as long rectangular banners in both horizontal and vertical formats.
Another thing to note is that these banners allow for up to 3 different product images under your brand. You can easily advertise the product of different variations and complementary products all in the same ad. By clicking on these ads, you are either taken directly to the product detail page (for 3 or more products), custom landing page, or your brand storefront (more on that later). Relative to the other Amazon advertising product types (Sponsored Products/Sponsored Display), you get much more creative control.
Before you start on creating a Amazon Sponsored Brands Ad campaigns you must enroll in Amazon brand registry.
To enroll in the Amazon brand registry you need to have the IP of your brand (ie trademark/logo) registered with government trademark offices in the following countries:
- United States
- Saudi Arabia
- The United Kingdom
- The European Union
- United Arab Emirate
You can see the detail requirements from the official brand registry page here.
Sponsored Brands Ad Format Types
Under the umbrella of Sponsored Brands there 3 different type of ad formats. We will go over them in detail below.
1. Product Collection
These are the Amazon banner ads. They show up on the top banner of the search results or on the top of a product detail page (mobile only). The ads in the top banner show up due to keyword targeting.
You can either choose two types of targeting. Keywords targeting (Fig 1) or product targeting (Fig 2) on your product collection ad format. You can also customize the following:
- Headline 🡪 a custom 50 character headline shown above your banner
- The Landing Page 🡪 you can have the landing page pointed on your Amazon storefront or a custom landing page. The custom landing page performs better. The theory is that the custom landing page still looks like the search result page; hence customer purchase flow is not interrupted.
- Automated bidding 🡪 is a very confusing option. By selecting this option, they will only automatically optimize bids for non-top of search placements. I will only select this if I don’t have an ongoing process for bid management. If you are looking for automatic bid management at scale, our software SellerMetrics can handle that 🙂
- Custom Image 🡪 will appear on mobile only. A nice, large image takes up a large portion of the real estate on the Amazon shopping app (figure – 3). Using the custom image has been known to increase CTR and CVR dramatically. I highly recommend using it.
2. Stores Spotlight
The store spotlight is quite similar to product collection, the key difference in that you can only pick your storefront pages as the landing pages whereas in product collection you have a choice between custom landing pages and storefront pages.
Our experience with store spotlight SB (sponsored brands) ads has not been good, the impression is lower and ACoS is higher relative to product collection ads. But it would not hurt to experiment with these ads for your own products/category.
In terms of where these ads show up, they will appear on the top of the search result pages on desktop, mobile web, and mobile app. The side and bottom of the search result pages and product detail page placement are not available yet for store spotlight.
Sponsored Brands Video ads are 45-sec clips. These clips are displayed in the middle of the search result page on both mobile and desktop. Right now, it is only displayed on the search result page, hence this ad format only allows keyword targeting option. Going forward I do believe that the product attribute targeting (PAT) option will be available and the video ads will be shown on the product listing page itself.
Within the accounts managed by SellerMetrics, all the data points to the superior performance of the Amazon video ads compare to any other ad type. The probable reason is the relatively lower competition. Video asset creation can be costly, but any video is better than no video. A budget solution is to take clips of your product with your smartphone and have someone on Upwork or Fiverr, edit the clip together with some callouts. The video uploaded to Amazon Advertising just needs to be in the following criteria:
- 16:9 aspect ratio
- 1280 x 720px, 1920 x 1080px or 3840 x 2160px
- 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 29.98, or 30 fps
- 1 Mbps or higher bit rate
- H.264 or H.265 codec
- 6-45 sec long
- 500 MB or smaller
- MP4 or MOV file
- Main or baseline profile
- Progressive scan type
- 1 video stream only
- 44.1 kHz or higher sample rate
- PCM, AAC or MP3 codec
- 96 kbps or higher bit rate
- Stereo or mono format
- Not more than 1 audio stream
- 44.1 kHz or higher sample rate
- PCM, AAC or MP3 codec
- 96 kbps or higher bit rate
- Stereo or mono format
- Not more than 1 audio stream
Make sure whoever edits your video follows the above specs! The video will be rejected by Amazon if it doesn’t strictly follow the above specs.
Much like in the Sponsored Products, in Sponsored Brands you can target specific keywords with your ad placement showing up on a customer keyword search results on the search bar, and like SP, you can add broad, phrase, and exact match types. Keep in mind though in Sponsored Brands there will be no ad groups, so you will possibly need to add multiple keyword match types into the campaign. There is also a 1000 keywords limit, hence in one campaign, you can only have 1000 unique keywords and match type combinations.
Keyword targeting option is available to all Sponsored Brands ad formats.
Product Targeting (PAT)
Product Targeting, also called Product Attribution Targeting (PAT), allows you to target specific ASINs and have your ad show up on a product listing page. It is shown in the middle of the product listing page, just above the product description and A+ content shown in Figure 5.
Currently, as of Oct 2021, the product targeting option is available for product collection and store spotlight ad formats only. It not available for Sponsored Brand Videos, but as I mentioned earlier we do think that this is going to change in the foreseeable future.
Amazon Sponsored Products vs Sponsored Brands
Since Sponsored Brands has afforded much more creative control, it is a great way to build brand awareness and have the potential customer discover your brand. It can be used to attract shoppers that are placed higher in the conversion funnel than say Sponsored Products.
Because it is in the higher up of the purchase funnel you can expect your Sponsored Brands conversion rate to decrease and ACoS (advertising cost of sales) to increase relative to Sponsored Products ads.
Does this mean that you should not use Sponsored Brands ads? Absolutely not. First of all, you should be testing all advertising products and ad types in Amazon Advertising, just because some ad products and type combinations do not work for one seller, doesn’t mean it will not work for you.
Second of all, especially in a niche where there can be recurring purchases, you can really gain an additional following to your brand. This can be done via a brands sponsored headlinesthat is added in the SB banner ads and also making use of the metrics such as NTB (new to brands) orders and sales, more on this later.
Amazon Storefront vs Custom Landing Page
For product collection ad formats you can either select Amazon storefront our a custom landing page.
What you will select will be based on your goals. The rule of thumb is that If you are to select a custom landing page (new landing) you are optimizing for conversion, and if you are selecting Amazon store you looking at more of a branding campaign.
For Amazon storefront, you will need to create one in your seller central account under the “stores” tab. The customization you are afforded when you create your Amazon storefront, such as selecting different tiles. There are tiles for ad hoc text, video, and product display (like in the Amazon search results). Using these tiles in your Amazon store gives you the best way to tell your brand story. Here is a nicely done one from Steiner Optics.
When you use customized images, the brand can use their colors and images to tell the brand story. It also highlights other attributes that cannot be told in a single product listing page.
Another plus is that you can create tags and add them to your Amazon store link. You can use these tags to attribute from off Amazon channels such as Facebook Ads or Google Adwords. This is done by creating “tag sources” in your Amazon store insight page.
Custom Landing Pages
These landing pages will take you to a page that lists 3 or more products from the brand. Amazon allows very little customization in this option, and it will look something like the below.
Analyzing your Sponsored Brand Performance
Besides the other metrics you see on Amazon PPC, such as CPC, Impressions, Orders, and ACoS, the Sponsored Brands has a pretty cool metric call NTB (new to brand). It tells you the number of first-time orders and sales for Amazon products within the brand over a one-year lookback window.
By looking at this metric, you can make sure that you are consistently driving new customers into your funnel. As mentioned earlier, this is great if you have a product that could incur reoccurring purchases. A good example of this is supplements. You can have a much higher ACoS target for these Sponsored Brands campaigns in cases like that.
Amazon Advertising Reports for Sponsored Brands
There are 6 different types of Sponsored Brands report. If you are familiar with sponsored products reports, you should be familiar with most of them. You can request reports on your seller central dashboard 🡪 Reports 🡪 Advertising Reports.
1. Keyword Report
This is the report that shows the data on keywords/Product level and its corresponding metrics. This report is on the same granular level as the bulk operations file, so if you are consistently running the bulk operations file already, then you will probably won’t need to run this report.
2. Keyword Placement Report
It is further segmented by placements similar to the keyword report. The keywords placements can be on top of search (the first banner placement for SB) or other placements (side or bottom of the search results).
This report can be quite actionable, you can analyze how a particular keyword is performing by its placement type, if the keyword is within ACoS target and make a high relative amount of orders you can think about placing a higher bid to make sure you win the “Top of Search” placement.
3. Campaign Report
This reports shows the data by campaigns and its corresponding metrics.
4. Campaign Placement Report
Like the keyword campaign placement data, this report will show campaign performance based on campaign placement. By analyzing this report’s performance, you can adjust the “Adjust bid by placement” settings under campaign settings. You can see if the placement on Top of Search or Product Page is doing well and adjust accordingly in the report.
5. Search Term Report
In my opinion, this is probably the most important report in the Amazon advertising reports. It allows you to see customer search term data, as this is what the customer searched for in the search bar.
There can be quite a bit of confusion between keywords and search terms. The difference is keywords are what advertisers/sellers choose to target on their side. Search term is what the customer is searching for in the search bar. In other words, keywords are on the supply side, and search terms are on the demand side.
The keywords and search terms can be different due to the different match types afforded by the advertiser to use. For example, an advertiser using the “phrase” match type on keywords “skinny jeans” can get an impression. This happens when the customer uses the search term “skinny jeans juniors.”
Now that we know how the difference between search terms and keywords, we can use the search term report in two ways: 1) Find poor performing and irrelevant search terms and add them to Negative Exact match. 2) Add new customer search terms that had attributed to the order as a new keyword.
6. Search Term Impression Share Report
This is the newest report. It reports on all Sponsored Brands ads formats except for Sponsored brand video. This report’s value is that it will give you the rank and impression share of a particular customer search term for your sponsored brand ad placement.
For example, the customer search term is “baby Crib”. Your rank is 1, and search term impression share is 70%. This will mean that your placement is current rank one when “baby crib” is entered, and it appears 70% of the time out of all the time customers had to search for the term “Baby crib”.
Keep in mind, just because you are ranked number one, doesn’t mean you will win the placement all the time, it could be the next bidder for your placement is a close second, at this point you can consider up bidding the targeting keyword.
How to use Sponsored Brands Ads Strategically
First of all, you need to understand that Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands are two different ad products and you should not mindlessly port your Sponsored Products strategy to Sponsored Brands. Sponsored Brands if done right can expand your brand’s presence and can lower your Sponsored Products ACoS as your brand becomes more known in the niche as you scale your Sponsored Brands ads. Sponsored Brand, therefore at the very least should constitute at least 50% of your Sponsored Product campaign budget to start and adjusted up or down depending on performance.
If you are running Sponsored Brand ads for the first time, a good way to check its effectiveness is to how your Sponsored Products ads are doing after you have run your Sponsored Brands campaign for at least 30 days. If your Sponsored Brands seems to have caused an additional jump to your Sponsored Products sales, give room for your Sponsored Brands campaign for high ACoS. This concludes our Sponsored Brands tutorial we hope you find this guide useful to scale your Sponsored Brands ads.
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