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Amazon Sponsored Brands Guide

11/03/2020 • Reading time: ca. 10 min • by Trutz Fries

Introduction to Amazon Sponsored Brands

Amazon offers advertisers on your platform several possibilities to place ads. In addition to the Sponsored Products Ads Amazon provides the Sponsored Brands ads (formerly Headline Search Ads). With Sponsored Brands ads you can achieve the following goals:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Increase the visibility of your products
  • Increase in turnover

Sponsored Brands campaigns are available to both Amazon sellers and vendors. It is possible to display ads specifically for selected keywords and/or on product detail pages. A Sponsored Brands ad consists of a brand logo, the brand name, a short, individual ad text, a call-to-action button and a preview of up to approx. three products (incl. title, picture, average rating and prime logo).

Example of a Sponsored Brands ad structure
Figure 1: Example of a Sponsored Brands display

Depending on which area is clicked on, the customer is taken to different pages. For the brand logo, brand name, ad text and the call-to-action button, you will be taken to a special landing page. By clicking on the products, the customer gets to the product detail page.

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Placement of Amazon Sponsored Brands ads

Sponsored Brands ads will be displayed in the following locations in mid 2020:

  1. On the search results page before the actual search results and thus also before the Amazon Sponsored Products ads
Example of an Amazon Sponsored Brands ad at the top of search results
Figure 2: Example of an Amazon Sponsored Brands ad at the top of search results
  1. On the search results page at the very bottom, before turning the page, three ads of sponsored brands are usually played
Example of Amazon Sponsored Brands ads at the bottom of the search results
Figure 3: Example of Amazon Sponsored Brands ads at the bottom of search results
  1. On the product detail pages
Example of Amazon Sponsored Brands ads on the product detail page
Figure 4: Example of Amazon Sponsored Brands ads on the product detail page
  1. On the left side next to the search results
Example of Amazon Sponsored Brands ads on the search results page on the left
Figure 5: Example of Amazon Sponsored Brands ads on the search results page on the left

On mobile devices Sponsored Products ads are located in the same places:

Example of Amazon Sponsored Brands ads above search results in mobile view
Figure 6: Example of Amazon Sponsored Brands ads above the search results in mobile view

Cost model of Amazon Sponsored Brands ads

Like Amazon Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands ads are also billed according to the "Pay per Click" principle (also called Cost per Click (CPC). The seller only pays when a buyer clicks on the ad. The pure display of the Sponsored Brands ad is free of charge. The amount to be paid per click ranges from a few cents to a few euros. In principle, the costs for a click depend on the demand for the search term for which the seller wants to place his ad. You can find more about this in our Amazon Sponsored Products article.

Create an Amazon Sponsored Brands campaign

Requirements for a campaign

Before you can create a Sponsored Brands campaign, you must first register in the Amazon trademark register.

You should also think about a naming structure for your campaigns, so that you can easily find your way around the naming at a later date. Make sure that the name is meaningful, so that you can tell from the name itself what type of campaign it is.

Below you can find an example:

Beispiel 1: Sponsored Brands

  • Orientation: Manually
  • Targeting: Keywords
  • Title Campaign: SB_MANU_KW_T-Shirts-9848

Create a campaign

Now you start creating your campaign. In the first step, click on the Advertising tab in your Amazon Seller or Vendor Central. After a further click on Create Campaign you can select your campaign type Sponsored Brands.

The following dialogue looks like this:

Create a Sponsored Brands Campaign
Figure 7: Create a Sponsored Brands Campaign

The following steps are similar to creating a Sponsored Products Campaign. You define a campaign name, select a start/end period and enter a daily campaign budget.

Then you select the brand for which the campaign is to be run (unlike with sponsored products). If an Amazon Seller Store (or Amazon Brand Store) has already been created for this brand, you have the option to choose whether your Amazon Sponsored Brands ad should be forwarded to this store (see Figure 8) or to a Product List page (see Figure 9). A product list page is a separate landing page with selected products, which is automatically created by Amazon.

Linking the Sponsored Brands ad to the Amazon Brand Store
Figure 8: Linking the Sponsored Brands ad to the Amazon Brand Store
Linking the Sponsored Brands ad to a product list page
Figure 9: Linking the Sponsored Brands ad to a product list page

If you choose the product list page, then select three products to be added to it. The order of the products corresponds to the order of display. Click on the button View product list page in preview to see the final view of your product list page (see Figure 10).

Preview product list page
Figure 10: Preview product list page

Design of the Sponsored Brands ads

The Sponsored Brands ad can then be created in the Design section. Amazon automatically creates different ad sections. However, you have the possibility to adapt and revise them. Images for your ads may only be a maximum of 400x400 px and 1MB in size. The text of your ad is additionally limited to 50 characters. You also have the possibility to upload a user-defined image at this point. A custom image shows your brand or products in use or context. To find out more about where your ads are displayed, you can click on Where will my ad appear? in the black box in the upper right corner (see figure 11). Amazon will then show you an example of where this ad will be placed.

Design Amazon Sponsored Brands ads
Figure 11: Designing the Amazon Sponsored Brands ads

Campaigns Alignments

After you have designed your ad formats, select your targeting. If you want to target your ads to keywords that your customers enter in the search bar to find your products, select the keyword targeting. However, if you want to reach users who are looking at products other than the advertised one, use the Product Targeting.

Keyword-Targeting:

With keyword targeting, you should especially note that the keywords have a high relevance in relation to the three advertised products in your Sponsored Brands ad. If the buyer then searches for one of these keywords, your ad is eligible to be displayed in the search results.

You have several options for keyword alignment to store your keywords:

  • First check the recommended keywords on the Connected tab.
  • Enter your own keywords on the Enter List tab.
  • Upload a file with keywords on the Upload file tab.
 Keyword targeting for sponsored brands ads
Figure 12: Keyword-Targeting for Sponsored Brands ads

In addition, you can use the match type to better target which keywords from customers trigger your ads.

A distinction is made between the following match types:

  • Advanced: Includes all keywords in any order, including plural forms, variants and related keywords. This allows you to discover keywords that you have not thought of before. However, you may receive pop-ups for search terms for which you do not want to be found. In the long term, you should therefore not leave search terms in "Largely", but rather convert them to "Group of words" or "Exactly matching". In order to have more influence on the level of detail, place a plus sign ("+") in front of each search term that should be included in the search query in any case. For example, if you enter "+backpack +ladies" as a search term, these two terms must be included in the search query. You can exclude synonyms with the plus sign.

  • Word group: Word group comprises a sequence of keywords. So if you have entered "printer black" as the search term and "word group" as the type, you will be displayed for "printer black and white" but not for "black printer".

  • Exactly matching: Matches exactly with the keyword or the sequence of keywords about, except for singular and plural forms.

After you have decided on your keywords, select your bids for your keywords.

Amazon also offers the possibility of automated bids. Automated bids are enabled by default. This gives Amazon permission to optimize bids for other placements below the top placements. However, the bids are only reduced for worse placements. If you do not want this, switch off the automated bids. Alternatively, Amazon offers you a custom bid adjustment. You choose your own reduction/increase (see figure 13).

Custom bidding customization for campaigns
Figure 13: User-defined bidding adjustment for campaigns

Product Targeting:

In product targeting you can find suitable products by using the product name or you can filter the products by selecting a category.

In addition, you can refine the targeting of a category, for example, by selecting only a specific brand, price range, star rating or shipping method. You can then set a default bid. This bid applies to all orientations of your campaign unless you specify a specific bid for a particular orientation. The default bid is the maximum amount you pay for a click on your ad.

However, you always have the additional option of placing bids for individual products as well. As with keyword targeting, there is also the possibility of automated or user-defined bids.

With the help of product targeting you can pursue the following strategies:

  1. Attack competitors: Products can be promoted on ASINs from your competitors in this way
  2. Fend off competitors: By targeting your own products, you can increase your relevance, because the competitor has to outbid you first. But above all, make sure to switch cost-effective alternative products to high-priced products. The probability that the potential buyer will choose the cheaper product increases. 3 Cross-selling: Cross-Selling has the goal of increasing sales. With this product targeting strategy you offer the potential buyer additional or complementary products and thus increase the value of the shopping cart. 4 Performance strategy: You can also cleverly combine Sponsored Products ads and Sponsored Brands ads. Use the Sponsored Products as a data source for keywords and placements and then transfer the knowledge gained into your Sponsored Brands campaign.

Negative Keyword Alignment / Negative Product Targeting

Finally, Amazon offers you the option to exclude certain products/ brands or search terms/combinations by means of negative keyword alignment or negative product targeting. It helps you to avoid unnecessary costs. Because, as already mentioned, it is possible that your ad is displayed under search terms/ brands/ products under which you do not want to be displayed. Exclude these gradually to further increase the profitability of your campaigns.

Once you have created your details, review them again before submitting the ad for review by Amazon. Within approximately three business days, the review process will be complete, and your Sponsored Brands ad will be online.

Include a Sponsored Brands Video

Since not so long ago, you also have the possibility to use a video for your Sponsored Brands ad. The playback of the video starts automatically when at least 50% of the video is displayed on the screen. In the lower right corner of the video there is also a mute button with which you can control the audio playback. By default, videos always start without audio. Customers can activate audio by tapping this button. If the video is muted and there is no audio, the mute button is not displayed. Videos that rely on voiceover to convey the product message should include on-screen text in their video. Amazon recommends the use of Helvetica and a minimum size of 80px so that the text is easily readable on small screens. It is also best to place the text in white font on a black frame.

Tips for a good video:

1 Show your product directly 2 Hold the video short and concise (video length of 15-30 seconds) 3 Optimize the video for the format (adjusted so that the video plays without sound first, your videos should work without sound) 4 Don't forget the endless loop (add an end card at the end to give the viewer some air before the video starts again)


Video and audio settings

Often Sponsored Brands Video ads are rejected if you include black or empty frames at the end or beginning of the video. It is also not allowed that the video contains Amazon branding elements. Furthermore, no customer reviews or customer ratings may be included in the video.

Furthermore, make sure that any content within the video (e.g. the screen text) does not interfere with the user interface. To ensure that your video complies with this policy, download the secure area template. Additionally, videos should not have black or white bars on one side of the video content (letterboxing/pilarboxing).

Differences between Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products

Sponsored Brands

  • Availability for sellers and vendors: Yes, but sellers must be registered in the Amazon Brand Registry
  • Support of ad groups: Nein
  • AnzeiAdsgen: are customizable - (include brand logo, brand name, short individual ad text, preview of approx. three products (incl. title, image, average rating and prime logo))
  • Placement: only one Sponsored Brands ad at the beginning before the search results; several ads below the search results; to the left of the search results; on the product detail page
  • Alignment: no automatic alignment of the campaign possible
  • Requirements: a registration in the Brand Registry is necessary
  • Campaign creation:a campaign can be copied to drafts; recently it has become possible to partially edit sponsored brands campaigns: images are replaceable, the advertised products and the slogan can be changed and revised
  • Approval: wait for approval by an Amazon employee
  • Goals: Increase brand awareness, increase the visibility of your products, increase sales

Sponsored Product

  • Availability for sellers and vendors: Ja
  • Support of ad groups: Yes
  • Ads: are not customizable - (include only one product)
  • Placements: several Sponsored Products ads at the beginning of the search results; on the product detail page
  • Alignment: automatic and manual alignment of the campaign
  • Requirements: none
  • Campaign creation: cannot be copied to designs after publication a revision is always possible
  • Approval: no approval required (online after about 1 hour)
  • Goals: Profitable increase in turnover, promotion of rapid sales, testing, new product ideas, avoiding competition, increase in organic sales

Conclusion

Sponsored Brands ads help you increase your brand awareness and sales. Sponsored Brands ads are the first thing a customer sees when they are looking for something. In the best case, sponsored brand ads are displayed above the search results. Together with the Amazon Sponsored Products ads, they are one of the most important tools in advertising. Make use of them in any case!

Advertising on Amazon
If you want to find out about further advertising possibilities, our Amazon Marketing article will give you a comprehensive overview. Click here.
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