Nozzle Insights

The latest news and industry insights for all things Amazon advertising, both for agencies and sellers. Keep in the loop for Amazon search and display stories, as Nozzle helps brands leverage success in the e-commerce world.

4 Amazon Sponsored Brand Ads Strategy Tips

    Over the last year, Amazon has made substantial updates to Sponsored Brands campaigns, including new placement options and creative editing features.

    Amazon is looking to place Sponsored Brands as a crucial part of top-of-funnel ad spend. With Sponsored Brands, unlike Sponsored Products, you can direct the customer to a product listing or a brand store. We’ve actually seen Sponsored Brand ads out convert Sponsored Products, particularly in the UK. An interesting (and unexpected) result, but just one more reason to take this advertising type seriously and make sure that you understand best practice.

    Amazon advertising will evolve quickly over the next 6-12 months. Brands that are quick to take advantage of the new offerings have the opportunity to step ahead of the competition, and this is likely to show in campaign performance. With Q4 around the corner, and Prime Day now added to the end-of-year sales already in place, taking advantage of every advertising avenue is critical to success. 

     

    What are Sponsored Brand Ads

    Previously known as Headline Search Ads, Sponsored Brand Ads (SBAs) typically feature a brand’s logo, a custom headline, and up to three products in the showcase. You can also now showcase up to three Store pages in your Sponsored Brands campaign.

    Amazon-co-uk-autumn clothing

    Brand registered

    Only Sellers who have a verified Amazon Brand Registry account can use Amazon Brand ads. Sponsored Brand ads are visible on both mobile and desktop and are intended to increase brand visibility while promoting products.

     

    Sponsored Brand Ad Strategies

    Every type of advertisement should be used for a purpose. Knowing how Sponsored Brand Ads can be deployed will help you do so to better effect. 

    1. Generate brand awareness 

    Sponsored Brands build awareness by showing your offering for specific shopper search queries. Sponsored Brand ads are great for a top-of-funnel approach. They are also an excellent way to target competitors and make new potential customers aware of your brand.

    Why this is important: 

    You can create an advertising strategy which spans the discovery and engagement part of the sales funnel, helping your brand stand out even more.

    Sponsored Brands let you link traffic directly to your Store.  Stores are a free and customizable way for you to build your unique destination on Amazon.

    How to execute: 

    Implement Stores: The Store subpage selection gives the shopper a good idea of a brand’s catalog without the need to click around. It also lets the shopper connect to the exact sub-page they want to browse, making for a more streamlined and brand-centric experience.

    Segment branded vs non-branded searches: You match search intent by using generic terms to help your products rank high in the search results. Branded searches are typically used by buyers with higher specific buying intent and tend to have a lower ACoS. 

    To build brand awareness, you can design ads to include generic, unbranded short-tail keywords along with a selection of three of your best-selling products. 

    Pro-Tip: Avoid mixing branded and non-branded campaigns. It may mask the actual performance of your branded or non-branded campaigns.

    2. Use your full range of bidding options


    There are many different ways to bid — targeting products, brands and keywords. Amazon Ads campaigns can also be either automatic or manual. 

    Automated bidding can optimize your return on advertising spend (RoAS) across placements automatically. It will never increase your bid, but can lower bids for other placements below top of search. 

    • Automatic campaigns can be easier to manage. 
    • Manual campaigns give more control over budget and performance.

    If you are interested, we cover bidding strategies in more detail in two recent blogs: 

    1. 6 essential types of Amazon Seller tool
    2. 6 Amazon PPC reports

    Why this is important: 

    Ads are cost-per-click (CPC), so you need to ensure you derive the most benefit as a result of customers clicking your ads. It would usually be best to control how much you spend by setting your budget and choosing how much to bid per click. 

    Optimise ads with ease

    How to execute: 

    There are a number of different ways to select and optimise your bidding strategy. Two great choices are: 

    1. Exploit new match opportunities

    Negative keywords: You can use negative keywords with exact, phrase and broad match keyword targeting. 

    Broad match variation: Broad match targeting includes synonyms, plurals and other words related to your primary keyword. 

    Modifiers: Ensure ads show only when a modifier accompanies a keyword. To add a broad match modifier, you add a plus sign (+) when including the keyword.

    2. Try Dynamic ASINs

    Instead of manually choosing different ASINs for each keyword, you can set up one campaign for your entire Store or landing page. Amazon will select and show the most relevant product to match the shopper’s search.

    By opting into the dynamic ASIN optimization, you give Amazon control; they can pick any product from your landing page to display in the ad. This has its downsides, but is great from a management efficiency standpoint. 

    3. Optimize your search terms 


     A “search term optimization strategy” revolves around exact match PPC bidding. By isolating specific search terms, you can target them for maximum effect, and track and test outcomes.

    Exact match bidding can decrease bid costs while increasing conversions. It will deliver a far lower ACoS while boosting your total number of sales.  This is a critical strategy for all advertising types on Amazon. If you’re unfamiliar with this approach you can check out our article — What is Search Term Optimization.

    Why this is important: 

    Your keyword selection has to be highly relevant to the three products you are advertising to get the most out of your advertising. Selecting specific keywords (rather than buckets of keywords — as is the case with broad match bidding) provides you with the lowest cost for the keyword. A search term optimized strategy lets you target your ads for greatest effect, and minimise the cost of bids. 

    How to execute: 

    The basic search term optimization strategy revolves around using broad match campaigns to find high-converting keywords, and then moving those to exact match campaigns for specific products/brand advertisements. 

    You can harvest additional keywords from auto brand campaigns in your search term report. You can also cross-fertilize by leveraging keyword conversion data from your Sponsored Products campaigns. Again, if you want the full details, check out our blog — What is Search Term Optimization.

    Pro-Tip: In Sponsored Brands reporting, you can see that a broad keyword has led to a sale, but you won’t be able to see the search term that triggered that keyword. However, you can deploy a workaround using keyword data from a Sponsored Products campaign to show which keywords led to a sale.

    4. Align with your ACoS goals


    If you want your Sponsored Brand Ads to actually deliver business outcomes, you need to align your spending with targets related to your product and brand margins. To do that, you need to focus on your KPIs — Amazon CPC (Cost-Per-Click) and ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sale) — and put that in the context of your brand specifics. 

    Why this is important: 

    Your CPC can be different for different placements. So, make sure you are thinking strategically about spending. Ensure you have set a goal for the Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS)  for each campaign. If you’re new to ACoS, check out our blog — An Amazon ACoS Strategy Guide.  

    Improve ACoS

    How to execute: 

    There are two main elements to this process: 

    1. Work out Break-even ACoS

    ACoS itself doesn’t provide any insight into the most critical KPI: profitability. That can be achieved by calculating your break-even ACoS: the tipping point between a profit-making and a loss-making campaign. This is a pretty straightforward process. If you want a step-by-step guide, check out our blog — How to Calculate Break-Even ACoS.

    No one wants their advertising to make a loss — unless they are playing a longer game centered around customer lifetime value (CLV), which brings us to our next point.  

    2. Determine customer lifetime value

    Understanding the customer lifetime value associated with different products will allow you to think with far longer-term trajectories about customer acquisition and retention. You can contextualise your break-even ACoS with this longer-term vision of revenue, and make strategic decisions that may deliver a loss upfront, but still drive profits.

    Ultimately, CLV is not a task to be carried out manually (especially if you need to keep vast amounts of data up to date). It’s also not information currently provided in Amazon Seller Central or Vendor Central. You’ll need to deploy third-party analytics tools to gather these insights. If you want more details, check out — Customer Lifetime Value on Amazon. 

    Get help

    To work out and maintain your ACoS targets, you need analytics tools that can pull data from numerous Amazon reports including transactional information via an API plug-in to Amazon MWS, AI and machine learning can then crunch the numbers on an ongoing basis. 

    Putting our cards on the table, we (Nozzle) sell a tool that can do just that. Check out our eBook — How to make sense of your Amazon customer data — or get in touch if you want to learn more.

     

    Use the right ad for the right job

    Remember, Amazon gives access to three main PPC advertising formats: Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Products (both keyword related) and Sponsored Display — which is still in Beta in some regions, and uses browsing and buying signals to reach audiences beyond Amazon automatically.

    Why this is important: 

    To drive brand awareness, you will want to create ads that generate impressions. If your goal is more sales, you will want ads that up your conversion rate. Different ad types excel at delivering different outcomes, and selecting the right ad for the job is important to maximising your success. 

      • Sponsored Brand Ads: Great Top-of-Funnel ads that generate brand awareness, target broad search terms, get new customers and retarget loyal customers. Sponsored Brands offers unique reporting with “new-to-brand” metrics, helping you measure the number of first-time customers or total first-time sales your brand acquired on Amazon in the past 12 months.
      • Sponsored Product Ads: Allow you to target specific products and keywords, help grab the attention of customers with specific search intent, target competitor products, and drive conversions further down the funnel.
    • Sponsored Display Ads: Provide retargeting options on and off Amazon, helping drive conversions and generate brand awareness. Sponsored Display Ads sit between standard Amazon Ads and programmatic advertising offered by the Amazon DSP. 

    How to execute: 

    Picking the right ad comes down to keeping these different outcomes in mind, and using that to benchmark your choices. You can also use data to drive your decision-making around what ad types are working, and where you should consider further investment. 

    Check relative performance: Clicks, spend, sales and ACoS are accessible from your Sponsored Brand campaign reports. You can also analyze click-through rate (CTR) and Detail Page Views (DPV) to get a broader picture.

    Pro Tip: It’s vital to not only monitor this reporting weekly but also every month to get a better gauge of performance.

    Keep up to date with new ad types and formats: Many new ad formats are coming to Sponsored Brands. These demonstrate the pace of change of Amazon advertising but also give short-term advantage while everyone figures out the best way to use them. 

    Store Spotlight (Beta) is a new ad format intended to drive customers to your Amazon store rather than a product detail page, but the advent of Sponsored Brands video could be a real game-changer and is worth investigating and adding to your strategy asap, 

     

    Your ads, your data, your customers

    PPC advertising is never static. Theory is one thing, but nothing beats live data about how your real customers interact with your products and ads. Keep track of your successes and failures, and use that information to hone in on better strategies. The more you understand your customers, the more you will be able to tailor your ads to match. 

    Amazon offers a number of in-house reporting mechanisms designed to help you better understand your customers, delivering both PPC-derived insights, and broader search trends on the platform. A lot of this information is stored and easily accessed within Amazon Brand Analytics. For a crash course on the basics, and some advanced tips to get more out of the system, check out our free eBook — Mastering Amazon Brand Analytics.

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