Sponsored Brand Ads 101

Sponsored Brand Ads will magnify your brand’s presence in the minds of shoppers while introducing them to your broader catalog of products.

Formerly known as Headline Search Ads, Sponsored Brand Ads* (SBAs) are Amazon’s brand-centric advertising option, making them quite different from their cousin, Sponsored Product Ads. SBAs appear outside the product detail page, along the top, side, and bottom of the Amazon search results page—but keep an eye out, because Amazon seems to be experimenting with other placements. Intended to highlight your brand and help customers discover your other offerings, SBAs are the only ad type that can be used with Storefront. Operating in tandem, SBAs and Storefronts work to familiarize customers with your brand, turning casual browsers into returning customers. 

*Reminder: Sponsored Brand Ads are only available to brand registered sellers and vendors.

Within the Sponsored Brand Ad, you have space for a lead image, followed by three follow-up images. The leading image will typically feature your brand’s logo or a product image with your logo. When customers click on these ads, you choose whether they are directed to your Store home page or a subpage listing the product and related items promoted in the ad. Another exciting SBA development to watch for is the use of video. Though it’s still in beta, you could begin preparing an attention-grabbing product video now (one that includes sound but can play without.) When SBA videos take off, you’ll be ready to use this awesome tool to elevate your brand above the competition. 

According to a report by Tinuiti, Sponsored Brand Ad clicks grew 38% last year, leading to an increase in sales that far exceeded ad spend. In other words, SBAs aren’t being ignored by Amazon shoppers, and they yield a profitable ROI for brands.

Since we’d all like to enjoy those numbers, let’s talk strategy. You might be inclined to utilize the same approach you’d use with Sponsored Product Ads, and we’d forgive you, but SBAs require a different game plan. SBAs are high profile, middle of funnel ads, with a high CTR. Space is limited in a Sponsored Brand Ad, so use it to the most impact. And in order to do that, you need to. . . 

Test, test, test!

To make sure you’re using the best performing SBA, you’ll want to conduct some A/B testing. There are three main components you can test against each other to measure how they work: your main image, your headline, and the SBA’s landing page.

  • Is your SBA targeting the right customers? Test several keyword niches and headline copy. Test brand awareness campaigns against product-specific ones.

  • How is your SBA performing creatively? Test different products, including different colors of the same product, to see what grabs the most attention. Test using a logo vs. a product image vs. a lifestyle image, or any other image you might have in mind.

  • Test the performance of the landing page option. Is Storefront working better, or is a list-page leading to more conversions? 

Test your images, experiment with copy, and keep targeting narrow and focused in order to optimize the performance of your SBAs. Ask yourself these key questions: 

  • Images: When using a logo or something other than a product image, will customers understand what is being advertised?

  • Copy: How can you experiment with your text? Test the performance of humorous, quirky, descriptive, or seasonal copy to determine what captures the customer’s attention.

  • Targeting: Don’t forget your keywords. Start by pulling the top-performing keyword from your Sponsored Product Ads. You’ll want 20-40 keywords around one theme, including your primary keyword, and you’ll want to test all three match types. However, be mindful that broad match types can be too broad and attract the wrong audience.

Landing Page Options

Whatever landing page option you choose, it’s vital that the page features the products related to the keywords that put the ad in front of your customer in the first place, and that the products in the ad can be easily found on the landing page. Your landing page options are a product list page or one of the pages of your storefront.

In general. . .

  • Brand Awareness Ads should lead to your brand’s Storefront. 
  • Product Specific Ads should lead to a curated subpage.

And lastly, do be aware of how your ad looks in different placements; desktop, mobile, inline search, and search footer. When creating your ad, you can preview the ad by placement to make sure things are looking good. 

Now that you know the basics, you can begin to experiment with the different components of the Sponsored Brand Ad and see what works best for your marketing initiatives. With the burgeoning of Storefronts and other brand-centric content on Amazon, investing in brand advertising not only keeps you relevant in the marketplace but enables customers to engage with (and return to) a familiar presence, which makes for a better shopping experience. We like familiarity, and so will your profit margins. Happy advertising, sellers!

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