Research on video marketing trends shows that 87% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. Video ads constitute 42% of the total types of video content produced.
It’s no surprise then that Amazon introduced a new feature called Sponsored Brands video ads (SB+V) in 2019 as part of its Sponsored Brands campaign offering to boost brand visibility and awareness. The feature is still in beta so it’s only available to some professional sellers enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry in the United States.
WHAT ARE SPONSORED BRANDS VIDEO ADS?
Sponsored Brands video ads are cost-per-click (CPC) video ads that use targeted keywords and take customers straight to the product detail page. An iteration of the 2018 ad unit called “Video in Search,” these video ads were initially available on mobile apps but can now be seen on desktop environments as well.
According to Amazon, SB+V has an average click-through rate (CTR) of 0.91% as compared to Sponsored Brands ads (SB) with an average CTR of 0.57%.
Since the feature is only available to some sellers, first movers have an advantage and can leverage the opportunity to increase engagement and boost sales before competition increases.
HOW CAN SPONSORED BRANDS VIDEO ADS BENEFIT YOU?
Sponsored Brands video ads, when used correctly, can be a powerful way to directly connect with consumers and boost brand awareness.
Advertisers can benefit from SB+V in the following ways:
1) Video attracts more attention – Amazon’s data shows that customers who watch videos are 3.6 times more likely to buy and that a video is equivalent to 1.8 million words. Hence, when a product-focused video is available, people tend to look at fewer product detail pages before making a purchase.
2) Appears on both mobile and desktop search results pages – No matter which device a consumer uses to search for products on Amazon, they can be served video ads. This makes SB+V an attractive advertising option.
3) Self-service option – To use the “Video in Search” feature in their advertising campaigns, brands had to take the help of an Amazon Account Executive. However, SB+V has a self-service option so brands can craft their own video ads using the Video Creative Builder.
4) Early-mover benefits – As has been mentioned previously, SB+V has been launched so brands looking to gain an advantage on Amazon will benefit from adopting the feature to engage potential customers and drive sales.
In addition, research shows that a majority of shoppers start their product searches on Amazon, making it one of the best channels for brands to reach shoppers.
ELEMENTS OF THE AD UNIT
When an Amazon customer performs a search, Sponsored Brands video ads are displayed around related product listings.
These ads have three main elements:
- Product details – The brand’s primary product image, title, star rating, review count, price, and Prime eligibility are automatically displayed from the product detail page. We can also see the “Sponsored” tag above the title or in the top right-hand corner of the video.
- Video – The video begins to play automatically when 50% of it is visible on the screen.
- Mute toggle button – By default, video ads always start without audio. To enable the audio, the mute toggle button overlaid in the bottom right-hand corner can be tapped. This button is not displayed for videos with no accompanying audio.
VIDEO AND AUDIO SPECIFICATIONS
Sponsored Brands video ads must adhere to the following specifications:
- Video duration: 6 seconds – 45 seconds (30 secs or less highly recommended)
- File resolution: 1920 X 1080 px, 1280 X 720 px, or 3840 X 2160 px
- File size: Less than 500 MB
- File format: MP4 or.MOV
- Display aspect ratio: 16:9
- Audio bitrate: Minimum 96 kbps
- Letterboxing/Pillarboxing: Videos must not have black bars on any side of the video content.
BEST PRACTICES TO CREATE SB+V ADS
To ensure high-quality video ads and minimize chances of rejection by Amazon, here are a few pointers to consider:
1) On-screen text – Helvetica or a similar sans serif font (minimum size 80 px) should be used to make it easier to read on smaller devices. To improve readability, white text over a black box can be used.
2) Brief and focused – An optimal video length of 15-30 seconds is recommended, wherein the focus is on a few key selling points. SB+V ads promote only one product, so the video should focus on just that product.
3) Product-focused – Amazon’s research shows that videos that show the product within the first second tend to perform better than those that don’t. Thus, blank or black frames are best avoided at the beginning or end of the video.
4) Optimize for the format – All text, logos, and other critical elements of the video should remain within the safe area and not obstruct the user interface. Captions and subtitles are highly recommended.
5) Video loop – The video will replay once it’s over, so it should flow seamlessly or an end card should be added to signal a break.
Amazon’s sponsored ads creative acceptance policies govern all Sponsored Brands video campaigns, so it would be helpful to take a look.
CREATE VIDEOS WITH THE VIDEO CREATIVE BUILDER
To help sellers create basic video ads, Amazon has a Video Creative Builder, also in beta version. You must be either be a DSP self-service or managed-service customer to access this feature. As an alternative, you can use an online video editor tool with pre-made video ad templates to create your video ads.
Video ads usually have a logo, a custom headline, and up to three products. You can experiment with different creative ad combinations using the “Ad Preview” drop-down before submitting the video ad for approval.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Once you have a video ad ready, here’s how you can submit it:
1) Create a new Sponsored Brands campaign and choose “Video (beta)” under Ad format.
2) Choose the product for the video ad from the “New product list page.”
3) Upload the video ad and preview it in the right-hand panel.
4) Select the keywords you’re targeting and set your bids.
5) Submit your campaign for Amazon’s approval.
Amazon is seeing positive returns on the Sponsored Brand video creative unit and is likely to make it available for more registered sellers. This is a good time to explore ad formats beyond the traditional static images and embrace video marketing.
Read our post “Amazon Advertising New Features” for a quick update on the new capabilities you should be leveraging right now.