4 Ways to Harness the Allure of Amazon’s Sponsored Brand Videos

Video has become the latest buzz in the Amazon advertising world with the release of its Sponsored Brand Video Beta. Learn more about this powerful ad type and learn four ways to strengthen your video ad performance.

This is an entirely new application for sponsored brand campaigns, and the rewards can be significant.

This beta is available to vendors and sellers that are registered brands and have been whitelisted for the beta. The rollout is gaining speed as Amazon sees the positive returns. Check back frequently if you do not see it yet in the Amazon Advertising portal.

What Is the Sponsored Brand Video Beta?

This beta was first seen in early 2018, and was initially only available on iOS mobile devices in the luggage category. It was a tantalizing tease to what was to come. Now, the video beta is available on all mobile devices and desktop browsing experiences on Amazon across all categories. 

On mobile, the videos will appear embedded in search results, but they appear at the bottom of a search result page on desktop. The videos will play automatically — with no sound — when a user scrolls down, taking up the majority of the screen. 

Currently you can only advertise one product with a sponsored brand video ad.

The video below shows my desktop experience when searching for the phrase “phone charger” on Amazon.

As you can see, the video auto plays to the left, with the featured product on the right. 

Amazon strictly monitors new sponsored brand video ads to ensure that they meet its specifications. If your video doesn’t, you either won’t be able to finish creating the ad, or it will be rejected when it moves on to the content moderators. 

When you go through the process to create the sponsored brand video campaign, Amazon lists the specifications it must meet, as shown below. 

Be prepared in advance by reviewing Amazon’s approval tips, such as the one shown below, and their video policy guide.

Four Sponsored Brand Video Best Practices

Now, before you dive into this new ad type, there are some best practices to note. This is what we’ve learned over the past year.

1. Engage without Sound

Remember that the video will autoplay muted by default. Your video needs to be engaging with and without sound. 

Your goal is to stop the Amazon shopper’s scroll long enough to engage with your ad, without using sound. Use lifestyle examples, images, and text captions on the video to communicate your product’s unique value.

2. Demonstrate Features

Videos that walk through product features tend to perform better than general branding videos. Be sure you answer the shoppers’ needs — what they’re looking for. 

Phone charger shoppers want to see the features and benefits of your specific product, not a brand marketing video. General branding videos belong on your A+ content or Brand Storefront pages.

3. Avoid or Cite Superlatives

All claims that you make in the video need to be supported within the video. Do not use phrases like “best selling” or “number one” without citing on screen the source of that rating. The same is true for any other product claims like “fastest charging,” “highest performance,” etc. Any warranty claims made need to be supported on the Amazon product page as well.

If you’re in doubt, cite the claim.

Remember that these videos are reviewed ahead of time by Amazon’s content moderators before going live, just like regular Sponsored Brand campaigns. Video ads will be disapproved if there are misleading or unsupported claims made in the video. 

4. Optimize the Product Page

The video ad can only deliver shoppers — your product page must be able to convert them.

When shoppers click on your video ad, they land on the product detail page for the product you’re advertising. That page needs to reflect the information and user experience portrayed in the video, and then some. 

Does your product page have high-quality and informative images, detailed bullet points, and flushed out A+ content? The more engaging you make the product detail page, the better your chances of earning the conversion. 

Performance Example

Once your sponsored brand video ad is up and running, what can you expect?

I’ve seen improved clickthrough rates higher than the traditional sponsored brand and sponsored product campaigns. When I run sponsored brand and product campaigns, the average clickthrough rate (CTR) for all campaign types year to date has been 0.47%. When I calculate the CTR for just sponsored brand video ads, the year to date average CTR for these same accounts is 1.3%. That’s a 277% increase in CTR.

With this dramatic increase in CTR, we’ve also seen increased conversions and a faster performance increase for new ads with sponsored brand video beta campaigns than other sponsored brand and sponsored product campaigns. 

The success of these campaigns, however, is dependent on the quality of the video ad and the quality of the content on your product detail page. Use these four tips to speed your way to sponsored brand video ad success.

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