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Sponsored Brands Video – Everything You Need to Know About Amazon Video Ads in Search

VIS ad example

Amazon is quietly rolling out a new video ad in search format within Seller Central, under the Sponsored Brands campaign type. It’s currently in Beta and showing up on new accounts every day.

Although this is a new ad type for seller central users, it’s been available for some time through the Amazon DSP platform for big spenders (more on that later).

We tested this new ad type for the last few days, and I wanted to share some initial impressions I had as well as things to pay attention to before you spend money on it.

My Quick Take on Video Ads in Search

In today’s advertising world video is king, and this is true for Amazon as well.

Being able to showcase your video in the Amazon search results is extremely powerful, and because this is still rolling out, bids are relatively low and conversions seem to be much higher when compared to non-video campaigns.

If you already have a video for some of your products, it’s a no-brainer to test this new ad type. you should also re-test keywords that performed badly in the past, as they will most likely perform better with a video.

(You can use this free online tool to trim your video if it’s longer than 45 seconds)

If you don’t have videos for your products, well now is the time to have some created!

I expect more video placement to be added soon, and if amazon goes the way of facebook, videos will get preferred treatment over other ad types.

(I’ve used this company for EBC videos in the past and they do a stellar Job)

The Setup Process

Create Amazon Video Ads in Sponsored Brands

Go to Advertising > Campaign Manager > Create Campaign > Sponsored Brands.
In the “Ad format” section you should see a box called “Video Beta” (If you don’t see it then it has not been added to your account yet)

From there you choose a product to advertise, and then upload a video, (which among other requirements must be between 6 and 45 seconds long) and choose keywords to target

Targeting & Placement

As the name implies, these are video ads that show up in the Amazon search results, currently on mobile only. (Update: As of 2/1/2020 these ads are showing on desktop as well!) they offer the usual keyword-based targeting with CPC bidding, and you can target in exact, phrase or broad match.

However, there are no bid placement modifiers, such as Top of Search/Product Pages, most likely because there’s only one placement for these ads (as of now) – at the end of the 1st search result page.

Bids

So this one is a bit interesting. I’ve noticed the actual CPC cost seems to max out at $0.9. for example, even though we had over 50 keywords in the campaign, all with a bid of $1.5, the actual CPC charged on every single one was exactly $0.90.

I suspect this is only temporary due to lack of competing bids, however, by searching manually for many of these keywords on amazon multiple times I couldn’t find any competing ads, so it’s unclear how they are being priced.

This may have something to do with the fact that on the DSP side these ads are priced by impressions (CPM) instead of clicks. so it’s not purely a CPC auction.

Reporting

Similar to other sponsored brand ad types, you can keyword or search term level reporting, as well as placement reports. however since there is only one placement for these ads at the moment, the report will always show “Rest of search on Amazon”

As of 11/19 the search term report for Video ads does not actually work. additionally, within seller central the “match type” column is missing from the interface, and can only be viewed from a downloadable report

Update 11/20 search term report is now working, and you can view the match type within the interface

Video Performance

We are still testing this ad format, but so far CTR is up to 2-3X higher and ACOS 2-3x lower than regular sponsored ads, which makes this ad format a no-brainer for most sellers.


Final Thoughts

Amazon is clearly investing heavily on the advertising side, as evident by the speed at which new features are rolling out. this makes perfect sense, as the revenue generated by this part of their business is almost 100% pure profit, vs their all their other divisions such as retail, 3P, devices, and fulfillment which generally operate on low margins.

So I expect Amazon advertising to evolve quickly over the next 6-12 months, with brands that are quick to take advantage of the new offerings gaining a competitive edge.

What do you think is next for Amazon advertising? let me know in the comments below.


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