Amazon Sponsored Brand Video - Generate More Sales at a Lower ACoS

The ultimate scroll-stopper.  The can’t-ignore new Amazon ad type.  The hottest new trend in Amazon Advertising.  These are all accurate descriptions of Sponsored Brand Video ads, formerly Video in Search.  This is an ad type that we at OMG can’t get enough of, and, so far, neither can our clients.   These ads are still in Beta and most advertisers on Amazon including your competitors aren’t using them.  

Why We Love SBV

Right now, Sponsored Brand Video (SBV) campaigns are delivering some of the lowest ACoS performance of any Amazon ad type.   In fact, ACoS for SBV ads is typically 15-45% lower than ACoS for Sponsored Product Ads. They also seem particularly adept at driving new-to-brand shoppers.


Where do SBV Ads Appear?


SBV first launched in the Amazon app only, and originally only on iOS devices.  Then they were released on the android app.  Now they are available on desktop too.  Amazon has always mixed paid listings with organic listings in their product search results and with SBV this practice continues.  However, SBV ads do not show above the fold.  If you’re not familiar with that advertising lingo, “above the fold” refers to what’s visible on your screen without scrolling.  In order to see SBV ads, shoppers have to scroll down the page a bit.  On mobile, SBV ads appear toward the bottom of search results.  On desktop, SBV ads are the very bottom of the search results.  

Typically a shopper that gets to the bottom of the search results page is earlier in their shopping journey and really checking out all of their options.  Shoppers who are looking for your product specifically usually don’t scroll far enough to see SBV ads.  Hence the stronger new-to-brand performance.  

What Products are Best Suited for Sponsored Brand Video Ads?

The short answer is that nearly any Amazon seller or vendor should consider using SBV ads.  We’re currently running highly profitable campaigns for supplements, home decor, outdoor products, sporting goods, a variety of pet products, and dozens more.  

The only category of products that might not benefit as much from SBV ads would be staple products.  Does anyone want to watch a video on toilet paper before buying it? I’m not sure.  But given the extreme efficiency of SBV ads, even some staple products might benefit from them.  

Understanding the Frame of Mind of the Customer - They’re Comparison Shopping 

When someone’s searching for a product on Amazon they usually know what they want in terms of features and benefits.  At a minimum, they know what problem they’re trying to solve.  They may be early in their shopping journey or planning to buy today.  Either way, they’re coming with the same basic questions: what product is best for me in my situation?  What product offers me the best value for what’s important to me?  Or maybe they’re early enough in the shopping journey that they’re just curious what’s available.  Shopping on Amazon is comparison shopping.  So, what do customers want to see to help them make the best purchase decision?  They want great photos, reviews, descriptions of features, and proof that the product will work for them.  They also want a good value.  

You’re Billy Mays, Not Steven Spielburg

These videos are less about special effects and detailed storytelling and more about product demonstration and differentiation.  Some storytelling is fine, but ultimately the shopper needs to see the product in action - doing what it was designed to do.  Remember that a shopper is scrolling through a list of other product listings.  If they get to your Sponsored Brand Video and all they see is a talking head droning on and on about the product without showing it, they will likely just scroll on.  Here are some recommendations for solid SBV video ads to help get you started.  

Do:

  • Show the product in action immediately - in the first few seconds of the video.
  • Show the product from multiple angles.
  • Combine text and visuals to map out features and benefits.
  • Answer burning questions.  Your shoppers have questions surrounding compatibility, durability, fit and function, etc. 
  • Optimize for mobile viewing - think tight shots and bold, easy-to-read text.

Don’t:

  • Show extended shots without the product in it.
  • Rely too heavily on a voice over (narrator).  The sound is off initially, so your video needs to visually demonstrate and differentiate your product without depending too much on a narrator.  
  • Take too long to get to the point.
  • Put too much text on the screen.  This is video.  Some text is great, but make the product the star.  

What Can You Expect?

It’s very rare that Sponsored Brand Video Ads don’t perform well.  Usually, we see ACoS at least the same as Sponsored Product Ads, often better.  Here are a few recent results across several categories.  

  • Pet Product Company
  • Sponsored Product ACoS: 17%
  • Sponsored Brand Video ACoS: 13%
  • Supplement Company
  • Sponsored Products ACoS: 33%
  • Sponsored Brand Video ACoS: 18%
  • Home Decor Company
  • Sponsored Products ACoS: 26%
  • Sponsored Brand Video ACoS: 16% 

Want to Learn More?  

Want to see more good and not-so-good SBV ad examples? I put together a Sponsored Brand Video Success Guide that goes into greater detail on what works and what doesn’t for these video ads.  It also has several real-world ad examples to serve as inspiration.  Download it now here for free.  

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