If you’re looking for a way to profitably boost sales on Amazon and pick up more market share, then you simply cannot ignore Sponsored Brands ads.

Many Amazon sellers are still sleeping on the expanded ad formats they offer meaning there are lots of opportunities to take advantage of.

So, in this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Sponsored Brands ads to get up and running as quickly as possible.

We’ll cover the differences between the ad formats, the unique benefits they offer, and a step-by-step guide for setting up your first campaigns.

Let’s dive in!

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What are Amazon Sponsored Brand ads?

Sponsored Brand ads are a form of Amazon advertising that allows sellers enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry to promote their brand and a collection of their products.

The features of Sponsored Brands ads build upon the foundation of Sponsored Products ads and offer new creative and targeting options.

The options available to you are:

  • Product collection ads: Use your brand’s logo, a custom headline, and three or more products to drive traffic to an individual product page, brand storefront, or custom landing page.
  • Store spotlight ads: Use your brand’s logo, a custom headline, and three or more product categories or subpages to drive traffic to your brand storefront.
  • Video ads: Use a short video ad to promote a single product and drive traffic to that specific product detail page.

While many see the primary purpose of Sponsored Brands ads as increasing brand awareness at the top of the funnel, they can also act as a good direct response option and can convert sales just as well as Sponsored Products ads.

Sponsored Brands ads vs Sponsored Product ads

Here are the main differences between Amazon Sponsored Product ads and Amazon Sponsored Brand ads:

Purpose

  • Sponsored Product ads promote individual products.
  • Sponsored Brand ads promote your brand and multiple products at once.

Visibility

  • Sponsored Product ads can appear within search results and product pages.
  • Sponsored Brand ads mostly appear in search results, but a video ad can appear on product pages.

Design

  • Sponsored Product ads display a single product using the existing main image and title.
  • Sponsored Brand ads allow – depending on the format – video, customizable headlines, logos, custom lifestyle images, and up to three products.

Targeting

  • Both use keyword targeting and also have some product targeting functionality.

Cost

  • Both work on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis, but Sponsored Brand ads can have higher cost-per-click due to fewer ad placements.

Eligibility

  • Most sellers with a Professional selling plan can use Sponsored Products ads.
  • Sponsored Brand ads require Brand Registry with Amazon.

Remember, both ad formats can be effective, but their usage depends on your goals.

The benefits of Sponsored Brands ads

Sponsored Product ads are the quickest and easiest way to get started with Amazon advertising, but according to Amazon’s own data, Sponsored Brands ads offer a number of unique benefits.

Increased return on ad spend

Sponsored Brands ads give you access to ad placements that Sponsored Products ads won’t.

Sponsored brands product collection

This gives you an opportunity to take up more “real estate” on the search results page, dominate your category, and generate additional sales that you otherwise may not.

Increased conversion rate

By leveraging the unique features of Sponsored Brands ads such as custom storefronts and landing pages, brands can see an increase in overall conversion rate.

Amazon’s study also showed that advertisers who use a combination of custom images and Store spotlight ad formats saw a 57.8% increase in conversion rate compared to those only using one format.

Increased click-through rate

Finally, by utilizing the large footprint of the video ad format and the custom image options you can drastically improve the click-through rate on your ads.

Setting up Amazon Sponsored Brands ad formats

Sponsored Brands ads are clearly a great expansion opportunity for any growing brand, and if you’ve run any Sponsored Products ads before you’ll already be familiar with most of the process of getting started.

However, there are a few unique features to Sponsored Brands, so let’s walk through the campaign creation process step-by-step.

Step 1: Creation

To get started, open Seller Central then navigate to Campaign Manager and Create Campaign.

When given the option of ad formats, choose Sponsored Brands.

amazon sponsored brands

Step 2: Settings

Next up, get your campaign settings in place by adding a campaign name, start and end date, and daily budget.

sponsored brands settings

You can also add this new campaign to a portfolio for easy reference.

PRO TIP

Use a campaign naming convention so your ads are easy to find and analyze. For example, you could use “FORMAT-SKU-DATE” which might look like “SB – YOGAMAT1 – 01012030”.

The format itself is not important, what is important is that you create a convention and stay consistent with it so you can quickly interpret the data in your account.

Amazon will give you the option to automate bidding which will optimize your bids for placements other than top of search in order to improve campaign performance.

sponsored brands bidding

The keyword bids you provide will apply to top of search and are used as a maximum bid meaning you’ll never bid over this amount.

When automated bidding is turned on, Amazon may then decrease your bids for placements that are below the top of search placement bid if the ad is less likely to convert.

You can set a manual bid adjustment if you prefer, or leave it off entirely, but I leave the automated bid on as it can certainly save you money.

Finally, give the ad group a name – I’d usually recommend just one ad group per campaign so you can just copy your campaign name here and add “ad group” at the end.

Step 3: Ad Format

Next up you’ll need to choose an ad format, and you’ve got three options.

sponsored brands ad format

Product collection ads

The Product collection ad format (formerly known as headline search ads) requires a minimum of three products to run. These can be variations such as size, color, etc, but there must be at least three.

When choosing this option your ads will appear at the top of search results along with your brand logo, a custom headline and you can also use a custom lifestyle image.

product collection custom image

When shoppers click on one of the products in your ad they will be taken to the product detail page.

When clicking on the custom image, headline, or logo you have two options: send them to your brand storefront or to a custom landing page.

If your goal is top-of-funnel brand awareness, sending traffic to your store is fine.

But for most campaigns, the landing page option will drive the most direct results.

PRO TIP

Ads expert Tyler Gregg shared in our podcast episode that this landing page is also a great place to send external traffic like Google ads.

There are no competitors advertising on this landing page, reducing the risk of the customer clicking away before adding to cart.

Store spotlight ads

The Store spotlight ad format is similar to the Product collection option in that it will appear in the same top-of-search placement.

It will also look similar in its layout.

amazon store spotlight ads

However rather than promoting individual products this ad format is designed to promote sub-pages within your brand store.

You need at least four unique pages created within your store to run these ads, and as such, they are a good option for large brands with several categories of products.

Given that when a shopper clicks these ads they will be taken either to your store home page or a sub-page within the store they are better suited for building brand awareness than driving direct response sales.

Video ads

Finally, you can choose the Video ads option.

This ad format will be shown mainly in search results:

video ads search results

But Amazon has also started showing them on product detail pages too:

video ads product page

You only need one product to run a video ad, but you will of course need the video itself to get started – more on that in a minute.

Step 4: Targeting

If you’re creating a collection or video ad, you’ll need to choose the product(s) you want to advertise next. For Store spotlight ads you’ll head straight to targeting.

The targeting options available to you are the same as with Sponsored Product ads.

sponsored brands targeting

You can choose between keyword targeting and product targeting, then either take Amazon’s suggestions or enter a list of targets you’ve compiled with your own Amazon PPC keyword research.

Step 5: Creative

Finally, it’s time to create the custom elements of your Amazon Sponsored Brands ads that make these formats stand out from others.

Each ad format will require different custom elements.

For Product collection and Store spotlight ads you will need:

  • Your logo which should be 400 x 400 pixels
  • Your brand name
  • A headline of up to 50 characters

PRO TIP

Use the limited space for the headline wisely to quickly communicate the benefit of your products.

For example, “Extra Thick Yoga Mats To Enjoy Pain-Free Workouts” speaks so much more to the emotion behind the purchase than “Extra Thick, Premium Yoga Mats”.

For Product collection ads you also have the option of setting a custom image that will appear prominently in your ad.

This is not only highly recommended, but as of 31st January 2024 will be required.

If you don’t select an image for Amazon to use, one will be selected for you.

To add your own, use Amazon’s recommended specs:

  • Image size: 1200 x 628 px or larger
  • File size: 5 MB or smaller
  • File format: PNG or JPG
  • Content: No text, graphics or logos added to the image

For Video ads, the only creative you need to provide is the video itself.

The videos you use in your ads need to meet the following criteria:

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Dimensions: 1280 x 720px, 1920 x 1080px or 3840 x 2160px
  • File size: 500 MB or smaller
  • File format: MP4 or MOV
  • Length: 6–45 sec
  • Frame rate: 23.976, 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97 or 29.98 fps
  • Bit rate: 1 Mbps or higher
  • Codec: H.264 or H.265

And you should also follow some video ad best practices:

  • Show, don’t tell: Where possible, include shots of your product in use and communicate its benefits visually.
  • Tell the story without sound: Most shoppers will browse with the sound off, so make sure your video makes sense without it.
  • Think mobile first: A large portion of shoppers will browse on mobile so consider the smaller screen size – think product close-ups and large, readable text.

MORE: Amazon Sponsored Brands Video Ads Guide

Once you’ve got all of these steps set up, click ‘Submit for review’ and Amazon’s advertising team will check your ad complies with policy and approve or reject it within 3 business days.

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The best Sponsored Brands strategy

Sponsored Brands ads give you a lot of options as an advertiser, but you may not be ready to deploy every format right away.

If that’s the case, where’s the best place to start to maximize your immediate return on ad spend?

The key is to start with more traditional direct-response ads that target shoppers at the middle or bottom of the funnel.

In other words, target similar keywords and ASINs as you would with your Sponsored Products ads initially in order to drive immediate sales.

Then, as your budget and experience grow sprinkle in some more top-of-funnel-focused campaigns.

Here’s what a phased rollout of Amazon Sponsored Brands could look like.

Step 1: Launch video ads

Video ads are the only Sponsored Brands ad format that allows you to advertise just one ASIN, so are therefore the best and easiest place to start for many sellers.

You can use the same keywords you used to launch your Sponsored Products ads or filter your search term report for the best-converting keywords that are driving the majority of your current results.

Step 2: Replicate winning Sponsored Product ads

If you’re looking to go further, a great next step is to take those same keywords and plug them into a Product collection ad.

This is the advice given by Amazon PPC expert Michael Faccini in our podcast interview with him.

In the episode, he said he typically sees this strategy add 20-30% in profitable revenue to clients’ accounts that haven’t previously been running any Amazon Sponsored Brand ads.

You can listen to the full Sponsored Brands-focused episode here, or watch the video version below.

Step 3: Build top-of-funnel awareness

Finally, once you’ve built out your lower funnel campaigns that convert quickly to sales, you can layer on some top-of-funnel campaigns that will help further build brand awareness and reach new customers.

This can include a targeting strategy that focuses on broader keywords (for example “yoga equipment” when selling yoga mats) to drive more traffic that can be retargeted with Sponsored Display ads.

For larger catalogs, Store spotlight ads can also help showcase the range of products you have available and establish your brand as an authority in the niche.

NOTE

This third step is only recommended for large brands that have maximized all other opportunities in steps one and two.

The nature of top-of-funnel advertising means it will take longer to convert and consideration should therefore be given to the cash flow dynamics at play.

Sponsored Brand ads FAQs

Depending on the ad format you choose, your ads may be displayed on top of, alongside, or within search results. Video ads also have a product detail page targeting option. Ads can appear on both desktop and mobile.

Like any area of your advertising efforts, this is something you’ll want to test. Most brands find they can spend around 20-30% of their Amazon PPC budget on Sponsored Brands ads, but if you can push that number higher profitably then there’s no reason to limit it.

No worries – Amazon will give you the reasons why. Often it’s something simple like mentioning reviews in the video content and a quick fix will get it passed through fine when re-submitting.

Yes, most Amazon PPC software tools will have functionality that enables you to automate key optimization tasks like adjusting keyword bids and adding negative keywords to campaigns.

Maximizing the Amazon Sponsored Brands ads opportunity

Amazon Sponsored Brands ads present a big opportunity to sellers who are willing to embrace the learning curve that comes with their unique features.

With extra ad placements and creative options, Sponsored Brand ads can quickly add 20-30% in extra, profitable revenue to your Amazon business.

To get started, you can launch simple video campaigns and Product collection ads targeting the best keywords for your best-selling products.

Then, as your business matures, you can expand campaigns to include Store spotlight ads and target broader keywords to build a larger top-of-funnel audience that can be retargeted with Sponsored Display ads.

Like any other form of Amazon PPC, you’ll want to carry out a regular campaign optimization process to ensure performance stays strong and your ads can continue to scale.

While this process is far from an overnight solution, it’s one that is well worth investing time and energy into.

If you want to learn more about succeeding with advertising, explore our step-by-step Amazon PPC Masters course here.

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Ben Donovan

WRITTEN BY

Ben Donovan
Ben is the founder of Brand Builder University and has a passion for helping normal everyday people create financial freedom by building successful eCommerce businesses. He lives in Manchester, UK with his wife and 2 children and loves to play sport and watch continual re-runs of The Office (US version, obviously).

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