Clay Roop, Senior Client Strategy Manager of Digital Marketing at ChannelAdvisor, works on developing and executing Amazon Advertising strategies for his clients. He works with sellers on a daily basis to help them plan and execute strategies that achieve their online retail goals. We sat down with Clay to understand his best practices for Sponsored Brands campaigns and how he’s helping clients to drive revenue and business growth.
ChannelAdvisor is a cloud-based platform that helps thousands of brands and retailers integrate, manage, and optimize their inventory across various online channels around the world, including Amazon. We do this by connecting your products to wherever you want them to go while also connecting you and your products to whatever comes next. Whether new shopping channels or new insights, we strive to help our customers, both self-service clients and those that we manage, find e-commerce success by partnering with them to efficiently engage more customers and increase sales.
Sponsored Brands is a great tool for launching new products or growing brand awareness because it lets you tailor the ad creative and subsequent landing page experience. We always try to use Sponsored Brands alongside Stores to ensure that customers have a cohesive brand experience once they click through your Sponsored Brands ads.
Let me give you an example from one of our clients, a hardware brand. The hardware brand’s goal was to help gain visibility for newly released products. Sponsored Brands enabled us to not only ensure we are engaging the right customers, but also to tailor ad creatives to include educational information. By linking the ads with the brand’s Store on Amazon, which showcases videos and images, we allowed customers to really deep dive into the product technology and how it works. The Store has become a destination for this brand on Amazon, and we can feature new products alongside suggestions for others that pair well with them.
Since launching this strategy, our client has seen a 58% year-over-year increase in revenue attributed to Stores, with most of the incremental traffic driven through Sponsored Brands. And we’ve seen the average unit value for Store purchases increase to $73, versus their overall average unit value of $53. This can be explained by the fact that Stores are a great place to provide additional details and content to educate customers on the value of higher-priced products.
As a whole, we believe Sponsored Brands should build off the success of Sponsored Products campaigns. We source keywords from existing Sponsored Products campaigns, because having campaigns that align in product selection, keyword targeting, and so on will help narrow the keywords to queries that work.
Also, if your Sponsored Brands strategy complements your Sponsored Products campaigns (which it should), you will be able to generate negative keyword lists from the Sponsored Products search term report and the new Sponsored Brands search query report.
I like to look at the customer reviews of advertised products. Are common adjectives frequently repeating themselves? Are customers using your product in a way you didn’t intend? You can test some of these crowd-sourced keywords and see what works.
For example, one of my clients sells outdoor furniture, including patio torches, which often require an accessory clamp to fasten the torch to the patio. Originally, we focused on keywords that we sourced from the search term report, including “deck clamp” and “patio torch clamp”—phrases that made sense given the purpose the clamp was designed to fill. But when we analyzed new customer reviews, we noticed customers raving about how the clamp successfully held up their children’s bed canopies, a use that had never occurred to us.
So we created a new series of campaigns around keywords such as “child canopy holder,” “clamp for bed canopy,” and the like. We even incorporated copy that explained how these products could work together. Within one month of launching these campaigns, we saw over $500 in sales attributed to advertising at a 4% advertising cost of sales (ACOS) for the clamp. And today, the original patio clamp is still listed in the “Frequently Bought Together” section of the canopy’s product detail page.
In terms of setting up campaigns, we generally advise our clients to test often. It’s the best way to get real insight into what will and won’t work. For example, a client that sells fitness equipment was struggling to keep their Sponsored Brands ACOS in line with their goals. They had initially opted to run a single campaign, since they only sell a few products. However, we recommended building out a number of new campaigns and testing as many variables as possible. For instance, we tested conversion rates for different landing pages (brand Store versus product pages), wrote multiple versions of copy for the same set of products, switched the placement of the featured products, and more. After multiple tests, we landed on a combination of five unique Sponsored Brands campaigns that, all together, drove a 95% increase in sales attributed to advertising year over year while maintaining a profitable ACOS.
Here are a few key elements to keep in mind when testing: