Amazon Marketing Services: Sponsored Brand Ads

AMS Headline Ads for Amazon PPC

Back in 2013, when Lorde released her first album, Pure Heroine, she had a line in “Glory and Gore,” that said, “Glory and gore go hand in hand, that’s why we’re making headlines.” In the Amazon ad world, glory and gore go hand in hand when crushing your competition with Headline Search Ads.

Lorde in the house. GIF courtesy of GIPHY, of course.

Quick Refresher

Unless you’re an avid Ad Badger visitor, you may have just came across this post. If so, you may not know the difference between Seller Central vs Vendor Central on Amazon, Amazon Marketing Services vs Seller Central Ads, or what Amazon Marketing Services is.

That’s okay, just take a minute to catch up!

We’re going to be covering Headline Search Ads inside Amazon Marketing Services exclusively, so buckle in and learn how to make some headlines.

A look inside Amazon Marketing Services
Even though Headline Search Ads are available to both first-party and third-party sellers, Amazon Marketing Services are available only to first-party sellers in Vendor Central. The services include help with product research and keyword bidding along with advanced reporting.

Why Use Headline Search Ads in Amazon Marketing Services (AMS)

Headline Search Ads are the first thing that a potential customer sees on the search results page. They live at the top of the page, are keyword targeted, come with a written headline, and can feature at least three clickable products (or ASINs) at a time.

An example of a Headline Search Ad that includes one ASIN and a line of copywriting.

These ads generally attract top of the funnel customers who are obviously in the mood to shop. Why else would they be on Amazon? The difference between shoppers on Amazon and shoppers on Google is that shoppers on Amazon are generally further down the sales funnel and are prepared to make a purchase the same day as clicking on an advertisement. A recent Forrester report said, “Consumers in the US and Europe are much more likely to discover the brand of a recent purchase from Amazon rather than from a traditional online search engine.”

When you think of Headline Search ads, think of creating brand awareness and promoting key features. Headline Search Ads can take potential customers to three locations, and all are aimed to build trust with a customer:

  • An AMS brand page
  • A unique Amazon web address
  • A best-selling product

How to Create Headline Search Ads in Amazon Marketing Services

Stop! If you haven’t won the buy box or been accepted into Amazon’s Brand Registry program first, please learn how before attempting to build Headline Search Ads.

Okay, let’s continue. When creating Headline Search Ads, Amazon offers this quick guide. There are many ways to go about creating Headline Search Ads. Like I said, Headline Search Ads are geared towards the top of funnel customers who might need to be persuaded by a brand page or a landing page to show off products and legitimacy.

“When I look at setting up Headline Ads, I definitely like to focus on keywords and groupings that make the most sense and that are opportunities for upsells or showcase a variety of products in your inventory, said Will Haire of Bobsled Marketing in a recent Ecommerce Braintrust Podcast.

Keywords and Ad Copy

Like all PPC ads, Headline Search Ads are based on keyword bidding. When setting up your campaign, Amazon will provide suggested keywords and you’ll be able to choose the campaign type. Last week, we had a terrific blog post by a member of Portent that explains the importance of matching keywords to the marketing funnel. According to the post, there are three main keyword categories to focus on:

  • Generic product keywords (mid-funnel)
  • Brand keywords (mid-to-low funnel)
  • Brand + product or specific product keywords (low funnel)
Amazon Marketing Funnel
Here’s what the marketing funnel looks like.

The main category to focus on for Headline Search Ads is the generic product keywords. These keywords are for customers who know they want a certain product but are in the research phase. They may not know what brand they’re shopping for, but know what type of products they want to buy.  

Some other approaches may be to bid for your competitor’s keywords or complimentary product keywords. When I search for something like “North Face jackets”, I see a lot of advertisements from competitors trying to sway my attention away from what I originally searched for. If you were to search for a highly accessorized product like a camera, you may see advertisements for camera bags, lights, stands etc. These are just some of the keyword strategies you can use and see what works best.

Whatever your keywords are, your ad copy should match the keywords that are most important for finding your product. This is one of the few times Amazon allows you to be creative with your ads. Take advantage of it and write something to truly capture a potential customer’s attention.

What first-party sellers see inside Vendor Central. As we see here, Amazon suggests avoiding certain terms. Amazon probably wouldn’t like that I named this the best Amazon PPC blog.

Headline Search Ads vs. Sponsored Product Ads

In Amazon PPC, Headline Search Ads and Sponsored Product Ads are very similar to each other, except Headline Search Ads can only be set up in manual campaigns. I have discussed the differences between manual vs. automatic campaigns before, but for the sake of time, here’s an infographic highlighting the differences.

Here are the differences between automatic and manual campaigns. Robots vs. humans. According to Black Mirror, we’re all simulations anyway.

Headline Search Ads are cheaper than Sponsored Product Ads, but they convert less. Will said, “[Headline Search Ads] are generally less than Sponsored Product Ad. What we’ve noticed with our client portfolio is that the cost-per-clicks are a little cheaper. However, because it’s top of the funnel we get a lot of browsers, so a lot of customers who are just clicking through the products to see what’s out there.”

A Little More About Brand Pages and Custom URLs

Amazon provides custom templates to build out your brand page and a custom URL. For your brand page, you can choose your Hero image, product, your best sellers, and brand page text. Brand pages are great for creating trust with a client and for promoting your products on social media with built-in social sharing buttons to drive traffic. Here’s an Amazon article that provides some more information on brand pages.

Here’s an example of an Amazon Echo brand page. As you scroll down on the page, Amazon provides a whole catalog of brand products and accessories along with a pricing and feature grid.

Each brand is capable of creating compelling ads. When you’re creating brand and landing pages, keep in mind some basics of advertising:

  • Understand your unique value proposition
  • My ads are different from my competition
  • Provide your customers with a solution
  • Have original ad copy that reflects your brand’s personality

“I like to build formulas. If you try to create a formula using power words, you can influence clicks. Something I do, for example, would be ‘our product is (multiple) X (desired outcome),’” said Will. He uses the example of “Our batteries last 5 times longer” and advises using words that provide someone with a call to action.

When I searched Adidas shoes, this Stacy Adams ad came up with a call to action to “Stand out from the crowd.” This is a good example of simple copywriting that provides a call to action and the desired outcome for customers. The funny thing is I already stand out from the crowd. I’m a badger.

In Conclusion

Headline Search Ads in Amazon provide a great opportunity to build brand trust and drive traffic and sales to a particular product or landing page. Use your creativity and your ever-growing PPC knowledge to make headlines like Lorde does.

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