How to Set Up an Amazon Video Ads Campaign

There are several bulbous sites for digital marketing in the modern world. There are social media – like Facebook and Instagram – where you’ll informally market to young people, using brand ambassadors to promote your business. There’s Google, the world’s dominant search engine, where you can boost your SEO to be seen by more web users. And now, rising to join them is Amazon – the world’s largest online marketplace.

Indeed, the statistics regarding Amazonas rise are staggering. The firm now caters towards over 50% of online retail spending in the US. That makes it the dominant online store in the country, dwarfing the likes of eBay and Walmart.

Further, as more and more third-party retailers head onto Amazon to promote their goods and sell their wares, the competition is only becoming fiercer. Now, more than ever, it’s essential to have your products seen of Amazon: 90% of consumers price-check on the site – and the ecommerce platform currently hosts over 200 million products. You need to stand out.

This comprehensive guide looks at how you can use Amazon Video Ads to boost your products and your brand for end-users browsing Amazon’s extensive marketplace. For any company that draws revenues from selling their products online, this guide will be invaluable to boost your next marketing campaign.

Why Amazon Ads?

Amazon has been running adverts for some time. Still, in 2018 it revamped its entire advertising platform to create a seller’s portal that, it was hoped, would make it easier for sellers to set up and execute smart marketing campaigns. Amazon Advertising is now a platform unto itself, with hundreds of guides, tips and tutorials for users looking to leverage advertising for their firm.

Using Amazon’s adverts, in one form or another, can bring serious benefits to your business. It’ll show your wares to more people, higher up on Amazon’s feed. And, in doing so, you’ll boost your sales – which feeds back into Amazon’s algorithms to further boost your products.

As such, even temporary marketing drives on Amazon can have long-term sales-boosting effects – representing excellent value for money when it comes to your return on investment (ROI) and your Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS).

Why Video Advertising?

Meanwhile, the use of videos in advertising has risen dramatically over the past few years. You’ll have noticed this on YouTube, with companies representing their brands in short commercials that play before videos, and on Facebook, where autoplay has boosted views and engagement.

In 2020, 92% of marketers felt that video marketing is an essential plank in their overall marketing campaigns. That importance has been driven by some technological factors; for instance, internet speeds increasing across the US – including with 4G and 5G – means that it’s easier than ever to consumer videos on the move as well as at home.

The rise in the importance of video marketing is accompanied by some dramatic data. Online content, in 2019, consisted of 80% video marketing. 90% of consumers have indicated that a video advertisement has had a direct hand in their purchasing of a product – and that’s because 95% of consumers retain the information they receive from videos, compared to only 10% for written text. It’s clear, then that video marketing isn’t just a fad or a neat way to pull together your brand, your products, and your offers –it’s the most effective way to transform web users into customers when they’re browsing the internet.

What are Amazon Video Ads?

So, let’s combine the power of Amazon’s monopolistic reign over the online marketplace with the power of video advertising, asking: what are Amazon Video Ads?

If you’re a regular user of Amazon – and the vast majority of US consumers count themselves in this number – then you’re aware that most content is pictorial. There’s very little video on the platform – bar, of course, Amazon Prime videos. Most adverts are in the form of pictures and boosted products and brands, as this CNBC piece adequately describes.

So, to really stand out from the crowd, and to have a high chance of pulling in some of the millions of consumers who browse Amazon’s online marketplace each month, a video advert is critical. It’s worth highlighting here that Amazon recommends their adverts not only for their sellers –they’re for any business that’s looking to market using video online. When a web user clicks on the links attached to an Amazon video ad, they can be taken to Amazon product pages, your own business website, or anywhere else on the world wide web.

Your Amazon Video Advert Objectives

Amazon is a fantastic partner when it comes to helping you build out your video marketing strategy. Every step of the way, you’re given incentives to think through your video marketing strategy and to optimize this strategy to achieve your business’ goals. Consider the following table, provided by Amazon’s advertising team.

Your Amazon Video Advert Objectives

Here, Amazon is showing you the different objectives that companies arrive at when they’re considering beginning a series of video marketing campaigns. It’s well worth your company sitting over these four key goals: awareness, consideration, conversion, and loyalty. Which are you working towards, and which do you want to focus on with your campaign?

Later in this article, you’ll learn how you can target your Amazon video advertisements to work towards set goals. For now, though, let’s move on to look at what Amazon wants from the videos that you submit to them for your marketing purposes.

Amazon Video Advert Specifications

Amazon has arranged a simple page to help you understand their specifications for your branded video on its platform. This is incredibly helpful – and we’ll run you through it so that you’re aware of what you can and cannot do with your video advertisements on Amazon.

First: the good news. Amazon is brilliant at converting any videos they display into the formats that are optimized for a variety of different screen sizes and devices.

Amazon Video Advert Specifications

You’ll see, you’ve got a healthy choice of devices that your advert can be shown on, with the dimensions provided to show you the size your video will play at on each screen. The key here is to recognize that your video advert will play whether end users are on a desktop browser, on a mobile app, or on the Fire Tablet – itself an Amazon product.

Amazon also keeps highlighting that your video will autoplay. Why is this important? Well, if a consumer is scrolling through products, they’re more likely to stop and linger on a particular part of a screen if a video begins playing on it.

Amazon Video Advert Specifications

Amazon has coded their video adverts to play when at least 50% of the video advertisement is visible on the screen. This is comparable to fakebook’s autoplay feature.

Also, the same as Facebook, autoplay occurs on mute – the user has to interact with the video, by pressing the sound button, to get the full experience. This encourages interaction from the get-go – and represents an investment on the part of the end-user. Finally, autoplay is paused if the video is scrolled outside of the screen.

Video Specifications on Amazon

There is still more that your marketing and creative departments need to know before they launch into the creation of your first Amazon video advert. They will need to know what formats, shapes, sizes and definitions to create your marketing videos in so that they’ll be accepted by Amazon when uploaded. Happily, Amazon shares these specifications in a table, too.

Video Specifications on Amazon

These sorts of specifications may be as good as Greek to you, but they are essential for your digital content creators and your producers and editors. Meanwhile, if you will be creating your marketing video with the help of a video marketing agency, you’ll not have to stress about the specifications – that will be handled in-house by the team you outsource to.

There are two key figures that you should bear in mind from this brief table: you should keep your file size beneath 500MB, and you need to keep your video short. Indeed, Amazon recommends a video advertisement of no longer than 15 seconds, despite allowing uploads of up to 3 minutes.

Why is this? Let’s take a quick look at video length before continuing with this Amazon Video Ad guide.

Shorter Videos Make Lasting Impressions

In general, video marketing has always been seen as an attention-capturing device, through which you transmit the information as quickly as possible. Google, YouTube, Facebook, and other digital media hubs have all set a bar here: short, snappy videos leaving consumers with one, clear message.

If you attempt to build a more extended video advertisement with more than one key message, you’ll risk losing the attention of the end-user who has briefly paused their scrolling to consume your video. You need to respect short attention spans and the enticing nature of digital media by being humble with your video length. Less is more – and this goes for Amazon Video Ads more than any other. That’s because you’re just offering a snapshot of your brand and your products in an Amazon video advert. You’re not doing the long sell. You’re grabbing attention, and aiming to convert that into an impression within ten to twenty seconds.

Amazon's Extra Video Ad Tips

As well as strongly recommending that your video marketing piece on their site is no more than 15 seconds long, Amazon also offers potential advertisers three more essential tips to help them drive a successful video marketing campaign on their site. They are:

  • To keep your key message to within the first 5 seconds of the video advert, that you’re creating and showing on Amazon.
  • To not use a call to action button, like a ‘shop here’ button, on the video itself. Amazon’s video playing software doesn’t allow for on-video clicks: they’ll simply play or pause the video.
  • To make your video as engaging without sound as it is with sound. Subtitles are recommended as standard, and products should be shown instead of talking heads introducing products.

How Your Amazon Video Ad Will be Displayed

Next, you’re going to need to know how your video advert will be seen by end-users on Amazon. You already know it’s going to be embedded on the pages in the table above. But what about the format and the link back to your product pages?

Amazon has this built into their video marketing software, which is good news for firms: you simply have to input the following data, and Amazon will take care of the presentation of the video template. Here’s the direct quote from Amazon’s video advert guide:

  • Optional logo image (JPG, PNG, and GIF files accepted). Minimum width of 600 px, a minimum height of 100 px, the maximum file size of 100 KB. Note: the logo is not used in 414×125 mobile ads.
  • Headline: up to 50 characters of text describing your campaign messaging.
  • Supported call to action options: “Shop now”, “Learn more”, “See details”, “Pre-order now”, “Buy tickets”, “Rent now”, “Rent or buy now”, “Get a quote.”

So, you’re able to optionally add your logo (great for brand recognition) as well as tailoring your call to action button with the keywords that match your business. Meanwhile, you can curate a headline of up to 50 characters which describes, in short, what your video advert is showing to consumers.

Here’s the full asset checklist, provided by Amazon, to help you tick off which assets you’ll be bringing to the table with your video advert, and which formats each asset should be rendered in.

Amazon Video Ad Will be Displayed

The Two Locations of Amazon Video Ads

There are two main places in which you’ll be able to share your video advertisements with Amazon. They are ‘in-stream’ and ‘out-stream’.

In-stream videos are played either before, during or after video content. They appear, for instance, when a web user is watching a video on Amazon Prime. The main benefit of this type of location for your video ad is that it’s likely to be seen on the big screen – on the television, and not only on smartphones and tablets scrolling through the Amazon website or app.

Out-stream videos, in contrast, aren’t attached to video content, and typically appear in positions where display ads would usually be situated. The benefit of these is that they’ll appear regardless of whether consumers have decided to watch video content – and as such, your reach will be more extensive, though you may find that your engagement is lower.

Where Video Advertisements Are Shown

Further to the above information, it’s important to note that Amazon doesn’t just consist of Prime and the Amazon Marketplace. It also owns IMDb and its affiliated websites and platforms, as well as devices like Fire TV, and a few other hotspots located across the web. Your video advertisement has the potential to be shown across these channels, too.

Video Advertisements Are Shown

Amazon boasts a fantastic case studies resource, which lists all of the different ways in which video advertising has been used to boost brand profiles and to help them sell more products online. This is a wonderful place to go if you’re struggling to decide where to show your video advertisements.

Working Alongside Amazon Consultants

Some brands would prefer to spend more to bypass having to create their own content or tailor it to Amazon’s specific services and products. This is understandable: depending on the human resources and the experience or skills within a company, it might be challenging to make a video advert from scratch without hiring help.

In such cases, Amazon offers video ad consultants, who can help you each step of the way when you’re creating a new video ad campaign. They have a managed-service option which is the most complete and comprehensive form of assistance that you’ll be offered – though they highlight that this will cost you upwards of $35,000 to enjoy.

Setting Up Your Amazon Video Ad Campaign

Now it’s time to look at exactly how you’ll be able to create your video advertising campaign using Amazon’s powerful platform. This article won’t focus on the creation of the video itself – you have the specifications; you’re left to your own devices where creating great content is concerned. We’ll show you how to get it seen through Amazon.

The simplest way to get your video ads onto Amazon’s platform is to sign up for Amazon DSP (Demand-Side Platform). From here, you’re able to do all the technical things that’ll help you build out your campaign, decide where and when to show it, and measure its success and conversion rate over time.

Amazon Video Ad Campaign

Using Amazon DSP

If you already have an Amazon DSP account, you’re ready to get going with your new video advertising campaign. If you don’t, you can speak to an Amazon advertising consultant to get yourself signed up and onboarded into their high-tech interface.

There are plenty of Amazon guides and videos on how to use their DSP – which you should undoubtedly make use of to familiarize yourself with the essential tools that you’re able to use on the platform. In this piece, we’re going to look at how you can get the most out of Amazon DSP to tailor your content to the audiences that mean the most to you.

Programmatic Use of Amazon DSP

Programmatic marketing enables you to bid for the attention of audiences and individual end-users. What does this mean? Well, with a high level of audience segmentation enabled through Amazon’s DSP, you can target those consumers that you feel are most likely to want to interact with your videos and your brand.

Take some time to explore Amazon’s demographic selectors to understand who you’re able to target with your video adverts. By targeting your adverts, you’ll be securing a far better ROI, and ACoS for your video marketing output – by being seen by only those end-users who you believe are interested in your brand, products, or services.

You’ll likely already know your customer well enough to target them using Amazon’s DSP. The programmatic side of this system is that you’ll then set a maximum bid for their attention, which is set against the bids of other advertisers that use Amazon DSP.

If you win the bidding war, your advert will be shown to the end-user, and you’ll pay the fee that your bid amounted to. If you lose, your advert won’t be shown, and you won’t be charged.

In the long run, this programmatic feature of Amazon’s DSP means you can always tinker with your advertising technicalities, ensuring that you’re bidding the correct amount to be seen by the right assortment of people across Amazon’s advertising channels.

Amazon DSP's Brand Quality and Safety Tools

When you’re using Amazon DSP for your video advertising campaign, you benefit from the guarantee of safety and security that’s offered by this world-leading brand. This means that you’re offered peace-of-mind when it comes to your investment in your video marketing campaign. This cannot be said for other, smaller video marketing outfits.

Meanwhile, when you’re shown on an Amazon platform, you’re shown on a website or app that consumers trust. This is far more important than you might realize. We’re all aware of those websites that show advertisements that you’d be a fool to click on; Amazon’s brand confidence and trust means that consumers that see your video content – on Amazon’s Marketplace, on IMDb, or on Fire TV – will be happy to trust the content they’re shown.

Measuring Success on Amazon DSP

The other useful feature provided by Amazon DSP is that you’re given access to their incredible data sets. These help you to understand exactly how much you’re spending, and how many conversions, click-throughs, site hits and sales you’re getting for the videos that consumers are watching across Amazon’s platforms.

This means that there’s no need for you to export data, collate different datasets, and spend many hours going over the figures to see the impact that your video marketing campaigns may or may not be having on your KPIs.

Amazon deals with all of these for you, with a slick and straightforward interface that enables you to check on the campaigns that you’re currently running.

Naturally, with this powerful feedback from Amazon DSP’s data, you’re able to perform A/B testing with your marketing material. For video marketing campaigns, you can test different:

  • To help you see who is most receptive to your video advert on Amazon.
  • To help you understand the best way to display and show off your video.
  • To tailor your programmatic spending to reach an optimal level of spend.
  • To see whether your adverts are more successful in-stream or out-stream.

Use the learning resources provided by Amazon Advertising to fully understand the investment – in time, cash, and resources – that you should be making in your campaign to make it as successful as possible.

Now, let’s look at some successful video advertising campaigns – and why they worked so well.

The Key to a Successful Amazon Video Ad Campaign

First, we’re going to list a few of the elements that make for an excellent video advert displayed in the kind of format that Amazon promises. We’ll then take a look at how this works in an example case.

  • Attention-Grabbing: You want to grab your consumer’s eye in the first five seconds, as specified by Amazon. Some marketing agencies run by the three-second rule: if a consumer hasn’t got a clear idea of what your business is about in the first three seconds, they’re not going to watch on.
  • Viewer Investment. There should be some form of narrative to your video advert, even if it’s a simple one. You may not have time to show a long-form narrative – and Amazon themselves only recommend your video ad be 15 seconds. But you need to encourage your viewer to watch to the end.
  • Audience Tailoring. While Amazon enables you to target audiences across hundreds of specific demographics on its DSP platform, it can do nothing to change a video that’s poorly crafted and uninteresting to your target audience. Do your market resource to understand what cues and references your specific audience will respond to online.
  • Call to Action. Finally, whatever your campaign’s shape or size, you need to issue a clear call to action after your video ad. It’s here that your consumers will ready themselves to make the next move: to your Amazon store, or onto your website. A video ad is wasted when the viewer is given no next step to follow after you’ve done the hard work of capturing their attention.

It’s by continually bearing these tips in mind that you’ll be able to curate the video content that will draw in more consumers to your business over a set period, using Amazon’s powerful DSP to continue tinkering with your marketing output.

A Powerful Example

We’ll finish with one of the most powerful examples of the successful use of Amazon DSP and video advertising on the internet. It’s provided by Twinings, the British tea company, and the case study is available on Amazon, too. What’s remarkable about this example is the end-to-end assistance offered by Amazon.

A Powerful Example

In brief, Twinings launched a new product – cold tea infusion – which was significantly different from their existing hot teas. They knew that they were looking for a different market, and a different demographic of consumers – but they didn’t know who.

With the help of Amazon – and the powerful data that Amazon was able to provide them on sales, impressions, and interactions – Twinings were able to build out a video marketing strategy with Amazon which led to an increase of 100% on their Amazon UK sales – and an increase of 11% in their in-store sales.

Those in-store sales aptly represent how wonderful it is to market using video adverts: not only do consumers click through online to visit your store, but the impressions they’ve left with are carried with them to stores, where they purchase the product in more significant numbers, too.

Why Use Amazon Video Advertising?

Video advertising has its place in the new world of online marketing. With more and more video content uploaded to the major websites and platforms of the internet each second, the world wide web is looking to become increasingly dominated by video content in the future.

Meanwhile, businesses are latching on to this trend and seeing a massive boost in sales as a result – resulting in an impressive ROI for their investment in video production and sharing online.

The benefits of working with Amazon on video advertising are numerous. Not only do you have access to one of the most powerful bodies of consumer data on the planet, but you’re able to bid for attention, and watch your data, in real-time through Amazon’s DSP platform. This makes for campaigns that are dynamic, always learning, and ever optimizing for the very best results.

It’s also important to note that video advertisements of Amazon can serve several purposes, as first introduced at the beginning of this guide. You can use them to build awareness in your brand and your product in the long-term or to drive click-throughs and sales in the short-term. Often, you’ll achieve a little of both, whatever your focus.

Conclusion

With its easy-to-access store of data, hundreds of helpful case studies, and a helpful and friendly Amazon team at hand to get you started, it’s undoubtedly worth your business experimenting with Amazon Video Ads. Whether you’re a primary seller, you or a third-party vendor has never sold an item on Amazon, there are considerable benefits to be reaped from your engagement with their platform.

So, all you need to do to really make the most of this marketing provision from Amazon is to make your video to their specifications – and the additional advice contained in this article – and begin submitting it, through the DSP platform, to audiences worldwide. With targeting and programmatic bidding available on Amazon’s DSP – as well as a conventional monitoring system – you’ll be perfectly positioned to track your performance and to understand your ROI over time.