Enhanced Brand Content is a feature that’s been on a lot of sellers’ minds recently. Amazon quietly rolled the feature out to all sellers last November, and there’s been much discussion of its merits since then.
In short, Enhanced Brand Content a version of A+ Content, a feature previously only available to Amazon Vendors, that is now available to third-party sellers. We should note Enhanced Brand Content is only available to Brand Registered sellers — if you have questions about Brand Registry, consult our post on the subject, linked below.
However, there are a few key differences between Amazon Enhanced Brand Content and A+ Content that are important to go over. Let’s get into what the feature does, and what you should know about it.
Basically, Amazon Enhanced Brand Content (I’ll be calling it EBC from now on) lets sellers spice up their product description beyond the normal plain text. Although you don’t have custom HTML control, you’ll be able to select from a list of templates, add images, and generally make your description look nicer and more inviting.
Here’s an example of what the finished product can look like:
One snag that a lot of sellers are running into, however, is that it can take a while to get an EBC page approved and implemented. There’s a huge laundry list of banned terms, phrases, and content: you’re not allowed to mention pricing, use boastful phrases like “#1 widget on Amazon”, use trademark or copyright symbols, include shipping or warranty details… the list goes on for almost 20 items.
As you might imagine, all of these phrases would be too easy to work around if they were checked automatically, meaning that each EBC page has to be vetted and approved by a human Support agent. Overall, the combination of a strict set of content regulations and the need for human examination means that getting EBC approved can be a frustratingly long process. Most sellers aren’t totally clear on all the regulations at first and have to resubmit over and over again, getting rejected for a minor violation each time.
It’s natural to compare Enhanced Brand Content to A+ Content, something that’s been available to Vendor Central users for a long time.
Although EBC brings third-party sellers a step closer to the content that vendors can present, it’s not quite as full-featured. A+ Content gives vendors full HTML control over their description, and they also have the option of having Amazon build their A+ page for them.
An important difference, however, is that A+ Content comes at a fairly steep price: if vendors use the self-service option, it will run them around $400, whereas letting Amazon build it for them can cost anywhere from $500–$1500.
Similarly to A+ Content, Amazon has indicated that EBC will, at some point in the future, have a fee associated with it. However, it is currently in a promotional period (even though nine months have passed since its release) and is offered to Brand Registered sellers at no charge.
You may have heard rumors of a hidden downside to Enhanced Brand Content: that the keywords in the description were NOT search indexed in the same way that regular descriptions or A+ content were.
While this may have been true very close to release, when the feature was presumably not fully complete, this is no longer the case as of May 2017. Although EBC is still in a “promotional” period, it is now fully indexed, just like standard descriptions and A+ content.
We should add a disclaimer, though: Amazon is notorious for compartmentalizing its different categories, so although EBC may be indexed for most categories, it may not be indexed for all.
Keep this in mind: if you see a suspicious drop in sessions after implementing EBC, it may be due to your category’s EBC not being search indexed. If this is consistently the case for your category, you may want to switch back to the plain HTML descriptions for the time being.
Whether or not EBC is worth it depends on your product and resources. Obviously, the first thing to consider is the cost. At the moment, EBC is free, but it won’t be for long, so if you’re planning on implementing EBC, now is the time to do it.
Of course, EBC is only free so far as Amazon fees are concerned. There is still a cost attached — namely, the cost of new photography and new copy to replace your old description. (Note: you’re not allowed to reuse any product images that already appear in your main image block.) Whether that cost will pay off depends on the product and your competition.
The next thing you should consider is your product’s relationship to the competition. Are your competitors using EBC or A+ Content? If so, you should probably implement your own in order to put yourself on a level playing field. If they aren’t, even better — you can greatly differentiate yourself from your competitors by offering a more compelling description.
Next, you should consider your unique value propositions. Visual content is often a vastly superior method of conveying your product’s unique value. Are you selling sunglasses with unique polarization? Use a comparison image to show how a scene looks with and without your sunglasses.
This strategy doesn’t work for every product, of course. EBC is a lot more valuable on products where you can harness images to strongly differentiate yourself from competitors, rather than just sprucing up your description with a couple of lifestyle images. EBC can help in both cases, but it will do much more work in the former.
Similarly, a complex product with lots of different features and functions will benefit much more from the added explanatory power of EBC images than, say, a plain white T-shirt.
Finally, you should consider your brand story. Brand storytelling is one of the most important aspects of building a lasting brand — it builds trust with buyers, and they will start to see your brand as a living, breathing entity, not just a bland list of bullet points next to the “Buy” button.
Before EBC, third-party sellers didn’t really have an opportunity to tell their brand story on Amazon beyond creating their own websites. Now that 3P sellers can enhance their description with images, a whole world of brand storytelling on Amazon is open to us.
If you want to use EBC to tell a brand story, you shouldn’t just stop at one product. A brand story means having a consistent aesthetic across all your products; it means knowing who your customer base is and addressing them with your visual content; it means breathing life into your brand with creative and compelling images.
Anker technically uses A+ Content, rather than Enhanced Brand Content, but the idea is the same: use a consistent design across your products to tell a story and let your customers know what to expect.
If you do decide to go ahead with EBC, be prepared for some back-and-forth with support. As we mentioned above, each EBC page must be compared against a large list of banned terms and phrases and hand-approved by Amazon Support agents. It’s very likely that you won’t make the cut the first time, but they’ll usually tell you what the violation was, so all you have to do is make the changes, double-check the list, and send it again.
A list of Enhanced Brand Content violations, compiled by CPC Strategy, is available here.
Overall, our advice is to start out slow: gather high-quality images for a few products and try out a couple of EBC pages, rather than adding shoddy images to all of your products all at once. Track the products you’ve enhanced, see if there’s any notable increase in conversions (enough to justify the cost), and add/remove more EBC pages as you see fit.
Have you tried out EBC on any of your products? What has your experience been with Amazon Support and/or conversion rates? Let us know in the comments below!