Amazon has released a new way for brand-registered sellers to advertise a selection of their products, all under the umbrella of their brand. They’re calling it Headline Search Ads. We think that this is a great idea not only to expand your advertising, but also draw attention to your brand!
Headline Search Ads, as you can imagine, appear in the “headline” position of an Amazon customer’s search. They look like this:
In terms of keywords and bidding, they work just like regular Sponsored Products. They’re pay-per-click, and keyword bidding and campaigns work exactly the same as Sponsored Products. The only real difference that you have to consider when bidding on keywords is that Headline Search Ads advertise multiple products
On the actual ad, you get to include 3 of your products, your logo, and a custom headline where you can write whatever message you want to display. When clicked, they will take customers to a landing page where they can see more of your offerings.
You get to pick the offerings that appear on this page — they include the three items that were in the original ad, but you can pick more items to display (as long as they’re still relevant to the original search terms, of course).
Here’s an example of a Headline Search Ad in action, and the landing page that comes after.
First of all, although this is a subjective point, I would argue that Headline Search Ads are more aesthetically pleasing than Sponsored Product ads. At the very least, they look more like a traditional advertisement, which can be good or bad depending on who’s looking at it.
Headline Search Ads also have an additional element that Sponsored Products don’t have: the landing page. The landing page that comes after you click on the Headline Search ad displays an expanded list of the products you had on display in the ad. There are no extra bells and whistles or distractions: it simply presents a list of choices to the customer.
This is helpful for a number of reasons. First of all, having a wider selection of products lets you cast a wider net within the ad. Giving the customer more choices will almost always increase your overall click-through rate and conversion rate.
Of course, you have to be careful to choose products that are relevant to the original keywords. Don’t include your entire brand catalogue in these ads. Having a multi-product selection on your Headline Search Ads will also let you refine keywords for your regular Sponsored Products.
You can test out different keywords and have a selection of products presented, then track which of those products converts the best from the landing page. Then, you can add (or start bidding higher) on your Sponsored Product campaign for that specific product. Think of it as a sort of A/B test (or, in this case, A/B/C/D/E).
Finally, there’s one more layer to the benefits. Marketing your brand, not just your individual products, is critical on Amazon, and can even be more beneficial than marketing products in the long term. To understand this further, let’s take a step back and talk about how sellers’ branding ability has changed over time on Amazon.
Private-label Amazon sellers have always suffered from a phenomenon of deindividualization. Amazon basically saturates the entire website with their branding, and there’s very little room left (in terms of visuals, but also UI or customer experience) for sellers to differentiate themselves from their competition.
For the longest time (and likely to some extent today), customers on Amazon didn’t really think about the particular seller they were buying from: they were just “buying from Amazon.” That was fine for resellers, for example, but private-label sellers were losing out on many opportunities by not being able to improve their brand recognition and reputation.
Nowadays, this is less of a problem, as Amazon has given more options for sellers to push their brands as wholes, rather than just individual sellers. (Funnily enough, the tables have turned these days: people think they’re buying from a certain clothing brand, but they’re really just buying from one of Amazon’s many private-label brands)
However, for obvious reasons, Amazon’s branding still dominates amazon.com. Although opportunities for brand differentiation have been increased, they’re still fairly limited overall. Sellers basically have to take it where they could get it. Therefore, these new Headline Search Ads are a pretty big deal.
Your Headline Search Ads can be taken to the next level through strong branding. That means having a consistent visual aesthetic and similar copy across all products, of course, but it also means going further than that. The best thing you can do for your brand is to provide great customer service.
That’s right, I’m going back to customer service again. In my defense, it really is important! You need your brand to be more than just an amalgamation of products behind some consistent visual design. You want your brand to mean something. You want people to feel secure in their decision to buy from you, and to know that seeing your name on a product means it will be high-quality and backed up by great customer support.
We’ve always believed that customer support is one of the most powerful differentiators that a brand can undertake. Great customer service means loyal customers, who will then buy other products from your brand.
Customer service is quite possibly the most important means of building a substantial, likeable brand. “Selling a good product” is all well and good, but something is inevitably going to go wrong, and you need to be there for your customers. A company with a 1% defect rate and no customer service will fare much worse than a company with a 2% defect rate and great customer service.
Headline Search Ads will help your brand recognition, but that recognition will be so much more powerful if you have strong customer service backing it up.
Overall, Headline Search Ads seem like a great new opportunity for sellers, both from an advertising perspective and a brand-building perspective. Ideally, you’ll be able to increase your conversions, learn more about which keywords work, and build up your brand as a leader within your niche all at the same time!
Have you tried out Headline Search Ads? What have your experiences been with them so far? Let us know in the comments below!