News & Announcements

Jumpstart Your Q4 by Implementing Sponsored Brands Video on Amazon Advertising

Video is becoming more integral to the eCommerce shopping experience and we at Channel Bakers have been leveraging Sponsored Brands Video to great success. A recent statistic even indicates that 68% of customers would rather learn about a product or service by way of video. 

Video is also increasingly more popular with advertisers. The thought is that video, as a medium, creates deeper engagement with consumers allowing for stronger, quicker connection with your brand than traditional media like static banners and landing pages. We see this from the number of advertisers engaging in video. As eMarketer reports,  “In 2020, we expect to see digital video ad spend grow 15.0%, accounting for £3.72 billion ($4.75 billion) and more than half of display for the first time—52.8% in fact [of all digital ad spending].”

Amazon’s Innovative Advertising

With Amazon as the largest eCommerce Retailer in 2019 in Europe, they’ve continued to release products and services that help brands and advertisers reach their audiences in new ways.

Amazon has taken a front seat role when it comes to engaging consumers by pushing video across multiple ad formats. The landscape of Amazon ads allows for video formats to be engaged with at nearly every stage of the consumer decision-making process.

Amazon Video Formats include: OTT, Video display ads, Stores Video, Sponsored Brands Video, Amazon Live, Video on Image Gallery, Video related to this product, etc.

Amazon OTT allows advertisers to directly connect with shoppers in their homes. By engaging viewers through VOD apps and Prime Video, you can create awareness before the consumer need is realized.

As shoppers browse the internet searching for information, marketers are spending more on Video Display Ads to break from traditional static creative and increase shopper engagement. And on Amazon’s website, we see video integration taking the form of Amazon Live, video uploads on detail pages, and Stores hosting video.

With the launch of Sponsored Brands Video, Amazon Search advertising is adding an exciting new form of media to the mix!

Welcome to Sponsored Brands Video

Amazon first released Sponsored Brands Video (sometimes referred to as Video in Sponsored Brands or Video in Search…creative spinoffs, we know) in the United States in 2019. This advertising product allows for brands to leverage keyword targets to engage consumers with video content on a cost per click basis.

For advertisers looking to create awareness of your brand, this video placement on Amazon provides the extremely advantageous option of leveraging pay per click as opposed to cost per mille (CPM).

For one Consumer Electronics manufacturer, Channel Bakers leveraged Sponsored Brands Video over the summer to create a deeper engagement with shoppers and increase the run rate of existing inventory.

In June, our core computer ASIN, which was a +$700 convertible laptop, showed returns of 6:1 and a cost-per-click (CPC) of $3.47. Sponsored Brands Video was integrated the first week of July, and by the end of the month, that ASIN showed a 12:1 return with a decreasing CPC of $2.68. Through optimization, August results for a single ASIN leveraging Sponsored Brands Video showed returns of 32:1 and a CPC of $1.98, highlighting efficiency and profitability.

Source: Amazon Ad Console Data, executed by Channel Bakers, Q3 – 2020

We see multiple CPG brands leveraging Sponsored Brands Video to drive non-branded search engagement, targeting shoppers that are in the Discovery or Consideration phase of their shopping journey. One notable example is the below pet food brand that leveraged Sponsored Brand Video to showcase the light, fun-loving nature of their brand. This piece created a unique experience for shoppers that stopped them mid-scroll, or as we like to call it  “Scroll stopping creative.”

With holiday advertisers and competition constantly increasing, Sponsored Brands Video will be critical to a well-rounded Search advertising strategy this year on Amazon. Not only does Sponsored Brands Video allow for you to layer in clear visual elements that align with your brand, but it also allows you to link to your PDP so you can track sales conversion for the deals that you may be running this holiday.

If you have yet to explore how to leverage Sponsored Brands Video on Amazon, please connect with us for Jumpstarting your Sponsored Brands Video, where we can discuss how to turn on Sponsored Brands Video, best practices for creating video, and how Channel Bakers can help build video and optimize this.

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It’s Official: Prime Day is Coming October 13-14

Hold onto your hats, folks! Prime Day is officially happening on October 13th-14th per Amazon’s website. After a postponement in July and months of waiting, we can finally save the date.

And with Prime Day 2019 sales exceeded $7.16 billion in just 48-hours and a 40% trend in sales increase YOY, this year is expected to bring another outstanding event. So how do we prepare with so little time left?

Two Weeks To Go

With so little time left, and with an incremental $3.59B expected to be spent on digital video ads, it could be time to shift some budget to digital. Traditional media has taken a huge hit this year due to COVID-19 as more people are spending their time indoors and online.

We suggest meeting your customers where they are. Shift dollars to Amazon Advertising and combine with highly competitive price points to succeed during this major eCommerce event. It’s a winning strategy that will kickstart your sales goals to carry you into Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the holiday season.

Amazon has also recently announced that they’re upgrading Alexa, building a gaming platform called Luna, and releasing a slew of new smart home and security devices (including a home drone). Can your brand capitalize on these new offerings? We can help you create, target, and capitalize on any advertisements you need.

Channel Bakers Can Help

Enter Channel Bakers, we’ve been getting ready for this day since July 17th of last year. Trust us, it’s already circled on our calendars. From hosting webinars on how to “Prime the Pump” to getting ahead on new offerings like Sponsored Brands Videos, to leveraging Amazon OTT to stay top of mind before Prime Day, we’re here to help you optimize your advertising to get the most out of Prime Day.

“Prime Day 2020 has the potential to be the most monumental tentpole retail sales event since the launch of the very first Black Friday back in 1952,” says Josh Kreitzer, our CEO.

So partner with us to get your search, DSP, video, and digital video advertising ready for the big day! Contact us to Prime the Pump! October 13th is only a few weeks away.

Amazon’s 2020 pitch deck: Twitch has 159 million monthly users

Joshua Kreitzer, Founder and CEO of ad agency Channel Bakers, said the Twitch push shows Amazon is trying to compete with Facebook and Google by going after the ad dollars that brands spend to build awareness. “They built the platform on trade dollars that were intended for a specific retailer — they’re really trying to be viewed as an awareness platform that rivals traditional mediums,” he said.

Click here to read the full article

Twitch Might Be the Future of Digital Viewing

Digital Video has become the fastest growing digital medium, with an incremental increase of $3.59B in ad spending. And no, it’s not just because the COVID-era has turned the world virtual. It’s due to a shift in where digital viewers are consuming content.

For instance, did you know that 17% of digital video viewers watch through Twitch? Of course you did! But just in case you didn’t, we’ll break down just what Twitch is and how to capitalize on its unique offering. (Hint: It’s not just for gamers.)

What is Twitch?

in 2011, Twitch has grown from a small streaming platform to hosting 1.6M viewers at any given time. That’s 10% more than MSNBC and CNN’s reported daily total viewers.

But before we go any further, let’s define “streaming.” It’s the bread and butter of Twitch and the entire reason why viewers spend an average of 1.5 hours daily on the site.

“Streaming” is where broadcasters live record themselves performing an activity while simultaneously engaging their viewers in conversation. For the vast majority of Twitch streamers, this means it showcases their skills on popular video games like League of Legends, Fortnite, and PUBG.

But if there’s anything we’ve learned from Youtube, it’s that if you give the people a platform, they’ll turn it into a content creation universe. These days, Twitch hosts channels for cooking shows, live sports commentary, and lifestyle pieces.

This open platform has also only grown stronger after Amazon acquired it in 2014. In fact, it was just announced that Twitch’s live streaming functionality will be incorporated into the Amazon Music app, enabling fans to engage with artists in brand-new ways and move seamlessly between live streams and recorded music.

This comes at a perfect time when artists are streaming live concerts more than ever, bringing a completely new audience to Twitch. According to ComScore, Twitch’s viewers are 81.5% Male and 56% are 18-34 years old.

This new music offering could bring a shift in their unique visitors. That now opens up a whole new conversation about what kind of brands should be on Twitch to capture this audience.

Your Brand x Twitch

Is your brand right for Twitch?

It’s obvious that Gaming Hardware like headsets, keyboards, and mice would be the best advertisers for Twitch, but when we look at Twitch’s demographic, and this new music audience that’s expected to shift towards Twitch, your products may be more relevant than you’d originally thought.

For example, standing desk brands have a real opportunity to educate the Twitch audience on how their product can improve their physical and emotional health.

Energy drinks have always been a gamer favorite, but Twitch’s move into the lifestyle genre has brought along fitness gurus from other social platforms like Instagram. Everything from yoga brands to healthy snacks also have an opportunity to thrive here. And we can’t think of a place you can’t promote hand sanitizer these days, too.

Advertising on Twitch

So, how do you promote your brand in an authentic way on Twitch?

Brands have been known to partner with notable streamers for a sponsored, one-time stream. These can include anything from playing a new game to giving viewers the chance to win chicken dinners by commenting in the chat. Yes…that was KFC.

Before you start developing your Twitch streamer sponsorship strategy, you’ll need to find the right streamer who resonates with your brand’s audience. Using tools like Twitchtracker can give you the data and analytics you need to decide what streamer to partner with and where to place your ads.

And with 82% of viewers saying that sponsorships are good for the gaming community, this might be the perfect place for your brand to get the best return on your advertising spend.

However, streamer sponsorships shouldn’t be the only strategy for getting in front of their savvy audience. Did you know you can implement Display advertising as well? You can absolutely send your digital video ads and static display banners if you don’t want to fully invest in the influencer route.

We at Channel Bakers can get you up to speed on Twitch and help you leverage the fastest growing digital platform. Contact us today to grow your brand!

How Important Is Prime Day This Year for Non Essential Brands?

This year, Prime Day is going to bring in the largest audience it’s ever had following the trend of sales rising around 40% YOY. In the midst of a global pandemic, Prime Members rose from 59% to 67% according to an RBC survey and this represents a huge opportunity for brands to capitalize on.

Typically, this tentpole eCommerce event takes place in July with a goal of kickstarting the second half of the year during a slow quarter.

But rumor has it that this year’s annual Prime Day is being postponed until October. Will this affect their expected surge in visits? The data says otherwise.

Prime Day is Growing

Year-over-year, Amazon’s Prime Day has been on a dramatic upswing. Just last year, sales exceeded $7.16 billion in just 48-hours – more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined!

They’ve obviously been crushing it, but how does that stack up in a world where purchases are leaning more toward “essential items” like baby products, groceries, and pet supplies? Well, first of all, Amazon changed what they deem “essential”.

Our VP of Client Success at Channel Bakers, Sarah LaVallee, found that Amazon was giving parents a break by slapping the “essential” tag on categories like toys, puzzles, Nerf guns, and video games.

Adding these items to the list could help bring a boost to Prime Day in 2020.

Ramping Up the Non-Essentials

“Isn’t Prime Day just a good excuse to buy things you normally wouldn’t?”, you and every other consumer might ask. And while that’s not the official tagline, Prime Day is an excellent way for non-essential brands to meet their sales goals.

That’s why these brands rejoiced when Amazon did come through on their promise to place purchase orders for non-essential products a little earlier than they originally said they would. Initially, it was a full stop on non-essential PO’s until early April.

According to LaVallee, “We did start to see a lot of clients begin to receive POs that were in non-essential categories. Also around that time, shoppers were beginning to receive their non-essential item deliveries a little faster than previously promised.”

This is great news, especially for the 145MM new online shoppers since COVID-19 began and the 197MM loyal Amazonians.

Getting Ready for the Big Day

If there’s one key takeaway from this article, it’s that non-essential brands should be leveraging Amazon’s shopper purchase behavior data leading up to Prime Day. Develop those data-driven strategies people! It’ll help you hit your overall corporate sales goals, not just within Amazon.

Investing in Amazon’s ability to tie advertising closer to the point of sale will win over new and returning consumers. With that said, looking at Amazon, last year they invested over $100MM in advertising to drive traffic for Prime Day before the sales event.

Strategically it’s a no-brainer that non-essential brands consider combining incremental budget for Amazon Advertising with highly competitive price points as a great plan of attack to succeed during Q4 this year.

With Prime Day now taking place in October it kicks off holiday shopping early, followed by Black Friday and Cyber Week. Historically, October was a month where shoppers researched products but didn’t pull the trigger until Black Friday and Cyber Week.

It will be interesting to see how impactful Prime Day is in shifting consumer spending before Black Friday and Cyber Week.

We at Channel Bakers will be looking at Q4 quarantine shopping to give us new data and fresh insights going into 2021…but everyone’s focus should start with the big one: Prime Day.

Planning for Prime Day begins with shifting budget(s) to where the shopper is going be shopping the most this holiday season, and that’s eCommerce. Your strategy should include stronger pricing and promotions…and your brand should invest in a new way to stay top of mind with shoppers like getting on television screens and connected devices through Amazon OTT.

As a last thought, Tyler Speer, Channel Bakers’ EMEA Director of Business Development, stated, “Prime Day is going to be the best opportunity that you’ll likely have all year long to get back on track to hit your company’s sales goals by getting in front of the shopper where they are shopping the most.”

If you’d like to view Channel Bakers’ full discussion on how brands can “Prime the Pump” in preparation for Amazon, visit this link. To learn more about next steps for non essential brands towards Prime Day, contact our Advertising experts at Channel Bakers.

Why You Should Be Paying Attention to Amazon Attribution

An essential element for any effective Amazon brand strategy is advertising, and pushing your products to be seen by a broader audience. Nowadays, most brands drive traffic to their Amazon listings through various platforms. Measuring the performance of the multiple traffic sources from a brand’s inbound campaigns is where Amazon Attribution is a powerful tool for identifying what’s working and what’s not.

Why Amazon Attribution Matters

Before joining Channel Bakers as our VP of Client Success, Sarah LaVallee worked for multiple brands. She commented that from a brand marketer’s standpoint, Amazon Attribution was helpful in overcoming one of the main challenges she faced trying to determine what traffic levers to pull and when.

Some questions her team had asked themselves were…What digital ads are we going to use? (Search or Display, etc.) Where are we going to send them? What is the message? 

According to Sarah, “It’s always a challenge with traditional media of understanding what’s working and what’s not working. Throughout the history of media, we’ve found ways to fudge this with a coupon code or a one day sale. And so that we can do back of napkin marketing math to determine what’s been effective.”

The nice thing about Amazon Attribution, when it comes to sending people to Amazon product detail pages, is that it takes the guesswork out. For Sarah’s team, they used Amazon Attribution through email and social, driving people to Amazon. Afterwards, they ran AB tests to see which creative message resonated with folks more, asking themselves in the process…

Is it more branding forward? Is it more deal forward? Is it convenience? 

Once people started heading to Amazon, her team was able to see exactly what was working, and what wasn’t working. The main thing was to leverage the database of people who are highly valuable to the brand, how they’re communicated to, how often, where they’re sent, etc.

“It was great for us to measure the efficacy of our efforts and help us understand what resonated most with consumers” says Sarah.

Some of our Channel Bakers clients deal with Amazon specific budgets, ecommerce budgets, and marketing teams that have their own budget. For example, removing Amazon out of the equation, assume there are two different functions, two different teams, with one marketing department that looks at everything available to help grow the brand, tell the brand story, and help influence sales. The question is…What do you do? How do you know what’s working? 

According to Sarah, “Measurability is huge. Measurability accountability. We need to be able to understand what is working, what tools are working, what messaging is working. All of these little things are crucial to marketing strategy”.

Using CPG grocery as an example, it’s very difficult to say, “We’re going to run these digital ads in Kroger’s footprint, and we are going to take a look at if there was any sort of impact on Kroger’s sales.” It’s hard to measure that, unless you’re actually giving people a coupon, which 99% of people are not going to clip. Versus Amazon Attribution, where the brand can say, “Let’s drive to eCommerce, to a place of purchase, and then we can understand exactly which of our branding marketing budget buckets are working to achieve specific objectives like getting more folks into the brand versus purchasing the product.” It’s about those sales versus awareness metrics that matter, then looking at their individual efficacy, and testing again based on those metrics.

History of Amazon Attribution

As marketers, we always want to know what’s working and what’s not working. The Amazon Attribution program is really powerful in helping us identify, whether it’s email, or traditional search like Google, or other display targeting like Facebook, what levers are working in closing the sale and/or driving traffic.

So why did Amazon go down this path and what platform did they do this with? Amazon wanted to identify and help the advertiser and brand figure out what their role is in the marketing stack.

Meaning, is Amazon contributing more from a performance standpoint, whether that be click through rates, return on spend, or sales? They want to be able identify how Google and Facebook compare when driving traffic to Amazon. But the history of this goes back a little bit further. 

Around 2013, Amazon opened the door for non-US based brands to sell on Amazon. For manufacturers and for many of those seller based brands that were overseas, they didn’t have access to all of the advertising tools that Amazon made available to US based manufacturer brands. Display advertising was the primary piece of what was not readily available to a seller brand.

The best practice for those overseas based seller brands was to leverage Facebook, and leverage Google. Rather than drive to their own websites (because they didn’t have one) in the US, and because they didn’t have a US corporation set up, they would always send their non-Amazon search and display traffic to Amazon.

While they were sending that traffic to their products on Amazon, they didn’t get any sales metric type data to be able to say, “This is working from a conversion rate standpoint and cost per acquisition standpoint.” Looking at that, this was a tool that was launched initially in seller central for seller based manufactured brands. 

Amazon Attribution Best Practices

Today, Amazon recognizes the best practice of leveraging other ad platforms to drive to traffic to their site. In response to the inbound traffic they were getting from those platforms, they developed the attribution tool to better help brands define the success of those campaigns.

Amazon also wants to help overseas seller based brands figure out how much of their budgets should be spent towards Amazon Advertising versus other ad platforms based on the metrics provided with their attribution tool. That’s the underlying tone. 

At the end of the day, Amazon is looking at giving you access to tools to help you identify more data points along the consumer decision journey, with various different ad platforms that exist out in the market.

Testing and learning is also critically important in the digital marketer landscape. This helps you identify what’s working and what’s not working, but also leveraging this data to build to new audiences and tests. This helps the marketer not only know just what lever to pull and when, but also which audience each lever works with best.

In Sarah’s experience having worked for multiple manufacturer brands, she intimately understands how very protective they are of their brand enthusiasts and fans. With Facebook or their email database, brands are super sensitive about giving their audience the perception that it’s their intention to “sell them, sell them, sell them”. 

That’s really where AB testing messaging sprints come into play. If we’re going to communicate to these people and send them to a place to purchase, we need to understand what will work, and we’re not just pushing their products on our loyal followers and customers.

Key Takeaways

The key takeaway here should be that leveraging Google or Facebook to drive traffic to Amazon is a best practice. Focusing on which ad levers, platforms, products, and tools to drive traffic with, to where, and with the right message is critically important.

Amazon Attribution now helps marketers with all of those critical touch points and the message conveyed along their decision making process by giving the ability to measure and test with a goal of being more relevant to those audiences the brand is trying to reach.

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