Amazon unBoxed Global Conference 2021 Key Takeaways: PART 2

2021-11-11 17:02
Rolling into day two of the conference, Amazon Advertising zoomed in on brand metrics, technical analysis and explored how to establish authentic and meaningful connections with consumers in the digital space.

Diving Into Brand Metrics and Expanding Reach with Streaming TV Ads

Measuring and understanding how advertising converts consumers and promotes business growth are crucial elements in any business. Amazon’s new Brand Metrics (beta) is a self-service measurement tool that goes beyond advertising attribution measurements. Instead, it quantifies opportunities for brands and measures the interactions that precede purchase and how they translate to the eventual growth of the business. Brand metrics cover the following four functions:

  • Measure the impact of upper and middle funnel strategies to understand how shoppers interact with the brand before purchase.

  • Evaluate the value of shopping engagement by looking at sales generated in the past 12 months.

  • Optimize organic marketing and ads in Amazon store to attract more shoppers and build a stronger brand.

  • Monitor performance relative to category peers at each stage of the purchase journey.

The functions and impact of Brand Metrics also provide valuable insights to brands when allocating search, display and streaming TV ads:

  • Launch new streaming TV ad campaign on Fire TV to increase visibility and complement with display ad campaigns. According to Amazon's machine learning analysis of more than 5,000 brands, combining display + streaming TV advertising led to an increase of 47% in brand search volume within advertising attribution.

  • SB advertising + custom bid adjustment models can be used to increase the bid for the above search bar display ad placement.

  • A combination of multiple positions can be used when placing SD ads to expand brand awareness in and out of Amazon.

  • Use posts and Amazon live broadcast functions to help brands tell stories.

Establishing Deeper Connections Through Creative Content

Brand content plays a vital role in consumers' shopping decisions, with 75% claiming to be open to exploring new brands. A study by Tinuiti & Elite SEM shows that 52% of Amazon consumers are more willing to purchase brands they are not familiar with, while 90% of consumers believed that the second key factor affecting the purchase decision is reliability.

By creating a trustworthy brand image, brands can build meaningful connections with their audiences. This can be achieved through the continuous creation of an inspiring brand identity as well as branded content throughout the consumer journey. A brand’s store is the focal point for brand marketing and sales; where design, product and content displays have a direct impact on brand image, perception, product consideration, purchase and attention. Data shows that stores that have been updated in the past 90 days see a 21% increase in repurchase and 35% increase in sales per visitor. This said, how can sellers draw more traffic to their stores?

Exploratory stage
There are three main ways to divert traffic to a store: Draw traffic from out of Amazon; showcase different branded content in different locations within Amazon; increase interaction with brand posts and join the conversation by sharing brand insights and values.

Interactive stage
To attract traffic to the Amazon store, sellers can: Build a loyal customer base on Amazon; make use of the Creative Assets function to better implement the brand store content construction; use the new store management features including:

1.  Poster Publisher: Available to sellers in the United States. Checks the reach and exposure of posts while also gaining access to information like product clicks in the download report.

2.  Amazon Attribution: Use Amazon Attribution to gain insight into the performance of off-site strategies.

3.  Brand Metrics (beta): Quantify brand health and identify brand opportunities. Understand the interaction differences between the brand and consumers at various stages.

Expanding Coverage Through Streaming TV

Streaming TV advertisements are mainly divided into OTT (Over-The-Top) and CTV (Connected TV), which support four on-demand formats: AVOD (Ad-Supported video on demand), SVOD (Subscription-based video on demand), TVOD (Transaction-based video on demand) and PVOD (Premium video on demand).

Recent data shows that 82 million households in the United States own a streaming TV and spend an average of 100 hours per month watching streamed content. What is more, total viewing time has increased by 21% year-on-year. Within the Amazon ecosystem, streaming TV ads and Twitch cover 135 million US viewers every month, of which one-third of US CTV households own Fire TV with 89% claiming they use it primarily. Fire TV itself has up to 50 million monthly active users worldwide.

There are currently three main elements when placing video ads on streaming TV. First, the video duration is 15-30 seconds and can be displayed in full screen; secondly, streaming TV ads can provide brand safety controls; third, ads cannot be skipped, ensuring that brands tell their stories in a better advertising environment. In summary, the three main advantages of streaming TV ad are:

  • The advertising environment is better and can attract audiences through complete video playback.

  • It can reach audiences unique to streaming TV. 73% of the audiences on Amazon streaming TV activities are unique to Amazon.

  • Audience relevance and accuracy are higher, allowing brands to use Amazon audience insights to find more suitable audiences and effectively measure advertising effectiveness.

Using SD Ads to Drive Business Growth

At present, Sponsored Display (SD) can reach up to 30 million daily active users through Twitch and a wider target audience on and off Amazon. SD advertising is suitable for advertisers of any size and its advantages are reflected in the following:

  • Account setting and management are simpler and more autonomous.

  • With Retail-Centric, more than 40 retail signals are built-in during bidding, delivering high relevance ads to target audiences.

  • More measurement indicator dimensions such as viewable impressions, new to brand sales, click-through rate, etc.

  • API-First can be seamlessly accessed through third-party tools making optimization more accurate and efficient.

SD meets advertising needs throughout different stages of the marketing funnel and easily interacts with Amazon, Twitch and consumers in the digital space via user insights. There are five key elements to building an effective SD campaign:

1. ASIN: Every campaign supports 10,000 ASIN ad deliveries, but it’s necessary to ensure that products have the adequate ad delivery conditions: clear product images, detailed product descriptions and high-quality reviews.

2. Product and Audience Targeting: Product Targeting ads can be displayed to consumers in the consideration stage (users in specific detail and search results pages), while Audience Targeting can help and reach users in and out of Amazon.

3. Targeting throughout the marketing funnel: In the awareness stage, advertisers can reach browsing category users through the Remarketing Function, using Amazon’s preset tags for quick location as well as browsing crowds in complementary categories. In the consideration and purchase stages, Product Targeting and Custom Audiences can help with identifying users who have browsed the most relevant category nodes. Finally, in the loyalty stage, Purchase Remarketing can be implemented.

4. Bidding: All aspects of an advertising campaign must be considered to set reasonable bidding configurations. It is recommended to use Bid Recommendations, a function based on machine learning, data analysis and modeling to set campaign goals.

5. Creatives: The Auto-Generated Options automatic mode quickly generates ideas and adapts creatives to meet the tonality of the listing or customizes logos and headlines to express brand uniqueness. Dynamic Optimization can also be used to automatically adjust the ad adaptation ratio based on the device and the user's visual experience.

Attracting Connected Audiences with Amazon Audio Ads

A study from Edison Research reveals that since 2014, audio streaming has increased by 64%. Another study shows that 68% of Americans listen to online audio at least once a month. Overall, they spend 4 hours a day listening to streamed music, which is 50% more than the time spent on social media. At the same time, the popularity of smart speakers in the field of smart homes is also in growing. Data shows that one-third of Americans are currently using smart speakers, owning at least two devices. In fact, 85% of smart speaker owners will play music through streaming platforms with the most popular being Amazon Music. How can brands leverage this opportunity and establish effective interaction with users while they listen to their favorite tunes?

Making use of Amazon Advertising segmentation to ensure that ads are delivered to the right audiences is key. User interests and habits can be identified through demographics, music preference types and shopping behaviors. Secondly, strategies, goals and KPIs shouldn’t be limited to conversions only but extended to the upper funnel to shape brand awareness and favorability. Third, through first- and third-party insights-based solutions, track and measure the effectiveness of Amazon audio advertising.

Looking to the future, Amazon audio advertising is expanding to cover more free resources aside from Amazon Music. Through APS (beta), brands and advertisers can optimize the frequency of advertising campaigns while also providing free access to inventory. For advertisers with larger budgets, genre suppression tools can be used to help and manage where brand messages appear. In addition, Amazon audio advertising is also improving its own interactive capabilities, having added voice CTA to creative audio advertising.

Increasing Growth Through SP Ads

In SP advertising, budget and bidding have always been focus points. To set budgets, Amazon Suggestion takes into consideration sellers’ business needs, bidding and budget adjustments and uses these as guidelines. Through API or Advertising Console, sellers can set the budget increase ratio in advance, where the system will provide setting suggestions based on product, historical budget, competitive product insights and more. Amazon also introduced Performance-Based Budget Rules based on account performance budget arrangements.

For bidding, Rule-Based Bidding can help sellers predict the probability of obtaining every impression, thereby making the best bid.

In other words, by combining Budget Rules and Rule-Based Bidding, brands can obtain more efficient and potential opportunities.

Comparing Amazon SD and DSP Ads

Sellers often find themselves in the crossroad between SD and DSP. To best trigger consumer demand, enhance brand awareness and even promote sales, implementing SD+DSP advertising in combination will yield optimum results. Studies show that brands using both advertising models at the same time compared with a single display model saw an increase of 11% in new-to-brand sales and a monthly sales increase of 4% month-on-month. However, as individual advertising functions, both have their own advantages as well.

Amazon DSP can reach a wider audience in and out of Amazon; uses a variety of creative styles such as video, audio and display images to redirect to stores or third-party websites; provides advanced reports and attribution analysis; supports interactive operations and connect with third-party tools; provides systematic technical support like Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC), AWS tools, and more.

Meanwhile, Amazon SD supports advertisers to access API and can quickly make use of all Amazon functions; reaches users on specified pages which can be applied on sellers’ own product and category pages and the new bidding optimization function can be set based on viewable impressions, page visits and conversions.

For sellers who are new to brand or display advertising, Amazon Advertising provides support and suggestions. It takes time to build a brand, gain recognition, trust and loyalty. Throughout this process, it’s necessary to ensure the correct use of various ad indicators such as increased awareness, purchase intention and new to brand customers. The advertising form and channels also require diversified combinations like display, video and audio advertising and more.

For a more in depth understanding of the topics covered in both this and the previous articles, please click here to view the recorded sessions on the unBoxed Global Conference official website!