3) Product groups
2) Product List Page
2) Match Type Targeting
3) Bidding Strategies
2) Product Line Campaign
3) Highly Targeted Campaign
The Spotlight Blueprint Series will walk you step by step through the core strategies we use to build brand awareness and expand our profits through HSA/Sponsored Brand Ads on Amazon. You’ll learn how to build engaging campaigns that attract more customers, and you’ll learn the ins and outs of how to maintain them.
You’ll learn strategies for dominating the search results page and increasing visibility and brand awareness, plus instructions on how to research keywords, select appropriate images, properly communicate the story of your product or brand, and how to maintain a winning ACoS through proper planning and optimization.
There are various types of Headline Search Ads and corresponding strategies, and this Blueprint will walk you through everything you need to know, step by step, to bring your brand to center stage.
Following these steps carefully will teach you how to create, implement, and maintain successful Headline Search Ad campaigns and give you the tools you need to scale your brand’s visibility and your business’s profits.
Important to note: For each campaign strategy listed above, we will review best practices for ad
creative, landing page selection, keywords to use, match type targeting, and optimization inside of
this blueprint. Trust us, we will keep it super simple!
Your main image should be used to develop and tell the story of your product (or brand).
It is the first part of the ad that shoppers will see when they scan from left to right on the
screen, so its vitally important!
Here are some rules of thumb for creating a great main image for your HSA.
Research your competitor's ads. Study their main images that grab your attention and note those qualities that you want your main product image to have.
Use these competitor main images to not only create similar ones, but to figure out what will make your main image better - standing out from the crowd in your niche.
Use a lifestyle photo showing people actively engaged in using the product.
Spend time considering what you want to convey in your main image not only about your product, but about your brand.
Split test the main product images (set up multiple campaigns to make sure you are selling the click). A/B testing your images is the only way to know 100% if you are getting the most sales possible.
When deciding on what main image to use, you have several options. We will explore when to use each option in the campaign strategy section of this blueprint.
Option 1) Use your logo. Best used for branding campaigns or well known brands.
Option 2) Use your product main image (regular Amazon-approved image with white background). A great way to get even more exposure to a single product is to have it featured both in the main image slot and product selection slot. This helps you own more Amazon real estate with that product and could increase the likelihood that customers will choose your product over your competitors.
Option 3) Lifestyle photos are specific in a way that they show a certain standard of living for the product. Lifestyle photos are important as they drive the imagination of the shopper to see their lives benefiting from the product. Showing a specific style that generally ties to the product is the best way to encompass all areas of their thought. (i.e. Hiking Socks may show a successful hiker reaching the peak of a mountain wearing the product, while a fancy coffee maker may be seen in a upscale, modern style kitchen to fit the theme.)
*It’s crucial to test different images to see which one resonates with your target
audience. Entourage Spotlight will allow you to test multiple images to see which one
appeals to your audience.
How are your copywriting skills? Personally, mine are not that great. If your copywriting skills are like mine, we recommend consulting with a copywriter who can come up with 5-10 high quality, high impact headlines for your Headline Search Ads. If you're confident in your copywriting skills then go ahead and start crafting some click-worthy headlines ASAP!
We've also developed this nifty tool to help you create some amazing headlines right away. Its called the Entourage Spotlight Headline Creator and it is super easy to use. Don't worry! When we get to the individual campaign section of this blueprint, we'll go through simple ways to incorporate the headline creator based on the type of campaign you are making.
The instructions below will help ensure that headlines are created according to Amazons guidelines.
Product groups are defined as the list of products that are shown on your ad. Typically, they are located to the right of the headline and it usually consists of three different products or product variations. Please note that on mobile, Amazon will sometimes only show the first product listed in the product group. More recently, they are showing all three products on mobile but in a carousel format that requires swiping to view.
There are several options to consider when choosing your product group. First, you always want to select the products or variations that have the best Click Through Rate percentage (CTR %) and Conversion Rate Percentage (Session %). To keep it simple, use your best selling variations!
We want to identify the purpose and goal of each individual ad so that we can fine tune our product group selection. Each ad will have different products selected based on our objectives. These objectives are noted below.
The second type of product group is for product lines. For example, if you have an entire line of products that are all centered and focused around one theme, group them together here. An example is the Genius Brand product line as seen below.
Choose the best converting product variations across all products in the line to be represented in this group. Remember that these products must relate to each other and appeal to the general audience who may show interest in a particular niche.
The third type of group is called the HIGHLY TARGETED group. Inside this group, you will add the products that are highly targeted to the keywords you are going after. For example, if you sell grill mats and have several types or variations of grill mats, they can be put into the highly targeted grill mat group. The keywords, headlines, and main images for this group will be laser focused and hyper-relevant to those people who are searching specifically for grill mats.
Assignment # 1: Using an excel spreadsheet, organize your products into three groups. Brand Targeting,
Product Line Targeting, and Highly Targeted Groups.
I only have 3 or 4 products in total right now. Can I do both a highly targeted campaign and a brand targeting campaign?
Yes - however you will be targeting different keywords, images and headlines for the highly targeted vs the branding campaign.
What's the best way to select products for each group?
Let’s say you have multiple variations of a particular product. An easy way to determine which variation to put inside of the group is to look at that product's Conversion Percentage (Session Percentage) and CTR% (Click Through Rate %). Simply put, you want to display the products that are selling the most and have the best metrics inside of your Spotlight Ads.
What if I only have one product?
It is possible to use headline search ads if you only have one product but it is not advisable. First off, it leaves lots of empty space in your ad and makes the ad visually look less than ideal. Amazon requires three products when sending traffic to a product list page, so that option will not be available for you. You will have to direct traffic to your Amazon storefront if you choose to only use one product in the product group.
The product list page option is only available if you have 3 or more products or product variations to list. You can choose as many products or product variations as you would like and Amazon will create a landing page that resembles the one seen below.
1. Only the products that you select will be visible on this page. There will not be competitors using Sponsored Products visible on this page.
2. The page is very familiar to the shopper and will likely lead to less friction with higher conversions throughout the shopping experience as compared to the storefront page.
This option is only available if you have access to Brand Registry. The storefront allows you to essentially create your own website on Amazon. What's great about the storefront is that it allows you to showcase your entire brand, making it an excellent play for HSA's built for massive brand exposure. Shoppers can visit these pages and see entire lines of products, holiday items, and promotional items.
Please take special note - An Amazon storefront page should be well thought out with clever copywriting, images and design. We recommend working with a team who can help your Amazon storefront page shine!
Keywords are defined as the words and phrases that advertisers use inside of their advertising campaigns to target shoppers. In general, keywords should be relevant to the target audience that you are attempting to get your ad in front of. Keywords can range from Broad Interest keywords (targeting a wider scope of potential shoppers who are interested in a particular niche, for example: outdoor patio supplies), Category keywords (targeting keywords that are more specific and relevant to a particular category, for example: outdoor grill tools) and finally Targeted keywords (highly targeted keywords for your product, for example grill brush if you are selling grill brushes).
Search Terms are defined as the actual words and phrases that shoppers enter into Amazon to find your product. Sometimes they are the same as keywords, for example if the keyword "Grill Brush" is used inside of your campaign as an exact match type, it will connect with the Search Term "Grill Brush" entered by the shopper. Other times they may be very different, as seen when a keyword is used in broad match. A broad match keyword such as "grill brush" entered into your campaign may show your ad in front of shoppers searching for something related to this keyword such as "Grill brushes with extended handle."
A general understanding of match types is essential to help target the right audience and to also get your ads in front of a wider scope of potential customers. You will have three to choose from. For each campaign below, we will make suggestions on which match type is preferred and why.
Broad match type will give your product the most amount of visibility because they allow for flexibility to reach a variety of search terms. When a broad match keyword is used, it means that Amazon can connect you to shoppers who are searching for something that is related to that keyword. In general, this allows for a wider spectrum of search terms to connect with your ads and also allows for us to find potential new keywords to use once we discover search terms with a history of converting to sales.
Phrase match keywords must have the actual phrase inside the search term that the customer uses. For example, if you enter the keyword "grill brush" as a phrase match type, then when a shopper who uses the customer search terms "grill brush with handle" or "NFL grill brush" your ad will likely be served because "grill brush" is somewhere inside of the search term. This allows for a more targeted approach but still gives us flexibility to reach a fairly wide variety of shoppers.
Exact match keywords are the easiest to understand. It means that the keywords will match up exactly to the customer search term. Once we learn what is converting, we can use that information to set up a keyword as an exact match so that our ad is served whenever someone uses that term. Just to be clear, if we enter in the keyword "Grill Brush" as an exact match keyword, then when a shopper searches for "grill brush" your ad will likely be served (see "Bidding Strategies" below for other factors that determine if an ad will be served)
There are lots of factors that can come into play when determining the proper bidding strategy. There is no "one size fits all" strategy, so we are going to list a few general guidelines to go by.
In general, the more relevant and competitive the keyword, the higher the bid price needs to be.
Just because you outbid competition with a higher bid price doesn't necessarily mean your ad will always be served. There are lots of other factors at play including campaign history, Click Through Rate percentage (relevancy), Conversion Percentage, and Sales Velocity.
Having good campaign metrics including high relevancy in the CTR%, Conversion % and sales history may make your cost per click cheaper. Keeping campaign metrics solid is important for this reason.
In general, bid prices should escalate based on match type. Broad Match < Phrase Match < Exact Match. For example : $0.75 as Broad, $1.25 Phrase, $1.80 Exact
Also note that for many keywords, Amazon will display win rate % based on the keyword bid price. This can be
quite helpful to know and can also help you see how competitive your bid prices are compared to competition.
Brand Exposure – (Massive Brand Exposure Campaign)
Get your ad in front of the audience that is most likely to be interested in purchasing your product now or in the future. We are targeting a broad reach of shoppers who could likely be interested in purchasing your product at some point, maybe now or maybe in the future. This ad gives your brand more awareness and could lead to sales now or when the shopper has more intent to purchase.
Example: Shopper with intent to purchase cat toys is served a brand exposure ad about your multitude of varying cat products.
Browsing Shoppers – (Product Line Campaign)
Shoppers who are browsing through a specific niche or category are more likely to buy related products now or in the near future.
Example: Shopper has intent to purchase cat litter and is served an ad about your line of litter solution products.
Shoppers with Strong Purchase Intent – (Highly Targeted Campaign)
They know what they want, go give it to them!
Example: Shoppers who want litter bags are served an ad that is all about litter bags!
Core Campaign Strategies
The following Ad Campaign Strategies will help to give your brand, product line, and individual unique products top of search visibility across a wide spectrum of keywords in your niche. Each one has a unique goal, structure, and strategy that will be discussed.
Strategy: The strategy behind this campaign is to get massive exposure to your brand. Think of how the mega companies out there are doing it. They have a large budget for brand awareness because they know that by doing this, they will be on the forefront of their customers mind when there is intent to make a purchase. Branding display ads are found all over the place and can sometimes be very costly for advertisers as there typically isn't an immediate return on investment. This is a long term, top of the funnel play, where you are setting the stage for future interest and awareness. The good news is that, right now, it is still SUPER CHEAP on Amazon to get massive awareness. The sooner you start the better! It is from our personal experience that by having HSA/Sponsored Brand ads, Sponsored Product ads perform better and customers are more likely to search exclusively for your brand on Amazon because they are aware of your brand.
Campaign Name - Product Line Campaign - (Name of product line)
Landing Page - The best place to send this traffic is either the Amazon store front page that is dedicated to the product line OR a product list page with all of the products inside of that product line listed in order of best selling product first.
Main Image - Options are to choose 1) The very best product's main Amazon image with white background or 2) Lifestyle image that portrays the benefits of owning a product inside of this line. We prefer option 2 as it typically generates more clicks and sales for us. Try to make sure that the main image matches up nicely with the headline that you have selected.
Ad Products - Use the top converting and best selling variations (use different products to represent the whole line). To keep it simple, choose the 3 best products inside of that product line and of those products, show the best variations that have the most sales.
Keywords - We are going to use a fairly general "category" keywords for this campaign. For example, for our litter solutions line, we have 1) litter mats 2) litter bags and 3) litter boxes. Each one has its own category inside of Amazon. Since we want to attract a fairly wide audience but still be relevant, gathering and collecting keywords from each category will give our product line exposure. You can go to each category and perform basic keyword research using tools such as Magnet 2, Viral Launch, or Merchant Words to discover the keywords that shoppers in this audience are using. Combining them into one simple list and then entering them into this campaign is the strategy we use. Please note that we now enter smaller amounts of keywords at a time. We no longer dump thousands of keywords into any campaigns. Try and make sure that the keywords are relevant to the target audience that would be attracted to your product line.
Budget - It is important to set a proper Product Line campaign budget. Of course, your budget will vary based on the size of your company and how aggressive you want to be. Since our keyword selection will be a bit more narrowed and fine tuned as compared to the Branding campaign you may experience a lower ACoS and lower impressions. Still, be mindful of super expensive keywords as they could drain your budget rather quickly.
Headline - You have several options when choosing a headline for your product line. Using the Entourage Spotlight Headline Creator, you could easily use a BENEFIT headline to portray the benefit and how customer lives will be improved by owning one or several products in the product line. SELF INTEREST headlines work really well too! We also have a section called PRODUCT LINE BRAND that is ideal for this type of campaign.
Default Bid Price - We typically start with a low to moderate default bid price and then check to see if we are getting impressions. You don't want to eat up your budget all at once with super high priced keywords. Recommend $1.00-1.25 but will vary depending on your niche.
Match type - All keywords to be tested in Broad and Phrase match type inside of the same campaign (ad groups do not exist yet for HSA)
Optimization Strategy - Optimization strategies to include keyword bid adjustment, pausing keywords with clicks but no sale, and pausing expensive keywords that have a very high cost per click.
Strategy: This campaign is where we are going to be laser focused on advertising the products that
shoppers are looking for based on the search term they use to find the product. If someone is
searching for a grill brush, we want to make sure that our ad strongly resonates with that shopper
by having a more direct and impactful headline, image, products displayed and landing page that
scream AWESOME GRILL BRUSH FOR SALE.
There are lots of revealing and informational reports inside of Entourage Spotlight that will help you get a better
handle on which ads are performing well and which ones are costing you money! Check out this video to learn more...
The good news is that unlike Sponsored Product Ads, there really is only a handful of ways to make optimizations at this point. That's because Amazon does not provide the search term report for HSA ads. The bad news is that Amazon Headline Search API is also a bit limited at this point, so optimizing through the Entourage platform is not available now but will be coming in the near future.
Please note that at the time of making this blueprint, you cannot use negative terms (phrase/exact) to optimize HSA ads.
Below are a few strategies that you can use to help curb your ad spend and make sure that you are getting the most out of your ad spend
Thank you for checking out the Entourage Spotlight Blueprint.
Please go out there and implement! If you have found value in
this Amazon Advertising Blueprint, we would be honored and
forever grateful if you shared it with your community!