Watching videos is becoming an increasingly important part of the online user journey, with consumers seeking more detailed information about products and services before making a decision. Coupled with this, video advertising has also been growing every year, and it’s predicted that last year will have experienced an ad spending growth of 10.5% YOY reaching £66.3m in 2021.

The growth of the overall online advertising market can be attributed to the increasing adoption of smartphones. Mobile phones are expected to have a significant market growth over the coming years for video advertising due to the affordability of smartphones and usage of social media applications.

Also, the high usage of e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, for buying and selling products, is forcing marketers to consider new and efficient ways to interact with customers online.

With the growth in video advertising alongside the reported increase of their UK sales last year (to a record £19.4bn), it’s not a surprise that Amazon has been investing in video advertising within the platform. Observational marketers are identifying this as an additional opportunity to provide online consumers with more information about their product offering through video ads.

However, creating an effective video can be demanding of resources and time, and its success can take longer than expected. Therefore, it’s essential to fully comprehend the advantages of using Amazon video ads instead of the traditional standard versions before including the use of them in your marketing campaigns.

This article highlights the main features of Amazon video advertising and we share best practices that can help your Amazon video campaign to be a success.

Why are video ads important?

With the exponential growth seen in Amazon’s advertising over the last few years, securing a standout ad amongst fierce competition has been a huge challenge. However, if successfully implemented, Amazon video ads present a great opportunity to interact with users through an alternative media to sponsored brand and product ads.

Also, research conducted by Wyzowl found that, 87% of video marketers agree that video marketing gives them good ROI. That’s why Amazon video ads can offer marketers more than an opportunity to attract users’ attention with a catchy video ad when they are navigating on Amazon and, in fact, can also help with increasing the overall ROI.

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How Amazon video ads work

Amazon video ads are targeted across Amazon’s websites, mobile apps and Fire tablet wake screens. They promote your brand message with an out-stream auto-play video and are shown in the same place as the Sponsored Products ads.

The autoplay feature plays the video content when the video is at least 50% visible on screen. Also, autoplay of ads is always muted, with the audio playback requiring user’s interaction. Consequently, autoplay is automatically paused if the video is scrolled out of view.

With that in mind, it’s recommended to add on-screen text to videos to help the text to be easily read on all screen sizes (especially small ones). Amazon recommends using font Helvetica at a minimum size of 80 px, with text in white on top of a black bounding box set to 80% opacity, ensuring that text does not interfere with the safe area (there is a safe area template that can be used for this).

Best practices for Amazon video ads

It’s important to make sure your Amazon video ads will not only follow the guidelines for Amazon video creatives (after all, you don’t want to get your video ad disapproved due to creative size or format, right?), but also some best practices that can help your video ad to be more effective.

On the Amazon Advertising platform, there is a checklist available to help marketers make sure that they stand the best possible chance of being approved to be featured on the platform.

Below are some of the most commonly missed requirements:

  • No excessive animation or distracting elements
  • Your brand logo should be visible
  • You cannot include a price savings claim
  • There should be no reference to generic terms such as “leading brand”
  • You cannot use customer reviews from third-party sources
  • Do not use slang in your campaign
  • No pressuring language to create a sense of urgency
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However, these are not the only recommended best practices. Here’s our advice on a variety of other key best practices that can maximise attracting customers to your Amazon video ads:

Think about your audience

Amazon customers are shopping oriented, so make sure your video is educational, demonstrative and focused on the product.

Product information videos

The video is the brand's opportunity to show its customer exactly how the product works, its features, benefits and a hook to incentivize the viewer to click through to the product listing. Don’t worry so much about fluff or unnecessary content and focus solely on what the product can offer to the customer.

Video duration recommendation

As per Amazon’s recommendation, the video duration needs to be between 15 – 30 seconds and, in order to prevent users from losing interest in your video, aim to deliver an objective message of your products through your video instead of adding a fancy intro, for example. Also take advantage of the loop to keep the consumer hooked.

Consider creating a loop video

The video ad will automatically play again once it reaches its end, so it’s important to create a smooth and continuous loop to give your customer the opportunity to rewatch the video.

Guidelines for video production

Full information regarding Amazon video ads guidelines and terms of use can be found at the Amazon ads website, but below are some of the essential guidelines:

Video specs

  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 1280 x 720px, 1920 x 1080px or 3840 x 2160px
  • 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 29.98, or 30 fps
  • 1 Mbps or higher bit rate
  • H.264 or H.265 codec
  • 6-45 sec long
  • 500 MB or smaller
  • MP4 or MOV file
  • Main or baseline profile
  • Progressive scan type
  • One video stream only

Audio specs

  • 44.1 kHz or higher sample rate
  • PCM, AAC or MP3 codec
  • 96 kbps or higher bit rate
  • Stereo or mono format
  • Not more than one audio stream

According to Amazon’s video guidelines, the videos must not contain the following:

  • Blurry or low-quality images
  • Creative elements that interfere with Amazon’s Video Safe Zone templates
  • Customer reviews, even if they’re Amazon reviews
  • Savings promotions or discounts
  • Distracting images such as flashing, spinning, blinking, pulsating objects or text
  • Distracting sounds or sudden changes in volume
  • Illegible text
  • Blank or black frames at the start or end of your video
  • Bars on the sides of your video—your video cannot have a letterbox or pillarbox format
  • Poor audio quality, including unclear or inaudible sounds
  • Poor video quality and low resolution
  • High-pressure sales tactics intended to elicit a customer’s click or purchase

As well as those, below are some rejection areas you should try to avoid:

  • Black or empty frames at the start or end of videos
  • Video is abruptly cropped at the maximum video duration
  • Video includes Amazon branding elements
  • Video includes customer reviews

If you'd like some advice about setting up or optimising your Amazon ads, you can talk to one of our experts anytime!

Get in touch

How to set up Amazon video ads

To set up a Sponsored Brand campaign to promote your video ads on Amazon, you simply need to do the following:

  • In the “Campaign Manager”, click “Create Campaign.”
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  • Then, click on “Sponsored Brands” under “Choose your campaign type.”
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  • Next, enter your campaign name, the date range, a daily budget, and the brand you’re going to advertise.
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  • Choose Video as your ad format.
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  • Choose the product you want to advertise.
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  • Upload your video and wait for Amazon to show you a preview of where your video will show up on desktop and mobile.
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  • Lastly, enter the keywords you want to target.
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Conclusion: Are Amazon video ads worth it?

Amazon video ads are a good way to interact with consumers within the Amazon marketplace. With the strong growth seen on smartphone adoption and Amazon’s UK sales, video ads can be an interesting and effective way of engaging with your customers.

Whilst your audience are in shopping intent mode, presenting the viewers an attractive video that shows greater detail about the product you are selling can be a powerful tool to increase sales.

The autoplay feature can be a great advantage, as it allows the video to catch and retain the user’s attention without requiring interaction.

And finally, if you’re confident that Amazon is a relevant platform for your audience, make sure you’re following the tips you read in this article and/or liaising with an expert to ensure your campaign satisfies all of Amazon's ‘tick box’ guidelines.

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Meet the author ...

Paulo Santoni

PPC Manager

Paulo has worked in PPC management for a decade and counting! From Google Ads to Programmatic media, from expectations management to performance delivery, from data analysis to ...