Walmart’s Sponsored Brands roll out to all advertisers
Meghna Bhalla, Tiffany Luk, November 7, 2022
In 2020, Walmart overtook eBay as the second-largest retail chain in North America and now as of Q3 2022, has over 151,000 sellers on the Walmart Marketplace. While the exponential growth of sellers is a sign that Walmart is a platform for advertisers to stay competitive in the retail space, it is also an indication that there is increased competition to advertise on the platform itself. So, as a brand on the Walmart Marketplace, how do you stay competitive?
Walmart’s latest addition, Sponsored Brands–now available within Perpetua–allows brands advertising on Walmart to stand out with highly engaging visuals. This high-visibility premium ad placement spotlights a brand, showcasing up to four of its products at a time with the goals of helping brands boost brand awareness and ultimately drive sales.
Sponsored Brands (SB), formerly known as Search Brand Amplifier, was previously only available to first-party sellers, but is now also available to eligible Marketplace sellers (third-party registered brand owners), expanding the power of this ad type to a broader audience. And with the upcoming 2022 holiday season, advertisers can incorporate Sponsored Brands into their Walmart advertising strategies to stand out among competitors during heightened competition.
What is Walmart Sponsored Brands?
A Sponsored Brands ad appears at the very top of a shelf page, search page, or category page for a specific search term. Designed to capture a customer’s eye, this ad unit is a full width banner that showcases a brand’s logo and up to four selected products (SKUs) and a customizable headline. A customer clicking on the logo arrives at one of the brand landing pages while clicking on a product easily takes them to a product display page (PDP).
Sponsored Brands ads are available through manual campaigns and are triggered by the keywords that are manually added by an advertiser. Keyword targeting is straightforward, and depending on advertising goals, advertisers can choose to bid on exact, phrase, or broad keyword matches.
Ad Creative Requirements
A brand logo, a custom headline, and brand name must be submitted. Advertisers can add a minimum of two and a maximum of 10 items for each SB campaign.
Why are Walmart Sponsored Brands so Powerful?
Now that we’ve covered the basics, how can you, a Walmart advertiser, use this ad type to maximize your advertising efforts for your brand?
Sponsored Brands target top of the funnel, elevating brand awareness, and also middle of the funnel, increasing consideration, with the goal of moving customers to the bottom of the funnel to ultimately drive purchases. Reinforcing brand image, this ad type may be especially useful for brands that have not been on the marketplace as long as their competition has, to be discovered.
Building brand awareness and ultimately brand loyalty entails increasing the likelihood of your ad being shown to customers most likely to buy from you. And developing an audience most likely to convert requires your brand to have high search relevance, which means that your Sponsored Brands ad, instead of your competitors’, is the one that shows up in response to customers’ search queries. Some ways of establishing and increasing your search relevance are to shift ad spend from broad to exact match keywords or from low-converting to high-converting long-tail keywords. The emphasis is to target keywords that are most relevant to customers’ searches of your brand directly, your products, categories, or those very similar to you. The higher the frequency of customers seeing your Sponsored Brands ad in response to their searches, the more familiar your brand becomes to them, and the greater the possibility of them buying and repurchasing from you.
Walmart Sponsored Brands Best Practices
Before adding keywords, do a real estate check. Go on Walmart.com and search a relevant keyword to identify whether there is currently a Walmart SB ad that is targeting that keyword or not. In turn, this will indicate the bid you should set for that keyword. For example, if there is no ad running for that keyword, you can set the starting bid to about $1 – whereas if there is an ad running, you would set a higher and more competitive bid.
Approval Lag Time. A campaign takes 24-48 hours to be approved by the Walmart Advertising team. Be strategic when you launch your campaign to ensure that your ad is eligible to be served during the desired period or major Walmart events such as Deals For Days. This buffer accounts for any potential delays if your campaign gets rejected followed by your resubmission.
Match Types: Perpetua recommends running only exact and very few phrase matches and avoiding broad match keywords. Additionally, keywords should all be within the same goal to avoid keywords competing against each other.
Item IDs are geo-sensitive so ensure you are adding items that are widely available in multiple locations so that your ad can be served to desired customers across geographies.
In summary, Sponsored Brands ads, now available in Perpetua for the Walmart Marketplace, is a high-visibility, premium-placement ad type that advertisers should be adding into their Walmart advertising strategy. It targets shoppers at many stages of the marketing funnel, meeting them where they are, and in boosting brand awareness, it aims to drive conversions.
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