Amazon sellers know all-too-well that the online marketplace can be a cutthroat jungle. In order for your business to be successful, you’ve got to differentiate your brand to rise above the pack.
Your listing is all-important in the struggle to rank high in search, win organic sales, and capture the elusive Buy Box. To ultimately succeed, your listings need to be optimized for conversions
As any seller will tell you, this is an ever-present, ongoing effort. Now, there is a new set of tools that can make a big difference in your fortunes - Enhanced Brand Content (EBC).
The features of Enhanced Brand Content will allow your product to elevate above the competition in its niche. It will help generate more conversions, better customer engagement, and provide customers with critical information that will prove your product(s) relevance to their needs and desires.
In this guide, Judolaunch will share with you everything an Amazon seller needs to know about Enhanced Brand Content to increase the success of your Amazon business. We’ll learn what it is, who can get it, how it works, and why you need it; as well as taking a look at potential downsides and what not to do.
Let’s parachute into the Amazon jungle now, and start our journey through the wilds of Amazon EBC together.
What is Enhanced Content?
Before we get into the details of EBC, let’s get clear on what we’re talking about.
When it comes to your basic Amazon listing, the content is comprised of text, keywords (which are a particular kind of text), and photographs. These are arranged in various formats, such as bullet points or headlines, to compose a listing.
If we know that as basic listing content, then what is enhanced content?
Enhanced content goes beyond the basic listing.
It creates a rich, value-packed online shopping experience for consumers. Enhanced content does this by anticipating all the questions a potential customer may have about your product, and providing the answers. It shows off all the benefits of a product in the most favorable light.
By using a more diverse and engaging media experience combined with principles of direct response marketing, enhanced content really sells your product in a way that appeals directly to the people who need and want it most, wrapped up in a visually stimulating package.
This enhanced content package can include videos, charts, tables, 360° views, “what’s in the box” lists, high-quality sales copywriting, high-end photography from multiple perspectives, and on-brand graphic design.
What is Amazon Enhanced Brand Content?
In the Amazon ecosystem, third-party Amazon sellers who use Seller Central to sell their wares now have access to enhanced content features called Amazon Enhanced Brand Content.
The Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) feature (commonly referred to as the A+ tool) enables brand owners to change the product descriptions of branded ASINs. Using this tool, you can describe your product features in a different way by including a unique brand story, enhanced images, and text placements.
Adding EBC to your product detail pages can result in higher conversion rates, increased traffic, and increased sales when used effectively. Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) is a powerful new promotional tool that will really help you lock down the big sales numbers that you desire.
Essentially, Amazon sellers can now upgrade their listings from basic to premium by incorporating enhanced text, imagery, video, design and other elements. EBC lives under the “Product Description” heading on product pages.
EBC is a fantastic opportunity for Amazon Sellers to sell their products and brand in a unique way, and without as much limitation as found in the standard product description. This large infographic space is a chance to get creative, address customer questions, and visually show the benefits of your products.
Who Is Eligible for Amazon Enhanced Brand Content?
Not every seller gets to play in the Amazon Enhanced Brand Content sandbox.
This feature is only available to Professional sellers who have been approved as brand owners through the Amazon Brand Registry process, as well as emerging brand owners who are part of certain managed selling programs such as Launchpad and Amazon Exclusives. After you’ve been approved, you’ll be able to add EBC only to products that are part of your approved brand catalog.
If you’re not familiar with Amazon Brand Registry, you should be.
This free program identifies brands, and their owners, to Amazon. It has a lot of valuable benefits for both sellers and buyers, including trademark protection, improved buying experience, and being able to create Amazon storefronts for your brand.
We’ve put together The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Brand Registry if you’d like to know more.
A quick aside: if you’re a Vendor Central Merchant, you don’t have access to Amazon Enhanced Brand Content - but you do have access to the very similar A+ Enhanced Marketing Content feature. We’ll get into that more in a moment.
What is the Cost of Enhanced Brand Content?
For a powerful sales feature like this, you’d be expecting to pay a premium rate. This is where we have very good news for you.
Currently, Amazon Enhanced Brand Content is FREE.
Now, this is considered to be a promotional period, and it is expected that Amazon will begin charging for EBC in the future. However, any enhanced content created during the promotional period will continue to stay on the seller’s product page(s) at such time in the future when a fee begins to be charged.
In other words, there won’t be a better time than now to begin creating enhanced content for your brand. Money spent now on things like graphic design, copywriting, or videography will pay for itself, especially once EBC is no longer free. So what are you waiting for?
Amazon Enhanced Brand Content Vs. A+ Content
Earlier we mentioned that Vendor Central Merchants don’t have access to Amazon Enhanced Brand Content, but do have access to the very similar A+ Enhanced Marketing Content feature (sometimes just called A+ Content).
We also noted that, per Amazon, the Enhanced Brand Content feature is commonly referred to as the A+ tool. Let’s unpack both of those statements quickly, and explain the differences.
A+ Enhanced Marketing Content (A+ EMC)
A+ EMC is the enhanced content feature available to only Vendor Central Merchants. It has a few differences from EBC.
A+ EMC is a paid service only, with 4 levels: basic, basic, silver, gold, or platinum. It’s not cheap. Packages can cost between $400-1200 per listing, depending on how much they’re willing to spend.
There are 12 A+ EMC modules or templates available to customize, as opposed to the 5 templates available through EBC. There is also an option for Amazon to build your modules for you. All you have to do is supply the information, and Amazon will do the rest in terms of layout and design.
What is A+ Content?
The A+ Tool is the name given to the software feature that allows vendors or third-party sellers to create enhanced content. While slightly different versions are available to either, the base software platform is the same.
This is why sellers and vendors often refer to Amazon’s enhanced content features as A+ Content. Whether that is EBC or A+ EMC, the tool that creates it is the same.
What Are the Benefits of EBC?
EBC has many great benefits for Amazon sellers. These include:
- Ability to add video increases customer trust and engagement.
- Easily created without needing to know coding.
- Enhanced content listing have lower bounce rates.
- Enhances product marketing and storytelling.
- Free to use for brand registered sellers.
- Improved Seller Ranking and listing traffic.
- Increased sales and higher conversion rates.
- Increases brand assurance and value.
- Increases mobile sales because EBC will show up first on mobile product listing.
- Increases ROI on paid advertising spending.
- Opportunity to showcase product’s unique value proposition in a crowded field.
- Reduces returns and negative reviews.
- Separates your listing from the pack of sellers who are not using EBC.
How Does EBC Work?
Let’s look a little closer at the workings of EBC, and see what you can do with it to boost your product listing.
What You Can Add
As mentioned previously, the highly customizable EBC space allows you to add videos, charts, tables, 360° views, “what’s in the box” lists, high-quality sales copywriting, high-end photography from multiple perspectives, and on-brand graphic design. All of this fits in designated areas on the provided templates.
How to Sign Up
If you are an Amazon Brand Registered seller, you’re already there. You’ll find the controls to Amazon EBC in your Seller Central dashboard.
Before jumping into creating EBC, some prep work is required to take full advantage of the feature and its many benefits.
You’ll want to determine which ASIN’s need EBC. Then you’ll want to design your layouts, and then create your enhanced content that will eventually populate them.
This may include shooting and editing videos, creating graphic design elements like infographics or logos, taking photos, or writing copy such as bullet points. The upshot is to have all your enhanced creative materials planned and ready first.
What Is the Process?
Once your prep is complete, it’s time to fill in your templates and publish them. Let’s break it down.
1. Go to the Advertising tab of your dashboard.
2. Select Enhanced Brand Content.
3. Choose a template. There are 5 to choose from, and a sixth option to create a customized template from Amazon’s predefined models. You should have chosen a layout during your prep, so that the next step is easy.
4. Add your content to the modules.
5. Submit for review.
Rules for EBC
Like everything else in the ecosystem, Amazon has rules for the enhanced content you create.
We’ll be talking about Terms of Service issues later. Right now, we’re looking at things like image sizes and video guidelines in the templates.
The template you’ve chosen will have listed parameters for each section, such as how many words of copy you can add, or the size of photos in a particular section. Be sure to follow these when uploading your enhanced content to the template.
It’s important to know that EBC does not permit HTML content.
Submitting Your Content
As a Global Catalog Identifier (GCID) registered brand owner, you can publish content to all ASINs that you own and have an offer for.
After you’ve uploaded all your new enhanced content to the template correctly, it’s time to hit the ‘submit’ button. Then, it’s time to wait.
According to Amazon Seller Support, it can take it can take up to seven days for Amazon to review and publish your new EBC. You have up to 20 pending submissions at a time for your brand.
If the content is rejected, you can view the reasons why, which is a nice change for Amazon. For each individual SKU, click the ‘edit’ button to see what you need to fix to have your content accepted.
6 Tips for Effective EBC
Although fairly simple, EBC has a lot of moving parts to consider. We scoured the web and talked to experts to put together a half-dozen of the best practices for EBC. Use these to keep your listing a few steps ahead of the pack in your category.
1. Storytelling and Customer Journey - Use your EBC to reflect the customer’s journey. Consider carefully their questions, the answers, and the order in which information is presented to them.
2. Focus - Each section of your EBC should only be about only one aspect. This specificity will give each section more impact, and reduce confusion.
3. EBC as a Website -Think of EBC as a mini-Website or Landing Page. What do you need to show and tell on that page to create a sale?
4. Photos - Specifically show the benefits of your product, using different photos than in the main product description. You can be penalized if the photos are the same.
5. Video - Video is a difference maker. Show your product in all its uses, by happy customers. Make sure it has a strong call-to-action. The more professional it looks and sounds, the better.
6. Consistency - Keep your EBC design consistent with that of your brand. Colors, logos, fonts, and graphics all need to be on-brand.
Potential Problems with EBC
While we’ve been focusing on the positive aspects of Amazon EBC, there are also some potential problems to keep in mind if you are going to use it successfully.
These come in two areas: downsides and Terms of Service (TOS) violations. Let’s look at both.
There are a few downsides to EBC to be aware of when you are considering adding it to a listing.
- The submission approval process can be long.
- Many submissions are rejected for rules or TOS violations.
- It’s believed that EBC content is not currently indexed by Amazon. This means optimizing your standard listing is still critically important. It also means keyword-stuffing EBC is of no value.
- There’s only a limited amount of customization options available.
EBC TOS Violations
Here is the list of all the things that will cause Amazon to reject the EBC for your listing:
- Referencing your company as a seller or distributor, or providing any company contact information.
- Mention of competitor’s products or seller authorization such as “product only sold by authorized resellers”, etc.
- Pricing or promotion information and shipping details “cheapest widget on Amazon” “Free shipping”, “shipping timelines”, etc.
- Use of copyright, trademark, or registered symbols in the text or images.
- Time-sensitive product information: “on sale now” or “best new product of the year” and comments such as “top-selling product,” “hottest item,” “#1 Selling item”.
- Information about customer reviews from Amazon or any other site.
- Adding editorial or 3rd party quotes from external sources such as magazines and television shows.
- Blurry or low-quality images or images containing unreadable text. Lifestyle images not showing the product.
- Images or text that attempts to mimic Amazon logos, detail page headings or details.
- Content that duplicates many of the images from the main image block on the detail page.
- Any warranties or guarantees of any form.
- Logos from brands or organizations other than your own, or multiple brand logos on an image.
- Web links or language attempting to redirect to other sites inside or outside of Amazon (including your other products).
- Grammatical errors, punctuation errors, misspellings, strings of all caps text, or abusing font features – Bold and Italics are only intended to be used to highlight headings or a few select words.
- Any mention of products being used for criminal activity.
- Any violations of category requirements or Selling on Amazon policies.
How to Tell If Your EBC Is Working
So, you’ve gone and set up a fantastic EBC template for your listing. You added new photos, pro-shot video, sparkling copywriting, a new logo - but how can you tell if it works?
The answer is to monitor your Business Reports in your Seller Central account.
Under Sales and Traffic, set the date rage from when you launched you EBC to your desired end date, then compare the Order Item Session Percentage to where you were before and/or after.
This percentage shows you the amount of orders of your product in comparison to the total number of people who viewed your product. This should give you a good idea as to whether your new EBC initiative is increasing conversions.
Is EBC for Me?
While EBC is amazing and offers tangible benefits for most sellers, it may not be for everyone. Here are some questions to consider when deciding if it is a good idea for your brand and listings.
Do you have the right product? A premium product, or one that is your best-seller in a competitive niche is the best choice for EBC, because if it works the benefits will be large and noticeable.
Will you get ROI on your EBC investment? This comes down to knowing if the expenses you pay for high-quality EBC (such as video editing or copywriting) will pay off with enough sales to make the investment worth it.
Is there much competition? EBC works best at delineating your product from the crowd. Are you in a super-competitive niche? Could EBC be the thing that separates you from the rest. If so, then EBC might be right for you.
How complex is your product? If your product has more features, buttons, whistles, and benefits than can be easily conveyed in a standard product list, than EBC may be just what you need to show all of what your product can do.
For most 3rd-party Amazon sellers, Amazon Enhanced Brand Content is an incredibly useful feature that will lead them to more sales. It benefits both sellers and customers by showing all the ways that the product is the right one to choose in a crowded marketplace.
When it comes to optimizing your product listing, EBC is a great way to do it. You can really express your brand’s unique value proposition and highlight its creativity, while boosting sales and ranking for your products. If it’s the right fit for your product, you should get started on EBC today - before Amazon starts charging for it.
If you’re interested in listing optimization, starting and Amazon business, or expanding your existing one, Judolaunch is here to assist. Schedule a free consultation with us, and we’ll help you on your journey of using A+ content to become an A+ seller.