How Online Retailers Successfully Can Use Facebook Dynamic Ads

By Lengow

By Tegan Marlow - UK Communications Assistant at Lengow

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First launched back in 2015, Facebook Dynamic Ads have become a cornerstone in online advertising. The feature allows retailers to promote their products quickly, easily, and efficiently on the social network, directly from their product catalogues. Now available on all mobile devices, Facebook Dynamic Ads has seen over 3 million online retailers actively advertising their products on Facebook.

The main characteristics 

You’ve probably seen many online retail Facebook Dynamic Ads before – they’re located directly in the news feed as well as in advertising inserts in the right-hand column of the desktop site. The news feed ads are the best performing, especially on mobile devices. 

Using a slideshow format that Facebook calls Carousel, advertisers can display their products both individually or with others. This gives you the freedom to choose to just push one product in several different ways, or to display three to five different products, all with an image, a description, and a URL. Facebook have made this really simple for retailers to use as well, by providing you with a template that automatically updates alongside your product catalogue. 

Facebook Dynamic Ads also give retailers freedom in the sense that you can adopt both retargeting and acquisition strategies at the same time. Retargeting involves contacting customers who have previously visited your online store and/or app, as well as suggesting related products to customers who have recently bought something from you.

Acquisition is simply increasing your target client base, by reaching Facebook profiles similar to those of people who have shopped with you. This is based on key interests, affinities, and location. This can be done automatically or manually. 

In terms of payment method, Dynamic Ads mainly run on a CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per thousand impressions) basis. The CPC model is a definite advantage to retailers, as it means you only have to pay when your adverts generate a lot of clicks. It also helps identify customer interests.

The benefits 

There are many benefits to using Dynamic Ads. Firstly, the time-saving aspect. As they are created directly from your product catalogue, Facebook Dynamic Ads help you save time when launching new ad campaigns. They also let you promote all your products using the same generic template, so you don’t need to set up each ad individually.

You just need to provide Facebook with a few dynamic variables, and these will automatically be applied to your campaigns. 

The adverts also update and adjust themselves automatically. As they are taken directly from your product catalogue, you reduce the risk of error as your adverts will always be up to date.

You just need to configure your advertising campaigns once, and then your target audience will be reached at the best times.

The cross-device feature is also very useful. Your ads are distributed on all the devices used by your target audience (desktop, mobile, and smartphone). With this flexibility, you can increase visibility amongst your target audience whilst also obtaining centralised statistics.

As it’s based on retargeting and customer acquisition using similar profiles, Facebook Dynamic Ads gives strong visibility to your products. This format means that only people who are most likely to be interested in your products see your ads, based on their buying behaviour. 

You can also offer cross-selling and up-selling between different product categories to encourage your customers to spend more, by targeting them with relevant adverts.

The Custom Audience feature 

These ads can be targeted even more specifically using Facebook’s Custom Audience feature in parallel with the Dynamic Ads. This feature allows you to specify exactly who your ads will be targeting, by choosing from three different types of audience: Custom, Lookalike, or Saved.

The Lookalike and Saved audiences are targeted solely from the Facebook community, but the Custom Audiences allow you to target the people who visited your site directly from Facebook. For this, Facebook offers advertisers four ways to create a custom audience: either based on site traffic, on customer file, on app activity, or on Facebook engagement.

There are also some advanced features you can use to adapt your retargeting campaigns to the behaviour of your customers, ensuring that they are all having the perfect product suggested to them.

This allows you to set more specific options to filter your audience: frequency (e.g. all the people who visited your page more than 3 times), recency (e.g. all the people who visited your page in the last month but not the last week), time spent (e.g. more than twenty minutes surfing your site), summed value (e.g. people who have spent more than £50), and by device (e.g. Android users).

More info on how to set up Custom Audiences here.

Getting started 

Before you can get started, this is what you need to have: 

  • a Facebook page.
  • a Business Manager account for your company, with administrator access.
  • already created an ad account or have links with an active ad account.
  • obviously, a product catalogue. In most cases, you can use the feed that you’ve already used to send to other comparison shopping engines. 

To create the Dynamic Ads, you need to first download your product catalogue into Business Manager. Make sure your product catalogue is prepared properly, with all product attributes filled in. If you’ve already exported your feed onto other marketing channels such as Google Shopping, you can download it directly onto Facebook, or use feed management platforms.

Once you’ve downloaded your product catalogue into Business Manager, you can also assign different roles to colleagues. For example, if you’d like to give another colleague access to your account for advertising purposes, but withhold their access to payment method controls, you can assign them as the ‘Advertiser’ role. The ‘Analyst’ role is the most limited – this person can only consult insights from the campaigns.

You then need to install or update your Facebook Pixel. The Facebook Pixel is a piece of HTML code that tracks visitors to your site or app and the products they looked at. This will help you create more efficient ad campaigns by measuring cross device conversions, advertising near people who are likely to engage with your products, and automatically creating audiences to retarget for your website visitors. 

You can find your Pixel code in Power Editor, under the Tools > Pixels tab. Place the pixel code between the tags <head> and </head> on all pages of your site to ensure that they’re all tracked.

You’re now ready to set up your ads!

For further reading on how to set up your Dynamic Ads, visit the Facebook Business site here
Source: Facebook Dynamic Ads white paper by Lengow.

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