On February 17th, Facebook revealed Facebook Product Ads. These ads allow advertisers to dynamically present multiple products through a single advertisement. The ad will showcase these products on a scrolling ribbon, as opposed to a single, static image.
The Details of Facebook’s Dynamic Product Ads
According to the company’s blog post, Facebook Product Ads have several advantages over non-dynamic ads:
They show more products at once. The carousel-style display cycles through multiple products, so merchants have the advantage of selling several items simultaneously. A single, static ad may not tell viewers a whole lot about your business or what else you have to offer.
So what’s one result of this imported miniature shopping experience?
Facebook product ads boost clicks and boost conversions. Customers are more likely to see something they like if they’re shown a few products instead of just one. According to one of the quotes on Facebook’s promotional blog post, these ads increased click-throughs by 34% and decreased cost-per-purchase by 38%.
Merchants can show more about their business for less money. Since Facebook is making more efficient use of the available ad space, merchants are able to pack more information into one space. More products, more offers, and more pictures means more information conveyed about a merchant’s business.
As mentioned, this dynamic ribbon has the feel of a mini-shopping experience. The right products and the right ads can show viewers what it would be like to shop in an online store and draw them further into the purchase funnel.
These ads also include advanced tracking, inventory syncing, and more. If a customer buys a product through one of the dynamic product ads, that product will be turned off from future ads. So customers won’t be bothered with the same exact ad over and over again.
And when merchants integrate their inventory with these Facebook product ads, the ads will sync inventory and only show what’s in stock.
Dynamic product ads will show up and sync across any device. Customers will be able to see these ads – which will stay synced and updated – no matter which device they’re using. These ads can also be integrated with apps using Facebook App Events.
Ad production cost is cut dramatically. Since one ad can showcase a number of products, there’s no need to create a unique ad for each product. This naturally cuts the development costs that go into each ad campaign.
Finally these dynamic product ads use people’s interests when choosing which products to display. Normal Facebook ads use customers’ interests when targeting, but these ads use a person’s interests to display only products they would be interested in.
As usual, Facebook makes it easy to get up and running with its new ad format…which is certainly worth a test run.
To get started:
1. Upload your product catalog. Product catalogs are structured data files, such as XML or CSV files, that contain common attributes about the inventory of products a merchant wishes to advertise. Common attributes include name, description, product image, price, and the current inventory volume.
2. Use Custom Audience pixels to track views and purchases. These pixels are placed on the products’ corresponding web pages. They are what allow merchants to ensure that their ads can stay dynamic. Facebook has detailed instructions on how to use these pixels with the ad campaigns.
3. Create a template and push the Start button. A single ad template automatically fills up with targeted products on any device, so simply input the keywords, product names, prices, and images. Once the template is created and the campaign is started, people will automatically see these ads.
What These Ads Mean for the Industry
Adweek pointed out that Facebook’s new ads are making leaps and bounds over Google.
However, Google Shopping Ads have been an integral part of its new revenue strategy, generating as much as 20% of Google search links for retailers. Adobe Digital Index predicts that by the end of this year, shopping ads will account for nearly 1/3rd of search dollars.
Google’s more visual approach to ads is also winning over advertisers, who increased ad spend almost 50% year-over-year last quarter. Compare this to a 6% decrease in text-based ads. Clearly, the major players are moving towards visual display advertising.
And Facebook is evolving this concept further by offering dynamic visual content. In fact, the company’s entire strategy is moving towards dynamic, visual, and even immersive content. Videos and photos are just the beginning…Facebook is only one of the major tech companies to invest in virtual reality and augmented reality technology.
Facebook product ads are an early form of dynamic advertising that is sure to take hold this year and next. Don’t be surprised if other major tech giants start emulating this ad format in the coming months.