Facebook recently announced the launch of their new dynamic Product Ads, a mobile-friendly ad format that enables retailers to sync their catalog with their Facebook advertising efforts. Available now through Facebook’s Marketing Partners, it’s coming soon to the self-serve platform.
We already know that Google Shopping ads are incredibly powerful – when you’re appealing to consumers demonstrating high commercial intent with super relevant product ads, you can really boost conversion. What is Facebook’s attempt at tapping into that intent for retailers going to look like for advertisers?
Here’s what you need to know about Facebook Product Ads right now:
1. Facebook Product Ads Come In Single- or Multi-Product Ad Units
Product Ads can display either a single product, or a set of three, each with its own image, description, click target and statistics.
In the above example from Facebook, each of the three product listings would scroll horizontally in a dynamic carousel.
You can create multi-product ads in one of two ways:
- By creating an unpublished Page post first, then create an ad creative using the post,
- Or by creating an unpublished Page post inline, in the same call with ad creative create call.
Learn more about creating multi-product ads here.
2. Templates Save Time on Creative and Help You Scale
Facebook’s dynamic templates for Product Ads mean you don’t have to spend time configuring your creative for each ad.
These templates work for both single- and multi-product campaigns by pulling images, product names, pricing and more from your product catalog, based on the keywords you use. Because of this integration with your catalog, Facebook will also stop running ads on items once they’re out of stock.
Dynamic templates work for Newsfeed and sidebar ads and also optimize for cross-device use, so you only need one template to span desktop, mobile and tablet ad display.
In this image using the same multi-product ad example as in point #1, you can see how Facebook uses the information from the different fields to populate Product Ads:
3. Facebook PAs Are Not Google PLAs
If you’re already using Google PLAs, Facebook Product Ads should be about the same except they’re in social and not search, right?
Not at all.
Facebook Product Ads are far more similar to Google’s remarketing display ads. They’re not serving up a variety of products from different advertisers in response to a keyword search so people can comparison shop. Instead, they’re targeted based on a consumer’s history on the advertiser’s site or in their app, or using Facebook’s targeting parameters.
Facebook isn’t limited by ad inventory the way Google is, either. Your Google Shopping ads can only show to people searching on specific terms so yes, the intent is there, but the search volume and ad display space is limited. People are on Facebook all the time and there’s so much more available space in the Newsfeed – there are plenty of opportunities for ad targeting. Newsfeed ads also render better on mobile and have a more native feel than search ads.
4. Facebook Products Ads Aren’t Facebook Exchange, Either
As Facebook noted in their announcement, advertisers have been able to run dynamic ads on Facebook through DSPs and retargeting partners with access to the Facebook Exchange. However, those solutions only ran on desktop and third parties were not able to properly measure or attribute cross-device conversions.
And of course, Facebook has ALL THE DATA. As Michelle Alfano pointed out on the RKG Blog: “Advertisers will also now be able to leverage Facebook’s proprietary user information in targeting appropriate audiences, something that DSPs were never able to use in targeting users with dynamic creative.”
5. Product Ads Come With Custom Audience Improvements
Facebook is upping the targeting game for Product Ads users with improvements to Custom Audiences that enable retailers to reach more relevant audiences.
Through a new feature in Ads Manager and Power Editor, you’ll be able to build audiences based on parameters like “People who haven’t visited in a certain amount of time,” and “People visiting specific web pages but not others.”
You’ll also be able to build audiences for different products within your catalog.
6. Product Catalogs and Feeds Are Managed in Facebook Business Manager
You’ll need a Business Manager account to get started. Hopefully you’re already using it, but if not, you can sign up here.
This is all rolling out through Facebook Marketing Partners via the API first, then to the Power Editor (within a few weeks). Finally, Facebook says they’ll incorporate multi-product ads into other ads interfaces later this year. Interestingly, this is pretty much the opposite of how Google rolls out updates like this; big changes roll out to their tools and software vendors have to scramble to catch up. Facebook’s approach seems more partner-friendly.
If you’re using self-serve ads, this gives you plenty of time to read up on Product Ads and get prepared for their eventual launch to all marketers.
7. Your Custom Audience Pixel for Facebook PAs is Your Pixel for Website Custom Audiences
Hooray! You don’t have to learn something entirely new to feed Facebook the best data to target your ads. The pixel that drives user behavior data to Facebook for your existing Custom Audiences is just modified for use with Product Ads.
After setting up your product catalog, product feeds and product sets, setting up this pixel enables the tracking of external events on your product pages.
A standard Custom Audience pixel has three required events you’ll need to track: viewed content, additions to cart, and purchases. To use this pixel with your Product Ads, you’re also going to have to make the associations between your pixel and your product catalog. You can see a step-by-step guide on how to do that here.
Facebook also offers a downloadable Pixel Helper troubleshooting tool (for Chrome) to help marketers validate their conversion tracking and Custom Audience pixels.
Facebook Product Ads: Get Ready for Social PLAs with Insane Commercial Intent
Facebook is really killing it with ad targeting, thanks to both their Atlas acquisition and their offline purchase data partnerships. Advertisers can now target consumers on Facebook based on their expressed interests and likes, but also their website behavior, app usage, relationship with the business and even purchase history in physical stores.
Giving all of these insights more commercial relevance with these new Product Ads is super smart on Facebook’s part and should make their ads a lot more valuable to retailers.
The good news is, SMBs have time to see how the larger advertisers fare with Facebook Product Ads, before they’re unleashed on the self-serve platform. We’ll bring you more tips and tricks based on their experiences in the coming months.
In the meantime, what do you think of Facebook Product Ads?