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GUEST COMMENT Six reasons to use Facebook Dynamic Ads as part of your ecommerce strategy

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As the number one social network worldwide, Facebook has over 1.65 billion active users monthly, which is a huge audience of shoppers. More than 30%* of the worldwide population are active social media users and online shopping purchases from this channel are continuing to rise. Therefore, the integration of social networks as part of an online retailer’s e-commerce strategy has never been more important.

When studying the behaviour of its members, Facebook has found that 46% of them were on the platform at the same time as they were shopping. As a result, in 2016 it introduced Facebook Dynamic Ads, which more effectively targets an online retailers’ audience with the products that they are most interested in, making it an invaluable asset to an ecommerce strategy. In fact, since its launch, more than 2.5 billion unique products have already been imported onto the platform.

Online retailers can now promote products quickly, easily and aesthetically on Facebook, and all straight from their product catalogues. The ads are adapted for each device, be it smartphone, tablet or computer. They also appear in Facebook’s mobile application. This makes it possible to identify a user and follow their browsing behaviour, whatever the device. There are six key reasons why you should embrace Facebook.

1. Personalisation

Online retailers can personalise advertising campaigns throughout the buying process: from a customer’s initial encounter with a product, to when they finally complete a purchase.

For example, segmenting an audience enables ads to adapt to listed products depending on the prospective customers’ preferences and buying history. It means specific audiences can be shown either the products that most people consulted, the top-selling items, or seasonal products like sunglasses. This can either be done manually or be left up to Facebook to decide which products to advertise to which audience.

It is also possible to personalise an advert to advice and where on the page adverts feature according to a customers’ degree of maturity in the purchasing journey. This is thanks to the information from an online retailers’ product catalogue, as well as the dynamic format of adverts, so that customers can be provided with specially-adapted offers and visuals throughout the buying process.

2. Targeting

A real benefit is the ability for Facebook to adopt an automated retargeting strategy, but this can also come with an acquisition strategy at the same time, opening up new audiences and more sales. Retargeting means that all internet users who have visited an online store and/or mobile application without buying something will be served personalised ads, or complementary products can be advertised to customers who have previously bought something. While acquisition management aims to increase the target client base, by reaching Facebook profiles similar to those who have already visited a retailers’ site based on key interests, affinities and location. Thus, offering an invaluable source of new customers.

3. Automation

To make it easier to post adverts, Facebook lets advertisers configure a template that automatically updates alongside a product catalogue. For example, having a product carousel ad that updates five- seven images according to what it has been assigned to promote, such as a new range of products, or winter products that need to be sold before the holiday season is over. An advert will therefore always be relevant and up to date.

Ad performance can also be improved by creating different product sets that each have a different bid, which will maximise ROI as seasonal and trend products will be shown at the right time and place. While Facebook’s automatic bids can be really useful, as it ensures that a sufficient amount of people from a predetermined audience sees an advert and within budget. Here cross-selling and up-selling between categories is also possible to increase the value of customers’ shopping baskets.

4. Organisation

Like Google shopping, Facebook lets you have up to five custom labels that mean an online retailer can create rules for a product feed that divide a product catalogue according to values. This will make campaigns ordered and structured and should always align with commercial objectives for optimal return. For example, if you sell clothes, you could create a ‘season’ label so that seasonal products are only displayed at certain times of the year, or for a flash sale, every discounted product can be advertised, or attribute a certain bid to new products for maximum exposure.

5. Tracking

Thanks to Facebook Pixel it makes it easier to manage conversions and remarketing. This piece of HTML code tracks visitors to a site or app and the products they looked at, and makes the connection with Facebook users. It can also use the actions of visitors on a website from one device to another, measuring cross-device conversions, which determines whether it’s best to serve a mobile or desktop ad. Here Facebook automatically creates audiences to retarget and prioritises advertising to people who are likely to take action.

It is important to put the pixel in place as early as possible, even if a campaign is still not ready to launch, so that Facebook can start to build a retargeting list from the get go. It’s also crucial to ensure that advert reports are regularly checked so as to monitor conversions and how much it costs each time, as the ad distribution model may need changing from time to time.

6. Integration

The most effective strategy is to integrate all of the social media channels and have them working together to reach the largest audience possible. For example the URL builder that Google provides can help online retailers to generate custom campaign parameters into a tracking URL, which should be used for Facebook campaigns too. When a user clicks through to a retailer’s site via one of these personalised links, unique parameters are sent to its Google Analytics account to see which URL attracts the most people.

Online retailers can also display Facebook dynamic ads on Instagram and this is highly recommended to reach an even bigger audience. Social media provides retailers with a unique opportunity to establish a permanent link with a lot of customers as 40% follow their favorite brands on social networks.

Understanding these six central benefits of Facebook Dynamic Ads can help an online retailer plan a campaign for maximum return on investment. But it is critical that the product catalogue is up to date in order to enable campaign success. This can also be maintained with a feed management platform that can optimise product categories alongside Facebook to configure a synchronised approach with automated filters and product descriptions within minutes.

There is a reason why to date, Facebook has three million advertisers and its latest advertising revenues are $5.6 billion, online retailers need to be here.

* Get ahead with Facebook Dynamic Ads

Nenad Cetkovic is COO of ecommerce feed management specialist Lengow

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