July 11, 2019
E-commerce advertisers are likely most familiar with Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs) in a remarketing sense. You upload your product catalog, someone comes to your site, then you show them ads offering that very thing they were browsing even after they’ve left your site. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to DPA capabilities. DPA can also be utilized for prospecting. By using your existing library of products you can serve up the right ad to the right customer at the right time, even if they’ve never heard of your brand. How’s that for a light lift with a lot of bang?
Facebook and Instagram Broad Audience Targeting
For Facebook ads and Instagram ads, this particular advertising strategy is called Broad Audience Targeting with Dynamic Ads for Products. We assure you it’s far less complicated than the name. Let’s go back to when Facebook first released DPAs so we can see the whole evolution to what’s available today. When first released, Facebook’s DPAs used the power of the almighty Facebook Pixel or SDK to show ads to retarget people who had shown interest in an e-commerce site by viewing it, adding a product to their cart, or purchasing other products on a site. Facebook would use an ad template that automatically pulled images and details like prices from your catalog, and then fingers crossed, voila, the person would see the ad and finally decide to purchase.
Enter Broad Audience Targeting with Dynamic Ads for Products.
Now you can advertise to people even if they haven’t visited your website at all, but have browsed similar products or engaged with Facebook content that shares similarities to your brand. Let’s say your e-commerce site sells sustainable wristwatches made entirely from wood. A potential customer spent some time looking at sustainable sunglasses made from wood. Facebook assumes this eco-conscious man might want a watch to match his statement sunglasses, and serves him a few DPAs featuring different styles of your watch.
Now, with power comes great responsibility, and in this case, that means being aware of and accounting for some of the pitfalls of relying on broad audience targeting. Because you’re depending on Facebook’s algorithm to do the work of showing the right products to the customers with the most buying potential, you trust in Facebook’s ability to make the correct determinations for you. Sometimes, that means your goals don’t necessarily match up with Facebook’s goals. When you initiate a broad audience targeting campaign, Facebook will immediately begin serving up products from your catalog to your preferred audience. Once it finds a product that performs well, it’s going to stick with that product. So if you hoped to sell 2,000 units in every style of your wood wristwatch, but the ad that features your classic style performs the best, Facebook will give that priority over featuring other styles. You can combat the algorithm by manipulating your product catalog down to only what you want to be featured.
Check out Facebook’s post about the ad types to get started (or send us a note, and we’d be happy to help out!).
Since Facebook is Instagram’s parent company, advertisers can enjoy the same broad audience targeting capabilities there. Here’s more on how to get started.
Facebook offers some best practices to keep in mind as you’re setting up DPAs:
- Split your catalog into “product category” and “product type” as columns in feed. Doing this yields more robust reports, and better delivery optimization and targeting options for cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.
- Maximize the potential size of the audience by associating the pixel and App Events to your catalog.
- Always keep your catalog up to date to avoid showing shoppers an out-of-stock or discontinued item.
Google Shopping Dynamic Remarketing Ads
Google, never one to leave its e-commerce advertisers high and dry, also has a similar product, though the search giant calls it dynamic remarketing instead. Regular old remarketing is showing ads to past site visitors, though the ads may not be tailored to what the person actually viewed. With Google’s dynamic display ads for retail, aka dynamic remarketing, you can pull from your product catalog to show the exact product or products the customer was browsing. When setting up your ads, Google does let you choose from multiple dynamic ad formats, so you can play around and find the one that suits your brand and campaign goals best.
Google hasn’t added broad audience-type capabilities for Dynamic Retargeting ads (though you can target broad audiences with regular display ads), but it offers what it calls “goal-optimized” campaigns through the power of machine learning and automation. So if revenue is what you’re going for, Google will optimize across networks to maximize revenue. Ads display across Google’s network, including Google Search results, Gmail and YouTube, Search partners, and the Google Display Network.
Gone are the days of hours in front of the computer manually adding images and product details to finicky templates that would inevitably mysteriously delete something important. With dynamic product ads and remarketing ads, now e-commerce advertisers can focus on the million and one other things on the list.
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