Dynamic product ads for prospecting: how to show the right product to the right person

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Those who deal with digital advertising in the e-commerce sector certainly know the advantages of dynamic remarketing and dynamic product ads.

The great success of this type of campaign has led some platforms to introduce dynamic product ads also towards a prospecting target, thus reaching a new audience, which has not visited our website yet.

Dynamic prospecting ads: dynamic product ads dedicated to a new audience

What are dynamic prospecting campaigns and how do they work?

Dynamic prospecting ads allow us to show the right product to a potential new customer. How?

Unlike dynamic remarketing, which shows products based on someone’s interactions with our site, dynamic prospecting can reach those who have expressed an interest in products similar to ours, but who do not know our brand yet. Thanks to machine learning, the main advertising platforms use the product feed to show these new potential customers the items that most likely meet their taste.

Here’s an example: Sara is looking for a wool scarf on several online sites and has been interacting with some competitors’ scarf ads. Sara also has features perfectly in line with the average customer of our brand. Sara would thus be a suitable person to be exposed to our dynamic ads!

Where can we create dynamic product ads for prospecting?

Both Facebook Ads and Google Ads have introduced these campaigns and we, of course, have tested them on both these platforms.

In the first case we are talking about DABA (Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences) Facebook Ads. Dynamic ads can appear on all Facebook and Instagram placements, including Messenger, as well as on partner sites (the so-called Audience Network).

In Google we are given the possibility to add the product feed to Smart Display campaigns, a feature that we were lucky enough to test when it was still in beta. In this case, dynamic prospecting ads appear on the Google display network and on Gmail.

We remind you that, as for dynamic remarketing, for the success of these campaigns it is essential to have a product feed well set and updated daily, beside dynamic tracking installed on your website. Check this points before you start with your tests.

Who are we going to reach with our ads?

In terms of targeting, the two platforms behave very differently.

On Google Ads, being Smart campaigns, we have no possibility of to select targets and everything is completely automated. Google uses what he calls “dynamic identification of potential customers”: based on the historical performance of the feed and observing user behavior, it is able to automatically match the product with people’s intentions.

On Facebook Ads, instead, targeting for DABA works as for traditional campaigns. The platform recommendation is to reduce our audience only on the basis of demographic data, leaving the algorithm free to work on a large audience.

We also tested two other targeting options, namely Lookalikes and selection of interests or behaviors.

We have created an audience similar to those who had previously visited the website, while still paying attention to the size of the audience, which must be large enough to allow the platform to be optimized.

Interest and behavior targeting, on the other hand, leaves room for different strategies. For example, we can reach those who have expressed interest in competing brands, inherent marketplaces or certain product categories.

Facebook Ads or Google Ads? With whom to take the first test?

Our experience, gained through different e-commerce platforms, firstly awards Facebook Ads, both for performance and creative potential. We would even dare to say this victory is quite overwhelming!

Comparing the results of the campaigns on the two platforms, we recorded:

  • Similar CPC (Cost per click)
  • The CTR (Click-through Rate) on Facebook is on average 110% better
  • The conversion rate is up to five times higher on Facebok Ads, leading to lower acquisition costs and significantly higher returns on investment.

What we like most about Facebook Ads is also the chance to give vent to creativity and test a lot more. We can choose to activate different formats, such as collections or carousels. We can enrich collections with engaging videos or cover images. We can add lots of creative content to the carousels, such as a unique and distinctive frame for the brand, to be updated according to different seasons, promotions or holidays.

Facebook Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences: frame

We can also graphically exploit the information in the catalog, adding prices and discount percentages directly to the product cards.

Facebook Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences: catalog information

Furthermore, the carousel allows brands to include an additional, non-product message promoting, for example, their values ​​and identity, just adding one or more static cards to the carousel, before the products series. This tactic should absolutely be taken into consideration, since we are reaching an audience that does not know us yet.

A few more comparisons…

Do dynamic ads perform better than traditional ads, even in prospecting campaigns?

The data in our possession tells us that:

  • The CPC of ​​the two is quite similar
  • The CTR is around 10-15% better in the first case
  • The KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that determines the victory of dynamic prospecting ads is, again, the conversion rate, which is on average 270% higher.

Another element in favor of dynamic prospecting campaigns concerns the optimization period. The learning times turned out to be significantly shorter than traditional campaigns: results, therefore, arrive earlier and are even more satisfying.

Finally a further, impressive insight emerged from the analysis of our customers’ data. On Facebook Ads, on average, DABAs record conversion costs only 30% higher than dynamic remarketing. Considering the target clearly colder than the first, this result seems to communicate only one thing: a test is absolutely worth doing.

Some tips on dynamic prospecting ads

  • Optimize campaigns by conversion but select the event that allows the algorithm to have enough data to work. If the website has little traffic and records low volumes of transactions, start with events such as adding to the cart, and then move on to the purchase at a later time.
  • Even if you address very large markets, on Facebook Ads you should start from a selection of your audience, by interests or using Lookalikes. Keep an eye on the frequency of ads and, over time, evaluate the possibility of changing the strategy by reaching a wider audience, skimmed only by demographic variables. Keep in mind that, in all cases, the first strategy will immediately seem the most efficient. In the long term, however, by giving the algorithm time to learn, wide broad audiences will prove successful, recording lower CPAs on average.
  • Exclude users who have visited the website and who have converted, because we dedicate different campaigns and messages to them.
  • Both on Google Ads and on Facebook Ads, it is possible to make a selection of the products to be pushed: we may want to leverage on the best sellers or on the collections with greater margins. However, it is essential to maintain a set of medium-large products, to deliver campaigns that can optimize themselves and identify the products with the best performance.

Test, test and test again. The short learning times of these campaigns allow you to try out multiple formats, different audiences and different product strategies, to determine the most winning combo for your brand and industry.

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21 October 2020 Jessica Marcon

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TAG: CRO digital marketing