10 cool ideas that can make Facebook Dynamic Ads work for you
Every marketer is eyeing Facebook ads as an important channel to reach out to potential customers. Facebook now supports dynamic ads through Facebook Exchange (FBX). This means you can now show dynamically customized ads on Facebook based on available customer data. While it gives you the power to super-optimize your ad spends, it also comes with the risk of not being able to unleash its true potential.
For the benefit of those who have not used Facebook dynamic ads yet, here is some brief background. The Facebook ad format is noticeably very different from the traditional flash based banner ads. Unlike a flash-based, dynamic ad where you serve a pre-designed .swf generated on the run-time during ad serving, a Facebook dynamic ad is served using four different elements each of which need to be customized at the bidding time itself. These elements are the 100×72 pixel image, the max 25 character Title, the max 90 character Body and the Landing page URL.
Vizury directly integrated with FBX a couple of months ago. As we scaled our business on Facebook ads, we realized this inventory is quite different from the traditional banner ad inventory and so the marketing strategy for this channel ought to be markedly different as well. Here is an attempt to capture 10 ideas which can help you harness the maximum potential out of your dynamic ads on Facebook.
(1) Crop out the whitespace
You have just 100×72 pixels for the image. It is a small size and hence your real estate is precious. You probably cannot afford to have a lot of whitespace in the image. Crop out the whitespace before scaling it to 100×72 size so that you get the maximum attention from your customers.
(2) Remember that Facebook ads auto-refresh
Unlike traditional banner ads, Facebook ads automatically refresh themselves at a frequency of a couple of minutes. The average Facebook user spends considerable time on the site, which means you run the risk of showing a lot of ads to the same user back-to-back and burning your impressions planned for that user really fast. You want to have Facebook-specific impression frequency caps in place to avoid this.
(3) Don’t rely on cookies, start storing user data in your systems
Remarketers rely too much on the cookies to store and read user data to customize their banner ads. However, this method will not work well with Facebook. Here you have to send the ad content along with the impression bid itself, so you do not have access to user cookie data when you customize the ad. Ensure that your back-end systems also store user data so that you can use it to customize Facebook ads.
(4) Have a preview mechanism
Since the text content of the ad copy gets customized during run-time, there are chances that you end up showing some unwanted text by mistake. E.g. If your system has stored price data along with currency, your customized ad might show something like “Jewellery at Rs. Rs. 500”. You do not want that. Have an internal preview mechanism so that you can verify your customized ads much before they go on to the users’ Facebook page.
(5) Try multiple themes and see what works
Facebook ads are as much about text advertising as they are about banner advertising. With a fully customizable title and text, you can try out various themes as different campaigns and see which one yields better results for you. Themes can be about discounts, prices, collections, etc. For example, you can start following customized campaigns for t-shirts “Buy t-shirts at Rs. 799”, “30% Discount on t-shirts”, “Buy t-shirts of size L” where price, discount, and size are fetched in the real time. Compare their performance and scale the best one. However, ensure that your title, body, image and landing page provides a coherent message to the user.
(6) Send responses for multiple advertisers
Another unique feature of Facebook inventory is that it sends you a single bid request for all the ad slots of a page viewed by a user. This is very different from traditional banner ad inventory where every request comes only for a single ad slot, even if there are multiple ad slots on the page. So, if you are a 3rd party marketer working with multiple advertisers, you can utilize this opportunity to send responses for multiple advertisers. All these ads will participate in the same auction and none/some/all of your ads can win ad slots on that page. This way you can create a lot more ad inventory for yourself. Just ensure that you do not send multiple responses from the same advertiser as Facebook does not allow that.
(7) Think if you really need to track ad-slot position
Facebook allows you to record the ad spot position won for every impression. It is fascinating to see which slot is high performing and which is not. However, you need to realize that currently, this information is not actionable. Facebook also themselves decide which slot position you will get and you cannot control it in any way. So there is no point in wasting your time bothering which is the best slot position and why am you are not winning it more often.
(8) Ensure correct # of likes
Facebook ads have the option to show the number of likes on the advertiser’s Facebook page. If you activate this option, Facebook automatically figures out the advertiser’s Facebook page based on the domain of the landing page URL. This approach can work fine for many advertisers while it might not work correctly for some others. The best way to ensure it works is to figure out the Facebook page id of the advertiser and force feed this id to the advertiser ad group settings. This will ensure that number of likes being shown is always correct.
(9) Make your systems partial-customization-ready
FB dynamics ads are generated in the real-time using customized variables from your system. Since values of these variables can vary significantly based on the product, you may run into situations where it will not be possible to customize all the elements of the ad for certain products. Wherever full customization is not possible, make your systems ready to perform partial customization. To enable this, perform all the validation checks at your end and if validation fails for any element, replace only that element with some generic value that suits all your products. For example, a title “Buy a Versace Gown for Rs. 10000” is invalid because of 25 characters limit. In such cases, your system can replace it with a default title such as “Change your wardrobe!” This way, all other elements still remain customized and increase the probability of a click.
(10) Utilize Image for the best
The first thing a customer notices in a Facebook ad is the image. The image has the real power to attract clicks. For certain verticals like Flights where you think image customization is not possible and you end up showing generic logos, you can actually customize the image as well. You can build a system for auto-generation of a text image in the real time. A customer looking to fly from Bangalore to Delhi on 14th Jan is much more likely to click on the ad based on the customized image.
The gist is that Facebook dynamic advertising is altogether a new channel and marketers should not confuse it as an extension of their regular banner advertising campaigns. We need to start thinking about this channel with a fresh perspective.
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