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Facebook Product Ads Are NOT PLAs, and Other Things You Should Know About the New Dynamic Facebook Ad Format

Facebook officially announced this week that advertisers are now able to load product feeds directly into Business Manager, which can then be used to show dynamic ad creative to Facebook users. While many in digital marketing saw the words ‘feed’ and ‘product ad’ and immediately connected this new functionality to the product ad formats available on Google and Bing, these new Facebook ads bear little resemblance to search engine product ads. This is because users on Facebook aren’t searching for things like ‘Nikon digital camera’ on the social network, such that Facebook is never going to be presenting users with a page full of thumbnail images for applicable products. Rather, this new format is much more similar to dynamic display ads available through the Google Display Network and elsewhere that can be used to retarget past visitors of an advertiser’s site with products relevant to what they saw on the site during their visit(s). In terms of how this new ad format can help advertisers, there are a few key advantages to be aware of.

Advantages of the New Ad Format

While advertisers have been able to run dynamic ads on Facebook in the past through DSPs and retargeting partners that were tapped into the Facebook Exchange, this new functionality provides advertisers with a couple of advantages compared to these third party solutions. For one, the Facebook Exchange only allows advertisers to run these product-centric ads on desktop. Now that Facebook has added this capability to their own UI, product-specific ads can now be displayed on mobile as well. As dynamic creative has traditionally outperformed other ad types, the ability to show users dynamic ads on mobile is a huge win for marketers. And with Facebook’s ability to tie cross-device conversions to the original ad click, a result of users being logged in across their multiple devices, clicks on Facebook’s mobile ads that drive orders on a different device can be properly credited for their role in the conversion. 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. Shutterfly, one brand that tested the format prior to the release, saw significant increases in click through rate using dynamic ads compared to other creative.



All in all, Facebook’s move to provide this functionality through its own UI was a smart decision, allowing advertisers to better target users with the best performing creative across all device types. Merkle | RKG is already hard at work getting campaigns up and running for our advertisers, and we’re excited to see how the new format performs in the coming weeks.