When it comes to using paid media to promote an e-commerce business, catalogs and product feeds are the star of the show. The purpose of catalogs and product feeds is to upload the inventory information of an online store to the advertising platform and use it for dynamic retargeting with the ad information and creative being pulled from the product information uploaded or synced.
Facebook Ads offers a campaign objective that revolves around this idea, known as Catalog Sales. In this post, we will review a few tips and tricks to maximize the efficiency of your Catalog Sales campaigns and take them to the next level!
1. Clean Up the Product Feed
As I said, whatever information is passed through your product feed appears on your ad creative, and for that reason, you need to make sure product listings will make sense when presented in the ad format. A couple of areas to look for improvement opportunities:
- Avoid repeating the brand name in the product title. There is a separate field in the feed for that and if you really need to mention the brand name somewhere in the Primary Text or Headline you can add it dynamically.
- Make sure the Product Description field doesn’t include any line breaks, special characters, and anything that may make it to render incorrectly.
- Pick the right Google Product Category. While optional, this field impacts your Dynamic Broad Audience performance by matching your product categories to the interests of users who even may not have visited your website. Facebook (and many other advertisers) use Google Merchant Center’s taxonomy for product category and types. Make sure you’re choosing the one that explains your products correctly and also format it correctly. For example, for “cat treats” the category can be entered as one of the following:
Animals & Pet Supplies > Pet Supplies > Cat Supplies > Cat Treats OR 5002
- Upload more than one image of your product. This gives the algorithm more options to work with to find the best combination that maximizes campaign results.
2. Diversify the Creative
Like a regular campaign, different segments of your audience may respond differently to variations of ad formats, headlines, or call to actions. In addition, this is your opportunity to stand out in a user’s Facebook feed, which is full of different ads. Investing the initial time to develop multiple creative ideas always pays off because it gives you a more scalable campaign. Here are a few ideas to give you a headstart.
1. Use different formats. In addition to the conventional Single Image ad, you can add Carousel and Collection ad formats to the mix.
2. Enhance the visuals with Creative Tools. Consider (dynamically) adding price labels, frames, percentage off, or free shipping labels to your ad visuals to pass as much information as possible through your creative.
3. Customize your ads for different groups of relevant products. You can attach specific segments of your products to your ads and develop a customized ad experience around that to maximize the relevancy of the ad to the users who may be interested in that group of products.
3. QA the Tracking
Facebook Pixel does a great job of tracking many standard website or app events in most scenarios. But, for e-commerce websites with different programming and backend complexities, you always need to make sure it is recording and passing accurate event information. Remember that the whole idea of running a Catalog Sales campaign is to collect user’s interactions with the products on your app or website and pass them to Facebook Ads for a customized experience. This functionality happens through Facebook Pixel recording the correct “content_id” on your store pages.
One method for QA is to use the Facebook Pixel Helper tool to verify this. Check out a sample of the product, cart, and confirmation pages on your website and monitor the “content_id” parameter’s value throughout the checkout process. You need to make sure it’s capturing the correct value and that value matches the correct product in your catalog.
A better alternative is monitoring the Event Data Source section of the Facebook Ads Catalog Manager. It constantly tracks the match rate of the content_id to the items in the catalog and you can use that information to drill down on identifying issues preventing a match.
4. Leverage Dynamic Broad Audiences
I often find this a neglected feature in the Catalog Sales campaigns. Think of it as a lookalike audience that is based on the product information from your catalog. It’s a great way to reach new audiences even if they haven’t interacted with your business in the past. Setting it up is very straightforward; all you need to do is select the option for reaching Dynamic Broad Audiences in the Audience settings of a Catalog Sales campaign. As we covered earlier in this post, it works especially well if you provide accurate Google Product Category information about your products.
Catalog Sales campaigns can become a staple in your account structure if they’re fed with accurate information and powered by high-quality creative. I hope these tips will help you to get a better understanding of this campaign objective and use it to maximize the results of your online store.