Advertising campaigns have many steps, but creating content and distributing it to the right audiences are always there, no matter whether you’re prospecting for new customers or growing the value of existing ones. Making these two steps less work-intensive leaves you with more time to concentrate on and refine other parts of your marketing strategy to drive greater value.
Facebook makes it possible to automate both of these steps using feeds for data and the Facebook pixel for targeting. We’ve expanded the automation possibilities with our own solutions. The end result is a full funnel automated system:
Now, let’s look at the the parts of the system in more detail.
Demystifying feeds and pixels
All the information you need to fill your ads is contained in a feed. You’ll often hear abbreviations like xml, json, csv or rss when feeds are mentioned, which obscures the fact that a feed is really nothing more than a table of information. The various acronyms are just different ways to structure it. Since feeds can consist of any data, they aren’t limited to any one industry. Feeds can be created from most sites that have systematically structured content, whether it’s an e-commerce, travel, media or educational site.
The Facebook Pixel is simply some code that you install to your site, which allows you to track visitors and match them to particular Facebook users. It also makes it possible to attribute actions to those visitors and to combine actions the visitors took with items in your feed, which is essential for Dynamic Product Ads.
- A potential customer browses a Nike shoe in an online store
- The Facebook Pixel sends the shoe data to Smartly.io Tool
- The Smartly.io Tool gets the shoe details from a product feed
- The Smartly.io Tool creates a unique Nike shoe ad for the potential customer by using the Facebook Pixel and Product Feed data as help.
- Smartly.io Dynamic Image Templates enables unique style and look for the ad
- The potential customer sees the unique ad on Facebook, tailored for her.
Read more about installing the Facebook Pixel in this article.
Let’s get dynamic
Dynamic Product Ads (DPA) automate retargeting of audiences across platforms. By making an ad template for the items in your feed, you can create always up-to-date ads and target them to the right audiences by using information being passed by the Facebook pixel on your site. This allows you to:
- remind people of items they viewed or added to cart but didn’t buy,
- offer them different items than they viewed or added to cart or
- offer related or non-related items for people that purchased an item.
DPA campaigns are highly relevant and engaging, driving up ROI and increasing the lifetime value of clients, but because they depend on visitors to your site taking actions there (e.g. viewing a product), they are missing a large part of the sales funnel. What if you want to automate more?
Going beyond simple retargeting
Reaching relevant audiences before they take any actions on your site can be automated in Smartly.io with Automated Ads. We’ve written before on how Automated Ads can help grow your sales funnel, but they can also be used to fill the gap between prospecting and event based retargeting. This gap consists of visitors to your site that don’t take actions there and should be the highest point along the sales funnel for retargeting. By using, for example, best sellers, top deals and promotional items, you can drive people further down the funnel to where DPA can target them.
Much like in DPA campaigns, Automated Ads use information from the feed to populate your ads through ad templates, but the targeting is done by using broad targeting rules, lookalikes or custom audiences or even by filling out the targeting dynamically with information from the feed.
Great creatives - the missing link
Automating ad creation for different points in your conversion funnel is fantastic, but great social media campaigns also need great visuals with stopping power that convey your message. This means you may need different images of your products for your ads than the ones on your site, but having to create these separately would negate the benefits of automation in the first place.
We’ve solved this by creating Dynamic Image Templates, which allow you to create impressive visuals for all your separate campaign objectives in just minutes. These can be applied to both Automated Ads and Dynamic Product Ads campaigns.
You’d be right to point out that branding is missing at the top of the funnel. Branding campaigns rarely rely on existing products or offerings though, so the solutions for automating them are different as well. We recently wrote about Automated Post Boosting, a fantastic solution for automating branding campaigns.