With technological advances, shopping habits have undergone massive changes. We are shopping anywhere, anytime, and on any device. Smartly.io brought together Línio, Innovasport, and Facebook for a panel discussion to talk about the newsfeed as the new storefront at Advertising Weeks' first LATAM edition in Mexico City.
The News Feed as a Virtual Mall
Today, brands have copious opportunities to reach consumers on Facebook, both News Feed and beyond. Nicholas Ziyang, Regional Head of Performance Marketing LATAM, Línio, descriped Facebook's News Feed as a virtual shopping mall where brands should establish a presence through virtual storefronts.
Santiago Dominguez, Client Partner at Facebook, reminded the audience that while Facebook is changing all the time, they will always focus on user experience. For example: once video became popular among users, Facebook was quick to cater to this behavior by creating numerous video solutions.
To improve user-friendliness, Facebook is striving to make the customer journey from discovery to purchase as clean as possible. In practice, this means creating solutions such as Collection or Canvas Ads that allow consumers to explore products fast on mobile, without having to leave the application.
What Products to Promote on Facebook
Choosing the right products to promote requires strategic thinking: should a company promote products they want to push or should they focus on products that the user is most likely to buy?
Gerardo Alvarado, Digital Marketing Manager at Innovasport, said that as a sports retailer, they align their promotions with a seasonally segmented commercial calendar. Automation plays an equally important part in selecting products to promote; they couple Facebook’s solutions with Smartly.io’s bespoke automation features to show relevant ads at the right time and place.
Alvarado reminded that it’s not so much about choosing one or the other, but more so about uniting forces and showing previously viewed products together with ones the user could potentially be interested in.
Nicholas Ziyang (Regional Head of Performance Marketing, LATAM, Línio México) answered bluntly that it’s not always easy to know what to promote. Línio is a multibrand e-commerce that plans its advertising strategy together with its brands and distributors. Events and seasonal occasions act as anchors in their promotional calendar. Ultimately, it’s the combination of creative, audience, automation, and seasonal strategy that determines what gets shown and to whom.
Ziyang explained that brands need to understand the audience they want to engage with. People who aren't used to shop online, a direct response campaign might feel like too much of a hard sell. Línio is tackling the challenge by running videos that make online shopping easy, fun, and normal. On the other hand, direct response campaigns with a clear value proposition are a natural fit for shoppers who feel comfortable buying online.
It’s All About Formats
Choosing the right ad format can be another tough nut to crack, as Facebook offers a plethora of formats that highlight products in an engaging manner.
The team at Línio creates authentic content through video ads. Equipped with a start-up mindset, they like to improvize as big productions are costly and not feasible to execute all year around. After Línio launches a video ad, they retarget users who have interacted with it previously. They run links, Carousels, and Dynamic Product Ads to reel these people in. They dub this combination a mini funnel with a lot of potential.
Innovasport has vast experience in running all kinds of formats. According to Alvarado, the product needs to rule the ad regardless the format. Make the product the hero. Alvarado also remarked that based on his experience, the more complex the format is, the worse the results – simple video links usually drive the best results (clicks, traffic, conversions) for Innovasport.
The Future of (News Feed) Shopping
Lastly, the panelists were asked what their wishlist for the future holds. Ziyang would love a product that works with Facebook analytics and makes it easier to connect companies’ data with Facebook. A wider platform (that has more functions than marketing) with all the technologies of Facebook would be the dream. Alvarado had two concrete wishes for the future; firstly, he wants to find a way to map or identify people inside a brick and mortar store and secondly, he wants Facebook to become a point of direct purchases – not only discovery.
Below, you can watch the entire panel discussion in Spanish!