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Advantage+ Catalog Ads (Facebook Dynamic Ads) - The Ultimate Guide

Apple's ATT (App Tracking Transparency) has launched with iOS 14.5 and it's changing how Facebook ads work!
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Table of contents

What are dynamic ads?

A dynamic ad (now rebranded as Meta Advantage+ Catalog Ad) is an ad that shows different products to different people based on what Meta knows they are in the market for. 

So, Meta may show this brand and product selection to one potential customer for menswear:

A dynamic carousel ad by men's apparel brand One Golden Thread showing lifestyle images of models in t-shirts and tanks.
Catalog ad by One Golden Thread

But this selection to a different shopper who is also looking for menswear from the same brand:

A dynamic carousel ad by men's apparel brand One Golden Thread showing lifestyle images of models wraps and overcoats.
Catalog ad by One Golden Thread

Since Meta has access to massive amounts of data regarding the shoppers' buying preferences, browsing history, and brand affinities, this form of advertising can be insanely profitable.

So why isn’t every brand profiting off this ad format? To understand that, let’s first take a look at how catalog ads work.

How do dynamic ads work?

Dynamic ads, catalog ads, product feed ads - they all mean the same thing. Previously called Facebook Dynamic Ads, this ad unit was rebranded as ‘Advantage+ Catalog Ads’ by Meta in 2023. 

Want clarification on Meta’s Advantage+ nomenclature? Learn the difference between Advantage+ catalogs, campaigns, and budgets.

Dynamic ads are based on a product feed or a product catalog. 

So, instead of selecting one product and designing an ad around it, you give Meta a list of all the products in your store along with details like image, title, price, inventory, variants etc. This list is known as a product catalog or product feed.

Based on their algorithm and the information from your product feed, Meta will serve the correct products to the correct person.

Screenshot of a product feed or product catalog sent to Meta for running dynamic ads on Facebook and Instagram.
Screenshot of a product feed sent to Meta's product catalog

In Meta’s own words:

“Facebook’s dynamic ads enable you to automatically promote your entire product catalog across Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network without having to create thousands of individual ads. Dynamic ads capture the intent signals that customers show on websites and apps to ensure that the right products are connected to the right people.”

Shopify offers a native integration with Meta where your product information is automatically sent to Meta's Ads Manager. Alternatively, you can upload your product catalog via a CSV, or XML feed.

Dynamic ads not performing?

Check out the 3 most common catalog setup mistakes and how to avoid them.

Dynamic Ads - Bottom of the Funnel (DPA) or Top of the Funnel (DABA)?

Dynamic ads can be DPAs (Dynamic Product Ads) or DABA (Dynamic Ads, Broad Audience) campaigns.

DPA - Dynamic Product Ads target audiences who are already aware of your brand/products. The idea is to show past purchasers other products that they may be interested in and to encourage undecided shoppers to complete their purchases.

DABA - Dynamic Ads, Broad Audience campaigns are geared toward potential buyers who are not familiar with your brand. Here Meta takes into account a shopper’s browsing history, behavior, interests, demographics, etc. to show shoppers new brands and products that they may be interested in. 

Graphic explaining that DPAs or Dynamic Product Ads target audiences at the bottom of the funnel while DABA campaigns target the top of the funnel

While DPAs have been traditionally favored by advertisers, since iOS14 Meta has been having difficulty accurately tracking exclusions. As a result, a large number of Socioh’s users have been seeing more success with DABA ads and are now using dynamic ads primarily in TOF campaigns.

Catalog-based Ad Formats

Dynamic ads can be either single-image ads, collection ads or, more popularly, carousel ads.

Carousel ads offer many advantages. They:

  • Provide multiple opportunities for conversion. If a shopper isn’t interested in a particular product, they can simply swipe to the next product in the carousel.
  • Are cost-effective. When Facebook first introduced the carousel format, carousel link ads had a 30-50% lower cost per conversion and 20-30% lower cost per click than single-image link ads.
  • Provide insights. The number and selection of products a shopper clicks on can give Meta a lot of information about their purchase interest and intent.
  • Encourage interaction. Shoppers interact almost twice as much with carousel ads as with single-image ads.
Carousel ad by apparel company Abercrombie and Fitch

Carousels are great for shoppers who are either new to your brand or have shown interest in multiple products from your brand.

A single-image catalog ad is still dynamic — it will change the product being displayed based on the viewer — but, unlike a carousel, it will only show one product. 

In the examples below, any jacket can be pulled by Meta from the brand’s product feed based on the viewer’s product interactions.

Single image dynamic ads by apparel company Shackleton

This format can be very helpful helpful for high-value items that may have been added to cart by the shopper but not purchased. 

For instance, if a potential customer has shortlisted a premium jacket by carting it, it may be counter-productive to show the customer a number of similar jackets. It makes more sense to remind them of the one they have already painstakingly researched and selected.

Dynamic ads can also be served as collection ads. These include a cover image or video along with 3 additional product images, and are a popular option for mobile. One of the most important features of the collection ad is that the purchase experience stays on Facebook.

The advantage is that it creates an immersive shopping experience and the buyer doesn't need to leave Facebook to complete the purchase. The downside is that the seller has limited opportunities to upsell, cross-sell, or even just give shoppers more information about the product.

Examples of dynamic collection ads on Meta
Examples of dynamic collection ads on Meta

Challenges with dynamic ads

Typically, the product feed will provide Meta with the first image on your product page and this is the creative that will be used for your dynamic ads.

This may mean:

  1. Your catalog ads either have white strips on both sides or are poorly cropped by Meta. This is especially true for apparel brands which often have vertical images that don’t fit well in Meta’s square format.
  1. Your catalog ads look very similar to your competitor’s catalog ads, a problem that is further compounded if you sell products that are not visually easy to differentiate from generic brands/products.
  1. Your catalog ads look nothing like your other ads or website. Most brands spend a lot of time and money on their brand aesthetic, and branding teams may refuse to run catalog ads due to the bland, unbranded nature of this format.
  1. You miss out on valuable real estate on the creative. You could be using this space to include information pertinent to the purchase decision (discounts, social proof, or new drops).

In other words, what’s missing is — design.

The importance of design

“The lever most strongly associated with increased performance on Meta technologies is ad creative execution, with the study finding that campaigns with high-quality creative achieved 35% greater effectiveness.”
- Meta business insights

In human speak, this translates to — good creative assets and design can improve the ROAS of your ads by 35%. 

Yup, that’s $35 you’re leaving on the table for every $100 you currently earn from your Facebook and Instagram ads.

All for want of a better-designed ad.

Now, I hear some of you saying, “Sure, we can experiment with the design of our static ads, but we have no control over the creative and design of our catalog ads.”

That’s where you’re wrong.

Socioh’s Branded Catalogs give you unparalleled control over the design and automation of your dynamic catalog ads. See examples.

Designing static ads vs dynamic ads

The product in a static ad, unlike dynamic ads, remains fixed. This means that static ads can be designed perfectly around a product or image and can include brand assets as well as any message that the brand wants to convey to influence the purchase decision. 

Let’s take a look at the static ads of 2 jewelry brands. Here’s some of the information that the brands’ static ads contain.

Static ad by jewelry brand Simple & Dainty
Static ad by jewelry brand Degs & Sal

And here are the same brands’ catalog ads:

A dynamic carousel ad by women's jewelry brand Simple & Dainty showing plain product images of bracelets
Plain catalog ad by Simple & Dainty
A dynamic carousel ad by designer jewelry brand Degs & Sal showing plain product images of necklaces.
Plain catalog ad by Degs & Sal

They are clearly missing some crucial marketing information.

With Socioh, the brands are able to run these catalog ads instead:

A 2-image dynamic ad by jewelry brand Simple & Dainty with product name, 5 stars, and product & lifestyle images side by side
Catalog ad by Simple & Dainty - designed via Socioh
A two-image dynamic carousel ad by jewelry brand Degs & Sal showing logo, product price, with product & lifestyle images
Catalog ad by Degs & Sal - designed via Socioh

What all do you notice?

√ The brand logos, colors, and fonts are included

√ Both brands chose a multi-image grid showing both product and lifestyle images (Multi-image ads are especially effective for apparel and jewelry. See examples.)

√ Both brands used rules and mapping to pull in the product price, title, or review.

Tools like Socioh help you create striking, rule-based dynamic ads. The Branded Catalog ads combine the creative capabilities of single-image ads and the data of catalog ads. On average, these ads see 67% improved CTR and a corresponding boost in ROAS.

Designing dynamic ads for improved performance

When you get started with Socioh, you will see a number of pre-designed templates. These templates already have the automations and mappings in place, so you can get started with one immediately.

Your design team will have the ability to edit any of these templates to suit your brand within Socioh itself. Alternatively, you can request custom templates from Socioh for your brand — free of cost!

Design services are included in all of Socioh’s subscription plans. We will work with you till you are completely satisfied with your dynamic ad creatives.

Schedule a call now to see if Socioh can help you elevate your dynamic ads.

So, which design should you pick?

There are multiple things to think about. 

  • Why should a customer buy from you instead of from a different brand? What message do you want to promote? Affordability  — include a discount. Brand building  —  add brand values. Increasing trust  —  highlight customer reviews.
  • What design direction works for your brand? Use your proven single-image creatives as inspiration for your catalog ad designs.
  • What are 3-5 adjectives you would use to describe your brand? Affordable or luxury? Elegant or vibrant? Simple or highly designed? Knowing the emotion you want to convey will help you shortlist the design.

Here are some of the first questions I would ask:

  • Do you have good lifestyle images? Using these in ads typically works very well, especially for apparel, accessories, and jewelry. See examples of lifestyle catalog ads.
A dynamic ad template by women's clothing brand using two lifestyle product images with cut-pricing showing a discount
Catalog ad by Faithfull the Brand - designed via Socioh
  • Do you have plain-looking products like thermoses? Consider replacing the plain backgrounds with on-brand colors, patterns, or images.
A background-removed dynamic ad template by drinkware brand Brumate with Black Friday messaging & slashed product price
Catalog ad by Brumate - designed via Socioh
  • Are you running a sale or promotion? Or do you have a coupon code? Make sure you highlight your discount in your creative and auto-apply your coupon code.
A dynamic catalog ad by luxe clothing brand Less17 using product images with Boxing Day messaging, discount & coupon code
Catalog ad by Less17 - designed via Socioh
  • Have great customer testimonials? Pull actual product reviews for each product in your catalog. With Socioh, you can automatically pull reviews from Yotpo, Junip, Stamped.io, Judge.me, or a CSV file.
A dynamic ad template by cosmetics brand Ogee using lifestyle images with user reviews, reviewer name and 5 stars highlighted
Catalog ad by Ogee - designed via Socioh

  • Does your brand stand for specific values? Rotate these through your catalog.
A dynamic ad template by athleisure brand using lifetsyle images with review count, 5 stars & unique selling points
Catalog ad by Popflex Active - designed via Socioh
  • Does each category or product have specific USPs? Map these directly onto your dynamic ad creative.
A dynamic catalog ad for pharma brand Healthspan with vitamins on top of custom gradients with unique selling points overlaid
Catalog ad by Healthspan - designed via Socioh
  • Want to draw attention to low-stock items? Map actual inventory for low-stock items onto your product.
A dynamic catalog ad by clothing boutique Boutique 1861 using winter-themed, custom frames with inventory automation overlaid
Catalog ad by Boutique 1861 - designed via Socioh
  • If you product can be hard to distinguish visually, you could consider mapping the product title onto your dynamic ad.
A dynamic catalog ad by tea brand Plum Deluxe with a close-up shot of the tea leaves & product name automation as a badge
Catalog ad by Plum Deluxe - designed via Socioh
  • Include Buy Now, Pay Later prices to highlight affordability for high end products.
A dynamic catalog ad by sportswear brand Under Armour using custom backgrounds showing product name, price & BNPL offers
Catalog ad by Under Armour - designed via Socioh

Take a look at more use cases and examples of real ads by real brands.

All catalog ads in this article have been automated and designed via Socioh.

Interested in seeing how Socioh can help you enhance your catalog ads? Book a no-obligation demo now..

Testing your dynamic ads

Eventually, there’s no substitute for testing.

The above section gives you a good starting point for your design, but the only way to be absolutely sure that you are using the best design for your ad is by testing it.

With Socioh’s Smart Switch feature, you can test different designs for your dynamic ads, without losing campaign learnings. My recommendation would be to start with 2 designs/messages that you believe will perform best with your target audience and test these against each other. 

A/B testing dynamic catalog ads using Socioh

Once you have a winner, try this against a new message/design, and so on. By doing this iteratively you can ensure that you are getting the best results from your catalog ads.

I’d love to hear how this worked out for you. If you have questions or would like to see if Socioh can help you enhance your dynamic ads, book a no-obligation demo here.

is a digital advertising platform for eCommerce brands. Our Branded Catalog is the industry leader in dynamic catalog advertising and product feeds.

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