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Dynamic Product Ads or Conversion Ads? Choose the right format for your Facebook and Instagram Ads

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

Ads on Meta can be set up with multiple objectives. Of these, the two most relevant to eCommerce advertisers are (a) DPAs (or ads with a Catalog Sales objective) and (b) Conversion ads. 

Let’s take a closer look at each ad type. 

Dynamic Product Ads or DPAs:

These are ads that rely on a product feed or product catalog.

For those of you who need a quick reminder, a product feed (catalog) is a list of your store’s products with information like product photo, price, name, availability, etc. This is how Facebook gets access to all the information that it needs to populate your dynamic ad.

Here’s a simplified illustration:

What is a product feed? How is it used for DPAs?

Dynamic ads use this product feed to show potential shoppers the products they are most likely to click on and buy. 

Let’s take a look at how Meta defines them:

“Facebook dynamic ads automatically show the right products to people who have expressed interest on your website, in your app, or elsewhere on the Internet. Simply upload your product catalog and set up your campaign once, and it will continue working for you for as long as you want – finding the correct people for each product and always using up-to-date pricing and availability.”

To summarise: 

  1. Personalized: Each user will see the products most relevant to them. The products filled into the ad template are based on data Meta collects on the user’s behavior. 
  2. Feed-based: Dynamic product ads may be single image ads or carousel ads, but they use a product catalog so that Facebook can select which products to show to shoppers.

When to use DPAS?

Dynamic ads aren’t just for retargeting. They can be used for both retargeting and prospecting ads. 

  1. The advantage of using dynamic ads for retargeting is that customers see the same products they’ve engaged with on your website or app. This serves as a powerful reminder to complete their purchase. 
  1. Dynamic ads for prospecting reach consumers who have not yet purchased from your business or visited your website. Here, you are leveraging Meta’s powerful AI to show shoppers products based on a number of data points.
    NOTE: Heard of DABA (dynamic ads for broad audiences) campaigns? These are dynamic ads set up with broad audiences - often just location and gender - which let Facebook match audience and creative.

How can I set up a Dynamic Product Ad?

On Socioh, you will find the option to create a “Full Store DPA” directly under the “Campaigns” tab on your Socioh dashboard, or as the very first campaign recommended under your “Retargeting Campaigns". Here's a video explaining how to use it and some tips to remember to get the most from your DPA ad: 

If using your Facebook ads manager, you’ll have to remember to select the “Catalog Sales” option under campaign settings (some users may see this under "Conversion" --> "Sales" when choosing their campaign objective) to set up a dynamic ad.

Screenshots of the two interfaces Facebook may present to choose your campaign settings are given below: 

Screenshot of Meta's interface for setting up dynamic ads

Screenshot of Meta's interface for setting up dynamic ads

Want to set up a DABA or a dynamic ad for prospecting instead? Go with Socioh's ready-to-use "Dynamic Ad, Broad Audience (DABA)" campaign under "Prospecting Campaigns" instead. Here's a video explaining how to get the most from your DABA campaign using Socioh: 

What creative formats can I use with a Dynamic Product Ad? 

While a majority of dynamic ads are catalog or carousel ads, a dynamic ad can also look like a single image ad, or a collection ad. But it must use a catalog so that Facebook can select the most relevant product (with updated product info) to show its users.

Representation of single image, catalog and collection ad formats on Metaa
Single image, catalog and collection ad formats on Meta

Due to this, a dynamic ad can only use one catalog creative per ad, and you cannot change the catalog once an ad is set up. 

However, if you are using Socioh’s Branded Catalogs, you can change your catalog designs as often as you like. Not just that, our Smart Switch feature ensures that you never lose your campaign learnings.

Conversion Ads on Facebook are ads set up with a “Website Conversion” objective. 

Here’s a simple definition: 

Any Facebook ad with the website conversion objective is considered a Facebook conversion ad. The conversion objective means that these ads encourage potential customers to take action. You could choose from goals like purchase, page visits, or any other action to help you grow your online business.

To summarise: 

  1. Conversion Ads are set up with a ‘conversion objective’ and encourage a potential customer to take action based on the conversion event or goal chosen.
  2. These ads may use any or multiple creative formats. They can be use catalog ads, single images, manual carousels, image collections, or video.

When to use Conversion Ads

Conversion ads can be used for both prospecting and retargeting

  • Conversion ads for retargeting highlight different aspects of your products to your website visitors. Retarget website visitors with ads that display your brand values, showcase your bestselling products or collections, demonstrate social proof, answer customer objections, and more. The idea is to offer shoppers already familiar with your brand a chance to see why they should buy from you.

    TIP: If you have high traffic, segment your website traffic by categories that different shoppers are interested in. Now, retarget your visitors with creatives that help showcase more information about products in those categories. For example, if you are a sports store, you can segment your traffic by sport (golf, yoga, running) and use conversion ads to retarget each segment with multiple category-specific creatives. 
Illustration showing how segmented data may be used to create relevant audiences for advertising
Retarget category visitors with creatives for that segment for better conversions

  • Conversion ads for prospecting target consumers who have not yet purchased from your business or visited your website. With these ads, you can test multiple creatives and formats against different audience segments to understand which creatives resonate most with your potential shoppers.

How do I set up a Conversion Ad? 

On Socioh, your ads are automatically set up as conversion ads (unless specifically set up as DPAs).

However, you have full control. You may change the objective under “Advanced settings” when editing your ads:

Screenshot of Socioh's simple interface for setting up conversion ads

A great ad when launching new prospecting campaigns or testing creatives is Socioh's "Creative Testing (CBO)" campaign. Here's a video explaining how to set it up effectively:

If using the Facebook Ads Manager, choose Conversion as the objective to set up a conversion ad (some users may see an interface with campaign objectives. Here, go to "Sales," then choose Conversions. (There can also be other kinds of conversions - such as lead or engagement, but we do not recommend these for eCommerce businesses).

What creative formats can I use with a Conversion Ad?

A conversion ad can be any format - carousel or catalog, image or video. So long as the objective is a Conversion or an action, you can use any ad creative in a conversion ad. You can also use multiple creatives within the same Conversion ad. 

TIP: You can edit/change running creatives, or add new creatives to your existing conversion ad campaigns. So be sure to test different creatives and formats.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up and create your first ad already!

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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