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How to test your Dynamic Catalog Ads (DABA & DPAs) without losing learnings

Apple's ATT (App Tracking Transparency) has launched with iOS 14.5 and it's changing how Facebook ads work!
Keep up-to-date on any and all new changes. Stay ahead of the curve with Socioh’s pro-tips and tricks.

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Table of contents

Dynamic Catalog Ads are the most popular and profitable type of ads on Meta. Hardly surprising since they are personalized to each viewer and attract the highest returns.

Dynamic catalog ads are based on your product feed and can be used at the top of the funnel as DABA (Dynamic Ads, Broad Audience) campaigns, or at the bottom of the funnel as DPAs (Dynamic Product Ads). Learn more about dynamic ads here.

Today, with Meta’s ability to target hampered by iOS14, and the growing focus on Instagram Shops, the product catalog has become even more important to advertisers. 

Socioh’s Branded Catalog offers advertisers a massive opportunity by providing on-brand templates and rule-based automation for dynamic ads. You can add your message, discount, lifestyle images, and even real customer reviews to your dynamic creatives.

(See examples of Branded Catalogs being used by actual brands.)

But with so many template options available, it’s not surprising that the top question we get asked is —

<blog-quote>“What is the best catalog design for my store?”<blog-quote>

The answer is —

<blog-quote>“We don’t know. But we can find out.”<blog-quote>

Each brand is different. Each has a unique value proposition, an individual brand aesthetic, a distinct target audience. Each has its own story to tell.

And that’s why, while we can give recommendations, the only certain way to know what will work for your brand is to test.

Testing ain’t easy

But how do you test catalogs? 

With other ad formats, it’s possible to launch new creatives regularly. But with dynamic ads, you typically have only 1, sometimes 2, catalogs. And you can’t change their creatives via Meta.

Moreover, catalog ads gain learnings and optimize over time, so the longer they run, the better they perform. Editing even the caption of these ads leads to a loss of all optimizations and restarts the learning phase.

So how do you not just try different creatives, but make sure that you do it without losing previous learnings?

The Smart Switch

Socioh developed the Smart Switch to solve exactly this problem.

With Smart Switch, you can schedule any design change to your dynamic ads, without losing campaign optimizations! Learn more.

Smart Switch by Socioh is a tool that enables eCommerce businesses to change the messaging of their product catalogs on Facebook and Instagram without losing the learnings from their previous catalogs.

This helps advertisers test different designs and messaging, and make adjustments to their catalogs without losing the performance data and insights they have gathered. This feature is especially useful for brands that want to optimize their product catalogs for better performance and higher sales.

Learn more about Smart Switch here.

With Smart Switch you can easily change your Branded Catalog template. 

This helps ensure that the most relevant message and design is always being sent out. It also means that you can regularly update your template and test to see which design and message is the most impactful for your brand. (More on this below.)

There are 2 ways you can use Socioh to test your catalog designs:

  1. A/B test
  2. Smart Loop

A/B test your catalog ads

In Socioh, when you click on Smart Switch for any catalog, you get the following options

If you already have an idea about which design works for your store but want to fine-tune the design to get optimal results, then I recommend the A/B test feature.

This option will run both your designs for an equal amount of time, and then declare the winner based on the Click-Through-Rate (CTR) or Return on ad Spend (ROAS).

Here’s a great example of this kind of test by athleisure brand Noli Yoga. Their reviews template was performing very well but they wanted to ensure that they were using only the most effective design for their brand.

They started by testing a light background against a dark background.

The dark background clearly outperformed the lighter template. The CTR was higher by over 38% and the ROAS also improved.

Noli Yoga then tested the original dark template against the same template with larger fonts for readability.

This improved CTR by an additional 27%.

The brand then tried a 2-image dark template with larger fonts, which improved performance even further.

Using Smart Loop for A/B testing

If you are not sure about the kind of template that will work best for your store, then the Smart Loop is a great tool for you.

A clothing brand recently ran the following Smart Loop.

They selected 3 different types of templates for 1 day each. Here’s how it worked:

  • Day 1 - Rotating Brand Values 
  • Day 2 - Customer Reviews
  • Day 3 - Buy Now, Pay Later

While analyzing their campaign performance, however, we found that there was an unaccounted-for dip in CTR on every 3rd day. This didn’t match up with overall account performance, so we looked deeper.

When we cross-referenced the Click-Through data with the Smart Loop, this is what we found — on average, each time the loop reached the reviews template, the CTR fell for that day. 

Clearly, the reviews template was not working for this brand.

We replaced the reviews template with a 2-image template featuring only the 5 stars (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐) and no text. Performance picked up immediately.

See detailed case study.

Only use your best performers

If you are just starting out with us, I’d recommend setting up a Smart Loop with 3 or 4 different types of messaging that you believe will work for your brand. Once you know which messages are resonating with your audience, then use the A/B test feature to fine-tune your design for optimal performance.

Need help setting up your test? Just log in to your Socioh dashboard and send us a message — we’d be happy to get you started.

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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