The Scoop on Facebook's New Product Ads

Facebook’s new Product Ads, announced this month, are the answers retail marketers were looking for when the network began to weed out promotional content from fans’ news feeds in January. Capitalizing on the visual lure characteristic of Facebook users and leveraging the network’s extensive targeting capabilities, these ads promise a goldmine.

How does it work? Businesses are able to upload multiple products, or entire catalogs, to Facebook and allow the network to generate ads for each product while targeting them to the appropriate audience. Facebook will also recognize when a product is out of stock and stop the ad from running. Businesses can curate their ads by either featuring a best selling item or building multi-product ads.

Image source: Facebook for Business

Bottom line: Product Ads are Facebook’s way of competing with Google’s Shopping Ads. This comes to no surprise, considering Adweek’s report that retailers saw 20% of their clicks on Google search links coming from Shopping Ads in 2014. To follow, retailers increased spending on Shopping Ads by 47% and decreased by 6% on text-based advertising.

The odds are pointing at Facebook to win this battle. More and more users utilize Facebook’s mobile app and rely on the network to deliver relevant, entertaining information right to their newsfeed without having to search for it. In comparison, Google seems like too much work.

Something else Google Shopping Ads don’t have access to? Facebook’s extensive targeting capabilities, pulling from a database of users’ personal interests and behavior. Product Ads collect consumer data in real time and provide retailers with an automated solution. Retail marketers: Your prayers have been answered.

Learn more about Facebook’s updates this year and how to survive the network’s pay-to-play space: Facebook: Put Your Money Where Your Market Is.


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