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All About Dynamic Product Ads and Why You Need to Use Them

All About Dynamic Product Ads and Why You Need to Use Them

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Last Updated:  
July 3, 2023

In the past, you may have written off Dynamic Product Ads (DPA). Perhaps you tested them out, but they weren’t successful in either testing or live ads, so you decided to save your money. Well, what if we told you that you had it all wrong? In a conversation with Rabah and Ash on our podcast Adspend, Dan Pantelo of Merpipe told us that one fourth of all paid social ads in 2022 were Dynamic Product Ads, and that he believes the strategy is criminally under-talked about. Most major retailers and big DTC brands are using Dynamic Product Ads in their arsenal, and Dan dropped some serious knowledge nuggets for us all to pick up and apply to our marketing strategies in this episode (watch at the link below)! 

In this article, I’ll describe what Dynamic Product Ads are, why they work well, the types of products they work best with, and how you can set yourself up for success in your own advertising attempts.

What Are Dynamic Product Ads?

You already know that your internet searches follow you around social media, with ads popping up for the items you just looked at on websites almost instantaneously, maybe even something you had a verbal discussion about with a friend…they say they’re not listening, but we know better. In any case, the products you search for inform social media sites, like Facebook, about the types of things you might be interested in, utilizing your user data to personalize and optimize the ads so that they’re reaching the most relevant audience and people most likely to make a purchase. 

An example of three sizes of a dynamic product ad, advertising a rubber duck.

Typical Dynamic Product Ads feature either a single image of a product or a carousel of related products it already knows your customer is interested in based on their browsing history or other targeting options. Since this type of ad can be highly specialized, it is often very successful. Some other advantages of Dynamic Product Ads are:

  1. They’re fully customizable: When you can customize the content that gets shown to each user, you can increase the likelihood of that ad converting into a sale.
  2. Template is a Time Saver: Creating a graphic template for all of your products allows you to create countless ads without needing to individually set them up. This is accomplished by setting up a product catalog and feeding it into the ad platform of choice (we’ll discuss this later).
  3. Higher ROI: Advertising to individuals who have already shown interest in a product is wise as they’re basically being reminded of what they were thinking to purchase already.
  4. Run ads everywhere: You can create catalogs of products to upload into various platforms so you can reach more customers! 
  5. Loads of Data: Besides whether they click on your ad, you can also gain valuable data on user behavior such as pages they view and purchases they made, so you can then take that data and optimize your campaign.

Why Do Dynamic Product Ads Work So Well?

When you serve your customer exactly what they want exactly where they are, it’s almost a guarantee you’ll be victorious. Dynamic Product Ads are utilizing the above-mentioned efficient and streamlined method to show your customer an item we already know they’re interested in. By being highly personalized and relevant, the user experience is just better. And when the user experience is better, we spend more freely and easily. It’s just a marketing fact.

And when it comes to efficiency, nothing beats DPA - there’s no chance you’ll show an ad for a product when it’s out of stock, because the real-time connection to your product catalog prevents that from happening. It will also update price changes and provide accurate information for the customer, which increases their confidence in being able to make that purchase. 

You can also scale Dynamic Product Ads over a wide range of products or catalog items, and thus promote multiple products at the same time, which is super efficient for campaigns with giant product catalogs. More campaigns = more clicks = more potential customers.  

A collage of four images: A woman in beautiful dress, a pair of nice wireless headphones, a set of wooden planters, and an adventurous man crossing a rope bridge.

Products That Are Most Successful With Dynamic Product Ads

There are certain industries that perform exceptionally well with Dynamic Product Ads, and we’re sure you’re familiar with seeing a majority of these ads on your social media feeds! Some of the big ones include:

Fashion & Apparel: All the clothing, shoes, accessories, and fashion items you can shake a stick at are being thrown at you with Dynamic Product Ads. These work well since you can be served the exact item you were viewing on a site previously as well as related items the company thinks you’ll like depending on your preferences, which they also know. It’s a little creepy, but it’s also super effective. 

Electronics: Marketers won’t go wrong promoting the latest tech gadgets to individuals browsing the internet on tech gadgets. Google Apple Vision Pro and see what happens with the ads you get served. I dare you.

Home Decor: Chances are high if you’re buying a couch, you’re also in the market for a new rug, lamp, or coffee table. The furniture companies know this, and you’ll definitely be a captive audience for ads surrounding new furniture pieces or home decor to complete the transformation of your space. 

Travel: Seasonal offers can be targeted towards specific geographic locations (for example, all the Snowbirds in Canada who need a cheap flight to Florida for the winter months). Hotel offers can be shown directly to people who’ve shown intent to travel to specific destinations, making them the ideal customer! 

What Normally Goes Wrong When Setting Up Dynamic Product Ads

In Dan’s experience, so many companies that say they tried DPA and it didn’t work just didn’t set it up properly and were testing DPA the wrong way. The exact wrong way to do it is to launch a test campaign and compare it to the BAU (business-as-usual) catalog, which has already collected tons of learnings and insights based on customer interactions with existing ads. If you launch a brand new campaign with no such insights and compare its results to the BAU catalog, of course you’re not going to see a positive performance from the DPA. It’s not a fair fight!

Setting up DPA properly is a bit more complex, and isn’t as simple as tossing a few A/B tests in there to see what performs better. It’s a long term strategy that you have to build, the learnings and testing takes a bit longer, but those who do it correctly will really see the dividends in the end. 

Some common mistakes that Dan has seen include directly using Shopify’s Facebook Integration instead of creating a separate catalog (called a PIN). Yes, Shopify makes it easy for you to connect your store catalog to Faceobok, but it prevents a transfer of a lot of data, and Shopify themselves have recommended using a plugin like Flexify to create a PIN instead. Another issue Marpipe sees is that product catalogs can be out-of-date. You need to make sure you have columns included with super SEO optimized keyword descriptions. 

A photograph of a man's hands doing a technical drawing.

How to Nail Your Dynamic Product Ads Set Up

As with all things online, dynamic product ads have evolved and it’s time to catch up! Gone are the boring white background product images, and here to stay are dynamic creatives that are more likely to attract your customer’s attention. Some key ideas to keep in mind as you set up DPA ads:

  1. Utilize DPA Templates: Let’s say you’re a jewelry brand and you’ve got several different rings to showcase. By creating a template for different product sets, you can group similar products with the same creative to save a little time and still ensure your message is received. 
  2. Time-based Templates: Create a sense of urgency by using ads that boldly feature the time remaining in a campaign (like a countdown strategy). 
  3. Customer Reviews: Including the glowing recommendations from happy customers and a 5-star rating is a great way to create trust with would-be customers! You can create a template where it pulls reviews from each product in real-time to feature in the ad.
  4. Branded Content: Create a template that features your brand colors and identity very clearly. This will help you maintain brand consistency across platforms.
  5. Go multi-channel: Speaking of platforms, don’t just advertise in one place. Create templates that can be used across Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Snapchat to go for that channel-dominance approach. 
  6. Collect the data and analyze: Testing the right way involves uploading a brand new feed that doesn’t have all the business-as-usual (BAU) learnings and comparing it against a control in a test environment. Once you complete that test, you’ll know comparatively at scale that DPA will perform better. 

Still Don’t Know Where to Start? Use Marpipe

Our friends at Marpipe have created a creative automation to make it easy to generate high-performing, proven Dynamic Product Ads! Their self-service dashboard enables you to set up your product catalogs and design creatives that work, and you can start playing around with their powerful tools for free! With a bunch of pre-set templates that have worked for several successful businesses, you can customize it to fit your brand. They’ve got proprietary algorithms as well to ensure your campaigns are set up for maximum performance. Give it a try here. And then once you’ve got ads running, make sure you’re watching how those ads perform in your Triple Whale dashboard! 

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