Advertising has been evolving and adapting through time to attract people's attention, however in the digital era we also need to be extremely relevant to their interests.
Facebook’s new Collection ad format combines precision and immersive experience in the way the products are revealed to the user. It allows discovery with full screen browsing and makes purchasing easier to do on mobile devices. This format is particularly interesting coming into the holiday season, when 40% of traffic is attributed to mobile. Additionally, collection ads are more inspirational than the conventional formats and can be a great way to highlight the products or services of your brand. They are ideal for retailers, as well as advertisers in the travel industry. This format is only available for promotion on mobile devices, and can be used for traffic or conversion objectives on Facebook.
In order to get started with this ad format, your product catalog in Facebook needs to be fully set up, or you have the option of uploading a .CSV file, from which a specific product set can be created. Keep in mind that a minimum of four, maximum of 50 different SKUs can be displayed per ad. Additionally, Facebook will only show product SKUs listed as ‘in stock’ from your product catalog feed.
When it comes to creatives, Collection ads can support images and videos in the first two thirds of the ad, the final third contains a row of four product thumbnails. These thumbnails are customisable based on your product preference, or set automatically by Facebook. You also have to add a headline to encourage potential customers to take action.
Finally, a tracking pixel is recommended in order to track and optimize the performance of the collection ad toward your goals as an advertiser. It is also possible to add parameters and click trackers to all links to better track performance in a web analytics service like Google Analytics.
Once the ad has been created and launched, users will see the ad in their mobile news feed. Once a user interacts with the ad, a full screen experience launches and presents the featured products included in the ad. After this interaction is made, the user has the option to scroll through the ad or to click-through to launch your mobile website.
If your main goal of the campaign is to increase purchases, two layouts are recommended:
1. Grid Layout: This option allows you to showcase products in one location and is ideal for driving users directly to your website.
2. Lifestyle Layout: This option is available for any brands that want to encourage discovery and sales by presenting the products with a lifestyle look.
3. If the objective is driving awareness or acquiring new customers, Collection ads can be customized to encourage users to visit the website to learn more about your brand or product and then make a specific action.
iProspect recently used Collection Ads for a leading retail client in North America. The initial outcome was increased traffic and revenue all while keeping cost low.
When comparing Collection ads to standard Carousel ads, the results show that Click Through Rate (CTR) increased by 58%, with a significant boost in engagement of over 178%, all while increasing the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) by 151%. Ultimately, we were able to drive 54% more people to site using almost half the budget, which is a huge win for any brand!
In another campaign, Collection Ads were used for a Back To School ad that ran for a CPG client. This campaign compared an image and video version of the ad. Surprisingly the image version had a 35% lower CPC and a 57% higher CTR. However, the video version had 38% more engagement. The key here is to test and make better decisions for future campaigns.
Even with the great results obtained so far, advertisers are expecting significant updates to be made to this ad format in the near future.
Facebook has indicated that advertisers should be able to select their products directly from a product library instead of creating a specific product set per campaign. This new feature will alleviate the work behind the creation of ads and give more control over what is displayed.
Also, we will have access to overlays, slideshows, auto-caption and integration with the asset library, good news! Furthermore, the minimum number of products is now reduced and will allow advertisers to promote niche products.
More details regarding everything above is available via Facebook’s Help Center page.
In the meantime, you can integrate this format to your Holiday strategy as it could be great to increase conversions and revenue. These changes will give marketers more overall flexibility and options when setting up new campaigns. Finally, don’t hesitate to A/B test with other formats or different versions and compare the generated performances.
Collection ads will continue to improve and will definitely be one of our favorites for shopping ads! Test, adapt, perform and don’t hesitate to share some interesting results with us.