Social media advertising has been making leaps and bounds in the level of sophistication, targeting capabilities and opportunities being presented to marketers. While my colleague Mike Pickowicz detailed some of the innovation in social media advertising earlier this year, new opportunities continue to arise.
The latest evolution is with the advent of product ads. Both Facebook and Pinterest recently announced two new types of product ads – Dynamic Product Ads (Facebook) and Multi-Image Promoted Pins (Pinterest). With the arrival of these new types of ads, B2B marketers are also given new opportunities for promotion and awareness of e-commerce inventory in particular.
In this blog post, I’m going to cover Facebook and Pinterest’s new ad features related to product listings, as well as some key opportunities for B2B marketers.
Why Should B2B Marketers Care About Product Advertising in Social Networks?
Quite simply, product advertisements in social media networks keep vendor inventory in front of the B2B buyer, regardless whether the buyer is truly in purchasing mode. More importantly, the path to demonstrating ROI should be easier than traditional social media advertising, since e-commerce revenue would truly be the end result of a successful program.
Facebook Dynamic Product Ads
Facebook recently released Dynamic Product Ads catered towards retailers, e-commerce sites, B2B Marketers and vendors wishing to market their inventory through the popular social media network.
Product Ads allow advertisers to promote inventory and product catalogs, while making the ads timely, personalized and visually appealing with multiple images. Coupled with retargeting capabilities, they are far more intelligent than ads Facebook has previously released.
How Facebook Dynamic Product Ads Work
Getting started with Facebook Product Ads is relatively straightforward.
B2B vendors with an inventory product catalog can upload a file containing these specific attributes: product ID, name, description, landing page URL, image URL, availability…etc. to a Business Manager account.
To learn how to create a product catalog and understand specific requirements, Facebook provides a step-by-step guide.
For the retargeting component, place a custom audience pixel on your website and modify it to report when actions have been taken on a product; whether that’s viewed, added to a cart or purchased.
The Custom Audience pixel is found in your ad account during setup.
The next step is to create a dynamic template that will automatically be populated with products listings. Make sure this is set up correctly because it will effect how your ads look.
Fill out the dynamic template completely, making sure to give your ads an eye-catching title and use keywords to pull product names, prices and other valuable information from your product catalog. These ads will be seen on mobile devices, tables and desktop, so take this into account when creating the template.
The next step is the most straightforward – run the ads. The ads will automatically be shown to people who have previously browsed the products on your website. For example, people browsing your website for parts or accessories may be shown those parts and accessories the next time they’re on Facebook.
Here are a few additional resources for implementing and running Facebook’s Product Ads:
What This Means for B2B Marketers
With Dynamic Product Ads, B2B marketers can target specific products to custom audiences, only showing customers the most relevant ads. As discussed above, the Ads are automatically generated based on what your customer has recently viewed and also include your website link, message and rotating images (seen above) to provide a more personalized experience.
Product Ads can be used to highlight recently viewed products, best sellers, or highlight multiple benefits of one product. This is a dream come true for B2B marketers who can now highlight various elements of a product and keep their brand in front of potential buyers.
Product Ads also react in real time and the ads will automatically turn off when products are out of stock.
Another major element of Product Ad management is the upgrade in the amount of targeting options offered. Through Facebook’s Custom Audience feature, marketers are able to target recent website visitors and filter them based on demographics, location, etc.
B2B marketers can target existing customers or distributors by uploading a CSV file of email addresses or integrating an email list through an email provider like MailChimp. With the advanced targeting options, specific products can now be targeted to the ideal audiences. These Ads are highly effective and I suspect will generate great results as they are rolled out.
The Product Ads are currently available through select Facebook Marketing Partners and in a few weeks they will be available to everyone through Power Editor.
Pinterest Multi-Image Promoted Pins
Facebook isn’t the only social media network hopping aboard the product advertising train. Pinterest, with their 53 million active users, recently began testing a multi-image feature for promoted pins. Promoted Pins offer B2B marketers a new avenue to showcase their inventory to the right people.
First, what are Promoted Pins? They offer businesses the opportunity to target Pinterest users who have shown interest in their company or are searching for an applicable item or term.
Promoted Pins put the marketer in the driver’s seat by allowing them to pick the product pin they wish to promote, target the right people and only pay for people who click through to their website!
How Pinterest Promoted Pins Work
Implementing Promoted Pins is a breeze; first select which products from your inventory you want to highlight. This could be best sellers, new items or products that have a certain feature you wish to emphasize. You can either add pins directly from your website, for example, a product page or upload images from your computer.
Once the images are up you’ll need to edit the description of the pins and the URL, this is important as it also drives traffic to your website.
After the pins have been uploaded head to ads.pinterest.com to start a promoted pin campaign. Here you choose specific search terms and audience targeting (location, language, device, gender), this is important so you only pay for your pins to be shown to the relevant people.
Promoted Pins will show up on category pages, search results, and also on a user’s home feed.
Pinterest also offers an extensive analytics dashboard so marketers can test what works and what doesn’t.
Right now, according to Pinterest, Promoted Pins are only available to certain U.S. businesses but you can sign up for the waitlist.
Below are a couple key resources for implementing Promoted Pins:
What This Means For Marketers
Promoted Pins may become invaluable to B2B marketers looking to further reach potential audiences in different online environments.
According to Recode, Pinterest is also working on implementing a “Buy” button onto their platform; this would be huge for marketers. With the multi-image feature being tested and a “Buy” button hopefully coming soon, B2B marketers will have an even greater opportunity to demonstrate ROI as well as improve brand visibility.
We are about to enter a whole new world of social media advertising with Facebook and Pinterest now both bringing their “A” game with more visually appealing and targeted ads. There are countless opportunities for marketers to benefit from these two platforms’ new ad features. It will be interesting to see who will be next to offer multi-image ads.