Tips to Help Improve Your Social Media Ad Campaigns

Tips to Help Improve Your Social Media Ad Campaigns

Do you know how to best take advantage of the features available in social media ad campaigns? We received great tips from industry experts about their Facebook and Pinterest practices. Learn when to show different ad types, how to stand out, strategies for bidding, and more.

Shana Wolfert

Shana Wolfert

Senior Specialist, Shopping & Feed, Tinuiti

Take the time to understand your audiences and build your Pinterest campaign.

The launch of Pinterest product pins was a tremendous breakthrough for the often undervalued social advertising tool. The average Pinterest user is known for having deep pockets having spent +29% more on retail than users who don’t use the platform. 98% of people report trying new things they discover on Pinterest compared to 71% on other platforms. So why is it often overlooked? (Source: Pinterest)

Pinterest is often the first touch point that brands interact with a potential customer. However, last click ROI and Pinterest don’t bode well, as it only tells part of the story. So while it might be the reason a person learns about a brand and ultimately inspires them to purchase down the line, that initial interaction might get discredited if the user comes back to make the purchase from another channel.

With the introduction of promoted product pins, users can go directly to the product page and buy the product then and there, which minimizes the gap between consideration and purchase phases and generally provides a superior ROI than other Pinterest ad formats.

Here are 5 tips and tricks to get the most out of your Pinterest shopping campaigns.

Set a lookback window that makes sense for you.

Pinterest recommends using a 30/30/1 lookback view—which means a purchase can count up to 30 days after clicking, 30 days after engaging, and 1 day after viewing a pin. However, if the products you are promoting have a high AOV, consider opening that window up. Factor in how long it takes your customer to purchase after initial brand discovery. It could take several months before buying that dream wedding dress, but for a $20 shampoo that’s probably not going to be the case.

Segment campaigns by audience segments and product type.

You’ll drive the best performance over time by controlling who your ads are served to and which products are shown. Start by creating remarketing and CRM audiences and eventually build lookalike audiences off of these lists to drive traffic from new users who demonstrate similar pin behavior as your existing fans. Target a different audience bucket in each ad group for maximum granularity and control. This will give you better insights into how different user segments interact with your products and allow you to make more informed bid and budget decisions.

Decide between bidding on clicks vs. impressions.

The difference is, with a maximum CPC, or cost per click, or set an oCPM bid, the optimized maximum you’re willing to pay for every 1,000 impressions your Promoted Pin serves. For oCPM bidding, you’ll have to set a cost per acquisition target. This method drives a stronger ROI and higher impression volume within your budget, but you’ll need to hit a certain threshold of traffic before running this campaign type. So if promoted product pins are your first introduction to the Pinterest advertising realm, you will be required to start with a cost per click model first.

Test out different image types in your catalog.

Often times shopping catalogs contain product images with full bleed backgrounds that focus solely on the product. This might drive the best engagement rates on Google or Microsoft Shopping, and even on Facebook DSAs, however Pinterest is an inspirational platform. More stylized images perform better in many cases so use it as an opportunity to inspire pinners! Try testing lifestyle images for a small subset of products and track their performance against the plain images to determine which image type resonates better with your audience.

Be patient.

If there’s one learning to take away from this list, it’s that patience is key with Pinterest Shopping. The learning period takes a bit longer to “ramp up” than other campaign types. If you adopt these best practices, you should see success over time. Pinterest recommends waiting at least a week before making any bid changes on newly launched campaigns. Also, since it’s a discovery tool don’t expect to see the revenue payoff right away. If you are approaching Pinterest Shopping as a “test”, allocate at least one month for a full test before judging performance.

James Cordery

James Cordery

Head of Performance Marketing Strategy, Deliveroo

For automated bidding on Facebook, feed in high quality data and don’t oversegment.

Facebook Dynamic Product ads are one of the most powerful formats in the performance marketer’s toolkit. As with most ad types that utilise automation for bidding the key is to avoid over-segmentation. Aggregation and high quality data signals are your friend. Maintaining a high quality product feed combined with accurate signals data should yield the best results for your dynamic products ads, leave the audience targeting to Facebook. Advertisers often apply overly complicated and unnecessary segmentation to target the most granular audiences that they believe fit the targeting profile for their product.

Facebook’s algorithm will do a much better job in finding the right users to showcase your products to if you feed it with high quality data, both in the form of your product feed and website or app performance data. This is because they are able to tap into a huge volume of attributes on any given user based on all the behavioural data they collect from websites and apps that use Facebook tracking solutions as well as user behaviour on Facebook platforms. If you segment audiences granularly you are forcing Facebook to target only a small group of users and you are missing out on potential customers who do not fall into your targeted segments.

Ensure you are constantly optimising your feed and experimenting with elements like image overlays, copy and image types. Structured testing and ongoing iteration of these creative elements will help avoid fatigue and improve performance over time as you build up a bank of knowledge on what works best for your business. I would recommend only separating your dynamic ad campaigns based on tactics—prospecting, retargeting and retention. This way you can rely on the necessary data aggregation to give Facebook the best chance to serve the right set of products via dynamic ads to users most likely to convert as well as giving you control of your budget across tactics so you can focus spend on the most incremental campaigns (hopefully acquiring new customers!).

Reese Garcia

Reese Garcia

Director of eCommerce, KlientBoost

Take advantage of multiple images and videos to feature your products on Facebook.

Include your actual product URL.

If you’ve been running Facebook ads for a while, this might sound like common sense, but it’s an easy detail to miss! When you create your Dynamic Product Ad, go to the section labeled “Deep Link to Website.” Click the ‘+’ sign and select “URL” from the dropdown, or enter {product.url} into the field. This is what actually takes someone to a specific product page. If you don’t do this, then your dynamic product ads will go to your “See More URL,” which could be a collection page or something even more generic.

Use multiple product images on your site.

If your product pages feature multiple product images, Facebook will allow you to create Slideshow DPAs. And, you guessed it: this allows you to show a slideshow of different views and angles of each of your products in your DPAs as opposed to just one static view. If you advertise for shoes or clothing, this is a perfect opportunity to let visitors see close-ups of the product, as well as in the context of a full outfit.

Take advantage of multiple ad types.

DPAs don’t just limit you to static images and slideshow images. You can also take advantage of collection ads, which let you feature a video, image, or create a dynamic catalog that people can use to explore your products. Use these to feature a promotion to churned customers or highlight a new selection of products.

Focus DPAs on your bottom of funnel Facebook remarketing.

Use DPAs to their advantage, and target people who’ve actually shown interest in your products. Focus on people who’ve viewed products or abandoned carts but not bought, and make sure your remarketing audience window is aligned with the same timeframe they decide to buy within.

Set ad kill targets.

Don’t spend too much time waiting for your ad test to prove “conclusive” or cut your new ad test too prematurely. Use your average order value as a rule of thumb. If a new creative exceeds that amount without showing a cost per unique add to cart/checkout that’s in line with your goals, it’s time to cut that ad.

Kristen Hogentogler

Kristen Hogentogler

BuyerBridge, Performance Manager

There are several ways you can learn more about your customer base and conversions from Facebook.

Facebook Dynamic Ads are a treasure trove of advertising and conversion opportunities. Coming in at a cheaper price than Google, these ads can integrate with all different types of technology including Google Tag Managers, pixels, and more. You can seamlessly retarget, prospect and generate leads on new customers with a simple upload of your inventory’s catalog into Facebook’s business manager. But, Facebook has cracked down on regulations regarding housing, employment status, credit and more. You must follow HEC guidelines if applicable or your ads will continually be disapproved. If you want to get hyper-specific with your targeting, you can purchase (perfectly legally) big data solutions to find actual in-market shoppers. This takes a lot of the guess-work out of tapping into your potential customer base. Facebook can also generate matchback reports based on your sold listings so you can trace exactly which customers converted from Facebook. This wows clients if you’re working within an agency setting. Make sure you or your client’s sold lists have the correct parameters for these reports.

Gabe Hernandez

Gabe Hernandez

Digital Marketing Director, ROI Swift

Understand the stages of the customer journey before remarketing with Facebook.

The first radio button when running Dynamic Product Ads for remarketing is a trap! I can only speculate how many advertisers are led to believe that a 14 Day Viewed or Added to Cart but Not Purchased is the best way to target these ads because of this. Viewing a product is a signal that a user has shown consideration and adding a product to cart is an action actively taken in regard to a product—they’re in very different stages of the customer journey. As such, they should get different messaging. And one of the benefits of segmenting these users is that it presents an opportunity to test different messaging and get cleaner data as to what is resonating best and getting them over the hump to buy. We understand that Facebook lumped these audiences together to increase the audience size to ensure there is efficient ad delivery and increase the likelihood of these ads getting out of Learning Phase, so we suggest extending out the retargeting window to achieve the same goal of having a larger audience to deliver to.

Michael Goodwin

Michael Goodwin

Sr. Associate, Performance Marketing, New Engen

Your creative can make or break your campaign on Pinterest.

Not All Ads are Created Equal

Pinterest is a highly visual and aesthetically competitive platform—good creative is make or break for advertisers. We’ve been able to stand out by leveraging taller aspect ratios and going big on text overlay. Although Pinterest recommends a 2:3 aspect ratio, we’ve found that taller pins drive better engagement.

Advertisers should also be aware of important creative distinctions between Pinterest and Facebook. For one, creative lifecycles tend to be longer, with high performing ads having an extended shelf life. Advertisers need to closely watch for signs of fatigue among top spending creatives, and keep fresh ads in rotation. Additionally, while motion is central to Facebook creative strategy, we’ve found that static ads are still king on Pinterest.

Catalog Ads Unlock Scale

Pinterest is frequently cast as an upper funnel channel, but we have found success driving conversions by leveraging the product catalog for both dynamic retargeting and prospecting DPAs. For some of our largest partners, dynamic ads account for more than half of total revenue generated on Pinterest.

It is worth noting that Pinterest’s built-in tools for catalog optimization are still fairly rudimentary, so having a good product feed management platform is critical for building a successful dynamic strategy.

Aligning Creative and Targeting is Key

Pinterest has bucked the recent trend toward account consolidation, encouraging advertisers to tailor their creative to specific target audiences. To paraphrase a senior employee, “When I go to Instagram, I am always the same person seeking the same thing. When I go to Pinterest, sometimes I do so as a mom, other times as an interior decorator or a chef and I navigate to different spaces as a result.”

The key point is that there is a level of intentionality, of seeking inspiration for a particular interest, which advertisers need to speak to.

In a practical sense, this manifests as Pin Relevance, a metric similar to Google’s Quality Score which scans both image and description to evaluate relevancy for a particular audience. Advertisers should leverage all aspects of creative to tailor their message to ad group targeting.

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