Editor’s Note: Mike Perekupka, Senior Data Analyst and Dave LeDonne, Director of Product presented this topic at the Curalate Summit on visual marketing best practices at New World Stages in New York on Oct. 18, 2016.
Facebook presents e-commerce marketers with some unique advantages in product advertising. First, with the average American spending about 50 minutes per day on Facebook, you can rest assured your customers are spending time there. Second, Facebook hosts over 1 billion mobile daily active users, making it an ideal place to reach potential customers on mobile.
Third, Facebook offers the opportunity to relate with your potential customers through creative visual content — we’re talking cool photos, illustrations, and user-generated content. And it’s one of the ways Facebook stands out in the sea of product advertising channels.
Here we explore how brands can wield the power of rich visual content to delight and convert shoppers straight from their news feeds on Facebook.
Mobile Experience Is Top Priority
With the world’s #1 mobile app, Facebook is the most popular place in the mobile universe to reach consumers with promoted content and advertising. We’ve seen mobile conversion rates come up strong in the channel, too.
Facebook is clearly committed to optimizing the mobile experience: Mobile ad revenue accounted for 84% of Facebook’s total ad revenue in Q2 2016.
Facebook is mobile-first, which means you should focus on providing a user experience that sings on mobile.
Why is this important? Facebook is mobile-first, which means you should focus on providing a user experience that sings on mobile. When choosing an ad format, go for one that is optimized for mobile viewing, such as dynamic ads or multi-product (carousel) ads. And when planning your product landing pages and linking Facebook ads to them, your site and purchase process should be mobile-friendly to secure your chances at conversion.
The Hard Sell Is a No-Go
Another thing to keep in mind: While we know that consumers want to engage with brands and products they love on this social media network, we also know that consumers are not fond of straight-up sales pitches invading their news feeds. For brands that want to engage their audiences on Facebook, steer clear of the hard sell.
So when we think about converting impressions to sales on Facebook, how can we appeal to consumers? Consumers still want the things that they’ve always wanted from brands:
- Visual content
- Mobile optimization
Brands that succeed in driving sales from Facebook uphold these values with everything they publish and promote on Facebook.
For brands that want to engage their audiences on Facebook, steer clear of the hard sell.
Bear in mind that your ads are competing in the news feed with updates from friends, family, news publishers, and other brands, so the key is to craft content that feels native to Facebook. One way to engage potential customers is to create appealing content that piques interest and influences rather than bluntly promotes products to users.
Creating Rich Content with Dynamic Ads
Beyond having a mobile-first mindset and avoiding an overt sales pitch, how else can brands appeal to consumers with Facebook ads? Facebook’s dynamic ads are a step in the right direction. Dynamic ads are a retargeting solution created specifically to help brands put their products in front of consumers in a way that feels like a natural part of their social media experience. The ads can appear in news feeds on desktop and mobile, but the ads’ carousel format makes them especially well suited for mobile.
Your ads are competing in the news feed with updates from friends, family, news publishers, and other brands, so the key is to craft content that feels native to Facebook.
Social media users expect content to be visually engaging — not quite as literal as the product images on a white background typically found in other types of online advertising, for example. In other words, Facebook users are looking for a story to be told around your product. Dynamic ads afford you creative license to use rich images that show your product in action to tell that story.
Brands that are engaging and converting users on Facebook use rich visual content available with dynamic ads to satisfy the consumer’s craving for authenticity and meet a retailer’s goal of driving ROI from social media.
Looking back at the list of things consumers want from brands (personalization, authenticity, relevancy, visual content, mobile optimization), Facebook dynamic ads’ retargeting capability and mobile-first experience do the heavy lifting on the relevancy and mobile optimization front. That leaves personalization, authenticity, and visual content up to you.
Dynamic ads afford you creative license to use rich images that show your product in action to tell a story.
By including rich imagery in your Facebook dynamic ads, you can encourage consumers to embrace the ads as beautiful content that meets their desire to engage and buy.
Bring Customers Closer to Your Products
Imagine, for instance, that your ads use rich images of your products that embody your brand identity, that enable consumers to envision those products being in their life, and that evoke the feeling of enjoying those products. These ads that show your products in action would be perfectly optimized for mobile devices, letting consumers swipe through the images and engage with the content in the manner they’d expect on a smartphone.
Now imagine that you serve those ads to consumers only at the moment they want to buy, so that the ad is there to capture their purchase without interrupting their Facebook experience or repelling them with irrelevant content.
These are real possibilities with Facebook dynamic ads.
If you’ve ever struggled to see the value of Facebook beyond branding purposes, now is the time to give the channel a second look. Rich visual content helps potential customers connect with products. Using dynamic ads, marketers who turn that visual content into shopping opportunities delivered at the right time and place will unlock Facebook’s potential to convert users to customers.