It’s a process already refined by the A/B testing process, where advertisers try different creative elements against one another to see which is most effective. But Facebook now offers a tool that may be able to speed up this very process: Dynamic Ads.
If you’re more interested in keeping tight control over your ad creative and delivery, stick to the classic A/B testing and iterate each bit of ad creative. But, if you’re willing to let go of a little bit of control in favor of (potentially) better results, you may want to give Facebook’s dynamic ads features a try.
Here’s a closer look at just what it means to give Facebook the keys to your ad creative… and why it might (keyword: might) actually be a pretty good choice for your social advertising efforts.
It’s Like A/B Testing… Without The “Testing” Part
When it comes to social media ads, a classic A/B test usually follows the same general pattern:
- Create an ad campaign utilizing your chosen audience, destination link, and ad creative
- Duplicate the element you wish to test using the same budget and time period
- To test audiences, create a separate ad set using the exact same ad creative
- To the efficacy of your destination link, duplicate the ad sets completely changing only the destination link
- To test your ad creative, duplicate everything down to the ads themselves and make changes in just one ad set.
By testing a single element of your ads at a time, an A/B test allows for tight, hands-on control of your ad testing process so you can narrow down the best combination and iteration for your results.
With Facebook’s dynamic ads, however, you can test multiple formats or creative elements against each other in real-time. This allows Facebook to do that “testing’ on the fly, and make adjustments to produce the “best” results before your campaign comes to an end.
What you lose in control, you may just gain in results… but understanding how to interpret those results may just be the (often overlooked) key to understanding the power of dynamic ads.
Choose Your Dynamic Elements: Ad Formats & Ad Creative
Rather than painstakingly (but accurately) testing each element of your ads at a time, Facebook dynamic ads allow advertisers to test multiple creative elements or ad formats within a single ad campaign.
What that means is that you can more quickly determine which combination of ad imagery, copy, headline, and CTA will make the biggest impact on your audience, without having to do quite as much hands-on testing for each individual iteration.
But in order to fully understand the insights provided by your dynamic Facebook ads, you need to really know what is happening behind the scenes. Then, you need to know how to read and interpret the results… so you can get down to testing even more ads moving forward.
Dynamic Ad Creative: Rapid-Testing of Your Creative Assets
For most advertisers working with basic Traffic, Reach, or general website link ads, the most immediately useful form of Facebook dynamic advertising will focus on Dynamic Ad Creative.
Facebook’s “dynamic ad creative” option basically allows you to upload all of your test-ready creative assets—imagery, headlines, ad copy, CTA, etc.—into one ad set. Facebook will then combine and test those assets in combination with each other to find which iteration is most effective at generating your desired results.
Setup looks a lot like this:
- Create your ad campaign and Ad Set using your ideal targeting & budget
- Select “Dynamic Ad Creative” within your Ad Set setup and build your dynamic ad
- Build your ads by pulling in all of your desired creative assets—images, headlines, CTAs, body copy, etc. You may utilize up to 10 images and 5 iterations for all text elements.
- Launch your campaign - Facebook will deliver all possible combinations and narrow down based on engagement and success to find the “highest performing” combination
By putting the controls in Facebook’s hands for testing ad creative, advertisers can more seamlessly determine which creative elements are most effective for your audience and for your goal. That could mean big savings in terms of ad budget, and quicker results within your first campaign.
No need to wait for the next month’s campaign to put your learnings into action—Facebook will find which creative assets work best, and supercharge delivery for those to achieve maximum results.
Dynamic Ad Formats: Show Off The best of Your Catalog
The other option for advertisers working with dynamic ads on Facebook has a lot more to do with ad formats than ad content—and that can have a big impact for advertisers trying to sell products through their Facebook page.
In order to truly utilize Facebook’s Dynamic Ad Format feature, you first need to have your Facebook Product Catalog set up and integrated with your online sales platform (i.e., Shopify). Using this Catalog, you can create simple dynamic ads designed to deliver the right product to the right audiences—all without requiring so much hands-on targeting and ad creation.
Setting up a Dynamic Formats ad really takes just a few basic steps:
- Build your campaign featuring your ad objective, as well as any campaign budget
- Create your Ad Set, featuring your desired targeting and audiences as well as delivery and placement
- Do not select “Dynamic Creative” at the Ad Set level - this refers to dynamic ad creative, not ad format
- When creating your ad itself, select “Dynamic Ad Formats & Creative”
- This will allow you to pull in your desired Catalog directly into your ads. Select your catalog and Facebook will pull in individual (or grouped) products from your Catalog for individual audience members
- Add your headline, ad copy, and description. Advertisers may utilize dynamic elements from here, including prices and stock numbers for individual catalog items.
- Add your “Deep Links” for individual products, either through your catalog or here in the Ad Setup. This allows advertisers to link each catalog item to a destination on your website.
- Select your ad destination (in-app or on website) and your CTA before launching
While obviously more focused on generating on-Facebook product sales through your Catalog rather than directing site traffic, these Dynamic Format ads may offer the most efficient way to get your product catalog (and just the right products) in front of your users with the power of the algorithm working for you.
Breaking it All Down with Accurate Reporting
Facebook’s dynamic ad offerings may be able to make an immediate impact on your ad campaigns… but without the ability to learn long-term lessons from all that effort, you may not actually be any better off for your social ads efforts.
That’s why understanding dynamic creative reporting might just be as important as creating the ads themselves—and could be key to keeping that learning and those improvements meaningful moving forward.
When reviewing the performance of your dynamic Facebook ads, it’s all about filtering. Adjust your reporting view utilizing the “Breakdown” tab in Facebook’s in-platform reporting. Here’s where you’ll find the option to filter “By Dynamic Creative Asset,” allowing you to see ad performance for each individual ad by unique creative assets.
That way, you can nail down exactly which iteration of each asset (say, which headline) made the biggest splash among your audience… giving you that much more insight when it comes to re-launching or adjusting your ads down the road.
Dynamic Ads Can be Useful… But Don’t Give Up On A/B Testing Just Yet
While Facebook’s dynamic advertising features may be highly useful for advertisers looking to generate quick results through rapid iterations of creative assets and formats, they won’t tell you the whole story.
The very nature of dynamic ads testing means that you won’t truly be fully testing each asset against one another. Because Facebook automatically shifts budgets toward the “best performing” iterations over the course of your campaign, you can quickly see one ad iteration stealing the lion’s share of your ad budget.
That means your other ad combinations won’t be running under the exact same conditions during your entire campaign… which, although immediately effective, may not truly provide the same level of long-term learning about your audiences’ preferences as a traditional A/B test.
By selecting Facebook’s Dynamic Ad features, you’ll also be limited in what you can do within your campaigns. Dynamic campaigns, for example, can include any number of Ad Sets, but each Set can only contain a single dynamic ad. That can make duplicating successful ads tough down the road, and may require a bit of manual adjustment based on your results.
Confused? We’re Here to Help
Dipping your toes into Dynamic Ads on Facebook can feel invigorating at first, especially if you start to see quick results after making the switch. But if you’re still struggling to see the reason to do so—or if you’re struggling with setup—we know the feeling. Go ahead and get in touch with our social media experts and we’ll break down exactly how you can put dynamic ads—and the power of Facebook’s algorithm—to use for your ads.
- Megan O'Keefe
- Social Media & Content Specalist