Dynamic Product Ads (DPA) have been highly effective for e-commerce businesses looking to generate more sales.
Arguably, the greatest benefit of using dynamic ads when promoting your product or service is the ability to personalize the ad without doing manual work. As the name suggests, ads are adjusted dynamically based on the user and the information from your product catalog.
What you might not know is that DPA ads can be served on Instagram, and in this article I'll provide you with some best practice tips.
Should I use Instagram or Facebook for DPA?
You shouldn't be using either/or when growing your business. To reach the most amount of people, leverage both platforms.
Both Facebook and Instagram have a very different user base who use each platform for different reasons. Reasons to start serving DPA ads on Instagram include:
Reaching prospects who take action – Facebook learned that 60% of Instagram users learn about a product or service for the first time on Instagram, with 75% of them taking some sort of action after viewing it.
ABC did a news piece not so long ago which revealed that consumers use Instagram as a 'personal shopping mall' when seeking to buy products. Instagram has become a new avenue in the customer journey with many starting their search process on Instagram for products.
Reach new audiences – If you're looking to expand into new markets, 75% of the Instagram user base is located outside the United States, making it a reasonable avenue to penetrate markets in Asia and Latin America where ad clicks and impressions are much cheaper.
Of their 400 million active users, 90% of them are under the age of 35. Facebook offers a more mature audience and doesn't nearly have as many teens or people under the age of 25 using their platform.
Looking to target people in university or college? Or want to use branding to create a strong product affinity with your next generation of customers? Look no further than Instagram.
Your ads will reach more people for free – Users don't have too many options on the Instagram feed. You can like, comment, or scroll down. In contrast, Facebook gives you a side bar of all your friends you can call or text chat, a bunch of groups and pages you can dive into, and dozens of URL links taking you off Facebook.
Because a user has fewer actions to take on Instagram, fewer things are there to distract them. Liking and sharing your DPA ads gives your business free exposure, and the lack of distractions results in more clicks and visits to your product pages.
Best practices for using DPA on Instagram
Again, Instagram and Facebook are two different platforms. Expecting to run the exact same ads with the same objective to the same audiences on both won't be the best way to spend your money.
Users on each platform have a different intent. Think about:
Your new prospects – I've already mentioned that consumers use the platform as a way to do their shopping research. Which products from your product catalog resonates best with this audience? Are there particular items first-time customers buy or is their first total order value always under a certain threshold?
If you find the average first order value is, say, $75, then it probably has something to do with the lack of trust and wanting to trial you out. In these cases show products that aren't too expensive and are under $75. You might not make a huge instant profit on the first order, but it's from the repeat business and upsells where you can increase their lifetime value.
Revamping your pictures – You can get away with okay-to-good (but not great) looking images on Facebook because the competition is a little more dilated with updates from friends and family who upload poorly filtered images or incorrectly embedded articles.
On Instagram, almost every picture – be it from a brand or regular user – is to a much higher standard than Facebook. With the built-in filter system and Instagram being a place known for inspiring images, you may need to revamp your image collection if your product pictures are just okay.
Note: There is no room for complacency with images on Instagram.
Testing new audiences – Have you tried to market to audiences on Facebook but failed? Just because it failed on Facebook doesn't mean it will fail on Instagram. Create new lookalike audiences and segments and see if you fare better.
The most obvious audience would be users between the ages of 18-34, which account for almost 70% of Instagram users.
DPA ads are available on Instagram — don't forget to use them!
And don't get lazy and just select the Instagram placement option and expect to get the same results as you would on Facebook. Run a few tests with different types of DPAs to new and custom audiences to see what mix works best for your business.