Ultimate 2018 Facebook Dynamic Ads Guide

fb ads dynamic product ads

Facebook Dynamic product ads were introduced in 2015. It was a welcome advancement in digital ad automation. With FB Dynamic Ads, a single product or an inventory of products can be shown to people who already visited your app or website and/or showed interest in similar products in your inventory. And because you no longer need to create dozens or even hundreds of separate ads for each product in your inventory, ad campaigns are delivered more effectively, increasing conversion and revenue without increasing the overall cost. Dynamic ads make it possible to create more relevant and better timed retargeting ads by capturing intent signals – behaviors that visitors perform while on your website.

Steps in a Successful Facebook Dynamic Ads Campaigns

It may sound like a no-brainer, especially for those of you that are already well-versed in Facebook Ads, but there are steps in Facebook Ad Campaign creation that you should pay close attention to. These steps if properly implemented – or even just completed, can greatly contribute to a campaign’s success.


Campaign Setup Checklist :

Set up your catalog:

The catalog should be up-to-date with the correct product information including correct prices and stock availability. Each product should also have a unique global trade item numbers (GTIN), name, descriptions, and creative to avoid duplicates and improve the ad delivery.

new fb ads catalog

Implement Facebook Pixel/Facebook SDK:

The Facebook Pixel and the SDK with App Events enable you to track visitor behavior in relation to your campaign. The pixel needs to be implemented on your mobile and website. While the SDK needs to be implemented on your mobile app.

Verify Pixel Implementation:

It is important to verify that your pixel had been properly set up for Facebook dynamic ads. You can use two ways to verify web and app pixels:

  • The Facebook Pixel Helper

fb pixel helper

  • Facebook Analytics for Apps (Events Page)

fb app events

Select web and app events :

After implementing the pixel and/or the SDK, the right conversion events need to be identified. These conversion events should be based on your goals or objectives for your dynamic ads campaign. Actions like adding items to the cart or making purchases are examples of conversion events. Proper identification of these events can help you fine –tune and optimize ad campaign to deliver the conversions that matter to you.

fb in-app events

Check that you properly added the conversion events

  • ViewContent event to product pages
  • AddtoCart event to shopping cart page/buttons
  • Purchase event to purchase or acknowledgment page
  • Search and ViewCategory for broad audience targeting

fb conversion events

Check the product IDs :

You can either assign an individual product ID or a product group ID. Make sure that you use the right product ID since it can affect how the product will be shown to the visitors. For example, if you want to advertise a specific variation of a product (color, size, etc.), you can assign individual product IDs for each variant of the product, making them appear individually in the product page. If you want to advertise the base product and then let the visitors choose different variants, later on, you can use a product group ID for the product and its variants.

fb product ID

Associate the product IDs to the events:

Make sure that the pixel and App Events are associated with the right products in the catalog. This will tie-in each product ID or product group ID to conversion events that are triggered by visitor behavior.

fb associate pixels

Double check on the Product Events page:

Go to “Business Manager” and then to “Product Catalog.” You will see the Product Events page and all the conversion events associated with your product IDs.

fb product events

Check if they all match or if there are any other issues using the Diagnostics page. You can also check the “health” of the pixel here. Regularly visit the Product Events Page to gain insight on events. Any inconsistency may be caused by an error in the pixel code.

product events diagnostics

Create product set

Product sets are groups of products from an inventory in a catalog. These sets allow you to control bids, the products that will appear in the ad, and product recommendations. Product sets should be clearly defined, but not too narrow or broad in order to maximize the ad’s reach and give you greater control over ad spend. You can organize product sets according to:

  • Product category
  • Price range
  • Promotional price
  • Theme/area of interest

product set

Create advanced product sets

You can create advanced product sets by adding up to five columns to your data feed. These columns can give you additional information about the products within the sets. You can create these custom columns:

  • High inventory products
  • On sale products
  • Margin
  • Availability (stock or location)
  • Products with special shipping requirements

custom columns

An example of column customization

Make the ads available on Facebook, Instagram, and the Audience Network.

Extending your ad’s reach gives you more opportunities to capture your audience. Each placement option also has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some types of products perform best on a specific platform so it is best to research possible conversion opportunities beforehand.

fb ads placements

Conduct a feed validation process

This validation process ensures that the ad will display as intended. Use the Product Feed Debug Tool to validate to feed for any errors and warnings even without an upload session or products in the catalog.

fb product feed debug tool

Dynamic Ads Creative: More than just the Visuals

Ad creatives are directly pulled out from the product catalog. This does not mean that you won’t have control over whatever appears on your dynamic ads. Just take note of the following things:

  • Ad format. Use either carousel or single image ad formats depending on how you want to convey your message. For example, the fixed cards in carousel ads are perfect for introducing a concept or message in the beginning of the ad or placing additional branding elements at the end.

fb fixed card

  • Image quality. The image should be of high quality and relevant to the product or message of the ad. The minimum required image resolution for carousel ads is 600×600 pixels. The square (1:1) should be used. Ads with single images are recommended to have an image that is at least 1200×630 pixels.
RELATED :  A Beginner's Guide to Snapchat Ad Manager

  • Use of videos and overlays. You can use overlays to display discount badges, prices or specs. Videos can add more interest to the ad.

  • App deeplinks vs mobile website. Adding deeplinks had been proven to increase conversion rates compared to just redirecting visitors to a mobile website.

fb ads deeplinking

  • Finalize the creatives before running the ads. Avoid changing the creatives as much as possible especially if you have time-sensitive campaigns. Changes can impact the ad delivery and can cause you to lose impressions.
  • Split test ad creative. A/B testing is very important in ads. Create and test variations of your ad copy and creative including the CTA buttons, color scheme, layout, and even the ad format.

creative variations

  • Replace any creative with poor performance. This is also applicable to the ad copy. Test other variants before deciding on a replacement.

Facebook Dynamic Ads: Retargeting and Broad Audience Targeting

Facebook dynamic ads work best with retargeting. Dynamic ads let you decide which visitors to target based on their behavior and actions. But dynamic ads can also be used to reach and target a broader audience, enabling you to get optimum ad performance.

Setting Up Dynamic Ads for Retargeting

  • Exclude recent purchasers. Focus on acquiring new customers instead. You can always retarget these new customers if you can’t retain them.
  • Change your audience retention window. You can increase your audience size by extending the retention window from 30 to 90 days.

retention window

  • Target all devices. You can use cross-device reports in order to track and analyze cross-device conversions. The information from the reports can be used to optimize purchase conversions.

fb device user targeting

  • Create an audience segment based on when they visited your app or website. Recent visitors are more valuable. Create the segments based on the visitors’ last action, type of actions, duration of the visit, product categories visited, and type of devices used.

segment based on time

  • Set the bids based on the segments’ value. Create ad sets based on the segments you created, one ad set for each segment. Vary the bids according to the possible conversion value of the visitors. Decide when the ads will be shown to specific segments. You can now see the metrics by the audience.

  • Create cross-selling campaigns. This can increase the lifetime value (LTV) of your customers in the long-run. Run a campaign encouraging recent buyers to purchase related products. Since they are already interested in a similar product, the possibility of a repeat purchase is high.

upsell cross-sell

  • Create upselling campaigns. In upselling, you basically increase the basket size through complementary products and increase the order value by offering recent buyers to purchase a product with a higher value.

Broad Audience Targeting Basics:

  • Identify the target audience. Use core audience targeting categories like geography and demographics. The main purpose of using dynamic ads with broad targeting is to reach the audience with the highest intent without narrowing down the audience size through additional targeting options.

  • Include previous visitors. This may sound counter-intuitive but the retargeted audience can actually boost the ad delivery. These visitors certainly have the high intent and as the ad campaign progresses, the Facebook Pixel and/or App Events SDK will provide helpful data to Facebook that can improve the relevance of the ads.

pixel info audience

  • The product sets should be large enough. It is recommended to use a product set that contains at least 1,000 products. By doing so, the ads’ would experience a performance boost.
  • Customize ads specifically for this audience. The copy and creative should be tailored-fit to interest new visitors. You can include offers or features that are exclusive to new customers.

There are also things to avoid in targeting a broad audience. First, do not use Lookalike Audiences, Custom Audiences, and Behavioral/Interest targeting. A huge segment of your potential audience can be edited out if you use any of these.

Facebook Dynamic Ads Campaign Optimization :

Optimize Facebook Dynamic Ads for:

  • Conversions.
  • Purchase.
  • Add-to-cart
  • Registration

Optimizing for these events has a direct effect on your broad audience targeting. It is also recommended that you set the attribution window to 7 days to further optimize bidding.

attribution window

Here are other tips for optimizing a fb dynamic product ads campaign:

  • Optimize towards conversions to lower CPA and higher ROI. This is in comparison to optimizing for other events like clicks. The average weekly conversion of your dynamic ad campaign should be no lesser than 15.

fb optimize for conversions

  • Bid according to a conversion’s true value. Your bid should be equivalent to the average amount you earned from orders in the past 7 to 14 days.

bid amount

  • Set a large budget as much as possible. A limited budget can give you limited opportunities for conversion. This is especially true if your ad campaign is performing very well.


  • Set up your campaigns in advance. This strategy is very useful especially for important and time-sensitive events like sales. The delivery of dynamic ads becomes more effective when the said ads had been live for the length of their retention window or for even just a few days. Facebook learns from the every customer action. So instead of running an ad for a sale on the spot, run a campaign ahead of time and pause it. As the sale date is approaching, change your product sets and edit your creative. Only un-pause the campaign on the sale date itself.

  • Focus your budget on the channels where there are more conversion opportunities. Expanding the reach of your ads on Facebook, Instagram, and the Audience Network is advantageous but the ads’ performance won’t be uniform all throughout. Make sure that you aren’t spending too much on placements that aren’t capturing the best possible conversion opportunities.


Mustapha Ajermou
Follow me