Rich Ads

You may have noticed the trend towards Facebook flexible placements (i.e., placement optimization). Are these worth incorporating into your account?

In this article, we cover the main advantages of placement optimization and why you should include it in your marketing strategy. The benefits sound a lot like common business goals: timesaving, efficiency, and expanded reach.


Saving Time Through Predictable Performance

When you run your campaigns only on what you consider to be the best-performing placement or split individual placements, you’ll most likely see fluctuating performance. And, it may be challenging to achieve low CPA or delivery in a specific placement. Manual adjustments become an ongoing struggle as you try to get the most out of your campaigns.

Optimizing for more placements, on the other hand, will save you some time when you create and refine your campaigns. This produces better delivery, enhanced performance, and expanded reach.

Saving Time Through Robust Tools

There are duplication and mass-editing tools that allow you to clone ad sets or campaigns, automatically make changes to placements, and run Facebook and Instagram campaigns independently. With these tools, there’s no need to create everything from scratch or reinvent the wheel.

However, what if you’re running full-funnel activities, from branding to retention? What if you’re also advertising in multiple markets, plus variations for those audiences?

Here, placement optimization can help save you tons of time. Instead of targeting and setting up every placement, you can let Facebook do it for you, clearing more time for strategic planning, optimization, and further testing.

Saving Time Through Insightful Reporting

As for reporting, Facebook provides the option of seeing the placement breakdown, allowing you to determine which placement drives the best performance. But, don’t rush to divert all of your budget to the best-performing placement by separating placements again, as Facebook will optimize for the best performer, anyway. Which leads us to efficiency.


When you’re developing your strategy and creating your Facebook ad campaigns, one aim is to provide as much information as possible so that Facebook algorithms know your goal and optimize for it. This includes indicators like objective, promoted object, and bidding type.

Why should you let the algorithms deliver ads in placements that bring low CPAs? Because they’re flexible, serving your ads on Facebook, Instagram, or Facebook Audience Network (FAN) when there’s the greatest likelihood of the cheapest CPA and highest volume.

[caption id="attachment_9878" align="alignnone" width="500"]


How placement optimization works (Source: Facebook)[/caption]

Expanded Reach

Audience size plays a key role in achieving the cheapest CPA, meaning that if there’s a possibility to increase reach, it’s always a good idea to do it.

With placement optimization, you have the opportunity to reach more users with the same budget, which can solve cost effectiveness and single-placement delivery issues.

How does placement optimization work? Easy—it takes advantage of Facebook’s algorithms that dynamically search and serve your ad to the placement that’s most cost effective at any given time, whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, or FAN.


More time, better use of resources, more brand awareness and revenue. Placement optimization is one of the best strategies for putting your marketing dollars to effective use.

At Marin, we know that the most powerful marketing programs are ones that combine the best of search and social advertising. Marketers who unify their programs gain the opportunity to deliver incremental ROI. To actually accomplish this, however, digital marketing teams need to think less about the channel and more about locating where people are in the customer journey.

We created a cheat sheet that outlines ad formats and objectives that Google and Facebook provide for each step in this journey. Follow the guidelines so that you have the best possible chance of reaching your target audience—and clinching the sale. Click the image to enlarge it.

customer journey

To discuss Marin solutions that help you stand out online and win the battle for revenue, schedule a demo.

This is the first in a series of posts on the nuts and bolts of Facebook Dynamic Ads. Today, we teach you techniques you can use to entice customers to make additional purchases from your product catalog.

If you’re a direct response advertiser on Facebook, by now you’ve probably heard of—or you’re already running—Dynamic Ads campaigns. We’ve put together these expert tips and real-world examples to ensure you’re maximizing the effectiveness of your campaigns.

A Quick Refresher

Dynamic Ads automatically generate creative from a product feed, and you can target to people based on their actual intent. A lot of advertisers would call this practice Website Custom Audience remarketing.

However, with Dynamic Ads, you can automatically trigger upsell and cross-sell campaigns—to people who’ve converted on your website or app—with personalized creative from your feed. This is a great way to increase the lifetime value of your customer base with relevant product creative based on their purchase and browse behavior.

Now, onto the tips….

Dynamic Ads Upsell Techniques

Gear your upsell campaigns to offering a higher margin product or service based on someone’s browse or purchase behavior. For example:

  • Visitors viewed and purchased fitness shoes -> upsell smart fitness watches
  • Visitors viewed fitness shoes, but didn’t buy -> upsell with higher-margin shoes
  • Visitors viewed hotels in San Francisco -> upsell hotels with great reviews and amenities

Dynamic Ads Cross-Sell Techniques

For your cross-sell campaigns, offer a complementary product or service based on someone’s browse or purchase behavior. For example:

  • Visitors viewed and purchased fitness shoes -> cross-sell complementary socks
  • Visitors purchased an airline ticket to vacation in Hawaii -> cross-sell hotels within that destination
  • Visitors bought a hotel room for a weekend stay in New York -> cross-sell a discount on drinks in the lobby bar

Follow these suggestions, and you should see more engagement and more clicks from your Dynamic Ads. If you’d like to hear how Marin can help you implement a robust, click-generating Dynamic Ads strategy, just get in touch. Also be sure to check out our Dynamic Ads webinar with Facebook.

When your day-to-day is all about getting those numbers under targets, it’s easy to get mired in ongoing improvements and ignore quick wins. Your creative can be one such victory. Tweak your creative strategy in just the right way and follow a few Facebook ads best practices, and watch what happens to your monthly metrics.

1. Establish the Messaging

First off, determine the message. You know your brand and product better than anyone, but how do you effectively communicate these to a purchasing public?

A great first step is to clearly define your brand and product. Who are you? What does your product do? Why should people care? Communicate the importance of your brand through tone of voice and profile targeting, and apply this to your creatives. How does the image reflect brand and product values?

If you need inspiration, look to the industry. Your competitors are doing similar things, so take a peek at their ads. (You should be doing this anyway for competitive intelligence.)

Always remember to tell a story, make it interactive, and experiment.


2. Get the Specs Right

Next, make sure the images are the right format for your objective and ad type. It may sound like a no-brainer that you should avoid any image being squeezed or distorted, but make sure you’ve done your homework.

To this end, be sure to reference Facebook’s ad guide any time you’re communicating an image request to design team. This will go far in saving time before ad creation, and you avoid resizing an image or hounding your designers about format changes.

So, you have the right size and format for your ads. Now, how do you capture the attention of the more than one billion people visiting Facebook every day?

3. Hone Your Ad Creative and Copy

Consider this a checklist you can use to implement the above four-pronged strategy.

Think Brand

Identify your brand’s unique point of view. Use brand colors, relevant icons, and your logo to engage your audience. For ad copy, use your brand’s unique tone of voice, keeping things clear and concise.

Tell a Story

Introduce a character, preferably someone representing your customer. Feature the character in all imagery to build a story over time. Show that she’s enjoying the experience, so that others will, too. Create a storyline—a visual treatment that persists through all of the ad campaign’s content.

Align the ad copy with this story. You may want to include perks and comments on the user experience, or examples of customer wins.

Make it Interactive

Use cinemagraphs and different visual formats. Ask questions—create a dialogue with targeted audience. You can also include games, apps, and contests, inviting people to join your community and interact with your brand.




Some funky things you may want to try (remember to keep it simple):

  • Patterns
  • The character in different poses and formats, or in a poster
  • Unique colors and lighting schemes
  • A different perspective (high angle, low angle, etc.)

4. Experiment with Ad Types and Formats

Facebook has plenty of ad types you can use to drive attention and help you accomplish your goals. Here are further ideas for video and carousel formats.

Video Ads

Video ads are a great way to jumpstart your branding activity and boost your direct response campaigns.

TipHow to Nail ItConsider the Mobile Feed

  • Design for a sound-off experience
  • Start with something captivating
  • Feature your brand in the first 4 seconds

Go deeper into the silence

  • Tell the story visually
  • Use text and graphics
  • Use captions (see Facebook’s caption tool)

Frame it

  • Explore different thumbnail images
  • Highlight key elements of the video


  • Make it quick and snappy
  • Short as it can be, long as it needs to be
  • Test, measure, and learn

Carousel Ads

Carousel ads allow you to show multiple images and links. You can use this ad type to drive demand and move leads down the funnel.

TipHow to Nail ItFeature different productsUse one image on each cardTell a storyDepict a process

Show a workflow in a series of stepsUse a panoramic imageUse one image, split into a few cards

Everything a Channel Has to Offer

Remember, Facebook is a channel that ultimately combats boredom. By personalizing every impression, you bring your brand, its story, and the interactive user experience fun. And, when you experiment and frequently try new things, you make it memorable.

[1] Note: about 95% of Facebook users view videos with no sound.

Lead generation ads have many benefits, and are a great way of connecting with the people most likely to want your products. Looking to get even more qualified leads? Then lead gen ads are for you. Here a few things to keep in mind to get the best results and yes, “win big.”

Best Practices

A good way to maximize the effectiveness of your lead gen ads is to drive users to helpful content, such as....

A blog article. In the lead gen ad, provide a teaser to the content. Then, redirect the user to the actual article to continue reading and dive into the details.

A PDF: Have a piece of content you know your audience will love? Give them this gift by way of a lead gen ad. For example, if you run an online casino, provide them with a PDF guide on online gambling that includes useful advice to make them more confident in using your site.

A specific offer: Your existing clients might just love something tailored specifically to them. Think retention. Are you an
e-commerce site with promo codes for customers? A lead gen ad could be the solution, as it has the sense of ‘unfolding’ something that’s just for the individual consumer.

Continued Flow from Ad to Website

It may take you some time to put continued flow into action on your website, but once you do this—and once you’re whitelisted by Facebook—then users will be able to simply fill in their details into the lead gen ad on Facebook and won’t need to complete them again when they’re redirected to your site. This greatly improves the user experience.

Some of the details, such as the user’s name, are pre-populated in the lead gen form. After the user fills in the form, they’ll be redirected to your website, where not only will their name already be filled in, but any other required fields will also be pre-filled to avoid any redundancies between Facebook and website forms.

This all works seamlessly because of Facebook’s Continued Flow. Note that you’ll need to implement the Continued Flow API to make sure the flow works, and to ensure a smooth user experience with no need for the user to repeat actions. (It’s kind of like being transferred during a phone call and not having to explain things all over again.)

Mobile Versus Desktop

Like most online channels these days, mobile’s winning. Lead gen ads are no exception, and mobile placement tends to have better delivery and results.

For desktop ads, be sure to keep in mind that most browsers have pop-up blockers, so desktop users may not be redirected to your website. In this case, there goes your lead. And, due to security upgrades in modern browsers on desktop, it’s hard to bypass these blockers.

Since Facebook must currently live with these blockers, Continued Flow won’t work on desktop. For best results for your lead gen ads, focus on mobile.

Retargeting Campaigns

Make sure you’re taking the fullest advantage of your engaged lead ad audiences. Depending on traffic and results, run a retargeting campaign simultaneously.

Note that when you’re analyzing performance, look at blended CPAs to understand the real costs of your campaign.

Supporting Lead Ads

There are several complementary efforts you can launch to amplify the effectiveness of your lead gen ads.

Link the lead form data directly to your CRM system. Facebook integrates with several great providers, giving you the ability to send user data directly to your CRM system. From there, you can support your lead gen initiative with email or SMS campaigns. And, even if you decide not to launch a side campaign, you can still more easily download your new leads with a CRM integration.

Use email marketing. It’s a common practice for gambling companies to decrease their CPA by running email marketing campaigns to retarget users gained on Facebook. Why is this? These companies have a particular user funnel that involves a couple of conversions until they achieve the result of ‘getting the player’.

Other markets can greatly benefit from this, too. Consider running email marketing campaigns to support your lead gen ad efforts. Again, look at blended CPAs and the particular value this would have for you.

Take the Lead

All in all, there are plenty of opportunities to implement lead gen ads for your business and make your campaigns more successful. To find out how Marin can help you put lead gen ads into action, contact us today.

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