New ad format: meet collections

21. 7. 2017

A fresh breeze of innovation in mobile newsfeeds; that’s the role Facebook’s newest ad format wants to play. Collections target primarily the e-shop’s customers and their wallets. They are mobile-only, and they merge some aspects of dynamically generated ads and canvas ads.

What do collections look like?

Between other ads and post, you can recognize collections easily. Under the main hero creative in standard newsfeed dimension, you can find four smaller cards with chosen products. For the hero creative, you can use a static photo or a video.

The source for cards under the main creative is your product catalogue – or better said – chosen product set. You can choose, which exact four pictures will be shown, or you can leave it to Facebook’s algorithm. If you do so, your only job is to prepare the basis – the product set with minimum 8 to a maximum of 50 items.

By clicking on any part of the ad, you open instantly and directly in the Facebook environment, the complete list of products from your product set. The user experience is basically the same as with Instant Articles or Facebook Canvas. Even with the images, the product list isn’t memory demanding, and at the moment of its display, it is already pre-downloaded. So the displaying is really fast and smooth, even with the slower internet connection.

What is the philosophy behind the collections

There are two ways or approaches, that help collections achieve the good results. First, they attract easier the attention of the user, because they look slightly different than the standard posts and ads. Second, it’s thanks to their good mobile usability. Similar as with canvas ads, collections can, in some cases, partly substitute a mobile website.

The word “partly” in the last sentence should not be taken lightly, because despite the fact, that the collections can make the shopping process easier, the final purchase and payment must still be done on the particular website.

First results

Despite all the positive things mentioned above, one cannot fully depend only on the simple assumption “collections guarantees one hundred per cent success”. You shouldn’t stop tailoring the ad message and should carefully select the product for them.

But, If you play with it a little bit, you can experience similarly good results as we have. Collections campaigns can generate conversions and positive ROI, whilst stay 20% cheaper in terms of the cost per click compared to normal mobile ads.

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I have been the online voice of various spirit brands of the Stock Plzeň Božkov portfolio for a number of years. Now in Business Factory I have begun to view the world with a more "sober"outlook and focusing more on performance advertising on Facebook, instead of content marketing.

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