3 Ways to Increase Facebook DPA Performance with Ad Creatives

It's possible to get decent results from DPAs with Facebook's blank templates. But if you want to improve performance significantly, optimize DPA creatives.


Since Facebook launched Dynamic Product Ads in 2015, the ad format really took off and played a big role in the growth of Facebook as one of the major online advertising platforms. They’re a great way to target audiences with relevant products and services.

Facebook first launched DPAs with retail companies in mind, however, they turned out to be such a powerful way to reach audiences that other industries, like travel, also took a big interest in the format. To appeal to all of these interested industries, Facebook recently changed the name of Dynamic Product Ads (DPA) to Dynamic Ads.

With Dynamic Product Ads, you can tailor your creatives to your audience (which is great for retargeting), create relevant ads in line with your product inventory, and easily test your creatives. And after the initial setup on your Facebook Ad Manager, you can automate the whole process.  

While you can still get decent results from serving your DPAs in the traditional way -- using the Facebook solution and their blank templates -- with some adjustments to your DPA creatives you can greatly improve performance.

Below, you’ll find three practices you can implement to optimize your DPA creatives and maximize performance.


1. Branding matters for performance

You might be thinking, it’s not revolutionary to talk about how much you can benefit from branding in online advertising, but you would be surprised how many brands see branding as an afterthought when it comes to Facebook DPAs. Which can be a very costly mistake. 


When Facebook ran an analysis of 34 advertisers across different industries, they uncovered interesting information about branding in DPAs. For 57% of brands, their ads uplifted the entire product category instead of just the specific brand. The one thing the ads from these companies had in common was that none of them had any distinct branding.


This data shows that if you don’t have branding that sets you apart in your DPAs, there’s a high chance the most well-known brands in your category will reap the benefits of your campaigns. So, adding distinct branding to your Facebook DPAs is crucial. Especially if you’re a brand with established competitors in a crowded marketplace. 


“Digital campaigns contribute to long-term brand goals, too, helping brands to build connections with people and develop strong recall, so the brand immediately comes to mind when shopping.”


You don’t have to pick between branding and performance when creating DPA campaigns. Facebook, with its billions of users, is a great platform for holistic marketing. You can drive conversions and build brand awareness at the same time. In fact, that’s how you’ll get the most value out of your campaigns. Dutch retailer Van den Assem switched to branded DPAs and increased their conversion rate by 440% and their ROAS by 51% compared to their non-branded DPAs.


Comparison of a generic DPA vs. a branded one with persuasion elements from Van den Assem

Van den Assem added branding and persuasion to their DPAs and increased conversion rates by 440%


2. Add persuasion to your DPAs for better conversion rates


Adding psychological persuasion techniques to advertising became a widespread and well-regarded phenomenon in the past 50 years. Starting with Dr. Robert Cialdini’s 7 principles of persuasion, using psychological persuasion marketing has come a long way and has taken many shapes.


Even though the influence of persuasion techniques has been proven and used by a lot of marketers when it comes to DPAs a lot of brands stick to basic creatives without any persuasion elements. Since they appear in people's everyday online practices without disrupting their experience, DPAs are a great format to convey your messages to your customers and attract them.


Using persuasion elements designed for your customers in your DPA creatives is a great way to personalize your campaigns and improve performance.


Here are some of the most effective principles of persuasion, and how you can implement them in your dynamic product ads. Use them as they are or take them as an influence and find your own way of adding persuasion to your DPAs. 


  • Scarcity/Urgency

    A product, experience, or service becomes more attractive when there appears to be limited availability. So, if you have a popular product selling out fast or an experience with limited seats, include the message in your DPAs.

Facebook dynamic ad from the shoe retailer VIA VAI. The ad features branding, product image, product name and price and persuasion in the form of urgency: last item sticker.


  • Social proof

Existing user reviews and ratings help you build trust with your current and prospective customers. Research shows that people are more likely to take action when they see other’s positive experiences. You can add star ratings to your DPAs to benefit from social proof.


Facebook dynamic ad from Landal Greenparks. The ad features branding, product image, product name and persuasion in the form of social proof: customer ratings.


  • Reciprocity

Attract your customers with offerings like free shipping, promotions, and sales. Add messaging about these offerings on your DPA creatives to make sure your audience is invited to take action.


Facebook dynamic ad from the retail brand Van den Assem. The ad features branding, product image, product name , old price and sale price and persuasion in the form of offers.


3. Test your DPA creatives

Ad creatives might be what’s holding you back from reaching your target. If you want to understand how ad creatives affect the campaign’s performance you need to test them. Through testing, you can optimize your ad creatives, thus your campaign’s performance.


When fashion retailer Brandfield tested adding branding to their dynamic ads, for example, they saw an 11% increase in their conversion rate while their CPA dropped by 47%.


However, we’re not going to just tell you that you should test your dynamic ads because, without further explanation, testing is often misunderstood and misused. 


Testing your DPAs is solid advice as testing is widely accepted as a best practice. What people often don’t mention in the advice, however, is what to test. In our experience, when marketers test DPAs, they test elements like headline copy, audiences, CTA buttons but overlook creatives. However, not testing creatives is a crucial oversight. For example, marketers of Google put a lot of importance on ad creatives because 70% of a campaign’s success depends on creatives according to research done by Dynamic Logic. So, not testing creatives means you’re leaving your campaign's success to chance and likely stopping it from reaching its full potential. 


This isn’t to say the only thing you should be testing is ad creatives but in order to find the right ad with the optimum performance, you should be testing every element of your ad, especially the creative. 


“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.”

- David Ogilvy


Adding something like a star rating to your DPA might double your ad’s performance, but you wouldn’t know that if you don’t test it. Think about each element in your ad creative and test them in simultaneously running campaigns to find the combination that performs best.


If you’ve decided to add branding to your DPAs, test how your creatives perform with and without. Alongside branding, test the persuasion elements you’re adding to creatives. Do star ratings improve your performance? Is it better to use sale percentage or sale price for discounts? Should you mention free shipping on your DPA? The only way you can find the answers to all these questions is by testing them.


To find the right combination of branding and persuasion in your DPAs that works for your campaigns, continuously test your creatives. What might seem like a detail to others might be the key to unlocking higher performance for your DPA campaigns. Test each element and every combination. Be systematic, creative, and detail-oriented.  


Just like persuasion elements and branding, using a Creative Management Platform will make testing so much easier and many times more efficient for your marketing team. With a CMP, you can simply create templates, edit the elements you’d like to test, and scale your ads with a few clicks.


Would you like to know more about how using a CMP like Bannerwise can help you improve DPA performance? Schedule a call with one of our experts and let's get you started.

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