Facebook Dynamic Ads – What You Need To Know


Sinead Flynn

SINEAD FLYNN Social Media Manager

4.5/5 - (2 votes)
4.5/5 - (2 votes)

If you own an ecommerce website then you should definitely be considering Facebook’s ecommerce features. While the majority of people don’t spend time on social networks with the intension of buying products, getting in front of your customers while they are engaging with social platforms in a relevant way can be hugely beneficial. Often the reason we find ads annoying is their lack of context. However, if you were to see highly personalised and relevant ads, that were shown to you at the just the right time, you might feel differently. Context and relevancy is key and this is where Facebook dynamic ads can really make an impact.

Dynamic ads are the final step before Facebook shopping is fully introduce to Ireland. In the US, Facebook Business pages have the option to sell directly from their Facebook pages. For non-US businesses, you can showcase products in the same format but your audience are redirected to your website where they may complete the purchase. However, if you are using one of these ecommerce platforms – Spotify, Magento, Big Commerce or WooCommerce – you will be able to integrate dynamic ads into your Facebook advertising strategy. If you get the targeting right and serve your audience with relevant adverts, your chances of converting with dynamic ads are considerably higher.

These days the online shopping journey is more dynamic than ever before. 45% of all shopping journeys involve mobile devices and 68% of shoppers use multiple devices when purchasing a product online. For example, you might see an ad for a pair of shoes on your mobile, then switch to desktop to research them further but ultimately buy them in a physical shop. Or, you may add a product to a cart on your mobile but end up buying it on your desktop. With all these distractions on the path to purchase, it is a challenge for advertisers to cut through the noise. With dynamic ads you can reach people who are genuinely interested in your business.

When a user visits your website, browses your catalogue and adds items to a shopping cart, they are expressing an explicit interest in your business. You can leverage this intent and serve people ads based on these exact products from your inventory across Facebook, Instagram and the audience network, regardless of their original touch point.

Ways You Can Use Dynamic Ads:

1. Viewed product(s) but did not purchase

Follow up with items viewed and complementary products. This is based on past purchase history of similar customers formed by Facebook’s wealth of data.

2. Cart abandoned before purchase

There are many techniques for coaxing back cart-adandoners. Such as, reminding them that they may have forgotten something and asking if they would like to complete the purchase.

3. Upsell to recent customers

Brand new customers with a recent purchase history are more likely to buy from you again than cold prospects with no history.

4. Cross-sell to past customers

Past customers tend to spend more than new customers. Therefore they are more valuable to your business. Use dynamic ads to encourage this audience to re-engage with your business by offering them special incentives.

Getting Started

To set up a campaign you will have a Facebook Business Manager or Ad Manager account, the Facebooks pixel correctly installed on your website, a product catalog, catalog feeds and product sets.

Setting up a Product catalogue and feed

Your product catalogue is a list of all the products you want to advertise. You can add this file by clicking “Business Manage settings” then “product catalogues”. Give your product catalog a name and click “Create Product Catalog”.

Once you have uploaded your product list you will need to create product feeds from your online store. These will represent different categories and cater to specific audiences, such as website traffic to certain pages. If you have an existing product feed that you have used with other 3rd party platforms, such as Adwords, these files can be shared. If you own a Shopify store you can easily create them here. Otherwise you will have to create them from scratch and adhere to strict formatting rules. You can find examples from Facebook of acceptable product feeds here.

Your product feed will also need to link to a HTTP(S) or (S)FTP url so that Facebook can easily access it. You can do this by simply uploading your product feed to a cloud such as Dropbox or Google Drive, then navigate to “Product Catalogs” and click “Add Product Feed”. Name your feed, include the url from the hosted file and choose an upload type for your feed. The two options are; ‘schedule recurring uploads’ and ‘single upload’. With recurring uploads, your product feed will be update automatically when new products are added to it. With single upload, you’ll need to manually update your feed if there are any changes to your inventory.

Product Sets

A product set lets you collate a group of products and gives you more control over who you want to serve dynamic ads to. You can have multiple product sets per product catalogue campaign and choose a range of filters to define each set such as availability, brand, category, product type and price.

Setting up the Pixel

In order to promote the right product to the right person, you need to install the Facebook pixel – a piece of code that is unique to your Facebook advertising account. With the pixel correctly installed on your website you can do the following:

1. Measure cross device conversions and see how people move between devices, before they convert.
2. Build custom audiences based on website traffic
3. Optimise campaign delivery for those most likely to make a purchase.
4. Automatically build audiences of website visitors
5. Create custom audiences of people who have made a specific action on a website such as adding to an item to a cart.
6. Create relevant and timely ads on Facebook based on the products your audience have seen on your website.

Setting up a Campaign

Once all the previous steps are in place, you are ready to set up your Dynamic ads campaign. At campaign level, choose ‘Promote catalogue Sales’ when selecting your objective. At Adset level, you will be able to select the ‘Product Set’ you want to promote by selecting the + button under ‘Promoted Products’. You can then choose to filter the product set as desired.


In order to allow Facebook to find people most likely to convert, you should avoid core interest and behaviour targeting. Since your audience have already been browsing on your website, you can assume that they are interested in your products. You can exclude people who have already made a purchase from every campaign so you are focusing entirely on acquiring new customers. You can re-engage these past customers with different ads later if they haven’t revisited your website in a while. Expanding your retention window from 30 to even 90 days will help to increase your reach. Also, be sure to target ‘all devices’ to optimise for conversions all the way along the conversion path. And lastly, choose ‘optimise for conversions’ so that your ads are shown to people most likely to make a purchase.

Ad creative

Carousel format is recommend with the call to action ‘Shop Now’. These carousels will populate automatically from your catalogue and will be personalised based on what your audience sees on your website.


Marketing automation has become a popular marketing tactic in recent years, and Facebook dynamic ads are an aspect of this growing trend. Automated ads allow advertisers to achieve greater relevancy, a higher click through rate and a reported 10% increase in conversions. If you can master Facebook dynamic ads, they could form the cornerstone of an agile and dynamic social commerce strategy.

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Sinead Flynn

SINEAD FLYNN Social Media Manager

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Sinead is an experienced digital marketer with a creative approach to content creation and social media strategies. She has extensive knowledge of promoting brand awareness online and cultivating leads through all social media channels. Sinead has helped a broad range of clients from a variety of sectors to amplify their brand and build engaged social audiences.