Facebook unveiled their collaborative ads back in 2018, as a new way for brands and retailers to share the stage and advertise products together. Since then, it rolled them out globally and Google introduced its own Shopping campaigns with partners in 2019 to allow brands to support retailers in promoting specific products. Let's have a look at how brands can use Facebook's offering to generate more sales through their retail partners' platforms.
What are Facebook collaborative ads?
In short, this format allows brands to fund and promote ads for their own products without having to do a large amount of preparation. It all begins with the retailer. A retailer using Facebook dynamic ads should first divide their product catalog in order to create a segment just for products that belong to the target brand. Then, that brand can use this segment as their own catalog and basis for dynamic ads. In order to ensure both the brand and the retailer “win” in this scenario, the resulting ads will always lead the audience back to the retailer’s product page.
While every collaborative ad served will use the retailer’s catalog and direct to the retailer, it gives the brand (the maker of those products) the chance to influence the sale of their own products.
The overall result of the collaboration is a stronger connection between the partnering brand and retailer as well as increased revenue for both. Plus, as Facebook says, the process is “simple and safe.” There is very little overhead and, because the process is so standardized, there is little chance that any major issues can occur.
Why it matters
Brands and retailers have always relied on each other. However, with the rise of ecommerce (especially D2C marketing), this relationship has become a little more complicated. Brands need to get in on digital and performance marketing in order to stay competitive. They need to adopt new strategies and form stronger, more direct bonds with consumers.
More importantly, they need to do this while maintaining positive relationships with their retailing partners. Brands and retailers don’t want to go head-to-head to sell products; they need a modern way of working together. They rely on partnerships to stay ahead of competitors and to create a pool of resources. The notion of collaborative ads is a powerful way to achieve this.
Furthermore, many businesses don't have the tools and resources to get started with digital performance marketing all on their own. While some brands have strong ecommerce sites or an existing presence on popular marketplaces, many are still reliant on retailers to help market and sell products. Collaborative ads help these brands take advantage of channels like Facebook and drive not just general top-of-the-funnel campaigns but also sales.
“With collaborative Ads, now [brands] can act like they have their own ecommerce site,” CMO of eBay-owned GittiGidiyor, Feyza Dereli Fedar, told DigitalCommerce360. “They can easily manage lower-funnel campaigns to drive more sales and measure it directly.”
Getting started and understanding your Facebook collaborative ads' value
By using this ad format, brands get access to all kinds of information. They aren’t just pitching in a few ad dollars to help retailers. Instead, they’re given a toolkit to run digital marketing campaigns efficiently and, largely, independently. With these ads, participating brands are able to measure both campaign results and the impact of their ads. They can understand where and how ads are driving revenue.
To get started, you’ll need to understand your partnership opportunities. Facebook has compiled a handy directory, where retailers can sign up to find partners and brands can check out their options.
Then there are three basic steps to get started with collaborative ads:
- Retailer validates their Facebook pixel and mobile SDK
- Retailer creates product catalog segment just for their brands and shares it through the Business Manager
- Brands use the above catalog to power performance marketing campaign
Find more details on the official page here.
Note: The roll-out of iOS 14 changes the way Facebook receives and processes events from the Facebook pixel and Facebook SDK for iOS. As a result, event sources connected to retailers' catalogs may need to be updated and this could affect brands' campaigns.
For now, Facebook and Google stand out with their collaborative ad offerings. But that won’t be the case forever. Other channels and advertising platforms will hopefully get on board with these efforts and continue adding new opportunities to brands’ toolkits. Keep your ears open for new developments!
This updated post was originally published on May 16, 2019.