The Power of Suggestion ~4 min

How Aitarget and Madrobots harnessed the potential of video ads to showcase products and slash conversion costs

Experienced social media marketers know that Facebook’s Dynamic Ads are among the most profitable ways to promote products in online stores. Dynamic Ads can display the most relevant items for a certain user, automatically. They can efficiently extract the products from a large or wide-ranging catalogue that are more likely to lead the user to purchase.

Aitarget’s own internal research and statistics demonstrate that the Carousel format works the best among the dynamic formats. E-commerce clients get on average 40% lower CPO (cost per order) compared to using Dynamic Ads with a single image. Why? Carousel ads simultaneously suggest several products that users previously viewed or added to cart on a website, reminding the user of things they were interested in and prompting purchase.

Another way to highlight multiple products in a single ad is by using videos.

Video content can offer even higher engagement, as Facebook users watch videos five times longer than a static content. And while the mixture of dynamic ads and videos is unavailable on Facebook, there are ways to create video ads based on a product feed.

Which is better: dynamic Carousel or video?

Aitarget and Madrobots, a niche online store offering geek gadgets, conducted a test on videos for different audiences. All campaigns were targeted at conversions.

We split Madrobots products into several categories: travel goods, smart scales, wooden constructors, gifts, and sports. We utilised Lookalike Audiences and retargeting audiences based on users who visited each category on the website.

As a base for the product feed, we selected the bestsellers in each product category. The Aitarget Tool that can create template ads at scale generated videos from images of the Madrobots product catalogue.

This meant that in the retargeting ads, users saw the most popular products from the category they’d been browsing, rather than only being reminded of products they’d already viewed. The assortment of goods for the video was continually being updated in relation to stock levels: products missing from the feed were automatically replaced by new items.

“Initially, we created videos one by one through the simple and intuitive interface, but soon we realised that for testing we needed to create multiple videos in a short time,” says Magomed Timaev, performance marketing manager at Madrobots. “Therefore, we took advantage of mass video uploading with Aitarget’s Video Tool, filled in a table with our required number of videos, and divided them according to the aspect ratios of different placements.”

Within two weeks of the test it was clear that video ads performed at least as well as dynamic Carousel ads, and in some ad sets (with smart coordinations of targeting settings and creatives), the video ads exceeded Dynamic Ads results. For example, in an ad set targeted at travellers, a video highlighting best-selling products in the travel category slashed cost per purchase (CPP) by 2.5 times compared to a dynamic Carousel campaign, while ROAS reached 34.37. All purchases were made through Facebook News Feed.

Aliya Churakova, lead account manager at Aitarget, explains the results with the fact that this type of video ads does not irritate users because they don’t chase after the potential customers to buy a certain product, but instead advise about the best products in the category of user interest.

“One can either open an item on the website occasionally, or not be ready to buy it at the moment, or just be curious about the goods,” says Churakova. “In these and similar cases dynamic ads on social networks may arouse a negative user experience. Advertising in a lighter form often brings a better response.”

The test showed that with the right balance of audience and creatives, videos that suggest interesting products from an entire category can reduce conversion costs better than ads that insist a particular item to be bought.

“For our campaign, the test showed good results for the half of the product groups tested,” says Timaev of Madrobots. “Aitarget’s Tool will be particularly useful to online stores with a large product mix. It will allow them to both introduce a range of items to users and to save time on video production.”