Lari Lehtonen, Nosto’s resident Product Manager, discusses how Facebook Collection Ads combine storytelling and compelling visuals to enhance the ad experience. He also sheds some light on the traumatizing NYC commute that led him to discover the powerful connection between New York public transit and the mobile-browsing masses…

My daily commute to work is a mere two blocks in length and takes five minutes from the time I lace up my shoes at home to when I’m enjoying a morning brew at the office. I’ve grown used to this short commute, so it’s no surprise that I was a bit put-off when I discovered that my route to Nosto’s New York office involved a 25-minute subway ride from Nolita to Midtown. During my daunting journey, I noticed that mostly (and be “mostly” I mean “absolutely”) everyone was glued to their smartphones. Again, no surprise here: our daily work commute is a moment where we often turn to our phones to pass the time (it’s also generally more exciting to browse Facebook and other websites than it is to stare at, say, others people’s facial hair on a packed train).

 

The connection between Facebook and New York subways…

presents a certain value that benefits retailers who advertise on the world’s most powerful social platform.

In 2016 alone, more than 20% of a smartphone browser’s time was spent on Facebook (and the majority of Facebook usage is done via mobile). This means that at least a handful of people on a train are exploring their Facebook feeds via their smartphone. According to Google and Facebook, an estimated 60% of online shoppers start their journey on one device and end up on another. So, in other words, mobile is either the starting point or the end game for shoppers.

Despite this advantage, advertisers and content creators often find it difficult to promote ad campaigns that stop a browser in their tracks. So how can they appeal to the mobile browsing masses (i.e. the packed NYC train commuters) and put “thumb stopping content” in front of them?

Facebook Collection Ads foster the ideal balance between an inspirational shopping experience and a valuable revenue-driving strategy. By establishing a compelling connection via the power of visuals, a user may be less compelled to scroll past your ad – and more compelled to take action.

This video shows how Facebook Collection Ads behave based on a user’s interactions:

 

How to Leverage Facebook Collection Ads

Let’s start with the creative component, shall we?

If possible, when targeting a completely new and unfamiliar user group, video is the way to go. Think of video as a series of images stitched together, which allow you to tell a compelling story and connect with qualified users (our guide to Facebook and Instagram Audiences explains the latter in detail).

From a technical perspective, video simply captures a user’s attention – so you’re increasing your odds of users spending more than a split second on an ad if it moves in the Facebook feed. (I assume that this is due to the fact that the human eye is keen at noticing moving elements, as movement can indicate danger. Animal instinct at its finest.)

While video itself is an excellent tool to get your message across (and through the throngs of cat videos and baby albums), it might not be concrete enough for e-commerce. This is especially true if your goal is to drive direct responses rather than making users aware of your existence (which would require re-targeting users who saw your video – a re-targeting strategy on its own).

To me, Collection Ads are similar to a product category page: displaying inspirational visual content up top and expanding into a long product grid. The difference is that this category page is on Facebook – a platform with a massive following.

So an important question arises: do you want to be where your clients spend most of their online time? If the answer is ‘yes’, get in touch and learn how you could (and should) use Facebook Collection Ads to help change the way you interact with your audience.

 

Nosto’s 3 Main Takeaways for Using Facebook Collection Ads…

  1. Facebook is a massive platform for attracting new prospects – 20% of a person’s mobile online browsing time is done on this platform.
  2. Facebook Collection Ads leverage video to help cut through the social media noise by telling a story, just like the content created and shared by users themselves.
  3. Collection Ads are a similar concept to your webstore’s product category pages where a user can scope the offering; so why not extend your reach to a much larger audience?

Facebook Collection Ads are already helping retailers drive unprecedented ad campaign results. Check out our case study with Steven Brown Art and learn how they achieved a 17x ROAS and a 340% increase in Ad CTR after implementing this feature.