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Search platform Google and social platform Facebook, each a leader in their industry, have come to be two of the most powerful and popular channels for online retailers around the world. More specifically, we’re talking about the use of Google Shopping and Facebook Dynamic Ads as an effective means to promote and sell products online.
Google Shopping campaigns used to be called Google product listing ads, or PLAs. These are inherently the same thing to the consumer though: They search for a specific product on Google and in return are presented with an array of products, each complimented with an image and a price.
Facebook has become an exceptionally powerful marketing channel for many businesses. For online retailers, it’s Dynamic Ads that are Facebook’s most rewarding ad type to date. They offer a way for online retailers to automatically promote their entire product catalog on Facebook, displaying the right product to the relevant consumer.
While both channels are among the most popular channels for ecommerce marketers, there are some key differences between them. Understanding these, including when, why and how to use them, is critical to your success.
The two platforms capture shoppers at different stages of the purchasing funnel. While shoppers may begin their product search with Google, on Facebook, they have likely already shown purchasing intent.
Both Google Shopping and Facebook Dynamic Ads are feed-driven ad formats. This means the ads require you to submit a product data feed in order for them to work. The feed lists all the products you want to promote online. And the channels automatically pull the data from your feed to build the ad specifically for the user.
The product feed forms the foundation of campaigns for both Google Shopping and Facebook Dynamic Ads. While many believe you can use the Google feed for your Facebook campaigns, this is not as straightforward as you’d think.
In the world of feed-based marketing, Google is known to be the strictest channel, with the most rules and regulations. Facebook, on the other hand, is the more lenient artist.
It is often said that anyone with a Google feed can submit it to Facebook too. While this may be a good starting point, you would still need to tailor your feed to match Facebook’s unique requirements. It would also be a shame not to make use of Facebook’s data optimization opportunities to boost your performance. There are some important differences between the Google and the Facebook feed that you need to be aware of if you wish to maximize your performance on both channels. These are covered below.
All mean one and the same.
For both platforms, it’s good practice to upload your product feed regularly – at least once per day – to keep all the information up-to-date.
The easiest way to ensure information is current is via an API setup. Your product feed can be exported and managed via an API; the Google Merchant Center and Facebook Marketing API respectively. If you don’t have a direct integration set up, you need to submit a file.
Facebook also accepts compressed files (.zip, gzip, bz2).
On both platforms, should your feed exceed the maximum size, you can send submit multiple feeds. In fact, Facebook recommends breaking larger feeds (anything bigger than 5 Million products) into smaller feeds.
The table below illustrates which data fields are required for each channel’s feed. If your products are missing information in any one of these fields, it’s likely to lead to your product or entire feed could be disapproved. So, it’s essential you include this information and that it’s accurate.
Since with Facebook you’re not selling but rather marketing your product, you merely want to grab attention and don’t need to provide the finer product details.
Based on the above values, you’ll want to keep your Facebook title as short as possible. The good news is, you can add more info on the actual image.
Below is an overview of the image spec differences:
Tip: What the title is to Google, the image is to Facebook. This is the one attribute you should really spend some extra time on to truly create images that grab attention. Since Facebook is extremely visual and allows text (and image) overlays, we highly recommend that you do this.
At first, it seems impossible to edit each and every one of your millions of product image in your feed. Luckily, with tools like the Productsup image designer, you can easily create a customized image template and enrich your entire catalog instantly.
Fore more product image tips, read our post on 11 tips for high-quality product images
The product category is essential in your Shopping feed, as Google uses this information to match your products to a user’s query. It is really important that your products match Google’s product taxonomy. For many advertisers, this is a long and tedious job – but it is a crucial one if you want to run Google Shopping campaigns.
Hopefully, this introduction has given you a better overview of the key things to look out for when wanting to advertise your products on Google Shopping or Facebook. But, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating the perfect feed for both platforms.
While Facebook is perhaps a little more forgiving, your feeds for both platforms will need to be in tiptop shape if you want them to perform well. You can learn from the experts with our best practices guide to Google Shopping and Facebook Dynamic Ads campaign guide, which you can download for free.
If you’re a marketer who is in charge of managing and handling large feeds containing thousands of products or more, Productsup is the ideal tool for you. Want to see for yourself just how straightforward and easy it is to get your products on Google, Facebook or virtually any other ecommerce channel? Our experts are happy to show you in a personal web demo.
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