Bionically-optimised Facebook & Instagram Collaborative Ads deliver even better performance for both brands and retailers


So, what are Collaborative Ads from Facebook & Instagram?

You are a brand and want to attribute sales on your retail partners’ websites back to your paid social advertising.

Or you are a retailer and you want to ensure that your partner brands’ help to drive sales of their products on your website.

Bionic-optimised Collaborative Ads from Facebook and Instagram are a great solution for both brands and retailers.

Collaborative Ads are intended to make collaboration between brands and retailers on Facebook safe and easy. With the Facebook Ad Platform collaborative ads set-up, retailers can empower brands to run performance marketing campaigns for their products, driving sales on the retailer's website or mobile app. Bionic software can facilitate the full connection between brand and retailer and automate the optimisation of the campaign to drive even better performance.

To get up and running with Collaborative Ads, the retailer will firstly need to have uploaded their product catalogue to the Facebook Ads platform. They will create a catalogue segment which contains only the partner brand’s product set. This catalogue segment is then shared with the brand’s ad account.

The brand will then be able to run dynamic ads with this catalogue segment using the catalogue sales objective, which allows the brand to retarget their products to people who have interacted with them on the retailer's website and app or to target prospective customers. 

Both parties can track the performance of the collaborative ads campaigns by measuring standard ad metrics like Reach, Impressions, Clicks, Conversions, and Return on Ad Spend.

This approach works well for brands as it enables them to easily run digital marketing campaigns and be in a position to transparently report on return on ad spend. For retailers it means that they can have their brand partners drive audiences to their website to purchase without any necessity to share proprietary customer data.

How to Create Facebook & Instagram Collaborative Ads

The first step is to reach an agreement with your partner (brand or retailer) to engage in a collaborative ads project. For both brands and retailers this is a win-win solution that helps both achieve their respective goals.

Once you've confirmed your collaborative ads project, the retailer will need to share a catalogue segment with the brand’s Business ID. The brand will receive a notification in their account to accept the terms and conditions.

To begin creating a Collaborative Ad, the brand heads over to Ads Manager and select the ad account created for working with a specific retailer. Create a campaign and then choose the Catalogue Sales objective. In the ad set, select the catalogue segment shared by the retailer. Next create product sets within this segment as needed. Select the audiences - either retargeting or prospecting. Set the budget, bid strategy, audience and placement. At the ad level, choose creative formats such as Carousel, Single Image or Collection. At the ad creative level, make sure to include links to the retailer’s website in the display URL section.

Once the campaign is live both the brand and retailer will be able to access real-time reporting on all aspects of the campaign, from impressions right through to return on ad spend in ads manager and creative reporting. Insights into the campaigns at specific product-level are available with a range of filters depending on the KPIs can be viewed in the collaborative ads portal.

Facebook & Instagram Collaborative Ads Best Practices

As with all aspects of running ads on Facebook & Instagram there are some best practices which help ensure you get the highest performance. Here are some tips and tricks that are worth watching out for:

  • Use product sets in your catalogue segment. In the ad set creation flow, create a product set of the products you want to run ads for. 

  • Use brand name or product name as filtering options rather than IDs. When ID is used as a filtering option for product set creation, Facebook reports that changes on the retailer side sometimes affects the products listed in a brand’s product set.

  • Use broad audiences to reach more people and scale. Broad audiences help bring more people to the product pages on the retailer’s site or app, which will help grow the retargeting audiences.

  • Use retargeting to ensure that you are also addressing people who have already visited the specified products on the retailer’s site or mobile app.

  • Rather than using lookalike audiences for prospecting, Facebook recommends using broad audiences as using lookalikes on top of broad audiences will limit the audience size and impact delivery.

  • Use automatic placements, making sure to select all available placements such as Feed, Instagram, Audience Network & Messenger.

  • Be prepared for the learning phase. Facebook needs about 50 conversions in order for it to better predict outcomes. Therefore, expect quite a bit of volatility initially in terms of performance. Once the first 50 conversions have occurred, Facebook performance should start to become more consistent.

Delivering Improved Performance with Automated Optimisation of Collaborative Ads

Not only can Bionic facilitate a seamless connection between brand and retailer, we can work with both parties to ensure maximum performance of the campaign. As a trusted Facebook & Instagram Marketing Partner serving clients across the entire e-commerce and retail ecosystem, we are in a unique position to accelerate the performance of these campaigns for both brands and retailers.

Bionic’s Goal Pipeline enables the creation of a campaign structure that supports the entire conversion funnel. With Collaborative Ads outcomes set as the most down-stream goal, we ensure that maximum priority in bid and budget optimisation is aligned with the joint goal of driving sales. 

Our dynamic funnel optimisation also means that your awareness-generating and engaging content further up the funnel also achieves appropriate attention. By prioritising the most down-stream events, Bionic enables you to achieve the highest efficiency in your collaborative ads project. 

As a retailer, you may not wish to provide brand partners with access to your page or pixel assets. Bionic acts as a trusted intermediary between both parties to further optimise the performance of the brand’s ad campaign based on conversion signals from the retailer’s website or app.

If you are a brand or a retailer and seeking to drive more online sales, then Facebook & Instagram collaborative ads are a great way to engage in a mutually beneficial campaign. Bionic’s unique support for retail and e-commerce brands and retailers means that we are able to deliver even better performance from these campaigns for all parties. 

If you would like to get started with a pilot project with your business, get in touch and we’ll help you get up and running.

Brendan Hughes