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DABA Campaigns: The Do's and Don'ts of Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences

Last Updated June 15, 2021

There's no question here—we love advertising with Facebook because the platform continues to provide tools for eCommerce markers to reach an ever-broadening audience.

In 2015, Facebook launched Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs), a way for companies to get their ads in front of people who had visited and/or interacted with their Facebook page or website in the past. In 2017, Facebook expanded on this advertising format by launching Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences (DABAs). This tool dramatically expands the potential reach of Facebook ads, helping eCommerce businesses improve ad performance. 

What are Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences (DABA)?

DABAs expand on the concept of DPAs. However, instead of showing your ad to people who have previously interacted with your company, with DABAs, Facebook expands that audience to those people who have searched for a similar product or service to the ones you offer and/or who have interacted with a company similar to yours.

Obviously, this changes the dynamics of these ads from simply "preaching to the choir" to exposing your product to those who want what you are selling, but haven't yet heard of your company.

When you're not preaching to the choir, your ads can pop-and-lock their way to reach expanded audiences. 

Sister Act nun dancing

DABA campaigns aren't limited to Facebook feeds alone. They can appear on any of the Facebook platforms, including Instagram and Audience Network. They can be single-image ads, carousel ads, and collection ads. In addition, these ads are available across devices, including PCs and laptops, as well as mobile traffic

With more than 2.5 billion registered users on Facebook and another one billion on Instagram, the potential of this marketing tool is difficult to ignore.

When should you use DABA campaigns?

DABA campaigns are a great tool for reaching new customers aka top-of-funnel traffic. This ad tool considers the user's interest, behavior, and demographic data when deciding what ads an individual user will see. This can be beneficial when introducing a new product or a new marketing campaign. You can get your product information in front of potential customers who have already expressed interest (via their actions) in a product like the one you are promoting. 

Tips for using Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences effectively

To make the most of your DABA campaigns, we suggest the following Best Practices:

1. Make sure that you write your ad to appeal to new customers. Since the goal of DABAs is to attract new customers to your eCommerce business, you want to write your ad to draw in those people. Don't assume in your ad copy that the reader has any knowledge or preconceived notion of your product or business.

2. Use demographics to fine-tune your audience. While Facebook and its subsidiaries have more than four billion registered users, it's not likely that all of them will have an interest in your product (unless you’re selling pizza—we imagine that’s a pretty universal sell 😋). 

For example, are you interested in marketing to customers overseas? If not, you can limit your ad placement to US users. Are you looking to drive business to your local eatery? If so, then you'll want to hone your demographic information even more, so that only people within driving distance of your restaurant see your ad.

3. If you're using product sets, make sure to include a good number of products in each set. Facebook uses AI with DABAs to "learn" about its site visitors' preferences and extrapolate what products might interest them tomorrow...or next week. By including a large number of products in your set, the Facebook algorithm has room to work its magic and match a broader number of potential customers with products.

4. Exclude your current customers. Since you are looking for new customers with your DABA campaign, you want to exclude the people who have purchased from you in the past. We suggest those who purchased in the last 30 days. This function is found under "targeting". You exclude these people because you don't want your numbers to be skewed by people who already know and like your products.

5. Engage in ad testing to see what's working. Ad testing (which is an umbrella term for split tests and lift tests) will show you if you should replace some of your existing prospecting campaigns with DABAs.  

How to set up a DABA campaign

Setting up a marketing campaign using DABA isn't difficult. It just takes a few steps. The good news is that you only have to do most of these steps once.

  1. Create an account with Facebook Ads Manager, if necessary. We assume that you already have a business page on Facebook. If you haven't already, create an account with Facebook via their Ads Manager business tool. If you already have an account with Facebook Ads Manager, just sign in to your account.
  2. Create a catalog with Facebook. In order to create a dynamic ad, you need to set up a catalog and connect it to your Facebook pixel (more on this part in a minute). To create your catalog, according to Facebook, you need to "add all the items you want to promote. A catalog contains information about all the items you'd like to advertise, such as price, images, description, and availability. These details then appear in your dynamic ad. Within your catalog, you can create sets to control which types of items appear in your ads.
  3. Add a Facebook pixel to your website or app. Remember that pixel we skipped over a minute ago. The pixel is a few lines of code that allows Facebook to gather information about your site or app visitors. Don't be concerned if this sounds complicated to you; Facebook makes it easy and will walk you through the steps.
  4. Set up standard events required for DABAs. These include ViewContent, AddToCart, and Purchase. Make sure that you've entered something in each of these fields.
  5. Link your catalog to the pixel. Once you have your catalog and your pixel installed, you need to link the two in order to use DABAs. Again, Facebook provided an excellent tutorial on the required procedure.
  6. 6. Create a new ad campaign. Next, you need to create a new campaign, with "catalog sales" as the goal.
  7. Select your audience. This is where you tell Facebook the type of customers you are looking for. As we discussed above, fill in the demographics of your target customer.
  8. Optimize your bids for the actions you want. Make sure your bids are optimized for the right events, such as purchases, registrations, or adding an item to a shopping cart.  
  9. Track and monitor your success. Very few ad campaigns are perfect the first time you run them. Most take careful monitoring to see what is working and what could be working better. For example, which ads are resulting in sales (or registrations)? Where are your new customers coming from? Do they have common demographics? When you see what's working, you'll know what changes to make so that your low-performing ads do better.

Dynamic Ads for Broader Audiences can dramatically transform your business. However, it does take a little bit of time and effort to set up. 

At EmberTribe, we've been optimizing social media advertising like DABAs for our clients for several years and can do the tedious legwork for you so that you can concentrate on what you do best—interact with your customers. 

To learn more about using Facebook ads for eCommerce and how to make dynamic ads for broad audiences work for you, book a call now!

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