We’ve all been seeing Christmas ads for a while now and the real festive countdown is about to begin, are you making the most of your digital advertising options? Advertising on social media is nothing new, pretty much every brand or business does it, but with Facebook Collections, you may stand out from the crowd a little more this festive season…

If you haven’t heard of Facebook Collections, we’re surprised! Collections were launched around 2 years ago, however, they aren’t that heavily adopted by SME brands, unlike big-name brands. But, they are easy to run and can be done through the Facebook Ads Manager like any other ad, so why wouldn’t you get on board!

Facebook collection ads are ideal for advertising during the festive season

We fondly refer to Facebook Collections as a ‘social media catalogue’, and that’s pretty much exactly what it is. It offers you the ability to display your products in an attractive, informative and interactive manner on both Facebook and Instagram. When a user sees your ad in their timeline, they are able to click on it, expanding the ad into an interactive 'microsite' where they can see the products and their information. They are also able to go onto the website and buy without leaving the actual Facebook app. This advertising option really does simplify shopping through social media.

The ads are targeted specifically to mobile users, who will get the full visual benefit of this ad when they encounter it, and you may think that sounds limiting, but Facebook’s mobile ad revenue increased by 50% year over year in June 2018. More people are shopping with their phones, in fact, more than half of all internet traffic comes from a mobile device and 62% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months.

So, not only are there more mobile conversions, but there are also more people shopping via Facebook specifically! E-commerce click-through rates have tripled in the last two years, more and more interested buyers are clicking on ads, taking e-commerce-specific ad engagement from 1% to 3%.

Facebook collection ads are ideal for advertising during the festive season

Overall, your newsfeed isn’t as saturated with Collection style ads as it maybe is with other types of ads and boosted content, so this format is a great way to break through the noise. Since it’s optimised for mobile, it takes the trend growth of mobile shopping and combines it with other increasing trends, like video use and the increasing importance of fast performance on smartphones, and creates an ad that is built specifically for these consumers.

As we said, the ads are easy to set up, if you have a Facebook Store or Facebook connected to your e-commerce you can pull the products through and populate your ad really dynamically, with Facebook even populating the list of products (which can be up to 50 products in length!) with items that will appeal to the person that is viewing the ad. If you are going to run a Facebook Collections ad, progress through your usual steps in Ads Manager until you reach the format selection, where you can switch your ad from the default carousel to a Collections Ad. You can even use a selection of templates to get a fantastic looking ad that suits your brand without having to stress too much over how it looks.

Facebook collection ads are ideal for advertising during the festive season

From here, your ad should be easy to populate with your products and imagery. We recommend that your header multimedia is a video, as we mentioned, video is a popular trend that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon on this platform. To make your ad really pop, get some high-quality video content to lead your ad with. Mobile-optimised Facebook video lifts brand awareness to 67% and 30% of mobile shoppers prefer video as their medium for finding new products, with video posts generating 5 times the length of gazing when compared to static ones. With them being so easy to use, it would be a shame not to get involved.

However, although the dynamic population is fantastic, you can also create ads manually, this gives you the ability to create amazing seasonal content with fantastic imagery. Take a look at this example from one of our clients, Chase Distillery, who are currently running a beautiful Christmas gifting campaign.

Facebook collection ads are ideal for advertising during the festive season Facebook collection ads are ideal for advertising during the festive season

As you can see from this example from Chase Distillery, each Facebook Collections ad leads with a video or image, followed by four product images below (which you are able to choose - lead with your best products!). When a user then taps on the ad, it opens up a broader catalogue of, as we said, up to 50 different products. Then if they tap on a specific product, they’ll go to the advertiser’s website or app to make the purchase. Since Chase is an alcohol brand, and Facebook restricts the selling of alcohol on the Store, as long as you abide by Facebook’s advertising guidelines, you are still able to run this style of ad if you sell alcohol. Just ensure that age targeting is set to 18 above!

We don’t know why you wouldn’t want to at least test out Facebook Collections, but if you do, keep it for special occasions when you really want to make a splash with your products. Happy advertising!