Dan Dryfhout is an avid digital marketer from Ontario. Dan loves snowboarding, mountain biking and in some occasions, long walks on the beach. He moved out west to better serve these passions, especially the beach walking...

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Leveraging Smarter Creative in Social Media Campaigns


The more social media platforms evolve and adapt to new technology, the more creative options come to market for advertisers to leverage. As we all know within this world, not everything can be a one size fits all approach. What catches my eye and gets me to engage is going to be vastly different compared to what you prefer and engage with. Me personally, I will not engage with video ads myself, but the majority of users do prefer to engage in this way. In fact, a survey done by Wyzowl in 2020 shows that 96% of consumers watch video to learn about a product. So it appears that I may be an outlier, but I can’t be the only outlier! This is why it’s important to continue to adapt new creative features and formats and test to see if your audience may be more interested and engaged with the new formats that can come to market. 

At the end of the day, it is important to continue to evolve our ads and tactics to find new efficiencies, as well as new creative mediums to deliver our desired messages to consumers. 

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic Ads are a powerhouse for e-commerce companies, and chances are you have been served one of these ads before. The 2 companies off the top of my head that execute these really well are Amazon and Wayfair. If you are not an e-commerce company, do not fret, these ads can also be leveraged for Hotels, Flights, Destinations, Real Estate Listings or Vehicles. 

Why leverage Dynamic Ads? 

Once set up correctly, this ad type can be very easy to scale and find efficiencies with. If a product becomes out of stock, the product catalog will know to stop serving that product until it comes back in stock.  Ads can also be fed up-to-date pricing for when prices are always changing. This comes in handy for the holiday season when Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and Boxing Day may all have different pricing.

On top of scalability, Dynamic Ads have many effective types of targeting available once we start tweaking the rules around the product catalog. To provide more context here, it’s time for us to get nerdy! 

A standard dynamic ad should be focused on retargeting users who have viewed a specific product before but did not purchase. This is a great way to bring users back and drive revenue. Once we have our first campaign created, we can start creating and testing new strategies that are available. A prime example of this is cross selling to users. If a user has bought a specific product from us, are there any other supplemental products that the consumer would find beneficial? A perfect example of this that I ran into was for BBQ’s. I recently bought a new BBQ this summer, but what I did not realize was the world of BBQ accessories. Once I bought the product from Home Depot, I was starting to notice these ads coming into my newsfeed about new accessories that Home Depot has, as well as cookbooks and add on products like rubs, sauces, and wood pellets. Knowing that my BBQ purchase with them was super easy, it was a no brainer to start purchasing my BBQ add-ons from Home Depot as well! 

Another tactic that we have found to work well is to try and reduce friction with users who are showing intent to buy, but still have not done so. If we are a clothing store, we must ask ourselves why user X continues to engage with this jacket, but still has not bought it yet. Dynamic Ads allow us to serve products to this user with the original jacket that the user was engaging with, but we can also add on different colours and perhaps a few different jackets that are similar in style and price. 

AR Ads

It’s been about a decade since we started talking about Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), but it has only been in recent years that we have seen this technology become fully flushed out and to be integrated into our everyday life. The first step of this was in 2015 with the integration of AR into Snapchat filters, in order to put funny or interesting objects on our faces. If you remember that time, you will remember that the technology was originally clunky, and was hard for the filters to work smoothly. I still remember being frustrated that it couldn’t read my glasses and register my face, but it has significantly improved since then, as well as become more relevant on all social platforms today.  

With the implementation of AR and face filters on Instagram and Facebook, we have now seen the introduction of AR ads, in which we can allow consumers to test out products on themselves, or within their home/surrounding area. The Boston Consulting Group (GCB) ran a recent research study around AR makeup apps. During the study they found that only 23% of consumers were aware that this technology was available within apps outside the stores, but once they were aware of the product, 52% of the users began using the product as a tool. What’s more interesting is this number jumped up to 70% for people born after 1995.

While this product will require more investment from a technical side, it can become a super beneficial tool for potential shoppers that do not want to travel to the store to try an item on. As this product is also brand new to the Facebook platform, only a few advertisers have been able to launch it, with Michael Kors and Sephora being the first 2 to market. This product will be rolled out to more advertisers over this year, but if you want to test it out, a Facebook Marketing Partner, like ourselves at Vovia can get access sooner. 

Stories Ads

While Stories Ads have been available for some time, Facebook continues to implement new features and offerings to continue to make this ad type a success. Since the introduction of Stories on Instagram, users’ behaviours have changed on the platform to result in less scrolling of the feed, and more viewing of stories. As marketers, we have to adapt to this change in behaviour and ensure we are making creative specific to this new placement. We will not see the efficiencies from leveraging the same creative that we have been using on Instagram Feed, so we need to adapt to ensure our ads feel at home on the Stories side. 

The benefits of Stories can be broken down into 3 pieces: Stoke Interest, Inspire Action, and Fast & Easy experiences. 

  1. The best way to stoke interest is to leverage the placement for what it really is: a video placement. All ads here should be video based, and provide content to provide value to a user. For instance, if we’re a furniture company, we can stoke interest by highlighting the latest trends of furniture, while providing value with unique features and benefits. 
  2. We can inspire action from a user through leveraging a great CTA if we want a user to purchase a product, or if we are trying to go after a newer audience, we can inspire action on a softer side with the addition of Polls, Filters or Stickers on top of our stories. We can also leverage these types of features when we are trying to gather information from our users. Maybe we want to know what has more demand, a maple wood nightstand, or a trendy modern metal nightstand? A poll can help you understand what your audience prefers, and you can leverage that type of product once you create a new ad. 

The last piece of this puzzle is fast and easy experiences. Through Facebook’s polling, 52% of people want stories that are quick and easy to understand. Users do not want a complicated ad that is trying to tell them 10 different messages. Instead, we need to ensure each story that we create is easy for a user to digest, and has a specific message that we are trying to communicate.


If you are currently looking for ways to change up your social marketing to get away from just the standard image ads on Facebook, these are the top 3 ad types I would recommend to really stand out from the crowd, while still generating the desired results you want from your ad campaigns. By implementing different types of ads and formats, we can truly ensure we are capturing the attention from our audience, no matter the medium they prefer. After all, if we are only leveraging image ads on the newsfeed, we are only satisfying a small portion of our audience.