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How to turn data into actionable insights for Paid Social (+3 product insights plays)

Data ≠ insight

And treating raw data as insight to act on isn’t just a bad business decision - it can hurt your ad campaigns.

Given the increase in online competition accelerated by the pandemic and the after-effects of the iOS 14 updates, it has never been harder to get in front of the right audience on social media.

But there is a way out. You can turn data into actionable insights to get better returns on your ad spend on paid social and increase revenue with the data you already have.

We’ve helped launch over 120 million automated ads and now we’re sharing the exact playbook that we use to help our customers maximize ROAS and stand out from their competition.

Quick Recap: Pandemic-induced boom + Evolving eCommerce platforms

It almost feels like online shopping accelerated overnight.

According to the consulting and accounting PwC’s December 2021 Global Customer Insights Pulse Survey, there was a strong shift to online shopping because of the initial lockdowns and the shift to remote and hybrid work.

Even now, mobile shopping continues to be the top channel for consumers.

Data stats

You’d assume that’s a good thing. More shoppers = more potential customers.

But as the number of online shoppers increased, so did eCommerce retailers.

For one eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce (and others) have evolved to become far more user-friendly. First-time sellers can easily set up their store in a matter of hours.

The pandemic also saw a great number of new businesses mushrooming driven by The Great Resignation, layoffs, and a general shift in the future of work.

Not to mention, traditional retail businesses finally understood the importance of eCommerce and made the move to go online.

The competition is fierce. And brand loyalty is declining.

McKinsey & Company’s survey of US consumers in 2020 showed that 75% of shoppers have not only tried new brands and shopping methods but also intend to continue doing so.

Shopping behavior

But that’s not all.

Prospecting in an era without interest targeting: iOS 14 woes

For years, Facebook has recommended running broad campaigns and choosing a broad audience and now there’s no other way out.

With the iOS 14 update, you have no way to get your hands on detailed performance reports. That means you can’t know for sure what it is you have to optimize.

Your potential audience isn’t gone but they’re not being tracked. So setting up campaigns has been a challenge across the board.

So what are advertisers doing?

  1. Diversifying ad spend: Advertisers have moved some of your ad spend away from Facebook and into Google to use its remarketing features based on search intent.
  2. Using Facebook’s other ad options: Some are other advertising options on Facebook like message objective or lead ads to justify your ad spend.
  3. Using GA to report Facebook success: Performance marketers are using Google Analytics to report Facebook success with UTM parameters to track campaign activity.
  4. Leveraging owned data: Now that owned data is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Some advertisers are using owned data to create lookalike audiences or retarget an email list.

But let’s be honest: These strategies only get you some results and there’s still a lot of guesswork involved.

Wouldn’t it be better if you could take that out of the equation? With creative product insights, you just might be able to tip the scales in your favor.

What are creative products insights?

Creative product insights can help you bridge the gap left by iOS 14 and stay ahead of the competition. Users can still opt out but these insights will allow you to make smarter decisions.

Here’s how:

Combine your first-party campaign data (say from Facebook) with your first-party product purchase data (ex: Google Analytics) to see a holistic view of your product performance.

Product insights help you:

  • Optimize your campaigns better
  • Make data-driven decisions
  • Decide which products to promote
  • Weed out bad performing products

Making smarter online decisions by using data/insights you already have

More data ≠ better decisions.

You don’t need more data to make data-driven decisions. The first-party data you already have - campaign data and purchase data - can be combined to give you the kind of insights that will help you boost your ROAS and your revenue.

Here are three examples of how that’s possible:

1. We know that creative is one of the most important aspects of ad ROI but they’re often irrelevant to the audience. Product insights allow you to understand what your shoppers want and combine it with the creative so you can truly create an engaging ad.

Roma ad examples
Read how Roma had a 120% ROAS uplift with on-brand creatives.

2. DABA (Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences) has long been a secret weapon for top brands. Dynamic ads serve the best possible combination of ad elements to your audience so your ROI increase.

3. There’s an increase in purchases via Instagram stories and Reels due to evolving customer behavior. It’s important for eCommerce retailers to be there but you can’t do that with videos. Instead of creating videos manually or applying guesswork to the process, Dynamic Video Ads can help you solve both those issues. Combine your data with the Dynamic Video ads and you can instantly create videos at scale automatically.

Stand out from the competition and attract online shoppers:
3 playbooks to succeed with creative product insights

We asked Hunch’s Head of Product & Solutions, Nebojsa Knezevic, to share the three playbooks we use to help Hunch customers achieve positive ROAS and use creative differentiation as a competitive advantage.

#1. Optimize campaign delivery and save money

Post iOS 14, you’re probably putting in the same amount of money but getting half the information you used to have.

What you want to do is not throw more money at the problem but instead use the product insights you receive from combining campaign data from Facebook and performance data from Google Analytics to analyze your best and worst-performing products.

Advanced feed management
Use the product insights you receive from combining campaign data from Facebook and Google Analytics.

Now, reduce the number of active items you’re promoting.

Puma ad examples
Take advantage of Facebook dynamic ads.

Trim 20% of your catalog and remove the worst-performing products. That leaves you with 20% more money to promote your best-performing products.

#2. Run successful prospecting campaigns

The first rule of a successful prospecting campaign is to skip the generic creative and create an engaging creative from the insights you have about your audience and the product’s performance.

Perhaps, shoppers like free shipping, or they buy more when you share a discount code. Maybe they respond better to personalization. So use the location and time to your advantage.

All of this information can be used to create a personalized ad that checks all the right boxes.

Shoes ad example
Use dynamic creative templates to align ads with your brand kit and narrative.

Next, you want to run dynamic ads for broad audiences to further receive more insights. Dynamic ads are designed to present the best combination of ad elements based on performance. And with Hunch’s creative studio, you can take dynamic ads to a whole new level. You can get really granular with the kind of elements you personalize in your creative and launch 1000s of automated ads using the image and video templates automatically.

Insights fashion ad example
Relevant ads are essential for successful advertising.

For your dynamic video campaigns, product insights will help you choose the best set of products based on the number of views, the click-through rate, completion rates, or average play time.

#3. Don’t chase your top-selling products

Now, this might seem counterintuitive. Your top selling products are your best products, right?

Not always. Your most successful products don’t have to be the top-selling product.

It’s likely that your top-selling products aren’t the ones bringing in the most revenue. Consumers’ brains are designed to choose the items that are priced competitively. If you don’t sell an item for that price, they have hundreds of other options to choose from.

Should you focus on the products that rake in the most revenue? Yes and no.

The products that raise your AOV are also the ones that require the most ad spend.

So it’s not a one-dimensional decision and this is a classic example of not treating raw data as insight. If you only look at the highest number of sales, you’re hurting your revenue in the long run. But if you look at growing revenue, you have to sacrifice short-term growth and your positive ROAS.

Even with retargeted ads where the audience knows who you are, the strategy is simple - show them products that they’ll get hooked on.

But identifying the winning products? That’s a real challenge.

Almost feels like no matter what you do, you can’t win.

That’s why product insight metrics are the missing piece of the puzzle. Advanced calculated metrics like single-click purchases and products more likely to convert fast can help you maximize growth and revenue in ways linear metrics cannot.

You’ve got data. We’ve got the insights.

Finding data has never been a problem.

Even with iOS 14, there are workarounds that help you understand the projected ROI of your campaigns. Or, you can integrate performance data to gather more metrics.

The real problem? Tapping into the data you already have.

Hunch allows you to do that. We help you combine data from various sources and create data-driven creatives that are also highly engaging. And it doesn’t end there. You can consistently monitor the performance and pull the plug on campaigns that aren’t working based on the product insight metrics to spend more on campaigns that actually get you the results.

Make decisions based on product insights. Not just to stand out from your competition but to have a successful campaign in spite of the obvious roadblocks.