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What is feed based advertising? What to look for in a third party tool to run feed-based text ads for Search? What is the biggest challenge experts facing with feed-based text ads right now? All these questions and more were answered in this week’s PPCChat session which was hosted by Julie F Bacchini & Andrew Lolk . Here is the screencap of the session.

Q1: To help steer the conversation, what do you think of when the term “feed-based advertising” is used?

Shopping ads. @TheMarketingAnu

This is not my area of expertise, so my answers will be light today… But, when I hear feed-based advertising, I think shopping ads (Google & Microsoft) but also shopping type ads on other platforms. @NeptuneMoon

Anything feed based! This means ecommerce, auto, travel, and real estate (to a certain extent). It also means the happy collaboration between tech #SEO and #PPC (hopefully). @navahf

Shopping Ads is obvious, but our main point for feed-based ads is text ads (aka Search Ads) in PPC. So Google Text Ads, Bing Text Ads. But FB/IG/Pinterest Dynamic Product Ads can also be considered. @AndrewLolk

Feed-based advertising it is liquid marketing your products, content, prices, features, messaging all represent variables you feed those variables into the various marketing platforms you are using and out comes the perfect marketing cocktail @soanders

Shopping is what I do 70% of the time, so that is top of mind for me! Curious to see other definitions/uses. @cjsoldwisch

Anything with a feed! Shopping, dynamic remarketing, some things on Pinterest / Facebook as well. Anything with a feed. @amaliaefowler

Any ad platform that uses a feed/catalog: 1. Google shopping ads and DSA (& Microsoft) 2. Facebook, Snap, TikTok all use feeds, even if they call them catalogs. 3. Amazon, eBay and other marketplace 4. Even some affiliate platforms use feeds. @duanebrown

I tend to think of straight up programmatic display retargeting, and to a certain degree, shopping campaigns. @JuliaVyse

Anything that uses a feed to generate ads! @snaptechmktg

Mainly shopping ads. Dynamic remarketing can use that same feed. & with some DSA campaigns I use a type of feed. @selley2134

It’s been said with examples, but a feed. Anything you pay for online with fluid, changing aspects like inventory, prices, deals/packages, etc @nateknox

I’d argue you’re only using feeds in DSA if you’re in the above verticals. Shoutout to @MSAdvertising for really enhancing feed based functionality. @GoogleAds still dominates, however the options in the auto space are super exciting! @navahf

Product feeds, dynamic URL’s, and a lot of excel @JonKagan

Based on experience I think of e-comm product/inventory feeds for shopping ads, looking forward I’m can imagine asset level feeds (keywords like DSAs, services, images, text ads) that are able to dynamically update from whatever source (website, data mgmt tool, etc) @jennifer_lash

Dynamic ads, shopping ads @ynotweb

Feed based advertising to me can be so many things. I have done work in travel + ecom, so it can be populating data for travel sites or ecom selling sites. @lchasse

Q2: Are you currently running any feed based advertising? If so, what kind(s) and on which platform(s)?

80% of our Search efforts are run via a Feed-Based tool. Campaigns that don’t benefit from it can be run the old way. But often we get so much benefit from running all the ads from a single location that we just run everything from the feed-based tool. @AndrewLolk

Shopping ads on Google/Microsoft/Facebook. Mainly because of the clients I work on now. Wish I could expand to a mix of feed-based activity, so I’m curious what others work on too @nateknox

Right now, just shopping, but I literally asked this morning how I could do it for dynamic geo targeted URL’s. @JonKagan

Yes! Shopping Ads is the most obvious one (shoutout to @Feedonomics), followed by the use of catalogues on FB. We’ve also got some dynamic feeds that aren’t shopping on Google, and most recently – Pinterest! @snaptechmktg

Oops answered the 2nd question first Mostly shopping, Dynamic remarketing & DSA – on bing and google. Have used for Facebook in the past but most of my focus now is Google / Microsoft @selley2134

See my last tweet. The only one we don’t work on is affiliate marketing as it’s out of scope. Even though 2 team members spend most of their careers running affiliates at huge brands. They came to the dark side and running paid ads twitter.com/duanebrown/sta… @duanebrown

Google Shopping, some Smart Shopping testing, and Microsoft Shopping. My mains. @cjsoldwisch

With the end of cookies, walled gardens, all the big players trying to build up complete end-to-end user journeys, eCommerce is on a path to “native” integrations. We build feeds in a PIM and feed it into Amazon, Google & Bing Shopping, Facebook shopping coming up! @soanders

No active clients on feeds, but get to consult with folks who do – the auto space is particularly interesting. One thing worth mentioning on feeds: a lot of the work is upfront heavy lifting. Set your feed upright, & then reap rewards @navahf

Yep, for shopping ads currently. I have used feeds for travel based ads in the past, as well as for dynamic remarking and DSAs, and have also used supplemental feeds for testing/adding information not in the primary feed on shopping @jennifer_lash

Shopping ads in Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Sears, Walmart, Criteo, Facebook, eBay (so many travel sites). I am sure I am forgetting some. @lchasse

Yes! We use shopping feeds, Facebook, and Instagram catalogs, and have some feeds on Pinterest as well. We also have some other feeds on Google Ads. @amaliaefowler

Q3: Do you use a third party tool to manage your feeds? If so, which one and why?

We use @Feedonomics as our feed optimization tool and then we use @Channable for generating the feed-based campaigns in Google/Bing @AndrewLolk

Flood of support for @Feedonomics – what about other options and how to manage non-ecom ? @nateknox

If the client is big enough we use feedonomics but some rising costs have made this tougher for smaller clients. Also tried out datafeedwatch for smaller clients on a tighter budget. Both have their advantages/disadvantages. @selley2134

When you want to work “at scale” on 50K and 250K SKUs. Automation is your friend and y’all know I use @Feedonomics Short of a brand having sub-50 SKUs. We won’t take on any brand who won’t work with us on using Feedonomics. @duanebrown

Some of my clients use @Feednomics and some use internal development resources to connect the data to accounts. Just depends on their preference. I will work with whatever they have in place. @lchasse

There are tools at various stages. Working with Salsify as a PIM behind Amazon. Used a great plugin for Shopify called Simprosys to extract feeds for Google Shopping and Bing Shopping. I do believe that came from @PPCKirk I think there a many more out there. @soanders

I have worked in-house + with clients who have used a couple of different tools, most recently @Feedonomics . The biggest reason was optimization…makes it so much easier and quicker to create rules and manage larger feeds. @jennifer_lash

In many ways, I’ve been lucky that xml dumps have seen me through (thank you @Shopify, @WooCommerce & @BigCommerce). For smaller/newer folks, I actually recommend doing feeds through google sheets. Get used to the fields and structure. @navahf

I like @Simprosys‘ Feed for Google Shopping. Great affordable tool that saves time. Seen the power of @Feedonomics in action, but don’t have scale that needs it, yet. @cjsoldwisch

I’d also like to thank Google Sheets. Sometimes clients have 2 SKUs. @amaliaefowler

We’re *huge* fans of @Feedonomics over here at Snaptech. They make feed management easy so we can focus on strategy and campaign optimizations. @snaptechmktg

The ones I have used have only been Google or Microsoft based – SA360 as well. @TheMarketingAnu

Is it just me or do you not trust someone who says, “we don’t need a 3rd party, I can do it myself” ? @nateknox

For us, it ended up being two things: 1) The ability to optimize the feed “live” to see impact on campaigns 2) The ability to override anything we want. You don’t want to be forced into a single tool’s way of doing Google Ads – we want to be able to do it our way @AndrewLolk

Quietly reading answers on this one. @cjsoldwisch

Scale, flexibility, turn around time…interested to hear what others have to share, my experience with feed based text ads is fairly limited @jennifer_lash

Hoping for other answers, but mine is – I’m too dumb – they can do it and do it faster @nateknox

Agility. In the public sector, and even in the promo sector, we need to be able to adjust messaging quickly and effectively. If the feed tool or setup takes too much fiddling to adjust, it’s not a good fit. @JuliaVyse

(1) Does the tool integrate with your website? (2) Can we make optimizations in the tool for specific sites? (3) What is the suite of optimizations available within the tool for bidding/optimizing? (4) level of support available. (5) Integrations with all platforms! @lchasse

For us, scalability and customer support is just as important as the ability of the product to do what we need from a feed management perspective. @snaptechmktg

Beyond the obvious ability to do what we need it to do from a feed management perspective, customer support and price. We manage low volume accounts over here, can’t be paying an arm and a leg. @amaliaefowler

Also, can it expand to other channels other than the one I’m on? The ability for my client to grow over time without new tools = awesome @amaliaefowler

What you need in a feed tool Reliability Overview Individual optimization rules per channel @soanders

Q5: What are the best/worst use-cases for feed-based text ads?

We’re over here taking notes for this question!! @snaptechmktg

Worst-case would be trying to automate your content strat with no core message. Just blasting out and hoping it works, or worse, pointing to shady lead-gen. My examples are not product/SKU based, it’s out in messaging where worst case can truly be WORST. @JuliaVyse

Use-cases for feed-based advertising Best: when you are doing manual work Worst: when you have brand-safety concerns such as “where will my ad appear” @soanders

Best case: huge product catalogs, a lot of dynamic attributes, variable locations/languages, high frequency promo updates/schedule: @jennifer_lash

Feeds do a great job of helping brands with a lot of products/services that would otherwise not be tenable to target/budget for. That said, you can’t do feed based ads until your landing pages are on point (IMO). @navahf

The worst thing I’ve experienced personally is a feed that isn’t being updated in real time, driving huge waste in spend and customer frustration. @nateknox

Pretty much anything that’s dynamic that you’re okay with being dynamic. Worst case would be if you’re looking for/need higher levels of control or specificity I think @jennifer_lash

Best case – Rapidly changing inventory (used inventory going in and out of stock), large catalog. worst case – ^the opposite. A few SKUs that don’t really change @selley2134

Sometimes, we have to help clients think of their offerings in context of PPC. Like what the platforms need for ads to function their best might be different from the logic that whoever setup their inventory system used. Your PPC feed data should be optimized. @NeptuneMoon

Q6: Are there any “must do” or “do not do” items on your list when setting up or running feed based text ads?

The foundation to creating feed-based text ads is the feed Most get it wrong by thinking you can use a standard Google Shopping feed You can’t It doesn’t have what you need Stop doing workarounds, and get a feed that is designed specifically for text-based ads. @AndrewLolk

Alway try to check and think of edge cases. We always treat each client as brand new and don’t just phone in the work by going through the processes. @duanebrown

My answer for feeds has been, “don’t do it yourself” I’ve seen too many people try and mess it up @nateknox

MUST make sure the feed is working properly and properly optimized. MUST NOT just be like “meh, good enough”. @amaliaefowler

Another thing is that you MUST have a solution for adding keyword synonyms/variations. So if you have the category “sneakers” in the feed, you need a way to also generate the keyword “trainer” or “shoe” etc. This is so vital. @AndrewLolk

We think through each feed as if it’s the first time we’ve done it – clients have different needs! @snaptechmktg

If you’re eCommerce, be sure you have the GTIN (bit.ly/3raUVY2)! You’re going to be fighting an uphill battle if you ask the ad platform to figure out your product without one. @navahf

I think my must do for feed-based ads is: have patience You can be up really quickly, doesn’t mean you are there yet. @soanders

Must do: the set up/prep work. Not just for e-comm, but that’s where the bulk of my feed experience is…make sure your feed is customized to your needs and in working order + is set to update as frequently as needed to keep up with real time updates/information @jennifer_lash

Have to make sure you are properly updating where the feed is pulling from. Have seen instances where ads for cars don’t include a make or model cause the website was updated incorrectly. Would you like a Used 2015 for $35,000? @selley2134

In terms of content, be sure you abide by the ad platform’s rules of engagement: 1. Titles need to be descriptive & keyword oriented 2. Clean photos (usually no background) 3. Don’t mix tax/shipping rules in a single feed 4. Be sure discounts are verifiable @navahf

Must have clear expectations of what a feed can and can’t do. It’s not a magic wand, and it surely cannot read your or your customers’ thoughts. Get the whiteboard out before you set up anything! @JuliaVyse

Q7: What is the biggest challenge you’re facing with feed-based text ads right now? If you’re not using them, what is stopping you from running feed-based ads?

Tools, setup time, and costs. @JuliaVyse

I will answer what our challenge used to be: Time It’s brand new to learn, and suddenly actions that would take your 30 min will take you hours because you have to learn a new way of doing it. For agencies, the investment makes sense. For in-house, I’m not sure. @AndrewLolk

What is stopping feed-based advertising? Clients can’t provide a feed? Had this with a client for 3 years. Actually did catalogue scraping via http to build feeds back in the days…@soanders

Feed based ads are industry dependent (kind of like how not every industry is going to use Local Service Ads). I’d say the biggest change is how unforgiving the ad platforms have become in “mistakes”. This is why the upfront work is soooo important! @navahf

Cost of the third-party tools if needed, the learning curve, the time/flexibility to figure it out and implement/test.. @jennifer_lash

I don’t have a ton of e-comm clients, but I will say generally for deciding on adding a new tool to the mix – consider its cost once you are past the learning phase. If it will save you time & $$ then, seriously think about going for it! @NeptuneMoon

Q8: Do you have any questions for @AndrewLolk about feed-based PPC advertising?

What are the top 3 things you can do to get a feed ready to fuel ads? @NeptuneMoon

1) Add links to where you want to send the traffic 2) Add the keywords you want to use 3) Start playing with automating the setup in a tool like channable.com @AndrewLolk

Oooo! skus if you have them, key messages and appropriate KPIs ready, an understanding of what’s needed. If you have 10 bespoke products and a content strat, you might not need the same intervention as a local car dealership. Look at what you have & what you need. @JuliaVyse

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