What Are Data Feeds? Your Guide to Product Feed Automation
The first – and most important – step to automating your online advertising is to create a Data Feed. By completing this simple task, you can sync your business information and start automating time-consuming, manual tasks like campaign creation, bidding, and much more, at scale.
With Data Feeds, or Product Feed Automation, you can much more effectively manage your online advertising budget in Google Ads, Bing Ads, or whatever channel you need. Properly executed, it leads to increased CTR and Quality Scores, lower CPCs and, naturally, increased ROI. So here’s our summary of what Data Feeds are, how to create them, and how Data Feeds can transform the way you do business.
Here we explain how to do it, the benefits, and everything else you need to know to drive significant, intelligent growth for your business.
What are Data Feeds and Product Feeds?
A data feed (or a product feed) is a file that contains all the information that you will need to generate online ad structures. It will include all the different products on your website that you want to advertise, and identifies and separates them by a series of tags that indicate their different properties, values, or attributes. As the image below shows, this can range from Product ID, to Product Name, URL, Category, Location, etc.
How Do I Create a Data Feed?
The first thing you need to do is decide which type of data feed is right for your business needs. You can either create a Static Feed or a Dynamic Feed.
Types of Data Feeds
Dynamic Feeds: What are they? A Dynamic type of feed is loaded into Spaceboost by a URL, and allows you to modify the information that it contains to update ads automatically, as well as remove or add products or, if necessary, to modify the optimization objective.
When to use one? If you have a wide-ranging product inventory that is constantly changing – a fast moving ecommerce, for example – a dynamic feed will help you to stay on top of all the developments in your catalogue. It means that your feed will automatically update itself according to the new developments in your product inventory.
Static Feeds: What are they? The information must be stored in a file that is uploaded to Spaceboost and can not be modified automatically. If you want to apply structural changes using the feed, you must do it manually, loading the file again with the modifications.
When to use one? If you know the products you are going to be advertising will stay the same, you can use a Static feed, which you upload directly as a file to Spaceboost. Unlike a Dynamic feed, it will not update itself, so you don’t need to create a url for it.
First Steps to Product Feed Automation
Once you’ve made your decision, choose which type of file you want to use. There are four types of files that you can use to create a feed: CSV, XML, JSON, and Google Sheets. The process is very simple. All you need to do is enter your product data into a document including the information for each of the categories that you are going to use. Here is our guide on how to set up your data feeds.
The most common options for creating a feed are CSV and XML. If you don’t have an IT department to rely on and you want to create a dynamic feed, the easiest option is to create the document in Google Sheets and, by making the completed Google Sheets doc public, you can then use the URL that is created to upload the feed to Spaceboost.
Here is an example of a well created Static Feed:
And a Dynamic Feed:
What Do I Include in My Data Feeds?
The mandatory categories that you will need to include in order for a feed to work are the following:
ID: (This needs to be a unique number)
Name: (The name of the product)
and URL: (It’s important that each product has its own landing page on your website. In this way, the ads that are created – personalized ads specifically designed to send people to a specific product – will make the most of this segmentation by sending the people who click on them directly to the product advertised. This also boosts Quality Scores and lowers CPCs.)
With these three categories, you can start working with product feeds.
However, the more you can segment your feed, the better your campaigns will perform. So, you can define different attributes by which to separate your products. This means identifying a product by its category (footwear), a subcategory (ankle boots), its price, the available stock you have, its location, an objective CPA, keyword, brand (Nike), and so on.
Once you have created your feed, you upload it to the Spaceboost platform, and you can get to work.
How Do Product Feeds Work?
This data feed will be the basis of your campaign’s automation. When the file is loaded into AdWords, Amazon, or Bing, using Spaceboost’s Structure Generator, hundreds, thousands, or even millions of ads can be created in very little time, making ads that contain all the possible combinations of the different product information that you have introduced into the feed.
All this is done towards an objective. We want to cover the maximum amount of search terms that your customers could possibly search for.
How do we do it? Taking the information that you have uploaded to the platform with the feed automation tool, Spaceboost’s massive Structure Generator creates ads by replacing the tags in custom ad templates that you create with the different information that it gets from the product catalogue information you entered in the feed.
This means that from your product inventory we can automatically create powerful and hyper-segmented ads that include highly relevant information and are designed to produce optimal performance on Google Ads, Bing Ads, and Amazon Ads.
For example, once you have created and uploaded your feed, you can know that for each product you will have not just one, but several ads, personalized with different extensions, ad copies, price, location all without having to manually create, program, and monitor it.
What Are the Benefits of Data Feeds?
Reach the Long Tail
It is difficult to overstate just how beneficial the use of data feeds can be for your PPC campaigns, but perhaps most important of all is how the use of automation to create campaigns allows you to reach levels of segmentation that are quite simply not possible manually.
With your product inventory hyper-segmented into different categories – from product type, to brand, to objective CPA – our Structure Generator will be able to automatically create up to millions of ads that are precisely adapted to 100% of your potential audience, and therefore much more likely to convert. Take a look at what Apartum achieved by automating their campaigns through dynamic feeds.
Not only does this mean you have all the possible ads for your products at your disposal, these ads are able to reach an optimal level of relevance and personalization relative to each individual product. This means that your Quality Scores will increase, improving position, Clickthrough rates, and lowering CPCs: the sky’s the limit.
Save time, Make money
The second, though no less important, benefit of Spaceboost’s Data Feed driven automation is the amount of time it saves. Automation is not about replacing humans, rather, we free them up from repetitive manual tasks holding them back from high value, strategic action that allow you to drive real growth.
The average agency that uses Spaceboost dramatically increase the amount of client accounts each executive is managing as they are able to much more effectively monitor investment.
Aside from the fact that you don’t have to create these ads manually, the real kicker is the liberation from the need to constantly check in on your campaigns. With data feeds, you can be sure you are never advertising a product you don’t have available, know you are on top of market fluctuations and keyword bid variations, and forget about worrying whether you need to pause an inefficient ad group.