What are Data Feeds?
A data feed, also referred to as database, is a digital file that contains information about products you would like to advertise online. This includes the characteristics of these products, such as title, description, image, ID number etc. This file is necessary so you can input your product information to a data feed management platform. By using such a platform you can add additional data to your feed (file), to enrich the content and functionality.
A little breakdown of this definition:
Data: the information about that product, such as colour, price, description, images etc.
Feed: the format the file needs to be in to send to marketing channels such as Facebook, comparison shopping engines and affiliates.
It is possible to import your existing data feeds into The Next Ad by selecting Control panel in the left-hand side menu. Then, choose the Data feeds tab and then click on +Add new data feed button.
How to connect your data feed to The Next Ad
In this section you will learn how to set up a data feed which can be used to dynamically activate or pause campaigns.
You can connect any JSON type data feed to our system. For additional ideas on the possibilities of external data feeds, click here.
For clarity's sake we will use an example in this article. Let's say you sell rain coats, and you would like to have a campaign that only runs when it is raining. This is possible by setting up rules so that a campaign will be running when it is raining, and paused when it's not.
Look for or create a feed that provides you with the correct values.
In this example, we could use the Yahoo weather feed found at https://developer.yahoo.com/weather/. Of the given examples, Nome, AK contains what we need. Change "Nome, AK" into the city and country you want to use. For example Amsterdam, NL or Cape Town, SA.
Next, copy the link in the Endpoint field.
Go to The Next Ad now. In the menu on the left-hand side, click on Control Panel. Select Data Feed and click Add data feed in the upper-right corner. Paste the link of the Endpoint into the URL field. Then select a name that makes sense and helps you identify the feed easily—in this case, 'Amsterdam - Rain'.
The next step is to add one or more attributes by clicking on the Add attribute button. What we're doing in this step is telling our system what aspect of the feed must be read. Based on the actual feed you're using, the location of the data you need might be different.
An attribute can have three values: string, number and date. A string can be anything but a number or a date (for instance a city or country name); a number can contain only numbers; a date can have several formats but needs to be consistent throughout the feed.
In our example, select both the city and the weather condition by clicking on the Select an attribute button. Choose the option City, select the type String and check the Use as id box.
To have our system read the weather type, we need to know what code is what type of weather. For Yahoo feeds, the list of possible weather type codes can be found here. Choose the IDs you want to use. Add a new attribute by clicking the Add attribute button underneath your existing attribute and give the attribute a name. Select an attribute by clicking on the select an attribute button. Choose the option Code. Code can be found by clicking Query > Results > Channel > Item > Condition. Finally, give this attribute the Number type.
Congratulations, that's it! You've successfully connected your external data feed to our platform. You can add as many data feeds to our platform as you want to suit your needs.
After you've connected your data feed to The Next Ad, you can use it to make rules in your campaigns that will dynamically pause or activate them based on the attributes you just defined. To learn how to do this, click here.