Ad platforms get better each day with better options and features. In August 2022, Meta launched Advantage+ Shopping campaigns also referred to as ASC by marketers around the world. Meta says that these campaigns leverage machine learning and automation to make ad campaign setup easier and profitable for the marketers.
Let’s delve and understand what exactly are Advantage+ Shopping campaigns; how are they helping brands reap maximum ad campaign performance, and get maximum conversions of greater value with an optimized cost.
Facebook Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns
Meta has launched the ‘advantage+’, an ad automation suite that has various projects going on horizontally. Advantage+ Shopping campaigns are a part of that ongoing project that is reinforced by machine learning, AI (artificial intelligence) and automation.
The purpose of these campaigns is to drive sales with maximum performance and limited efforts (campaign setup, audience targeting, and creative management using Advantage+ Creative).
The machine learning algorithms of Meta have enough data to understand the user behavior and are capable of targeting the right audience who can convert for your campaign.
How Meta’s Advantage Plus Shopping Campaigns Work
As the Meta’s advantage plus shopping campaigns use machine learning algorithms, you would need to fuel it with much reliable data.
You also need to give the algorithm more information and options such as Facebook signals to help it understand the high value audience better.
In this campaign, Meta limits the usage of choosing a particular target audience. You can only choose the geography and age group.
To boost the advantage+ shopping ad campaign performance, you need to reinforce the algorithm with your own first-party data as a model.
The algorithms use this data and reach out to high value prospective customers who are most likely to convert.
Who Should Use Meta’s Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns?
The name says it all. When you have shoppers as your target, i.e., if you are an eCommerce business selling directly to the end consumers you can consider this ASC campaigns on Meta.
Does that mean B2B businesses cannot leverage the advantage+ shopping campaigns? No. Not at all. You can leverage advantage+ shopping campaign if
- Your goal is sales and choose campaign objective as sales
- Meta says, “Your marketing budget allows you to generate a minimum of 50 conversions per week, per campaign.”
- Your leading indicator is cost per result.
- You run data-driven campaigns with Meta Pixel setup, Manual Advanced Matching in Meta Pixel, Conversions API and all required conversions tracking is set.
How to Set up Meta Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns
As mentioned earlier, you can leverage Meta’s advantage plus shopping campaigns only if your objective is sales. Therefore, while you choose the campaign objective, go for sales as the campaign objective.
Continue to the next step where you can choose either manual set up or advantage+ shopping campaign. By default, Meta selects ASC.
Continue to choose the performance goal.
You can either choose to maximize conversions or maximize conversion value. However, to choose the latter, turn on maximize value of conversion in the events manager’s event configuration.
Next choose the audience. Ensure to choose the audience based on the country (because work better when you go broad with advantage shopping campaigns). If you want to try a different audience, for a different country, have a certain campaign focusing on a specific country.
Choose to report audience type breakdown which gives you an opportunity to differentiate between new and the existing customers. (note that it works only when you upload your existing custom audience list.)
Next give the ad creatives (at least 10). ASC gives you the opportunity to test 150 creatives. You can use Facebook’s Advantage+ Creative for catalog to test multiple creatives.
Advantage Of Using Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns
Meta’s ASCs leverage machine learning algorithms and automation to
- Reach high-value prospective customers
- Find the audience across multiple placements with less input from your end
- Make your campaign set up easy and smooth
- Test around 150 permutations and combinations of ad creatives to identify the best performing ad creative and deliver that to more people
- Reach the high value audience with best performing creatives
- Achieve maximum ad campaign performance
- Optimize for value of conversions
As a Meta Ads specialist or any marketer, analytics and understanding the audience was paramount and will always kick-in the adrenaline rush. Now, Meta has put a full stop to that in the advantage plus shopping ad campaigns. Along with that it has removed a lot of customization options that include:
- Lacks niche audience targeting
- Lacks Ad placement control
- Maximum of only 8 ASC
- More useful for top of the funnel campaigns rather than for retargeting
- Requires proper Conversions API setup and first-party data for optimized campaign performance.
- Not a set it and forget
Compared to the manual campaigns, advantage plus shopping campaigns are optimized and show:
- Lower cost per result
- 17% improvement in cost per acquisition.
- 32% increase in return on ad spend.
- Reduce creative fatigue
Best Practices for Meta Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns (ASC)
The advantage+ shopping campaigns being the latest campaigns, there are new discoveries that happen frequently and the recommendations keep changing. Below are the tried and tested recommendations that would drive your advantage plus shopping campaigns with maximum performance.
Better EMQ For Better Performance
For the advantage+ shopping campaigns to drive the desired results, Meta recommends having an event match quality (EMQ) score of at least 6 out of 10 i.e., Good EMQ score. This will help Meta match your event data with Meta’s accounts. Better EMQ score results in more conversions and reduces the cost per purchase. For driving better results for your advantage+ shopping campaigns, improve your EMQ score.
Not To Neglect The Conversions API
Meta’s advanced campaigns quench their thirst with data. More the data, better the ad campaign performance. Especially when it is advantage+ shopping campaigns that automate a lot of things and go broad, your own first-party data is the only fuel that drives its engines. Set up Conversions API and send your first-party data to Meta’s algorithms. Having Conversions API set up will also enhance your EMQ score.
Meta’s Conversions API enhances your ad campaign performance by reinforcing Meta’s algorithms with reliable signals that direct the algorithms in the right direction to find valuable users who are more likely to convert.
One Audience, Different Themes
Advantage+ shopping campaign does not give much flexibility in audience targeting. However, you do have the control over creatives and ad copy. Use different ad creatives (videos, carousel, image, gif) in a combination with the current messaging themes. This helps ad algorithms try different audiences with different creatives.
By default, Meta targets across all the placements including Meta audience network. Initially when ASCs were launched, Meta did not give the option to exclude any placements. However, now, if you want to exclude a specific placement, you can choose it at the ‘Ad account settings’ level for your entire ad account within Business Manager. Navigate to ‘Ad account setup’ and then ‘Account controls’. This way, you can apply the settings for all the campaigns at once.
Maximize For Conversion Value
Meta allows you to optimize your Meta advantage+ shopping campaign for value rather than number of conversions. At the performance goal level, choose the “maximize value of conversions” option. This optimizes your ad campaigns to show your ads to people who are likely to contribute higher value to your business by making high value purchases.
Meta also offers you an opportunity to cap the return on your ad spend. After you choose to maximize value of conversions, you get to set the target return on ad spend (tROAS).
Meta Advantage+ Shopping campaigns are a treasure trove of improved ad campaign performance. With new features it only becomes better and better every day. First-party data’s prominence is again reiterated through these campaigns by Meta. Internal surveys of Meta have shown that Meta’s Advantage+ shopping campaigns drive more sales at online stores.