Meta Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns: Can They Help You Scale?
It’s safe to say that there are few companies in history that have impacted society as much as Meta. While it’s technically been around since 2004, the social media juggernaut (formerly known as Facebook) was officially introduced on October 28, 2021. The company had steadily been expanding into other avenues featuring various apps and technologies, so the rebrand occurred to unite them all under a single name: Meta.
Since the rebranding, Meta has launched multiple projects, platforms, and initiatives to varying degrees of success. For businesses, perhaps the most significant new enterprise has been the advent of Meta Advantage+ campaigns. The idea is to embrace the exciting new reality of machine learning and use it to help increase awareness of a business’s brand and therefore drive sales.
The concept isn’t exactly brand new, as digital marketing strategies and online ad campaigns have been around for a long time. In fact, Facebook Ads (now known as Meta Ads) have been used by many businesses to help them reach new customers and scale. Meta Advantage+ is the next step in the evolutionary chain of sales campaigns and may be the perfect fit for your business.
What Is Meta Advantage+?
Meta officially launched the Advantage suite of advertising automation tools in March 2022. Depending on your preferred campaign type, there are two products available:
• Advantage, which refers to a variety of features that are intended to work with manual campaigns.
• Advantage+, which refers to automating entire campaign setups using AI and machine learning.
The idea is to help marketers generate the most successful campaigns possible with the least amount of work. Many of the specific tools available via the Advantage products have been in use for a while now — however, embracing new machine learning technologies streamlines the process, helping you save time and lower costs.
Successful online advertising can be very complicated, and the campaign creation process can be very tedious. The key features of Meta Advantage+ help to automate the process of creating a custom audience, establishing an advertising budget, generating creatives, and deciding on optimal placements.
Normally, each of these steps would have to be handled individually, requiring a great deal of time, money, and effort. Using the Meta Advantage+ program, you can reach people who are more likely to purchase your product leading to higher online sales and profit with significantly less effort and costs.
The program isn’t just focused on finding new customers. It’s also about helping to nudge them further along the shopping journey by deploying the best ads. New machine learning models help to determine which ads will resonate best with potential customers. The AI system generates a wide variety of ads based on the ad performance of previous campaigns and options. The best ones are used most often and measured against other options to generate the ultimate results.
Currently, Meta Advantage is only available to ecommerce businesses. It’s unknown if Meta will ever make the tech available to those existing outside of ecommerce. However, the success of the program will likely generate increased demand and result in a stronger push for the program limits to be expanded.
How Do Traditional Shopping Campaigns and Meta Advantage+ Compare?
Traditional shopping campaigns typically feature detailed information about the product or service being sold before the user clicks the ad. These campaigns are helpful for potential customers and can often lead to an increase in sales. However, they’re time-consuming to set up and require testing of each aspect of the ad to figure out what combination works best.
Meta Advantage+ takes care of all of these aspects automatically, allowing you to focus on the more important aspects of running a business. These are just a few examples of the advantages of Meta Advantage+:
Ads are served to custom audiences that are the most likely to convert. Instead of wasting time and resources on broad advertisements, you would be focusing on users that are most likely to have interest in and buy your product.
Ease of Use
The machine learning aspect of Meta Advantage+ makes the creation of a new campaign very simple. For example, it automates up to 150 creative combinations that can be used for your campaign. You’ll no longer have to create your own ads or manually track which ones are doing the best via A/B testing. All of that will be taken care of for you.
Reduced Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
CPA is a pricing model that measures how much it costs to acquire one paying customer on a specific campaign or channel level. It’s a key aspect of online marketing as it will help determine if the money used on ads should be increased or the ad should be changed. Meta Advantage+ helps to lower CPA by using automation to find the best customers and ad combinations possible for your business.
Sell on Facebook and Instagram Shops
Meta encompasses both Facebook and Instagram, which are two of the most popular websites in the world. Meta Advantage+ doesn’t just feature ads on these platforms, but they also allow you to sell directly to your customers without them having to navigate to your website.
We touched on the various benefits of automation, but one important feature to point out is the ability to set existing customer budget caps. Previously, this had to be done with extensive inclusion and exclusion of audience targeting. Now it’s all handled for you by Meta Advantage+ to help you make the most of your budget.
What Are Some Potential Challenges and Pitfalls of Meta Advantage+?
As with all new technologies, there will always be periods of adjustment and growth. The tech involved with Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns (ASCs) will be updated, patched, and improved countless times as it continues to evolve. As a result, it may be difficult to stay up with these changes for those that aren’t tech-savvy or new to the concept of digital marketing.
Another potential issue occurred nearly a year before Meta Advantage+ even launched. The iOS14 update in April 2021 allowed users to opt into data tracking instead of just automatically enabling it. As a result, there are likely many potential customers that won’t have much information available for the algorithm and AI tools of Meta Advantage+.
An ASC will target customers based on the results of the algorithm, which can sometimes be impractical. Targeting is currently best suited to reflect metrics such as age or geographical location, which means men might see ads for women’s products. This could result in prospecting and retargeting ads being used on individuals with no interest in the product.
The last potential drawback is that the system requires a history of key performance indicators (KPI) on both creatives and targeting. In other words, ASC is only possible for existing campaigns, so you won’t be able to use it for brand-new ad campaigns for brand-new ecommerce businesses.
How To Implement Meta Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns
The whole point of using Meta ASC is that it makes managing ad campaigns as easy as possible. Fortunately, the convenience of using ASC starts at the very beginning, as implementing a new campaign is fairly simple:
1. Click on the “+Create” button in the Meta Ads Manager program and select the specific objective of your campaign. You have a total of six choices for this option, including Awareness, Traffic, Engagement, Leads, App Promotion, and Sales. Each option comes with a brief definition and what the objective is good for.
2. Select the “Advantage+ shopping campaign” option. You’ll have the choice between a streamlined and uniquely tailored automated setup or the ability to create a manual sales campaign. If you were to choose the manual option, then there would be much more hands-on requirements for the implementation and management of your campaign.
3. After selecting the ASC option, you’ll have a few options for targeting and other account settings. The options may appear somewhat limited as the point of ASC is to use AI and automation to create the optimal settings for your business. However, you’ll still have the ability to name your campaign, select whether it’s website and app or website for conversion location, set up geotargeting, the daily or lifetime budgets, start/end dates for the campaign, and other attribution settings.
4. When it comes to campaign optimization, you can use custom audience lists or create entirely new ones. You’ll also see an “Audience type breakdown” option that allows you to include existing customers and see the breakdown between new and existing customers.
5. Another important feature worth noting is that you can view suggested ads to run or opt to import all ads. It’s best to start off using the suggest ads feature to see what the results are before fine-tuning. You can also include your top-performing ads from other campaigns and compare them directly to the results of the ASC. The more ads that you try, the more information you’ll be providing to the AI, which will only help it perform better.
How To Measure Success With Meta Advantage+
At the end of the day, using a Meta ASC is just like any other digital marketing campaign. There are several important metrics that you can use to measure its success and determine the next move for your overall marketing strategy:
Key Performance Indicators
Some of the most important key performance indicators revolve around what the customer does with your campaign. For example, the click-through rate can help measure how many people that saw an ad clicked on it.
A very high click-through rate would suggest that the ad delivery was near perfect, while a very low click-through rate would suggest that it needs to be refined. The cost-per-click measurement is closely tied to this metric, as even a very high click-through rate might not justify the costs if they’re too high.
Conversion tracking plays a very important role in marketing as they measure how many people are converted by your campaign to perform a desired action. In most cases, the preferred conversion ends with a purchase, but it could be as simple as wanting someone to visit a website, create an account, or sign up for an email newsletter.
Revenue attribution is when you measure the specific marketing costs of a campaign to the amount of sale revenue that it’s generated. Return on investment (ROI) and return on ad spend (ROAS) are also important metrics involved with revenue attribution.
These metrics are similar and measure how much money you’re getting back compared to how much you’re putting in. Cost per lead (CPL) and cost per acquisition (CPA) are other metrics that measure the costs of gaining potential customers.
Analyzing Customer Behavior
The last metric that can help determine the effectiveness of a campaign dives a little deeper into the behavior of the customer. Clicks and conversions are just the beginning of the overall customer lifetime value (CLV).
This metric measures how much money the customer can be worth based on their average purchase amount multiplied by how many times they make a purchase in a year. If a customer spends an average of $200 for each purchase and buys six times a year, then their CLV would be valued at $12,000 for 10 years.
Future Prospects of Meta Advantage+ and Ecommerce
The potential for Meta Advantage+ is only just starting to be recognized. The program hasn’t been around for very long, but it’s already looking like it could be a game-changer in the world of online advertising.
Over at Meta, it’s business as usual, as they’re already announcing plans for further expansion of the AI system. The goal is to develop the AI so that it can launch an entire ad campaign with minimal input. This way, it can be the starting point for a new business’s ad campaign as opposed to an evolution for existing ones.
The Bottom Line
The world of digital advertising is constantly evolving, with new technologies being created and applied to it. The latest example of this is the Meta Advantage+ Shopping Campaign. In the article above, we’ve discussed the potential benefits of using Meta and a few things to be wary of.
While the tech is still new, it does appear to be effective in helping your business scale and reach new heights in profit revenue by increasing sales and cutting advertising costs. However, success isn’t guaranteed, and results may vary depending on a variety of other factors.
If you’re looking for other ways to improve your digital marketing campaign, then you should schedule a consultation with GR0 to learn more. Our team of experts can lay out an effective marketing campaign that could partner perfectly with your Meta ASC. When combined, the two strategies could “GR0” your business to the next level!
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