Meta consolidated all of its automation products under the “Meta Advantage” suite.
So, what does this mean? What’s the difference between Advantage and Advantage+? Should you care?
The Meta Advantage Suite
The Meta Advantage suite is split into two different product lines: Advantage features and Advantage+ products.
Advantage features are focused primarily around targeting and The Performance Goal is chosen within the ad set and determines optimization and delivery. How you optimize impacts who sees your ad. Meta will show your ad to people most likely to perform your desired action. More automation. Advantage+ products prioritize automating campaign creation and creative.
The benefits of Meta Advantage (according to Meta):
Following are the Advantage features:
- When turned on, Meta can expand your audience to reach people beyond the Detailed Targeting (interests and behaviors) that you selected, but only if that expansion is expected to lead to better results. Location, age, gender, and exclusions are hard constraints, and the expanded audience will continue to follow those rules. More
- When turned on, Meta can expand your audience if it believes you can get better results by doing so. That expansion will be achieved by increasing the percentage of your lookalike audience, using the original custom audience for training. More
- When turned on, Meta has the ability to expand targeting beyond your selected custom audience. The location, age, gender, and exclusions that you input will continue to be used as hard constraints. More
- Advantage Campaign Budget (formerly Campaign Budget Optimization) automatically manages your Facebook campaign budget across ad sets to get you the overall best results. More
And here is a running list of the Advantage+ products:
- Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns offer a streamlined way of creating a Sales campaign that leverages machine learning to get the best results. Presets are locked in and can't be changed. The advertiser provides custom audiences at the account level that define current customers and can then determine a budget cap for how much of the budget is spent on current customers. More
- Advantage+ App Campaigns automate and streamline app install campaigns while using machine learning to deliver the best results. The advertiser will have fewer steps and customization options, putting more faith in the algorithm. Meta suggests use this when scaling your app installs is a primary objective. More
- Formerly known as Automatic Placements. When you utilize Advantage+ Placements, Meta will automatically optimize which placements are used and when to get you the most results for your budget. More
- When turned on, Advantage+ Creative can make adjustments to your ad on a per-user basis to get you the best results. Adjustments include text (swapping headline and description), image brightness, turning images into a video, applying a template, adding music for Stories, and more. More
- When turned on, Meta can dynamically make adjustments to creative elements related to your Advantage+ Catalog Ads. More
- Previously known as Dynamic Ads. By providing a catalog of your products that includes details like product name, price, description, and image, Meta can dynamically show the right ad to the right person at the right time. This is far more efficient for e-commerce brands with hundreds or thousands of products, rather than creating individual ads for each product. More
- Advantage+ International Catalog Ads are a variation of Advantage+ Catalog Ads for cases in which you’ve uploaded country and language feeds to your catalog. Meta will automatically show people relevant items from your catalog with the correct information for their country or language. More
Let’s take a trip through the Advantage features and Advantage+ products.
Advantage Detailed Targeting
Advertisers can provide detailed targeting based on interests and behaviors to isolate their target This is the group of people who can potentially see your ads. You help influence this by adjusting age, gender, location, detailed targeting (interests and behaviors), custom audiences, and more. More. This is one of the oldest forms of Meta ads targeting.
Advantage Detailed Targeting gives Meta the ability to expand your Detailed Targeting inputs and Reach measures the number of Accounts Center Accounts (formerly users) that saw your ads at least once. You can have one account reached with multiple impressions. More people beyond that group if it will lead to more or better results.
In the screenshot above, an When you create a campaign, one of the first things you'll do is select an objective. The campaign objective is your ultimate goal. Your selection will impact options, including optimization and delivery. Options include Awareness, Traffic, Engagement, Leads, App Promotion, and Sales. More was used that gives advertisers the ability to turn this on and off. But in some cases, Advantage Detailed Targeting is always on and can’t be turned off.
This expansion of your audience will continue to respect location, gender, and age filters as well as exclusions.
While Meta can automatically expand your audience, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your audience will be expanded — or will be significantly. The key here is that it should only be used for your benefit.
Unfortunately, there’s currently no easy way to isolate how often your audience is expanded or how effective it is, beyond creating a Split testing (or A/B testing) allows you to test changes in Facebook variables like ad creative, audience, or placement to determine which approach performs best. More to compare results when it is on and off.
For more information on Advantage audience expansion products, read this blog post.
Many advertisers provide Lookalike Audiences for targeting to reach people who are similar to customers and those who engage with their brand. Advantage Lookalike will allow Meta to reach people beyond that group if it will lead to more and better results.
The difference here is that your audience can be expanded by reaching people within a broader lookalike percentage. You may target people who are in the top 1% of those who are similar to your customers, and Meta can expand to reach people in the top 10%.
As is the case with Advantage Detailed Targeting, Meta will continue to respect your location, age, gender, and exclusion settings. And once again, there are times based on optimization when you cannot turn this off.
As is the case with all audience expansion products, it will only be used to your benefit. But unfortunately, there’s no easy way to see how it impacted your results.
Advantage Custom Audience
Advantage Custom Audience works like Advantage Detailed Targeting, but the expansion of your audience only applies to your custom audience.
As is the case with all audience expansion tools, expansion will respect your location, gender, age, and exclusion settings and will only be used to your benefit.
One difference here is that Advantage Custom Audience is always an option. There’s not currently an objective or optimization that requires you to turn it on. This is probably a good thing as there may be examples when your messaging only applies to those in a very specific group.
Advantage Campaign A budget is an amount you're willing to spend on your Facebook campaigns or ad sets on a daily or lifetime basis. More
When you create a new campaign, one of your options is Advantage Campaign Budget.
Here’s how it works…
This applies in cases where you have multiple An ad set is a Facebook ads grouping where settings like targeting, scheduling, optimization, and placement are determined. More. Instead of setting separate budgets for each ad set, you will set an overall budget for the campaign.
Meta will then distribute your campaign budget optimally across ad sets to get you the best results. In other words, more of your budget may be spent on a high-performing ad set and less of your budget may be spent on one that isn’t leading to A conversion is counted whenever a website visitor performs an action that fires a standard event, custom event, or custom conversion. Examples of conversions include purchases, leads, content views, add to cart, and registrations. More.
While you can establish ad set spend maximums and minimums, it’s recommended that you don’t.
Each ad set will need to utilize the same optimization and When you enter an ad into the auction, Meta will bid for you. But in some cases, it may benefit you to adjust the bidding strategy to get better results. Options include Highest Volume, Cost Per Result Goal, Highest Value, ROAS Goal, and Bid Cap. More. It’s recommended that you use ad sets with similar audience sizes or you may see that most of your budget is spent on the ad set with the larger audience.
Advantage+ Shopping The campaign is the foundation of your Facebook ad. This is where you'll set an advertising objective, which defines what you want your ad to achieve. More
And now the Advantage+ products…
Possibly the most popular among e-commerce advertisers is Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns.
This approach offers a streamlined way of creating a Sales campaign that leverages machine learning to get the best results.
Presets are locked in and can’t be changed.
Targeting is broad, based only on location, allowing the algorithm to find your customers.
The advertiser provides custom audiences at the account level that define current customers…
…and can then determine a budget cap for how much of the budget is spent on current customers.
You can also set Audience Controls for Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns to prevent your ads from being shown to certain ages and in restricted locations.
Advantage+ App Campaigns
Advantage+ App Campaigns automate and streamline app install campaigns while using machine learning to deliver the best results.
As is the case with Advantage+ Shopping, the advertiser will have fewer steps and customization options, putting more faith in the algorithm. Meta suggests use this when Scaling is the process of increasing your budget or focus to get more results from an effective campaign or ad set. Advertisers often speak of vertical scaling (increasing your budget) or horizontal scaling (increasing your targeting audience) to achieve these results. More your app installs is a primary objective.
Advantage+ Placements was formerly known as Automatic Placements.
When you utilize Advantage+ Placements, Meta will automatically optimize what placements are used and when to get you the most results for your budget.
While advertisers have a long history of manually selecting the placements that they believe are most effective, it is often best practice to turn on Advantage+ Placements. The manual selection of placements may restrict the algorithm and force your ads to be shown in the most competitive placements, driving up your costs.
There are exceptions of course (particularly when optimizing for clicks or ThruPlay), but it usually makes sense to use Advantage+ Placements when optimizing for any type of conversion. The algorithm will optimize in real time based on the performance of each A placement is a location where your ad is shown. Examples include Facebook's mobile Feed, Messenger, Instagram feed, Audience Network, right-hand column, and more. More to get you the best results.
Advantage+ Creative allows Meta to automatically adjust your ad creative to get the best results.
Examples of adjustments include:
- Standard Enhancements
- 3D Animation
Standard Enhancements allow Meta to automatically make the following adjustments to your media:
- Adjusting the image brightness or contrast
- Applying artistic filters
- Varying aspect ratio
- Adding templates to a feed image
And examples of ad-level compositional changes include:
- Adding labels from your Facebook page (likes or ratings)
- Displaying relevant comments below your ad
- Swapping text combinations
When turned on, Advantage+ Creative will automatically create multiple variations of your ad, showing versions that people are most likely to respond to.
There are several possible enhancements that may be made, both to media and ad-level compositional changes. You can get a preview of what these enhancements will look like when creating your ad.
Some advertisers have complained about how some of these enhancements don’t look good or may not be consistent with branding. Make sure you take a look at how these adjustments can be applied before turning them on.
Advantage+ Catalog Ads
Advantage+ Catalog Ads have been around for a long time, but they were previously known as Dynamic Ads.
By providing a catalog of your products that includes details like product name, price, description, and image, Meta can dynamically show the right ad to the right person at the right time.
This is far more efficient for e-commerce brands with hundreds or thousands of products, rather than creating individual ads for each product.
Advantage+ Creative for Catalog
Advantage+ Creative for Catalog applies the similar adjustments to your creative that’s found in the base Advantage+ Creative product.
When turned on, Meta can dynamically make adjustments to the following:
- Format: Either the A carousel allows you to display two or more scrollable images or videos in the same ad, with the ability to link each to a different URL. More or collection format will be shown.
- Description variations for carousel ads: If you add catalog details to your description (like price or shipping), Meta will show the version that is most likely to lead to results for each person.
- Media and creative options for collection ads: Meta can create auto-generated videos with products from your catalog.
- Product tags: Meta may automatically add product tags to ads that appear in Instagram Feed and Explore.
Advantage+ International Catalog Ads
Advantage+ International Catalog Ads are a variation of Advantage+ Catalog Ads for cases in which you’ve uploaded country and language feeds to your catalog.
Meta will automatically show people relevant items from your catalog with the correct information for their country or language.
Should You Trust It?
Meta Advantage and Advantage+ are mostly about automation and optimization. You can do things manually or you can put your trust in Meta’s machine learning and automated adjustments.
At the very least, you should experiment with all of these features and products, where relevant. You may have reservations, but you may be surprised by the results.
Meta Advantage has challenged many of our advertising assumptions. There was a time when it was generally considered best practice to manually select your target audience or turn certain placements off, for example. But as Meta improves its systems, we need to adjust.
There are certainly exceptions and times when it may not be best to use these options. But you should still make that determination for yourself on a case-by-case basis.
What do you think about Meta Advantage? Is it a good thing?
Let me know in the comments below!