After a successful beta test, Meta launched Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns in August 2022, which have since been proven to be an incredibly effective way to drive traffic to your online store, and increase sales with less heavy lifting.
Meta’s Advantage+ shopping campaigns can help make your eCommerce store more visible, and generate more sales. In this post, we’ll take a look at what these campaigns entail, and how to set them up, along with advantages, limitations, and caveats, and how to use them in your process.
What are Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns?
Meta’s Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns, often abbreviated and called ASC, are automated product promotion campaigns that use machine learning to dynamically serve your ads to the audiences most likely to convert, while better utilizing your advertising budget.
ASC eliminates manual ad creation steps and according to Meta, ‘automates up to 150 creative combinations at once’.
How to set up a Meta Advantage+ Shopping Campaign
Using Meta Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns is relatively straightforward, which is an added benefit for those that may be newer to advertising on the platform or are small business owners.
To get started, click the ‘+Create’ button in Meta Ads Manager and select the sales campaign objective, then ‘Continue’.
Next, select ‘Advantage+ Shopping Campaign’ over the manual setup and click ‘Continue’.
As you’ll see on the next set-up screen, there are some targeting options and settings available, but most of your regular campaign options will be missing, as the purpose of the Advantage+ process is to leverage Meta’s AI and automation abilities, and not limit that with manual qualifiers.
Name your campaign accordingly, select a special ad category if applicable, select Website or Website and App (e.g. Shops on FB/IG) for your conversion location, your geotargeting, daily or lifetime budget, start and end dates, and your attribution setting.
When setting this up for the first time, you’ll notice the ‘Audience type breakdown’ area, where you can include existing customers in your account settings, and see audience type breakdowns between your new and existing customers.
In account settings, you can pull from your custom audiences customer lists or create new ones.
There is another field for suggested ads to run where you can review these, or import all ads. Meta recommends importing all suggested ads to start, and I also do as well, in order to see how they perform before you begin testing other tactics.
You can also go to the ad level to create new ads. Another tactic we often do with ASC is to add your top-performing ads from other campaigns and test here to see the results that ASC can deliver in comparison.
A key advantage of ASC is that it’s automated, leaving you with more time to focus on other aspects of your work as an advertiser or business owner.
The process is streamlined and efficient, and with the noticeable improvements Meta has made on the advertising front over the last year, leveraging their AI should produce more favorable results for you – more so since the iOS14 update that adversely impacted advertising in April 2021.
ASC Limits and Caveats
While ASC is plentiful in benefits, it is a significant change in how we’re accustomed to advertising on the platform, but that’s also part of the excitement of being in our line of work – it’s ever-evolving and keeps us employed as we grow, learn, and adapt.
One potential downside is that if you enjoyed audience research and selecting who and how to target, ASC limits that, as detailed in the aforementioned setup portion. There’s also no ad placement control, so your ads will serve wherever Meta decides.
Meta only allows up to 8 ASC’s per account. While also found that while most brands have one customer list, you can improve performance by segmenting your customer lists if your brand has multiple product lines (e.g. if you are a shoe brand and you sell boots, sneakers, and sandals). ASC may find it challenging to convert similar, but different customers using one customer list, so it can be better to segment your audiences, instead of bundling all of your customers together, in order to drive better returns and optimize.
ASC can be used for both prospecting and retargeting, but we’ve seen greater success top of funnel, in driving more sales, similarly to non-ASC catalog sales campaigns this year, so you may also want to spend more of your ASC budget top of funnel.
And surprisingly, despite widespread success, as reported by many advertisers (including from our own client accounts), not all accounts have access to ASC yet. If you don’t, keep an eye out, ask your Meta Ad reps, or reach out to chat support to see if requesting can help expedite access.
Take Advantage of ASC
Overall, Meta Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns offer an effective way for eCommerce brands to maximize reach and performance with less manual effort. By leveraging valuable data collected by Meta, businesses can utilize ASC to help them reach the right customers while still staying within budget constraints, and maximizing sales.
If you haven’t tested them out yet, consider setting up Meta Advantage+ Shopping campaigns in the new year to see what automation can do for you – and if you’re already up and running, continue testing new creatives and scaling in 2023.
A version of this post was first published on the Akvertise Inc. blog.