Meta’s Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns: the Future of Social eCommerce Advertising?

Digital marketing moves fast, and it’s vital that advertisers embrace new tools and techniques if they want to stay competitive. In recent months, Meta (the social juggernaut behind Facebook and Instagram) has been rolling out a new smart campaign style called Advantage+, which offers several useful ad types—including ones generated from your Facebook shop.

These newly-released Advantage+ Shopping campaigns have already shown themselves to be a potent tool for driving eCommerce sales. In this blog, we’ll explain what makes them different from other campaign types that Meta offers and what benefits they provide. Of course, every advertising technique has its limitations, so we’ll discuss those, too. 

How Do Advantage+ Campaigns Work? 

Meta’s Advantage+ campaigns work by automating a lot of the decisions that marketers typically have to make—like what audiences to target or where users will land. In lieu of robust audience-building tools that let you choose from various demographics, you’re simply given the option of dividing your campaign budget between new or returning customers. 

Returning customers are established by customer lists that you upload to Meta. You could set your split to 0% in either direction—new or returning customers—to create true retention or prospecting campaigns.

What is the Difference Between Advantage+ and Advantage+ Shopping? 

The term “Advantage+” refers to a suite of machine learning-driven campaign offerings that include a host of different ad integrations, including image, video, and carousel styles. “Advantage+ Shopping” specifically refers to product-based ads that can link directly to a brand’s Facebook Shop or its own online store. It operates across Meta’s platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Marketplace.

These campaigns require fewer inputs, particularly related to targeting, because so much of their effectiveness relies on Meta’s predictive algorithms. For Advantage+ Shopping campaigns, brands don’t have the option to decide whether the ads will send users to their Meta Shop or to their own website. That’s determined by Meta’s algorithms based on where they think the user is more likely to convert.

How Do You Set Up an Advantage+ Shopping Campaign?

Advantage+ Shopping campaigns are set up much like a traditional campaign. When creating a new campaign, select “Sales” as your campaign objective. After that, you’ll have the option to select between a manual sales campaign or an Advantage+ Shopping campaign. 

Benefits of Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns

Excellent Performance: ADM is already running Advantage+ and Advantage+ Shopping campaigns on behalf of several clients, and in most cases these campaigns are delivering phenomenal results. ROAS improvements over standard Core Conversion campaigns have been substantial, even when adjusting for the potential Meta Shop fees (more on those below).

Visibility and Reach: Advantage+ Shopping campaigns provide higher visibility and reach compared to traditional Shopping campaigns. Placements are available across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Meta Audience Network. This exposure can help eCommerce companies reach a wider array of potential customers, particularly those who may not have been previously exposed to their products. And because the ads are dynamic, they automatically showcase the most relevant products to each user based on their browsing behavior, past purchases, and other signals.

More Ads Per Campaign: In a traditional Meta campaign, you can’t create more than 50 ads. Once you hit 50, you have to create a new ad set or start deleting ads (which is not a best practice). With Advantage+, your campaign and ad set are one in the same—they aren’t separated due to the limited targeting options. That allows you to build up to 150 ads per Advantage+ campaign. 

The additional ads options are one of the biggest benefits of Advantage+ Shopping. Brands can test more products and creative iterations at any given time to find their highest-yielding ads more quickly. Meta recommends running 10 to 15 different creative options at any given time in an Advantage+ campaign, which is about double the number of live ads recommended for a standard campaign. 

They Might be the Future of Meta Ads: Ever since the well-documented iOS updates that diminished Facebook ads efficacy a few years back, Meta has been rolling out newer, more opaque targeting methods. Their message to advertisers has been “target with your creative rather than audiences” and let their algorithms do the rest. These highly-effective though less-customizable campaigns may be a glimpse into the future of advertising on Meta.

Limitations of Advantage+ Shopping

Limited Targeting Control: Advantage+ campaigns have limited targeting options compared to other campaign types on Meta. There is no ability to exclude or separate retargeting audiences, which may result in less precise targeting. This can make it challenging to reach specific customer segments or tailor ads based on specific audience characteristics or behaviors. 

It isn’t a total black box, however. You can view demographic reach and performance for your Advantage+ campaigns, including ad spend and conversions segmented by factors like age, gender, device, social platform, and more. 

Fees for Meta Shops: At the moment, Meta isn’t charging fees on items sold through Shops on their platform—but that’s expected to change. This summer, they will roll out a small single-digit percentage fee for items sold through Meta Shops. While, in ADM’s experience, these campaigns send a higher percentage of customers to a brand’s website rather than their shop, companies will still need to account for this fee in their calculation of Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and overall campaign performance. 

Stay Ahead of the Competition

As social media marketing continues to evolve, experimentation with new tools becomes more important. ADM has already worked with several clients to roll out Advantage+ Shopping campaigns, and all parties are impressed so far. One even equated the results to “Facebook in the old days,” as in, before the fateful iOS updates. 

Advantage+ Shopping campaigns can be an integral part of your omni-channel social media strategy. If these campaigns are a sign of things to come, it’s best to begin familiarizing yourself with them now. If you’re interested in working with an agency that never ceases to implement the latest tools and techniques, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. And for more news about new digital marketing tools and techniques—including an upcoming blog about more uses of Meta’s Advantage+ campaigns—don’t forget to sign up for our email list below!