Best Practices for Meta Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns
Meta’s Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns (A+SC) is an advanced optimization model specifically designed for direct-to-consumer and ecommerce retailers to consolidate campaigns with a full-funnel marketing approach in the post-iOS 14.5 landscape.
This new model is streamlined for easy setup and uses machine learning to optimize performance and deliver top-performing ads to your most valuable customers. A+SC is making significant headway in the wake of the IOS 14.5 landscape and appears to be the future of Meta advertising.
But how can you make the most of this powerful tool? Our expert team has put together a guide of best practices that will help you knock your next campaign out of the park. Let’s dive in!
Recently Adlucent partnered with a leading apparel brand to test A+SC to lower cost per acquisition. We achieved 46% lower CPM, 27% higher conversion rate (CVR), 49% lower cost per order (CPO), and 30% higher return on ad spend (ROAS) over our test, comparing A+SC to our control group campaigns.
META A+SC ADS BEST PRACTICEs
By consolidating full-funnel marketing approaches into a single campaign, A+SC simplifies the process of creating campaigns, eliminating the need for several manual steps. With A+SC, creative input is a breeze, as the model automatically tests up to 150 creative combinations, identifying the top-performing variation and delivering it to your audience.
The key is to load the system with as many creatives as possible. Meta’s AI will automatically perform media enhancements that automatically tailor each creative to match individual user preferences. We recommend launching campaigns with upwards of 10 creatives. We’ve seen that campaigns perform best with a combination of DPA (dynamic product ads), static, video, and carousel.
Dynamic catalog (DPA): This ad type is highly recommended as it is typically the strongest-performing ad type. DPA is excellent at driving conversions from the lower funnel and existing customers. As with regular DPA campaigns, we recommend using the product title as the headline and test ads that showcase the price as a dynamic overlay or the description.
Video: We highly recommend utilizing video creative as this ad type receives significant reach in stories, reels, and Instagram. We recommend testing various ad formats (UGC (user-generated content), testimonials, infographics, etc.) to allow Meta to identify the best format for each audience.
Static: Static ads are still the standard. They are the easiest ads to create and often deliver the most impressions. Static ads are typically best for highlighting sales/promotions. ASC allows you to test multiple permutations of static ads utilizing media enhancements.
Carousel: Carousel ads are effective at highlighting sales/promotions as well as showcasing best-selling products. We recommend utilizing lifestyle-focused creative in carousel ads, as this provides additional branding alternatives to DPA or standard product-focused ads.
How to Optimize Your Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns
While Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns are intended to reduce the time spent in the learning phase through campaign consolidation, we have found that A+SC are taking longer to exit the learning phase than BAU (business as usual) campaigns (up to 4 weeks).
The critical optimization strategy with A+SC is to minimize changes to budget, ads, and/or structure to avoid pushing the campaign back into the learning phase. If necessary, we recommend scaling budgets by only 25% per day to prevent driving campaigns back into the learning phase.
Ad optimization differs from BAU campaigns in several areas. One of our observations is that the conversion rate for A+SC ads has been much higher than BAU campaigns, and the frequency is much lower. This is likely the result of Meta’s machine learning targeting the right customer at the right time with the creative most likely to lead to customer conversion. As a result, ads have more longevity than BAU campaigns, and we’ve seen ads perform well in the eight weeks after launching.
What to keep in mind
A/B Testing: As with all new campaign types, we recommend A/B testing A+SC vs. BAU campaigns (where possible). However, give A+SC more time and budget to optimize, as it takes up to 4 weeks for A+SC to break out of the learning phase.
Budget Allocation: Meta is not forcing migration to A+SC, but initial data suggests that A+SC will likely become the platform’s top-performing campaign type. Therefore, we recommend throttling more budget towards A+SC than you would in a typical campaign. A good rule of thumb is to start A+SC budgets at least 50 times the average cost per acquisition divided by 7. This should be a good baseline for giving campaigns enough budget to optimize toward the 50 conversions needed per week to get out of the learning phase.
Advantage+ Shopping campaigns are proving to be a vital step for Meta to regain performance losses caused by iOS 14.5 updates. Overall, A+SC are easier to set up, and we’re seeing them outperform BAU campaigns. We highly recommend testing these campaigns as soon as possible, as it’s likely that Meta will continue to move towards automation and AI.
At Adlucent, we are committed to staying in the know on the latest in MarTech. For this reason, we are strongly emphasizing expanding A+SC over the next year. We expect that the best practices will continue to evolve as the product evolves, and we will continue to test different strategies to achieve the best performance for each client.
Are you interested in discussing the future of advertising on Meta, and/or have any questions regarding Advantage+ Shopping campaigns? As a Meta Business Partner with over 20+ years of experience, we settle for nothing less than above and beyond for your digital performance marketing. Let’s chat.
Jack Fowler is an Associate Director of Strategy at Adlucent and has over ten years of digital marketing and paid social experience with various companies such as Meta, Radish, Exploding Kittens, and StitcherAds. He holds an MBA in Digital Media Management from St. Edward’s University. He’s passionate about helping clients develop innovative data-driven strategies that maximize returns.
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