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For some time now, the trend in online marketing tools has been automation and simplification. This applies to almost all aspects: campaign creation, selection of advertising materials, target groups, account structures or placements. Facebook is no exception. On the blue platform, since last year we have had the opportunity to give almost all control to algorithms. They will indicate the optimal place to display ads, budget or “improve” our resources. However, using them will not always be a good choice. Specialists from marketing agencies have repeatedly pointed out that the results obtained in campaigns that use automation can be weaker than those put up “manually.” However, it is worth knowing what options Facebook provides in this sector.
Advantage and Advantage+
To begin with, Advantage and Advantage+ products need to be distinguished. Both use algorithms and automatic settings, but differ in the degree of automation.
The Advantage products allow you to automate only a specific part of your campaign setup. We are talking about specific targeting, a group of similar audiences and the budget of an Advantage campaign.
Advantage+ is an option that allows you to automate the whole process of creating a campaign or one of the main steps when setting campaign parameters manually. Automation is available within audiences, budget, placements, ad creatives, and destinations.
Advantage+ is an option that allows you to automate the entire process of campaign creation or one of the main steps when setting up a campaign manually.
As I mentioned earlier, in this group we will find products that allow us to automate one element of the campaign. We can optimize the other elements manually without worrying about the algorithm changing our settings.
Detailed Targeting Advantage
When creating a campaign, at the ad set level, we should define the target audience of our ads, the so-called target. To do this effectively, we need to take into account many factors, such as demographics, interests or user location. I described the topic in more detail in the article on ad targeting When selecting our target audience, at the very bottom, we can check the option “Advance Specific Targeting“. If we choose to do so, Facebook will display our ads to people outside of our target audience if it thinks it will provide additional or cheaper results. The algorithms will take into account the purpose of the ad campaign, also in theory we don’t have to worry about wasted budget. This option is enabled by default for most campaigns, and we can turn it off at any time, even if our campaign has been running for a while.
Similar Audience Advantage
This option is very similar to the Advantage specific targeting described above. It also applies to the targeting group, but when we use “similar audience” targeting. Again, we can choose the Advantage option, which will allow ads to be shown to people who are not part of the “similar audience,” but there is a high probability that the results will be better or cheaper than the target group we set. It is also possible to exclude a specific group of people from the “Advantage similar audience”. If we choose to do this, the algorithms will still display ads more broadly than we planned, but will bypass the specific group that is not the target of our campaign.
Avantage campaign budget
Function is to automatically distribute the budget among all ad sets in an ad campaign. When you create a campaign, you indicate the overall budget that will be distributed to all ad sets – the algorithms will take into account the probability of getting the best results. Ad sets that will have a higher chance of generating conversions will receive a larger share of the budget than those that will prove to be too ineffective for the algorithm. We enable this option at the campaign settings level, but it will only be effective if the campaign contains a minimum of two ad sets.
When using Advantage+ products, we give the algorithms total control over our campaign or a key element of it. It’s like moving from the driver of a vehicle to the passenger seat – we can influence the driver, but ultimately the driver will decide which way to turn. This works better in some cases, worse in others. There is no one-size-fits-all scheme for effective combinations of automated and manually set elements, which is why A/B testing is often used here.
Avantage+ application campaign
When creating an app promotion campaign, we have two ways to choose: the classic one, where we configure the campaign manually, and Advantage+, where a significant part of the settings are given over to algorithms. Opting for the automated option, we will not be able to choose the target audience or placements ourselves. We will only indicate our application, language and location of ad display, budget and possibly ad format (editable text, headlines, CTAs). To whom, in what location and when the ad will be displayed depends on the algorithm, which, depending on the goal of the campaign, will target ads to people among whom getting the desired action is most likely. This is certainly a faster way to test different audiences and placements than manually testing ad sets. The disadvantage, however, is that even when the ads get satisfactory results, the algorithm will continue to test other combinations in search of better and better results.
Ad Placements Advantage+
Facebook ad placements are all the places where our ads are displayed. At the stage of creating a set of ads, we can manually indicate the ones we are interested in. We can choose from more than a dozen placements, divided into Facebook, Instagram or Messenger However, we don’t have to choose them ourselves. The Advantage+ Placement option, which divides audiences according to the likelihood of performing interactions in specific placements, can help here. Of course, Facebook won’t let us check the figures obtained by the algorithms, but it can choose the most effective placements for our ads for us. The effectiveness of this solution is higher the longer the duration of the campaign – at first it may not produce the expected results, but once we get out of the learning phase, the results should improve.
To use this option, we need to meet two conditions:
- The goal of our advertising campaign must be traffic acquisition, contacts, activity, sales or application promotion.
- We will use ads with a single image or video in the campaign.
If we meet the given conditions, we can select the option to use Advantage+ standard enhancements at the ad creation stage. This feature will create multiple ad variants and display them to people who, according to the algorithms, are most likely to interact with them. In addition to creating variants, we can also apply three optimizations:
- Standard enhancements: this includes automatically scaling an image or video to the ad, using templates to better display the ad in specific placements, or displaying Facebook comments under the ad.
- Image brightness and contrast: Facebook will automatically adjust the brightness and contrast of an image if it positively affects the performance of ads.
- Music: if we use placements that can use sound, Facebook will automatically add music to our ads. We can manually point to up to five songs from Facebook’s library, or let it automatically choose based on the content of the ad. Unfortunately, we cannot indicate our own song. Music is not available if the content of the ad is a video we uploaded.
According to statistics boasted by Facebook, ads using standard enhancements had a score cost that was 3% lower compared to ads that did not use these optimizations.
For us, even Advantage with a plus is not advanced!
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Avantage+ Shopping Campaign
An option that is particularly useful for people who use Facebook to advertise products for sale When the product feed is extremely large, and we want to create ads for each product, Advantage+ Shopping Campaign can help us. To do this, we first need to set up a product feed on Facebook Once this is done, we can move on to creating a campaign. We can set up very little here – there is no target audience, no placements and no indication of a specific set of products. We only create an ad template, based on which product attributes are “pulled” into the ad. At the ad configuration level, we select the “Catalog” option, which causes automatic use of multimedia from the catalog. Users will see only ads for those products that are most likely to interest them.
International Advantage+ catalog ads
Configuration of such ads is twinned with the campaign described above. The only difference is the addition of languages at the time of ad creation. To do this, select the “Add language” option and indicate the language of interest. Then fill in the text fields with the translated content and continue creating the campaign. The ads will automatically display products from our catalog to the recipient, along with the description in his language and the price given in his currency.
As you can see, Facebook automation options are plentiful. Google Ads is also slowly moving in this direction, such as through automated recommendation insertion and Performance Max campaigns. Everything is moving toward involving humans as little as possible in the creation of ads – all actions and decisions are increasingly being made by algorithms and artificial intelligence. However, before robots fully take over marketing, it is worth testing various solutions yourself. On Facebook, I particularly recommend checking the results achieved using Advantage+ Placements and Advantage Detailed Targeting. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to use standard enhancements either – I have yet to encounter a case where their inclusion has caused negative results.
It’s also worth keeping an eye on the new capabilities of Facebook’s algorithms. Every now and then, new options appear on this site, which have more power to test solutions than even the best specialist, configuring sets of ads for several hours a day.
They are also worth following.
Hi! I have been involved in internet marketing for almost two years. I click on the computer and spend money that is not my own in such a way that it is most profitable for the owner of that money :) Despite a relatively short presence in the marketing industry, I have dealt with the largest Polish e-commerce companies. At UpMore I am responsible for managing projects including: in Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Apple Search Ads.