Advantage+ Shopping is Meta’s latest and greatest way to setup shopping campaigns that utilize AI for optimizating and driving sales. Meta officialy rolled out this new campaign type to ecommerce and retail advertisers on August 15, 2022.

Setting up this new shopping campaign type only takes a few minutes. This is because the manual setup is mainly taken over by AI now. The end goal is to drive higher ROAS by automation of targeting, placements and creatives.

In this article, you’ll learn how to setup an Advantage+ Shopping Campaign and how the Meta’s AI system will optimize ad delivery and results.

The setup is quick and easy, still there are some important steps to take to get the most out of your Shopping campaign.

Embracing AI

Before we get into details on how to create an Advantage+ shopping campaign, let’s talk about AI and its benefits first.

Meta’s promise of working with Advantage+ solutions for driving performance is high. When you select Advantage+ it means that you will be using Meta’s best practices and AI for driving purchases.

Instead of creating multiple campaigns and ad sets for reaching different audiences, Advantage+ Shopping campaigns allow you to combine all audiences into one simplified campaign setup. Because of this setup, audience overlap is also being reduced, which is good for maximizing overall results at lowest costs.

The following setup is steamlined as follow:

  • Fewer steps to create your campaign
  • Tailored to help the ideal campaign creation
  • Using best practices as presets for your campaign

The main benefits, according to Meta, are the following:

  • Optimization: Maximize the number of purchases
  • Personalization: Get your ad seen by the right person at the right time
  • Efficiency: Free up time by saving time creating and optimizing campaigns. Use this time saved to invest in the fundamentals of your business instead.

Creating a new Advantage+ Shopping Campaign

Now let’s dive into the process of setting up a new Advantage+ campaign from scratch.

Open Meta Ads Manager and Click the green Create campaign button. Select the ‘Sales’ objective and click Continue.

Note that this screenshot shows the new ODAX interface (Outcome-driven Ad Experiences), having 6 simplified objectives to choose from. ODAX is currently being rolled out, so if you’re still seeing the ‘old’ campaign objective interface, choose ‘Conversions’ instead.

After selecting the objective, Meta will suggest to create and ‘Advantage+ shopping campaign’. Select this option and hit Continue.

This campaign type requires fewer inputs by the advertiser during the setup. It will take care of targeting, placements and budget allocation.

In the next screen, you will notice that the campaign was created using these presets. You can view all preset settings by click ‘See all preset settings’. This is a view-only mode, meaning that you can’t change these preset settings.

If you need to change specific settings, you will have to switch back and create a manual campaign instead.

After you have reviewed the default setup settings, name your campaign. Make sure that you can quickly identify your campaign. Suggested campaign name: advantage-plus-shopping-country (add the country that you want to target at the end of the campaign name).

Now be aware that you need to have an active Meta Pixel installed on your webshop that sends the ‘Purchase’ event. Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns optimize for ‘Purchase’ events by default.

If you don’t have a Meta pixel installed, make sure to add it to your webshop first and configure the Purchase event to send data to the Meta ad platform.

Pro tip (Recommended, but not required for this setup to work): Implement the Meta Conversions API to send purchase data server-side.

The ‘Purchase’ Conversion Event will automatically be selected during the setup of this shopping campaign.

Available Audience Targeting Settings

Now add your desired location targeting. This is the country where you want to sell your products. You can add multiple countries or just select one.

Note that this is the only audience targeting that you are allowed to provide. You can’t target by other demographics such as age or gender. Targeting by interests is also not an option.

Limiting these audience targeting options is intentional as the goal is to provide liquidity and freedom for the machine learning systems to find as many customers as possible within your targeted location. If you would narrow the audience by age, gender or interests, you would be limiting results.

You are now done configuring the audience targeting settings.

Reporting of this campaign type provides options to receive additional insights about your campaign. Because you have limited controls for targeting specific audiences, you still want to know how existing vs. new customers are converting.

Some input is needed to breakdown reports between new and existing customers.

Click ‘Go to account settings’ to open the Ad Account settings page.

Or navigate to ‘Ad Account Settings’ from the Business Manager menu.

You will see a new, dedicated section to create custom audiences. You can select existing custom audiences or create new custom audiences by clicking the Create button.

All audiences that are added here will be identified as ‘Existing customers’ in the reporting interface of your campaign.

Note that you can add customer lists, but also other types of custom audiences. E.g. you could add a custom audience containing ‘all website visitors’. This will allow you to segment these audiences as ‘existing customers’ vs. ‘new customers’. You can use whatever list is relevant for your business to report on as ‘existing customers’.

Setting Budget and Optimization Controls

After you’ve added your custom audiences, you can now set a budget cap to spend on your existing customers. This is a smart option because you’ll want to control how much budget Meta will allocate towards your custom audiences. If you would not set this budget cap, Meta could possibly be allocating more budget on existing customers instead of finding new customers.

Set your desired ‘Existing Customer Budget Cap’.

Note that Meta advises to only set a cap if you need to prioritize new user acquisition as it may reduce overall purchase volume.

One more option to set before we get to the creative part of the setup process.

Choose the attribution setting you wish to use for your campaign. This setting will impact peformance and reporting of your campaign. It will use data from the selected setting to optimize ad delivery and you will only see results that happened in the selected attribution window.

Think smart about selecting the attribution. In most cases, you’ll want to select the ‘7-day click or 1-day view’ setting. This will maximize the number of signals that Meta can use to optimize your campaign. If you have lots of visitors and conversions happening on your webshop on a daily basis, you can consider setting it to ‘click’ only attribution.

Adding Creatives to your Advantage+ Shopping Campaign

Almost done!

After reviewing and tweaking the audience and delivery setting, it is time to add some creatives.

If this is the first time you are creating this type of campaign, Meta will suggest to import ads based on historical data. You will see an overview of suggested ads to import.

These are ads that have proven to generate results based on historal campaign performance. Meta suggests to import all eligible existing ads so that it can automatically test your creatives and deliver the best performing ones.

Ads that are added to the campaign can be customized at the ad level later. You can also add new ads the way you would when setting up shopping campaigns manually. You can test up to 150 creative combinations in one campaign to deliver the best performing ads to the highest value shoppers.

Select the ads you want to import and click Import All Ads.

That’s it! Yes, you have now created an Advantage+ Shopping campaign.

Review all setup details and hit publish. After you’ve published the campaign, you will notice that the structure of your campaign is different from other campaigns. The campaign and ad set level are combined into one overview.

Audience Performance Breakdowns

Reports will focus on results and delivery insights.

When you’ve added custom audiences during the setup, you can now breakdown results by ‘Audience Type’. This breakdown option allows you to view results by new and existing customers/audiences. This means that you can report on how many purchases came from New customers vs. people in your custom audience segments (Existing customers).

You may see three reporting rows:

  1. Existing Customers: This column shows purchases from people that are included in your Custom Audiences and added to your campaign.
  2. New Customers: This column shows purchases from people outside your Custom Audiences.
  3. Unknown: This column will show results when your ad was delivered to people while your existing customer segment was still empty. These people may have been new or existing customers.

Be aware that these values are estimated. Existing customers may be mapped to New Customers when they aren’t matched during your custom audience setup. E.g. Someone purchased from your shop in the past, but this person isn’t added to a customer list or isn’t included in your website custom audience due to privacy related tracking limitations.

When you are running Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns in multiple countries (E.g. You’ve added both Belgium and Netherlands as targeting countries during the campaign setup.), you can also breakdown by ‘Audience Type and Country’. This way you can easily report on performance by audience type and country.

Conclusion

This is the first (almost)-fully automated campaign available that uses AI to help advertisers maximizing results. The setup is quick and easy, but you need to be aware of the defaults and monitor closely if that setup works for your business. Advertisers already seeing lots of purchase activity will probably benefit more from this campaign type than niche advertisers having smaller budgets to let the AI take over.

AI driven campaigns will be the future.

Start experimenting with this type of campaigns today and see how it performs for your business. Discover where you still need to make manual changes and keep running manual campaigns if they work better for your business.

Meta will probably expand its automation processes and setups in the near future, but advertisers still need to be able to make manual changes when variables are too specific to transform into 1 setup for all advertisers.

Keep testing!

About the Author

Bram

Bram Van der Hallen is an all-round Belgian Digital Marketer and Meta Certified Professional with 14+ years experience in media planning and buying.Bram talks about Facebook Ads on LinkedIn. Click here to Follow Bram on LinkedIn.

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