The Advantages and Disadvantages of Meta’s Advantage+ Tools

Date
Jan 22, 2024
Jan 22, 2024
Time
18 mins
On this page
Advantage+

Meta's Advantage+ tools use AI and machine learning to automate elements of a campaign. Inside is everything you need to know about each feature and product.

As we unpack Meta's Advantage+ tools, the benefits and potential drawbacks become clear. This blog cuts through the hype to explore the practical pros and cons.

What is Advantage+, and how does it work?

The purpose of Meta’s Advantage+ suite is to optimize campaigns while also reducing the amount of manual input required to set up and maintain them. How does it achieve this?

The key lies in Meta’s machine learning algorithms and automation. Advantage products learn and adapt on an account-by-account basis, tweaking strategies in real time. The goal is to make your campaigns run smoothly with minimal manual input from you.

These products are designed to understand what works best for your business and apply intelligence to help you meet your business goals. They are especially beneficial if you’ve just started Facebook advertising.

Image source: Socioh

Not following the conventional conversion campaign structure, Advantage+ merges the campaign, ad set, and ad creation stages into a unified process. Notably, it eliminates the manual configuration of settings like bidding strategy and optimization methods.

What’s the difference between Advantage and Advantage+?

The difference between Advantage and Advantage+ lies in their respective focuses. Advantage is geared towards targeting expansion and budget optimization, encompassing features such as Advantage detailed targeting, Advantage lookalike, Advantage custom audience, and Advantage campaign budget (formerly known as campaign budget optimization (CBO)). 

Advantage+, on the other hand, prioritizes the automation of campaign creation and creative optimization. This encompasses Advantage+ shopping, Advantage+ app campaigns, Advantage+ placements,  Advantage+ audience, Advantage+ creative, Advantage+ creative for catalog ads, Advantage+ catalog ads, and Advantage+ international catalog ads. 

Meta Advantage+ campaign types

There are two main types of campaigns offered by Meta Advantage+:

Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns

Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns

What they do:

Advantage+ shopping campaigns (ASC) are Meta's automated product promotion campaigns. These campaigns harness the power of machine learning to dynamically serve your ads to audiences with the highest likelihood of conversion, which, in turn, optimizes your advertising budget.

Advantages

  1. Efficiency: Specifically crafted for business owners seeking to grow online sales, these campaigns stand out for their efficiency. The secret lies in their utilization of machine learning.
  2. Automated testing: Going beyond the ordinary, these campaigns automate the testing of up to 150 creative combinations, ensuring the delivery of ads that consistently outperform others in the competitive landscape.
  3. Improved performance: Facebook found an average improvement of 17% in cost per acquisition and an impressive 32% increase in ROAS. These campaigns prove their worth by delivering concrete performance enhancements for businesses aiming to grow revenue.

Disadvantages

  1. Control limitations: The first potential drawback could be the lack of control. Since Advantage+ is an automated advertising product, some campaign settings are preset and may not be adjustable to the advertiser’s specific needs.
  2. Exclusion concern: These campaigns currently don’t exclude warm audiences. Excluding warm audiences from acquisition campaigns is generally advised for consistent and prolonged growth. To maintain a balanced advertising strategy, it is also advisable not to rely solely on these campaigns, especially if your primary focus is acquisition.
  3. Limited availability: Advantage+ campaigns are not yet available for all advertisers. Therefore, ensure that you check they’re an option in your ad account before deciding to roll with them exclusively.

When to use them

  1. Scaling your business: If your goal is to scale your business, Advantage+ shopping campaigns are your ally. Through machine learning, they will optimize your ad delivery to ensure that your products reach a larger audience.
  2. Product launch: Launching a new product or collection? Advantage+ shopping campaigns are your go-to solution. The system generates a myriad of ad variations, evaluating their resonance with audiences. The best-performing variants are then strategically deployed in the market. 

When not to use them

  1. Preference for control: If you value having complete control over your advertising process, Advantage+ campaigns may not be for you. The machine learning aspect optimizes ad delivery, limiting your ability to define targeting. For instance, if you specifically target products to men, Advantage+ might still serve your ads to a broader audience, including women.
  2. Non-E-commerce businesses: Currently, this cutting-edge technology is tailored exclusively for e-commerce ventures.

Advantage+ app campaigns

Advantage+ app campaigns

What they do:

Advantage+ app campaigns, once known as automated app ads, are your ticket to supercharging the performance of your app installation efforts with minimal hassle. 

By tapping into the capabilities of machine learning, these campaigns ensure that your top-performing creatives reach precisely the audiences that matter on platforms that deliver the best results. 

Plus, you'll appreciate the ease they bring to your plate—they demand fewer inputs during campaign creation, simplify your audience choices, and make the overall creative management process a breeze.

Advantages

  1. Simplified campaign creation: With Advantage+ app campaigns, you benefit from a simplified setup process that demands fewer inputs, enabling you to create up to 50 ads in one go.
  2. Optimized placements: These campaigns strategically showcase your ad across an array of platforms, ensuring maximum visibility on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Meta Audience Network, expanding your reach.
  3. Unrestricted creative freedom: Enjoy limitless creative possibilities. There's no cap on the number of creatives you can upload, allowing you the freedom to experiment and showcase your app in various ways.
  4. Tailored campaign optimization: Benefit from improved delivery models for app install optimization, app event optimization, and value optimization with Advantage+ app campaigns, ensuring that your campaign is finely tuned to achieve your objectives.
  5. Audience options: Advantage+ app campaigns offer simplified audience targeting inputs, empowering you to choose from a combination of country, language, and app stores. 

Disadvantages

  1. Limited control: You can't optimize campaigns, audiences, placements, or ads based on performance, potentially limiting your ability to fine-tune your strategies for better results.
  2. Exclusion limitations: The inability to exclude warm audiences is another drawback. You won't be able to exclude specific groups, such as past or new customers, or audiences you prefer not to target. This limitation may impact the precision of your targeting strategy.

When to use them

  1. Maximizing app install campaigns: Advantage+ app campaigns are designed to maximize the performance of your app install campaigns with minimal effort. This means more reach and a broader audience downloading and using your app.
  2. Optimized strategies: Looking to optimize for multiple app events, conduct creative testing, or infiltrate regional markets? Advantage+ app campaigns provide improved delivery models for app install optimization, app event optimization, and value optimization, allowing you to tailor your strategy to various objectives.
  3. Efficient multiple campaign management: For those managing multiple businesses or subcategories, Advantage+ app campaigns empower you to run up to 9 campaigns simultaneously per country, language, optimization goal, and operating system for each promoted app. 

Additional Meta Advantage+ solutions

While Advantage shopping campaigns and apps form the core of Meta Advantage+, the platform doesn’t stop there. It further extends its capabilities with additional solutions designed to meet diverse marketing needs. Let’s look into how they can further enhance your marketing strategy.

Advantage+ audience

Advantage+ audience

What it does: 

Advantage+ audience is a targeting setting that utilizes Meta's AI to determine the audience for your ad set.

Advantages: 

  1. AI precision: Utilizing Meta's advanced AI, Advantage+ audience excels in pinpointing your campaign's target audience at the ad set level.
  2. Cost-efficiency: Meta found that Advantage+ audience lowers the median cost per product catalog sale by 13%, reduces the median cost per website conversion by 7%, and diminishes the average cost per click, lead, or landing page view by 28%.
  3. Flexible audience control: Despite creating the broadest audience to explore, the advertiser maintains a level of control. This control allows for the exclusion of certain demographics or locations through audience controls.

Disadvantages:

  1. Not ideal for remarketing: Advantage+ audience may not be the best fit for remarketing campaigns because remarketing campaigns typically target a specific group of users who have already interacted with your product or brand. This requires a more focused audience.
  2. Challenging for experienced advertisers: Individuals with pre-existing advertising experience might find Advantage+ audience less beneficial, as it may not align with their accustomed strategies.
  3. Incompatibility with special ads categories: Special Ads Category campaigns falling under Pharmaceuticals, Housing, Employment, Credit Policy, Social Issues, Elections, and Politics ads won't have access to Advantage+ audience, limiting its application in specific advertising categories.

When to use them:

  1. Product launch: Suppose you’re a business owner who is launching a new product. You’re not sure who your target audience is or you want to reach out to as many potential customers as possible. Advantage+ audience is a great tool because it allows you to reach a broad audience.
  2. Brand awareness: In the case that you’re looking to increase your brand’s visibility and recognition, you’ll also find Advantage+ audience valuable.

Advantage+ catalog ads

Advantage+ catalog ads
Image source: Meta

What they do: 

Formerly named dynamic ads, Advantage+ catalog ads take the lead in delivering product recommendations tailored to people's interests, intentions, and actions automatically.

Advantages:

  1. Personalization: Utilizing machine learning, Advantage+ catalog ads generate thousands of personalized ads from a single ad set, showcasing only relevant products from your catalog. This strategy maximizes performance and reduces the cost per result.
  2. Strategic retargeting: These ads are adept at retargeting your website or mobile app visitors, gently reminding them of items they previously viewed but didn’t purchase.
  3. Operational efficiency: As an automated campaign, Advantage+ catalog ads continually optimize and promote all your items, eliminating the need to configure each ad.
  4. Expansive reach: Advantage+ catalog ads extend their reach to new audiences interested in your products or similar ones, utilizing broad audience targeting, even if these individuals haven't visited your website or app yet. This feature, however, is subject to your audience settings.

Disadvantages: 

  1. Higher creative production costs: Achieving the full potential of Advantage+ catalog ads hinges on maintaining a well-curated catalog, ideally with a minimum of 20 items. Expanding your catalog size may incur increased costs associated with producing a larger number of high-quality images.
  2. Less customization: One significant drawback of Advantage+ catalog ads is the minimal customization options provided by Meta, leading to the potential creation of ads that appear plain, dull, and visually inconsistent.
  3. Limited industry support: The support for ads in the travel, automotive, real estate, and creative tools categories is not yet available for Advantage+ catalog ads.

When to use them:

If you’re looking to save time, Advantage+ catalog ads are for you. They use technology to create ads automatically. So, if your business has many products, you don’t have to spend time making an ad for each one. 

When not to use them: 

  1. Low website traffic: For websites with minimal traffic, ads may not effectively deliver if the audience size is less than 20. In such instances, it’s recommended to keep people on your website for longer. By doing so, you can gather a larger group of people who will see your ads which can make your ads more effective.
  2. Product errors: If your Pixel is incorrectly set up or your products contain errors preventing their display, your ads may not showcase relevant product recommendations.
  3. Prefer control: If you prefer maintaining control over your campaigns, audiences, placements, or ads based on performance, Advantage+ catalog ads may not align with your preferences.
  4. Incompatibility with Instagram Stories: Advantage+ catalog ds for Facebook Feed won't be delivered on Instagram Stories if they include map cards, catalog videos, category cards, or collections or if the ad campaign objective is Awareness.

Advantage+ international catalog ads

Advantage+ international catalog ads
Image source: Confect

What they do: 

Advantage+ catalog ads and advantage+ international catalog ads are similar in that they both serve relevant items from your catalog to potential customers. The key difference is that Advantage+ international catalog ads are designed to adjust to different countries’ languages. 

Advantage+ creative

Advantage+ creative

What it does: 

Advantage+ creative generates numerous versions of your ad creative dynamically and serves a personalized variant to each individual, depending on what they’re most likely to respond to. It is for ads using a single ad or video.

Advantages:

  1. Diversity: Advantage+ creative automatically generates multiple versions of your ad, presenting each viewer with a personalized variant tailored to them.
  2. Media enhancements: It can modify image properties, aspect ratios, brightness, contrast, artistic filters, and the overall quality and appeal of the provided creative. 
  3. Ad-level compositional changes: Tailoring the display and arrangement of ad components based on the expected response of the audience, which may involve additions like labels, relevant Facebook and Instagram comments, and varied text combinations.

Disadvantages:

  1. High creative production costs: Facebook recommends switching your ad creative numerous times monthly to sustain high performance and avoid ad fatigue. This means increased production costs to generate high-quality creatives continually. That's why all-in-one production solutions, such as Madgicx's Creative Workflow, are soaring in popularity. Creative Workflow aids in meeting your advertising demands by helping you consistently create converting Meta ads.
Madgicx Ad Library

Feeling unsure about what direction to take creatively? Start by exploring and saving Meta ad inspiration in the Madgicx Ad Library. Once done, submit a brief along with your ad inspiration through Sparkle. One of our design magicians will be assigned to you, ensuring your creatives are ready in just 48 hours and aligned with the latest Meta updates

Once you’ve approved them, the creatives are automatically uploaded to Meta Ads Manager, allowing you to launch your ads either from there or directly via Madgicx. Who knew creating amazing ads could be this effortless and cost-effective? 😉 Start for free ($0 trial)!

  1. Reduced control: The algorithm of Advantage+ creative handles a significant portion of optimization for campaigns, audiences, placements, and ads based on performance. Your control is limited to previewing the enhancements, making minor changes, and choosing to turn on or off all optimization and user input.

When to use them: 

If you seek to improve the overall aesthetic appeal and effectiveness of your ads.

When not to use them: 

  1. Specific ad formats: Advantage+ creative is tailored for ads utilizing a single image or video. If your ad format deviates from these, such as a complex multi-media ad, Advantage+ creative may not be the optimal choice.
  2. Preference for manual control: If you desire full control over every aspect of your ad's appearance and wish to avoid automatic adjustments to uploaded media and text, Advantage+ creative might not align with your preferences.
  3. Ad creative insights: While Advantage+ creative provides aggregate performance metrics for all delivered variations in Meta Ads Manager, it lacks a breakdown by format or ad creative variation. If you need detailed insights into each ad variation, Advantage+ creative may not be the most suitable choice.

Advantage+ creative for catalog

Advantage+ creative for catalog

What it does: 

Unlike the traditional Advantage+ creative, Advantage+ creative for catalog utilizes the power of a catalog to deliver a more personalized experience. It displays various formats and creative elements to individuals based on their likelihood of responding.

Advantages: 

  1. Dynamic formats and creative: The system can showcase your ad in either a carousel or a collection format, adapting to what is most likely to resonate with each individual.
  2. Media and creative options for collection ads: Utilizing Meta Advantage catalog video, you can generate auto-created videos featuring products from your catalog for collection ads.
  3. Description variations for carousel ads: You have the option to incorporate additional information or catalog details, such as pricing or free shipping indications, into the description of your carousel ads.
  4. Additional reasons to shop: For eligible shops, the system might introduce supplementary reasons to encourage shopping.

Disadvantages:

  1. Limited customization: A major drawback is the minimal customization options available, with very limited stickers. Your product feed may appear plain, uninteresting, and visually inconsistent when used as an ad.
  2. Lack of detailed metrics: When employing Advantage+ creative for catalog, you can view aggregate performance metrics for all delivered variations in Meta Ads Manager. However, there is no breakdown by format or ad creative variation.
  3. Learning period: You need to refrain from making changes for up to 15 days. This extended period allows the system ample time to learn and determine which combinations are most likely to yield better performance.

When to use it:

Advantage+ creative for catalog is ideal for managing extensive product catalogs and customizing products to meet individual customer needs. An e-commerce store is a prime example of a business that can benefit from this tool.

When not to use it:

  1. Need for detailed metrics: If you require a breakdown by format or ad creative variation, Advantage+ creative for catalog only provides aggregate performance metrics.
  2. Special ad categories: Creative tools may not be available for special ad categories, including housing, employment, and credit ads.
  3. Frequent changes to ads: If you need to make frequent adjustments to your ads, it's recommended to refrain from using this tool

Advantage+ placements

Advantage+ placements
Advantage+ placements
Image source: Lebesgue

What it does: 

Advantage+ placements is an automated ad placement tool on Meta Ads Manager. It optimizes to display your ad across Meta's apps and services, enabling it to appear on the placements deemed optimal according to your settings. This is across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and the Meta Audience Network.

Advantages:

  1. Optimizes budget utilization: It enables Meta’s delivery system to optimize the utilization of your budget by determining the best places to display your ad across Meta’s apps.
  2. Broader audience reach: Incorporating additional placements often facilitates reaching a broader audience, as audience targeting remains consistent across all available placements.
  3. Increased visibility: Expanding the number of locations where your ad is displayed enhances your reach and provides more opportunities for your target audience to engage with it. By showcasing your ads across diverse platforms, you also accommodate the varied digital habits of your audience, thereby increasing the chances of them noticing your ad.

Disadvantages:

  1. Reduced control: Employing Advantage+ placements means relinquishing some control over the precise locations where your ads appear. This may pose a drawback if you have a specific platform or placement that you know is most effective for your target audience.
  2. Potential for off-brand placements: Since the placement is automatic, there’s a small risk that your ads might appear in places that don’t align with your brand image or values. It’s always important to monitor your ad placements to ensure they align with your brand and campaign goals.

When to use it:

  1. Running traffic campaigns: When executing traffic campaigns to connect with new audiences, Advantage+ placements can offer significant advantages.
  2. Maximizing budget utilization: If you aim to extract the most value from your budget, Advantage+ placements proves to be a suitable choice by prioritizing the distribution of your ad in lower-cost placements initially.
  3. Increasing reach: For those seeking to extend their reach across Meta platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, Advantage+ placements serves as a valuable tool.
  4. New to advertising: If you’re starting out with Facebook advertising and don’t have enough data to determine the best placements for your ads, using Advantage+ placements can be a significant aid. This is because it leverages Facebook’s extensive data and sophisticated algorithms to automatically determine the most effective placements for your ads. 

When not to use it:

  1. Platform preference: If you have identified a specific platform or placement that resonates best with your target audience, opting for manual placement selection might be preferable.
  2. Cost control: If cost management is a primary concern, manually selecting placements might be prudent to avoid higher costs associated with more competitive placements.

Advantage audience expansion and budget optimization

Meta Advantage tools for audience expansion

Meta Advantage offers a suite of tools designed to expand your audience reach beyond the initially defined parameters. These tools leverage Facebook’s extensive user data to deliver your ads to a broader audience, enhancing overall campaign performance.

Advantage detailed targeting

Advantage detailed targeting (formerly known as detailed targeting expansion) enables you to reach people beyond those defined in the detailed targeting options. Because of all the data Facebook holds about its users, you can finely tune your ads' targeting so that they only show to people you want them to.

Meta Advantage detailed targeting

Advantage custom audience

The Advantage custom audience tool facilitates the expansion of your ad delivery beyond the originally defined audience if it will improve your performance. It leverages existing customer databases to extend reach and improve ad engagement.

Advantage custom audience

Advantage lookalike

This feature allows your ads to reach individuals outside the defined lookalike audience, broadening the scope for improved ad effectiveness. It helps you tap into a larger pool of potential customers by expanding the lookalike audience.

Advantage lookalike

Advantage campaign budget

Advantage campaign budget (formerly known as campaign budget optimization) automatically distributes your campaign budget among your ad sets to achieve optimal results. It also plays a crucial role in audience expansion by intelligently allocating your campaign budget and ensuring that your ads reach a broader audience. This would help with your campaign’s visibility and potential for engagement.

Advantage campaign budget

Conclusion

Successful Facebook advertising hinges on understanding your audience and utilizing the right tools to connect with them effectively. Between Meta’s wide variety of tools, Madgicx’s Creative Workflow, and the innovative AI Marketer, you have a comprehensive suite of solutions at your disposal to help you achieve unmatched ROAS this year.

Madgicx’s Creative Workflow simplifies the process of creating conversion-focused ads, saving you time, effort, and money. On the other hand, Madgicx AI Marketer leverages the power of automation, AI, and machine learning to optimize your ad campaigns, making it an equally valuable solution for those who want to simplify their advertising efforts while still maximizing their results.

Ready for better Facebook ads? Sign up for a free 7-day trial HERE to experience the simplicity of crafting high-converting ads effortlessly.

With these robust tools, you can not only connect with your audience more effectively but also make your life easier by relying on advanced technologies. Here’s to achieving your advertising goals with ease and efficiency this year! 😏

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Date
Jan 22, 2024
Jan 22, 2024
Annette Nyembe

Digital copywriter with a passion for sculpting words that resonate in a digital age.

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