The Truth Behind Meta Advantage Plus Campaigns: A Comprehensive Analysis

If you’re in the digital marketing sphere, staying ahead of the curve is the key to being successful. There are loads of paid ads platforms out there, and even more settings within those campaigns. 

One term that you may have heard floating around due to its increased popularity of late is “Advantage Plus Campaigns”. This is a part of Meta’s ad ecosystem, but what does it actually mean? And more importantly – are Meta’s Advantage Plus campaigns worth it?

I chatted about this in a recent video, and today, I want to share my thoughts in a blog as well.

By the way, if you’re wondering who the hell I am to be telling you what to do with your paid ads, I get it. That’s a fair question, but I also have a fair answer. I run my own paid ads agency, Snowball Creations. I’ve managed millions in ad spend across hundreds of accounts, so I like to think I know my shit. 

Therefore, keep reading to learn what exactly Advantage Plus Campaigns are, the pros and cons of these campaigns, and how you can best optimise your digital marketing with paid ads.

Understanding Advantage Plus Campaigns

According to Meta, its Advantage Plus campaigns are a cutting-edge solution that leverages machine learning to make your ads as efficient as possible. This sounds like a dream come true – it involves less manual intervention and also offers optimised creative combinations. It’s the superhero of Facebook Ads.

But all of those things are surface-level things designed to pull you in like a gullible fish wanting to eat a worm and ending up on the wrong side of a fishing line. Upon deeper inspection, you need to be careful when you use Advantage Plus campaigns. 

1. Simplified setup vs. control

Choose your fighter: ease, or control? Sure, Advantage Plus campaigns make the setup process much simpler, making the allure obvious for those who are short on time. However, simple isn’t always better.

You may have simplicity, but it’s not without its sacrifices. You will be relinquishing control over various elements like audience segmentation, creative testing, and optimisation strategies.

2. Machine learning and creative optimisation: are they a good combo?

Again, Advantage Plus sounds like a magical Candyland, promising creative combinations that are designed with the power of machine learning. 

Sadly, machines aren’t always right. I know – shocking, right? The truth is that automated optimisation may not always align with your actual conversion-focused metrics, so your performance might be skewed based on superficial engagement metrics like clicks and impressions.

Reality check: real life examples

I’m a practical person, so I understand things best when I get to see them in action. In the video linked above, I walk viewers through some actual data and examples, and I’m about to do the same in this post. 

Hopefully, it takes everything I’ve said thus far from being an abstract concept to something you truly grasp.

1. Performance metrics analysis

I’ve had a look at some campaigns using Advantage Plus versus traditional setups, and I’ve seen stark differences in performance metrics between these campaigns. Various important metrics like conversion rates, ROI, and cost per acquisition were influenced by the campaign setup. 

This makes sense since traditional campaign setups offer you much higher levels of control when compared to Advantage Plus setups, as mentioned before. Naturally, higher levels of control mean that you can set up your campaigns in a way that works for you and focuses on the metrics and outcomes you want to see. This helps you get the most out of your ad spend, drive sales, and assist with customer growth. 

2. Complexity versus reality

The biggest motivation to use Advantage Plus campaigns is the fact that these types of campaigns are marketed to be simple. And hey, I can’t blame you if you’re looking for a shortcut. 

Sadly, though, this shortcut does have its shortcomings. As also briefly discussed earlier, the simplicity of Advantage Plus campaigns does mean that you are losing the ability to fine-tune key elements like targeting, creatives, and audience segmentation. Since these are the things that often deliver good results, giving them up can have serious consequences. 

Therefore, while traditional campaign setups might be more work than advantage-plus, they certainly are worth it. There are other ways that you can create ads via shortcuts, but this isn’t one of them, in my opinion.

Navigating the digital ad landscape

I’ve given you a lot of information, and you might be struggling to take it all in. I get it! Paid advertising is a wide world, and there’s so much conflicting information out there. Some people strongly advocate for Advantage Plus campaigns, whereas others (like me), are quite against them.

As always, my biggest advice when it comes to paid advertising is to test things for yourself. If you’re on the fence about whether Advantage Plus campaigns are going to solve all of your problems, there’s nothing stopping you from giving them a shot and comparing them to your other campaigns to draw your own conclusions.

That being said, I am going to share some other tips that might make navigating paid ads a bit easier for you!

1. Striking the right balance

Choosing between Advantage Plus and traditional setups is essentially choosing between manual control and automation in digital advertising in the campaign creation process. This seems like a black-or-white choice, but it’s really not. 

Technology and algorithms and AI are great! You’d be a fool if you didn’t use them. They truly can make your life easier. But that doesn’t mean that you should only rely on these systems for your paid ads.

In my opinion, it’s all about balance. Use automation and machine learning to supplement your human efforts, rather than to replace them. Automation can absolutely enhance your ad creation and marketing strategy, if you use it correctly.

2. Continuous learning and adaptation

You also need to remember that the digital landscape is ever-changing. So yeah, completely automated tools like Meta’s Advantage Plus campaigns or even Google’s Performance Max campaigns may not be at a point where you can hand over the reins and trust them to properly manage your ad setups, but they will most likely improve in the future. 

If you want to keep up with the marketing world, you need to stay on top of all the trends to make sure that you don’t get left behind. If you want to be the best ads manager, you need to work on constantly improving so that you can use your advertising budget to the best of your abilities.

Final thoughts on Advantage Plus Campaigns

I don’t think that Advantage Plus campaigns are inherently good or bad. They are simply tools, and like any tools, they serve a purpose in some scenarios, and they are useless in others. 

You need to approach your ad campaigns with the nuanced view that things change, and that there is no “one miracle approach”. If you take the time to understand your audience and objectives, you will most likely know how to optimise your ad campaigns the best, whether with automation tools, manual setups, or a blend of the two.

In conclusion

I know that this is a lot to take in, but I do think that it’s very important to have a complete understanding of how things like Meta’s advantage plus campaigns work.

If you are getting all your information from Meta, of course, it’s going to be biased. They want you to use their tools. And if you want to do that, then great. But I do think that it’s important to know all the facts, and I hope that you leave this blog feeling a bit more informed.

Of course, if you still feel like you have no idea what to do with your paid ads (or you just don’t want to deal with the hassle), fill in the form below to have Snowball Creations do an audit of your ad campaigns to see where and how you can improve.

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