Article originally published on Search Engine Land.
As Instagram and Facebook continue to lead the social platform arena, Meta remains a media channel where advertisers must stay visible and competitive in 2023. Much has changed over the past year, with Meta releasing many new tools and features. Advertisers now have more resources to scale their campaigns faster than ever.
Meta continues to dominate machine learning, launching new automated campaign types proven incredibly efficient. Advertisers have more options to control certain elements in campaigns.
The media giant also improved the experience of working with influencers, a value-add to advertisers who seek to focus on their brand awareness budgets over direct response.
With all the new updates in 2022, several best practices were uncovered through rigorous testing, many of which prove vital for any brand’s long-term Meta advertising strategy.
Here are five recommendations to consider when running Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns in 2023.
1. Leverage Advantage+ campaigns
Advantage+ campaigns is a new feature Meta released in 2022. I’ve always advocated for Meta’s machine learning because they have mastered it. Advantage+ campaigns are a great addition to app and shopping initiatives.
Meta does the work for advertisers by finding the right audience and the right creative. We have succeeded across app install and shopping (dynamic product ads).
To capitalize on Advantage+ campaigns, it’s essential to ensure you have a healthy amount of creative to get these running effectively. Meta recommends the creative assets they think will perform the best, but marketers can manually select the ones they desire.
Experiment with your options and try a combination of ads known to perform well while also letting Meta choose ads. By testing and optimizing what works, you’ll likely see an improvement in your cost-per-acquisition running with Advantage+ campaigns. Keep your eye on these for 2023.
2. Work with influencers
Not a new tactic, but Meta has recently put forth new playbooks and guides to help advertisers work with influencers.
Influencers are a large part of B2C advertising budgets, and Meta has recognized that marketers want to leverage user-generated content on brand channels with paid media.
The process isn’t perfect, but here are a few key best practices to make your strategy go as smoothly as possible.
- Connect your influencers as partners under your company page’s “Paid Partnership.” This function allows you to promote their content on your brand channels.
- When promoting on Instagram, ensure influencers include the paid partnership label with your brand – “Paid Partnership with [Brand Name].” This is very important as it ensures you can pull the partner’s content onto your own pages to advertise within the ads manager. Make sure each partner specifically includes your brand name in the partnership label because if they only include the generic label that says “Paid Partnership” you will likely run into trouble getting their content promoted and will have to have them edit the post.
- For Instagram Reels and Stories, verify that there are no stickers or copyrighted music in videos created. Otherwise, Meta will not approve your ads. In addition, you’ll have to work with influencers to re-record their content, which can be a major inconvenience if your campaigns are timely. Typically, the quality of content decreases when we have to go back to influencers and ask for last-minute changes to content that was initially in final approval.
Also, keep in mind that if you’re promoting Reels, advertisers can only add links to these if you create a dark post. If it’s important that you have a link, but you don’t want a dark post, Facebook recommends going with the “Story” placement.
Advertisers working with influencers can additionally find success with the “Instagram Explore” placement, so it’s highly recommended to keep an eye on that one for 2023. We’ve seen our lowest CPMs and CPAs from Instagram’s new “Explore” placement and plan to increase spend here on future influencer initiatives.
3. Set up Meta’s Conversions API
Yes, there are still many pain points and kinks to be worked out when setting up Meta’s Conversion API (CAPI). However, Meta has recently rolled out various setup methods to help more advertisers get up and running.
While CAPI isn’t mandatory, it’s worth keeping in mind since it’s a deeper level of optimization. With the new setup methods, it also appears Meta is (hopefully) working to offer more integrations for advertisers to get set up faster without needing a full dev team.
After successfully getting CAPI set up and launched, we delivered our lowest cost-per-acquisition of the year in Q4. Our CPA decreased by 34% in our first month and 70% in our second month while optimizing for conversions using CAPI. We were able to feed a deeper data point to Facebook’s algorithm.
Stay on the lookout for more Meta updates regarding CAPI setup. This is one feature you don’t want to miss out on.
4. Use ‘open’ and ‘broad’ targeting
Aligning even more with Meta’s machine learning algorithm, “Open” or “Broad” targeting will continue to be king when scaling your campaigns.
Meta’s algorithm can efficiently find the audience most likely interested in your ads and taking action when doing either of these two options:
- Leaving your targeting open, meaning you don’t add any targeting beyond demographics.
- Leaving your targeting very broad, using minimal interest targeting that keeps audience scale in the millions.
Open and broad targeting feeds Meta the most audience data to allow it to make the best optimizations, which is the best way to make machine learning work for your advertising efforts.
5. Make the best of lead gen forms
Long has been the theme of “less is more” regarding lead gen forms. This remains true in many cases. But if you’re struggling with the quality of leads, consider adding more questions to qualify the customer.
We’ve seen this successful when needing to drive quality over quantity. Yes, your front-end cost per lead will likely increase. Still, we’ve found that the quality on the backend significantly improves and decreases the efficiency of qualified leads while driving increased revenue for businesses.
It’s also recommended to test manual fill for first name, last name and/or email address if you’re struggling with the quality. There is a balance to be found when it comes to manual fill vs. autofill so you’ll likely want to test a few variations to find what works best for your business.
Don’t have too many manual fill questions to avoid accidentally increasing the volume of abandoned forms. Consider additionally giving the consumer a short and sweet introduction on the form that details what they will get from filling out the form. This can be a snippet of a whitepaper or a few bullets about the company – whatever makes the most sense for your ad.
Moreover, ensure your thank you page or the landing page you are driving the consumer to is engaging with helpful information and resources. This provides more education for the consumer to make decisions and can help build your retargeting audiences for nurture campaigns.
Lastly, keep the creative for your lead gen forms scroll-stopping. You have seconds to grab someone’s attention in their feed and make them stop to open your form, so be bold!
As Meta continues to evolve and unroll new features, one thing is certain – automation will become a core campaign tactic. With automation at the forefront, advertisers have more ability to test and learn at a faster pace than ever with tools like CAPI and Advantage+ campaigns.
Furthermore, don’t hesitate to lean into open and broad targeting, where possible, to feed audience optimization. 2023 will be a big year for testing to see where advertisers can uncover additional efficiencies and remain competitive on Facebook and Instagram.