The Ultimate Guide to Meta Ads Automation

Meta ads automation is currently popular among established digital advertising platforms. To simplify the process of managing multiple campaigns across different Google ad placements, Google recently introduced and expanded Performance Max, which provides campaign setup and management based on an advertiser’s goals. The automation of costs, quotes, and frequent deliveries are at the heart of its convenience. As a result, marketers will have to rely more on machine learning to deliver optimal results and make fewer decisions themselves. There is a chance that you are hesitant to give “the algorithm” more control over your media buying decisions although it is efficient.

What Is Meta Advantage?

Meta ads automation in Meta campaigns is not a new concept. Media buyers are used to delegating some or all of their decision-making to machine learning, thanks to the rise of automated audience expansion, dynamic creative, and other campaign-centric AI tools. However, beginning in March of this year, Meta consolidated and rebranded its automation tools as “Meta Advantage.” The Meta Advantage suite of tools is designed to “earn and sustain better outcomes, personalize ad delivery, and decrease work for marketers,” according to Meta. These products are as follows, which I will go through in depth in this article:

  • Advantage detailed targeting (formerly known as “detailed targeting expansion”).
  • Advantage lookalike (previously “lookalike expansion”).
  • Advantage campaign budget (formerly known as “campaign budget optimization”).
  • Advantage+ placements (previously “automatic placements”).
  • Advantage+ creative (formerly known as “dynamic experiences”).

Certain Advantage products are marked with a “+,” which prompts the question, “What’s the difference?”

It’s important to think about it in terms of size or automation depth. Advantage products will assist you in automating a certain aspect of your campaign’s operation, whilst Advantage+ products will go a step further. Instead of just one aspect, such as budget allocation or audience expansion, Advantage+ products can use machine learning to automate entire campaigns (or a large portion of them). In this case, the plus means more automation of more things. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular Advantage and Advantage+ products.

Advantage Detailed Targeting

What is it?

Some Meta marketers may recall “automatic expansion” as an audience-building option. It was a setting that allowed Facebook to “reach people beyond your detailed targeting selections when doing so is likely to improve performance.”

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Where can you find it?

It’s in the detailed targeting section of your ad set settings.

What is its function?

Enabling Advantage detailed targeting allows Meta ads automation to serve your ads to people who are not specified in your target audience. For example, if you’ve chosen people with an interest in advertising or digital marketing, this may include additional interests that you didn’t choose that are related to your target audience. Please remember that Meta will not advertise to detailed targeting interests you’ve specified as exclusions. Machine learning is an excellent tool for expanding and scaling your advertising outside your core market. The main “disadvantage” is that you won’t learn anything about the audiences Meta grew into.

Should you make use of it?

In some situations, you may be forced to. When using the following objectives: conversions, app events, app installs, and message objectives, detailed targeting is enabled by default. However, you can opt-out if you’re running a traffic, engagement, video views, lead generation, catalog sales, or store traffic objective.

Advantage Lookalike

What is it?

Like advantage’s detailed targeting, Advantage lookalike enables Meta to go beyond the exact reach of a lookalike you’ve developed from a bespoke audience. Meta ads automation will use signals to identify other relevant users rather than only targeting those Meta users within the lookalike.

Where can you find it?

It’s in the custom audiences section of your ad set settings.

What is its function?

Lookalike audiences are based on a percentage of the population of the country being targeted. As a result, a 1% lookalike U.S. audience reflects the 1% of people who most closely resemble the audience you established. If Meta believes you’ll achieve better results, Advantage lookalike widens that percentage to consider audiences outside the previously set percentage.

Should you make use of it?

You might have to if you’re using lookalike audiences based on a mobile, website, or customer list custom audiences alongside awareness, traffic, engagement, leads, app promotion, and sales objectives. Otherwise, I’d be cautious and test it.

Advantage Campaign Budget

What is it?

Most Meta advertisers are already familiar with campaign budget optimization (CBO), which is essentially what this is. Instead of defining separate daily or lifetime budgets for each ad set within a campaign, the Advantage campaign budget allocates spending based on performance to maximize efficiency.

Where can you find it?

At the bottom of the campaign settings section.

What is its function?

This was one of the first and most influential Meta ads automation products. Instead of manually creating and constantly adjusting ad set-level budgets for campaigns based on performance, Advantage budget optimization automates the process in real-time. As a result, Meta is constantly adjusting your budget mix based on which audiences are providing the best efficiency for your objective while also considering audience size and scalability.

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Should you make use of it?

I’m a big fan of CBO because it automates one of the most time-consuming aspects of campaign management: budget allocation. If you’re new to Facebook advertising or have multiple audiences to target, you should use it.

Advantage+ Placements

What is it?

Advantage+ placements, formerly known as automatic placements, enable Meta to choose where your advertisements will show among the many units available on Facebook, Instagram, and the Audience Network.

Where can you find it?

Under the precise targeting area of the ad set parameters.

What is its function?

This is where Meta ads automation and machine learning can help with campaign setup and management. Advantage+ placements automate the placement of your ads. When most new or inexperienced advertisers look at Meta, they immediately think of Facebook, and Instagram news feeds as the key places where advertisements are shown. While those placements account for the majority of spend and impressions, there are more than 25 other “placements” where ads might be shown. Based on performance, this will automate the selection of the places Meta will display ads in.

Should you make use of it?

The answer is determined by how much control you want over how your creativity is exposed to people. Because different locations have varying sizes and configurations, if you use a normal 1:1 aspect ratio picture or video, your ad will seem different in the news feed than something less frequent, such as Facebook Business Explore. Running ads in several placements will broaden your reach and provide you with a lower cost-per-click. So, if you’re not as concerned with your ad’s exact content and want to save money, it’s worth a shot. Consider asset customization placements if you have various creative versions and sizes available and prefer to manage exactly how your ads look.

When you enable “manual placements” instead of Advantage+, this setting will only select those Meta properties that you can independently tweak the appearance and feel of your creative by placement. It takes more time, but the end result is generally better. Advantage+ creative is a nationwide chain restaurant with mass-produced sandwiches at a low price in this sense, whereas asset customization is a more tailored, locally owned store. The product looks and tastes better, but it is more difficult to produce and can be more expensive.

Advantage+ Creative

What is it?

Advantage+ creative represents the most significant advancement in creative automation for most marketers on the Meta ads automation platform. You may have experienced “dynamic experiences” while producing ads in the past, but Advantage+ creative provides much more, including:

Image/Video Improvements:

  • Image brightness and contrast can be adjusted.
  • Static pictures are given artistic filters.
  • Aspect ratios for placements vary.
  • Including templates in a feed image
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Ad unit improvements:

  • Adding labels.
  • Displaying post comments that are relevant.
  • Testing text combinations.

The goal is to update and personalize the visual representation of ads in numerous ways in order to increase overall quality and results. Here are some examples of how this may look:

Where can you find it?

Standard upgrades can be found in the ad settings under the ad setup section. A more complete list of potential upgrades will be displayed when you upload a picture or video.

What is its function?

A great deal. Simply said, it allows Meta creative flexibility to boost your ad creativity in a variety of ways. If this is your first time using Advantage+ creative, you will most likely encounter the following screen when you submit a new asset:

Given the highly customizable nature of the content and the plethora of potential “enhancements,” Meta provides marketers with greater granular control over what they can and cannot do.

The key sections are as follows:

  • Standard enhancements: listed above.
  • Image brightness and contrast: If Meta feels it will improve performance, it can make changes to these parameters.
  • Music: Meta will use its free music library to provide a music overlay. Advertisers can choose a specific track or let Meta test and optimize it for them.
  • 3D Animation: If Meta feels it will enhance performance, it will add 3D motion and depth to your image.

Should you make use of it?

This, like the example of the Advantage+ placement, will be heavily influenced by the advertiser’s and brand’s desire to control the appearance and feel of their ads. Our preliminary testing of conventional improvements and image brightness and contrast revealed a marginal click-through rate (CTR) improvement. However, Facebook’s machine learning and optimization engine is a “black box” that provides marketers with precious few insights. This is one of those circumstances when you have to put a lot of confidence and trust in “the system” to make sometimes drastic changes to your ad creative. To avoid any complications, I would proceed with caution and only test with the consent of all creative and brand partners.


Meta’s Advantage and Advantage+ product packages provide marketers with an unmatched level of autonomous optimization to increase and sustain performance. Many of these tools will be known to seasoned advertisers, but some will be new in their ability to automate many essential campaign decisions and optimizations such as budget, placement, and creativity. Each product provides advantages, risks, and rewards for entrusting decision-making to Meta’s machine learning. However, because they have demonstrated value, they should be included as part of your long-term optimization approach. Advantage+ placements and creative, in particular, have far-reaching creative consequences that should be explored with all shareholders before allowing Meta to change the appearance (and sound) of your ads and where they’re served.

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Sarah M

Sarah M


Sarah is the founder, owner, editor, and writer at Social Media Notes. She also does SEO, SMM, and is the SEO consultant for various companies. We hope that reading the blog posts on Social Media Notes would bring you more knowledge, and insight. Welcome to Social Media Notes!

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