I have a love/hate relationship with Meta ads. They can be a powerful and inexpensive way to grow your audience and organization. But they are constantly changing and driving marketers crazy. And they are changing significantly again this year.
As someone who has been in the digital marketing realm since the pre-Google Ads era, I will provide a straightforward breakdown of what to expect in 2024. There is no jargon here, just the essentials.
Adapting to the Meta Wave of Change
Meta has been hard at work revamping its advertising platform. From adjustments in ad targeting to increased automation and a shift in measuring success, let's unpack the key elements.
Buckle Up for Targeting Transformations
Remember the iOS 14 update in 2021? It threw a curveball at Meta, making it trickier to track certain things. Enter the era of AI and machine learning, automating audience expansion. While this is fantastic for ad efficiency, it does mean relinquishing some control over manual targeting. And that's a theme that will continue to grow in Meta, I predict.
Introducing Advantage+ audience and shopping ad campaigns marked a departure from traditional manual targeting. These tools automatically expand audiences based on data, a game-changer for eCommerce but a bit of an adjustment for those accustomed to hands-on targeting.
Peering into the Future: Less Hands-On, More Automation
I can see a day when Meta ads will run themselves. You create the ad, and Meta will know the intent and discover the audience without human help. But we are not quite there yet.
Ad placements might face restrictions, directing our attention to the crucial aspects of attribution (how we track success) and the creative elements of our ads.
Decoding the Language of Creativity
Amidst all the changes, some things remain constant – compelling ad copy and images are still the driving force behind successful advertising. While videos are in the spotlight, experts predict a potential shift in the next 5-10 years. Human-created videos continue to capture audience attention, while AI-generated content risks becoming stale if everyone adopts the same shortcuts.
Here's a thought: if AI starts to generate most ad creatives, they'll likely begin to look and feel the same (it's already happening with copywriting). The winners in this new AI-dominated world will be humans who can create content that's so unique that it will demand attention in a sea of sameness.
Guidance for Navigating the Meta Maze
Ready for some practical tips?
1. Embrace experimentation. Meta is evolving, and we need to be adaptable to stay ahead. The Advantage+ model, powered by machine learning, encourages a move away from manual targeting. And proving the value of your ad through proper attribution is more crucial than ever.
2. Make sure you have Meta conversion set by API so you can have attribution to your conversions sent directly to Meta and bypass the IOS restrictions so Meta can show your ads to the right people. That's critical.
The Continuing Meta Adventure
Navigating Meta Ads in 2024 might feel like a rollercoaster ride, but fear not – it's a journey we should confidently undertake. The option is to become irrelevant and waste money on campaigns that do not work.