Discover more from Early Stage Growth
5 reasons to get super bullish about Meta ads from their 2023 Performance Summit
Paid social will never be as affordable again as it is today.
Last week, Meta held its Performance Marketing Summit.
It’s been a tough few years for Facebook marketers, and the death of Meta Ads (and in some circles, performance marketing more broadly) has been talked up in many circles. Personally, I’m seeing better results on platform than ever. And listening to what Meta had to say last week, my bullishness on the platform has grown.
1. Fabletics produce 50,000 ads per year
I get asked all of the time, “how many ads should we be creating?” We’ve actually rebuilt our model to help forecast this figure since the last post (another update to this in coming weeks).
But in the interim, then let us look at this figure instead.
Fabletics, which does half a billion a year in sales, produced 50,000 ads last year.
If that number feels bonkers to you, then be prepared for a big reset in how you think about creative.
We recently analysed all of our ad accounts, the volumes of creative being produced for the number of sales, revenue, and new customer numbers, and based on what we could discover about Fabletics, we produce at a similar rate.
With Advantage+ we are finally at the stage, where you can make a creative, and Meta will find the people its relevant for.
The challenge of growth on Meta over the next few years will not be one of media buying – the cost of media buying is going to zero. But one of creative.
And it’s not just a volume game. You can’t spin out 50k variants using AI to get what you want. You need a strategic approach to how to tackle that creative challenge. At Amphora, our Creative Framework, is tuning that challenge into an opportunity for our clients. If you want to discuss how we can help you with that challenge, book a 15 min discovery call with me here.
2. Athletic Greens reduced iCPA by 44% by switching to MMM
Athletic Greens’ Courtney Johnson shared a case study on their measurement approach.
iOS14.5 was a blessing for measurement.
Because it’s meant we’ve had to stop thinking about last-click. Last-click was always broken, but it became the addictive quality of running digital marketing in the 2010s. It rarely reflects most user journeys, however.
How often do you buy something in first impression? Sometimes sure, but the majority of the time, your first impression of an ad isn’t going to convert you.
Attribution is brilliant for in-channel analysis. For identifying which ads, campaigns, influencers, or whatever it is you’re running, are working in relation to other ads, campaigns, influencers, or whatever it is you’re running.
But if you to understand holistically what to do with your channels and broader marketing strategy, then marketing mix modelling is the way to go.
Athletic Greens incorporated MMM, along with various conversion lift studies, to validate their incremental CPA. They decreased CPA by 44% through this approach, and 102% while using Advantage+.
Bonus AG1 insight: reach optimisations led to 42% lower CPAs!
I’ll be writing a forthcoming issue on how we recommend you approach measurement from top-to-bottom soon.
3. Cost Caps & ROAS optimisation is heading to ASC
First though, we get value optimisation, which for those of us with broad catalogues is likely going to be highly important.
Cost controls, however, are likely more relevant to a wider pool. At Amphora, we run caps on most of our accounts to some extent.
Cost Caps are the ultimate sign of product-channel fit. Naysayers call out ‘they’re just not serving impressions,’ but really that’s a sign that you’ve not got the creative right for your audience yet.
If caps are the reason you’ve not gone all in yet on ASC: then fear not, they will be coming soon.
4. Creative diversification is key
Creative has been the way to scale Meta for a while now, but there was an interesting nugget which reinforced something I’ve been discussing with clients this year.
It’s not about creative volume, it’s about creative diversification. The accounts that had the most distinct ads from one another saw a 32% reduction in incremental CPA, and a 9% increase in reach.
This will fly in the face of some conventional wisdom that creative consistency is key. At least for making Meta work as a channel, the opposite is true.
5. Thanks to ASC, “Creative is the new targeting”
Back in May, we reported a 33% reduction in CPA with early ASC tests. As we’ve pushed more into Advantage+, we’ve continued to see great performance, though our blended improvement is now closer to 20%.
Meta reported at the Summit, that across all activity:
CPA is down 17%
That’s a substantial CPA improvement across the entire platform.
For those wondering what exactly is going on, Advantage+ aka Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns (ASC) is Meta’s new AI-driven auction algorithm.
Imagine this: every time you browse Instagram or Facebook, the auction has to serve you an ad. It uses all of its available data to try and find the best ad to serve you at that time. Advantage+ is a brand new AI-driven algorithm that computes that decision-making orders of magnitude faster.
ASC minimises the media buying need significantly and as a result creative becomes even more important.
Start testing Advantage+ if you’re not already. And if you already are, thens start pushing harder.
Bitesize faves of the week
I’ve just finished listening to the epic two-parter from Acquired on Andreesen Horowitz. These to me are the best things to listen to while out running.
For those looking for a brief history of 90s-00s Silicon Valley, then episode one is a great place to start. While episode two dives in to their investments and the analysis of them thereafter.3
In the news: a16z are in the news today too: they’re launching their first UK office. A crypto focus for London4.
Meta’s Yoni Levy (who is well worth a follow, see the footer) tweeted this quote from Ridge CEO at the Summit. If you wanted a reason for some optimism looking into the second half of 2023, then this is it.
Know someone else advertising on Meta? Forward this email!
Sharing is caring. And in particular, sharing fills me with gratitude. If you know someone else advertising on Meta, then please forward this email to them. And if you do I will buy you a coffee next time we meet.