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Meta Ads updates demystified by leading digital marketers

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By Hannah Bowler, Senior reporter

September 11, 2023 | 7 min read

Meta Ads has made some significant updates in 2023. We asked digital marketers to walk us through some of the changes worth noting.

Build a Brand takes a dive into Meta Ads

Build a Brand takes a dive into Meta Ads

Over the past few years, Meta has been improving its transparency largely due to consumer privacy changes instituted by Apple across iOS devices as well as having to adhere to updates to European Union laws.

The Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp owner has also been improving its ad platform in a bid to stay competitive as advertisers flock to TikTok.

For example, just this year Meta updated its “Why am I seeing this ad?” tool for users; implemented an update to its location targeting settings; carved out better-branded content tools; and now prompt links on Instagram Stories ads appear as a fixed sticker on top of the ad creative, instead of the current ‘Swipe up’ prompt.

These are just a handful of the changes Meta has made this year, but we asked digital marketers to round up the most important and share tips for adapting to the changes.

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Ellie Riley, social media manager Brandnation

“One of the biggest contributors to paid social success is the look and feel of your ad creative. With ad formats and platform requirements changing regularly, and the bar constantly being raised with brands fighting to get the attention of consumers, marketers need to keep their ear to the ground when it comes to platform updates.

“Meta is currently testing a full-screen version of Instagram where text appears over ads to create a more immersive experience, bringing video more front and center. This is a great example of an update that marketers and creatives need to play around with, testing these new dimensions and video as a format to see what drives engagement. As always though, the consumer should be at the center of any creative approach, with how they like to consume content, and where, driving every decision.”

Rebecca Bampton, paid search director at Roast

“Meta ads have been giving more transparency over the last few years and has great tools to review ads running across Meta platforms. With the European Union Digital Service Act, Meta ads library will be expanding to display all ads served in the European Union, including demographic targeting parameters and live date ranges.

“This will allow advertisers to gain a deeper understanding of any ad that ran in the European Union, and a basic understanding of competitor strategies, particularly for ads with a longer activation duration and high reach. We can also gain creative inspiration from ads that ran and review vertical trends across different countries.

“However, while this can give an indication of competitors’ top-performing ads, a reminder would be that ads with the most reach may not necessarily be the best-performing ones. Various campaign objectives can heavily affect CPM’s and overall ad reach.”

Claire Stanley-Manock, paid media director at Connective3

“Meta’s new suite of Advantage products are more black boxed than previous set-up options, with many levers being removed, but this is a really powerful move if treated correctly. Advantage+, if managed correctly will precisely target the right person at the right time with the right message more so than previously segmented audience targeting, as it is data-driven by the algorithms rather than a restrictive manual set-up. This algorithmic targeting is more flexible and can spot opportunities that would otherwise have been missed.

“Likewise, the algorithm knows more about each individual user and is able to deliver the right mix of imagery and copy to drive the conversion if it is empowered by up to 100 different assets. I recommend putting together assets based on top audiences, motivations and objections, as well as different aspect ratios to empower the algorithms to deliver the optimum creative.

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“The 2 main levers we now have at our disposal are the signals going into the platform, and in having good creative to come out of the creative. And as a plus, the simplified setup means that managers of the platform can spend more time looking at valuable insights and strategies.”

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