Optimizing Signal Marketing In Meta Ads


Founder and President of The Evoke Agency, a 4x Inc 500 and 5000 firm focusing on social media, content creation and public relations.

The world of digital marketing changes faster than you can say “social media,” and paid social opportunities seem to change even faster. Currently, one of the biggest changes revolves around signal marketing, specifically Meta’s advancements in the space with its ever-evolving machine-learning system.

Let’s start with a quick background on what signal marketing entails. “Buying signals” are any actions taken by a user that cue a potential intent to purchase a product or service, like visiting a brand’s product page multiple times in a short time period. Signal marketing observes these signals throughout the digital consumer journey and determines strategies that will be most effective in converting these users based on their actions. Following the example above, serving ads for a product or similar products based on the webpages viewed is a simple signal marketing strategy.

Meta’s technology for tracking user signals has been historically complex, but it is now offering more transparency on how and what signals its technology can track. In Meta’s new push toward signal marketing, machine learning pairs previous actions taken by users on Meta technologies with campaign objectives to deliver ads to people with the highest likelihood of taking the desired action.

Your Meta advertisements are already affected by its machine learning, but awareness of the various signal marketing tools it offers can set your brand apart from competitors in the eyes of consumers and increase ROAS (return on ad spend).

Here are some interesting insights I’ve gleaned from my research as my agency prepares to take advantage of some of these newer tools and features.

Utilize Advantage+ Creative

Advantage+, Meta’s newest creative optimization tool, uses consumer signals to create efficient combinations of brand-approved visuals and copy. The process begins by uploading a single image or video, one version of primary text, headline and description. According to Meta, the tool selects “different text combinations, media enhancements and compositional changes and shows a personalized variation to each person based on what they’re most likely to respond to.” In short, your ad connects with consumers based on their preferences. If your goal is selling through e-commerce, Advantage+ catalog ads promote relevant products from a brand’s catalog across Facebook and Instagram.

During this upcoming holiday season, our agency plans on testing this tool to personalize messaging that will most align with buyer motivation. I’d encourage other agencies and brands to do the same. Testing it in your holiday ads could potentially generate insights into what seasonal messaging best resonates with your target audiences.

Allowing Meta’s machine learning to pair creative variations with specific users based on their user signals could increase the success of your ad buy.

Broad Targeting

With a shift in strategy, Meta suggests targeting parameters remain as broad as possible to benefit from its advances in signal marketing. While interest targeting aims to reach individuals with fixed preferences, signal targeting can reach users through machine learning that indicates potential purchases but may not have specifically aligned interests.

Meta has confirmed ad delivery is based largely on audience targeting, stating “audiences are created based on categories like age and gender, as well as actions people take on our apps such as liking a Facebook Page or clicking on an ad.”

By tacking on unnecessary demographic or interest parameters, you will, in effect, limit Meta’s options to find the most relevant target. I suggest testing this signal targeting system instead of interest targeting to gain learnings on the most receptive target audiences, and further understand what messaging and visuals deliver the strongest campaign results.

Luckily these tips and advances are an effort to increase marketers’ efficiencies, so testing these strategies doesn’t need to be time-consuming! Try them out and expect more updates to come—from Meta and competitive social media platforms.


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