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Why it’s time to move to broad audiences on Meta

Apple's ATT (App Tracking Transparency) has launched with iOS 14.5 and it's changing how Facebook ads work!
Keep up-to-date on any and all new changes. Stay ahead of the curve with Socioh’s pro-tips and tricks.

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You’re probably hearing a lot of advertisers talk about broad targeting and ASC campaigns.

This is because, post-iOS14, more and more brands advertising on Meta are moving to a simplified campaign structure that relies heavily on broad audiences and creative testing. 

In fact, most brands we work with aren’t even running retargeting campaigns, letting Meta’s AI do all the heavy lifting. We're increasingly seeing ASC or Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns now spending at least 60% of the total advertising budget of a large number of brands on Facebook.

See, for example, this breakdown of 10 ad accounts by Dara Denney:

Screenshot from the Twitter account of Dara Denney showing the ad account structure of 10 anonymized brands on Meta

So what’s changed? And what does this mean for customer journeys, audience segmentation, and your campaign setup on Facebook? 

Here are some of our key learnings from working with hundreds of 7-9 figure DTC brands:  

1. Retargeting ads are no longer as lucrative as they used to be. Unless you have very high traffic, and/or have widened your retargeting audience to the point that you are no longer segmenting your audiences, your retargeting campaigns are probably not that profitable anymore. 

Highly segmented retargeting and customer journeys are no longer lucrative on Meta and it’s a result of the loss of precise intent data as a result of iOS 14 (this is only going to get murkier post iOS17 and Google’s upcoming cookie deprecation. Read more.)
TIP: Have access to first-party data? Instead of retargeting existing audiences on Meta, use email and direct mail for past purchasers and cart abandoners to lower your advertising costs.

2. Advantage+ Shopping campaigns (ASC) are here to stay. Working on Meta’s advanced AI algorithms, these campaigns are increasingly the heavy lifters in most accounts, spending a minimum of 60% of most brands’ budgets. Not only do these campaigns effectively help brands maintain a steady ROAS, but they also target a broad spectrum of intent - effectively replacing retargeting campaigns.
NOTE: You can test tightening or loosening spending on existing audiences with the budget cap feature in these campaigns. Learn more about ASC campaigns

3. Catalog ads are proving insanely profitable. This ad format is now so powerful — and so easy —  that it is run by most brands. In fact, as Karan Jassar points out, a significant number of brands are now running their ASC campaigns with just dynamic ads (DPA/DABA). 

With Meta trying to optimize on-platform data, the learnings on dynamic catalog ads (with Shops) can offer crazy returns. All you need to run these successfully is: 

(a) The correct setup to ensure you’re sending Meta all the data it needs, and,
(b) Creative optimization. Yes, you heard that right! You can, and should, design your catalog ads with a tool like Socioh. Learn more.

Here’s what Nik Sharma says about catalog ads in his latest newsletter:

“According to a recent study that analyzed data from 3500 Meta ad accounts that collectively spent more than 4 billion dollars in 2023."


"Catalog ads were by far the highest-performing ad type for the brands they reviewed as part of this study in 2023. For the brands in this cohort, the average ROAS of catalog ads was 3.075x, while traditional static or video ads were at 1.725x. That means catalog ads performed 78.3% better than other ads last year for these brands."

4. Creative is the new targeting. Most brands are now setting aside time and budgets for creative testing. Whatever strategy you prefer — whether it’s creating a separate campaign for testing new creatives or throwing your new creatives into your existing campaigns — you have to let creative do the heavy lifting for you. Test hooks, angles, and landing pages. And always remember to speak to your customers.
TIP: Don’t forget to test different formats too (static, video, catalog). In fact, one creative format that is absolutely crushing it in our accounts is a combination of intro cards and dynamic ads

In addition, some brands are still seeing results with legacy campaigns. 

Another trend we are noticing is that interest-targeting is continuing to perform well for specialist niches or brands with persona-based ads.

Finally, quite a few bigger brands are successfully testing cost/bid cap campaigns (alongside the auto bid or what marketers know as the lowest cost campaigns) in their accounts. 

Want to get relevant news and updates about what’s working in DTC? Sign up for Socioh's weekly newsletter and join a community of 4500+ founders and advertisers. 100% free. No spam. 

is a digital advertising platform for eCommerce brands. Our Branded Catalog is the industry leader in dynamic catalog advertising and product feeds.

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