Maximizing Engagement: A Guide to Understanding Your Advantage+ Audience

1 min reading


At Groost, we know how important good advertising can be to help new online stores succeed. Advantage+ Audience is like a powerful tool to make sure these stores can find and connect with the right people. This tool helps by targeting ads more accurately and providing useful information to make sure ads hit the mark, helping these stores grow and get noticed. Meta, a big name in digital advertising, launched Advantage+ Audience in August 2023. They said it was going to change the game in how ads find their audience. Even though it sounds great, using it the right way can be tricky for advertisers.

Advantage+ Audience can really improve the usual way of targeting ads, but you need to be smart about how you use it. Just jumping in without thinking or completely ignoring it could mean missing out on what it has to offer. This article will help you understand when and how to make the most of Advantage+ Audience.

Getting Started with Advantage+ Audience:

Advantage+ Audience is the default targeting method as you start to create an ad set.

his makes choosing your audience easier. Meta’s ad system will automatically pick the best audience for your ad. If you want, you can suggest a specific group of people you’d like to target, and Meta will focus on them first before looking for others.

Setting Your Audience Limits – Audience Controls

Audience Limits are the strict rules you set. Even though the system mostly picks your audience on its own, these limits guide it by setting boundaries. Remember, Audience Limits only cover:

– Where people are (living or have recently been)

– The youngest age you want to target

– Groups you do not want to include

– The language (only if it is not common in the place you’re targeting)

It’s important to know that you cannot set a highest age or choose a specific gender. This gives the system more freedom to find the right people for what you need.

This flexibility is great, but it might not work well for every situation. We will discuss this later.

Audience Suggestion

Audience Tips

Using an audience tip can be a new idea, so you might want to try giving Meta a hint about who you think your ad should reach. It’s okay to do this, but it’s good to know how Meta figures out your audience if you do not give a tip.

Meta uses smart technology to find the right people for your ad, learning and getting better over time. It looks at things like:

– Who has bought something from you before

– Information from tracking pixels on your website

– How people have interacted with your ads before

These are pretty much the same details you’d use to give an audience tip. So, Meta’s system will focus on people similar to those you’ve interacted with before and then look for more people like them. The goal you are aiming for with your ad (like making a sale) and the specific action you want (like clicking on your ad) are also important. These goals help measure how well your ad is doing, so choosing them carefully can affect where your ad is shown.

However, if you still want to provide an audience suggestion, then:

Just remember, the strict rules you set in Audience Limits are the only boundaries Meta will definitely follow. Your audience tip is just a suggestion. Meta might show your ads to people outside the specific groups or interests you mention.

The minimum age you set is a firm limit, but Meta might show your ad to people older than your maximum age since that’s just a suggestion. And without a way to set gender, your ad could be shown to anyone, regardless of your gender suggestion.

Switching Back

There’s a link at the bottom of Advantage+ Audience to switch to original audience options if you are not willing to use Advantage+ Audience.

Meta does not really recommend switching back and will even give you a warning message to make sure you are sure about your decision.

Meta points out that using Advantage+ Audience has shown to lower the cost per result by 33% based on a study from March to June 2023.

In their guides, Meta also shares these benefits:

  • 13% lower median cost for each product catalog sale
  • 7% lower median cost for conversions on your website
  • 28% lower average cost for each click, lead, or view of a landing page

The first two points are particularly beneficial. However, the third point could be a concern depending on what you are aiming for with your ads. We will talk more about when it might be a good idea to stick with the traditional audience settings later.

If you go back to the traditional options, you will have access to all the familiar settings that you prefer.

Similarities and Differences

Figuring out how Advantage+ Audience differs from the usual audience options can seem tricky, especially when you think about how the original options can also expand your audience. Let’s simplify this for you.


With both Advantage+ Audience and the traditional audience options, your ad targeting can go beyond what you specifically ask for.

For the traditional options, when you are trying to get more conversions, clicks, or views, the system automatically uses something called Advantage Detailed Targeting to broaden your audience. This cannot be turned off. Also, when you are aiming for conversions, Advantage Lookalike targeting is automatically activated.

If you are not a fan of the idea that your preferences are treated as suggestions in Advantage+ Audience, it’s worth noting that your audience is frequently broadened using the traditional methods as well. Your input serves as a guide, but the system still optimizes and expands to reach a wider audience.


Let’s highlight how Advantage+ Audience stands out from the usual audience options, especially when it comes to expanding your audience.

Exceptions to Expansion:

With Advantage+ Audience, expansion applies to all your goals unless you switch to traditional settings. In contrast, with the original options, you sometimes can choose to expand your audience, but other times you cannot.

Your Own Audience Choices

When you use Advantage+ Audience, any group of people you specifically target is just a suggestion. But, with the traditional settings, you can decide not to expand beyond your chosen audience.

Strict Rules

With the traditional settings, you can set firm rules for age (both youngest and oldest), gender, where people are, and what languages they speak. With Advantage+ Audience, you can only set firm rules for the youngest age, locations, and languages. Anything else, like the oldest age or gender, is just a suggestion.

Wider Reach

It might be hard to see at first, but Advantage+ Audience is designed to reach the widest group of people possible. Meta explains that using the broadest audience with Advantage+ Audience can be more effective than the traditional options, which might restrict how well Meta’s smart technology works. It is a trade-off between broad reach and AI optimization allowing us to decide between them.

When to Choose Advantage+ Audience

If your goal is to get more people to buy something or take a specific action on your website, Advantage+ Audience is usually the better choice compared to traditional audience settings.

Here is why concerns about Advantage+ Audience might not be as big of a deal as they seem:

Reaching More People

Both Advantage+ Audience and the traditional settings will look for more people than you specify when you are trying to increase sales or actions on your site. Even though you can keep your audience more focused with the traditional options, small targeted groups might not be the best for getting more conversions.

Flexible Rules

With Advantage+ Audience, you cannot specify a maximum age or gender. But, this is not usually a problem when you are trying to get more people to buy something. The system learns from who is buying and who is not, and adjusts its targeting to match.

Hence, Advantage+ Audience might give you less direct control, but it also frees up the system to find more people likely to do what you want, like making a purchase.

When to Stick with Traditional Audience Settings

There are times when the original audience options might work better for you, especially if you are concerned about certain limitations of Advantage+ Audience.

  • Focus on Early-Stage Goals

If you are aiming for early-stage results like more clicks, views, or engagement, be cautious. The system aims to get as many of these actions as possible without worrying if those people will take further actions. With traditional settings, you can be more specific about who sees your ads, even if it might cost a bit more. This helps make sure the right people see your ads from the start.

  • Specific Gender and Age Targets

If your product or service is meant for a particular gender or age group, like businesses run by women for women, this is important. With Advantage+ Audience, the system should learn over time to focus on your ideal customers for sales. But for early-stage goals, there’s a chance the wrong audience might engage, leading the system to target them more.

Moreover, watch out for the quality of leads. It is not that Advantage+ Audience always brings in low-quality leads, but if you notice many leads are not fitting your ideal customer profile, you might want to switch back to have more control over who sees your ads.

When to Give Meta a Hint About Your Audience

Deciding whether to suggest an audience to Meta is something you will need to experiment with to see what’s best for your ads. From what I’ve seen, suggesting an audience does not hurt. The question is whether it’s really needed.

Meta can figure out who should see your ads by looking at your ad goals, who’s bought from you before, information from your website’s tracking tool, and how people have interacted with your ads in the past, even if you do not make a suggestion. These are the same things you’d probably consider when making your suggestion.

Here are a couple of scenarios where making a suggestion might be helpful:

  1. You’re Just Starting Out

If you are new and do not have much data for Meta to use, giving a suggestion can give it a starting point to find the right audience for you.

  1. You’re Targeting Specific Groups

If your business appeals to different kinds of people or you have different types of products, your past data might mix all these groups together. If you want Meta to focus on a particular group, starting with a suggestion can help ensure your ads reach the right audience.

Changing How You Build Campaigns

A lot of advertisers stick to old habits when making ad campaigns, but change is important.  In the past, creating many ad sets for new audiences was common. However this is not the best approach, especially when you are using Advantage+ Audience.

If you are running ads with the same goal and design, what really makes each ad set different? You might start with different audience ideas for each, but since Advantage+ Audience expands your reach far beyond these initial ideas, those differences quickly fade. Even if you start with unique audience ideas, Advantage+ Audience blends them as it tries to achieve your goals, making your original ideas less important. This leads to a lot of overlap where your ads compete against each other, driving up your costs.

It is not efficient. You will likely see higher costs because of this competition and having separate ad sets might keep you from moving past the learning phase. Your audiences will end up being similar. It’s better to combine your ad sets for improved results.

Keep It Simple

1. For any goal involving conversions, Advantage+ Audience should be your go-to.

2. You do not always need to suggest an audience, but trying it out won’t hurt.

3. Advantage+ Audience might not be the best for initial interest ads (like getting clicks or views), especially if you are focusing on specific ages or genders. This can also be true for lead ads.

4. Rethink your usual way of setting up campaigns with Advantage+ Audience. Most of the time, one ad set per campaign will do, to avoid overlap and get better outcomes.

Do not hesitate to use Advantage+ Audience. It has a lot to offer in improving your ad results, but it is also good to know its limits.


  1. What specific results have businesses seen after implementing Advantage+ Audience compared to traditional targeting methods?
    • Businesses often see improved efficiency and effectiveness in their advertising campaigns after implementing Advantage+ Audience, as it leverages Meta’s extensive data for better targeting. However, specific results can vary widely depending on the industry, campaign goals, and how well the tool is used.
  2. How does Advantage+ Audience integrate with other Meta advertising tools and features, such as Dynamic Ads or Custom Audiences?
    • Advantage+ Audience is designed to work seamlessly with other Meta advertising tools, enhancing the targeting capabilities of campaigns. By integrating with features like Dynamic Ads or Custom Audiences, advertisers can further refine their strategies for more personalized and effective advertising.
  3. Are there any limitations or downsides to using Audience Controls within Advantage+ Audience campaigns, and how can advertisers mitigate these?
    • While using Audience Controls provides advertisers with greater influence over their campaign targeting, it can also restrict the algorithm’s ability to optimize fully if too narrowly defined. Advertisers can mitigate this by balancing specificity with the algorithm’s need for flexibility, ensuring controls are used judiciously to guide rather than limit campaign performance.
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Maximizing Engagement: A Guide to Understanding Your Advantage+ Audience


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