5 Ways to Optimize Performance for a Brighter Future – Adweek

By John Dokes, Director, Mid-Market Sales
It’s been a challenging and exciting year for performance marketers. Despite shifting privacy and macroeconomic headwinds, performance advertisers have an immense opportunity.
Meta is already seeing brands evolve and rebuild their attribution models to fully embrace the third era of ads where privacy and performance can coexist. Third-party cookies—long the mainstay of performance advertising—are becoming less effective. And advertisers across platforms are seeing lower performance and higher CPMs. 2022 has certainly seen a few clouds, but for each one, there’s a silver lining.
At Meta, we’ve identified the five most impactful strategies to help drive performance in privacy-preserving ways and enable access to new audiences through creators and creative. We call these strategies the Performance 5.
The Performance 5 can allow you to take back control. Yes, there are things that are simply out of the hands of marketers: supply chain, inflation, the great resignation, a looming recession, etc. While these trends affect the way brands do business, right now it’s important to control what you can by creating a strong and adaptable foundation for marketing.
Let’s take a closer look at how brands are putting them to use to help optimize their results.
Meta is seeing brands leverage the trust, authenticity and originality of creators to drive direct response (DR) performance and reach new audiences. On average, adding branded content ads to existing ads reduced CPAs by 8.5% and increased ROAS by 15% according to an internal Facebook Meta study across lift studies with ecommerce advertisers, Jan-Aug 2020.
For example, performance apparel brand Vuori used a test-and-learn approach to promote influencer content in its Facebook ads, which helped lower cost per purchase by 25%.
Another great performance tool for brands is creative diversification. Diversifying ad formats, particularly within ad sets, is a proven strategy to inspire action and help maximize performance. Subscription-based hair care brand Prose leaned into creative diversification and tried testing its business-as-usual ads versus bespoke creative built for Instagram Reels, resulting in a 23% lower CPA.  
It’s important to mix up your creative concepts too. Testing new creative concepts, personalities, tones and assets is a great way to reach new audiences and combat audience saturation. In fact, an Internal Meta test comparing the performance of two identical vs. two non-identical showed that creative diversification has been shown to drive 32% increased efficiency and 8% incremental reach.
Meta is seeing clients have success by reducing the complexity of their ad account structure. By leaning into machine learning to do the work of identifying and optimizing high-performing ad sets, these brands are improving efficiency. This kind of approach focuses on consolidating ad sets, limiting duplicate impressions and reaching broader audiences. It can often help brands get out of the learning phase faster, which may reduce high costs and inefficient spending while helping improve performance.
As third-party cookies become less viable to measure performance, Meta’s Conversions API helps enable brands to create a direct connection between marketing data (like website events and offline conversions) and Meta. It’s important to assess whether your Conversions API data is set up to maximize performance. After setup, the goal is to aim for Event Match Quality (EMQ) scores of 6.0 or higher, especially on the event types used for optimization and measurement. Based on an analysis of over 28,000 weekly ads campaigns Jul-Sept 2020, increasing EMQ scores can help reduce cost per purchase by up to 5% on average.
It is also recommended to generate account-wide studies on a quarterly basis, which may help you to gain a better understanding of how Meta solutions are helping drive growth for your business.  
Jewelry brand ALEX AND ANI, and its agency Socialfly, implemented conversion lift testing using Conversions API—which resulted in a 2.26X lift in return on ad spend and 20% more incremental purchases.
The ad industry is changing fast, and the headwinds are strong in 2022. No matter what happens, building a strong foundation for performance advertising will best position your brand going forward.
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You can download a one-sheet of the Performance 5 here.
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