It is critical to protect one’s privacy, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who disagrees.
That was the motivation behind iOS 14’s release—to offer customers more control over the data they (sometimes inadvertently) share with advertisers and publishers. This update has been heavily advertised via national advertising across TV, digital, and public relations.
The reality of the iOS 14 upgrade, from a marketing standpoint, is that Facebook and Instagram ad campaign effectiveness has dropped across the board. The iOS 14 release negatively impacted Facebook advertising in three key areas:
- Targeting of Ads
- Reporting on Performance
- Optimization of Ads
Those three elements are critical to the success of your paid social media efforts, whether you know anything about advertising on social media—which I’m guessing you do.
We’ll go through how iOS 14 affects the Facebook advertising environment and provide you with a few pointers on how to optimize your campaigns moving forward within the constraints of iOS 14.
What Did the iOS 14 Update Actually Do?
Simply defined, Apple has reduced the amount of user activity that advertisers and app developers may track.
Cookies are not used on mobile devices the way they are on desktop computers. Instead, Apple provides something called IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers). Every iOS device is assigned a unique, entirely random ID number known as IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers). IDFA also allows you to monitor activity in apps. IDFA does not store any personally identifiable information (PII), and it may be deleted by the user at any time.
On April 26, 2021, Apple delivered the iOS 14.5 upgrade, which disabled IDFA by default. That implies that each user will have to individually enable each app for IDFA to be enabled.
Another way to look at it is that the user will encounter this prompt.
IMAGE IMAGE IMAGE
Approximately 17% of people globally are opting into tracking, and 10% of American users have opted in, which is obviously a very low number, and a large challenge for advertisers.
This is the new reality for marketers, whether they like it or not. So, how will this change our advertising efforts?
How iOS 14 Impacts Facebook and Instagram Ads
Any reputable Facebook media buyer will confirm that performance has gone down since the April 26 iOS 14 upgrade. And this is a big deal for Facebook—the company has run multiple full-page adverts in publications like The New York Times to voice their disapproval of Apple’s decision, as well as creating a comprehensive help page on their site.
As stated earlier, the Apple update has had an impact on three key aspects of the Facebook advertising platform: targeting, reporting, and optimization. I’ll go through all three aspects in the following subsections.
Lookalike audiences and retargeting have long been a mainstay of advanced Facebook advertising, but they’ve lately become less popular or ineffective.
The problem with retargeting is self-evident: since the vast majority of iOS users are opting out of tracking, your target audiences will be a lot smaller. If your advertising campaign was heavily reliant on retargeting website visits, you’ve probably seen a significant fall in performance. In the following section, we’ll look at how to overcome
Lookalike audiences based on data sources, such as pixel conversions (such as purchases or leads), are no longer being tracked accurately either. As a result, the quality of your lookalike audiences have most likely dropped, and so has your associated ad performance.
Advertisers have used Facebook Pixel conversion statistics like ROAS and CPA to assess the success of their campaigns. Most advertisers have witnessed wild variances in these metrics as a result of iOS 14.5’s release.
Apple has also stated that the Private Click Measurement (PCM) protocol will result in a three-day delay in attribution data from iOS 14.5 users. This affects advertisers’ data significantly, as conversions from IOS users are reported with a long delay.
As you probably know, sophisticated Facebook advertisers have used the algorithm to aid in the optimization of their campaigns. In other words, you give the algorithm data— conversions from your advertising—and it automatically displays ads to consumers who are comparable to those who have converted before.
With iOS 14, this approach is likely to fall flat. One reason is that Apple now restricts Facebook advertisers to eight “conversion events” per website, which means there are less data points for the algorithm to consider during optimization. This will have a significant impact on smaller advertisers who lack access to large quantities data due to limited advertising budgets.
So, there you have it — the annoying news. However, you may still do a lot to keep your campaigns on track.
5 Actions You Can Take to Combat iOS 14
If you’re ready to take action and address the concerns caused by iOS 14, here are a few ideas for you.
1. Verify you domain
Use the instructions in this article to validate all of your Facebook Business Manager domains. This is a hint to Facebook that you are authentic, so if you have any account difficulties, it will be beneficial.
2. Use re-engagement audiences
The data from Facebook users who are still active on the site allows marketers to create re-engagement audiences. These include targeting individuals who have engaged with your content or Page in the past, people who have watched one of your videos, and individuals who have clicked on an ad.
If third-party data is unavailable or limited, you may always attempt your luck with Facebook’s own first-party data.
3. Explore new audiences via whitelisting
If your Pixel lookalike audiences are no longer returning results, test Lookalikes based on the followings of your influencers. To gain access to their followers / audiences, you’ll have to use whitelisting, which comes with a slew of other advantages.
4. Develop fresh ad creative featuring UGC
If you don’t have a lot of targeting choices, one of the most effective ways to improve your results is to improve the creatives for your Facebook ads. Incorporating user generated content (UGC) into your ad creative works for a lot of brands when it comes to ROAS.
Trying out a variety of types of UGC, from unboxing films to product evaluations to lifestyle photographs, will help you A/B test various ideas and see how your users react to the content.
5. Implement the Conversions API
Since many of the problems are due to the Facebook Pixel itself, you may input data directly from the server to Facebook using the Conversions API. Such implementation require tech resources; however, there are numerous guides for how to use the Conversion API, and the implementations is not too complex.