For months, there has been a lot of talk about Apple’s iOS 14 update and the impact it will have on Facebook advertising (and advertising in general). We know for sure that these changes will impact the way Facebook is able to receive and process conversion events from tools like the Facebook pixel.
Since the first announcement, the number one question has been, “how do I prepare for these changes and the impact it’s going to have on advertising (with Facebook)?” Don’t worry, you’re not alone!
The iOS 14 update explained
The iOS 14 update requires advertisers to ask users for their permission to track them across apps and websites owned by their companies. It requires that all apps in the app store show a prompt to iOS 14 users in accordance with their App Tracking Transparency framework.
This means that advertisers have to get an opt-in confirmation from iOS 14 users via a prompt /notification, and as such users can decide whether or not to share their IDFA.
User’s have applauded Apple for this step because it gives them a sense of control about being able to decide what gets shared. It also reveals just how volatile and perhaps flawed the traditional cookie-based approach to ad targeting is on the advertiser side.
Paid advertising does stand to suffer significant disruption although the exact impact is still not fully understood.
Advertisers will still be able to run ads, but those ads may have less visibility and a reduced ability to track conversions. Facebook has been quite vocal about their position on these changes to be introduced by Apple but clearly have no choice but to comply.
The SKAdNetwork API introduced by Apple in 2018 will be used by Facebook for app advertising on all iOS 14 devices and According to Facebook, advertisers may face certain limitations as a result of these changes and they include: Ad creation limitations, New delivery statuses, Reporting, Targeting and Dynamic ads.
What should you do to proactively prepare for these changes coming with the iOS 14 update?
Below are some recommendations as shared by Facebook:
1. Verify your domains with Facebook – Facebook is moving pixels over to domain-based ownership so to minimize any disruption to your data, you’ll need to verify your domain. To verify your domain with Facebook, you can:
Add a DNS TXT entry to your record and confirm that you are the owner of a particular domain.
Upload a Facebook provided HTML file to your web directory
Add a meta tag to the <head> section of your domain home page
2. Lock in the eight events for conversions you intend to track – make sure you configure the preferred eight web conversion events per domain. You can edit the conversion event selection in Facebook Events Manager.
3. Compare ‘28-day’ to ‘7-day’ attribution – Calculate the impact that the attribution window change window will have on your business and watch out for any sales that occurs within that period of testing because 28-day attribution of any kind will no longer be supported nor will 7-day view-through attribution.
Historical data will only be available via the API. So prepare for view-through attribution data to disappear and download your historic data now for both windows plus 28-day clickthrough. If you use the 28-day window, compare 28-day and 7-day click conversions to see how your reported conversions may be impacted. Update any rules you use that are currently tied to 28-day attribution.
Outside of Facebook’s recommendations, we advise that you also consider the following options to improve your chances of a better ROI with your ads even with the coming changes:
1. Develop new strategies – Go back to the drawing board and figure out new strategies that promote the exchange of value between advertiser and user.
2. Search out existing alternatives to cookie tracking.
3. Experiment and learn – It will be most helpful to start testing various unchartered ways to reach your core audience while we all navigate the true impact of the iOS14 changes.
4. Research iOS users’ impact on your business and see how these changes may affect your reporting.
5. Diversify Ad Platforms – even though these changes will affect all advertisers, it might be helpful not to build your entire paid advertising strategy around one single platform. Look into LinkedIn, YouTube etc. to see if there’s an opportunity there for your brand to grow and gain customers.
6. Broader audiences: It’s unavoidable that some users will opt out of being tracked, so you may need to target a broader audience to capture more potential customers.
7. Amplify your efforts with using email as a way to reach your customers.
These iOS 14 updates/changes are by no means the end of Facebook advertising. You can still get really great results from your paid ads by implementing the tips shared in this blogpost and other resources on the Facebook platform.
Although these changes represent a significant shift in the direction of digital privacy, it’s nothing to be alarmed by as this trend will undoubtedly continue into the future.
We will continue to work closely with our clients to help them understand and prepare for these changes as well as continue to share more helpful resources.
Let us know if you need some help with preparing for these changes. Book a FREE consultation with us by clicking below.
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