Facebook Ads: How Apple's IOS update will impact your advertising

When it comes to Facebook Ads every advertiser knows the importance of consumer data. It inspires, builds and drives campaigns, and in every case can mean the difference between a campaign’s success or its failure. Obtaining data about consumers’ online behaviour allows marketers to target the right groups, understand the effectiveness of their Facebook Ads and avoid throwing money into an empty void by focusing funds where it matters most. As a Digital Marketing Agency in London, we keep a close eye on the numbers to ensure ads budgets are used effectively.

From the perspective of the consumer, the idea of their data being collected to understand their online behaviour is most of the time thought of in a negative light and is seen as an ‘invasion of privacy’ but in actuality, it really isn’t all bad! It forms a two-way relationship between the consumer and marketers. It has huge benefits for both parties and consumers may not even realise this two-way relationship even exists.

Rather than having random, irrelevant Facebook Ads pop up on consumers’ feeds for services or products they don’t need, targeting by means of analysing data allows marketers to push the relevant Facebook Ads to consumers who would be interested in them. This benefits the consumer as they will be exposed to content suited to their needs and interests while also benefiting the marketers as their marketing efforts would be more likely to pay off.

This is all about to change.

Apple has recently announced the upcoming changes to iOS 14 that will have a drastic impact on how marketers receive and process conversion events from tools like the Facebook Pixel and how personalised ads will be delivered to users. Businesses that advertise on mobile apps, as well as those which optimise, target, and report on web conversion events from any of the business tools, will be affected. Apple will require all apps in the App Store to present users with a discouraging prompt to opt-out of data tracking on iOS 14 devices and if they do, data will be missing, skewed or delayed. 

 

How will this affect businesses?

Small businesses have small budgets. For these small budgets to work, they have to be targeted at the customers that matter to small businesses. It doesn’t do a local wedding planner any good to reach people who aren’t planning a wedding. Put simply, by dramatically limiting the effectiveness of personalised Facebook ads, Apple’s policy will make it much harder for all businesses to reach their target audience, which will limit their growth and their ability to compete with big companies. Facebook does not anticipate the proposed iOS 14 changes to cause a full loss of personalisation in the short-term but rather a move in that direction over the longer term.

 

So, how will this affect your Facebook Ads?

  1. Advertisers will be limited to using 8 conversion events per domain,
    including both standard and custom conversions for optimising within an ad account.

  2. There will be no more reporting for age, gender, region, placement breakdowns.

  3. Advertisers will receive partial reporting in Ads Manager and Events Manager for additional events outside of the priority of the 8 events.

  4. As more people opt-out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, the size of your app connections, app activity Custom Audiences, and website Custom Audiences will decrease.

  5. Delayed & more vague reporting: It can take ​up to 3​ days from when a conversion event occurs as opposed to how it is currently reported, where data is passed through when the specific event occurs.

  6. The ability to ensure Facebook Ads are delivered to the most relevant audiences will not be guaranteed.

  7. Facebook Ad performance is very likely to see an overall decrease while the cost per action will likely increase.

  8. It will be difficult to predict and optimise cost per action overtime and allocate budgets across campaigns efficiently.

Potential “next steps” which advertisers may want to consider taking:

  1. Verifying a website’s domain to help avoid any future disruption of the website’s campaigns.

     

  2. For advertisers using the Facebook SDK and App Events API, configure conversion schema for App Events Optimisation, Mobile App Install, and Events with Automated Apps Ads and Value Optimisation campaigns.

     

  3. Rank & prioritise 8 conversion events eg. Sign-ups, View content, etc.
    After an opt-out, FB will only receive one event a person completes after a click. For example, if Sign up is a priority > But if this person doesn’t convert, the event won’t fire but the user might still take another action on site.

     

  4. Ensure events are prioritised from the start because If you want to change events, you need to wait three days before these changes.

     

  5. Aim to operate all iOS 14 app install campaigns on one Ad account per app.

     

  6. Identify optimisation strategies that may require testing.

  7.  Diversify ads channels Eg. Pinterest, Youtube, Linkedin Ads etc.

 

Facebook has expressed their response to Apple’s iOS 14 update to which they strongly disagree with but have no choice but to accept Apple’s policy otherwise risk Facebook being blocked from the App Store. Putting the millions of businesses who depend on the platform and Facebook Ads at risk is not a step Facebook wants to take. Furthermore, Facebook believes that personalised ads and user privacy can coexist, without the collateral damage iOS 14 will bring. Facebook, and others in the industry, are investing deeply in solutions that increase privacy while still enabling businesses to thrive online.

So, advertisers, fasten your seatbelts, It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

If you want to read more about Facebook Ads, have a look at our 4 Facebook Ads tips to try right now!

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