Part 2: How to Survive the Facebook Ads and iOS14 Update

This month, our social media coordinator dives deeper into the Apple iOS14 update and what it means for Facebook Ad marketing. Get to know the technical side of things and learn how to navigate your Facebook Ad campaigns through this uncharted territory. Click here to check out Part 1 of this blog series to learn about the basics and tips on how to optimize your ads. 

Despite an early announcement on the Apple iOS14 updates, the actual update was delayed and officially started rolling in May. This means that if everything goes according to Facebook’s plan, everyone should be on the same boat by the end of June. If you have been struggling to try to put together all of the changes that come with this new update, then you’re in the right place! We already covered the fundamental changes that these updates will bring, the mindset, and some basic strategies in the first part of this blog. Here, we will be digging a bit deeper into the technical side of the update and discussing ways you can plan your Facebook Ad campaigns around the update. 

The Past and The Future

As we all know, the iOS14 updates are changing the way Apple device users can be tracked across apps. The most popular way we’ve been able to track users using Facebook has been through Facebook pixels. These pieces of code installed on websites or apps allowed us to track all sorts of actions, user behaviors, allowed retargeting, and much more. An ideal set-up was having pixels on every page of your website to track all of the conversions in that page. However, iOS14 changed this, and now we’re only allowed to place eight pixel objectives on a single domain. This will reduce the amount of data we can collect, report on, and use to optimize our campaigns. 

Another essential thing to note is that users can completely opt-out of tracking. (If you missed the 1st part of the blog, we covered the first step which is verifying your domain. Click here for a quick step-by-step guide by facebook.)

With Facebook being unable to track users, its targeting function will be diminished, reducing the amount of data we can collect while our ads become less efficient, less effective, and more expensive. This will also result in fewer personalized ads, which means fewer conversions while also impacting overall reporting. 

How to Adapt Your Facebook Ad Campaigns to Make The Most of The Update

1. Set up and prioritize your eight most valuable events

As mentioned above, the iOS14 update only allows us to place eight pixel objectives on a single domain. Depending on your business and strategies, you need to decide which eight events and custom conversions are most important to your business, and re-arrange them in order of priority. The order of priority is important because if a user visits your page and triggers more than one event, only the one with the highest priority will be reported to Facebook. By default, Facebook will choose which eight are the highest priority for you.

You may update these by opening Ads Manager, navigating to Events Manager, selecting a suitable pixel on the left side of the screen, and opening the “Aggregated Event Measurement.” Then, click “Configure Web Events,” select the domain for your business and click “Edit Events.” Here you will decide which events are most important to track (for example, view content, add to cart, complete a purchase, etc). You can also reorder them from highest priority to lowest priority. An example would be a completed purchase as a high priority and a view web page as a low priority. If someone visits your website, Facebook will only report one event (the highest). 

It’s important to note that if you have ad sets for events that aren’t included in your eight events here, the ad sets will be paused. Make sure you set these up correctly to make the best of your campaigns! Click here to check Facebook resources and learn more about Web Event configuration.

2. Test segmenting audience targeting by Apple and Android Users

Although we suspect that other companies will be adopting a strict stance towards privacy in the near future, at the moment, these changes only affect Apple users. Therefore, you can try testing ad campaigns with different audiences by segmenting Android and Apple users to make the most out of your personalized ads, budget, and reporting. You can segment these by going to the “Specific Mobile Devices & Operating Systems” section when creating campaigns that target conversion events, and selecting “Android Only.”

Make sure you check your audience based on Page and saved audiences to verify you have a healthy amount of people before using this specific audience for your ad campaigns.

3. Explore and Test Independent Tracking and Retargeting

The iOS14 update brings the opportunity to start testing new strategies against the new performance levels of your ads. Consider trying different bid types, audience definitions, events or priority of these events, audience optimization, placement optimizations, creative combinations, and more! 

This is also a perfect moment to explore other reporting methods that don’t rely on Facebook data. While the Facebook reporting data is essential to consider for optimization purposes, you can customize your overall ad reporting using other strategies. An example is by using your website platform’s tracking system to monitor where visitors are coming from and what they do on your website.

There’s no cookie-cutter strategy, and there are many different industries and business types with other goals. One strategy that works for a restaurant might not work the same for a financial institution. The best way to get started and ahead of the competition is to test, optimize and repeat! 

4. Start Building Lists & Adopting First-Party Data

List building and first-party data is a fundamental strategy that we believe everyone should adopt, even before the iOS14 updates were announced. When running Ads or working on web design, it is always essential to consider the user experience. Many of us are familiar with the traditional Lead Generation Ads or form fills on our websites to gather data. The problem lies when people collect data without a concrete plan or strategy in place or don’t know which part of the user journey they should ask for certain information from users. This is why nurturing and providing value is so important. Gaining the trust of users who interact with your business or visit your website is one of the crucial steps to enhance the overall user experience, which will also boost their likelihood of sharing their data and engaging on phone calls and scheduling a meeting etc. 

Take time to revise your business strategy and goals, and work on your overall user journey. Make use of different tools like using extra landing pages with form fills, email nurturing sequences, value sharing through ebooks or pdfs, or even implementing automation through chatbots on social media or your website. These are all great ways to start building a solid list of first-party data that you can leverage towards custom audiences and retargeting efforts.

These are some significant changes that mark the beginning of a privacy-first world that will undoubtedly shift how digital marketing is implemented moving forward. While many business owners might be concerned about the future ability to precisely target users and measure conversions, ultimately, the true impact of this update is still unknown. Until the full rollout of the update is complete, we won’t know how this update will shake the industry.

By keeping a positive mindset and an open eye for opportunity, it will decide who adapts the quickest and gains a competitive advantage over their competitors. We think these are exciting times to refresh current strategies and try new things that we might have not even thought about trying before. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on everything iOS related moving forward!