There has been growing concern regarding Apple’s iOS 14 update and how this will affect advertising. As a PPC agency, we’re always looking ahead at how different updates and changes in the industry will affect our services. Below, we have included details on the changes and how this will impact our approach.
How will iOS 14 affect Facebook Ads?
Facebook alerted many ad managers to Apple’s changes through their platform, which helped raise awareness of advertising issues caused by the update. In summary, iOS 14 introduces new privacy measures that impact tracking across apps and websites. iOS 14 devices will prompt users to allow or disallow tracking, giving users the choice for data to be shared across the apps and websites they use on their iPhone. In cases where tracking is disallowed, the effectiveness of Facebook’s tracking, retargeting and reporting features will be negatively affected.
Roughly 80% of people on Facebook only use the app on their phone – and a significant portion of these will be iPhones. Therefore, Facebook will be in a precarious position if many of their users decide to opt-out of tracking. With privacy being such a hot topic right now, and several recent privacy scandals involving Facebook, it’s easy to understand why the social media giant is attempting to mobilise advertisers against Apple’s changes.
Facebook Ads features such as retargeting, lookalike generation and conversion tracking will no longer work for iOS 14 users – which is deeply concerning for advertisers. The knock-on effect of this will mean less effective campaign targeting and less data points available to optimise campaigns.
How does this affect our Facebook Ads approach?
While it is realistic to expect some drops in performance, we don’t believe that Facebook Ads will become completely ineffective. Facebook still provides excellent targeting options and there are multiple workarounds to combat the loss of data.
For example, other tracking sources and UTM codes will still provide granular reporting. Other data collection methods can be used to create custom audiences to replace retargeting features. Facebook’s automatic optimisation will still work using objectives higher in the sales funnel – such as link clicks. In a more drastic approach, you could exclude iOS devices from your targeting altogether and still reach a sizeable market.
How to respond to iOS 14 changes?
There are several practical actions that are required and adjustments to our approach.
- Domain verification – Facebook are recommending that all advertisers complete domain verification in response to these changes
- Use breakdown reports to see conversions from iOS devices – understanding the impact on active campaigns will help mitigate issues in the future
- Identify the most important events – the number of trackable events will be reduced to 8, so we must be more selective about what we track
- Adjust tracking and optimisation strategies – implement workarounds to improve the accuracy of event tracking on other platforms and decide which metrics will be used to optimise campaigns
- Explore new methods of data collection – create custom audiences using different data sources outside of Facebook’s retargeting and lookalike features
Assess the effects of Facebook Ads and iOS 14 on a case by case basis
Are Facebook Ads still a useful PPC channel?
The short answer is, yes. However, it will always come down to assessing viability on a case by case basis. Depending on the type of business, industry and market, these changes could affect you in lots of different ways. While we wait to see what the full impact of these changes might be, you can expect Facebook to be planning a response of their own. Facebook has 2.7 billion monthly active users and will continue to offer a great way for advertisers to reach their audience.
If you’re concerned about these changes, please get in touch and we’d be happy to recommend the best approach.