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What the Apple iOS14 Updates Mean for Your Facebook Ad Strategy

Wondering how the latest Apple iOS14 privacy updates will impact your social media ad strategy? Learn what to expect from HoneyBook Director of Performance Marketing and the Facebook team. 

Apple iOS14 Updates

*This is a recap of the March 16, 2021 Global Virtual TuesdaysTogether webinar hosted by Natalie Franke with guests Toby Skinner, HoneyBook Director of Performance Marketing, Rotem Blinder, Client Solutions Manager at Facebook, and Anat Moses, Product Marketing Manager at Facebook. 

With Apple’s upcoming iOS14 privacy policy updates we can expect there to be changes in how digital ads are configured. We want to help prepare you for what that may mean for your Facebook ad strategy. 

First, we don’t know exactly when these changes will happen but Apple has said that the new privacy policy will roll out in early spring. 

Second, the policy is expected to require advertisers and app developers to show their audience a prompt that asks for their consent to have their information gathered in order to create personalized ads. The prompt will ask permission to track you across third party websites and apps. 

What kind of data are they asking to track? Basic activity like “add to cart” and what you did and did not click on. 

New Apple App Store Requirements: 

This is what Apple is requiring all app developers to include by in order to have their app displayed in the App Store. 

  1. A data nutrition label, which outlines how the app developer is using the data they collect. 
  2. A tracking transparency prompt where users need to actively accept the tracking (ie: ask permission to track them across third party apps and websites). 
  3. Ensure that their data sharing framework restricts, aggregates and delays the data being collected. 

Tip from Toby: Opting out doesn’t mean you won’t get ads, it just means that they won’t be personalized. In other words, the ads you get will likely be irrelevant to you. 

How the Apple iOS14 Updates will Impact the Facebook Business Tool Setup

  1. Optimization 
    1. First, you’ll need to verify your domain. This is recommended in most cases.
      1. Use Facebook’s Domain Verification Guidebook to help
    2. Choose eight (8) conversion events per domain for optimization. 
      1. You can optimize for all eight (8) events chosen in the configuration event. From opted out users, you will receive one reported event—the highest event that occurred from prioritization. 
      2. Anything that is within the Facebook platform itself is not limited so you will not need to prioritize these kinds of events.
  2. Targeting
    1. Custom audiences are going to be smaller because we have less events to account for.
    2. Targeting Ads impact: advertisers should expect less efficient delivery compared to historical performance across all attribution windows. The most important area impacted is the targeting and, at the end, retargeting. We should expect retargeting and re-marketing will be impacted by these changes, although we don’t know the full extent to anticipate yet. 
  3. Measurement and reporting 
    1. There will be changes to attribution windows.
      1. 28-day click through, 28-day view through and 7-day view through are will no longer be supported do to the Apple iOS14 changes.
      2. 1-day click through will be included for all the opted in users; the data from the opted out users will be delayed 24-48 hours.
    2. The conversions are still happening, but you might not see them reported.

Q&A with the Facebook Team 

Q: How will the Apple iOS14 updates change the way we use the Facebook Pixel? 

Facebook: It won’t! There are no changes to the Pixel code itself. 

Q: What do these upcoming updates mean for exclusion lists?

Facebook: We’re not sure about this yet. We’re looking into Apple’s policies to decide how to handle first party data. 

Q: How will lookalike audiences be affected? 

Facebook: Lookalike audience targeting will still be available but your seed audience will likely be smaller because of a lower match rate (only opted-in Facebook users will be included). Targeting tactics will still be possible; Facebook onsite targeting will still be there. Everything that is not based on conversion events will not be impacted. 

Q: What are the 3 most important steps to take in order to mitigate any risk?

Facebook: First, make sure your ads are not going to pause and that you are not going to be pausing your configurations. Second, Make sure you verify your domain so that you can choose your eight events configuration and prioritize your events. Third, understand that creative is going to be more important in the future. 

Apple iOS14 Ad Tips from Toby

Great ads come down to great ad creative. It’s your ad creative that is going to get the right person to stop scrolling and click through, even if you’re targeting broadly. It will be more important than ever to double down and try testing more and more creative. It is one of the main proactive steps you can take in anticipation of this change. 

How I kind of picked myself up and looked through my rose-tinted spectacles is that it is still a level playing field. The same consumers and potential clients are still on Facebook and Instagram all day, everyday. It might be harder to track and know for sure, but they are still there and your creative will get them. 

Even if these iOS14 changes do make it a bit harder to get traffic to your website, it’s all the more reason to increase your efforts to have the best landing page and best experience for visitors on your website so that those who do click through are more likely to convert. 

Lastly, if you implement something like an onboarding quiz or purchasing survey, ask “where did you first hear about us?”. That will help cover the gap from the opt-out data. 

The Takeaway    

Facebook is constantly working to make sure that small businesses receive a great solution. Will changes like the Apple iOS14 updates impact the way Facebook looks at data, reporting and advertising? Yes. But they will do all they can to make sure small business owners continue to grow and succeed. 

While this may sound like a lot of technical details to consider, remember that Facebook systems and products are based on statistics. They only need a very small amount of samples to work with. So even as the amount of online information available changes, Facebook can honor peoples’ choices to protect their privacy and still deliver personalized ads. 

Opportunities often come out of change or even adverse change. At the end of the day, the marketing principles remain the same: know who your audience is and position your company and your brand accordingly. We may have a little bit less immediate data in this one circumstance, but we are optimistic that we can adjust to this change in data reporting.

Facebook Resources

  1. New Resource Center with a personalized checklist
  2. iOS 14 web guidebook
  3. A Checklist to Prepare for iOS 14 Changes for Web
  4. Webinars: Holistic Webinar, Web Events Webinar

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