A big discussion over the past several months in the marketing world has been Apple’s iOS 14 update, which has been a tackling challenge when it comes to advertising on Facebook and Instagram. New privacy changes now allow for users to control their data tracking on all of its apps. Since most users have chosen to opt out of the data tracking, it’s made it even tougher for advertisers to capture accurate information on their audiences like they once were before.
With a lot of you asking, how exactly to go about conquering the new Apple update as a B2C business that conducts advertising, we’re here to give you the inside scoop. There are in fact some tricks to help you navigate these challenging changes from iOS 14. We’ll take you through some of the issues you may be experiencing when it comes to targeting, reporting, and Facebook Pixel, and how you can conquer these.
Are your Retargeting and Lookalike audiences unavailable or not performing well? Since the vast majority of iOS users have opted out of tracking, this means your retargeting audiences are going to be a lot smaller. However, as Facebook does still have most of the information on your audiences before they opted out, you can use this for re-engagement audiences. These include targeting users who have engaged with your content or page in the past, people who have watched one of your videos, or people who have clicked on an ad.
It’s also important not to dismiss Facebook and Instagram as a failing channel due to these performance issues caused by the iOS update. As an agency, we test conversion uplift campaigns on Facebook. This is where we advertise to only one side of the audience, which gives us the ability to see the differences in performance driven through advertising. This gives us a greater level of insight into the true impact of our advertising, even when tracking issues are prevalent.
As always, we encourage testing new creative content ideas, from unboxing videos to product reviews and lifestyle photos. Releasing fresh content on the regular can improve your overall ROAS.
It’s important to look at the impact on your website as a whole using Google Analytics. As online ad specialists, this means we implement UTM tracking across all of our Facebook campaigns, allowing us to monitor Paid Social performance when on site. UTM codes or tags are a snippet of code that can be added on to your existing URL for tracking purposes within Google Analytics.
By implementing UTM tracking, you will be able to view last-click conversion data within Analytics. This means if a user clicks through to the ad and purchases right there and then, this will be picked up in Google Analytics. In short, implementing UTM codes on your Facebook ad URLs will help get back that data you might be missing. You can easily make UTM codes for any URL with Google’s free to use tool.
However, be mindful, if a user were to view your ad on Instagram, and then leave Instagram and Google your brand, this would not be picked up by UTM tracking, as this conversion would be attributed to the last click e.g. Paid Search/Organic. This is despite Social advertising playing a major role in the conversion.
Advertisers have also relied on Facebook Pixel conversion metrics like ROAS and CPA to determine the success of their campaigns. Since the release of iOS 14.5, we’ve seen many reporting issues occurring with the Facebook Pixel losing effectiveness. Apple has also announced that the Private Click Measurement (PCM) protocol will create a three-day delay in attribution data from iOS 14.5 users. This means advertisers will see fewer reported conversions with their Facebook Ads Manager, skewing their data.
Facebook Pixel issues have been caused by a number of reasons, but mostly the proliferation of tools such as ad and cookie blockers. This means the data that the pixel can collect is limited. To aid this, Facebook has introduced the Conversion API, and unlike the pixel which sits on the customer’s browser, the conversion API picks up events from the customer’s website server. This means the API is unaffected by browser settings, enhancing its tracking capabilities. Implementing both the API and Pixel can return up to 12% more conversions attributed!
These changes only affect in-app data on iOS devices. So, nothing on desktop, mobile browsers, or android devices will be affected by this, at all (for now). Okay, for now, you can breathe. We know that this was a lot of Facebook word vomit, so if you still have any questions relating to the new update and your account, please just give us a shout!