How Will The Apple iOS 14 Update Impact Your Marketing Strategy?

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Change is constant in digital marketing, and this year will be no different.

Marketers will need to keep up to date with the changes that have headed our way with the Apple iOS 14 privacy update, and how the changes will impact advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

Grofuse can help you stay abreast of change. You can lean on us as your digital marketing agency to help so you don’t have any nasty surprises that negatively impact your marketing strategy and revenue.

The rollout of changes to iOS 14 started earlier this year, updated on April 26, 2021. Apple requires advertisers (such as Facebook) to engage in what it calls ‘tracking’ to ask permission when using information from websites or apps owned by other companies to personalise or measure ads.

Apple iOS 14 Update

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The move is intended to help protect individuals’ privacy, but it will impact targeting audiences and personalising ads. The change will create limitations for businesses that use Facebook advertising for channels on iOS devices and those that drive business results through their website.

The Impacts Of The iOS 14 Update:

  • This update will apply to Facebook-owned apps such as Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. Additionally, it will affect apps that use Facebook’s audience network for monetisation.
  • Currently, Facebook can track user activity on other websites and in other apps through Facebook pixels; these are pieces of code installed on a website or app. When a user visits your site and takes action, the pixel notifies Facebook. This information is then stored as data for your campaigns. With the new update, you will only be allowed to place eight-pixel objectives on a single domain    (previously unlimited). This will significantly reduce the amount of data you can collect, report on and use to target effectively. Users that ‘opt out’ of the data-sharing permission will not be trackable by pixels.
  • If Facebook cannot track user behaviour, the targeting function will be gravely affected and the amount of data collected will be reduced. Your ad spend will become less efficient and most likely more expensive.
  • Businesses depend on this data to personalise advertisements to specific users. Without this, ads will be less personalised and therefore less effective. The result could lead to fewer leads generated by Facebook ads to improves sales.
  • The update will impact reporting because the data will not include users that have denied permission or ‘opted out’ of tracking. Only a small number of objectives will be tracked and reports will therefore be inaccurate.

What Actions Can Be Taken Now To Minimise Disruption To Advertising Campaigns? 

1. Segment Targeting By iOS And Android Users

The first step you can take to mitigate the effects of this update is to target Android devices as the iOS update will only affect Apple users. Ideally, both Android and iOS users would be tracked. However, the data gathered on iOS will be incomplete and it may be best to segment campaigns by device.

When you create campaigns that target conversion events, go to ‘specific mobile devices and operating systems’ and select ‘Android devices only’.

Facebook Advertising

2. Prioritise Your Eight Most Valuable Pixels

As only eight pixels per domain are allowed, you must decide which Facebook pixel events and conversions are most important to your campaigns.

Facebook will automatically select which eight are the highest priority for you. If you want to change the selections, open Ads Manager and navigate to ‘Events Manager’ to rearrange your desired pixels.

3. Verify Your Domain And Enable The Conversions API

Facebook is requesting businesses to verify their domains in preparation for this update to prevent the misuse of ad accounts. In the verification process, your webmaster will be provided with a code to put on your domain. Facebook stated that verifying your domain will ensure that the data received by your pixels is accurately delivered to Facebook.

To verify your domain, log into your Facebook manager account, scroll down to ‘Brand Safety’ and select ‘Domains’, then confirm your domain (website URL).

4. Enable Or Update Facebook SDK

 The update will affect how your Facebook ads perform and are measured. Facebook suggests updating your Facebook SDK (Facebook Apps For Android) to at least a version 8.1 in iOS. If you advertise on apps that require a Facebook login, Facebook recommends updating to version 9.

Updating to version 8.1 or 9 will allow you to continue running personalised ads to app users on iOS. This will enable you to measure app installs and optimise for value optimisation (VO) and app events.

5. Set Up Independent Tracking And Retargeting Tools

Some of your Facebook campaigns will lose their efficiency as a result of the iOS 14 update. Mitigate these issues by exploring other strategies to test new performance levels of your ads such as various bid types, audience definitions and events to include in your Facebook ad testing.

An alternative option is to stop using Facebook to monitor conversions on your website. Instead, use your website platform’s tracking system to monitor where visitors are coming from and what they do on your site. You can also use campaigns outside the conversion objective, like tracking the traffic your ads generate to your site.

The iOS 14 update has many marketers and business owners concerned about future ability to target users, generate leads and effectively measure conversions from Facebook ads.

Our recommendation is to implement the steps in this blog and start exploring other ways to market your business digitally. Many other platforms offer ad management, as well as testing and reporting.

Do you require expert assistance with Facebook advertising? Contact our team for a free consultation and expert advice today: NI/GB +44 2871 228800 ROI +353 1 247 5294