iOS14 and Your Facebook Ads

Development within this space has always been around. For example, in 1994 when website cookies were implemented and more recently in 2018 when GDPR and data protection laws came into force. Now we’re in 2021 and it’s going to be Apple’s new iOS14 update that every advertiser, content creator, and tech expert is talking about.

Apple’s latest software update, iOS14, has been announced for launch within the year’s first quarter, potentially, as early as 15th January. This update is going to contain a number of changes. To name a few:

- UX updates and graphic redesign.
- Widget coding inserts.
- Siri Ai Updates.
- Apple application updates.
- Smart tracking.

The most prominent change that this update is bringing (and the one that has probably brought you here) is the new addition of a ‘consent’ pop up for apps, such as Facebook and Instagram. This pop up, in its technical terms, is known as Apple App Tracking Transparency Tracker and will be applied to all Apple devices. All users of the iOS14 update will be asked if they would like to allow or disallow apps from tracking them and their data.

This update has raised a lot of questions around how iOS14 and Facebook advertising will work and we’re hoping to answer some of your questions today. Our team has worked hard to get ahead in understanding exactly how to combat these changes. Although there is still some uncertainty within the marketing industry surrounding this update, we do have some answers, alongside some great solutions for our clients that will keep their Facebook ad accounts prosperous.

 Here is what you need to know:

 iOS 14 and Facebook Ads:

The changes taking place will have an impact on smaller businesses and affect their usage of tracking customers on websites, following conversions, and then feeding that information back to Facebook.

Some of the bigger changes include potential delays with reporting from Facebook. All campaigns, including the reports, targeting options, and optimising of said campaigns, will be affected. To be even more specific, there will be delays with the data. This is in relation to real-time data no longer being supported. It has been reported that it may now take up to 3, or even 4 days before the report will populate. This includes data such as overall conversions.

This delay in reporting will often mean certain sections are off the mark and are not in line with the backend sales reports. Alongside this, important details and collective data such as age, gender, regions, and placements will no longer be available. This means another key change is happening... retargeting efforts overall are going to be affected. Audience pools are going to be smaller and less refined, as the details are not going to be as accessible as before.

As a result of these changes, the Facebook pixel will also be affected by this update. Custom pixels will be limited to eight and the data it collects will be more generic.

So why, you may ask, will all of these changes happen? Ultimately, the biggest factor is due to data not being visible. Apple, like many businesses, uses ID tags for customers. Each individual Apple product has its own unique code. These codes are called Identifiers for advertisers (or IDFA numbers for short). This information is given to the likes of Facebook, as a way to create personalised ads by grouping people and their data together. However, Apple are stopping this by allowing the user to opt in or out of tracking.

iOS 14 in Simpler Terms

The above is pretty technical, so to break it down even further: Apple users will now have the option to opt-in or opt- out of being tracked by apps such as Facebook. Once the update is in play, they will see this pop up once, not every time they enter an app. They can, however, go back and change their choice to opt-in for personalised ads at a later date should they wish to.

By removing a potentially large portion of users (up to 55% of all Apple device users) from tracking and reporting, it limits capabilities for businesses to run efficiently. You will know less information about your customers and thus make it harder to market to them. This means there could potentially be an increase of adverts being shown to people outside of your main marketing audience.

What do we suggest to overcome these issues?

If you’re still keen to advertise on Facebook despite these changes (and you should be), there are a few things you do to help maintain good results and accurate reporting. 

  • You need to make sure you are adding the CAPI to the backend of your Shopify accounts and similar ops. A CAPI is an API that will track conversions for Facebook attributions and send them through on the server side. This can be done by doing the following:

-  Setting up the Facebook channel.

- Linking all data sharing aspects.

- Change the enhancement of data sharing to ‘maximum.’

  • The next thing to do is to verify the website domain with Facebook. This will give Facebook permissions to run through the website and check the validity of it. Doing this will promote the likelihood of an improved account, a smaller chance of genuine website to be pulled down and smoother operations.
  • Events that are not included into the 8 conversion events need to be assessed to understand if they are needed or if they can be removed to fit into operations with only the 8 selected. Remove any unused conversion events or allow Facebook to apply their own defaulted events to your account.
  • UTM codes, Google analytics and other external tracking tools need to be updated and used regularly. This is the only way you will be able to achieve accuracy within your ads. You need to be able to understand the customer journey better and see where your strongest converting campaigns are coming from. So, make sure all accounts have UTM embedded within the ad level or manually input them onto each URL script ending.
  • Platform diversity is going to be required. Connecting to the audience is still going to be possible, as that audience is still there. You just need to be able to reach them in a different way. Having multiple traffic sources alongside Facebook ads is going to be a must-have.
  • Finally, retargeting efforts, more specifically anyone connected with Emails and SMS, are going to be important. These details will not be affected as this is a user input and not an automated detail gathered by Facebook.

To summarise, the iOS14 update is not going to be the end of Facebook – don’t believe those headlines. The addition of cookies and GDPR shook the advertising world for a short period of time but we adapted and we overcome… and we’ll do it again.

Saying that, if all these changes have shaken your faith in running your own ads, now might be the time to ask for an expert’s help – like us!

Book a FREE 15-minute strategy call to chat with one of our team about our approach to creating success on Facebook despite these changes and how we can do the same for you!