Apple recently hit us with some significant changes in iOS14, which have sent all those working in a social media advertising agency into a frenzy. With massive updates to the privacy settings on our applications, users are now presented with a choice as to whether they want the app to track their behaviour, impacting cookie settings and, therefore, how Facebook can attribute, track and utilise information about customer actions within the platform.
Unsurprisingly, digital marketers fear that most will choose ‘do not track’, meaning Facebook has no access to their data. This naturally impacts how advertisers use the wealth of information that Facebook usually provides – which means a change of tack for many!
So, where does that leave Facebook ads, and how can we be sure that we’re targeting the right people? Follow these steps to keep your ads accurate and effective.
Verify Your Domains
First things first, verifying your business domain associates your Facebook Ads pixel ID with your business domain and prevents any disruption when measuring conversion events.
Integrating your domain with Facebook in this way allows for better tracking, as well as allowing you the power to amend your eight most important conversion events.
To do this, go to Business Manager, then Business Setting, then Brand Safety in Facebook and under ‘domains’ click ‘add new domain’. Once this has been done, simply verify the account and prepare for the next steps.
Enable Conversion API
To further improve your tracking, enable Conversions API by going to your settings, scrolling down to Conversions API and selecting ‘Generate access token’. This means that your web server will send events directly to Facebook which improves performance and measurability of ad campaigns.
This also assists with the challenges that a reduction in cookie tracking, and reduced trackability from Facebook to your domain itself – rather than relying on the browser to track the conversion journey of your customers, you can connect your server directly to Facebook which provides a more reliable method of tracking conversions that might otherwise be lost in the iOS14 changes.
Prioritise conversion events
It’s recommended that you prioritise the eight conversion events that are most important to your business in light of these changes. Once you’ve verified your domain, you can use the Aggregated Event Measurement tool in Events Manager to add your eight conversion events in order of priority.
When ‘Aggregated Event Measurement’ is used, only the highest priority conversion event will be sent to Facebook whenever a customer takes multiple actions during a website session. The conversions for the lower prioritised event will not be counted.
If this action is not completed, the data that Facebook collects from your events may be affected or become inaccurate, as it does not understand that it is one of your priorities.
Segment Audiences by Device
Naturally, the iOS 14 update will only affect those using Apple devices. To decipher how your data has been impacted, go to Specific Mobile Devices & Operating Systems and segment the audiences into Android and iOS devices.
If the data collected in the iOS segment is significantly different from the Android data, you will see how it has been skewed and can build an action plan going forward with this in mind.
Leaving your campaigns as they are might risk the data being inaccurate and may directly affect your campaign’s success, with no apparent reason why. Get ahead of the game (or the update, in this case) and segment your audience to save your ads.
Utilise Value Optimisation
Value optimisation allows you to bid for the highest value users who are most likely to complete the preferred action once on your website.
This feature will be made available to many who did not have access before. So long as you have an active pixel, have prioritised your purchase events, have more than 100 optimised purchases in the last 10 days and have more than 10 distinct purchase amounts in the previous 7 days.
It’s estimated that this feature could achieve a higher ROAS than ads optimised for conversions!
Changes to Attribution
iOS14 will likely see a drop in conversion reporting due to the change in Facebook’s attribution settings. Attribution settings help advertisers to determine whether or not an ad led to a conversion and when it did so.
Previously, the default attribution window of ’28-day click and 7-day view’ meant that anyone who converted within 28 days of clicking or 7 days of viewing your ads would be attributed to seeing that ad. Now, the default window is reduced to 7-day click and 1-day view, meaning there is less time to track the user.
Advertisers will also no longer be able to see specific demographics, including age, gender and placement.
These factors will likely shrink many of our audiences initially, but there are ways around this. For example, using engagement custom audiences targets those users who have engaged with your content through Facebook or Instagram and does not rely on external data.
Utilising ads that encourage engagement such as video, lead clicks, click to messenger and shopping will allow you to build an audience to retarget later down the line. Targeting audiences such as email subscribers is another way of making sure your ads are seen by those who are already engaged with your brand, therefore increasing chances of a conversion.
While many may feel uncertain about the future of their Facebook Ads, we remind ourselves of the ever-changing landscape in digital marketing, which keeps this industry so exciting. Whatever the changes, there’s no doubt that we can adapt to make our ads successful and continue to scale our clients’ accounts.
Of course, if you want some advice on how the iOS14 changes will impact your advertising, why not get in touch with our team?
As a dedicated social media marketing agency we’re happy to provide assistance and advice on how we could ensure you’re still getting the best performance possible even with these changes in mind.