iOS14 Updates and what they mean for your Facebook advertising

The much anticipated Apple iOS14 updates have finally come into play and as expected, they’re going to significantly change Facebook Ad capabilities. The short story is that Apple’s new update will mean iphone users get the lowdown on how apps will use their data and then be prompted to “opt in or “opt out”. If they opt out to sharing their data with external apps like Facebook, that means tracking their behaviour online gets more difficult. In laymans terms, we can’t see what they do or where they go after they click on your ad.

What does that actually mean?

  • We’re going to lose dynamic retargeting as we currently know it and will have less opportunities to retarget in general.
  • Because of this, we expect to see website custom audiences shrinking in size.
  • Reporting is going to take a bit of a battering as Facebook can’t report on the same stats anymore.
  • Our targeting of new interest-based audiences may become more difficult as the data Facebook has about people’s interests will be less.
What can you do?

If you’re a small business using Facebook Ads for basic brand awareness, engagement and conversions, the changes won’t be as catastrophic as you might initially think. It’s the businesses that were running many, many, dynamic retargeting ads for multiple products / multiple events that will feel the changes the most as events are now limited to 8 events per domain. There are a couple of simple things you can do to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

  • Verify your domain as you can still track what happens on a domain you own
  • Aggregate your events – pick the most important ones to your business i.e purchases
  • Stay calm. Monitor your Ads closely and be ready to adapt when needed

Keep a close eye on your ad campaigns over the coming weeks. Watch for things not delivery the results they once were and be ready to jump in and amend / start new campaigns if necessary. Make sure you’re utilising all the data you have such as your engagement audiences, external databases, lookalikes etc. We really need to see how these changes affect ads over the next few weeks before we can make strategic decisions about the future of ads. Just remember, you can switch them off at any point. So if you’re results are tanking, pause the ads and get your researcher hat on.

Take-home messages

The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing and we need to be agile and able to adapt to these changes. They may have us feeling a little unsure about the future right now; but once the dust settles, we can take a look with our strategy hat on and start planning a new way forward. There are huge issues with how data is being acquired and used; so the iOS changes will be a good thing in the long run. We just need to sit tight, consider our options and remember – that’s when new ideas and better ways of working often come to life.