Not too long ago, Apple created what’s known as the App Tracking Transparency framework. While updating Apple’s approach to app tracking, its key function was to ensure that all apps requested user consent for data collection.
Bringing the App Store in line with recent GDPR rules, all apps are now required to ask users for permissions to use data from third-party apps and websites to enhance experience.
For anyone even remotely familiar with Facebook, you likely won’t be surprised that this social media giant is predominantly accessed via an app; and you’ve probably already guessed that this GDPR update has huge implications for Facebook paid social campaigns.
Essentially, this change in how user data is collected means a fundamental shift in how conversions are recorded online.
If you’re worried about how this new update will affect your current and future campaigns, connective3 are here to break down the iOS 14 impact on Facebook ads, and how to give you our best tips on using the new iOS 14 Facebook app update to your advantage.
What is the iOS 14 impact on Facebooks ads and campaigns?
The update to iOS14 Facebook tracking means a few very important things. First, only one conversion can now be tracked per user – specifically the event that is deemed to have the highest priority.
In an e-commerce example, if a user makes a purchase, then the purchase conversion will be recorded at the expense of everything else. Alternatively, if the user adds to the cart but goes no further, then an add to the cart-based conversion will be recorded instead.
Ultimately, this limit on iOS 14 Facebook tracking means a partial loss of data, and as such, custom web lists for retargeting will reduce in size and become less effective.
But on top of this substantial change, only 8 conversion events can be tracked per pixel at any one time. And if you’re an e-commerce store utilising value sets, a minimum of 4 of those will need to be taken for iOS 14 Facebook tracking to work effectively.
These values are also set as AOV brackets automatically to help the algorithms optimise for Return On Ad Spend. So the opportunity cost is that you may not be able to track all of the events you want simultaneously.
Alongside this, multiple pixels can also no longer be assigned across subdomains – e.g., example.com/UK and example.com/US must now work from the same pixel and the 8 hierarchised events. Separate parent domains must also be used for this as well, e.g., example.co.uk and example.com.
At the same time, the changes to iOS 14 Facebook ads means that the default iOS 14 Facebook conversion tracking system is set to record specifically at the time of the conversion, rather than the time of the impression. Each conversion that is tracked may also take up to 72 hours to appear within the Facebook reporting system, meaning that daily reporting is no longer possible.
All of this means that there’s now a reduced attribution window from the 28 click, the 1-day view to the 7-day click, and the 1-day view overall. It’s important to note that the attribution comparison tool has now been removed, so it’s not possible to compare the impact of the reduction in the click window.
All these changes throw iOS 14 Facebook reporting into flux, with additional data now no longer being reported on. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean the end for the usability of iOS 14 Facebook ads.
Our top tips for using iOS 14 Facebook ads
To help mitigate the substantial hit caused by the iOS 14 impact on Facebook ads, we’ve pulled together 5 of our tops tips that can help you make the most of the new changes and deliver powerful paid social campaigns.
By implementing these into your paid strategy, you should be able to keep your campaigns going with minimal changes to their results.
1. Adapt your top volume campaigns to make use of iOS 14, Android, and older iOS versions
While iOS might be a highly popular operating system, Android is still the most used OS around the world. And as the Android and older iOS versions don’t operate in the same way as iOS 14, you can use them to assess the impact of Apple’s new changes on conversions overall.
Doing this will not only enable you to identify the drop-off in conversions due to iOS 14, but you’ll also be able to identify any trends that could help you understand the difference between the performance and the impact of iOS14 as a whole.
Examining the impact of change is the first step in understanding the changes to begin with.
2. Consolidate your remarketing lists
As a website’s audience list sizes reduce, notifications will appear within the resource centre to warn you that the list sizes are getting too small. If they get small enough, they will stop serving.
To combat this, your best approach is to consolidate some of your audience lists together, e.g., 30 day and 60 day lists can be combined into one. Whilst this isn’t ideal, it will mean that you have more data to deliver against and will be able to keep campaigns live for longer periods.
3. Structure your CRM data to enable richer list segmentation
While the reduction in custom website audiences caused by adjusting your remarketing lists could be seen as a bad thing, this reduction in size will allow your CRM data to become more valuable.
Thanks to the iOS14 Facebook change, your CRM data should now be your go-to method of targeting. As such, make sure your CRM is able to provide you with richly segmented email lists, e.g., high average order customers, converters from the last 30 days, purchasers of certain products or product categories, and certain lead types.
Once you’ve done this, you can then combine the CRM lists with audience lists in ad-sets, meaning campaigns can still harness the power of website lookalikes, but are also bolstered by CRM lookalikes on top of this. As the website lists reduce, the CRM data will take over the slack.
4. Change your reporting day
Now that daily reporting isn’t possible, it’s vital that you change your reporting day to accommodate for this.
Reporting on a Monday for the previous Monday-Sunday is just no longer possible, so consider moving your reports to the backend of the week, or at least understand that a weekly report will only have partial data, and will need to be updated the following week.
5. Research and monitor the new benchmarks being set
Whichever way you look at it, the landscape of paid social campaigns has been unavoidably changed.
Some data has been lost with no way of recapturing it at 100% accuracy. This means that conversions being recorded, and the subsequent CPAs and ROAS gathered from them, has fundamentally changed, and will continue to change until the new IOS is fully rolled out.
Conversions are still happening, but visibility has been substantially reduced. But it’s important to understand that the industry is resetting benchmarks, and to note that direct comparisons between time periods is not possible.
Eventually, a new benchmark will be set under iOS 14, and that is the benchmark you should aim to meet.
Here at connective3, we always aim to be ahead of the curve when it comes to updates and changes relating to paid social, CRO, and SEO. If you’re struggling to adapt to the new iOS14 impact on Facebook ads, get in touch to see how we can help get your conversions back on track.
Of course, we do far more at connective3 than paid social. With content marketing, digital PR services, and competitor analysis, our always-on approach means we’re fully capable of taking your business to the next level.