What is the IOS 14 Update?
Starting “early 2021” Apple’s new update IOS 14 will require that all apps have to display a message the first time they are opened asking the user if they want to let the app track their data. If Apple users say no, cookies are disabled and all personal data is withheld from the app. What this means for those running Facebook ads is that you will no longer be able to track conversions to know if what you are doing is working and the algorithm will no longer be able to optimize performance (among Apple users). Ultimately this will lead to a much less personalized ad experience for users and less effective advertising for businesses. So what can we do?
How to Prepare Your Business for the IOS 14 Update If You Run Facebook Ads
There are 6 key steps to preparing for and handling the IOS 14 update if you run (or want to run) Facebook Ads:
1) Verify Your Domain with Facebook
- Follow the instruction in this article to verify your domain in the Facebook Business Manager: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/sharing/domain-verification/verifying-your-domain
- This will help ensure Facebook knows you are the domain owner so it can better attribute website actions to your business manager and prevent misuse of your domain.
2) Set Up Conversion API Tracking (THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP IN THE ARTICLE)
- This is essentially Facebook’s workaround integration that uses a little code to pass data from the backend of your site straight to Facebook without needing the traditional tracking that Apple is ending.
- If your site is built with Shopify follow these instructions (be sure to choose “Maximum” data sharing level on the last step of the instructions): https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/promoting-marketing/analyze-marketing/facebook-pixel
- For other website platforms, access your pixel in your business manager’s events manager section. You will then click the settings tab, scroll down to click “Conversions API,” then click “Choose a Partner,” and then follow the instructions Facebook gives you after selecting the web platform you use.
- Setting up conversion API tracking will be one of the most important steps you can take to ensure success if you are going to run Facebook ads in 2021 because it will enable you to have at least some tracking even with Apples IOS 14 update
3) Start Utilizing More Video Content in Your Ads
- Even though tracking will be limited on a lot of Apple devices, events within Facebook can still be tracked. Running video ads will allow you to optimize your audiences better by tracking people who watch a majority of your video and engage with your content. Video Views funnels can work extremely well with tracking and won’t actually be affected by Apple’s new update, so they will be a critical tool for success in Facebook advertising this year and beyond
4) Take Advantage of Your 1st-Party Data
- Even though tracking for Apple users is going to be limited moving forward, one of the most effective strategies has always been to utilize your own first-person data (emails, phone numbers, names, etc.) to (a) retarget via email marketing, paid ads, etc. and (b) use as a base audience to create lookalike audiences in Facebook for example. These customer list-based audiences have always proven to be top-performers when running Facebook Ads and will continue to do so
5) Look Into Facebook and Instagram Shops
- Instagram and Facebook shops are a way to set up your store within the Facebook and Instagram apps. Traditionally it makes more sense to send people to your website because you have a lot more control over the user experience and perfecting the conversion process, but for those with limited tracking, setting up these shops can be a great way to ensure Facebook knows who is buying your products thus increasing your chance of success with ads. Facebook has a great intro article to the FB and IG shops that can be found here.
6) Diversify, Diversify, Diversify
- Now more than ever, it is easy to understand why it is so critical to put your marketing eggs in more than one basket to ensure the growth and success of your company. It has always been and always be critical to invest in a number of different marketing strategies such as Google Ads (and Bing), SEO, any number of the social ad platforms, and especially organic content marketing such as social media, blogs, etc. To truly protect your business, you should be investing in other non-digital channels such as B2B relationships, trying to get into retail, etc. as well.
For help growing your business through diverse marketing channels and preparing for the IOS 14 update, please contact us here.