In June 2020, Apple announced this iOS 14 will contain an update that requires users to activate if an app on their device wants to use their data. Until now, users would have been automatically activated by accepting the app’s T & Cs, but the new update will make it clearer to the user that their data, such as their location and browsing history, is being used, giving them the chance to say no.
This will impact many app developers, but is particularly challenging for Facebook, whose entire business model depends on capturing user data for ads. Facebook’s unique ability to accurately attribute conversions is based on cookies which then match user IDs. The platform also uses app and navigation data to understand what users are interested in so that advertisers can accurately target people who are relevant to them. Upgrading to iOS 14 will make both actions much more limited as more users on Apple mobile devices are likely to forgo providing their information.
The social media company is taking the update so seriously that it has even done several newspaper ads around the world to protest against it.
Additionally, Facebook announced that it will reduce the attribution window that advertisers will be able to use to match revenue from their ads. Currently a 28 day view or one click window is the maximum option, but will be reduced to seven days. This reduction is due to their reduced access to user data.
Due to these new restrictions, advertisers are running campaigns for installing mobile apps targeting users on iOS will have to restructure their accounts and even open new ones as they can only be executed nine campaigns with a limit of five ad sets with the same optimization goal.
What can brands do to limit the impact of Apple’s iOS 14 update?
In the short term, there are some quick fixes advertisers can put in place to minimize the disruptions this will create.
The first thing brands should do is compare their sales level using the seven-day attribution window. This will allow for consistency in reporting going forward as they will be able to figure out what the 28-day revenue would have been based on the seven-day figure.
In addition to this ad, professionals should use Facebook Conversion API take the data from their servers and send them directly to Facebook where the platform can attribute the sales.
Following these two hacks there are more long-term strategies advertisers can use.
Facebook’s targeting options are likely to become less accurate and potentially less valuable because the platform relies on user behavior data on other sites to create them. However, the update will have no impact on the audience created within Facebook, which includes groups like users who have engaged with organic content like watching videos or followers on Instagram. Targeting these groups will remain just as effective because Facebook can identify these users.
This will give brands running a strong organic strategy an edge as they will have a larger and more accurate user group to target.
Tracking and optimizing for conversion ads using the data collected by the pixel will become more difficult, so advertisers need smart workarounds to get around this. One solution to better join the dots would be to use main announcements. By collecting data from top ads, advertisers will still be able to create custom audiences and reach these users on other channels. With data stored in a CRM, brands can easily attribute future conversions and understand the true value of their customers’ lives.
At iCrossing we have worked with brands that offer products with very long lead times, such as financial services, and we have found that using lead ads can be a very effective strategy.
Data modeling and econometrics will become more important for Facebook advertisers who want to run on a large scale while also investing heavily in other channels, such as FMCG brands. As mass marketers try to better understand how to shift the dial with greater media exposure, reporting on reach and frequency for brands in the retail sectors will become more meaningful. Understanding the link between reach and impressions and increasing sales demand will become even more important for mass market advertisers.
Creativity will also become even more crucial. With a greater focus on direct action taken by ads, an effective creative will need to persuade users to convert immediately. Brands that develop more effective creatives drive more direct conversions will see the benefits of lower costs in the auction, as that system will prioritize them over brands with lower conversion rates.
In summary, while the iOS update will provide disruptions initially, it should benefit brands that focus on long-term organic strategies and effective creatives. There are hacks that advertisers can use to minimize the initial problems faced, but in the long run, creating compelling organic content and effective paid creative will pay dividends.
Brands that have long-term strategies in place should still see great results on Facebook as trial and error testing is a key element of successful holistic planning. Whereas advertisers looking to dip their toes or cut corners on creative and correct planning are far less likely to see good results from Facebook in the future.
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- According to this source iX POV: What does the iOS 14 update mean for advertisers using Facebook Ads?
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