While Facebook advertising will be severely impacted by upcoming iOS 14 privacy changes, it will likely remain a crucial channel for many businesses online. Here are a few preparatory measures Facebook recommends to ensure your ads won't be shut off unexpectedly, plus tips on how you can still gather actionable data to fuel marketing without needing Zuckerbergs' assistance.
As you might already be aware, Apple is set to release an update to iOS 14 early this spring that will require Facebook users to either opt in or out of tracking, instead of automatically opting them in. Given how many Facebook users access the platform on Apple mobile devices, Facebook is predicting that this change will greatly impact how advertisers can track users on the platform and will ultimately decrease reporting capabilities and consumer data across the board.
A recent Facebook webinar highlighted some of their recommended actions to take prior to the iOS launch to best navigate the technical shifts. Below is a short recap of the actions we’ve already taken and future actions we’ll need to take to ensure our Facebook advertising efforts are maximized.
Verify Domains in Business Manager. If advertisers don’t own their domain or haven’t verified their ownership inside of Facebook when the tracking consent enforcement goes live, ad sets will be paused.
How to do this:
Facebook has a helpful article and 2-minute video on how to verify your business domain here.
Plan to use the new default attribution window: 7 day click and 1 day view. Unfortunately, 28 day click, 28 day view, and 7 day view windows are no longer available.
Tell Facebook what conversion events to use and how these events should be valued and prioritized. Apple Facebook Pixel events and other custom events can still be used, but these events are limited and not all of them will work as a campaign objective to optimize for.
How to do this:
Bulk edit ad sets to replace any non-prioritized conversion events with one of the top 8 prioritized events.
Prior to the iOS 14 update, there was no limit on the number of custom and standard web events that advertisers could optimize for within ads. With enforcement of iOS 14, advertisers will only be able to optimize ads based on 8 prioritized conversion events.
Events that are not chosen as one of the 8 aggregated events can still be used for partial reporting audience targeting, they just can’t be optimized for within ads.
Events Tadpull Recommends Prioritizing:
Note: The last few events listed below may change depending on the type of business and/or industry. A full list of events to choose from can be found here.
Without these changes, iOS 14 enforcement will greatly impact the data that companies receive from ads, which would limit their ability to optimize based on performance data and create a huge potential to waste ad spend.
Furthermore, without implementation of the above actions, ad sets optimizing for conversion events will automatically be paused until domains are verified and the 8 aggregated events have been chosen.
It’s vital to take action now to mitigate these impacts. You can visit your Resource Center in the Ads Manager, where Facebook provides personalized actions to take on your account in order to stay on top of consent management.
For those who use web (pixel) events, advertisers will not be able to track events across multiple domains for an ad. You will need to choose a single domain where events will be tracked. You can choose this domain within the “tracking’ section of each ad. If this action is not taken, ads with conversion tracking that span multiple domains may be paused.
Instead of the traditional tracking method that only uses a browser to send information, the Conversion API allows you to share key web events or customer actions directly from your server to Facebook’s.
For example, if a user purchases a product after clicking a Facebook ad, the API tracks that data through your server and sends the information back to Facebook. With Apple’s iOS 14 privacy changes, the traditional pixel/browser tracking method might not fire in this scenario if the user had opted out of tracking consent.
The Conversions API works alongside your Facebook pixel to help improve the performance and measurement of your Facebook ad campaigns. The shift to server-side tagging (as this type of tracking is called) will most likely become the standard method to track user’s actions across paid platforms, rather than cookie-based user tracking, as we see more and more browser tracking capabilities being phased out.
As stated above, we want to do everything we can to mitigate the impact of iOS 14 and continue to receive as much data as possible to better understand our customers and what they want. Updating your domain tracking is a quick fix, and by configuring the conversions API, your pixel and server tracker will work together to provide your business with as much data as is allowed under Apple’s new privacy law.
High quality 1st party data is absolutely critical for measuring your ad performance and ensuring you get a good return on your investment.
As the landscape changes, it’s more important than ever to understand what data you are currently tracking on your eCommerce site and (arguably more importantly) what you might not be.
Data will only increase in value (it compounds, much like capital). With tools like machine learning, we’ve found that the more data you have, the better the insights you can produce to grow revenue and profit.
Tadpull has always been a proponent of collecting as much first-party data as possible to reduce reliance on 3rd party data that very soon might cease to exist altogether. It’s the difference between owning the ground underneath a building you build or renting it. With our 1st party solution, we’re able to collect a myriad of information that is often blocked from 3rd party trackers while at the same time remaining compliant with privacy laws. This equips mid-market companies with the same insights as Amazon has on its customers.
But we like to test anything we invent against a business case and show actual results.
To date, we’ve found by leveraging this 1st-party data, we’ve been able to outperform Facebook’s own generated customer lists.
For example, our Customer Lifetime Value-based lookalike audiences exceeded Facebook’s benchmark ROAS by over 20% in multiple client accounts, averaging about a 10:1 return on ad spend.
With 1st party data, you have a hedge against these new restrictions regarding conversion tracking or Facebook custom audiences’ changes or Chrome browser changes. In a sense, you start to control the destiny of your eCommerce site and in the process discover a wealth of insights around your customers and digital marketing campaigns.
Starting to build your own 1:1 customer dataset is a critical step in ensuring you have the data you need to optimize your digital marketing strategy. To learn more about the Tadpull Tracker and Pond Software, visit this page.
For more information on Apple iOS and its direct impact on Facebook, please reference this helpful article written by Facebook: Actions to Take for Ads Ecosystem