Adapting to iOS 14: Workarounds for Facebook Ads

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And just like that… It has been almost two years since Apple released iOS 14! And boy, have we all felt it. This switcheroo consisted of a new privacy feature that gave users more control over sharing their data. This feature, App Tracking Transparency (ATT) or MFN – Marketer’s Facebook Nightmare, requires apps to ask permission before tracking a user’s activity across other apps and websites.

The impact of this change on Facebook ads has been significant, as it has made it harder for brands and advertisers to track user behavior and target ads effectively. Marketers continue to see a decrease in the accuracy of their targeting, which has resulted in lower conversion rates and higher costs per acquisition (ouch!).

However, despite the challenges presented by iOS 14, there are still ways that marketers can optimize their strategies and campaigns to improve their performance. Here are a few workarounds to consider:

  1. Focus on first-party data, aka the Holy Grail: Since third-party data is less reliable, it’s important to focus on first-party data. This includes data you’ve collected directly from your customers, such as their email addresses or website activity.
  2. Diversify your ad targeting: With less data available for ad targeting, it’s important to explore other options, such as broad targeting. I know I said a “bad” word, sorry… But it’s true. Due to the “beautiful” limitation iOS14 left us with, Facebook’s algorithm has been forced to become smarter and pick up on any other signal there is available. Making this option something that should be considered and implemented alongside the good ol’ lookalike and interest-based audiences.
  3. Use Facebook’s Conversion API: This API allows you to send data directly from your website to Facebook, bypassing the need for browser-based tracking. This can help to improve the accuracy of your conversions and give you a better understanding of your customers’ behavior.
  4. Optimize for value-based events: Instead of optimizing for clicks or installs, consider optimizing for value-based events such as purchases or sign-ups. This will help you to target users who are more likely to convert and improve your overall ROI.
  5. Test new ad formats: With targeting becoming more difficult, it’s important to test new ad formats to see what works best for YOUR target audience. This could include video ads, carousel ads, or other creative formats that are more engaging and can capture users’ attention. Remember to always keep in mind and be current on what the platform favors at the time, as we know Reels have the golden ticket in them now.
  6. Test, test, and test creatives: Creatives are how you reach your target’s eyeballs and then interest. Think about it when you are shopping around. You might see the same product sold by different brands, but perhaps the packaging of one particular brand caught your attention and drove you to the checkout area and boom, SOLD! It’s the same with your creatives; they are your presentation card. Take into consideration the type of creatives that have shown success. Think about what might look native but still call attention, but most importantly, think about what YOUR CUSTOMER NEEDS! Okay, sorry for yelling, but this gets me excited. And might need a whole blog post on its own.

Overall, while the changes introduced by iOS 14 have made it more challenging for marketers to target their ads effectively, strategies can still be used to optimize campaigns and improve performance. By focusing on first-party data, using Facebook’s Conversion API, optimizing for value-based events, and testing new ad formats and creatives, we marketers can adapt to the new landscape and continue to drive results for our businesses. Are you looking to optimize your Facebook ad campaigns despite the challenges presented by iOS 14? As an experienced Sr. Growth Marketer, I can help! Let’s connect and discuss our strategies to drive your business results.

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Erika Arevalo

Growth-minded and data driven paid media expert within B2B, B2C and E-Comm markets. Manages SEM, YouTube, Shopping, Display and Facebook/IG channels.

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