Back in 2020, Apple unveiled plans to release the Identifier For Advertisers (IDFA), the company’s latest mobile operating system update, iOS 14. Apple’s announcement caused quite the commotion, especially among advertisers on Facebook. Apple delayed the launch of its iOS update until early 2021.
For the past month or so, the iOS release is starting to pop-up, but tensions are still high. Now, there are still those who are bracing themselves for iOS 14 Facebook tracking update.
To understand why, let’s dig deeper and explain what the update involves, how it can affect Facebook dynamic ads, and how best to prepare for it.
iOS 14 privacy update explained
Apple explained that the IDFA (or Apple ID For Advertisers) was created to help advertisers measure ad effectiveness, as well as track devices and people.
Here’s how it works: the iOS 14 update sends a pop-up asking users if they want an app (like Facebook or Instagram) to be able to track their online activity.
Facebook has been stressing for months how the update affects performance marketing workflow for brands and agencies – this includes targeting, optimization, and reporting of conversion events. More importantly, Facebook is changing attribution windows when the update is released:
- 28-day attribution will not be supported.
- 7-day click attribution will remain.
- 7-day view-through attribution will not be supported.
What Else to Expect:
- Expect a decrease in Audience sizes.
- Expect delays in performance reporting and changes to Attribution Windows.
- Changes to account level attribution window settings.
Even though the update has already hit for a lot of people, it may be quite some time until we see how much it’s going to affect businesses.
How is iOS 14.5 Facebook tracking affected?
While iOS 14 Facebook tracking can impact your campaigns on paid social, you can still retain valuable user data.
When an Apple user refuses to share data, that doesn’t mean you cannot track conversions. Facebook still allows you to track a single conversion event. You can set Facebook to track one of the most vital conversion events – the purchase.
Say, you are running a conversion campaign for an online store, Facebook won't be able to track every single conversion event - for example, if a user clicked on a specific part of the site, then clicked on ‘add to cart’, then made the purchase. That means Facebook only tracks what you set as high priority, and that can be only one event.
Remember, tracking the purchase itself is a big deal. You retain info such as: number of purchases, when they were made, how profitable they were, etc. Ultimately, the purchase is what conversion campaigns should be focused on (including stats like purchase numbers, cost per purchase, and so on).
Brands will now look for the best possible results from their conversion campaigns.
4 smart steps to brace for the iOS 14.5 impact
It’s obvious that when businesses launch conversion campaigns, they will have limited user data. Although the very idea can be daunting, we encourage you to focus on these 4 initial steps to create a better strategy for your campaigns, as you prepare for the coming iOS 14 change:
- Personalize with Owned Brand Data
- Prioritize Specific Conversion Events
- Unlock More Data with UTM
- Optimize Goals on Google Analytics
1. Personalize with owned brand data
Of course, to a certain degree, personalization and contextualization will be harder to achieve. However, it won't be an impossible task. Now more than ever, brands are going to rely on owned data, and then make the most of benefits such as geo personalization targeting, setting up multi-language campaigns, using personalized offers and weather-based creatives, in addition to relying on video ads for better engagement.
Additionally, you can still differentiate between ads that brought these results and ads that are not working. Brands can now embrace automation and get even more creative with Facebook advertising, effectively focusing on long-term value rather than short-term profit.
2. Prioritize specific conversion events
Sure, data showing how people made the purchase is important. When the update arrives though, you might want to flip things around in your campaign strategy. This time around, you may want to watch for other specific events in your Facebook Performance Measurement data.
For instance, if you only get information after the purchase is being made, try to focus on last-click conversion events in FB and GA metrics. Think of it as narrowing down your options and looking at what matters – the conversion itself, rather than specific events leading up to it. This is how iOS 14 Facebook tracking becomes a valuable addition to your overall strategy.
3. Unlock more data with UTM tracking
The iOS 14 update may lead to a lot of blind spots in your campaign performance data. Google Analytics can help you navigate around this issue. When advertising on Facebook, make sure you use UTM parameters on your site’s URLs. As a result, any data tracked by Facebook is going to be generated in your Google Analytics.
UTM tracking allows you to backfill user insights and create additional info on your target audience – where they are from, links they click on, and more.
4. Optimize goals on Google Analytics
Once you have set up UTM tracking, you should create Google Analytics goals that are aligned with essential conversion actions, which are tracked on Facebook. This is how you will be able to see additional goals completed within your performance metrics. Any decrease in conversions is now going to be visible, and that can help you optimize, improve, and create a better strategy for future campaigns.
The bright future of conversion campaigns
The iOS 14 Facebook tracking requires you to customize your conversion campaigns as much as possible.
So, what’s going to happen if the changes actually begin to affect the profit and outcomes of your campaigns? Well, for one thing, it’s going to reduce the cost of paid social - it’s going to reduce CPMs.
Brands that utilize paid social for short-term benefits will most likely bail if they cannot cope with these changes. However, those who stick around, are probably going to reap the benefits:
- Lower cost
- Less competition
- Better relationships with clients
Customize and optimize for iOS 14.5 with Hunch
All of that doesn’t sound too bad, now does it? Bear in mind, that Hunch rolled out a few changes to help you with the update.
With this comprehensive guide, Facebook advertisers can tackle the impact of iOS 14 requirements. From a campaign set-up standpoint, we also explained how best to optimize your conversion events after Apple's update.
Also, by now you've heard that Apple rolled out its ATT (App Tracking Transparency) framework allowing users to opt-out of tracking.
This means users have to opt in to IDFA (identifier for advertisers) tracking, and advertisers must disclose how the data collected will be used.
This is a good time to check in with users to understand their behavior towards tracking and privacy.
So stay tuned, and in the meantime feel free to reach out if you are having any issues with iOS 14 Facebook tracking in your conversion campaigns.