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How the iOS14 update can affect your Facebook Ads

by | Mar 15, 2021 | facebook

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Earlier this year, Apple rolled out a new series of updates, collectively known as iOS 14. These updates have changed a variety of features on Apple devices, including their privacy features. 

Are you concerned about how these updates will affect your business, specifically when it comes to Facebook advertising? Have you already started noticing changes in your ad reach or response?

If you said “yes” to either question, keep reading. Outlined below are some important details about these updates to keep in mind.

What is iOS 14?

According to Apple, iOS 14 makes changes to the “core experience” of the iPhone. It includes changes to the home screen’s widgets, as well as a new way to organize the apps. 

For many people, though, including business owners, the most important aspects of iOS 14 are the security and privacy features. The new privacy features are designed to include improvements to user transparency, as well as control over the access apps have to the user’s location, microphone, camera, and photos. 

These kinds of changes sound great in theory. In reality, though, it will also lead to major changes for marketers.

How Will iOS 14 Affect Facebook Ads?

With the advent of iOS 14, Apple has implemented a new policy that will block certain types of data collection and sharing unless a user opts into tracking after being presented with a prompt. 

The more people opt-out of tracking, the less effective the Facebook tracking pixel will be. This, in turn, also means that ads and performance reports will be limited. 

iOS 14 will also weaken advertisers’ targeting options. If people opt-out of tracking, it’ll be harder for businesses to create highly personalized ads. This may also lead to wasted money on ad spending and a reduction in personalization when it comes to writing ad copy.

The following are some specific outcomes marketers might see as more users upgrade to iOS 14:

Less Efficient Marketing

This is one of the biggest challenges that iOS 14 will present. Moving forward, it’ll be harder than ever to track your audience’s actions the way you once did. Brands will have to go through extra steps to advertise and remarket to people via their mobile devices.

Lower Conversion Rates

Now that it’s harder to advertise and remarket, it’s likely that many businesses will see a drop in their conversion rates. As ads become less personalized, it will become harder to convince people to visit your website and buy your products or services.

Drops in App Install Ad Revenue

Some experts have estimated that a lack of personalization in online ads could lead to a decrease in revenue of up to 50 percent. 

This is especially problematic for those who develop apps and promote them with Facebook ads. In the wake of iOS 14, there will likely be a decrease in app installations and from app installation revenue. 

More Challenges for Small Businesses

Who will be hit the hardest by the effects of iOS 14 on Facebook marketing? Small businesses. 

Many small businesses don’t have a lot to work with when it comes to marketing budgets. If their marketing efforts become less efficient and start to generate less revenue, it’s going to be even harder for them to see returns on investment and make your business profitable.

Coping with iOS 14

Are you concerned about how your business is going to adapt to the changes brought on by iOS 14? If so, here are some tips that can help you prepare and manage the new update:

Check Your Analytics

Start by checking your Google Analytics and figuring out how much of your audience currently use Apple devices. This can help you to get an idea of how many of your users are being affected by iOS 14.

To find this number, take a look at your Google Analytics Device Report. Then, click on Audience, then Mobile, then Device. Scroll down to Apple devices to see the percentage of your traffic that will be affected by iOS 14.

Change Your Campaigns

Changing your ad campaigns is a good temporary step to work around iOS 14 and gain more information for the future. When you’re creating ad campaigns, start excluding iOS devices altogether. 

Making this change will help you to get a sense of how the update will affect your business. After you’ve done this, you’ll be able to start making more changes so that you can better cater to your Android audience.

Set New Objectives

You don’t have to give up on Facebook advertising altogether just because people are updating to iOS 14. You may need to change your approach and start creating ads with different objectives, though.

Rather than creating ads with the intent of converting, you may need to start creating them with different goals in mind, such as lead generation or brand awareness. 

Start Using Post-Purchase Surveys

There are some steps you can take to work around iOS 14 and adjust your Facebook advertising strategy. However, now is also a great time to change the way you’re marketing your products and services in general. 

To figure out where else your audience is spending their time, start sending out post-purchase surveys. When people complete these surveys, it will help you figure out how they learned about your business. With this information, you can start focusing more attention on those avenues and avoid being too reliant on one platform (in this case, Facebook).

Keep in mind, it may help to incentivize people to fill out your post-purchase surveys. For example, offer them a 10 percent off coupon for their next purchase after they’ve filled it out and sent it back.

Focus on Email and Messenger Ads

You can also place more of an emphasis on email and messenger ads now and in the future. These other types of ads will help you to enjoy more direct contact with your audience. They also allow you to stay in touch no matter what kinds of changes happen on the Facebook front.

Get Ready for iOS 14 Today

Apple’s iOS 14 update will have an impact on your Facebook advertising strategy. There’s no getting around it. 

If you follow the steps outlined above and get prepared, though, you’ll have no trouble adjusting, keeping your business afloat, and seeing good long-term results.

Joanna Bresson
Joanna Bresson

Joanna, our Director of Paid Social, is a 6+ year marketing expert specializing in media buying, business strategy and social media advertising. She has worked for companies big and small across the globe including mophieⓇ, MyMuscleChef, Trupanion and Habitat for Humanity.