Turning the iOS 14 Update Into a Facebook Marketing Opportunity

Apple's iOS 14 update is throwing many marketing campaigns into a tailspin. The changes regarding users' data became a thorn in the side of ad campaigns that depend on detailed targeting. However, despite these changes, is there an opportunity to be taken advantage of?

Tara Zirker, the founder of Successful Ads, stops by this week to answer this question. We don't want to keep you waiting, so let's start by saying that the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

Tara is an advertising expert that teaches thousands of business owners how to rapidly scale their businesses through the power of Facebook and Instagram. In today's podcast episode, she speaks with us about workarounds to the iOS 14 update.

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What Is the iOS 14 update?

Apple claims that Facebook collects too much user data and is intruding on consumer privacy. With iOS out since September of 2020, several minor updates have come out.

Apple intends to protect its users from the intrusive practices of big tech providers. Facebook has a reputation for utilizing excessively prying tactics to obtain very specific data on its users. This data becomes available for advertisers to leverage in selling their products and services.

For example, you're on a website shopping for a pair of shoes. You decide not to buy those shoes and leave the retailer's website. Sometime later, you're on Facebook and see an ad for those same shoes.

These advertisements are called remarketing ads. They utilize a bit of code placed in your browser that helps serve you ads based on your history.

There's now a pop-up screen on iOS devices that asks users if they want to be tracked around the web by the company with the ad. By choosing no, this option turns off. In effect, you have to opt-in to be tracked. As you can imagine, not many users will knowingly line up to be tracked in this way.

This means that Facebook and Instagram are not able to track and report conversions of iOS users that opt-out. If you're an advertiser, you won't be able to see detailed metrics. The result is that your reported conversion costs will not reflect the actual numbers.

iOS tends to have slightly higher use in the US than abroad. Apple's 26% worldwide market share turns to 42% domestically. For marketers targeting American consumers, the discrepancy in data will result from the proportion of your Facebook customers that use iOS as opposed to other operating systems. However, up to now, Tara says that not much change is evident; at least not enough to render your marketing efforts ineffective.

How Do You Circumnavigate Attribution and Marketing to Deeper Funnel Content?

Facebook is asking marketers to verify their domains. This is causing a bit of pushback from site owners but is only a matter of a few clicks that add a snippet of code to your website. Approximately 20-30 minutes is all you need for this chore.

Keep in mind that Facebook will still be able to tell that a sale is made but you won't be able to have attribution. Many users will refuse to verify their domains, at least in the beginning if not completely. This presents an opportunity for you to leapfrog over the competition.

Furthermore, people are having major success with the conversion API. You can toggle a few settings and capture the necessary data differently. Third-party data will turn into first-party data, offering flexible marketers a way to adapt.

Are People Finding Success With Optimizing Off Facebook Clicks?

Website traffic is a campaign objective that can be wildly successful in some cases. When it comes to capturing things like purchases and e-mails, Tara still feels conversion ads are the standard even though Facebook may not be able to show you all the data.

Boosting posts used to work when conversions didn't exist. But now, Facebook places people in various buckets and knows what users are likely to click on. Facebook serves these boosted posts depending on people's behavior.

If the algorithm makes boosted posts work better, marketers may turn back to them. It pays to experiment with this tactic to gauge how it stands against other methods.

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What Is the Future?

Tara makes three main points about what she believes the future holds in the iOS 14 era.

  1. Marketers will be able to create their own future. By going through the process Facebook asks you to go through, you will be able to continue advertising effectively.

  2. Advertisers with bigger budgets for whom not being able to see user conversion data is a problem should research different workarounds. The solutions aren't prohibitively expensive for larger-budget advertisers. Smaller companies can settle for smart workarounds that will give them the most accurate conversion figures possible.

  3. We are going to see, at least for some time, the ads algorithm loosen up to provide advertisers with more reach, more engagement. This should be a period of experimentation and A/B testing that will provide you with valuable insights. Anything you learn now will be valuable in the future if the algorithm tightens back up.

Facebook bought massive amounts of data to be able to target people specifically. The platform is playing catch-up to TikTok which has a smarter algorithm that leverages the data they have. When signing up to TikTok, you don't tell them much. However, the algorithm can ascertain info on you and keep you on their feed.

Regarding Facebook, look-alike audiences have started to outperform other targeting methods and this direction will continue. Furthermore, podcasts on Facebook will increase time spent on the app. Instead of boosting a post, users will be encouraged to boost a podcast episode. Consumers will be able to discover a brand simply by listening to a show.

Successful Ads Club

You can find Tara Zirker on Successful Ads Club where she teaches members how to run their ads. Club members enjoy daily calls, troubleshooting, and other value-rich activities. Go ahead and pick up Tara's free ad kit.

As a final word, Tara leaves us a useful tip for business owners marketing on Facebook. In the last 2-2,5 years, many advanced advertisers were starting to notice that the Facebook algorithm was starting to get smarter than all of them. It knows so many data points and can is designed to match users to ads so that conversions will occur.

These advanced advertisers recommend not including targeting at all for audiences. This is applicable for e-commerce and B2B advertisers alike. Decide on one country (although advertisers often group countries together with success), leave targeting blank, and let the algorithm go to town.

It typically takes a little more time and budget but is worth it especially after a few hundred dollars in ad spend. This allows you to focus more on your messaging and creative rather than audiences. After 7-14 days the clicks start to stabilize. The idea is you run it against your look-alike and you have the two data sets to compare and contrast.

The iOS 14 update is a great opportunity to jump ahead of your complacent competition. Use some smart tactics to fill in the conversion blanks and watch sales come in while other market players deal with their existential crises.