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Written by Caroline Cox on May 12 , 2021

Apple’s latest iOS update comes with a new privacy policy that has marketers all shook up. 

Here, you’ll find:

  • What changes came with Apple’s 14.5 update
  • How this update affects marketers
  • Why there’s so much buzz around this new iOS update
  • How marketers can continue to run successful Facebook campaigns

In late April 2021, Apple released a hefty update in the form of iOS 14.5. With it came new features like a reimagined home screen with redesigned widgets, a new app library look, picture-in-picture functions, the ability to unlock devices while masked, and more.

But there’s one main reason why you may have heard everyone from fellow marketers to Mark Zuckerburg making a fuss about this update: new privacy and tracking settings.

As The Verge explains, “Under Apple’s new policy, app developers are still able to use other information a user provides for targeted advertising, even if the user opts out of letting the app track them, but that information can’t be shared with another company for ad tracking.”

apple ios 14.5 update

With this new update, users who download an app from the App store will be asked via a pop-up for permission to track their data. If they say no, the app won’t be able to track their actions. As a result, marketers will lose visibility when it comes to that Apple audience member.

Yes, this update may require marketers to pivot their strategies. Luckily, pivoting is something most of us are well-versed at doing in this ever-changing field. Let’s break down the facts when it comes to the iOS 14.5 update. Below, we cover how it’ll affect marketing plans and what you can do to keep getting the data and results you need to meet your goals.

When did iOS 14.5 launch?

Apple launched iOS 14.5 on April 26, 2021, after two months of beta testing. Although update 14.6 is already in the works, 14.5 is sure to garner more buzz due to its more significant updates.

What the iOS 14 update means for Facebook advertisers

Back in February 2021, Facebook removed the option to use a 28-day attribution window. Now, the longest you can use is 7-day. Some marketers have seen declines in reporting due to this switch. Turns out, this change was a preview of things to come for the popular social media platform. 

The spotlight has been on Facebook and Instagram. That’s because these apps use tracking data to serve targeted ads on their respective platforms. They’ve even gone so far as to create their own pop-up for those on iOS 14.5. The message explains that this update may affect how small businesses reach customers, which ads are served them, and even whether or not these social media apps will remain free of charge. Here’s what else Facebook advertisers can expect from iOS 14.5.

Decreased audience sizes

Your audience sizes may decrease because they may not include some people on iOS 14. All applications using the Apple App store are required by the new policy to ask users for permission to track their data across third-party apps and websites. 

With this new feature, the tracking transparency prompt will appear to the user and give them the ability to accept or decline the tracking of their data.

Some campaign results will be counted differently

As more people opt out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, statistical modeling may be used to account for some conversions that are completed on devices with this update in place. 

Recent changes to attribution settings may result in a decrease in the number of reported conversions. Plus, some attribution windows will be unavailable. You may also find that there are delays in reporting certain results.

New limits on web events

Due to Apple’s changes with iOS 14, Facebook implemented a new Aggregated Event Measurement feature. This supports advertisers’ efforts to preserve user privacy while running effective campaigns. 

apple ios 14.5

Introducing Facebook’s Aggregated Event Measurement

Aggregated Event Measurement is a protocol for ad performance measurement. It works by processing web events from opted-out devices to help you run effective ad campaigns while supporting customer choices regarding ad tracking within the Facebook platform.

Aggregated Event Measurement will limit the amount and type of data that advertisers can send to Facebook through tools like the Facebook pixel. Advertisers will be able to use up to 8 conversion events from a single website domain. You can select default events that will be available for each of your domains based on your ad activity.

How Aggregated Event Measurement works

Domains will be configured with 8 events from your existing pixel. Facebook will give your events an initial priority based on their historical importance to your business. Marketers can apply Aggregated Event Measurement to events for people on iOS 14 devices. 

As a result, they will pick the highest priority event to send whenever a customer takes multiple actions during a conversion window. The conversion data will be available for running iOS 14.5 ad campaigns and for measurement reporting.

Setting it up

Configuration is a one-time setup that can be configured based on data available from recent ad spends. You can change pixels, events and priority on domains without additional development work. Use event data with ad campaigns for targeting, optimization, and measurement.

How to keep driving value from Facebook ads

This update poses a sizable hurdle when it comes to retargeting on Facebook and Instagram. Since you can’t track someone if they opt out, marketers are unable to record when users take actions like abandoning their cart or viewing a product. 

This declining performance is also affecting desktop due to limited retargeted audience sizes. But don’t panic! Through leveraging some workarounds, restructuring some campaigns, and taking advantage of other ad networks, you can still run successful ads. 

Remarketing lists based on website traffic

Remarketing data on Facebook isn’t as robust as it once was. However, you still have options when it comes to retargeting. You can restructure your retargeting audiences based on pages viewed, for example. From there, you can create dedicated ads accordingly.

Customer list-based lookalike audiences

Lookalike audiences were commonly built based on purchases. Now, marketers are unable to see purchases from those who have opted out. As a result, your lookalike audiences may not match as closely.

One solution we’ve found is to rely on customer relationship management (CRM) data. You can import your own customer list to build your lookalike audience for a more accurate representation. You can also make multiple customer lists for things like high lifetime value.

Take a fresh look at prospecting campaigns

Retargeting often brings a high return on ad spend (ROAS). But you can bring in new customers who could be lifetime customers in other ways as well. One example is through prospecting campaigns. Focus on campaign structures and audiences with the data Facebook does have (such as ages and interests), and build audiences from there.

By focusing on acquiring new leads rather than just retargeting existing ones,  you can potentially grow your reach and increase sales in the process.

The takeaway

Apple’s iOS 14.5 update certainly changes things for those who advertise on Facebook. But while visibility on the social media platform may not be what it used to be, it’s just one aspect of an overall trend the industry is taking towards giving users more privacy online.

Moving forward, effective marketing will be about getting creative when it comes to building and targeting audiences, staying in the loop on the latest updates, and remaining dedicated to understanding your client personas and creating products and services that help solve their problems and make their lives easier.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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Written by Sam Yadegar on Dec 28 , 2020

Facebook Ads can be a vital part of an engaging digital marketing strategy. 

Here, you’ll find:

  • How to choose the best objective for your Facebook ads
  • The best FB ads format for reaching each of your goals
  • A few tips for creating the best ads to reach your audience
  • Expert tips to help you optimize your Facebook ads

Of all the social media marketing platforms, Facebook offers one of the most powerful advertising solutions for businesses. But, with so many segments and tools, creating ads can get overwhelming fast.

The Facebook Ads Manager

The Facebook Ads Manager (Image via Facebook)

The Facebook Ads Manager is designed to help you personalize your strategy as much as possible. This can be highly effective if you know what you’re doing — and potentially costly if you don’t.

Need some Facebook Ads help? Let’s go over the basics of how to choose the best solution for your business.

Prepping for your Facebook Ads campaign launch

The Facebook Pixel is vital to properly tracking interactions, building audiences, and conversion tracking. That’s why adding in a Pixel is one of the first things to put in place before campaigns launch. 

Facebook Pixel tracks your visitors’ online behavior so you can retarget them with relevant content on Facebook. 

Choosing the right Facebook Ads format for your objective

Next, you’ll want to choose a key objective or overall goal for your Facebook advertising efforts.

You can’t choose multiple objectives for each ad — and really, you wouldn’t want to. Single calls to action (CTAs) perform best because they provide straightforward direction. Instead, you can create multiple ads for each goal.

Facebook Ads platform

A look inside the Facebook Ads platform (Image via Facebook)

So, how do you choose the right objective for your ad campaign? Decide which stage of the buying cycle you want to target.

After that, you’ll need to decide which format to use. The objective you choose for your FB ads dictates which types of media you can use.

Keep in mind that within each campaign, you’ll also set specific custom audiences based on things like:

  • People who have already visited your website, liked your Facebook page, signed up for any of your email lists, or provided an email address on a landing page
  • New audiences segmented by specific demographics and interests you choose
  • Lookalike audiences that Facebook creates based on common qualities of lists you upload
  • People local to your business or in a certain geolocation

Once you create a perfect audience segment, you can save it for later. Now, let’s dig into ad types. 

Need more Facebook Ads help? Let’s talk.

Facebook ads for awareness

Depending on your goals, you could use brand awareness FB ads to:

  • Reach the 2.7 billion monthly active users who may not know your business exists
  • Build brand trust among your current audience (this one is especially useful for B2B or “high-risk” aka pricier B2C purchases)
  • Keep your company top of mind if and when a viewer may be in the market for your product or service
  • Grow your followers to reach a larger portion of your target audience

Awareness campaigns are best suited for targeting audiences at the top of your sales funnel with straightforward content. Use them for demand generation, explaining your values, or reaching new customers within a certain distance.

For awareness, you can choose these formats and features:

  • Single image or video
  • Video or image carousel
  • Website links and branded partner content

For awareness ads in particular, it’s a good idea to use high-quality images, infographics, or short video clips to grab attention quickly. And don’t forget to explore remarketing campaigns that use the audiences you previously created. This type of campaign is ideal for people who saw your ad, but weren’t ready to purchase your products or services for one reason or another. 

Pro tip: For e-commerce retailers, Facebook also recently launched Facebook Shops. This free feature “allows business page admins to create a Facebook or Instagram-based mobile-optimized online store that highlights products or collections of items,” according to HubSpot. 

Facebook ads for consideration

Consideration Facebook ads are best for audience members in the top or middle of the funnel. These folks know your brand exists, but they need some in-depth, high-quality content and a little nurturing.

You’ll want this audience to take some kind of action — like downloading your app, filling out a form, or requesting a consultation — even if they don’t necessarily convert into a customer quite yet.

Facebook lets you choose from several different consideration formats and features:

  • Single image or video
  • Video or image carousel
  • Product collections
  • Instant lead generation forms
  • Message buttons and prompts
  • Deferred deep links (within apps)
  • FB events
facebook ads

Facebook Pixel is especially useful for tracking the ROI of your Facebook strategy through conversions. (Image via Unsplash)

Pro tip: Promote some of your best performing blog posts, infographics, videos, or other personalized content to engage your target audience during this stage. 

Facebook ads for conversions

Now it’s time to convert your bottom-of-the-funnel leads into buyers.

You’ve already spent time nurturing these leads and building awareness. These people are likely very familiar with your products and services and because you nurtured them through each step of the funnel, so they ideally know, like, and trust your brand. 

By providing these people with unique purchasing opportunities, you create a one-on-one buying experience that can turn them into lifetime customers.

Since these people have likely consumed several pieces of content, you can reward them with special coupons, free shipping, or buy-one get-one promotions to sweeten the deal.

Don’t forget to add these customers to your CRM or auto-responder so you can follow up with them after their purchase is completed. This is especially ideal for products that need to be replaced or replenished after a period of time (think: ink cartridges, water filters, and most beauty products). 

As mentioned, Facebook Pixel is particularly useful for tracking the ROI of your Facebook strategy through conversions. You can use this with ad types like:

  • Single image or video
  • Product collections
  • CTA buttons like “shop now,” “book now,” or “donate now”
  • Product catalogs (available for travel, e-commerce, real estate, and auto)
  • Physical store traffic (for qualifying businesses with physical locations)

Pro tip: With product catalogs, Facebook can use your inventory to create dynamic ads based on products your followers have already viewed on your website.

Facebook Ads Instant Experience

Facebook Ads Instant Experience (image via Facebook)

Include an Instant Experience

With each objective, Facebook Ads will also ask if you’d like to include an Instant Experience. Instant Experiences allow you to create a fullscreen interactive landing page with rich media like GIFs, products, videos, and more.

Have you heard of Facebook Canvas ads? Instant Experiences replaced them. They feel like you’re visiting a web page, but you’re really just viewing a fullscreen advertisement within the Facebook app.

Instant Experiences are useful because you don’t have to worry about creating accelerated mobile landing pages (AMP) or dealing with slow load times. Your viewers don’t have to leave the Facebook app, and everything loads at lightning speed.

Pro tip: Facebook provides a variety of placement options for you to show an ad to potential customers, as Search Engine Journal points out. Because of this, you want to be strategic about your ad placement. To take full advantage of this option, they recommend customizing by placement and not being too restricting when it comes to placements.

The takeaway

The Facebook for Business platform is loaded with features that allow you to personalize your advertising content at every stage of the buying cycle. It can certainly be confusing if you’re not familiar with the basics, but once you get your hands dirty (metaphorically), you can create an effective strategy in no time.

This article has been updated and was originally published in December 2019.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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