Tag Archives: Facebook ads

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Written by Sam Yadegar on Sep 29 , 2022

Get inspiration from these SaaS brands to create your own high-converting Facebook ads.

Here, you’ll find:

  • Why Facebook ads are an ideal channel for SaaS companies
  • Best practices for creating winning SaaS Facebook ads
  • How to trigger ad clicks from targeted audiences
  • Examples of real-world SaaS Facebook ads that get it right

“Build it and they will come.” If only it were as easy as that — it’d make your role as a SaaS marketer a lot easier. 

In reality, you know it takes time, effort, and thoughtful strategy to attract quality leads to your SaaS product. This leaves you with two options:

  • Build an audience or community (e.g., SEO, word of mouth, engaging on forums) 
  • Pay for visibility and reach (e.g., Google ads, sponsored social media posts)

Many B2B SaaS companies choose the latter because it drives traffic and leads faster. One platform they use to achieve this is Facebook (aka Meta). But to get the most out of paid ads, you’ve got to target the right people with the right message.

This is where things can get tricky. 

If you’re curious about building a Facebook ad campaign to promote your SaaS product, keep reading to learn what makes a SaaS Facebook ad effective. 

Do Facebook ads work for SaaS?

This is a valid question, given that ads require spending hundreds (or even thousands) monthly. 

Some may argue that LinkedIn ads are better for SaaS. And sure, it’s another useful platform for advertising, but it’s costlier than Facebook. Whether Facebook ads work for your SaaS company depends on how you structure your campaigns and develop your ads. 

The good news: With a solid digital marketing strategy, you can build Facebook ads for SaaS that not only drive traffic, but convert them into customers. 

Take SEOJet for example. This is a seven-figure SaaS tool geared towards search engine optimization (SEO) experts and teams. It initially used SEO (no surprise) to drive traffic, but needed more reliable growth. So Adam White, the previous owner of SEOJet and current Founder of SquidVision, turned to Facebook ads. 

“I have a background in filmmaking, so I wrote and directed two commercials that focused on the pain points SEOJet solved,” says White. “I used these videos as our main Facebook ads. Within six months of running them, revenue had doubled. I think the key was using humor to make our brand relatable and then really driving home, in a ridiculous way, the problems we all deal with when doing SEO, and how SEOJet solves them.”

Here’s an example of one of his video ads:

Here at HawkSEM, we also saw success using paid ads to promote SaaS businesses. AppDynamics came to us looking for a better, data-driven approach to market its services, so it partnered with us to manage its global PPC campaigns. This consisted of optimized text ads and other assets (like landing pages) to drive growth.

Long story short, we increased their conversions by 20% and doubled their traffic.

But to get results like these, it’s crucial to understand what it takes to build effective online ads. Let’s delve into that next. 

12 best practices to create lead-generating Facebook SaaS ads

Designing Facebook ads for your SaaS company is easy. It’s getting your target audience to see and click on them that can be challenging. 

With these tips, you can put the odds in your favor and build visibility for your SaaS brand:

1. Research your target audience

Extend beyond your current buyer personas by conducting interviews and surveys to capture insights straight from the source. From there, you can use tools that capture behind-the-scenes data to see who’s visiting your landing pages and converting. Use all of this info to create narrower segments that are more likely to convert. The info you gather at this stage will help you with the following best practices.

2. Create multiple target audiences

If you create too broad of a segment, your offer could be irrelevant to the majority who see the ad. It’s better to have multiple segments with personalized ads. Consider grouping by industry, job role, or lifestyle choices. 

3. Zoom in on key pain points

Drive interest by composing ad copy that speaks to a specific pain point. For example, if you’re targeting CFOs with your payroll software, highlight how it eases or eliminates a common issue (e.g., tracking employee timesheets). 

4. Highlight your SaaS product’s benefits

This is a big one: Avoid talking about what your product has (features), and instead, show what it can do (benefits). Be explicit. For instance, your tool can slash time spent on project management tasks by 60% or 10 hours per week.

5. Use social proof

Showing customer experiences and successes with your SaaS platform builds trust faster than any promise you can make. Choose case studies, public reviews, or customer testimonials that relate to the target audience’s pain points. 

6. Promote educational content

Selling to your audience is one way to use ads, but don’t overlook the power of teaching. Design a piece of content marketing like an e-book, research study, or survey with actionable insights that can improve their business or roles in the company.

7. A/B test everything

Know what makes your audience click by experimenting with various headlines, calls to action (CTAs), content formats, ad copy, and offers. But only change one element at a time to identify what improved (or tanked) your ad results. 

8. Offer free demos

Catch the interest of your audience with a free trial to try before they buy. Make it worthwhile, such as a 30-day test run, so they see its impact on their lives. This way, they’ll be more reluctant to continue on without it. 

9. Build a complete funnel

Tunneling customers to your landing page is only one part of the customer’s journey. What do you have in place to take them from a free trial or download to a paying customer? Create content for each stage (such as through an ad > landing page > demo/download > nurturing emails with helpful content > end of campaign with a special offer to convert).

10. Create lookalike audiences

Reach more qualified leads by targeting audiences similar to those who engage with your ads (download, click, buy). Build campaigns for each type to see which performs the best. 

11. Retarget your traffic

Many will engage with your ads but won’t convert. Retarget your ads to them to encourage them to return and complete their download, sign-up, or purchase. 

12. Remarket to your leads

Turning traffic into leads is the first step. Now, you’ve got to nudge them towards the sale. Create email campaigns to nurture them into becoming a customer. 

More SaaS ad best practices to consider

Most ad campaigns focus on macro conversions, like a sales call, sign-up, or purchase. But don’t overlook micro conversion opportunities such as downloads, webinar views, and podcast listens. Each touchpoint is a chance to drive leads closer to the sale. 

By leveraging CRM tools like HubSpot and Salesforce, it’s easier to track leads throughout the funnel. But if you want to increase MQLs, high quality SQLs, and revenue, then you need a platform like HawkSEM’s ConversionIQ. It syncs with your CRM and measures lead quality of your Facebook campaigns. 

With this data, you can design highly-targeted campaigns and personalized ads that trigger top customers to convert. 

When designing CTAs, be specific about your offer. Here are several great examples from Chase Dimond, a copywriter for major e-commerce brands.

saas ads facebook - twitter

(Image source: Twitter)

Interested in learning more? Check out these PPC ad tips

Real-world examples of the best SaaS Facebook ads that work (and why)

Tips are great, but seeing them in action paints a clear picture of how to apply them. So let’s review the best SaaS ads from leading companies in SaaS. 

1. Sleeknote: Makes a bold promise

Showcasing the benefits of a SaaS tool is an excellent way to entice people to click your ad. But if you want them to convert, then you need to make a promise. 

That’s what Sleeknote did in its Facebook ad, which promises major gains when using its product:

Sleeknote ad

To make the deal more appealing, Sleeknote offers a free trial and highlights its simple five-minute setup.

This ad works because it tells you exactly what to expect if you sign up (400-600% increase in email subscribers), and makes it simple to create your first pop-up within minutes. It eases any concerns a customer may have, especially since it’s free to try for a week.

2. Drift: Offers a demo to remove a concerning pain point

Drift is a SaaS platform targeting marketers. And two things marketers love are data and insights. In its ad, it includes a stat that reveals a major pain point in the marketing community: high costs for digital ads with low return rates.

Drift ad

Then the ad offers a solution to the problem using its chatbot tool to engage site visitors and increase conversions. As a bonus, Drift points out no coding knowledge is necessary to install it, which is critical because most marketers aren’t programmers.

This ad works because it offers a simple solution to a pressing problem many of its marketing customers face. It also eases any concerns about the tool being too difficult for non-techies.

3. Kissmetrics: Uses carousel ad showing multiple features for a single pain point

Sometimes, you have multiple features that can help one major challenge. Kissmetrics homes in on helping marketers gain more customers. It does this by offering powerful analytics tools to better understand your target customer’s behaviors when using your site or product. 

Kissmetrics ad

The ad shows an interactive carousel of features, including its funnel data, identifying drop-off points in the customer journey, along with behavioral insights to see which features power users engage with most. 

Why does this ad work? Because it gets straight to the (pain) point and offers options to overcome it.

4. GitHub: Promotes a conference with thought leaders to inspire you 

Brand awareness is another reason to use Facebook for SaaS marketing. If you have a blog, webinar, podcast, or YouTube channel to promote, then this is the avenue to go down. 

GitHub used Facebook ads to raise awareness of its live conference with expert developers. 

GitHub ad

What makes this ad effective is that it doesn’t focus on selling. Rather, it offers an experience where developers can learn from greats in their industry. It’s an excellent way to build brand awareness, while also converting clickers into qualified leads who may use your platform for future projects. 

5. Proof: Entices audiences with social proof

Nothing speaks to your target audience like the words of a happy customer. Including their testimonials in your ads is a clever way to show your offer and how it can make their lives better. 

That’s what Proof did in its Facebook ad:

Proof ad

Not only does the ad display the vast number of users, but it includes an image of a customer’s dashboard with an impressive conversion rate. 

This works well because potential customers can visualize the results they may get using the tool. Plus, seeing that tens of thousands of others are using it builds trust. 

6. Grow: Uses P.A.S. and a dashboard sneak-peek 

Ever heard of the P.A.S. formula? It’s popularly used in copywriting and stands for pain, agitate, solution. Grow’s ad captures this by starting with a question many marketers ask themselves. Then agitates it by saying it’s a problem that should be simple to figure out, yet scattered data makes it challenging.

Of course, the solution is its tool, which creates visually appealing dashboards with all the information marketers need to make tough decisions. 

GROW ad

 What makes this impactful is that it speaks on a common pain point and offers a solution. Then it uses images to display how the tool works, making the conversion more attractive. 

7. CoSchedule: Plays on simplicity to build desire

You don’t always need to say a lot to convince an audience to convert. If you can present a pain point and resolution in one or two sentences, it increases the odds of prospects reading the entire ad and deciding to click or not. 

CoSchedule used this method in its ad, which clearly states what it helps (resharing social content) with and how (automation):

CoSchedule ad

8. Autopilot: Offers to teach you to overcome a major challenge

Here’s another example of how valuable company assets can convert prospects into leads. Autopilot completed a study to identify the formula for a common marketing problem: creating high-performing free trial experiences (so leads are more likely to convert into paying customers). 

Autopilot ad 

 The reason this ad works is that it offers to educate its audience on a major pain point for free. And all those sign-ups will become leads in an email nurturing funnel that convinces some to become paid subscribers. 

9. Asana: Magnifies a specific pain point 

It’s vital to create ads with a specific audience and pain point in mind. 

In Asana’s ad, you see it talks about tracking teams, then presents its app as a way to simplify the process. 

Asana ad

 Why this works: there’s a clear proposition that speaks to the target customer, increasing the odds of a conversion.

 10. Heap: Compares itself to a known SaaS giant

If you’re just starting out with a new SaaS tool, how can you make your ads stand out? How about comparing your product to a known competitor so prospects can visualize why it’s a better option?

That’s what Heap did in its SaaS Facebook ad:

Heap ad

 Based on the ad, you know it’s an analytics tool for SaaS apps and can assume it’s more modern because of its statement: “if Google Analytics were built in 2017” (instead of decades ago). 

This works because it shows what the tool’s capable of. And if you’re a SaaS owner, then having these insights is critical to improving your product and retention rates, you’ll be curious to check it out. Pointing out Zendesk and thousands of other users also solidifies its credibility. 

11. Miro: Highlights a familiar use case

When building a new SaaS product, it’s critical for prospects to visualize how they can use it in their everyday lives. Miro expresses in its ad how it replaces whiteboards – a familiar tool in many offices. 

Miro ad

 Miro offers to replace whiteboards with a tool that’s shareable and accessible from anywhere, unlike the physical version. 

This works because it takes a common use case and shows a better way to achieve the same (teamwork) or better results (accessible anywhere). 

12. Dropbox: Offers a free trial with an easy sign-up

Free trials and SaaS tools are practically synonymous today. The question now is, how long should it be? Simple answer: however long it takes for subscribers to see the value in your platform. 

For example, if your tools offer monthly insights, then having a 30-day trial is the minimum. 

Dropbox offered a 14-day trial because that’s all the time a user needs to see how it works. Then as a cherry on top, it highlights its fast two-minute setup to combat worries of it having an extensive process. 

Dropbox ad

 13. Hootsuite: Creates FOMO with a little-known secret

If there’s one thing consumers dislike, it’s being the last to learn about something awesome. Hootsuite’s ad pushes the envelope further by presenting a secret few know, but need to know to achieve a goal. 

In this case, it’s how to become a verified Instagram user (in only three steps):  

Hootsuite ad

Why it works: It doesn’t just provide a solution, it presents it as a simple process, making it a no-brainer click for folks who aren’t “in the know.” 

14. Kinsta: Plays on customers’ worst fear

Missing out isn’t the only fear people have. If your research reveals your customers are afraid of a certain outcome or threat, use it to gain their trust. 

Kinsta understands its customers need security from cyber threats. So it created a downloadable cheat sheet to protect against website attacks. 

Kinsta ad

 This ad offers to help prospects overcome safety fears for free. 

But you don’t have to be a security SaaS tool to ease fears. For instance, you can highlight other anxieties your product resolves, such as reducing churn, preventing financial loss, or speeding up manual processes. 

The takeaway

Facebook marketing for SaaS doesn’t have to be complicated. Once you learn about your audience and their biggest challenges, the ads will practically write themselves. 

Just make sure to:

  • Target a specific audience
  • Home in on key pain points
  • Show the benefits of using your tool (e.g., social proof and free trials)
  • Use eye-catching ad creatives (images and videos)

Use the best practices in this guide to ensure your ads are relevant and click-worthy. And if you ever need inspiration, reexamine our ad examples to see how SaaS businesses are achieving more clicks. 

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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Written by Sam Yadegar on Aug 12 , 2021

Learn how to create Facebook Ads that fit your marketing plan like a glove.

Here, you’ll find:

  • How to choose the best objective for your Facebook Ads campaign
  • The best FB Ads format for reaching your goals
  • Tips to create the best ads to reach your desired audience
  • Expert ways to optimize your Facebook Ads

Of all the social media marketing platforms, Facebook offers one of the most powerful advertising solutions for businesses — you can’t argue with the data around Facebook Ads ROI

But, with so many segments and tools, creating ads can get overwhelming fast.

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.

The Facebook Ads Manager

The Facebook Ads Manager

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 the Pixel is one of the first things to put in place before campaigns launch. 

Apple’s iOS update Is changing how data is collected on Facebook. Because of this, you may want to consider using Facebook’s Conversions API in addition to the Pixel for tracking. It requires more development, but you won’t lose as much visibility.

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 to give you a clear direction.

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.

So, how do you choose the right objective for your ad campaign? First, decide which stage of the buying cycle you want to target. You can choose from Brand Awareness, Leads, Purchases, and others.

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 audiences. 

  • Custom Audiences: 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
  • Saved Audiences: New audiences segmented by specific demographics and interests you choose
  • Lookalike Audiences: Audiences Facebook creates based on common qualities of lists you upload (this can be especially helpful if you are using cohort analysis to increase customer retention)
  • Local Audiences: 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.

Facebook Ads platform

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

Facebook Ads for awareness

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

  • Reach the 2.8 billion monthly active users who may not know your business exists
  • Build brand trust among your current audience (this one is beneficial 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
  • Increase your SEO ranking, making you easier to find

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.

Need more Facebook Ads help? Let’s talk.

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. 

Historically, remarketing campaigns were ideal for people who saw your ad but weren’t ready to purchase your products or services for one reason or another. 

Due to that iOS update mentioned above, there have been some changes as to how Facebook ads work on Apple products. These changes include:

  • The SKAdNetwork API will be used by Facebook for app advertising on all iOS 14. This will delay or restrict event data.
  • Apple has also created the PCM (Private Click Measurement) protocol which will restrict data you can access. However, Facebook is working on an Aggregated Event Management tool to counter this.
  • There will be an eight-pixel event cap, meaning you’ll have a maximum of eight conversion events per domain, making you prioritize your events.

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 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

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

You may want to consider using Facebook’s Conversions API in addition to the Pixel for tracking. (Image via Unsplash)

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, 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. 

A little can go a long way — Robert Cialdini’s methods of persuasion show that reciprocity is powerful. For example, a single mint left for customers increased tips for waitstaff by 3%.

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)

Facebook can also use your inventory to create dynamic ads based on products your followers have already viewed on your website with product catalogs.

Pro tip: Facebook recently changed their policies to no longer allow advertisers to target ads to people under 18 (or older in certain countries) based on age, gender and location. According to Facebook, “previously available targeting options, like those based on interests or on their activity on other apps and websites, will no longer be available to advertisers.”

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.

Facebook provides various 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.

Pro tip: In summer 2021, Facebook extended Facebook Pay off-site to participating third-party websites as well.

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 post has been updated and was originally published in December 2020.

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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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.

Pro tip: Apple recently announced its iOS 15 update. (Got whiplash? Us too.) HubSpot explains how it could impact email marketers here

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.

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