How the iOS 14 update affects Facebook ads and how to fix it?

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Have you noticed higher CAC (Cost of Customer Ownership) or lower conversion rates for your Facebook campaigns since Apple released iOS 14 and iOS 14.5? If so, you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll explain the iOS 14 changes and how the iOS 14 update will affect your Facebook ads and sales data. Then, we’ll cover a few ways to improve the performance of your Facebook ad campaigns.

What’s changed in Facebook iOS 14?

What's changed in Faceb0ook iOS 14 update?

Apple has long made user privacy a core part of its brand. In 2021, the company doubled down on its commitment to privacy with iOS 14 and iOS 14.5 updates, software updates that changed the default privacy settings on iOS devices. Apple used to automatically share anonymous user data through IDFA (Identifiers for Advertisers). But with the advent of the “app request do not track”, Apple has completely changed the landscape of advertising and marketing. The new default is that users must now opt-in to share their data.

Since the launch of iOS 14 and iOS 14.5, it is estimated that less than 25% of Apple users have opted back to follow. This is a big deal because more than half of all Americans own an iPhone, and iPhone users account for about 46% of all Facebook traffic. Proving that companies that are using Apple’s tracking data – including Facebook, Google, and other app makers that are selling or running ads, can no longer rely on it. And that means those of us who use Facebook, Google, and other ad networks to drive revenue need to adapt.

How does the iOS 14 update affect Facebook ads?

How does the iOS 14 update affect Facebook ads?
How does the iOS 14 update affect Facebook ads?

Apple’s iOS 14 update has impacted the economy of every network that sells ads and has an audience of iPhone users. But with ads reaching nearly two-thirds of all Americans over the age of 13 and 81% of users accessing it from a mobile device, Facebook is the social network most affected. An e-commerce agency estimates that its customers’ Facebook ROAS has dropped by 30% due to Apple iOS 14 changes. And Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has reported ad impressions on Facebook Facebook dropped 40%, and revenue then slowed as well. But not all advertisers feel the impact in the same way. Here are some of the effects of iOS14 on Facebook ads.

Retarget a smaller audience

The Facebook pixel is a cookie that tracks user behavior on your website and connects it to your Facebook ads. When 75% of iOS users choose not to follow online, it means that the Facebook pixel can no longer collect those users’ website behavior data. In other words, if an iOS user has visited your store and placed an item in their cart, but they have “do not track” enabled, you cannot retarget them on Facebook with ads showing items they like.

iOS 14’s data cap also makes the rest of Facebook’s targeting efforts — including its ability to build predictable custom audiences and power relevant dynamic ads — poor. more effective. It’s more expensive to run campaigns and more difficult to personalize ad copy when you don’t know much about your target audience.

Less reliable conversion tracking

The changes to iOS 14 have a major impact on how Facebook receives and handles conversion events from the Facebook pixel. If a customer opts out of data tracking, behaviors such as viewing content on your website, adding items to a cart, checkout, placing an order, and others will be underreported.

Indeed, many advertisers have noticed inaccuracies and inconsistencies in Facebook Ads Manager reporting since iOS 14 was deprecated. For some advertisers, this may be because their results (conversion rate, ROAS) have deteriorated. For others, Facebook’s data is less reliable now, and so are their reports. Facebook has tried to mitigate this issue by delaying some pixel-based conversion reports, changing attribution windows, removing data analytics options, tweaking its model (estimated results), and using aggregate event measurement to track conversions.

Limited event measurement

Before the iOS 14 update, Facebook was able to track and optimize for an unlimited number of conversion-related events on a merchant’s website (e.g. view an item, add it to the cart), enter the checkout, complete purchase,…) Since Apple updated iOS 14, Facebook only allows you to optimize for eight conversion events per domain. Advertisers and marketers will need to prioritize which of these eight events is most important and rank them.

Shortened allocation time

Since the iOS 14 update, Facebook has changed the view from 28 days to 7 days. Conversion events are now reported based on the duration of the event, rather than when your ad successfully generated an impression.

How to improve the performance of Facebook Ads after the iOS 14 update

Facebook maintains its position as one of the most effective ad networks for e-commerce retailers. Here are a few ways to make sure you’re optimizing your Facebook ads based on the iOS 14 update.

How to improve the performance of Facebook Ads after the iOS 14 update

Diversify your advertising and promotion channels

Facebook should not be your sole data source, nor should it be your only advertising channel. Now is a great time to experiment with advertising on other social networks or change your ad spend on those networks to see what works best. You can also expand your ad target audience. The Facebook algorithm will optimize your ad sets over time, using engagement data, so with a low budget and patience, you can uncover some new avenues you haven’t. take into account.

Reviewing object development

With the decline of custom audiences from Facebook pixel data, you may be looking for ways to get privacy-compliant first-party data directly. Facebook Business Manager offers several lead generation options that allow users to stay on the platform while expressing interest in your services, such as filling out forms.

Place ads unrelated to the conversion goal

Instead of relying too heavily on Facebook’s tracking data, you can set up network-independent ads or campaigns to see if they lead to conversions or sales.

Set up Facebook Conversion API (CAPI)

The Facebook Conversion API allows you to continue server-side tracking even without the Facebook pixel. It tracks user activity on your website, in your app if you have one, even offline, and provides that data to Facebook without relying on third-party cookies.

Implement keyboard shortcuts

Facebook offers several shortcuts that can help you monitor your ad performance when results seem uncertain. Automated rules can prevent you from spending more than you want or should on Facebook ads that don’t perform well. And choosing aggregate event measurement in Facebook Events Manager can give you a prioritized view of your conversion events.

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