How iOS 14.5 affects your Facebook ads.

How iOS 14.5 affects your Facebook ads.

How iOS 14 affects Facebook ads in ecommerce

Apple’s request for users to opt into tracking has changed how Facebook receives and processes data from the Facebook Pixel and subsequently affects your ability to track and market to potential and current customers via Facebook and Instagram ads. Here are the four major effects you have to face.

Pixel-based conversion reporting could be misleading.

Between fewer tracked mobile conversions, it’s no surprise the numbers you may be seeing in Ads Manager aren’t necessarily reflective of reality.

Stylehub clients reported up to 60% difference between conversions reported in Facebook Ads Manager and in-store analytics.

Although the ratio variance is inconsistent, it seems to be growing because of the opt-out rates.

What to do:

  • Implement Conversions API and optimize campaigns to custom events.
  • Use Facebook's own lead generation tactics such as forms or messenger for more reliable results.

The Facebook Conversions API is an updated version of a tool that has been around for a while, the Facebook Server-Side API.

This API changes the model for how users are tracked for Facebook Ads. Rather than collecting data via a client-side tracker (i.e. on the browser), the API does everything on your server. Therefore, you can track various user events without having to rely on the iOS advertising ID.

You can get more insights on how to set up the conversion API here.

Conversion rates are inconsistent

Although the most significant and most frustrating impact in post-implementation is the lackluster performance of evergreen campaigns. 

What used to be relatively minor week-to-week changes gave way to significant swings.

With unpredictable lead conversion rates, CPLs were equally volatile as Facebook struggled to optimize ad sets driving the best results.

CPL (cost-per-like): This allows you to track and optimize how much you spend to get someone to “Like” your Facebook Page after clicking your ad. 

Less reliable campaign budget optimization

CBO, or Campaign Budget Optimization, is a tool that helps Facebook to allocate budget among ad sets based on performance dynamically. 

Budgets are set at the campaign level instead of the ad set level.

This once-powerful tool for maximizing efficient spending distribution shows its vulnerability in light of the recent tracking changes.

The better-performing audiences based on your objective tend to get a larger share of your daily budget.

Stylehub customers' campaigns with CBO enabled showed Facebook allocating an unreasonable amount of spend with much higher CPLs.

What to do:

Consider the use of automated rules to prevent Facebook from overspending on poor-performing ad sets.

  • Set a CPL threshold that’s slightly higher than your goal.
  • Then, set a daily spend amount that matches your budget on a given audience.
  • Set the rule to pause an audience if it has spent that amount and driven CPLs higher than your threshold.
  • Set a rule to unpause all ads at the beginning of a new day.

CBO (campaign budget optimization): CBO automatically manages your campaign budget across ad sets to get you the overall best results. With CBO, you set one central campaign budget.

Retargeting audiences are shrinking

The last impact is merely a confirmation of what we all knew was going to happen. Pixel-based retargeting audiences are smaller and harder to reach.

Since you just lost track on a large percentage of mobile traffic, retargeting based on user-visited websites will become a less viable tactic as people age out of the website custom audiences they’re currently in.

What to do:

Leverage alternative retargeting data sources, such as:

  • First-party data (Custom audiences based on emails/phone numbers, etc.).
  • Engagement-based retargeting (People who have interacted with your ads, etc.).
  • Video-based retargeting (People who have watched a certain percentage of your page's video ad content).

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