Digital privacy is highly prized by consumers. And rightly so. Apple also publicly upholds the view that privacy is a fundamental human right, and cites it as one of the company’s core values.
Privacy formed the backbone of the introduction of iOS 14, with a final update that’s due to complete its rollout in September 2021.
This update will continue to implement privacy and security measures, and could cause your business ad tracking problems.
Here’s what you need to know to make sure you’re not unduly affected by iOS 14 updates.
iOS 14 puts consumers in control
With iOS 14, consumers get more control over the data they share. But the move has also had a negative impact on advertisers and publishers. Particularly those running mobile app campaigns or website conversion events from Facebook.
If you’re managing Facebook ads, and you haven’t done so already, you need to make some changes to ensure you get the best return on your advertising investment.
That’s why we’ve put together our ultimate guide to tackling the impact of iOS 14. If you’re looking for all the comprehensive detail, you can download the full document for free. For an overview of what to watch out for, we cover the key points below.
Another iOS 14 update before the iOS 15 launch
Before the release of iOS 15 later in 2021, Apple is applying and rolling out further updates to iOS 14. These are likely to continue the trend that has stopped marketers accurately measuring conversions from iOS 14 devices. In particular, challenges continue to impact targeting, reporting and segmentation.
This move has its roots in the introduction of GDPR in 2018. At that point, companies had to become more data compliant. Stricter transparency rules around handling users’ privacy and identifiable information were also required, prompting companies to often group shared data into larger homogenous subsets.
It’s not about the data, it’s about the data sharing
It’s not just about Apple. All smart phones continuously send an abundance of data back to their respective motherships. In fact, a study carried out earlier this year shows that Google’s Android mobile OS collects around 20 times as much data as Apple.
But Apple has removed certain tracking categories. These are the ones it uses when devices share data with apps like Facebook. And that’s what’s hurting marketers, as Facebook ad campaign performance can fall off a cliff.
Make that Facebook pixel work harder
It’s not all bad news though. You can alleviate some of that pain with a few changes to your account. These will allow you to still collect useful information from your ads, track the progress of your campaigns and measure that all-important ROI.
To begin with, when setting up an account, you need to verify the domains for your Facebook pixel. That’s the piece of code that sits on your website and helps you track conversions from Facebook ads. Make sure it’s integrated and working properly.
With your Facebook pixel, you’re also able to optimise ads, build targeted audiences for future ads and remarket to people who’ve already taken some kind of action on your website.
Here comes the body blow. You used to be able to take advantage of up to 17 standard Facebook pixel events. Now you can only use a maximum of eight, which you select from:
- Add payment info
- Add to cart
- Add to wish list
- Complete registration
- Customise product
- Find location
- Initiate checkout
- Start trial
- Submit application
- View content
It doesn’t matter which eight you choose, but you need to choose carefully. If you think that you’ll only need five or six, then don’t just add another two or three to make up the numbers.
It’s better to have a few empty slots than to realise down the line that you need to overwrite one of your slots.
Also, if you edit your Aggregated Event Management mid-campaign, this could negatively impact the delivery of your ads. You’ll need to wait 72 hours before you can return to edit them again, too.
There’s plenty more on this topic in our guide, so it’s certainly worth a look.
Facebook reporting takes a hit from iOS 14
It’s in the reporting where things really begin to hit home. It’s a grim reality, but you’re going to get an increasingly limited view of your audiences.
This is down to a number of reasons. To begin with, people are opting out of tracking on iOS 14 devices. Since the iOS 14.5 launch, which allowed users to choose between allowing or denying tracking, at the time of writing only 21% of users worldwide have opted in.
Real-time reporting is no longer available, either. What’s more, statistical modelling may be used to account for users who have opted out, and the number of metrics you have access to is also being reduced.
None of this means you should give up on the Facebook pixel and conversion tracking. Far from it. There are still plenty of opportunities to increase the ROI on your Facebook ad spend. It just means you need to work smarter.
To dig deeper into the detail, take a look at our Ultimate Guide to iOS 14 and Facebook Pixel Changes. And if you need a little more support, then we’re right here and happy to chat. Just give us a shout and we’ll help you navigate a successful journey through the pixel pitfalls.
Working as a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2004, Lee helps SMEs win more business through developing effective digital marketing strategies. He is a dedicated Liverpool FC fan, dog lover and loves long country walks (and a cheeky pint) with his dog, Banjo. Do you publish content yourself, or need content for your own website? If you’d like to collaborate on anything at all, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.