Keep reading this blog to find out:
- How Apple’s iOS 14 update will affect Facebook ads
- What Facebook is doing in response to the change
- How your business should respond to the update
Here’s the Truth About How the iOS 14 Update Will Affect Small Business Facebook Ads
So, you run a small business, and you’re worried about your Facebook ads. That’s perfectly understandable considering all the hubbub surrounding the upcoming iOS 14 privacy update. And trust us, you’re not alone in your concern.
When we at Frontier Marketing first heard about the update, our first thought was how will this affect our customers? After all, we create and manage Facebook ads for local businesses every day. So, we know how they rely heavily on the leads and revenue the ads generate. Any threat to the ads is a direct threat to our clients’ livelihoods. So, we take this news very seriously.
But here’s the thing. As we’ve looked into the new iOS 14 policy, we’ve come to realize the hysteria is a bit overblown. A lot of it has to do with how Facebook has framed the issue as Apple’s direct assault on small businesses. As you will see, this is more of a conflict between Apple and Facebook than between Apple and your business.
So, what’s up with this iOS 14 update anyway, and what does it mean practically for small businesses? The truth is it will probably negatively impact your Facebook ad performance but not in a catastrophic way. Plus, you can take steps right now to mitigate the damage. Read on to learn more!
What will the iOS 14 Update Do?
The iOS 14 update is a big deal for Apple users. It brings all sorts of cool features, including a sleek home screen, widget support, a new app library and more. But the update that has everyone astir is the changes to privacy and app tracking. Specifically, Apple is now prompting its users to choose whether they would like apps to track their online activity.
How the Privacy Update Works
When someone opens an app using this updated version of iOS 14, a box pops up asking if they would like to let the app track their activity across other companies’ apps and websites. They can then either choose to allow the app to track them or not. And if they opt-out, the app has to honor that choice or face the wrath of Apple.
Why It’s Significant
After all, if you’re like us, we’re guessing you’ve had the following conversation around the dinner table at some point:
Person A: “I had the creepiest thing happen to me today. I was thinking about Harley Davidson motorcycles, and then I saw an ad for it on Facebook.”
Person B: “That’s crazy! It’s like they almost know what I’m thinking.”
Person A: “Yeah, get out of my head, Facebook!”
The fact is people don’t like feeling like they’re being spied on, and app tracking is how those creepily accurate ads wind up showing up in your feed. So, given the choice, wouldn’t you prefer having complete privacy while you’re surfing the web?
How will the iOS 14 Update Change Facebook Ads?
Naturally, Facebook wasn’t exactly thrilled when Apple announced the coming of this new privacy feature late last year. After all, the platform relies heavily on tracking to produce great results for its advertisers.
For example, Facebook uses tracking to create lookalike audiences. These are new groups of people to target based on tracking data collected from a page’s existing audience. So, if everyone opts out of sharing that data, it will make it a lot harder for Facebook to do this.
Similarly, the Facebook pixel also relies on tracking people as they click on ads and make purchases on websites. Anyone who has used pixel will understand how advantageous it is to have that individualized data. It makes it extremely easy to retarget specific people who previously clicked on your ad but didn’t convert. When people with iOS 14 say no to tracking, pixel can no longer retarget to them.
How is Facebook Adapting to Those Changes?
Of course, Facebook hasn’t taken these changes lying down. Instead, they have taken steps to help Facebook advertisers prepare for the update.
One of the big steps they’ve taken is creating something called Aggregated Event Measurement. This new feature will still allow you to use pixel to track people’s actions on your ads and website. However, pixel will only track their activity as a group rather than as individuals, thus preserving their personal privacy.
Aggregated Event Measurement will only allow you to track eight conversion events on your website at a time. So, Facebook has encouraged advertisers to start planning what conversion events they’d most like to track in aggregate once the update starts taking away individualized tracking.
Aside from Aggregated Event Measurement, there are many other changes the new iOS 14 policy will bring about for Facebook ads for local businesses. There is a long post in their help center detailing exactly what advertisers can expect from this change. We recommend checking it out if you’re interested in the nuts and bolts of what to expect. However, later in this post, we will give you some simple tasks you can complete to prepare, so stay tuned for those.
Should Small Business Owners Be Worried?
So, what should we small business owners think of all this? While as individuals, we enjoy surfing privately, it’s easier to advertise for our business if we can track people. So, which side of this issue should local companies be on?
On the surface, it would seem clear-cut that business owners should oppose these changes since they will hurt their business. Indeed, Facebook has proclaimed this in blog posts and advertisements ever since Apple announced the update. They argue that Apple is hurting small businesses by taking away their ability to create personalized ads.
But here’s the thing: These changes will likely hurt Facebook more than they will hurt your business. That’s probably the real reason Facebook is so upset by all this. They have been sitting pretty with all of this tracking they have been able to do for so long. Now that Apple is threatening that, they are worried they will lose revenue as bigger companies take their advertising dollars elsewhere.
Your business, on the other hand, doesn’t need to panic. Instead, here are few reasons you can be confident even as this change takes effect:
Facebook Will Adjust Because They Have To
As much as Facebook can complain about this change, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s happening. Once it does, Facebook will have to find ways around the problem to keep advertisers from leaving. And do you really think a company as big and resourceful as Facebook won’t be able to find a workaround?
As we mentioned above, Facebook has already started to adjust with features like Aggregated Event Measurement. Over time, who’s to say they can’t find a suitable replacement for the individualized tracking they once had for Apple users? We wouldn’t bet against it.
Your Business Can Adjust Because You Have Options
Don’t forget that your company is not helpless in all of this. No rule says if your Facebook ads take a dip in performance, you have to sit back and take it. Instead, there are plenty of ways you can adjust to keep your advertising dollars working for you.
For example, consider the fact that Apple users are the only ones who will experience this change. So, most people who use Androids and other devices will still have their tracking on. Therefore, it would make sense to segment your ads strategically, using lookalike audiences and pixel conversion tracking on Android users while running other ads that don’t use tracking for people with Apple products. This way, you can still get the full benefit of personalized tracking without sacrificing the quality.
Another factor to keep in mind is that as Facebook’s targeting becomes less effective, ads will likely become less expensive. So, you could save on your advertising budget and use that money on other avenues for advertising. After all, Facebook isn’t the only place you can promote your business!
These are just a couple of examples of how you can get creative to work around the iOS 14 changes. So, don’t feel boxed in. Use this as an opportunity to explore your options!
More Privacy is Better for Everyone
Clearly, this update is not the death knell for small businesses that Facebook is framing it to be. Instead, it’s a victory for us as individuals because it gives more power to the web surfer. The way we see it, any adjustments we Facebook advertisers must make are worth it for the private web browsing experience we get in return. It’s a tradeoff well worth making.
What Next Steps Should You Take?
While all this talk of change may seem overwhelming, there are simple steps you can take to prepare for the iOS 14 update:
- Verify your website domain with Facebook. Doing this will prevent any interruptions in your pixel once the changes take effect.
- Pick your top eight conversion events for Aggregated Event Tracking. Once the iOS 14 privacy update begins, campaigns tracking these eight events will continue while campaigns tracking other events will pause.
- Keep your eye on the new resource tab. This will keep you updated on how your campaigns are affected by the changes. Facebook will help you by advising you on what to adjust.
Keep in mind that no one knows exactly how ad performance will change once people begin to opt-out of tracking. So, it will also be important to keep an eye on your ads’ performance to make the necessary adjustments as you go.
Need Help with Your Facebook Ads?
We hope this post has calmed your nerves about the iOS 14 update. Clearly, the sky isn’t falling, and all of your ads aren’t going to fail suddenly. By being aware of the change and taking the steps listed above, you will position yourself to weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side.
Of course, we also understand if this Apple update is just another thing to worry about on your already busy plate. If you are looking to save time on your Facebook ads and still get great results, we’re here for you. At Frontier Marketing, we save our customers time by taking Facebook ads off their plate and getting them great results.