Apple recently announced new app policies with iOS 14 which impacts how Facebook receives and processes conversion events, including tools such as Facebook pixel.
New app policies include
Here's everything you need to take note about Apple iOS 14 updates and its impact on Facebook marketing.
Any business advertising mobile applications and businesses optimising, targeting and reporting on web conversion events from any of Facebook business tools will be affected. Here's what businesses need to do to stay ahead.
Facebook will begin to process pixel conversion events from Apple iOS 14 devices using Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM). This will support efforts to preserve user privacy and simultaneously run effective campaigns.
Here are some limitations to take note of when AEM is rolled out.
Under Facebook’s Aggregated Event Measurement, each business domain will be limited to 8 conversion events per domain.
For example, if a business has 3 pixels with 3 events each, the domain will have 9 conversion events (3 pixels x 3 events).
Once AEM is applied, the top 8 conversion events will be auto configured by Facebook and campaigns optimising for the 9th event will be automatically paused. However, businesses can subsequently choose which 8 conversion events they wish to focus on.
All standard events and custom conversions will be supported. However, custom events are not available right now. Advertisers who previously had access to web Custom Event optimisation will therefore not be able to use it.
Your app will only be allowed to associate with one single ad account. However, the same ad account can be used to advertise for multiple apps.
Each app is limited to 9 iOS 14 campaigns at once. Each campaign is limited to five ad sets of the same optimisation type.
There is a 72-hour reset period after you turn off or delete one of your nine permitted iOS 14 campaigns before it will no longer count against your limit.
Auction is the only available buying option when you create an ad for devices on iOS 14; reach and frequency are not available.
Once your campaign is published, you can't turn the iOS 14 campaign toggle on or turn off. You'll have to turn off or delete your campaign.
Delayed reporting: Web conversion events will be reported based on the time the conversions occur and not the time of the associated ad impressions.
Estimated results: Statistical modelling may be used to account for conversions from iOS 14 users.
Breakdown: Delivery and action breakdowns, such as age, gender, region and placement will not be supported. However, Facebook lead generation ads will not be affected as they do not rely on offsite events from pixels or conversions API.
Attribution setting: The attribution window for all new or active ad campaigns will be set at the ad set level, rather than at the account level. The default for all new or active ad campaigns will be set at a 7-day click attribution window.
Delayed reporting: Real-time reporting will not be supported and you can expect a delay in data for up to 3 days. Conversion events will be reported based on the time that they are reported to Facebook by the SKAdNetwork API.
Estimated results: The SKAdNetwork API will report results to Facebook, aggregated at the campaign level. Statistical modelling may be used to account for results at the ad set and ad levels, unless the campaign is composed of a single ad set and ad.
Breakdown: Delivery and action breakdowns, such as age, gender, region and placement will not be supported.
Attribution setting: The attribution window for all new or active ad campaigns will be set at the ad set level. iOS 14 app install campaigns will report based on the attribution window provided by Apple's SKAdNetwork API.
There may be a potential decrease in audience size (custom audience and retargeting audience) as more people opt out of tracking on iOS 14 devices.
Your pixel will only report and optimise for a maximum of eight conversion events for each domain. Facebook will auto-configure the top 8 conversion events most relevant to your business based on previous activity. All other events will be paused but you can manage your preferences in Events Manager.
Keep in mind that only Business Manager account that verified the domain will be allowed to edit the conversion event.
If you use multiple domains in your catalogue, verify each website domain that you use as a product URL and avoid using any product URLs that redirect to another domain.
Some iOS 14 devices may default to a mobile web browser destination (instead of an app or app store). To direct all iOS 14 devices to an app destination, create a new campaign that optimises for link clicks.
Advertising on Facebook will become less efficient and effective due to the limitation in action breakdowns such as age, gender, race. This makes it more difficult for small businesses to reach their ideal audience, limiting growth
The lack in personalisation may result in businesses not being able to tailor their ads to suit different target audience. This could result in 60% fewer website sales from ads, and a drop in revenue by 50% resulting from Facebook app install ads.
Even if Facebook marketing has reduced functions due to Apple iOS 14 privacy changes, small businesses can still thrive because there are other advertising options out there.
44% of small businesses increased their advertising on Facebook during the pandemic - this was done for a practical reason - because consumers have no choice but to be stuck at home, glued to their phones.
As Dipayan Ghosh from Wired points out, this figure doesn't necessarily mean that small businesses are fully reliant on Facebook, nor do they benefit fully, just that it happened to be the best option for them at that point in time.
There are other social media channels SMEs can consider advertising, such as LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest and Telegram.
On the other hand, if you are fully reliant on Facebook, and these changes severely restricts your ROI, your business may not be sustainable. It's time to relook at whether your business has a good lifestyle marketing strategy in place.
An integrated marketing strategy is the best way for SMEs to thrive.
That's not to say that Facebook isn't important, or that SMEs should forsake it because of limitations in Apple iOS 14 recent updates. Facebook will continue to test and roll out innovations that will help the advertising industry remain profitable while keeping in line with Apple's new restrictions.
In the meantime, here's what you can do to stay ahead.
Here is what advertisers and businesses need to prepare for to continue to deliver and measure campaign performance
Do the following if you plan to run ads for conversion events for your business website.
Verifying your website domain will allow you to:
If domain verification is not done, businesses will not be able to edit the conversion event configuration for the domain.
Learn more about domain verification here.
Learn how to verify your domain here.
Businesses with more than 8 conversion event per domain will need to come up with an action plan on how to operate with 8 conversion events per domain for optimisation.
Facebook will auto-configure the best 8 conversion events based on past activity but you may need to make changes to the configuration on Events Manager.
Use the Comparing Windows feature to see how conversions attributed to their ads compared across different attribution windows. This will help you better anticipate any changes in reported conversions that result from moving to a 7-day window.
Export any historical 28-day view or click and 7-day view attribution window data you need. Historical data will still be accessible via the Ads Insights API, even after the changes go into effect.
Start to identify which optimisation strategies, such as bid types, optimisation events, will need to be tested to develop the new best practices. Learn more about how to use Facebook pixel to reach devices on iOS 14 and measure performance.
Do the following if you plan to run ads for conversion events for your business app.
We hope this summary has been helpful. Feel free to reach out to our digital marketing consultants if you need help with your Facebook digital marketing!
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