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Facebook iOS 14 changes: What it means and how you can prepare

Written by Max Ford
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Change is in the air over at Facebook and Apple HQ - and these changes might impact the effectiveness of your business' digital and social media marketing.

But don't panic! The Entourage Marketing Team has compiled everything you need to know about the upcoming Apple iOS 14 release, and what that has to do with your Facebook marketing strategy.

What’s happening?

If you haven't heard by now, Apple’s latest operating system update on iOS 14 will affect your Facebook advertising capabilities. This update includes a policy that prohibits apps from collecting user data without permission. Users will now begin to receive a prompt across all apps in iOS 14, asking for their permission to be tracked.
 
iOS14 Tracking

What exactly does that mean for my business?

Tracking user behaviour is an important part of targeting, optimisation, and measuring conversions across digital marketing channels. With many people expected to opt-out of tracking, this will affect:

  • Retargeting — as you won’t be able to track and retarget 100% of users that come to your site.
  • Optimisation — especially if you’re optimising towards custom events or purchases.
  • Conversions — Facebook will no longer be an accurate source of truth for onsite activity such as add to cart, purchases, or lead captures. You’ll need to ensure that you’re utilising the data on your e-commerce platform, or website backend, to get the full picture of how you’re performing.

Facebook has announced that these changes will come into effect sometime during the week of April 26th, so it’s important to be in the know and be prepared!

In this guide, we’ll help you prepare for the iOS 14 update, and let you know what to keep an eye on in the coming weeks and months.

How do I prepare?

1. Register your domain with Facebook

If you’re using a Facebook pixel, you need to verify your domain within Facebook Business Manager.

It’s important that you do this as soon as possible. Once the iOS 14 privacy changes take effect, all ad sets optimising to a pixel event on an unverified domain will be paused.

If this sounds confusing, check out the video in the resources list at the bottom of this article, for a step-by-step walkthrough.

2. Choose 8 ranked conversion events

Part of Facebook’s strategy to overcome a drop in trackable data involves a solution called Aggregated Event Measurement.

What does this mean for you?

You’ll need to select 8 conversion events in your Facebook Events Manager, and prioritise them. This applies to both standard and custom events.

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Why is ranking the events so important? Facebook have said:

“When a customer takes several actions during a web session, only the corresponding event that’s highest in priority will be sent to Facebook for a conversion.”

In most cases, you should be adding purchases or a similar custom conversion as your top priorities, but every site’s circumstances are unique. Think about how users interact with your site, and which conversions you value the most.

You’ll also only be able to use the 8 events you’ve selected in your campaign ad sets. You can change and reorder these events, but they can take up to 72 hours to come into effect. The ad sets will also be paused while these come into effect, so it’s key to have your events arranged prior.

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Read more about Aggregated Event Measurement and event configuration here.

What should I keep an eye out for?

Use other data points to complete the picture

You may see a drop on your Facebook Ads Manager in purchases, leads, and landing page views. Don’t panic!

Treat the data in your backend - whether it’s the number of purchases, form fills, and website visitation - as your source of truth.

Make sure you’re still focused on top line metrics, like clickthrough rates, to ensure that your advertising is still resonating with your audience.

If you haven't already, build an email database

Collecting customer emails and building a strong database is a great way to get around reliance on Facebook’s pixel. Content such as eBooks or articles, competitions, or anything that requires an email to access are easy ways to obtain customer emails.

Resources

Regardless of the changes and potential challenges posed to Facebook by Apple's iOS 14 release, Facebook should still be a serious contender and player in your small business' marketing mix. With over 2.7 billion users worldwide and access to 59% of the world's social networking platform, Facebook does reign supreme when it comes to attracting an audience, building a community, and converting leads into loyal and raving customers.

If you want access to high-level frameworks and methodologies to drive serious growth via Facebook, we can help.

Our Low Cost Facebook Growth Strategies short course contains the tried-and-tested frameworks so you can grow your presence and engagement on Facebook, using low-cost and even free strategies. 

The Profitable Facebook Ads Blueprint contains the exact frameworks, strategies, principles and blueprint we teach our Members to drive business growth through Facebook advertising. 

Other resources to help you:

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