Privacy has become a hot topic in the past few years. From the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation to the California Consumer Privacy Act, laws and regulations aimed at protecting the privacy of consumers while on the internet have popped up in recent years, changing the way of how advertisers collect data. And it looks like it’s happened again.
In an effort to protect users’ privacy, Apple is stepping up its game with the release of iOS 14. Announced in June 2020, Apple’s newest operating system forces app developers to ask users permission to track their movements across the internet. This means users now have the ability to opt-out of ad cross tracking.
Since Apple’s announcement, many app developers had expressed their frustration over the technology giant’s actions. The loudest critic is Facebook, which claims Apple’s actions will only hurt small businesses that rely on Facebook’s Advertising Network.
But why was Facebook so upset about the privacy settings? It may have something to do with the way it tracked a user’s movements when serving ads.
How Does Social Media Ad Tracking Work?
You’re scrolling through your newsfeed on Facebook when you see an ad for a new kitchen appliance. The ad makes you stop scrolling for a minute to take a closer look. Isn’t that the same blender you were looking at a couple of weeks ago? How did Facebook know that?
The short answer is you’re being watched.
Facebook and other social media companies use something called a tracking pixel. This pixel can be placed on a number of digital assets — newsletters, display ads, or web pages. When that web page loads, it sends a signal to the advertiser’s tracking tool, letting them know that the user has viewed a page through a specific ad.
The tracking pixel provides a wealth of information such as what browser the user was using, whether they were using their phone or a desktop computer, where the user lives, and what the user did while on that page. With all that data at an advertiser’s fingertips, they can optimize their ads to get them in front of the right audience.
So as you can imagine, tracking a user’s data is important to both the advertiser, who wants to target the right audience for their products, and to Facebook, who wants the advertiser to succeed so they can keep advertising on its platform.
So How Will Apple’s New Privacy Settings Affect Facebook Advertising?
If iPhone or iPad user prevents social media companies from tracking their data, that tracking data will have a serious impact. According to Facebook, the following changes will occur:
- 28-Day Attribution Window Eliminated: Currently, advertisers are able to see what actions a user took for 28 days before converting on the ad. It gives advertisers a deeper look into the customer journey, to understand how their ads may have played a part in that conversion. However, that attribution window is being removed. Instead, a 7-day attribution has become the default model.
- Offsite Conversion Events: Instead of learning whether an impression on an ad resulted in an offsite conversion, only conversions will be reported on when the event occurred.
- Targeting Reports: Although advertisers will still be able to target based on demographic and geographic segments, they will no longer see a breakdown of these factors.
- Conversion Limits: Facebook is limiting advertisers to only 8 conversion events that will be ranked based on priority. So for example, if you have an Add to Cart and Purchase as two of your events and a user does both actions, only the Purchase event will be recorded since it is the “higher prioritization” metric.
In other words, you won’t get a full picture of how well your Facebook ads are performing.
How to Soften the Blow
It’s important to be proactive and protect your ad campaigns from falling off the face of the earth. Facebook recommends the following actions to stay ahead of the curve:
- Verify your domain: According to Facebook, you will need to verify your domain as soon as possible to keep your pixel data running smoothly.
- Download your data: With the attribution window shrinking, you should download your historic data. Not only the 28-day and 7-day attribution windows but also the 28-day clickthrough. Compare the data to get an understanding of your conversions will be impacted.
- Prioritize your events: If you have multiple events, now is the time to prioritize them by the level of importance.
- What about Google Ads?: So far, Google has remained quiet on iOS 14. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave it all to chance. Make sure you continue to utilize UTM tags and research your Google Analytics to fill in any gaps.
Zen Agency Can Help
If you see a drop in your ad campaigns and need assistance with your Facebook advertising, Zen Agency’s social media experts are here to help. Contact us today for more information.
Want more digital strategy advice and insights?
Sign up for our newsletter.
See more digital strategy posts
ADA Compliance Services
Your website is the tool through which you connect with all of your customers. Accessibility is key for ensuring that customers have equal ability to access your website, regardless of their personal capabilities. ADA compliance doesn’t just help ensure that your website meets the right standards for legal compliance. It also helps you connect with…
Why You Should Consider Headless E-Commerce
Using a content management system, such as WooCommerce, for your website provides an all-in-one solution for business owners with little or no custom coding. Many website developers are familiar with the approach, but it’s restrictive, providing limited options for creating a user interface. Having multiple front ends for different purposes is difficult. But fortunately, there…
What Is a Buyer Persona, and Why Is It Important to Your Marketing Strategy?
You are confident that your marketing plan is solid or at least heading in the right direction. But you’ve also heard an awful lot about incorporating buyer personas into the strategy. For those who may be asking “What is a buyer persona?” or wondering how to leverage them for your marketing efforts, keep reading. We’ll…
Why You Need to Pay Attention to Your Website’s Core Web Vitals
For years now, Google has been stressing the importance of the user experience to web developers, PPC specialists, and SEO experts. Each year, the search engine giant has been adding several UX components to its ranking algorithm, such as mobile-friendliness, safe browsing and HTTPS security, and the intrusive interstitial penalty (i.e. intrusive popups that can…
How Bad Web Design Can Affect Your Digital Marketing Campaigns
When you create a marketing strategy, you want to make sure that your marketing dollars are going to good use. While you put a lot of thought into developing a strategy that works to grow your business while staying within budget, there are some things that could be detracting from your marketing efforts without you…
6 Branding Misconceptions That. Just. Won’t. Die
You’ve likely heard the term “branding” used in a few different ways, so maybe you have a picture of what branding looks like in your head. Is it that bright red Target logo? Or maybe it’s that catchy jingle you can’t get out of your head. Or maybe you don’t have a clear picture of…
5 Mobile Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2021 (#3 Should Make You Sit Up)
It may already be a cliché, but someone has to say it: customers expect to engage your business on their mobile devices. We live at a time when smartphones are practically an extension of the individual. With the popularity of smartphones, mobile-initiated commerce has taken off. According to statistics published on OBERLO, mobile commerce sales…
The Right and Wrong Way of Writing a Local Landing Page
If you’re a small business, you are well aware of the importance of ranking high for keywords for your products or services. For example, if you are a dentist, you know your practice’s geographical area is limited. You are well aware of who your audience is and who your competition is in getting that audience.…