So – by now you’ve probably heard the news about changes that will be coming in 2021 on Facebook regarding customer data and tracking on Apple/iOS operating systems.
Hopefully I’ll be able to ease your nerves – especially if your Facebook Ads Manager has been showing you warning notices about reductions in conversions as a result!
What’s the situation?
In short, Apple has announced that there will be a mandatory rollout of iOS14 for all Apple mobile phones in March 2021.
This update will include an opt-in prompt for users on each app to allow them to choose whether to allow third-party sites (like Facebook and other social media sites) to track their user data.
User data can include things like conversions, website visitors/tracking (which affects interest targeting), and a few other things.
Along with this tracking change, other changes that are coming include:
Attribution windows will change, which means your ROAS (return on ad spend) reported by your ads manager may decrease overall,
Only 8 optimisation events will be allowed to be tracked (such as purchase, initiate checkout, add to cart, lead, and so on.)
We are still working to fully understand what changes we need to make to ensure campaigns continue to be as successful as possible.
However, there are a few things that you can do right now to make sure you’re as prepared as possible for the change.
Implement these 3 steps:
If you have not done so already, we advise:
- Verifying your domain within Facebook,
- Implementing CAPI (Conversion API), and
- Enable AAM (Auto-Advanced Matching).
- Here’s how to implement these steps:
How to verify your domain in FB Business Manager
You can do this one of three ways:
- Add a DNS TXT entry to your DNS record to confirm that you own the domain
- Upload an HTML file provided by Facebook to your web directory and confirm domain ownership in Business Manager.
- Add a meta tag to the section of your domain home page
* Note: Domain Verification must be done at the effective top level domain plus one (eTLD+1). For example, for http://www.coffee.jasper.com.au, coffee.jasper.com.au and jasper.com.au, the domain to be verified is jasper.com.au
For Shopify websites where your domain name was registered through Shopify, we recommend following these steps.
If you registered your domain via another Domain Name register, follow these steps instead.
How to make sure your account has CAPI turned on
There are three ways to set up Conversion API:
If you have Shopify, you can set CAPI up now.
If you are on WordPress with WooCommerce, you can use their plugin to set it up similarly to Shopify.
If you have a custom site, you can use something like Zapier to pass data, but there is a cost to it.
Make sure Auto-Advanced Matching is turned on in Facebook Ads Manager.
(Learn how to do that here.)
Focus on creating engaging content
With all these restrictions to tracking consumers’ movements across platforms and websites, there’s still a huge opportunity to use Facebook and Instagram to attract and engage with your audience.
This means – focus on creating engaging content that is enticing to your target audience. ESPECIALLY video content – live videos and video ads.
Use your content to building desire for your products and “priming the pump” for a sale. IE fulfil the purpose of a ‘normal’ sales funnel, instead of using ads to send traffic off Facebook and Instagram onto your website.
Use different marketing channels
Advertising on a single platform is, and always has been, risky. Rather than putting all your eggs in one basket, make sure you also invest time and money into other marketing channels.
We use and recommend search engine optimisation as well as email marketing.
Frankly – building your own database of subscribers (a database you own!) has never been more important!
Will Facebook ads still work?
I expect they will, for some time yet. I don’t think the platform will be going anywhere anytime soon.
And certainly, with the sort of results we’re achieving on the platform right now, it’s still definitely a worthwhile strategy to use.
The strategies we use to achieve those great results is obviously going to change, though, and I’ll keep you posted about things as they unfold!
Final words (for now…)
This is nothing to overreact about now, but just know that we are researching and understanding more about these changes each day, and will keep you informed as we test different things and more information becomes available.
Until then, stay strong, install CAPI, diversify your marketing channels, and prepare yourself that more changes are coming around attribution and tracking especially.