After iOS 14, Has Facebook Fallen From Grace?  

After iOS 14, Has Facebook Fallen From Grace?  

Last year, one of the most notorious announcements to marketers everywhere was Apple’s iOS 14 update on user privacy. 

To make a very long story short, starting with iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5, apps are required to ask for permission to track users across apps and websites owned by other companies. Users can change the preference for any app or prevent apps from asking for permission entirely in Settings – but most users won’t know (or have the desire) to do this. 

Impact On Digital Marketing

This announcement has had far-reaching effects for those in the digital marketing sphere; many have witnessed severe conversion data loss from iOS devices.

However, platforms have come up with alternative tracking methods to combat this. Facebook has released aggregated event measurement. This, along with Apple’s SKAdNetwork, allows for measurement of website and application events from people using devices running iOS 14.5 or later.

If you haven’t taken the actions to update your Meta pixel or conversion API yet, we highly encourage you to do so following the steps here

The End Of ROAS?

However, even with this aggregated event measurement, many marketers still see declining  performance from Facebook campaigns and wonder if this is the end of ROAS positive social ads.

The answer from us is a resounding no. Audiences are still very active on social media platforms. With the pandemic sweeping over the world during the past 2 years, even more time on our wifi-connected devices

So, it comes down to how we interpret the performance of paid social ads and how we strategize social campaigns. Here are our recommendations:

Switch to broader targeting for a larger audience pool

Although many detailed targeting options have been slowly removed from Facebook, the algorithm has grown to be smarter over time. 

For example, language targeting has evolved; marketers only need to enter a language to show the ads to people who use a language not common to the targeted location. Otherwise, the field is better left blank. 

Similarly, broad targeting,combined with a well-tailored bidding strategy and tracking pixel, helps the platform  find potential customers you never would’ve known about otherwise.  

Image credit : Facebook Meta

Use first party data to create lookalike audiences 

One of the best ways to identify potential customers is to analyze existing customers. 

With a well-organized CRM database, businesses can create a customer list in Custom Audience and build a lookalike audience.A lookalike audience is a way your ads can reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business – because they share similar characteristics to your existing customers.

From Facebook: “When creating the lookalike audience, marketers can use a percent range to choose how closely the new audience matches the source audience. The size marketers choose depends on the campaign objectives (reach, awareness, consideration, conversion, engagement etc.). Smaller percentages more closely match the source audience, but larger percentages create a bigger, broader audience.

Facebook generally recommends a source audience that has between 1,000-5,000 people. However, the quality of your audience also matters. For example, better results depending on your goals may be obtained if an audience made from the most valuable customers is used rather than one that includes all customers.” 

Lookalike audiences are  an oft-overlooked yet powerful aspect in social audience targeting. It offers the flexibility to scale as marketers go with higher percentages of audience size. Meanwhile, the quality of the lookalike audience should be constantly improving as conversion data populates the account. 

Image credit : Meta

Adjust perspective on reporting

With more aggregated conversion tracking and less transparency on audience targeting, marketers should adopt a new perspective on reporting.

“What is the ultimate goal of the social campaign” is a key question to define with clients in early stage  strategy sessions. Whether it’s revenue, sales or ROAS, it has to be a global goal that is measurable with back-end business data. 

The BDG Measurement Method Adjust perspective on reporting

At BDG, t we have adopted a measurement method for platforms with tracking limitations by building correlations between platform data and business global performance. 

Simply put, we are looking for a positive correlation between media investment and global revenue over a period of time (preferably between 30 to 90 days). If such correlation has been identified, we know the campaigns have been successful with quantifiable results.  

The Success Formula? Adjust Your Mindset And Get Clear On Your Goals 

Applying these tactics will not, of course, grant full transparency on Meta performance, but applying them requires marketers and business owners to switch to a different mindset when it comes to social media marketing. 

The big question to answer should be “has the overall business objective (be it revenue, ROAS or sales volume) been met?” If the answer is yes, reverse engineer the attribution model back to all your active marketing channels and you’ll find your winning recipe to scale up the business.  

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