Don't panic but your Facebook ads 2021 strategy needs to change ASAP! With the new Apple iOS 14.3 update coming in "early 2021" it will drastically limit how online advertisers can deliver targeted ads.
In this video we are going over exactly what the new iOS 14 update includes, why it has now become Apple vs Facebook for privacy and Facebook advertising tips and strategies for your eCommerce store when running Facebook ads.
Apple is changing how information is tracked by companies like Facebook for paid ads with their upcoming iOS 14 update.
It gives individuals more control over their personal information… which personally I like but honestly as an online advertiser and small business owner… it really sucks.
So let’s talk about how your paid ads are going to be impacted negatively because they will be and ways to still give your business an advantage.
Ok we have got so much to cover in this video so let’s just jump right in.
In this video I’m going to cover what is included in the upcoming Apple iOS update, what this means for your online ads, a few changes you need to implement on your Facebook ads account ASAP plus a few other ways to try and improve your paid ads once this update takes effect.
First let’s talk about the new Apple iOS update version 14. It hasn’t released yet and we don’t have a specific date for it yet but it is expected to come out in January or February 2021.
With this update, Apple is focusing heavily on privacy concerns and once an Apple user upgrades to this version any time they open an app they will be prompted with options to give permission or not for the app to track their behavior.
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, actually shared a screenshot of it in action stating “Facebook can continue to track users across apps and websites as before, App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 will just require that they ask your permission first.”
The user then will be prompted with the options in this pop-up to “Ask App not to Track” or “Allow”. I think a lot of people will choose to not let the app track but we won’t really know till it is out how many users will choose this option.
Just an FYI though that this will affect ALL advertisers. So that means you will see this pop-up with the apps for Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snap Chat, Tik Tok, YouTube, and Google as well.
Facebook has been the most outspoken against it because they are such a huge online advertising platform because they also own Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus and are collecting a lot of data about their users.
Facebook was even so upset about these changes and being called out by Apple that they even ran a full-page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post trying to get more small businesses on their side and to stop the new changes.
So what does this mean for you personally and your store if you are running paid ads?
Honestly this is where it sucks for small businesses because we are going to lose information on tracking people to make our ads more effective and the price of paid ads will increase.
The biggest problem will be with reporting for how your ads on Facebook and Instagram are actually performing. You are still going to get Leads and Sales from iOS devices, you just won’t see them all in the Ads Manager reports unless the user clicked to allow tracking.
This means that your ads may be showing that they are doing poorly however they are actually doing well you just aren’t getting the conversion data from this correctly. We will come back to a workaround solution to this later in the video so just stay with me.
Also affected will be your ability to build out custom audiences for people that have taken specific action on your site like for retargeting ads or lookalike audiences.
Any audience you created based on their interests and demographics will be unaffected other than not being able to track them when they get to your site.
Retargeting audiences for example can be set up for people who went on your site in the last 7 days and didn’t purchase however now unless they choose “allow tracking” with the new iOS update you won’t be able to build out this audience with them.
That also means any custom lookalike audiences you create off a retargeting audience will also be ineffective.
Hopefully this makes sense and again just to clarify you will still be able to get leads and sales from paid ads you just won’t have all the specific information about their performance like before.
So less data specific targeting plus an increase in ad cost = harder for small businesses to advertise online. But don’t lose hope because there are a few things you can do.
First let’s talk about the specific changes Facebook recommends you make to your ad account to help with performance.
Step #1 is to get your domain verified in your Facebook ads account. I’m not sure why Facebook considers this important now but it’s something they are suggesting and it’s a good idea anyway.
To do this log into your Facebook ads account and go to Business Settings and then under Brand Safety click on Domains. Here you can add in your root domain name so don’t worry about any subdomains and then it will give you code to place on your site.
You have a few different options but I find the fastest and easiest for Shopify stores is the option “Meta-tag Verification”. Just select the bold code listed here and copy it then head over to your Shopify store backend and go to “Online Store” then click “Actions- Edit Code” for your active theme.
Be careful when you are in this section now because it is your theme’s code but click on theme.liquid in the left-hand column to open this file. Then scroll down the page till you find the ending tag and place the code above it then click save.
Once you have done this you can head back to Facebook ads manager to verify it is done and then connect the domain to a page in the “connected assets” area if you have multiple pages under one ads account.
Step #2 is to choose which Facebook Conversion Events you will use if you have more than 8 because with the iOS update they are limiting it to 8 events now. This includes Add to Cart, Purchase, Lead, Complete Registration and any custom conversions you have set up.
To see what conversion events you currently have with your pixel go to “Events Manager” and you will see all the current events being tracked by your Facebook pixel here. If you have more than 8 you will need to remove some since the limit Facebook is setting now is 8. If you have 8 or under you are totally fine and don’t need to do anything else.
Step #3 is to start understanding what leads and purchases you are already getting from ads that are coming specifically from iOS devices. You can see this by going to your ads overview, selecting a campaign and the ads in the campaign and then clicking on “Breakdown- By Delivery - Impression Device”.
By doing this you can start to see how your reporting might be impacted based on how many users are showing up for conversions with iOS devices.
Ok so I know I’ve already dropped a lot of info on you in this video so make sure to pause and go back to anything if you want to see me go step-by-step through the Facebook ad account changes with me.
Also don’t forget to hit the like button on this video and subscribe if you are getting value out of this. It really helps my channel out plus it helps the video get showcased to more small business owners just like you that really could use the help with the new Apple changes.
Thanks so much for your support it really means so much to me!
Now let’s talk about other changes you can make to your ads to help improve their performance.
So my biggest tip here is to focus your marketing efforts on getting email addresses so that you can rely less on Pixel optimization for retargeting.
This means promoting people to sign up to your email newsletter in multiple places on your site including a pop-up. I actually already have a video on growing your email newsletter list fast with pop-ups that you can see here: https://youtu.be/Ohslw8I2mEE.
You can also create a lead magnet like a downloadable guide that you run lead generation ads for so you can try and get more email newsletter signups.
Email subscribers are important because then you can create a custom audience based off your email subscribers and also create a lookalike audience based off them. So it is important to add QUALITY email subscribers to your list.
You still won’t see the most accurate reporting inside Facebook for your paid ads to these people however you can at least better ensure you are marketing to the right people so you are less likely to waste money on your ads.
Bonus Tip: You can still target people that complete actions on Facebook or Instagram so create audiences based on people who recently engaged with your page or watched 50% of your Facebook video.
Ok now let’s talk about a solution for getting better reporting with the Apple iOS update.
This one is a bit tougher because the pixel data is going to be hurt by reduced tracking abilities but overall you need to make sure you are measuring your ad performance against your overall sales.
So go inside your Shopify store and look at your overall revenue numbers and compare that to your ad spend with paid ads. It definitely won’t be an exact science but this will help you understand if your ads are performing well and bringing in sales or if they need to be tweaked.
Also if you were running an ad for a specific discount like 15% off your order you can create different discount codes inside Shopify so you can better track which discount code is bringing in the most sales and in turn which ad copy or image is performing best.
Lastly you can use a separate tool like Zapier to send the conversions on your site via API to Facebook which will help track additional conversions from your ads for people who may have turned tracking off. This way you can still get the conversion event tracked.
To do this go to Zapier.com and you will have to sign up for an account with at least their Starter plan of $19 a month or higher because Shopify is listed as a premium app.
Once you do this you will create a “zap” as they call it for Facebook Offline Conversions and you will just follow the steps on their site to connect your Shopify store and your Facebook account.
This isn’t a complete fix because you can also get some duplicate conversions showing up however it will make sure that every new paid order in your Shopify store is sent to Facebook which will give you a bit more info on which ads are working.
Phew I know that was a lot to cover in one video but I hope you found it helpful and better understand the changes that are coming for paid ads and how to start getting your store ready now.
Again we don’t know when the new Apple iOS update will drop just “early 2021” so it is best to go ahead and get your store ready now.
Stay tuned for more marketing tips for your eCommerce store and I’ve got a brand new series with some eCommerce behind-the-scenes action coming soon so if you haven’t yet make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss out.