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Apple’s IOS 14.5 Update: How it Affects Marketing

Apple iOS 14.5 Update

Apple is responding to the increasing demands for user privacy. The May 2021 iOS 14.5 update promises to be a game changer. 

But how?

The iOS 14.5 update privacy initiative requires developers to provide explicit permission for apps to collect and share data. Each app must provide a Tracking Transparency Prompt where a user can opt out of sharing their unique Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) that delivers personal ads. 

Understanding the iOS 14.5 Update

Prior to the update, 70% of iPhone users were sharing their IDFA with apps. They had the ability to opt-out, but would have to open the privacy settings to opt out of data tracking. 

Now, it is much easier to opt out–a pop up appears when opening an app. This clear, easy opt-out opportunity can potentially mean only 5 to 10 percent of iOS users choose to share their personal data.

For example, when Apple users open their Facebook app, a prompt will pop up that says:

“Allow Facebook to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites.”

Users have two choices:

  • Ask app not to Track
  • Allow

The knee-jerk reaction for many iOS users would lean towards protecting their privacy. After all, it’s an opportunity to browse the web freely without feeling like everything they do on the web is being monitored. And their personal browsing information seems like a buffet for online advertisers.  

What the iOS Update Means for Marketers

The iOS 14.5 update will affect those using Google Ads. Facebook and Instagram advertisers will likely see the biggest impact.

For example, if you use Facebook ads, iOS users will still see them, but your targeting and tracking capabilities may be limited. 

As we all know, successful online marketing campaigns rely on data and analytics to modify strategy and optimizations. 

Here are some changes we are noticing:

  • As more users opt out of data tracking, retargeting audiences and prospecting targeting will be reduced. This could affect Facebook’s overall algorithm.
  • Facebook’s pixel may only optimize for up to 8 conversion events per domain. This is a big hit, since, prior to the update, it was an unlimited amount. 
  • Real-time reporting may be a thing of the past–reports can be delayed up to three days.
  • Demographic insights may not be supported making it harder to identify your audience.
  • Marketers can no longer see a 28-day attribution of user engagement. This makes it harder to pinpoint the customer journey. 

How You Can Weather the iOS Update 

Afflatus Media is keeping a close eye on all the iOS updates as well as other privacy and algorithm updates. Our goal is to help small to medium business owners thrive as the web continues to evolve.

Here are 3 things you should do right now if you’re using Facebook to advertise:

  • Verify your domain: As a business owner, only YOU have the power to verify your domain using Facebook’s domain verification tool. Once verified, you have the authority to configure and prioritize your desired 8 conversion events for your domain.
  • Enable automatic advanced matching: Turning on this feature helps you measure the effectiveness of your ad campaigns and improves the importance of your ads and campaigns. It will help capture more attributed conversions and data from those interacting with your business.
  • Update Facebook’s SDK for iOS 14 version 18.1: If you are an app administrator, make sure you do this update. Doing so will continue to deliver personal ads to iOS users.
  • Consolidate campaigns:There will be limited signals thanks to the users that opt out of app tracking. This means you should strategically and cautiously launch ads and ad sets. The lack of signals from “opt out” users makes it very important to aggregate the information you have to draw better optimization decisions to adjust Facebook ad campaigns. 
  • Adjust the frequency and times of day that you optimize your Facebook ads: The iOS updates are now causing delays in reporting and limiting your data. As you can guess, this is disrupting the way you optimize ad campaigns. For example, certain data breakdowns–like dynamic creative–aren’t available because of the iOS update. This means you need to optimize based on older data. The objectives of your campaigns and the attribution window you use may help. One-day click attribution won’t use statistical modeling to account for some iOS conversions. On the other hand, 7-day click attribution doesn’t have this issue.  

And Then…Examine the Bigger Picture

Now that you’re noticing fewer reported actions on all advertising platforms, it’s time to consider other data sources. Here’s how:

  • Pay close attention: Track your overall website revenue and lead volume versus the money spent on all advertising platforms. This allows you to understand the impact and trends each platform has on your business.
  • Focus on first party data: Consumers don’t want their data shared. Privacy laws and consumer regulations are making it harder to share this data. But…when you collect information from YOUR customers, you own it. You could use it to launch other successful campaigns. The iOS update is just another reminder why collecting first party data is so important for digital marketing strategies. 

Confused? Wondering What to Do Next? No Problem!

Successful online marketing depends on a variety of factors. If you’re marketing strategies involve putting all your eggs in one basket (i.e. Facebook or Google Ads), updates–like the iOS 14.5–can cause major disruptions.

Don’t feel on edge every time you hear about a new update. 

Afflatus Media helps you market your business to bring organic (FREE!) traffic using proven SEO methods that evolve with the times. 

Strategy saves sanity. Planning is half the battle.

Want to see how you can reach your prospects among all the updates and changes?

We Got You Covered