Things just got more challenging for digital marketers. If you plan to expand your brand and increase engagement with paid digital advertising on the Facebook platform, here’s something you should know: Recent updates on Apple iOS 14 allow users the option to opt out of activity tracking on their iOS device. 

This means the estimated one billion iOS consumers currently using Apple devices can say “no” to accepting Facebook social ads that track a user’s activity. Experts predict that when every iOS user is asked if they will allow tracking, over 90 percent of them will say no. 

In truth, incidences where users continue to receive ads from sites from which they’ve unsubscribed, for example, or receiving ads for things they recently Googled, create growing concerns about ways personal data is used in the digital space. 

One poll found that four out of five people believe more laws should protect personal data. And 83 percent like the idea of having more control over how businesses use their data. 

The new app tracking transparency feature empowers users with the choice to back away from data profile vulnerabilities. This also means limited Facebook Ads functionality to connect with iOS users, who may be interested in your product but won’t see it. 

So, where does that leave businesses relying on the digital space to promote their products and services? First, it forces marketers to lower their expectations regarding open rates, conversions, etc. Although the days of launching ads to general mass audiences are over, thoughtful, ultra-targeted strategies can still produce results. Here’s how:

mobile users and facebook

Focus on Reengagement

First, some good news: A recent data report found that around 80.7 percent of mobile Facebook users access Facebook via apps on Android devices. This is compared to 14.7 percent of iOS users. So there is still a sizable audience to nurture with ads. 

Rather than spend time solely on acquisition, leverage data to target users who have engaged with your site or through social media. For example, have they clicked on previous ads or downloaded assets? These are users that you can still navigate successfully through the sales funnel for future conversions.

Pivot Campaign Goals

“Relying on custom conversion tracking and custom events is going to be one of the most impactful ways to track what is successful and what isn’t,” says Megan Ross, analytics specialist and marketing strategist at Stage Marketing. 

Rather than rely on social media platforms for analytics, use tools that leverage your website domain traffic, such as UTMs. Also, be sure to remove iOS users from your audience since they can interfere with reliable data. For example, an email campaign directed at iOS users who opted out of tracking will show (and charge) an opened email. In reality, the intended user never received the email.

Fine-Tune Your Target Audience

Targeting users who show potential interest in your brand has always made good sense for marketing campaigns. Ensuring your ad dollars generate business leads efficiently and affordably is more important than ever. 

One approach is to change your advertising perspective. “First, my perspective is that rather than ensuring that the advert gets seen by the right people, digital advertisers are really ensuring that the advert isn’t seen by the wrong people,” says Anil Malhotra, CMO and Founder of Bango.

“Secondly, search analytics don’t typically allow for the fact that what people search for and what they spend money on are often two very different things. Lots of people will Google far-flung holiday destinations, but not everyone means to book the trip.”

Although audience size is an indicator for ad reach, focusing on the correct type of audience (albeit a smaller audience size) based on interest, job title, experience, location, education, history, etc., will create a more impactful ad campaign. 

No doubt about it: This new iOS update is a jolt to digital marketers. But it also signifies the value of reaching out to high-valued, well-matched buyers versus large quantities of those who won’t engage with your brand. If you need to re-strategize your digital campaigns, we can help create campaigns that align with your SEO, business goals, and budget. Reach out today!