How Apple’s iOS 14 Could Limit Your Marketing Efforts
By: Leamon Crooms
Each year, the Apple computer company shares the most important updates and changes to products and policies at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC). Last year, the company announced that it would be making changes that will affect the sharing of data in the iOS ecosystem and admitted that these changes are likely to hinder small businesses’ advertising efforts and business growth.
The Effect on Personalized Ads
The changes the company proposed are expected to limit your ability to reach your audience and expand it. They could hinder your ability to reach users on different types of devices, and they may affect your ability to control who can and cannot see your ads. Finally, the changes might limit your ability to get accurate metrics on the performance of your ads. As these changes begin to take effect over the coming months, small and medium-sized businesses are likely to see performance losses in their ads and personalization with higher prices for changes and improvements.
Summary of Limitations
The changes to the iOS platform will limit your ability to perform the following actions:
- Measure and report conversions on specific customers
- Monitor the app installations of people using iOS 14 and newer
- Deliver ads to users based on engagement with your business
- Ensure that your ads reach the right audience at the correct times
- Predict the cost per action over time for budgeting purposes
These changes will make it more challenging to reach your target audience and receive accurate metrics about the success of your advertising efforts. What’s more, they will make it difficult or impossible to budget an ad campaign using Apple products. Most small businesses have come to rely on this process, and removing that option will have a severe impact.
A Growing Trend of Limitation?
Recent online marketing studies have shown that small businesses advertising on Facebook apps suffered a 60% cut to sales coming through the social media site. These same small businesses found that they could not use their own data to find new customers on the platform.
At present, Facebook is posturing as the good guy in this story, offering users tips on minimizing the effects of these changes on Apple iOS. But the fact remains that small advertisers have been seeing a drop in Facebook ads’ effectiveness for a long time. You can do a few recommended things that might stabilize your Facebook advertising in the short term. Still, to survive the ongoing effects on small businesses, advertisers will need to outgrow their dependence on these platforms.
Things You Can do Now
1. Verify your domains with Facebook
An effective way of marking your spot on Facebook is to verify your domain and establish yourself as an official business presence. It might stop the changes from being directly applied to you in the short term. You can do this by adding a TXT entry to your DNS record and confirm that you are the owner of a specific domain. You can also do this by adding a meta tag to the head section of your domain page.
2. Prioritize the eight conversion event types you will track
These are ways in which a would-be buyer becomes an actual buyer. Tracking each one can place an additional burden on the hardware infrastructure, and the owners of that hardware want to minimize that burden. To do this, go to Facebook’s official overview of events. Use this guide to choose the events you will track.
3. Retool for the new 7-Day Attribution
In January, Facebook changed its 28-day attribution for ads to a 7-day attribution. Facebook didn’t do a very good job telling users about it, and the site’s page on it appears to have been deleted. This means that if anyone clicks on an ad and makes a purchase within seven days, as a result, the owner of the ad will get credit or commissions.
In other words, if you make money by posting ads for other companies, your window of opportunity to make money has gone from 28 days to just seven. This means that you might need to scale up your efforts. The worst part is that Facebook neglected to tell Ads clients about the change effectively. If you think your business model can survive it, then it’s time to start making the necessary alterations. If not, it might be time to jump ship altogether.
Understanding These Changes
There’s no getting around the fact that competition has something to do with it. Major corporations lobby Washington to promote a legislation climate that benefits them. They also use their power, money, and influence to promote a software environment that’s good for them- and usually bad for you. In addition to this, as stated, the hardware infrastructures that these companies like Facebook and Apple must run and maintain are burdened by every byte of power and choice they give you. That means they will always feel pressure to curtail that power.
But there are other things you can do about it, in addition to politely asking Facebook not to bulldoze your digital home.
Additional Action You Can Take to Protect Your Online Business
The way of the future for small businesses online is to seek to be as independent as possible. To survive, merchants will need to build their own platforms, develop a direct relationship with their customer bases and fans, and use aggressive security protocols to keep the tech giants from blocking out their digital sunlight. Here are a few key ways you can do this:
1. Build strategic alliances with innovative data products
Products like data clean rooms can give you access to event-specific data that you can use to optimize your advertising strategy. Of course, you should also be using a VPN, which can be very affordable.
2. Seek out alternatives to cookie tracking
You’ve probably noticed that cookies are being pushed on users all over the internet. The scripts for these things are written by organizations that may not have your best interest in mind. But you can use email log-ins to track users and phone numbers instead.
Increasingly, as marketers become savvy to these kinds of artificial bottle-neck creations, they will require users to log in to their sites more and more. It’s inconvenient, sure. But it’s one way we can protect our ability to do business online.
3. Develop value exchange strategies
The large corporations that are vacuuming up everyone’s data don’t want to pay for it. You can offer your customers discounts and rewards in exchange for their user data while on your site. This is a much more democratic approach, and it shows your respect for your customer base.
To learn more about how to protect your business amid these sea changes, consult with us at Strategic Growth Advisors today. We can help you get the most out of Facebook Ads and Facebook Marketing today and help you survive the challenges of doing business online over the long term.