Combat & Overcome the New IOS Facebook Update

By Millie Taylor
Combat & Overcome the New IOS Facebook Update

Ever since the rollout of the IOS14.5 update on 26th April 2021, agencies and businesses have been hit with opt-in data tracking, having a massive impact on how we not only target prospective customers on IOS devices but also retarget those who we may have targeted in the past. 

Although Facebook has posted plenty of long explanations on the limitations the update will cause and how you can prepare your business, we know that it can be confusing to apply it to your industry and even more so your own business. That’s why below we are going to give you some first-hand tips on how your agency can combat the update.

Where to Start…

For those who aren’t too sure about the new iOS14.5 update, it is a new update from Apple that includes a feature where users will now be required to ‘opt in’ to tracking and if this is not done it will result in certain data collection and sharing being unavailable. This will then put restrictions on factors for Facebook Ads such as pixel tracking and targeting options, resulting in your ads and the delivery becoming less personalised.

With over 98.3% of Facebook users using Mobile to access the app, and over 94% of marketers using Facebook for B2C marketing, there is a large audience that will be affected by the update. 

One key factor we suggest for combating the new iOS update is to verify your domain in Business Manager. You can do this through three different ways, either: 

  • Adding a meta tag to your domains home page
  • Adding a DNS TXT entry to your DNS record to confirm ownership or 
  • Upload an HTML file to your website directory and confirm ownership of your domain in your business manager. 

When the new iOS update was announced, Facebook introduced ‘Aggregated Event Measurement’ to help support the measurement of web events when opt-in tracking was enabled. To ensure you can set events up in this, you need to first verify your domain. This will allow you to take advantage of Website Conversion campaigns, allowing you to set up the relevant events you would like to track from your domain as well as allowing for the reporting of ads to be a lot more in-depth and accurate. 

Optimise your Ad Sets

Another limitation we have seen as a result of the latest update is that audience sizes, in general, are shrinking due to users not opting in to be tracked. Although targeting a smaller audience, if they are of higher interest, is not necessarily a bad thing, when you are setting out to target a larger audience it can potentially put limitations on your ads sets and the results generated.  

To combat this we have had to think outside the box when it comes to targeting audiences… 

When buying a property people tend to not make a spare of the moment decision or buy the property at first glance. Now as your most successful audiences may not be performing as they used to be, one strategy that has proven to be effective is to create custom audiences based on the intent/objective you have in mind. One key example of this is targeting the engagement on your Facebook page as well as those who currently ‘Like’ your page. 

This is a great way of targeting those who are likely to have a higher quality interest in your properties and services, making the results generated of higher intent. Facebook will also remove those who do not like your page anymore, keeping your audience up to date and relevant. 

Unintentional Audience Building

If you are also used to running lead generation campaigns, there is no better time to take full advantage of the audiences you have unintentionally created!

One custom audience option is to utilise those who have opened but did not submit specific lead forms. For example, if you have been directing a lead generation campaign to a large audience, you are likely to have a group of users who opened your lead form and did not submit, meaning the intention is there but they may need a bit more nurturing…

Another way we can do this is by creating an audience based on users who have previously watched/viewed any of your Facebook Pages video content. Called ThruPlay Retargeting, this allows you to direct a campaign specifically towards those who have shown direct interest in the content you produce. By retargeting to those who have previously viewed one of your videos you can then further encourage them down the sales funnel with a CTA guiding them on what to do next.  

Adding Minimum Budgets

Another tactic that we’ve seen work well is using minimum budgets for your top priority ad sets. For example, if you’re used to letting Facebook Optimise your budget for your campaigns, now is the time to set a minimum amount on the ad sets that may not be performing/spending as they should be, to ensure they have the best chance of success. We have seen this work well for retargeting campaigns, especially due to shrinking audience sizes and the campaigns we are prioritising not spending as they should be. 

Tweak your strategy

Being able to adapt to the ever-evolving updates of both Facebook and external sources is key to the success of your marketing campaigns as well as not solely relying on one platform. As targeting options on Facebook are now becoming more and more limited, it is important to keep in mind the ad sets and audiences you want to prioritise, and if your objectives are still achievable through the same strategies you have in place. 

With endless ways to optimise your campaigns and audiences, one way you can tweak your strategy is to identify those audiences that are working the best and increase the spending on those campaigns. This will allow you to make the most out of your budget whilst also optimising the results.

For example, if the limitations on targeting are having a detrimental impact on your retargeting campaigns it may be beneficial for your budget to invest this into prospecting, or into another channel that will bring you a worthwhile ROI.

Explore Other Remarketing Opportunities

This isn’t the end of your remarketing efforts! Although the update may have thrown your marketing strategy up in the air, there are plenty of strategies and platforms you can utilise to still re-engage your ‘lost’ customers

Google Display Ads

Google Display Ads are a great way of re-engaging old customers through banner adverts that can be created to meet whatever design strategy you desire. Seen by over 90% of internet users they are a great way to display specific listings in certain areas that your audience may have come across before. Even if a user sees your campaign the first time around and does not enquire, they will be encouraged to return and this will ultimately lead to more conversions as users are becoming more and more familiar with your products/services. 

Database Facebook Retargeting 

Like we have mentioned, thinking outside of the box is vital, so even though certain retargeting methods may not be as powerful anymore, one audience not affected by the iOS update is your email database. Not only is your email database handy when it comes to creating email campaigns (we will go into more detail on this later) but it is a powerful way to direct a high intent audience to your retargeting campaigns. 

Creating a campaign specifically targeted towards those in your email database is a great way of marketing your properties and services towards those who you know have a high interest in you as a business. Usually providing a high ROI, due to the intent of the audience, utilising your database is a great way to get around the retargeting restrictions of the update.  

Email Marketing Campaigns

Affecting over 60% of users’ decisions when it comes to purchasing, Email Marketing is a great way to reintroduce those specific properties or areas back to your audience with the intention that they will take action, whether that is enquiring or revisiting your site.  Not only is email marketing a great way of remarketing products directly to your audience but it also allows you to have full creative control, meaning you can make your campaign as direct and as demanding as possible!

Use Facebook More for Prospecting 

So now you are limited to certain retargeting options and you think you are stuck in a bit of a rut… Well, this isn’t the end of Facebook Marketing, with so many opportunities for optimisation and reporting, it may be more beneficial for your budget and results to switch to using Facebook for more Prospecting purposes! 

With endless variations in audience types, maximising your ROI for prospecting will not only add value to your business but will also help to grow other audiences that you can then utilise for remarketing purposes on a variety of channels further down the line. 

To reflect… 

Working in the property industry it is important to keep up to date with the latest updates and trends, as reaching your prospective sellers and buyers and nurturing previous visitors is key. 

When it comes to combating the new iOS14.5 update, there is a lot of adapting and thinking outside of the box that needs to be done. Although we are continuing to learn about the changes and the opportunities that can be taken advantage of, the most important areas to take away from this are:

  • Verify your Domain! 
  • Optimise your AdSets!
  • Tweak/Adapt your Strategy!
  • Think outside of the box! When it comes to targeting prospective audiences, it’s good to step outside of what you already know and test and see how different audiences react to your campaigns… You could be potentially sitting on a goldmine of prospective buyers and sellers!
  • Explore other Remarketing Opportunities! Sticking to and relying on one marketing channel solely isn’t going to be beneficial or provide you with the ROI you desire! Invest some time into finding which channels work best for your business and your results will flourish!

If you have finished reading this and are now unsure of your next steps or would like to speak to someone in regards to how you can get the best out of your Facebook campaigns & Digital Marketing Strategy, contact us today and a member of our team will be happy to give you some advice!

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