A quick recap
The Apple iOS 14 update was first released in June 2020. This was the start of some big changes. In April 2021, the ATT component of the iOS 14 update went live. ATT stands for Apple Tracking Transparency forced all Apple device users to opt into all apps that track data, including Facebook.
Most of us only have a general idea of tracking and how it works so let me explain before we dive into trends. When you use an app such as Facebook, your activity can be tracked from Facebook to a website and back again. This is done using a Facebook pixel. Under the iOS 14 update, unless users specifically opted in, this tracking capability was disabled. The image below demonstrates how tracking works.
So, with the Apple update, as advertisers we must get a little creative as our custom audiences that we have used (and loved) no longer offer the same results. So how can we continue to use Facebook Ads in this post-iOS world and have them yield effective results? The answer is – we need to be more creative and instead of being wedded to custom audiences, we need to step back and consider more holistic strategies.
Build your own data
Custom audiences are so much more than your website pixel audiences. Now is the time that you want to start growing your own custom audiences. And, yes, you can totally do this with ads. We know that videos offer a highly engaging creative for ads so let’s start there. Create some videos that provide your audience with relevant, useful information. Think – tips and how to, latest trends, hacks, and time savers. What you need to do is create videos that your audience will find interesting and engaging. You then need to create an ad that uses your video as the creative. You can then create your own custom audience capturing people who have engaged or watched your video. This is a highly effective strategy, but it comes with a small caveat. You need some time to do this. Do not do this a week out from your launch. Give the video ad a month to gather some quality data.
If you think Reels are a new type of content, you may need to give yourself a little reailty check. They have been around for over 18 months now and if you haven’t been using them, sorry, you cannot ignore them forever. But we are not talking content today, we are talking Ads. Facebook Ads now offer Instagram Reels as a placement option. This is super exciting as it allows us to get creative, create a reel and use it as an opportunity to talk to our audience. As per my previous thoughts on building your own custom audience, consider creating a tip or info type Reel and running an ad to it. Because Reels are a new placement option, many advertisers are yet to jump on it. This means using Reels as a placement option can be less expensive due to lower demand. Plus, because Reels are where we simply sit and consume content, it is highly likely that someone will sit through your Reel ad without skipping as is often the case with our feed-based ads where people can scroll on so quickly.
Try out the Facebook Form
Within Facebook Ads, there is the option to use a form that is embedded within Facebook. To use this option, you need to select Lead Generation as your Campaign Objective. The great thing about the embedded form is that users can fill out the form natively without having to leave Facebook. Research has shown that users are more likely to fill out a form than complete one on your website. This is because it takes less effort – Facebook prefills the form from the user’s information. The data from this form is stored in Facebook so if you want to connect it to a lead magnet or contact form, you will need to do a sexy little integration – I love Zapier and know it works well for this task.
The world of digital marketing keeps changing and it is our role as advertisers to ensure that we can continue to create successful campaigns regardless of what gets thrown at us. For me, the biggest lesson has been my overreliance on website pixel custom audiences. I am now focused on building other types of custom audiences that I know are within the Facebook world. I am also working hard to get ads up early to build momentum for launches – creating useful data that will help my ads that have short windows of success, the best chance of conversion. I hope that you have found my thoughts useful, and I wish you lots of luck with using Facebook Ads to grow your business.