What the iOS 14 Update Means for Advertisers

Apple’s iOS 14 update is now a few months old.  So, businesses and advertisers have had a chance to figure out what’s what with the new update.  It’s super important to stay informed on these updates because, in this update, in particular, there were some tracking changes that could affect the way advertisers do business.  Let’s take the time to take a deep dive on what the iOS 14 update is all about and what the implications might be for businesses and advertisers.

What is the iOS 14 Update?

Released at the beginning of 2021, the iOS 14 update introduced one, significant change for advertisers: iOS users could opt-in or opt-out of being tracked outside of the platform.  Apps now need to ask a user for his or her permission to have access to certain information while they are not using the app.  Previously, apps did not always need to ask permission to track the user outside the use of said app.  

Over the past few years, through exposes and investigative reporting, the people have begun to wisen up to the ways in which they are being tracked and targeted on social media platforms.  As a result, certain tech companies, such as Apple, have taken measures to make tracking their users a lot more difficult.

What does this mean for advertisers?  Well, advertisers relied on data and on what sort of activity an iOS user engaged in on his or her phone.  With the iOS 14 update, that data became much, much more difficult to gain.  As a result, advertisers are having a more difficult time finding their target audience and running specific ads geared towards specific demographics.  In short, the ads would have less accurate reporting and smaller target audiences.

In addition, an advertiser tracking information can only track up to 8 conversion events at a time.  Your campaign might track Landing Page views or Purchases and many other events, but the iOS software caps those events tracked at 8.  

Certain advertisers will be affected by this update more than others.  If you rely heavily on cookies, then you may have some challenges to overcome.  But if you do not rely on cookies, then not a whole lot has changed for you.  Whatever your situation is, take a look at some of these tips and see if any can help you navigate the changing tech landscape.

How Have Advertisers Adapted to the Change?

With this big change-up by Apple, advertisers were forced to get creative and adapt to the changing conditions.  Studies have found that nearly 90% of users have opted out of being tracked for ads.  However, advertisers are still finding new, innovative ways to reach their target audience.  Here are some of the ways:

Diversify Ad Spend

Many advertisers relied heavily on Facebook advertising.  However, with many users opting out of being tracked, advertisers have looked for other platforms to advertise on.  Relying on keywords and search intent has proven to be a viable alternative, which has led many advertisers to find themselves working on Google and keyword research.

Taking the time to understand SEO and the benefits of keyword research may prove to be vital to the success of modern-day advertising.  With privacy becoming a growing concern for users, advertisers will need to be resourceful and understand how the search engine results pages rank websites.

Lookalike Audiences and Retargeting

Data privacy is becoming a bigger and bigger issue for users and tech companies.  So, advertisers will need to rely on owned data – such as email campaigns.  Using lookalike audiences and retargeting old email lists is a tried and true method that will still work, despite the new iOS update.

Facebook and Google Analytics

So there is a way to work around the iOS opt-in opt-out system, and that is with Google Analytics.  Some companies have been creative enough to use UTM parameters on their website, which allowed them to create data tracked by Facebook to Google Analytics.  So your Facebook campaigns are not impossible to track.  Google Analytics can be used to track the activity of Facebook.

There are other Facebook Ad Options

Though tracking users on Facebook may be largely impossible for iOS users, for Android users, they can still be tracked by advertisers – Apple has a bit of a stronger stance on privacy issues than their Android counterparts.  

Advertisers who are trying to target some iOS users can also employ some other strategies on Facebook, such as using a lead-generating chatbot on Facebook Messenger.  Once the chatbot has reached enough people, you can begin to retarget users who have reached out and engaged with the chatbot.  

There is also another method that you can use on Facebook: Facebook Lead Ads.  Using lead forms on Facebook can help you generate leads and gain first-party data.  Without the use of cookies, using lead forms on Facebook may be one of the best methods to get strong data and find a target audience.

The tech landscape is always changing.  New regulations come out, new software updates, and new social media platforms pose unique challenges to advertisers.  To overcome these challenges, an advertiser needs to be savvy, well-informed, and needs the time to research and understand what the implications of the latest change may be.  Most people do not have the time to research these new changes.  That’s what Ella Interactive is here for.

With Ella Interactive, you can have access to a whole suite of options – such as social media task management, keyword research, SEO audits, website analytics, and many more.  One of our plans even includes a consultant from Ella to help you navigate the marketing problems that your company is facing.  Ella Interactive is an all-in-one digital marketing tool that can help you optimize and streamline your marketing efforts.  As we have seen, some companies can rely too much on tracked advertising.  Ella, on the other hand, incorporates the best digital marketing strategies into one, convenient platform for you to use.

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