— by Samara Gentle

Watch the FIA Webinar where Samara Gentle & Tim Brack presented on the upcoming changes.

We all know that the charity sector has had an ever growing reliance on social media for its fundraising campaigns – particularly in 2020. We’ve all had to up our game, change our approaches and learn the ins and outs of data management, projections, and delivery. 

Our sector has been inspiring in its capacity to adapt to the challenges that this new reality has created. But now, just when you thought that things couldn’t get any harder, Apple’s mobile platform, iOS, is about to get a significant update. 

Everything from ad management to targeting is going to be affected by the new changes and is going to require marketers and fundraisers to change their current modus operandi. 

In order to help you get a better understanding of what these changes mean, and how we need to respond, I’ve put together a bit of a guide for digital fundraising teams.

If you still have questions or just to want to chat with me about any of these changes feel free to drop me a note at [email protected].

Summary

What is the iOIS 14 Update?

How does this impact my advertising?

Ad objectives that will be affected

Key issues to be aware of

Steps to prepare your Facebook Business Manager account

Resources and Articles

FIA Webinar

Summary

  • There is no confirmed release date from Apple as to when these changes will be implemented, however it could be as early as this month (January 2021).
  • Facebook is evolving their ad management system and what has been shared up to this date may still change in the future.
  • The changes don’t just impact the targeting and tracking of campaigns to iOS devices, but to all people that see your ads. Facebook is not going to create different ad systems for different audiences, so the changes impact everyone.
  • There are a few actions that charities who advertise on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and the Audience Network can take now to mitigate risk to their campaigns once Apple implements their update.
  • Changes to audience targeting means website custom audiences will be smaller and there will be more overlap between segments.
  • Advertisers should download all historical performance for reference and analysis. 
  • Best practice and benchmarking based on previous campaigns will need to be reconsidered due to limitations in data availability and limitations in optimisation and audience targeting.
  • If your Business Manager account or campaigns do not comply with the new changes they will be paused – so the sooner you take action to mitigate risks the less likely any in-market and upcoming campaigns will be impacted.

What is the iOIS 14 Update?

You may be aware from notifications in your Ads Manager account that, due to an update from Apple in iOS 14, Facebook will be making some changes to their platform and ad management to accommodate Apple’s update.

These changes are not unexpected, since GDPR was implemented and data leaks have been published, data privacy and safety is a big topic for all the tech giants. Apple is just taking a big step forward ahead of any legislation or regulations.

Put simply, users on iOS 14 will be prompted for every app they access to agree to having their activity tracked across other websites and apps. Users will have the option to agree or decline (opt-in or opt-out), and it’s expected most users will decline. 

To try and combat the high numbers of users declining, Facebook will be implementing a pre-prompt to give context to what it means to the user to opt out of this tracking before they are presented with Apples prompt.

Advertising on Facebook relies heavily on the information that Facebook gathers about users on the platform but more importantly to the sites or apps they visit from Facebook, feeding back information to the platform on interactions and user behaviour that takes place.

Two terms you may come across when looking into the changes with iOS and Facebook advertising is Private Click Measurement (PCM) and Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM). The long and short of these two is that Facebook created AEM so we still get the reduced data, whereas Apple’s PCM would have reduced advertising data even more.

How does this impact my advertising?

If your organisation advertises on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, or the Facebook Audience Network there are a few things you need to know about and a few actions you’ll need to take to be prepared for these changes.

Here are some topline changes:

  • You can have a maximum 8 events per domain – for smaller charities this might not require a change to the number of events you have, but for larger organisations where the pixel is used to track more than fundraising you’ll need to bring your number of events tracked down to just 8 (or even lower if you’re tracking conversion value e.g. revenue)
  • You’ll need to prioritise the 8 events – If a user opts out of tracking, only one event will be reported for that user if they visit your site. You need to list in Facebook the priority of your 8 events so that it knows which action the user took is the most important to report back on.
  • Attribution windows will change – there will no longer be 28 day windows of attribution, it’s more likely to come down to 1 and 7 day windows.

Firstly as more people opt out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, ads personalisation and performance reporting will be limited for web conversion events. 

Previously you were able to break down ad performance to see how they were performing based on metrics like age, gender and location, these will be removed and you won’t be able to see this granular level data.

Ad Objectives that will be affected

  • Traffic Ads that are optimised for Landing Page Views (using the Pixel). However, optimising for Link Clicks won’t be impacted.
  • Conversion Ads that are optimised for standard events or custom conversions.
  • Catalog sales when they go to your website.
  • App installs when targeting iOS users.

Key issues to be aware of

  • Cost per action will go up
  • Conversion data may be delayed for up to 3 days
  • Conversion values (e.g. revenue) if you decide to track them will be grouped rather than the exact value being provided in reports
  • Longer term loss of optimisation
  • Delivery and action breakdowns such as region, placement, age and gender will no longer be supported
  • Audience sizes will be smaller and there is likely to be more overlap
  • 28-day view-through and 7-day view-through attribution windows will no longer be supported.
  • The Facebook Pixel will no longer be the superior way of tracking events, organisations should consider implementing the Facebook Conversions API. 

Benchmarking and best practice will need to be redefined based on these changes. Be prepared that success you’ve seen previously may now change.

Steps to prepare your Facebook Business Manager account

  1. Get your domain verified. Facebook has said this should be a priority for advertisers. This should be done through your Business Manager account instead of through your agency to reduce access issues in the future. You may need IT/Web support to do this. Here’s a guide to verifying your domain.
  2. Export your historical data so you can do analysis and have a record to refer back to if needed. Start to understand how many events are from iOS devices. Use the Breakdown reports before this function is removed. Here’s a guide to exporting data.
  3. Choose which Conversion Events you will use if you currently have more than 8. This includes any custom conversions you have set up. Prioritise them in order of importance for your organisation.
  4. Switch current campaign windows to 7 or 1 day attributions now.
  5. Make sure you add UTM links to all your Facebook Ads and Posts – if you’re using an agency, chances are this is already being done, but if you manage ads in-house or organic posting and have delayed getting into the practice, now is the time to do it.
  6. Setup the Facebook Conversion API as soon as possible. Here’s information on the Conversion API.

Resources and Articles

Facebook recently ran several webinars related to the changes and the recordings are available online for you to watch.

Below is a list of articles which provide additional information for you to reference.

NOTE: The above links are current as of 15/01/2021. 

FIA Webinar: Presented by Marlin Communications

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is a guide to assist. Facebook is still making continuous changes to the platform to manage the iOS 14 change and have communicated that things will continue to change and evolve.

We strongly recommend that charities use Facebook’s Support portal or assigned account manager to get the latest updates and information on these changes.