In 2021 we were introduced to two tracking prevention measures that have had a tremendous impact on the data tracking of your ads. These two tracking measures are Apple's update iOS14.5 and the EU's 2021 cookie consent. The scary thing is that about 96% of all Apple users decline tracking of their data. And since half of the population globally are iPhone users, this will impact a lot of your traffic.
So what now?
In this blog, you'll learn how these tracking preventions limit your work for monitoring and optimizing your campaigns. In the end, we share a quick 3 tips on how to work around it.
You can also check out our comprehensive guide with more detailed tips on what you can do to work around tracking prevention measures. Click here to download.
The iOS 14.5 update was introduced to all Apple devices and started rolling out in May 2021. It presents a pop up when you click on a link in an app - such as an ad on Facebook, asking if you wish to be tracked.
96% of all Apple users decline the tracking. So for all these users, there is no tracking. There's not even tracking on your website in Google Analytics.
As a response, Facebook was forced to change its advertising platform to extreme measures. Unfortunately, most people misunderstood this action and thought they would get fewer ads which is not the case. Instead, you'll receive the same amount of ads, but they'll just be less suited to you as a user because advertisers have limited data to base their targeting on.
Since the impact of iOS14 for advertisers is huge, we covered it in a separate blog post that you can find here.
A quick heads up, Android plans to release a similar update in early 2022.
The EU pushed a new law on July 6th, 2021, that affects desktop users as well, and what it means is that users have to allow cookies when leavingFacebook.
These tracking prevention measures are primarily affecting three areas: tracking, targeting, and ads delivery. Of course, these areas are closely tied together, but let's keep them separated for the sake of a simpler explanation.
Very simply, besides the number of events you can track using the Facebook pixel being restricted to 8, you can track way fewer conversions. Almost all advertisers can see a drop in their conversions, which doesn't mean the conversions aren't there. You just can't track them. It's happening even though Facebook is doing its best to model data to provide as accurate results as possible. You're also unable to see the data about who converted. (demographics etc.)
The size of your retargeting audience and target groups has decreased. This is because all the users that denied tracking are not included in your target group anymore. As this is happening gradually, there may not be a visible change in numbers yet, but you need to keep an eye on your website's retargeting audience as more users will decline to be tracked.
Many marketers are reporting that it has become increasingly more difficult to have their ads exit the learning phase. The main reason for this is that your targeting groups are getting smaller, even on a broad scale.
The broad targeting has been influenced by those restrictions as well, which can be a bit surprising to understand why. When you're using broad targeting, you're using Facebook's data. And Facebook bases a lot of information about people from the websites they visit and the pixels on those websites.
So now, since many users decline the tracking, Facebook has limited data to work with. This limited pixel data can directly impact your broad targeting, and the algorithm can have a harder time finding the people who are interested in your ads.
You can still do something to optimize your campaigns for better results.
If you've seen that your ads have a hard time exiting the learning phase or delivering the results that you've asked for, you can consider optimizing higher in the funnel. Your other option is to retarget based on your on-platform data, and the last but not least option is to consolidate your data.
When you see fewer conversions your ads will also have harder time delivering results, if they are optimized for conversions. One way of doing so is to optimize higher in the funnel. For instance, if you've optimized for on-page newsletter signups, you can consider taking a step back and go for page views.
When we say on-platform data, we mean the data on Facebook (or any other social media platform). There are multiple ways of doing this, where one of the most common ways is to retarget based on video views.
Consolidating your ad sets into one is a viable solution when your separated ad sets are simply not delivering results for you. So, in terms of only ad delivery, consolidating can be an excellent way to go. However, if you need more specific data, like which ad set is getting the most results, this is not the way to go. .
Apple's iOS14 update and EU's cookie consent heavily impacted the data you could use in your paid social. A common misunderstanding is that people believe they'll receive fewer ads. Instead, you'll receive the same amount of ads, but they'll just be less suited to you as a user because advertisers have limited data to base their targeting on.
The three main areas that are impacted the most are tracking, targeting, and ad delivery. All three of those are intertwined together, where worsening one area is negatively affecting the other. Here we're talking about the decreased amount of people in your target group, which lowered the amount of data you can collect and that is causing worsening your ads delivery.
The three things you can start doing now are:
It's a complicated situation that today's social media specialists and advertisers are finding themselves in. Not only do you need to create the ads, but you also need to collect data from them to know what to do next.
That's why we created a comprehensive guide on how to work around tracking prevention measures. You can download it here.
If you'd like to know more about this topic, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org