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How Will the iOS 14.5 Update Impact Digital Marketing?

The digital marketing community is buzzing about the newest iOS update that took effect on April 26, 2021. The changes in iOS 14.5 promise to champion consumers’ privacy concerns while making advertisers nervous about targeting and measuring effectively. What should marketers know about iOS 14.5, and how should they respond to it?

iOS 14.5 Explained

The latest Apple update revolves around the use of the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). Like third-party cookies on websites, an IDFA is essentially an I.D. that iPhone apps use to monitor a user’s activity on their own apps, across other apps, and on mobile websites.

By anonymously tracking users’ clicks, downloads, and purchases, mobile app developers design better app experiences, and advertisers target and deliver more personalized and relevant ads. Advertisers are also able to track ad performance, which is useful for optimizing ad campaigns.

iPhone users have always had the power to opt-out of IDFA tracking – they just weren’t made explicitly aware they had that choice. But with Apple’s App Transparency Tracking (ATT) included in 14.5, IDFA tracking is now opt-out by default. Users see a pop-up notification that informs them they can “Allow Tracking” or “Ask App Not to Track.” The industry expects opt-in rates to be low given consumers’ recent concerns that they lack control of their data and how it’s used.

But with fewer opt-ins, tracking and targeting will suffer. That worries ad networks like Facebook. Its small business advertisers rely on precise targeting methods, and data collection by mobile measurement partners, to reach current and potential customers with highly relevant messages. 

5 Strategies Small Business Advertisers Can Use to Adapt to iOS14.5

Larger companies aren’t as disadvantaged as small businesses when it comes to user data. They often have the budget and resources to collect first-party data about their customers. But smaller companies may need to look at other strategies to respond to the new iOS privacy changes. Here are five options to consider:

1 Establish and Communicate a Transparent Privacy Policy

One solution is to increase the number of people who decide to opt-in. To accomplish this goal, companies must be clear and transparent about why user data is essential for delivering valuable and relevant information. You can communicate your policy on your website, social media pages, an email campaign, and in the pop-up prompt itself. 

2 Use Apple’s SkAdNetwork

In 2018, when users first had the option to turn off default tracking, Apple created a way to measure attribution on iOS. Based on aggregated attribution, rather than using data from individuals, it uses statistical methods to unearth relevant information. The downside is that advertisers can use only one conversion value metric, so multi-touch attribution isn’t possible. And because user-level data isn’t available, SkAdNetwork can’t be used for retargeting.

3 Decide How Best to Use Facebook’s Aggregated Event Measurement

With iOS 14.5 now in effect, Facebook uses Aggregated Measurement, but advertisers can measure only eight conversion events per domain. These events include:

  • Submitting a form
  • Subscribing for content
  • Starting a free trial
  • Scheduling an appointment
  • Making a purchase
  • Capturing a lead
  • Tracking a call
  • And more

Choosing the eight conversion events that are most relevant to your business, you’ll find the reporting in Facebook Events Manager.

4 Use Lookalike Audiences on Facebook and Google

Try using similar audiences (demographics, interests, behaviors) for targeting. Lookalike audiences shouldn’t be the only strategy you use, but it’s an excellent way to expand your reach to the potential customers most interested in your ad message.

5 Experiment with Your New Ideas

Rethink your creatives to make them resonate more with your customer base. Test new platforms and channels. With so much uncertainty about the effectiveness of digital advertising, we could be looking at a return to more traditional advertising platforms – or at least more diversification.

And look for ways to collect first-party data from your customers. They’ll be more likely to cooperate with you if they see there’s value in it for them. Of course, that value is more personalized targeting to provide better solutions for your customers.

Do you need help navigating the digital advertising environment now that iOS 14.5 has rolled out? Top Fox Marketing is always ready to guide you. Contact us today


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