There’s no doubt that IOS 14 has significantly impacted Facebook ads, and most PPC platforms for that matter.
Many of our clients saw a decrease in performance and we experienced a plethora of tracking issues. The biggest issue we have seen in general is turbulence, ads aren’t consistent as they were pre IOS 14 and results can fluctuate daily.
Of course, we’re marketers and it’s our job to make things work. We now operate in a completely new landscape on Facebook and I don’t think we will go back to how things were pre IOS 14. However, we’re still able to generate results for clients and Facebook can still be a profitable platform.
The way I see it: Facebook can still be highly profitable, it’s just much harder than before and lazy, low-effort ads will no longer cut it. I saw some horribly executed campaigns achieve huge results pre IOS 14, most of which tanked once the update hit.
Here are my top tips for combating IOS 14 and getting results in this new landscape:
Ensure that your foundations are solid and you’re still adhering to ‘the basics’.
This point may sound obvious and I know people don’t like hearing it. Unfortunately, it’s still what people struggle with most. I audit and review ad accounts all the time and in most cases, they’re not adhering to the basics and have a very poorly structured account. Often these accounts belong to business owners who claim that their ads have tanked since IOS 14.
There are many rules, do’s, and don’ts when it comes to running Facebook ads. I’ve made a couple of previous posts going into more detail on this topic. Here are two that people found really valuable:
Use broad targeting
In contrast to my previous point which is quite general, here’s a very practical tip. Go broad with your targeting. We are finding that interests with larger audience sizes are working best, same with broad LLAs, opening up to 3-5% has been successful. LLAs in general don’t seem to be performing as well as they did before the update, particularly 1% LLAs. Although, every account is different and we still test both interests and LLAs.
However, it’s essential that your copy and creative are of the highest quality to ensure that broad targeting is successful. Your creative should act as your targeting, Facebook will recognise who stops to view your ads and will adjust its algorithm accordingly.
We also like to run a broad ad set with no targeting at all and let Facebook do the work. This has gained mixed success but has overall been positive, particularly with more mature accounts.
Don’t get caught up in daily results
As mentioned earlier, we have seen a lot of turbulence post IOS 14 and daily results can fluctuate a lot. We often see ad sets get 5+ ROAS one day, and not one sale the next. Although we do look at ad sets and campaigns on the daily level, we don’t let one day’s worth of performance dictate our decisions. Instead, we look at everything from a 3-5 day minimum (depending on what we’re looking at/for) to get a better idea of performance.
This is particularly important with new ad sets. New ad sets should be allowed 3-5 days to optimise (although it’s always optimising) and so, we always let new ad sets run for 3-5 days before making any decisions.
Ensure that tracking is setup correctly
I know that everyone makes this point, and it should be clear by now so I’ll brush over it. Make sure you have your conversion API, UTMs, and aggregated events set up properly.
It’s also important that you take a holistic approach when it comes to analysing results. The Facebook dashboard is no longer reliable and so we have been relying much more heavily on Google Analytics and Shopify data.
Test, Test, Test
As stated, IOS 14 has completely changed the Facebook landscape. Although we still apply the same basics and foundations from before the update, we’ve seen many changes in what works and what doesn’t post IOS 14.
Interests, LLAs, and creatives that didn’t work before the update may work now, and vice versa. It’s important that you test everything. However, don’t throw too many variables into the mix at once, especially at a lower budget. Figure out what you want to achieve with your test, keep it simple and watch the data closely.
I wish that there were some quick fixes I could give you all to revive your ads post IOS 14. Unfortunately, there’s no trick. It takes hard work and diligence to run Facebook ads successfully.
I am an optimist when it comes to Facebook, I think things will get better. Not because Facebook is a customer centric company that cares about us advertisers, but because it isn’t profitable for Facebook to lose advertisers and for budgets to be scaled back. It’s in Facebook's best interest to improve its platform.
As always, let me know if you have any questions!