Top 6 Strategies to Try If Your Facebook Ads Are Not Performing After iOS 14
Okay, now that your account is structured correctly, let’s talk about some lead generation tactics for Facebook ads that worked for us despite the challenges that come with the iOS update.
Rebuild activities from scratch
If you’ve been running ads for a while, you’ve probably been able to get your campaign to the point where you’ve been seeing good results. You know effective audiences and creatives, and Facebook is already optimized for those.
But one of the most common pain points for iOS is that previously successful Facebook ad campaigns are no longer performing as well as they used to.
As with all major ad platform changes, it either adapts or dies. We’ve found that rebuilding a campaign from scratch works well.
Of course, rebuilding a campaign template will cost you some extra time, but one of our clients saw a 59% lower cost per lead after rebuilding a previously successful campaign.
Try Interest Stacking
When we used to target Facebook ads based on personal interests, it’s back to pre-iOS14. This level of specificity is invaluable, especially if you know your audience. But under the new system, it didn’t work well.
For example, we used to create a single-interest ad group. So if we’re going to target marketers, we’d probably target people who are interested in Buffer. Now, it’s more efficient to be a bit broader. Besides Buffer, you can also add Hootsuite + Sprout Social + StreamYard, etc. to the same audience.
Are your ads underperforming? Make sure you plug every hole in your spending with our free Facebook Ads Performance Grader.
Continue to expand goals
Expanding the audience’s interests, as mentioned above, gives Facebook’s algorithms more room to work. Therefore, in addition to stacking interest, we recommend locking Targeting Expansion to On.
One of the particularly tricky effects of iOS 14 is that it’s harder to build effective custom audiences, and therefore, lookalike audiences. Lookalikes performed well, but we found that campaigns using interest overlays and detailed targeting extensions started to outperform them in some cases.
For more targeting tips, check out these 8 tips for winning the battle between Facebook ad targeting and iOS 14.
Retarget Video Views
Want to know a scary statistic? 96% of iOS14+ users opt out of tracking. In many ways, you can understand: most of us don’t realize how much Facebook follows us on the web. So from a libertarian perspective, it makes sense.
But it turned out that the Facebook site redirection campaign didn’t produce the results it once did. But what has brought us results recently is a redirection on the platform. In other words, keep users on Facebook because opting out of tracking doesn’t apply if users stay on the platform.
Even after iOS, video viewing on the platform can be a very effective Facebook ad targeting strategy.
App tracking opt-out can be a complete disaster for advertisers…unless you adapt to change. Video engagement may just be a way to hold the fort for your account.
One of our clients, a well-known whisky brand, found that using video view redirects reduced their cost per purchase by 76% compared to their regular prospecting activities.
Learn more about platform targeting strategies here.
Use Facebook Lead Ads
Another platform strategy for generating leads on Facebook is through Facebook lead ads. These used to be unwelcome guests at parties – the Dark Lord that everyone shunned because they produced low-quality leads.
But we’re looking for lead ads to drastically reduce Facebook’s cost per lead, making campaigns more profitable. We recently launched a lead ad campaign for our agency and generated leads for less than $8.20 each.
Of course, you’ll still collect some low-quality leads, but because of the lower cost of lead advertising, this approach can make a difference to your bottom line. You can use some simple lead qualification strategies to prequalify these clicks.
Plus, lead ads are trackable. Once a lot of iOS users click on your ad, they lose their attention because they opt out of tracking. But the leading ad clickers remain in the Facebook ecosystem.
So while leads from external clicks can dissolve in ether, leads from lead ads are still traceable. We recently launched a lead ad campaign for our agency and generated leads for less than $8.20 each.
Brett McHale also found that lead ads and messenger ads were particularly effective at generating leads after iOS 14.
Set up external tracking and reporting
One of the real tragedies of iOS14 is that it negatively affects Facebook’s ability to report results in Ads Manager. There are three things to do here.
Setting up the Facebook pixel used to be all you needed to track and report on Facebook ads, but with app tracking transparency (users can opt-out of being tracked) and Google eventually depreciating third-party cookies (pixel-dependent), the pixel is losing its power.
To avoid false negatives, you must start using the Facebook Conversions API (with pixels). The API does not require cookies to track events as it connects your server directly to Facebook.
The easiest way to add events using CAPI is through partner integration. After you confirm which partner hosts your site, Facebook provides partner-specific instructions.
You’ll also get a clearer picture of your results if you also measure performance using UTM and Google Analytics and Facebook’s tracking.
Another reason reporting is a little trickier now is that Facebook reports are delayed by up to three days, which means that the conversions you got from your ads in the previous days may not have been shown.
It is important to keep this in mind when reporting. Always give yourself a 3-4 day buffer to ensure you have the most accurate data possible.
The reality is that there is no perfect way to track ad performance. So you need to find a method that works especially well for you.
One day, we might look back at the 2021 opt-out Great Escape and laugh. Like all major cultural shifts, there will be a lot of initial panic and resistance, but those who are willing to learn will always catch the early worms. Either way, we’ll adapt and move on. This is how we stay successful.
The main takeaway from all of this is:
- From keeping users on the platform to rebuilding activity and leveraging on-platform tools
- Implement external tracking to enhance your activity reporting
- Stack interests to grow your audience (and lookalikes)
- Reset your campaigns for the new world
- Optimize your ad account settings
If you try these tactics, you should start to see your campaigns improve, but as with anything related to Facebook ads, it’s all about testing. Test these strategies and find out what works best for your business.