The new iOS update is here, time to panic!

Just kidding, you guys know me better than that.

While the new iOS update has stirred up much anxiety and uncertainty for those of us working in marketing and advertising, I don’t believe there’s cause for alarm just yet.

The truth is, there is still so much we DON’T know and how impactful it will really be on the success of our Facebook ads.

My team and I have spent hours doing extensive research on what this update entails, speaking with our rep from Facebook, and proactively strategizing where and how we’ll need to pivot to accommodate for these changes.

We created a brief for our clients about what we DO know and what we’ll need to be looking out for in the months to come, and I knew that I needed to share it on today’s podcast episode too.

If you need some peace of mind, tune in to today’s episode to learn about what we do know, what we can control, and the actions you can take today to prepare and accommodate for these changes to minimize the impacts on your Facebook ads.

Don’t panic, don’t decide to quit Facebook ads forever. We will get through this.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how you’ll navigate these new changes on your own, Team Hirsh has your back. Head to helpmystrategy.com to see if you qualify to work with us to get all the marketing and Facebook ad support you need.

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Emily Hirsh:

Hello my friends. Welcome to the podcast. How are you all doing? We just had the best weekend ever here in Austin. It’s snowed like half a foot in Austin and it was beautiful. It’s pretty much all gone now, but it was incredible. I was like, is that normal? I’ve only lived here for two years and my neighbors were like, no, I’ve been here for 40 years and it’s never done that. So it snowed all day, it started snowing in the morning and then till six o’clock at night it was snowing and sticking on the ground. It was so much fun. We built the snowman. We went out walking in it. It was so beautifu,l and I wrote it in my gratitude this morning cause it was so amazing that it also fell on a Sunday when we were just all home hanging out. So it was so much fun. What a fun surprise for an early year that’s off to a rocky start in the world. 

But today on the podcast, I wanted to dive into the iOS update and what it means, what you need to know about it. We are sending out to our clients a whole email about it because so many people have questions, and letting our Ignite students know, and just keeping everybody in the loop. But I figured with those notes and everything we’re sending out to our clients that I would also put it on the podcast for you guys, because I know a lot of people are wondering what it means for their advertising. I know Facebook has put a little notice in Ads Manager, in a lot of Ads Managers, that’s like the upcoming updates are going to impact your marketing, but they’re very vague with a lot of it. So that’s part of it is we don’t exactly know exactly what it’s going to impact, but I can tell you guys what we think we know and what we are going to be monitoring and what to pay attention to. 

So basically if you’re not familiar with it, the upcoming iOS update is saying they’re going to have a notification that somebody will be asked on their phone “do you want to give Facebook permission for tracking?” And they list out, if you look at the research around it, all the different ways that Facebook can track you and you realize how much data they’re actually gathering on their users. And so basically it’s going to give somebody the option to opt out of that tracking, when before, most people don’t even know what’s happening. 

The question is, we’re being told it’s gonna roll out in early 2021, which is now, and I have updated my desktop and it did that for all of my apps, but it hasn’t done that on my phone. So the big question that we don’t know though is how is that notification going to come across? And cause for example, if it’s when you download the app from the app store, which is what they’ve kind of told us, or you update the app, it might be in that, but what if you already have Facebook and Instagram downloaded on your phone, then is it even going to show you the notification, and how is that going to look? Because that will obviously impact how many people decline it or accept it and turn off the tracking or not, because the actual notification is not going to come from Facebook itself. It’s going to come from the app store, or from the app from your settings in your phone. And so we don’t know the answer to that yet because it hasn’t officially been rolled out, and that is going to impact how many people actually turn off the tracking versus don’t. So that’s a big thing that you need to take into consideration and just kind of pay attention to, which we don’t know the answer to. 

Then the main thing, like the main question I’m seeing be asked and the answer that I want to explain to you guys, is the data that Facebook is losing because of this update and where it’s going to impact things is inside of the app itself. So if you use Facebook lead forms, or you use Audience Network, or you have an app where all of the steps that a user takes happens within the Facebook app, that’s where the tracking is going to get lost is like when the user has the app open and they’re taking actions, that data back from your phone to Facebook is what we are losing when someone opts out of that tracking.

Now, we don’t necessarily know the extent. There’s a lot of it that’s very vague when you look at the wording, but you still will absolutely be able to track your pixel on a website, on a landing page. And so pretty much a hundred percent of our clients, they drive ads to a webinar landing page, or to a website, or to a product page on your actual website. And you’re not going to lose that tracking because that’s going from Facebook to a website and it is tracking that pixel back to Facebook. That is still going to stay the same. You’re not going to lose that tracking. It’s not going to impact that data. What will be impacted is anything that you’re tracking within the Facebook app. So if you, for some reason, use Audience Network a lot as a placement, or like I said, you have an app where it goes to download that app, and it all happens within the apps and the Audience Network platform, you’re going to lose that data and that tracking significantly and it will impact that. So that’s a big update that will impact some, but actually not any of our clients. 

So the other big update is the one that’s kind of a question mark, and how is it going to impact actual advertising as a whole, really throughout the rest of the year? So, because people are turning off, potentially, this tracking, Facebook will lose a lot of its data about what its users are doing, which they then use in targeting or look alike audiences. All of that data and the algorithms that we really don’t see the way it’s working behind the scenes is going to get impacted. Things that Facebook, when you read all the lists of things that they’re tracking you with, it’s the different sites you view, the products that you are viewing, like they know kind of what income you fall in, and just like, when you go to say something then you kind of see an ad for it. Like how many times does that happen? It’s stuff like that, that we aren’t actually physically targeting specifically when we go into Facebook, it’s the power in all of the data on its users. 

So Facebook is pissed about this and that’s obvious because they do not want to lose that data on its users. And also, Facebook does rely on a lot of advertising around apps and in app advertising. So they are mad that they’re losing that from Apple, which is why they’re putting that notification. At least I could speculate why they’re putting that notification in Ads Managers. They want other people to be mad about this. They’re trying to incite that, obviously, because if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be putting that notice of like, basically you should be mad at Apple and fighting against this. But the impact, we don’t know. Which it will probably, most likely, impact this, which is the data Facebook has that then improves our ad targeting and our lookalike audiences. And the targeting that Facebook optimizes for on its own, especially in lookalike audiences, that quality may go down. 

Now how this impacts things like cost per registration, or cost per purchase, or our cost per click on our ad, and all of those components, we are not going to know until this really starts to roll out, until we see the data that Facebook actually starts to lose. And it could be hardly any impact. It could maybe make ads go up a little. I don’t know, nobody knows. So if anybody’s trying to tell you otherwise, like they do not know. A couple of years ago we had GDPR come out where you had to put the notice on your page and everybody was saying like, “this is going to be terrible for online advertising and for email marketing.” And it really didn’t impact it at all. So I’m hoping that this is going to be minor. Especially for our space and our clients, because we send people to web pages off Facebook. That tracking is not going to be impacted. Yes, it might impact the data, but I do think that Facebook is still, “we’ll figure out a way around it,” and have plenty of data on its users. So we’re going to have to monitor that, we’re gonna have to monitor the cost of the ads as it goes. 

But the other thing I want to point out is like, this is not just happening to Facebook and Instagram. This is every app. This is Amazon, Shopify, like all the apps that track in this way Apple is updating. So Apple’s going to ask for that permission in every app. When I updated my desktop, I had to re-give Zoom, Skype, Slack, this recording software I use, all of it I had to re-give permission basically to have access to my microphone, my camera. So I assume that’s what they’re going to do with Facebook, and on your phone, and Instagram, and all those major apps. 

So here’s the thing. You live in a world of digital marketing if you run ads on Facebook and Instagram, and there’s elements of that that we cannot control, that change with the tech, and you have to learn to adapt to it and change what you’re doing as needed, because that becomes the new normal. So if this changes the way that we have to target, or the amount of data that we have, or something that we have to do, it’s not like, “oh, let’s quit advertising on Facebook and jump over here to Pinterest or YouTube,” because it’s all going to be the same if this is impacting all of the apps, because it’s an actual iOS update. So we have to adapt and continue on if we want to continue marketing our business. And that’s kind of the reality of it. 

So should this make you afraid that Facebook and Instagram ads are going to get too expensive? No, absolutely not, because this is the new reality. We have to adapt and I really don’t think it’s going to have as big of an impact, especially on our industry and our space like I said, because we are sending people outside of the app. Others it might, but still, I don’t think it’s damaging enough for a business or something, but I, I mean, it is going to impact Facebook’s data. So it’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out. And we won’t know for a while. It’s going to be like this year that we’re going to see the impact of that as they get maybe less data on feedback, what that does to like advertising targeting.

One point too that I want to make is there’s, in some cases that you might lose tracking, or it might become delayed, especially if you do rely on in app things, so you’ll lose it if it’s in app. But also they’re saying some tracking could be delayed. So one strategy that we do for our clients and that I also teach in my course is we already create basically a separate funnel for ads, so that within your CRM software, you have your ad leads tagged so that you can go and see what they are doing three months from now, six months from now, you know they initially came in from a Facebook ad. 

So we already do that and that allows us that if there’s discrepancies in Ads Manager around tracking, around the number of leads, or the number of sales, it doesn’t matter because we can see in the backend what the real number is. So that’s something I already teach. And that initial touch point, so whether that’s they buy one product or whether that is they opt into a webinar, that initial touch point from the ad, they’re just tagged. It’s not every piece of your funnel is duplicated. It’s just the first entrance point is duplicated so that they get a tag so that, like I said, in six months from now you can go back and see what has happened with those leads and it also allows you to cross check. 

So if Facebook’s saying you’ve got a hundred webinar registrations, and then you have a separate tag that tells you you got 85, obviously you go with that number 85 because that’s the real, hard number because Facebook’s reporting can be off by like 30%. So you need a backup, and we’ve done this for years with our clients to make sure we have that backup.  And I’ve also had a lot of clients already come to us working with previous agencies or ads managers who were getting wrong reporting because they were only going off of Facebook Ads Manager. So we already knew that Facebook ads manager reporting can be off a little bit and have already taken those steps, two plus years ago when we realized this. So that is an effect though, like we could potentially see some delayed reporting or ad data might just be delayed. 

Also, in your ads you won’t be able to, I believe this is what it sounds like, when you can go see the breakdown in your campaign of like age and gender and what people are actually doing, you’re not going to be able to see that breakdown anymore. They’re taking away some of those options. You can still target based on age and gender, but they aren’t showing it. This is what I understand from their material. They aren’t actually showing it in the ad results, in the breakdown of your campaign. Which is really like, that’s fine because you’re already targeting the, your ideal age and gender in your ads for the most part. And then Facebook already does optimize it based on who’s responding to your ads. That’s all still going to happen. So I don’t think that’s going to impact things too much. 

The two kind of things to keep in mind that I think that we’ve talked to our team about in terms of actually implementing things for our clients, there is a step where they want you to verify your domain through Ads Manager. And if you look up like domain name verification with Facebook, it’ll tell you, and it’s just basically a piece of code that you either need to put on your website, or if you use ClickFunnels. It goes in like your header code just like if you were to place the pixel, this is like a verification code. They haven’t told people what’s going to happen if you don’t do that, but the recommendation is that you do do that. So that is something we’re going to be doing for our clients, or helping them if it’s on their website, make sure they have that piece of code. So that’s one thing, like in the immediate sense that they have told us we recommend you do this. Facebook has told us that. So if you haven’t done that yet, and you are actively running ads, the recommendation is that you do that domain name verification, and it is a code and you need to put it like where you put your pixel basically. So on domains that you’re going to send your ad traffic to. So whether that is Facebook or ClickFunnels, like I said, you’ll need to place that code. So that’s like one immediate action that everybody can take to kind of prepare for this update and change. 

Then the other point to make is they are going to be limiting the number of standard events you can have in an account to eight. Now, for most people, this is not going to matter because most people don’t even use more than eight standard events. But if you’re somebody who uses a bunch of custom conversions, so like for every thank you page that you have on a webinar you have a different custom conversion event for it, instead of using complete registration or lead, like our standard events, I would change that practice because you’re going to be limited to eight. So you can’t do a new one every webinar or something. They want you to really be using those standard, it’s those common standard events. And that’s what we normally do for all our clients and I think what most people do. But if for some reason you’re not doing that, the recommendation is that you start doing that because they’re going to limit you to eight, and so you won’t be able to continue using new ones for every promotion or every webinar if for some reason you’re doing that. 

So those are the major takeaways of what you need to do right now, what you need to know about this update. And, you know, my general consensus after I’ve read lots of articles, and we’ve even talked to our Facebook rep and done all of our deep research because we need to provide our clients with that update, but my general consensus is don’t worry. I think that people always freak out about this. And like I said, the biggest, most important thing that you have to understand is it’s really out of your control and the only thing we can do is adapt. Facebook makes billions of dollars from their advertisers. They’re going to make sure we’re taken care of because they have to, and they’ve probably known about this for a long time and they’ve planned for it in terms of like the message they put in our ad account. And everything right now, it’s probably political, like they want to create some message that we do this with Apple and Apple looks bad and whatever, because they are fighting each other. And of course all the headlines and stuff, like just remember, they’re controlling, trying to, what we think. let’s just make decisions off of the hard data of what we actually see, which you don’t know yet. Nobody knows. The hard fact is, it’s not going to impact your tracking if you send anybody to a page that is yours that you’ve pixeled, or a landing page, or a website page that you’ve pixeled. It will still 100% track properly. So that’s important. 

Facebook is claiming that they’re going to lose data based up from its users, which could impact advertising and targeting. Is it going to drastically impact people? I don’t think so, but nobody knows yet until this starts happening, until this kicks in and tell people start opting out of that tracking and we see the impact that has on ad targeting. Which is something that we’re not going to know for probably six plus months, because it’s going to be slow that people update and opt out and then it actually impacts the data they’re gathering. We don’t know yet. And also, how many people really are going to opt out we don’t know because we haven’t seen how the notification is going to come through. It might just be something that this like little advertising bubble knows about, but if you don’t, if you already have Facebook and Instagram downloaded on your phone, are you even going to get the notification to opt out of the tracking? I don’t know. We don’t know yet. So those things we don’t know. 

The one thing you can go do is that domain name verification, make sure you’re following the standard events, and then data data drives our every action and decision. That is a company value at Hirsh Marketing and one that you can continue to have as well, because there’s no reason to put a lot of effort and energy into something that you don’t need to stress about. So that is my update. That is my information for you on the iOS update. If you have any questions, feel free to reply to this podcast and our team can try to answer it for you. 

We always try to be ahead on all of these changes, and updates, and things because the marketing world is always changing. And like I said, you just have to adapt because this is not just for Facebook and Instagram. This is an iOS Apple update, which millions of people have iPhones. So it’s going to impact Google, Amazon, all of those advertising platforms will be impacted. And so we have no choice but to adapt and figure it out. We will. It’s probably not going to be as bad as the media or anybody makes it sound, just like GDPR wasn’t either, but we will see as we go. And that’s my update for you guys. 

So if you also are considering working with a marketing team, like this is one of the reasons why because people who are completely DIY in their ads, like you might not know about this domain name verification and then there could be a repercussion of your ads getting disapproved or your account getting shut down and you don’t know why. And having an expert, whether it’s completely done for you, or you’re in a program, or you have a coach who can stay on top of these things so you’re not spending hours yourself doing it. I mean, I myself have probably spent a couple of hours researching this and then reading my team’s research on it, and then we have a team member who’s probably spent five hours making sure we had all the information and all the data for our clients and our students. 

You just get this shortcut, yes on the podcast, but also as this rolls out and updating how we actually run the ads and the targeting and all those pieces is why having marketing support pays off so much, one of the reasons. So if you’re considering working with a marketing team, why don’t you see if you qualify working with Hirsh Marketing and go to helpmystrategy.com? We have two spaces open for clients and about four spaces open for our students right now. So we are slowly opening up more spaces, but we’re totally full by the end of last year, which I’m super grateful for, but if you’re considering it, go to helpmystrategy.com, see if you qualify to work with us, and I’ll talk to you guys on Thursday.