How Apple’s iOS 14.5 Release Could Impact Advertisers

Apple ios 14.5

If you work in marketing – and even if you don’t – you have probably heard about the debate surrounding Apple’s iOS 14.5 release. The long-awaited privacy feature is meant to address concerns consumers have about app tracking. As marketers rely heavily on third party data for ad targeting and ad measurement, some advertisers are concerned that this new update may adversely affect their campaigns.

Several tech giants have already responded in detail about the changes. Google released updates to their own privacy policy in light of iOS 14.5 . Facebook was openly critical of the change, claiming it could be a harsh blow to struggling small businesses who rely on target ads to find new customers.

As more and more marketing occur online, advertisers have understandable concerns about how Apple’s iOS 14.5 will affect their livelihood. While there is reason for concern, there is no reason for panic. These types of changes in the tech world are fairly common and businesses have always found ways to adapt.

While there may be an adjustment period, a proactive approach can help you avoid major revenue loss despite a potentially substantial change to target advertising.

IDFA: The Basics

IDFA stands for “identifier for advertisers.” An IDFA is a unique identifier built for mobile devices. It is used to track, target, and measure the efficacy of any given advertising campaign.

IDFAs make connections between information gathered about the user – often through their search history – and the likelihood of clicks and conversions on a specific ad. This helps third party data collection companies draw conclusions about those demographic groups most likely to convey interest in a product or service.

In short, IDFAs help you gain the information necessary to best implement target advertising.

How Does Apple iOS 14.5 Affect IDFAs?

Users could always limit app tracking, but had to manually turn it on and off through software settings on their phone. Many users were unaware their activity was being monitored and/or had no idea they could opt out. This is what led to many criticisms surrounding Apple’s lack of transparency about user privacy. 

With the Apple’s iOS 14.5 update, users no longer have to enter their software settings to opt out of allowing access to their IDFA. Now, when you install a new app, a pop-up directly asks whether you want that app to track your activity across other apps and websites.

For example, say a user tries to install Facebook. During the installation process, they will receive a pop-up saying, “Allow ‘Facebook’ to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?” The user can then pick “Ask App not to Track” or “Allow.”

How Will This Change Impact Advertisers?

As with any major change in tech, no one is entirely sure how advertisers will be affected. However, the impact will likely be significant.

Right now, about 70% of iOS users share their IDFA. By some estimates, that number could drop to 10-15% once iOS 14.5 is released.

Obviously, that is a drastic reduction – and it will likely impact advertisers in several key areas. 

Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs)

Mobile measurement partners are third-party attribution companies. Their job is to collect data for marketing campaigns to illustrate trends in consumer behavior that can help increase ROI.

MMPs get a significant amount of data from mobile apps by gathering information like installs, clicks, and views. A significant drop in IDFA sharing could severely impact the capabilities of MMPs to provide useful information to companies.

Some MMPs are already looking into workarounds. Apple’s SKadNetwork allows MMPs and advertisers to view information regarding installs and campaigns without connecting that information to a specific user. However, SKadNetwork cannot glean as specific information as traditional app tracking. It may be more difficult to breakdown demographic information by ID and limits campaign IDs to 100 per ad network.

Ad Targeting And Measurement

Apple’s iOS 14.5  affects many ad targeting subsets, especially retargeting and device-level targeting. While Google and Facebook can still identify devices based on email addresses and phone numbers, many other platforms will suffer. It may be more difficult to identify target-able audiences for ad campaigns, which can potentially reduce your overall ROI.

While the SKAdNetwork can provide some insights regarding ad measurement, there is concern the information will not be as thorough. Google has stated they are currently working with Apple to improve the SKAdNetwork with the needs of advertisers in mind, specifically regarding ad measurement. They also encourage advertisers to update to the latest version of Google Analytics for Firebase, which includes SKAdNetwork support.

How Do I Prepare For Apple iOS 14.5 ?

There is without doubt reason for concern about the encroaching changes to app tracking. However, it is important to remember businesses have endured these kinds of adjustments before. While it is hard to know what will and will not be effective immediately, being proactive is your best approach to offset a potential dip in leads and conversions.

Review Your Current IDFA Use

A full internal review of current IDFA use can help you get a sense of how big the iOS 14.5 update will be for you.

Consider factors such as:

  • Which software development kits are calling on the IDFA 
  • Your specific IDFA provider’s solutions for adjusting to iOS 14.5
  • Whether you will use SKAdNetwork as an additional source of attribution

Consolidate Your Campaigns

Apple’s SKAdNetwork limits campaign IDs to 100 per ad network. This means you may have to make some tough choices regarding how you are expending your resources.

Review all your current app install campaigns to determine which are the most beneficial. Strive to limit your campaigns to a number substantially less than 100 campaigns per app. This prevents your campaigns from having insufficient conversion signals to stay compatible with SKAdNetwork.

Follow Your Mobile Measurement Platform’s Guidelines

Many MMPs have already provided detailed guidelines about adjusting to iOS 14.5. Check your MMP’s website for guidelines specific to your company’s needs.

Below, we have provided some quick links to guidelines put out by some of the biggest Mobile Measurement Platforms:

Monitor Key Metrics Closely

As this change is very new, it is still unclear how it will affect individual ad campaigns. The effects could be significant for some campaigns and negligible for others.

Either way, monitor your key metrics extremely closely after the release of Apple’s iOS 14.5 This will help you identify any negative impacts on ad campaigns early, giving you ample time to recalibrate. 

Focus On Android Campaigns

The iOS 14.5 update has no impact on Android phones. While this can be a drawback if your target audience tends to err on the side of iPhones, there are millions of Android users worldwide. A significant chunk of people can still be reached through targeted ads that appear through Android devices.

You can still segment your audience based on the behavior of Android users, which can provide key insights on user behavior that can drive ad campaigns.

Tap into Your Website’s Tracking Capabilities

Remember, ad tracking is only one means of gaining data-driven insights. While you may see some unfortunate side effects due to the latest iOS update, your own website is still an invaluable tool.

Your website’s tracking capabilities and built-in analytical tools can get you ample information on user behavior. With more and more iPhone users limiting ad tracking through apps, let your own website’s data fill in some of the gaps.

Increase Your Organic Social Media Efforts

While it can be a little more tricky than targeted ads, organic reach was once the main means of connecting with customers via social media. While organic reach has become less of a focus in recent years, iOS 14.5 may make it a vital part of a marketing strategy once again.

You can try tactics like:

  • Identify the social media outlets where your target audience has the biggest presence
  • Create and share evergreen content with useful, relevant information about your company’s products or services
  • Post content during slower hours, when there is less competition
  • Create video content, which tends to have a higher organic reach
  • Interact with your followers regularly
  • Add follow buttons to your website 

Stay Up-To-Date With Industry News

We are still learning about how this update will impact advertisers. Staying up-to-date with advertising news and trends is always important, but it is especially important to stay informed right now.

There is not always a clear path forward, but the industry is full of leaders highly adept at adjusting and thriving in response to change. Having your finger on the pulse of industry news will help you learn new workarounds, solutions, and strategies as we discover them.

Apple’s iOS14: The Bottom Line

Privacy concerns have long been an issue when it comes to target ads. Consumers often feel wary of opting into app tracking. When Apple iOS 14.5 arrives, many users will no longer share their IDFAs with third-party companies.

This marks a major change for advertisers. However, change is not always a negative thing. Part of working in marketing is adjusting to an unpredictable world; change is common, and not just in terms of how we use technology. Everything from current events to unforeseen weather patterns can drastically impact buyer behavior. Marketers have always found ways to adapt.

Be aware change is coming but remain calm. Proactive companies worldwide are already finding workable solutions to mitigate potential setbacks. As the industry evolves, the best thing you can do is pay close attention and make sure you are prepared to update your strategy.

If you work in marketing – and even if you don’t – you have probably heard about the debate surrounding Apple’s iOS 14.5 release. The long-awaited privacy feature is meant to address
Conversation Rate

How To Improve Your Conversion Rate With SEO

For years, business owners have struggled with one major question regarding their website:

Should they tailor their site design to satisfy the humans who visit it, or should they tailor it to satisfy the search engines that lead visitors there in the first place?

It’s not an easy choice to make. You need the search engines to love you in order for people to find your site. But you need humans to have an excellent experience on your website if you want those visits to turn into conversions.

Fortunately, there’s no longer much need to choose between SEO (search engine optimization) and CRO ( conversion rate optimization). In fact, the more sophisticated search engines become, the more SEO and CRO go hand-in-hand.

After all, search engines have one objective: to identify the web pages that will be most useful to the human beings searching for them. With advancements in technology, the bots are increasingly sensitive to the nuances of the user experience. They’re no longer just trolling for keywords (though keywords are still important!). Now search engines collect hundreds of clues to determine how informative, intuitive, and engaging your site is.

This means search engine optimization is also a stellar guideline for improving your conversion rate.

If you’re still just keyword-stuffing in an attempt to get more eyeballs, you’re a couple steps behind. The good news is that there are countless moves you can make that will boost your search engine rankings and inspire more conversion rate at the same time.

Here are some game-changers to start with.

Add Video Content

If you’ve been following our blog regularly, you know we love video. It’s such an incredible tool for raising brand awareness, inspiring a more personal brand-customer connection, educating users about your product or service, and ultimately boosting conversion rate.

Another great benefit of video is that search engines love it. They love it because they know people love it. Plus, video increases the duration of visits to your site. Generally speaking, you’re doing fairly well if people spend 30 seconds to 2 minutes on your site. If you can get above 2 minutes, you’re really rocking it, and the search engines notice.

And what’s one reliable way to get visitors to stick around that long? Providing something that will keep them engaged so they don’t go anywhere. It could be a longer video that’s deeply compelling, or it could be multiple short videos on the same page. It could even be a combination of video, infographics, and really killer content.

So video engages your visitors and gives you more credibility with search engines. But what about conversion rate? Well, here’s a fun fact:

77% of buyers say they’ve decided to purchase a product or service after watching an explainer video.

Video is an essential part of the strategy. And don’t feel intimidated if you’ve never tried video before. There are now tons of beginner-friendly video content tools like Animoto and Biteable to get you started.

Create Content with Real Value

On that note, it helps to make sure all your content has value to a human audience. Use a combination of written content, images, infographics, and video. Provide information that’s useful or ideas that are entertaining. Not only does this help increase your average duration of visits, but it’s also important to write for humans because the search engines scan for things like relevance and readability. Search engines love blog posts that are around 1,000 words or more. They prefer short, simple, easy to read sentences.

Frequent paragraph breaks are great, too.

Another idea worth considering is whether there is a way to create dynamic content for your website. Dynamic content is content that adapts depending on the locations, needs, and behaviors of the individual visitor. An example of dynamic content would be an ecommerce store featuring a banner advertising free shipping to the visitor’s specific state. Dynamic content also includes purchase suggestions we see so often on sites like Amazon.

Dynamic content is AI at its best. It helps search engines connect your site with people looking for the very specific goods and services you provide. And once those people find you thanks to stellar search engine rankings, they’ll see the specific answer to their specific pain point laid out in black and white. Boom. Conversion.

Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

While we’re on the topic of providing very specific solutions, let’s dig into long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are those specific phrases Internet users search for. Rarely does a human being type “used cars” into the search box. They’re much more likely to search for “used cars in San Jose,” “pre-owned BMW in San Jose,” “how do you know you’re getting a good deal on a used car” . . . you get the idea.

People search for specific solutions, not a general theme. Which means the more you can tailor your content and keyword strategies to resolve a specific search request, the better your chances at getting on the first page of the search results. And, in turn, the likelier you are to get visitors who are actually looking for the very services you provide.

There are many keyword tools that can help you figure out what your prospective customers are looking for and which words they’re using to search. We recommend Google Keyword Planner and KW Finder.

Increase Site Speed

Nobody likes a draggy site. Human beings don’t have patience for it, and neither do the bots.

Optimizing your loading time is one of the simplest things you can do to boost your SEO and your CRO in one step. It’s one thing business owners all-too-frequently underestimate. But we’re willing to bet you’ve abandoned a website before because you just weren’t willing to wait for a sluggish page to load. You can assume your target audience would do the same.

If you’re not sure how well your site performs, speed-wise, run it through Google PageSpeed Insights. This should give you some idea of whether it’s time to look into kicking your speed up a notch.

Optimize for Mobile

How does your website perform on mobile devices? If it looks sloppy or is confusing to navigate, you’re losing yet another opportunity to tell the search engines your site has value.

You’re also losing customers. A lot of them. In fact, nearly 40% of all online purchases made during the 2018 holiday season were made on a mobile device.

If you’re not sure if your page is mobile friendly, run it through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. When you run this test, you get one of three results. Your site may deemed mobile friendly, end of story. You may learn that it’s mobile friendly, but there are some issues with loading a specific page or two. Or you’ll learn that you have some major issues to address. Fortunately, Google tells you exactly what they are so you can resolve them without too much guesswork.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. Modern search engines look at literally hundreds of details when weighing the value of your website. But the bottom line is that SEO is absolutely essential for your business . . . not just because it helps buyers find you, but because it shows you how to give buyers the best experience possible.

You should care what the search engines want, because the search engines want what humans want.

That said, we know improving your website’s SEO can be a sizeable and confusing undertaking. If there’s anything we can do to help, we’re always here and happy to talk to you. Drop us a line.

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