5-Step Formula for Optimizing Ads in a post iOS14.5 World

We’re a few months into Apple’s iOS14.5 release, and one thing is abundantly clear - this is just the beginning of changes in data tracking.

Consumers today are starting to question their lack of privacy & control, and more importantly, they’re empowered to do something about how their data is being used. Which means, as marketers today, we’ll have to adopt a more cohesive marketing strategy - one that takes these continuing privacy changes into consideration. To tackle this, we’ve laid out a rubric for what you need to know, and a 5-step formula to empower your advertising team in a post-iOS 14.5 world. Let’s dive in!

iOS14.5 and its Ripple Effects:

If you haven’t gotten the full rundown on iOS 14.5 yet, it’s one of Apple’s biggest operating system updates to date with an emphasis on user privacy. If you're looking for a more robust overview, you can have a look at “What advertisers need to know about Apple’s iOS14.5 Release.”

How to Stay Ahead:

Restrictive changes are happening, and will continue to happen for the foreseeable future. The good news is that with an effective “in-house” data ecosystem and strategic partnerships, there’s still an effective way to stay ahead of changes and stay compliant. Take this shift as an opportunity to regroup, and re-build your ads strategy so it's more resilient to change. Today, we’re going to dive into two “need-to-know” topics to optimize your ads strategy in this new data landscape - First-Party Data & Offline Conversion Tracking.

First-Party Data

First-Party data is the data collected directly from your fans or audience. It can include information like personally identifiable information, purchasing behaviour, interests, subscriptions, historical data and more. In a data landscape that’s increasingly focused on empowering users, First-Party data is an integral part of a long-term strategy. It’s built on the principle of consent, and it’s how you get to learn more about your fans straight from the source.

Offline Conversion Tracking

As we know, data is only useful if it’s timely, accurate and actionable. This is an issue that we’re contending with today. The “cookie culture” has been hit particularly hard by the introduction of ‘opt-in’ tracking. We’re seeing an impact on the amount of information we can collect on our audience, and the quality of that information. So what do you do? Our advice is to find tools to “close the loop.” One such tool is Facebook’s Offline Conversion API. When integrated with a wider data ecosystem, this API can be used to combat the issues of anonymization and delayed reporting brought about by iOS14.5.

5-Step Formula to Building your Advertising Strategy

Now that you’re caught up on some possible tools to use to stay ahead, let’s build out an action plan. We’ve put together a 5-step formula to integrate these components into your ads strategy and to make them work for you in the post-iOS 14.5 world.

1. Find your best fans and generate lookalikes

In a world of increased concern about privacy and security, you need to create appealing opportunities for fans to share valuable first-party data with you. Create moments of true value exchange for your fans.

Once you have your fan data collected, actioning it is the next step. With a centralized database you can effectively manage the information to get to know your fans more in-depth and uncover your “best fans” for targeted activations.

Based on your understanding of who your “best fans” are, you can start to expand your network and look for other fans that share similar aspects. The beauty of deeply understanding your first-party data is that you can create highly segmented audiences for activations based on the information you are already armed with.

2. Build relevant ads and constantly monitor their performance

Get personal! Your audience wants to feel like you’re speaking directly to them, as if they’re the only fans in the world! Be sure to tailor the copy and images for your segmented audience to ensure they are seeing ads that resonate with them. This will lead to more organic engagement and these personalized posts are the ones to take note of and channel your efforts and budget towards. Check your CPC/CPM and lean into the ads that perform best in these areas. Then, turn off the ones that are weaker. Save your resources and save your audience from dismissing your content.

3. Understand your best performing channels

Effective marketing relies on your ability to work smarter, not harder. Track your best direct (online) and indirect (offline) conversions so you get a more accurate picture of which marketing channels are your “power” channels. Far too often, offline conversions are ignored when judging the effectiveness of a marketing tactic. CPMs and CPCs are great indicators of effectiveness, but they’re not the only ones.

Offline conversions are conversions that happen “out of your line of sight” so to speak. Most commonly they refer to those that happen at a physical storefront, however the same sentiment can apply to purchases by an audience that has opted-out of tracking. Bridging the gap between online and offline is as simple as collecting purchaser information such as name and email and passing it along through to Facebook. Then, the Facebook Conversions API can cross reference your database of people with those that clicked on your ads within your attribution window - and just like that, you can determine attribution!

4. Remove fans that convert

That’s one fan off the list, now onto the next! Nothing is more annoying than seeing an ad to buy tickets for a show that you’ve already bought tickets for. Ensure that you remove fans that have already converted from your advertising funnel, so that they don’t get bombarded with irrelevant ads. Instead, leave the interaction on a positive note and move on to lookalikes and other audiences.

5. Add Friends of buyers

Sometimes, the best advertising move is to let your loyal fans ‘lead.’ While casting a wide net can be great for uncovering new audiences, it’s expensive. Instead, consider targeting “friends of buyers” as warm leads. Afterall, in the live entertainment industry, the friends you go with are often as important as the event itself when it comes to your decision making. These friends of buyers are likely already being “buttered-up” by their network to go, so an extra nudge is likely all they need.

This is where it’s worth investing in a centralized database - so you can store these interactions and understand your fans’ personal networks. Investing in a database that updates in real-time will allow you to keep track of newly converted fans, which in turn, will help you find lookalikes and tap into “friendly” networks. Superserve your existing fans and they will reward you by letting you tap into their social capital.

We could talk about optimizing your advertising with First-Party Fan Data all day, but you probably want to see it in action. Check out this case-studyto see for yourself how the Arizona Coyotes optimized their ads strategy . The results that these strategies yield speak for themselves in terms of their effectiveness.

Interested in learning more about how to optimize your ads? We’re happy to help! Contact us here for a free ideation session on how to improve your ads strategy.


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