Facebook Updates – What we’ve learned from the iOS 14 impact, the latest targeting updates and more

As digital marketers, we are all acutely aware that the only constant in this industry is change, and that old adage certainly continues to hold true in the world of Facebook advertising. In the past year, agencies and brands alike have had to rally and make some changes to the ways we approach our social marketing strategies to accommodate the ever-evolving updates – there’s no sign of a slow down for 2022!

Anyone who has touched Facebook ads within the last year is no doubt aware of the iOS updates; at Parallel Path, we worked hard with our client teams to prepare – we verified domains, prioritized conversion events, and audited accounts to ensure effective set up.  After a year of living in this new world, has this been as catastrophic as the blogs & forums of 2021 would have led us to believe?  In short, not in our view.  

We did notice some impacts with things like the available size of retargeting audiences, but were able to pivot and find alternate ways to scale those efforts and continue driving success for our clients. The biggest takeaway for our team has been the continued importance of diversification in this landscape that is constantly in flux.  

  • Reporting diversification – While the iOS updates may have limited some of the data available directly from the FB platform, there’s still a wealth of supplemental information available to clients who use systems like Google Analytics, including metrics like assisted conversions, site engagement and more.  As savvy marketers, it’s our duty to look at the bigger picture vs. being overly reliant on just one source of truth.  
  • Platform diversification – We’ve welcomed the chance to engage with our client teams on opportunities beyond Facebook/Instagram.  While it can seem risky to go beyond the tried-and-true tactics, now is the time to explore alternatives; whether that’s driving incremental reach & scale with Twitter or creating engaging TikTok content.  
  • Targeting diversification – Becoming overly reliant on any one targeting tactic can be a dicey move.  While we still use and value interest & behavioral segments currently available, we’ve also seen great success with leveraging 1st party data in our social strategies.  Lookalike targeting is certainly not a new tactic, but the importance of this method has once again become top of mind as we look for ways to help combat limitations with 3rd party data sources.  

There is no point on the horizon where these changes will cease or even slow down.  In November, Facebook once again announced updates coming to their targeting capabilities.  As an agency specializing in health, wellness and lifestyle verticals, the news detailing the removal of targeting around health causes and social issues certainly gave us pause, but after taking some time to evaluate,  we realized we’ve got this!  While this may limit our ability to leverage specific tactics that we’ve employed in the past, it does open up opportunities for us to flex our creative thinking skills and come up with new and innovative ways to reach our desired audience and help our clients drive meaningful results.  

Recently, I was on a call with one of our Facebook reps and was informed that they’re working on additional updates beyond what was announced in November and “cleaning up” the list of available targeting options. This latest move is apparently an attempt to reduce redundancies and consolidate the list of available segments.  No specific details are available yet as to what’s being sunsetted and what the potential impacts will be, but we at Parallel Path are going to navigate this latest round of updates as we always do,  hand-in-hand with our client teams and eager to pursue new paths forward to achieving their goals!   

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