This article is for any business owner who is freaking out about the iOS update that’s currently wreaking havoc across Facebookland.
It makes no difference if you sell E-Comm products, infoproducts or done-for-you services. No matter what business you’re in, you CAN avoid wasting money on Facebook Ads, despite dramatic changes to ad targeting.
The best part is, you don’t need to spend hundreds (or even thousands!) of pounds on advice from over-priced Facebook Ad Strategists. In fact, I’d strongly advise against asking their advice right now. That’s because they’re freaking out just as much as you are!
Because the way most strategists historically made money from Facebook Ads is about to get a whole lot more difficult. In the coming months, making money from Facebook Ads will have very little to do with understanding the algorithm, and everything to do with creativity.
Let me start by sharing a shocking piece of data, published in recent days. It comes from a little-known but highly-regarded Data Analytics Company called Flurry.
What you’re about to see shows just how devastating things could get for businesses who generate leads and sales by relying heavily on Facebook’s algorithm.
It also shows us that Mark Zuckerberg and his team of executives were living in a fantasy world when they estimated the impact of Apple’s privacy changes.
Here’s what Facebook Executives estimated before the iOS update went live...
They thought around 41% of iPhone users would opt in to continue being tracked by Facebook and other advertising platforms.
Had their estimate been correct, this would have caused a 59% drop in user data available to Facebook’s advertisers, meaning…
- Dodgy interest-based targeting
- Patchy ad re-targeting
- And poor quality conversion data
No wonder business owners and ad strategists are freaking out!
The situation is actually FAR WORSE than anyone anticipated!
(Now, I should point out that the final tally of those who’ve opted into being tracked by Facebook will take several months to trickle down. That’s because many people (like me) resist Apple updates until their phone’s about to implode. It can take months for the majority of iPhone users to adopt new software updates. So, Facebook won’t know accurate opt-in rates for a few months yet.)
That said, we can get a good sense of what’s going on with opt-in rates, using the data we have to hand.
Behold! A chart showing tracking opt-in rates after the iOS14.5 launch, in the USA.
Opt-in rates are not 41%. They’re not 31%. Hell, they’re not even 21%!
So far, the average ad tracking opt-in rate for
iPhone users is a measly 4%
That’s one tenth the pre-launch estimate, and represents a 96% loss in data quality for social media advertising platforms like Facebook. Cripes! Pretty depressing, right?
Not from where I’m standing!
To me, this massive loss of data is one of the most exciting things to happen to digital ad copywriters in years. You see, over the last decade, sophisticated social media advertising algorithms have removed the need for creativity.
Got a crappy ad? No sweat – pay Facebook enough money, and it will trawl its vast network of users until it dredges up enough people who want to buy your products or services. Sure, crappy ads had higher customer acquisition costs, but that wasn’t enough to stop beige ads cluttering up our newsfeeds.
The algorithm was a highly effective back-up plan for advertisers who wouldn’t know creativity if it bit them in the tooshie.
Now that back-up plan has been ripped off like a cheap trench coat in a strip show. Creatively-challenged advertisers have been left naked in the newsfeed, unless they can figure out a workaround, and quick!
Can Advertisers Still Win on Facebook?
Luckily Apple’s privacy changes have not killed off Facebook completely. But surviving the death of data, will require business owners to completely rethink the way they run ads.
It requires a shift away from algo-hacking and complex re-targeting strategies. It also requires Facebook advertisers to make two MAJOR CHANGES in the way they approach their ads.
1. Post-iOS 14.5, ad creative matters more than ever – At the agency where I work, our media buying team are testing a different approach to cold traffic targeting. In the past, they segmented audiences down to a super granular level, hitting small sub-groups of potential buyers using hyper-focused targeting.
Often, ad copy was vague – speaking to a surface level desire that would appeal to as many people as possible. Vague messaging didn’t matter too much, because Facebook’s algorithm could deliver that message to exactly the right people at the right time.
The recent drop in data means media buyers need to target much larger, broader audiences with super targeted MESSAGING.
It means we need to do deeper research to understand what REALLY motivates multiple avatars within each market. By going super deep into the mindset of our prospects, we’re able to let the market come to our ultra-niche message, instead of letting Facebook distribute a vague message to a tiny niche market.
Our ad copy must now call out to the specific pain points and aspirations of small sub-sections of the overall market, to compensate for weaker targeting.
Weak, generic messaging is over. Clear, targeted and resonant messaging will be the only way to reach your prospects in the coming weeks and months.
Businesses that invest their resources in high quality copy and creative will continue to make money from Facebook Ads. Those who insist on trying to hack the algo could find themselves throwing a ton of money down the toilet.
2. You’ve got ONE SHOT to convert, so you better make it count! – An unintended consequence of granular advertising is that most landing page copy (e.g. opt-in pages, sales pages, VSLs etc) is terrible.
Many Facebook advertisers follow formulaic landing page templates that lack persuasive power. In fact, I haven’t met many copy ‘gurus’ who stress the importance of having a rock-solid sales argument in your landing page copy.
Sure, most landing pages contain a good amount of helpful information about the product they’re selling. But they do little to emotionally compel buyers to shout, “Hell, Yes”.
For the last few years, it hasn’t been too much of a problem. That’s because business owners could re-target leads who didn’t convert immediately. They could present a series of ads designed to tackle objections, create urgency or jog a prospect’s memory in order to save lost sales.
Post-iOS14.5, we’ve lost a lot of our ability to retarget Facebook users who’ve clicked through to our landing pages. It means if they don’t convert first time, there’s a good chance you’ve lost them forever and they ain’t coming back to your landing page again.
Hence, your landing page copy must convert page viewers immediately. Landing pages will need to work a hell of a lot harder than they had to in the past.
Weak, transactional or informational landing page copy will not be enough to generate sales any more. You need to know what motivates your market better than they know themselves. Your copy must also be compelling enough to hold their attention for the full duration of your sales argument.
So do yourself a favour – don’t spend a penny on Facebook Ads until you know your landing page copy is killer enough to close the sale first time.
Apple’s recent privacy update looks far worse than anyone ever predicted. It means hacking the algorithm will no longer be the best way to make sales through Facebook ads. If you’re a business that has relied on super tight targeting to generate sales, it’s time to rethink your approach to advertising.
- Target wide audiences with super niche, well-researched ad copy
- Make sure your landing page is strong enough to convert first time around
Want the secret to cranking out profitable Facebook Ad Copy in minutes
…even if you’ve never written a Facebook ad before?