The ongoing privacy-related updates by Apple after iOS 14.5 have pretty much killed Facebook ads.
Read along to know why this is just a natural part of the rise-and-fall of marketing channels and how you can deal with it.
I’ll dive deep into what the iOS changes mean for businesses, specifically DTC ecommerce businesses and prove to you why Influencer Marketing is the best bet moving forward.
iOS 14.5’s impact
April 26, 2021. Doomsday for paid media buyers on Facebook.
This is the day Apple released their privacy updates that allowed users to opt out of apps that track them. I “ask app not to track”-ed a lot of the apps on my phone, so did you, and so did your buyers.
It may have sabotaged your sole marketing channel, leaving you scrambling to find out better ways to grow.
More than that, it exposed what sane marketers and founders already knew. Being dependent on a third-party corporate (in this case, Facebook) is a losing game.
According to research by Flurry, only 6% of US consumers opted-in to the tracking.
This means Facebook’s data and tracking abilities are that much worse.
This is why you see your ROAS is down, CPMs are up, costs are exploding while your CTR is down, reach is declining, and conversions are tanking.
Custom audiences such as Lookalikes may not be the best right now and interest-targeting is as good as a black box.
But I don’t blame Facebook or Apple. I think this is good. Let me explain.
Why this is actually good
Nobody likes to be tracked. Isn’t it creepy to get an ad for the some stuff you were googling casually?
Sometimes even privately mentioning something to friends in conversation leads to an ad about it pop up on your Instagram feed. Maybe it’s listening, maybe it isn’t.
Regardless, the truth is, nobody likes to be tracked and have their conversations, likes, habits snooped into. No one likes to be interrupted while they’re scrolling through their friend’s posts or watching vacation videos on their stories.
Let me pause here for a second to thank this blog’s sponsor...
Caught you off-guard, didn’t it?
People feel even worse when they see an ad.
Apple’s privacy update was just a catalyst in the natural trend away from advertising. Trying to make it work is like trying to make TV advertising work. Nobody is interested in the commercial and just want their show to be back on asap.
Many software and services companies resort to using content marketing as their most robust growth channel. Ecommerce companies may not have this luxury, as your buyers are not busy reading blogposts about the non-complicated $30 product you’re selling.
Feels like marketing is hazy right now. Your best channel got merked and popular advice like “try content” or “try TikTok ads” doesn’t seem to work.
Don’t worry, every dark cloud has a silver lining. This one does too.
Go where the trust is
Your buyers do not trust a Facebook ad anymore, as I hope I have conveyed clearly enough throughout this post. And this fact itself will lead you to the silver lining. The natural next question is-
Who do they trust?
They trust their brother, sister, friends, acquaintances, experts. This is an evergreen fact and doesn’t “come and leave” like Facebook.
In 2022, along with recommendations from friends and family, they trust their favourite creator on social media too. This is the silver lining you can capitalise on. Don’t believe me?
This study by Elite Daily and Millennial branding found that “millennials don’t trust advertising and are looking for the opinions from their friends (37%), parents (36%) and online experts (17%) before making a purchase.”
Trust is the number 1 thing when making a sale. If they don’t trust you and your product, they will never buy. Regardless of whatever cool tactic or piece of copy you try.
Now, let me tell you the best way to ride this wave of trust migration from legacy ads to other more authentic voices.
Leverage creators to grow your brand
If you look through all the technicalities and abstract away, there are only three types of marketing channels. Those are
The natural progression of an ideal business’ marketing plan is to move from rented to earned and owned channels.
This very natural progression is simply now incentivised for you by the downfall of Facebook ads. It is poetic. And you, by simply reading this, are positioning yourself for success.
Influencer marketing is earned media and that’s where your attention should be moving forward. And guess what the ROAS is, on average? 6x! That’s $1 in, $6 out.
How’s Facebook doing, again?
Leveraging creators with influence is the only long-term and robust solution to Facebook ads performance decline. It’s not TikTok ads, as your marketing agency may tell you. Go nowhere near interruptive ads if you want to win.
You should use ad platforms for what they’re worth. Feed the money hungry growth machines while you build up other channels of profitable growth.
Move to TikTok ads to keep the boat afloat and buy time. But work on building a robust influencer program that lasts forever and isn’t affected by the whims of BigTech.
I hope this post was able to resolve your doubts about Facebook and get you thinking in the right direction for your marketing goals. With Saral, you can set up an influencer program in a few days. Interested? Click the link below.