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How to improve your advertising strategy for ios 14.5

05 Mar

Zorka.Agency investigates the latest market changes and the implications they have for advertisers.

Apple introduces a disruptive change in how advertising on iOS devices has historically been measured. Apple has announced that by the end of March 2021 users will be able to choose if they want to share their unique identifier right in the app, that is, to block the IDFA. Currently, about 70% of IOS users share their IDFA with app publishers, once this change is in place it’s estimated that this number will drop to 10%-15%.

It will become more difficult to drive iOS traffic. In general, advertisers will have to decide if the app promotion on iOS is still worth it. Thus, updated install costs may not fit the app’s marketing budget. It is likely that advertisers will focus on Android promotion, as iOS traffic will no longer be profitable – Karyna Vasiukevich, Zorka.Agency.

What does it mean for advertisers?

If you are a marketing specialist or an owner of a mobile app, you’ll need to update your measurement SDK to the latest version and start using Apple’s new ad platform SKAdNetwork (SKAN). Currently, the SKAN has had a poor reception from ad networks therefore advertisers, iOS product owners, and app publishers are expected to face with:

  • loss of target audience;
  • total loss of ad retargeting audience (retargeting won’t be available);
  • increase of traffic costs;
  • highly limited room for ad optimization;
  • scaled down digital performance;
  • decreased data accuracy.

How SKAdNetwork works – Simplified data flow

Facebook will become available only for in-house purchases and with extremely limited functionality. Look-a-like audiences will not be available, since they are collected by IDFA. In other words, advertising budgets will shift from Facebook to in-app and programmatic traffic sources – Karyna Vasiukevich, Zorka.Agency


How will these changes affect Facebook?

Facebook has historically been the main platform for generating iOS traffic, but the changes Apple is about to introduce will predictably cause Facebook to lose its leading position. Here are some significant outcomes that the new policy will lead to:

  • inability to scale performance. The restrictions are to affect advertising accounts, the number of advertising campaigns and ad groups. Namely, the number of advertising campaigns managed from a single advertising account will be limited to 9, each covering up to 5 ad groups. Look-a-like campaigns being virtually ineffective despite their great performance over the years. The issue is that they are based on IDFA;
  • traffic optimization being nearly impossible. There’s going to be a delay of 1-3 days when getting the latest statistics.
Demand for iOS traffic from Facebook is going to decline

Demand for iOS traffic from Facebook is going to decline

What is the solution?

We recommend advertisers reconsider the volume of traffic distribution: in particular, redistribute the amount of Facebook traffic to other sources. We also recommend paying special attention to the mechanics of programmatic advertising.

Why is programmatic advertising the best solution for iOS 14.5?

Programmatic advertising is an AI-automated way of purchasing ads, that helps to target a specific audience on several platforms simultaneously.

Programmatic advertising can use hundreds of targeting signals to personalize ads like Facebook and Google, according to user lifestyle, habits, and their online behavior, making this automated buying tool indispensable in performance marketing in 2021.

What are the benefits of programmatic advertising for iOS 14.5?

  • integrated with all MMPs (Mobile Management Partners, e.g. Adjust, AppsFlyer) and can notify them of SKAN conversions;
  • integrated with most SSPs and can receive SKAN conversions from their publishers;
  • uses the campaign_id field from Apple to match installs with the campaign/dimension that generated them;
  • provides SKAN the info on installs separately from MMP installs;
  • allows automatic contextual optimization from SKAN postbacks​.

Three simple steps to start improving your strategy

  1. Update your app to be ready for SKAN​. For a campaign to work with SKAN, the advertiser needs to update their app. Normally that is done by updating the SDK of the MMP. The MMPs are updating their SDKs to do everything that app owners need to do to be able to use SKAN.​
  2. Select SKAN as an attribution method inside the MMP​. Once an App has a new MMP SDK supporting SKAN, then you can configure the SKAN settings via the MMP config. ​
  3. Begin testing your SKAN performance now! Exploration will be cheaper and more efficient before the complete transition, you’d better start testing it now before the changes are in place (pre-ATT) and there is still data for optimization.