Do you know what an IDFA is? If not, you’re about to find out…
IDFA stands for “Identifier for Advertisers.” It’s the mobile phone version of an IP address, assigned to each phone by Apple. Like an IP address, your personal information is not attached to the data being tracked… but your search patterns and location are.
In just a few weeks, iOS will be rolling out an IDFA opt-out. For networks like Facebook and Instagram who rely heavily on this data for their advertising, several challenges will be presented to their paid traffic if most people opt out (which is the worst case scenario but decently likely).
In response to this Facebook has launched a campaign advocating against this opt-out option, they say, to protect small businesses who rely on Facebook and Instagram advertisements for significant amounts of revenue. For sentiments about this campaign and history of this IDFA iOS opt-out rollout, Social Media Today did a great job covering it yesterday.
Some of you reading this today fall into the category I mentioned above—you either rely on paid traffic (namely Facebook and Instagram ads) for audience growth, conversions, and/or both. My message to you is not to panic right now. Here’s why…
The most successful Facebook and Instagram ads strategy that I recommend to-date (even with IDFAs enabled) are “video views” campaigns. I design these campaigns with the main purpose of creating a warm audience before I run a conversion ad. First, I start with a broadly targeted interest-based audience for a client’s product or service. Then, I run a video-based ad to that interest-based audience to capture a custom audience of people who view that video for 10+ seconds. I then run a conversion ad to that (warm) custom audience.
The reason I recommend this strategy (and why it works so well), is that people who view your video for longer than ten seconds are essentially telling you “I am interested in you.” If you can make a custom audience of people who are saying “I am interested in you” (or in other words a warm audience) before you run a conversion ad, then that conversion ad is likely to get results for less of an up-front investment. After all, we know it’s easier to convert a warm audience than a cold one… on and offline. Most advertisers spend a lot more on conversion ads than they should because they don’t take the “weed out” step. Instead, they rely upon the interest-based targeting they did up front, resulting in targeting an expensive cold audience for conversion ads.
How does this strategy protect me from the IDFA opt-outs you may ask?
Here’s the magic: Never in the above text did I say, “retarget users who clicked on your website.” IDFA and IP address data are not needed. Don’t get me wrong—retargeting is a gold-standard strategy, but we may not be able to use that strategy as meaningfully as we did before post IDFA opt-outs… so we have to make plans to work with the most powerful strategies upon which we still can rely. Luckily, the strategy I described above works phenomenally well—with IDFA enabled or not because it never requires a user to leave the Facebook app to be retargeted. In other words, Facebook (and thus Instagram) owns and tracks its own video view data.
As with everything in marketing, one sole strategy should not drive your conversions. If you rely completely on paid traffic for conversions, then you need to strengthen your organic strategy and your email marketing strategy. In the meantime, though, there are alternatives to making Facebook and Instagram ads work in a post IDFA opt-out world.
And here’s a parting word to the wise… if you read my above strategy and are now experimenting with video views ads on the Facebook/Instagram ads platform, don’t use the Audience Network option and expect Facebook to track those views… Facebook can’t track those off app views right now even with IDFAs enabled (this info and more tips and strategies like this are included in my courses and coaching programs.)
Again, don’t panic. There are alternatives to IDFA data… just start preparing now.