How Apple's Privacy Changes Will Impact Facebook Ads

Graphic with Apple logo and Facebook app open on a phone by Sales & Marketing Technologies

January 5, 2021

In June 2020, Apple announced at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) privacy changes that will impact data sharing across iOS. Apple has stated it believes that privacy is a fundamental human right which is the reason behind the privacy changes. Here’s what you need to know about Apple’s new privacy policies and how it will impact Facebook Ads.

What Are Apple’s New Privacy Changes?

The first privacy change will require App Store product pages to feature a new privacy details section to help users understand an app’s privacy practices. Developers will need to submit their information via App Store Connect to prepare for this feature which was originally set to be rolled out for the end of 2020 but was delayed until early 2021. The second privacy change will require apps to receive user permission to track users across apps or websites owned by other companies, or to access the device’s advertising identifier.

The New Privacy Policies Will Limit Facebook Ads

Facebook has taken a public stance against Apple’s policy change, positioning itself as a defender of small businesses. The social media platform claims that Apple’s new privacy policies will limit businesses’ ability to effectively reach, understand, and engage people online. Additionally, the changes will affect their ability to understand performance, control who sees their ads, and make informed decisions about advertising budgets.
While Facebook doesn’t anticipate the changes will cause a full loss of personalization, it claims that Apple’s policy will make it harder for small businesses to reach their target audience, thus limiting their growth and their ability to compete with big companies.

Considerations for Small Businesses

Facebook Ads may not be as effective for small businesses as they were before, but that doesn’t mean your business still can’t get value out of Facebook and leverage other digital marketing strategies. Here are some considerations to help prepare your 2021 digital marketing plan:

Focus on Community Building

If you haven’t already, start a Facebook group to build a community. Not only is a Facebook group a great way to connect with your audience, but it can also create meaningful conversations about your product or service. You might even get more group members than page followers - just take a look at Instant Pot's Facebook which has over 324k page followers but its public group, Instant Pot Community, has over 2.8m members!

Create Quality Content

Content is a must for successful digital marketing, particularly search engine optimization (SEO). Although Google’s May 2020 core update placed a greater focus on quality content for ranking in search results, it’s beneficial for other reasons besides SEO like email marketing, sales funnels, marketing automation, and more.

Diversify Your Strategies

From privacy changes to new technologies, digital marketing is constantly changing and evolving which is why you shouldn’t ever put all of your eggs in one basket. It’s crucial that you diversity your digital marketing plan to include multiple strategies beyond Facebook Ads like organic social media marketing, content marketing, SEO, email marketing, etc.

Re-Evaluate Your Digital Marketing for 2021

Apple’s privacy changes aren’t the first of its kind to affect pay-per-click advertising. In January 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect and before that in 2018, it was the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). While small businesses will probably see a reduced return on their Facebook Ads campaigns, paid social media marketing will still have a place in the marketplace, albeit less personalized. Now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your digital marketing plan so your business will be better positioned to achieve growth in 2021.
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