It’s been a BIG year of changes in the digital advertising space, so if you’re feeling a little less confident about parting with your precious cashola on your paid ads that’s completely understandable! There is however, a definitive answer on whether you should still be advertising in our new iOS14.5 landscape, and that’s a huge resounding *YES*. 

 

Not only will we aim to shed some light on exactly why investing is still both strategic and important… we’ll also try and give you some guidance on how you can do so in a way that delivers the best bang for your buck for your brand. 

 

Digital still remains the most cost effective option.

 

If you’re working with a relatively small budget many of the more traditional advertising platforms are unavailable to you. Both because there’s no self service platform to manage your TVCs and if you’ve ever run a TVC you’ll know that the cost involved can quickly put your jaw on the floor. For small to medium businesses who are seeking to manage their ads independently digital remains as wonderfully accessible as ever and in our books, that makes it well worth continuing to explore. 

Digital platforms also have so much more clarity in terms of your return on investment. Even considering the data we’ve lost over the past 6 months thanks to iOS14, you’re still going to be able to more effectively gauge your ROAS on a Facebook ad as opposed to a billboard. If I had $1,000 to spend, I’d feel much more secure putting that into a social advertising platform where I can measure my results and edit in real time than blowing it in one pop for an ad in the local paper. 

 

Everyone’s in the same boat and that includes your competition

 

If we’re honest, seeing the platforms we know so well and love change [especially Facebook!] has not been very fun this year. Every single advertiser on those platforms is going through those exact same feels though so it’s not like it’s just you who’s having to come to terms with this slightly new playing field. 

While some platforms are impacted more than others, the consequences for iOS14 have hit most digital advertising platforms in some way. Yes, some platforms have been more open than others about those impacts [not naming any names 😛] but there’s no simple answer in terms one single platform you should be investing in moving forward, we’d still recommend ideally using these platforms in conjunction with one another to best support your brand’s digital customer journey and ecosystem.

We may be wrong but we’re also kind of hoping the changes scare some advertisers away and in their wake we might see reduced competition. If this is the case, the brands that stick it out will be sitting pretty. 

 

You’ll see the impacts if you stop, that’s for sure

 

If you’ve been advertising for some time you’re likely to have seen a decrease in your results this year. Comparing your performance to 12 months ago when covid was at its peak and driving up ecomm sales immensely is another thing entirely! 😅

The risk you run in turning off your social and digital advertising entirely is that things may get a whole lot worse… Let’s take Facebook for example where we’ve moved from a 28-day to 7-day attribution window as well as losing visibility of website custom audiences once they leave the app. In some cases we’ve seen ROAS results decrease by 50% for our clients. Now that’s a big number when we’re looking at reporting BUT if you make decisions based only on what you can see now you might be missing the whole picture in terms of how big a role these ads are playing in your sales funnel.

There may have been many people either who opted out or fell outside of your 7-day window that have seen your ad and it’s contributed to their purchase. If that ad wasn’t running and they never saw it, they’re probably not going to make that purchase and that’s one sale you may never have! Now multiply that by removing your investment altogether and the big question is, where will your awareness, traffic and conversions come from then? 

 

Even if reporting has changed, effectiveness hasn’t

 

We’ve mentioned ROAS [return on ad spend] above and it’s a bit like the elephant in the room at the moment so we couldn’t possibly write a blog about iOS14 advertising and set you up to believe the reported return on investment you’re likely to see on your ads is going to remain the same. 

How much this is impacted is really dependent on the business, their audiences and their path to conversion but what is across the board is that what can be attributed through your ads has altered. 

This sounds super negative but hear us out… Reported and measured results through the various advertising channels do not equal actual results. As we’ve acknowledged above, your ads may be working as hard as they ever have you just can’t necessarily see it with as much clarity as previously. Many of the platforms have a different attribution model so there has always been a disparity on what’s reported from different tools. We’re just seeing this exacerbated a lot right now since iOS14 has come into play. 

For some of our clients, their year on year results are still going up despite decreases in ROAS from an average of 35x to 15x and that’s what really matters most. Set yourself up with as much data as you possibly can to understand where your results are coming from and don’t just rely on one platform for a gauge on how you’re actually performing bigger picture. 

 

So what’s the plan moving forward?

 

Now that we’ve hopefully convinced you to keep your paid ads spend alive we thought it’d only be right to send you off with a few pointers on how to best invest now and into the future: 

💡 Monitor your activity closely, you may need to switch up your long trusted activity to try a new angle

💡 Continue to foster and build the audiences that convert the best for your brand 

💡 Utilise retargeting beyond your website visitors to take advantage of the on-platform interactions you see 

💡Prioritise your database as it’s the only digital audience you truly own when it comes to digital advertising

💡Strategically utilise each platform available to you to best create a customer experience not dependent on any one platform 

💡Keep your eye on upcoming changes on each of the platforms, they’re all pretty fast to develop and we’ve got a feeling there are some new toys to play with just around the corner!

If you’d like to digi-geek out further with us on how to adjust your strategy for the current climate, join us in our upcoming Lunch & Learn.

We’ve also got some more info you might like to check out on our iOS14 update blog.