7 Powerful Tips For Running Facebook Ads After iOS 14.5

Marketing has always been about adaptation and innovation. Here, we take you through new techniques and metrics that will help you scale your brand in 2022.

Facebook & Instagram ads have changed since iOS14.5. It’s got to the point where some believe it’s no longer possible to run profitable ads on social platforms. We’re here to tell you something different. This guide will show you 7 tips (and some bonuses) for running ads profitably after the iOS14.5 update. These are the systems our media buying teams are using to still help clients scale.


Proper cAPI setup and events in Facebook Events Manager

Since iOS14.5, the integration of the Pixel on your store is a bit different. Making sure that your cAPI (conversion API) is set up correctly is the most important step.
If you are on Shopify, the new Facebook App is quite intuitive and has several steps you need to go through to link the pixel with your store. You can read more about this here.

If you’re on another platform like WooCommerce we recommend using a tool like PixelYourSite to set up cAPI.

In Facebook, you should see the following on Events Manager (green).

In your Aggregated Events Management, the following events should be set up in order of priority: Purchase (value optimised – 4 events), Add Payment Info, Initiate Checkout, Add to Cart, ViewContent.

Once this is done you are good to go, now that your Meta (Facebook) Pixel is tracking optimally.


MER: A ‘new’ way of looking at performance for your ads

Even when everything is set up correctly, the big change since iOS14.5 is people opting out of tracking. What this means is that we’re not ‘seeing’ the revenue that our advertising is bringing in. The click and the purchase are there, we just can’t ‘see’ them in our ad account.

To account for this we use a metric called MER or the Marketing Efficiency Ratio. The MER is simply the store revenue, divided by the marketing ad spend on all platforms to get to that revenue. You can read more about the MER here.


If you’re interested in receiving your own MER calculator from us that will show you everything you need to do to calculate your MER, then simply click the image below.

MER is one of the most important metrics for us in scaling accounts. A big mistake we’re seeing in a lot of accounts we audit is that the account is not scaled because the data is not read properly.

Store performance is strong, ad account performance is not and because of that the ad account is not scaled. The revenue in the store comes from the combined marketing efforts – so the account is ready to be scaled even though the ad account says otherwise.


ROAS based on attribution

Even though we look at MER as our true North Star for performance, we still need a measurement in the ad account to see how performance is and if a specific campaign or ad is performing.

The way we do this is by using ‘attributed ROAS’.

We see the average percentage of sales that is attributed by Facebook/Instagram compared to the overall sales and calculate this back to our MER Goal and ROAS.

We compare the attributed revenue from Facebook pre-iOS14.5 and after to get a better picture of how accurate this ROAS number is.

Might sound difficult, but it’s not. We use this on a daily basis to measure true performance.

Example: Sales are $100k at a 5x MER (your goal is 4.5x so you had a good month). That means you have spent $20k on ads (to keep it simple let’s say 1 platform).

With that $20k spent on Facebook/Instagram you only saw a 1.2x ROAS (or $24k in sales) so you now know that your attributed revenue from FB is 24% (24k/100k) – so as long as your attributed revenue from FB stays similar you know you’re good to scale on a 1.2x ROAS.

The real ROAS number you need to look for is 24% of 4.5x MER, so anything over 1.08x ROAS and you’re good to scale.

When you put all this data in a sheet you can re-calculate these metrics on a weekly basis.


Simplified Account Structure

The biggest impact of iOS14.5 is people opting out of tracking. This means that we can no longer ‘follow’ people (that have opted out) on Facebook as soon as they leave the platform. Because of that, we have less visibility in the ad account and audience sizes are smaller.

The way to combat this is to use a simplified account structure. Setting up 10 campaigns with lots of ad sets and different targeting options is no longer working, because it’s more difficult to see what is actually working in the account.
At Heavy Head Social we use a very simple campaign setup.
– 1 Campaign for our top of funnel (FS1) with 1 or 2 ad sets (cold audiences)
– 1 Campaign for our middle of funnel (FS2) with 1 or sometimes 2 ad sets
– 1 Campaign for our bottom of funnel (FS3) with 1 ad set
– 1 Campaign for our existing customers (FS4) with 1 ad set

Besides this we have 1 separated campaign for our creative/audience testing.

The goal is to make sure our audiences are big and stacked.

For retargeting in FS2 and FS3 we group different audiences together (website traffic, video views, engagement etc) so we get the biggest size audience to target. Splitting this out per audience is no longer the preferred way.

IMPORTANT: Because you are grouping audiences together make sure that your messaging is on point for all the audiences you include. One way to do this in the retargeting stages is by using the Dynamic Creative option with multiple angles/creatives.

BONUS TIP 1: The Learning Phase is an important tool to keep track of how your account is doing. Aim to be below 30% in learning (this is of course budget dependent).

To get out of the learning phase an ad set ideally needs to get 50+ conversions for a specific event. By combining audiences together as mentioned above it’s easier to get out of the learning phase.

When an ad set is out of learning, the CPA is typically 18-23% better and your account will have more stability.

BONUS TIP 2: Test with different exclusions on different funnel stages. Some accounts perform better when only excluding past purchasers while others perform better at the top of the funnel with full exclusions.

When ad spend is low, you’ll want to test with less exclusions initially until you can build out a proper funnel.


Targeting: What & How to Target?

Since the iOS14.5 rollout, targeting has changed. Fully broad (no targeting) audiences are no longer as successful as they were before iOS14.5 and lookalikes are not performing as they used to either.

Something we see working well in most accounts is stacking of interests. Group several well-performing interests together into 1 big audience and give the ad set enough budget to hit the 50 conversion a week.

As a general rule, it’s important to use more on-Facebook events. These are events that are trackable without people leaving the platform. Think of engagement audiences, people that opened a canvas/collection ad, video view audiences etc.

These audiences are still 100% trackable on Facebook and will make sure that your audience sizes for retargeting are big enough.

Testing different optimisation events at the top of the funnel is important too. You can test Video View Campaigns, Engagement Campaigns. As long as the main percentage of your budget (90%) goes towards Purchase Optimised Campaigns.


The 72-Hour Window & How to Read Data

The way that Apple passes data over to Shopify/Facebook has changed with the Conversion API. Since the change it can take up to 72-hours to see data appear in your ad account, which means that an ad that doesn’t show results for 2 days (and you turn it off) might all of sudden have a purchase on the 3rd day and be a winner.

This is especially important during creative testing. Going back to tests and not letting them run longer than needed to get data (and overspend in the process) is key.

Make sure you create a clear testing system with 2 specific launch days so you know when to read the data a first time, and when to go back to the ads a second time to see if those initial results are the real ones.

BONUS TIP: Uploading Offline Conversions into your Meta (Facebook) Ads Manager is something that really helps analysis. By uploading these from your eCommerce store into an Offline Conversion Event set in your Events Manager you can track events happening on your store back to your ad account, even if people have opted out.

You won’t be able to use these people for tracking, but you have more visibility on how your ads are actually performing. In the example below you can see the difference.

– Website Purchase ROAS (based on cAPI and Browser Pixel events) is 2.48x
– Purchase ROAS (based on cAPI, Browser Pixel and Offline Conversion events) is 5.36x

Especially in creative testing this is giving an edge on testing. You know what is working (and how well) a lot quicker than by waiting on data to appear.

We implement this for all our clients when they start working with us so we have the most accurate data in the account.


Collect Email and SMS subscribers for your eCommerce store.

Last but not least, with all this talk about Facebook ads and how to run ads after the iOS14.5 update, there is 1 important element we implement on every account we manage.

We focus on generating subscribers for both email and SMS through lead-gen campaigns as we are 100% in control of that data. Adding this in the mix has proven to give a massive boost to the ROI of the brands we are working with.

We hope these tips will help you run your ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram better.
Of course, if you would like to have a no strings attached chat with one of our team members about
how we can help you scale your campaigns, then book a call by clicking the button below