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7 Ways to Combat Rising Facebook CPMs Due to iOS 14

October 11, 2021

As we knew it would, the release of Apple iOS 14 earlier this year has impacted Facebook advertising in a dramatic way. Now that a few months have passed and the dust has settled, I want to share with you something I've observed in my clients' accounts: that CPMs are rising.

increase in facebook ads CPM due to ios 14

So in this post, I'm going to:

  • Tell you why your Facebook ad CPMs might be higher as a result of iOS 14.
  • Share seven tips to keep your CPMs low.
  • Provide additional resources for lowering additional Facebook ad costs.

Why is iOS 14 causing higher Facebook ad CPMs?

I have been managing Facebook ads for clients for a number of years now and in the months following the iOS14 update, I've noticed increasing CPMs.

The iOS14 update has caused CPMs to rise in many instances for a variety of reasons:

1. Audience sizes shrinking

The primary reason many advertisers are seeing this rise in cost is that as Apple iOS 14 allows users to opt out of tracking and 96% have chosen to do so.

shrinking facebook custom audience sizes due to iOS 14

With the pixel being unable to track users as effectively, Facebook can’t build sufficient-sized custom audiences like it used to.

facebook ad targeting in privacy first world: notification in ads manager about audience size decrease due to iOS 14

Learn how to make the most of your privacy-first Facebook ad targeting here.

2. Increased competition

Due to the shrinking of many audiences, the real estate for which your ads enter an auction has become limited as well. This causes an increase in competition on a per-user basis, further raising costs to advertise on Facebook.

3. In-feed placements have more value

I also noticed that lead ad campaigns had a much more volatile reaction to iOS14 than their counterparts simply because of the types of placements this campaign type allows.

For example, here are the placement options for a lead ads campaign vs a conversions campaign:

placement options for facebook lead vs conversions campaign

As you can see, the additional placements available for the web conversions campaign objective allow you to spread your impressions across more (ultimately cheaper) places. This brings your average CPM down quite a bit because you aren’t solely focusing on in-feed placements. The unfortunate part of this is that typically it is the in-feed placements that convert at the highest rates and drive the most qualified leads.

7 tips to keep your Facebook CPMs down

So what do we do now? I have five tips to help you combat rising CPMs as a result of iOS 14.

1. Diversify your campaign strategy

As I have stated above, running multiple campaign types may be a good strategy to combat surface-level costs. However, this all really depends on the results you are seeing and the costs you are experiencing with your current budget and Facebook advertising strategy.

If at your current budget you are seeing lead ads work effectively from the top to the bottom of your sales/marketing funnel, then I would suggest continuing to run ads as you are.

But if you are seeing dramatic spikes in costs when attempting to scale your existing strategy, you may want to try setting up a full-funnel strategy using a variety of campaign objectives.

full funnel facebook ads account structure

2. Broaden your audiences

One of the aspects of Facebook advertising that appeals most to marketers is the ability to refine and target specific segments of users. While you can still refine and target your audiences to a certain degree, ad sets that are going to deliver evergreen success at a reasonable cost are likely going to have to be a bit on the broader side. The smaller the audience, the higher the competition, the higher the competition, the higher the CPM.

3. Lower daily budget on the ad set level & introduce more audiences

An alternative strategy to broadening audiences would be to create several of them (as different from each other as possible to avoid overlap) and to spread your total daily budget across them all, as opposed to one or two.

Are you wasting any of your Facebook ads budget? Find out instantly with our Free Facebook Ads Performance Grader.

4. Enable all placements

Personally, the only Facebook ad placements that I advise clients against advertising on is the Audience Network. However, if your audience is refined or has a higher degree of intent (such as with a remarketing audience) then enabling automatic placements could benefit the surface level metrics of your campaign (at least in the CPM realm).

5. Implement Facebook’s Conversions API

The Facebook Conversions API allows you to track Facebook events using your server, which doesn't require cookies and can therefore capture more data than the Facebook Pixel alone. With more complete and accurate conversion data, you can create stronger remarketing audiences, and since those will likely grow, this will lower CPMs. 

You can learn everything you need to know about Facebook Conversions API here.

6. Keep costs low elsewhere

In addition to the above tactics for keeping your CPMs down, you might also want to make sure you're doing what you can to keep costs low in all areas of your Facebook ads account.

For more ways to save money in Facebook ads, check out the following:

7. Don't give up on Facebook ads!

With the increased complexity of Facebook advertising, it's easy to become frustrated and jaded. However, you may find that it is a great opportunity for you and your business to stay ahead of the competition.

If many advertisers give up on it but you don't, you can be in a good position to get your brand out there, drive leads, and take advantage of a powerful platform that your competitors are not.

With this perspective, the hard work needed to ensure your ads are running and tracking properly will pay off in the end. As widespread of a hurdle that iOS14 has been, many are still thriving with Facebook Ads and will continue to do so through patience and dedication to their overall marketing objectives.

How to reduce your Facebook ads CPM [recap]

  1. Diversify your campaign types.
  2. Broaden your audiences.
  3. Lower daily budget on the ad set level & introduce more audiences.
  4. Enable all placements.
  5. Implement Facebook Conversions API.
  6. Keep costs low elsewhere
  7. Don't give up on Facebook ads!

 

Featured image source: DashThis

Brett McHale

Brett McHale

Brett McHale is the founder of Empiric Marketing, a digital marketing agency dedicated to scaling startups through paid search and social.

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