Google made headlines when they announced that third-party cookies would be removed from Chrome. Apple announced a similar change.
This is a major shift for social media marketers. What can you expect cookieless, paid social to look and feel like?
Google's solution to third-party cookies being ended is the Privacy Sandbox. This anonymizes data to increase privacy and reduce spam and fraud.
However, social media sites like Instagram and Facebook use a different approach. To be successful in social media, it is important to understand what these changes mean.
This is the information you need to understand about this change and how to prepare. It might not be as significant as you think.
What does the end of third-party cookies mean for paid social?
Third-party cookies can be small bits of code that marketers use to gain data about users' interactions on websites and social media platforms. These cookies are placed by third parties and allow for tracking of actions across multiple websites.
You can target users who have bought a particular item or read a news story about a topic on another website and then visit Facebook.
Social media marketing heavily uses third-party cookies. Many social media marketers are concerned about the implications of this change. But marketers have ignored some of the drawbacks of third-party cookies. It is important to understand the drawbacks of third-party cookies in order to comprehend the effect of this change.
Third-party cookies are not always accurate. Cookies can't always be used to track the same person if they are using their mobile phone at work and their laptop at home for a search.
Cookies can't distinguish between the search results of a person searching for one thing and those of a roommate who searches for the same thing (using the same IP address).
Privacy is another concern. Is it possible for sites to track individuals across multiple websites? What is the storage location? What length of time is that data kept? Are people able to request advertisers to delete their data
EU and other organisations have resisted regulations that would improve online privacy such as GDPR.
Cookies are an important part of targeted paid social ads, despite their flaws.
What does the end third-party cookie mean for paid social ads
It's important that you note that Google has extended the deadline for ending third-party cookie usage. This means you still have plenty of time to plan.
There are also more effective ways to target social media ads through paid advertising. While the shift might cause a drop in paid ad ROI (as marketers learn new strategies), I don't believe it will be a long-term problem.
To be successful, you will need to modify your paid social strategy. The changes are likely to not be a major shift in your existing strategy.
Six ways to prepare your paid-social strategy for the removal of third-party cookies.
6 Tips to Prepare Your Paid Social Strategy For a Cookieless Future
The cookieless future is here, but you still have plenty of time to test new strategies for paid social ads. You don't have to give up on your goals and make adjustments in how you collect data.
These six strategies will help you get started.
Get All-In on First Party Data
Data that is third-party is data that another organization collects and shares with you. It could be inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistent. Many platforms have stopped using third-party cookies.
However, first-party data is information that you gather about prospects, customers and followers on social media. These data are not disappearing. It's actually becoming more important than ever.
It is strongly recommended that you begin gathering first-party data on your audience as soon as possible to test new strategies and find what works.
How can you collect first-party data? Here are some ways to do it:
- Create your email list.
- You can use lead generation ads similar to Facebook's lead generation ads.
- You can create a Facebook group to interact directly with users.
- Encourage direct messages via platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. This can be done using Instagram Stories.
- Social media can be used to poll your audience.
Let's take a look at the best way to use first-party data in paid social ads. You can create an email list and upload it to Facebook. Then you can target these users.
First-party data is much more accurate and you retain full control of the data. This makes it much more valuable than third party data.
Leverage UTM Parameters
UTM parameters are tiny bits of code that are added to URLs. These often look something like this:
It seems complicated. The UTM parameter tells you that this page was accessed by a reader who clicked on a link in one of my Facebook comments. It is important to understand where my traffic comes in order to target paid ads and how users move through my funnel.
These aren’t new. But if you don’t use UTMs yet, now is the best time to get started.
UTMs are great for tracking visitors' origins because they stay put, even if shared by users.
If someone sees a Facebook post, shares it on Twitter, and then texts it to a friend via SMS, the code will stay. This gives you a better understanding of who people are and how they interact with your brand via social media.
UTM parameters can be generated using one of Google's URL builders, or a URL shortener such as Bitly.
Use Facebook’s Conversions API
Facebook's Conversions API lets customers send data directly to Facebook about actions taken, and it does not rely on browser pixel events. This means that it's first party data. We've found this to be more accurate.
Seer Interactive says this allows marketers to have access to a wider variety of data, is less susceptible to connectivity issues, and provides far greater security.
This data can be tracked across both Instagram and Facebook because they are both connected. Other social media platforms should offer similar tools, I believe. Twitter does this already.
Many social media platforms already offer robust targeting options based on demographic information such as age, gender, or location. This is because most platforms require this information from users, which means that it's first-party data.
This means that you can still target users via sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok using demographic information.
For example, Facebook ads offer wide-ranging demographic targeting.
While Facebook's methods for gathering this data may change, your access to it will not. To target even more people, you can either target them based on their demographics or by using lookalike audiences.
It doesn't take much to target users with paid social ads.
If you sell women's clothes, for example, knowing someone is between 25 and 35 years old (from demographics which we already discussed) is telling you that they are likely to be interested (because they follow three Instagram fashion bloggers) will tell you how interested they are in your brand.
Facebook already lets you target users based upon their interests. This data is mostly gathered through actions taken on Facebook by users, so you can still target users based on your interests.
Facebook is the most popular social media platform, but there are other platforms such as Instagram and TikTok that offer similar features.
It sounds huge to me that third-party cookies will be canceled. But, a lot of the data that you use to pay for social ads is not third-party and can be easily replaced with first-party.
You should adjust your paid social strategy to end third-party cookies in one more way.
Target Using Detailed Location-Based Targeting
Most people are aware that you can target users based upon their geographic location. You can target users within 25 miles of your Boston donut shop.
This is the limit for most marketers, but platforms such as Facebook offer many other options.
- People who live or have recently lived in this area (default option).People can list your city in their Facebook profile, and any other person in that area based on mobile tracking.
- People who reside in this area: People whose city is shown on their Facebook profile. Facebook double-checks this by looking at their IP address and the locations of their friends.
- Recently in this area: Individuals who have been in the chosen area in recent times, as determined via their mobile device. This includes those who live or travel to the area.
- Traveling to this location: Individuals who live more than 125 mi from their home or in a selected area. This is determined by your mobile device location.
What does this all mean? You should take more time to target specific locations if you are targeting by location and not looking at all options.
Paid Social without Cookies Conclusion Most Frequently Asked Questions
How can I use retargeting ads in social media without cookies?
Create a landing page dedicated to your campaign and then retarget users using first-party data. As marketers gain more insight into how marketing works in the post-cookie age, other solutions might become possible.
What's the difference between first-, second-, and third party data?
First-party data refers to data that you have collected yourself. Second-party data refers to data that you receive from an organization, such as another website serving a similar audience. Third-party data can be gathered from multiple sources across different platforms.
Below is a visual to explain the differences.
What will replace the third-party cookies used for social media?
First-party data is the most obvious way to replace it. The best way to replace third party data is likely to be collected yourself, or Facebook collecting data about users' interactions on their sites. It will become even more important to target based on interests, location, and demographics.
Facebook Pixel is a third-party cookie
According to Facebook, it's both. Facebook Pixel still allows you to collect tons of data, even though the third-party capabilities are disappearing.
Paid Social without Cookies Conclusion
It might seem like a big deal to some, especially for paid social advertising. There are many options to adjust your social strategy.
First-party data can be used to target ads. UTMs allow you to track the movement of users through your funnel. You can still target people in your target audience by targeting them by their location, interests, and demographics.
Consider using conversion APIs for platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Are you ready to give up third-party cookies? How can you ensure your paid advertising ROI?
By: Neil Patel
Title: How to Do Paid Social Without Cookies
Sourced From: neilpatel.com/blog/paid-social-without-cookies/
Published Date: Wed, 06 Oct 2021 13:00:00 +0000
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