The world of mobile app marketing is changing, and Apple’s recent identifier for Advertisers (IFDA) updates just added a turbo boost to the changes.
Now, app marketers who have been reaping greater ad conversions with IFDA are stranded and looking out for alternatives. Like a knight in shiny armor, in-app engagement has come to the rescue, but does it serve as a perfect replacement to IDFA for marketers?
We would discuss all that in this post, but first, we’ll explain everything about IDFA and the impact of Apple’s recent IDFA changes on mobile app marketers and app engagement.
Apple launched IDFA back in 2012 as a random user identifier assigned to each user’s iOS device. What IDFA does is that it makes it possible for digital ad networks like Facebook and Google to track iOS users’ behavior across websites and mobile apps that the users are using. This then makes visible for networks using IDFA to access individualized data insights to personalize the targeted ads that display on the users’ phones every day.
Brands leveraging these ad networks to reach their customers enjoyed more user clicks, higher conversions, and stronger campaign performance. Well, they were enjoying this up until Apple’s recent IDFA update.
What’s the IDFA update about?
Recently, Apple announced that mobile apps running on iOS 14 would have to explicitly ask users for permission before gaining access to their data. This permission will appear like the existing prompts on iOS associated with enabling push notifications or location tracking. However, this new prompt will be very straightforward. It will explain to users that granting IDFA access will allow the app requesting permission to track their engagement across all apps and websites on iOS.
Source: Braze Perspectives
The apps seeking permission will be able to customize the small text at the bottom (justification) that shows to the users when they’re trying to access IDFA, however. Initially, brands were able to access a given phone or tablet’s IDFA after that user installed and launched their app without permission. Thanks to the IDFA update (on the side of the users) and shame to the IDFA update (on the side of mobile app advertisers), ad marketing agencies can no longer access iOS users’ data.
The IDFA changes are Apple’s way of asserting its stance as the leading mobile operating system for security, privacy, and transparency.
Deal with IDFA Changes
Now that Apple’s IDFA changes have come to stay, mobile marketers are at a loss. The reason is that without the IDFA, their ads would be significantly less personalized and relevant, which would weaken their performance and make this kind of advertising less lucrative for both them and the ad networks they rely on for IDFA.
Also, without IDFA, mobile app marketers will not be able to understand the impact of their ad spends across various ad networks. As a mobile app marketer, you surely want to know the conversion rate of your paid ads.
Apple is very much unaffected by their changes, of course, as there’s speculation that they intend to shake up today’s advertising landscape through their API called the SKAdNetwork. This API would provide an alternative to much of the value that ad networks like Google and Facebook, as well as attribution platforms, are providing.
Based on your mobile app marketing strategy’s intention, the SKAdNetwork may serve as a better alternative for you. If your marketing strategy goal is user acquisition, you will be very much affected by Apple’s IDFA changes and may need to look up to the SKAdNetwork.
On the other hand, if your mobile app marketing strategy is user engagement and retention, congratulations, you are not affected by Apple’s IDFA changes. Now, it’s time for you to deepen on improving your user engagement and retention rates.
- The Power of In-App Engagement
Kudos to Apple’s IDFA changes; you’ll be learning now that in-app engagement is powerful to your marketing campaign. In-app engagement strategies such as push notifications, in-app messages, and email marketing are a powerful way to boost your engagement and retention rate, mainly when you effectively utilize them. Storyly is an interactive way to increase in-app engagement.
You would have to start utilizing this option because the links you can attach to your in-app engagement ad campaign strategy are not affected by IDFA changes. These deep direct links link people into a specific part of your app or detailed screen or feature without seeking permission from the user.
A standard URL schema, a universal link, or key-value pairs, which your application can parse, interpret and direct the user appropriately when the app is opened, is not affected by iOS 14. And in-app engagement marketing strategies employ the use of such kinds of links.
- The Power of Retention Rate
High user retention rates translate into brand loyalty, something you should strive to achieve for your app. So, while IDFA’s changes affect getting new users, it is time to focus on retaining your users and increasing your app’s retention rate. You can read “7 Mobile Marketing Campaign Types To Boost App Retention” to discover more about increasing retention rate.
The beautiful thing about user retention is that when the retained users become loyal, they do the marketing for you. They give you feedback on how to improve your app, share your app with friends (if you have employed the in-app engagement strategy of social shares), and help spread your marketing campaign that includes them.
So, you see that while IDFA changes affect user acquisition strategy for mobile app marketers, a higher retention rate from an effective in-app engagement strategy still ensures that you get a good number of new users.
Thankfully, engagement and retention strategies are not affected by the IDFA updates because the messaging channels and dynamic segmentation supported by the best-in-app user engagement platforms are generally built on the foundation of first-party data. This kind of data refers to information on user behavior and preferences from your app, website, or physical locations. To discover more about IDFA Changes, you can read “Why IDFA Changes Will Make Things Harder for Marketers”.