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Optimizing Facebook Ads For Placement, Age, Gender & Device Post The iOs 14 Update



As of April 2021, a lot of Facebook accounts lost their ability to track ‘unique’ events on the ad manager as well as ads reporting. We also lost the ability to track events that took place on a particular placement or by a specific age/gender or device. 2 months later and there are still Reddit threads about why this information isn't available and if there is a way around it. While I am no pro at Google analytics yet, the last week I took up the Google analytics course on CXL.com by Chris Mercer, co-founder of measurementmarketing.io, and have found a solid solution to this problem.






We will be covering the following:

  1. Conversions by placements

  2. Conversions by Age/Gender

  3. Conversions by Device


Conversions By Placements:


This is the less tiresome topic of the three. In order to track which Facebook placements such as Facebook Feed, Instagram story, etc are converting and which are making you bleed – you need to use something known as a UTM tag.


What is a UTM tag?


“UTM” stands for “Urchin tracking module.” They are tags/codes that are added to the end of regular URLs and are designed to tell Google Analytics information about each link and which campaign it relates to.

Campaigns are not limited to just your Facebook campaigns, you can use UTMs to track if your email marketing campaigns or affiliate marketing campaigns are working or not as well.


Here’s an example of a URL with UTM tags:

www.instagram.com/the_ad_hatter?utm_medium=copy_link


Once you’re aware of UTMs, you’ll start to notice them everywhere. When you visit an Instagram profile and choose to share a profile via “copy profile URL” Instagram by default tags the URL with the UTM medium of ‘copy_link’. This will help them track how many people are sharing profiles via the copy URL feature.


Here’s how properly tagged UTMs show on google analytics:





I will not be getting into UTMs in detail, because frankly, I don’t fully understand them myself. But this blog post here is very helpful - How to Track Campaign URLs in Google Analytics


How do you set UTM parameters for your Facebook advertisements?


Step 1: Navigate to the ‘ads’ level of your Facebook advertising campaign.


Step 2: Locate the ‘build UTM parameter’ hyperlink.


Step 3: Populate the first 3 fields with the Facebook dynamic tags.





The first 3 tags i.e, source, medium, and campaign tag have to be populated in order for Google Analytics to read it.


Where do you track UTM parameters on Google Analytics?


On google analytics, you can visit Acquisition > Campaigns > All campaigns. You can then toggle between campaign, medium, and source to see which campaign, placement, or platform is performing well.


Things to keep in mind:

1. If someone were to edit the URL, then the parameters would be lost.


2. While Facebook lets you change your campaign, ad set, or ad name any number of times, the UTM dynamic tag only picks up the first name the campaign was saved as. So if you go back and edit the campaign name after publishing it, there will be no change to the UTM dynamic campaign name.


3. ‘Others’ as you can see in the image I tagged above, might be from the Audience Network since that is the only placement that hasn’t been inputted. However, I haven’t found information online to back this up yet.


4. I would not recommend typing in any tag, as for some reason when I tried it tracked {{placement}} as a tag instead of populating it.


5. While you can change the tag order, Facebook recommends that it is in the specific order that I have shown above.


Conversions by Age/Gender:


Once you’ve got enough data coming in with your UTMs, then you start segmenting users by their Age and Gender. It’s a little tedious, but very helpful.


Step 1. Navigate to Acquisitions > Campaigns > All campaigns and locate the ‘Add segment’ section. After the Google Analytics course for beginners by CXL.com, I’ve learned to appreciate segments so much!





Step 2. Select the add segment. This will help us create a custom segment based on Age and Gender.


Step 3. Select the age/gender that you want to track. You will have to create separate segments for each. I just use the preview section and eyeball the results to get a sense of which demographic is worth the investment.




Alternatively, you can visit Audience > Demographics > Age/ Gender and then segment by traffic source and select your campaign/medium/source.


Conversions by Device:


Now that you’ve got the hang of segmentation on Google Analytics, you can now use this information to check which device – desktop/mobile – or browser/OS is bringing you your sales.


For this you will navigate to Audience > mobile > devices and apply your segments there.


If this seems like a little too much work, you can move to google data studio to set up a dashboard that would give you this data faster and in a more visually pleasing way, much like how the Facebook ads manager used to.


However, that’s a topic that’s too large to fit in one blog post and is rather time-consuming. So if you have the funds, I’d suggest paying someone else to set it up for you.


About Chris Mercer


According to measurementmarketing.io, considered an authority in helping marketers know their numbers. Apart from training people how to measure and improve their sales funnels, he is a top contributor and speaker at multiple analytics and optimizations conferences and blogs.


As an instructor, he is someone that can dumb down an overwhelming amount of information to the point where it is easy to digest, which I admire a lot. His course on CXL.com is well structured and the flow of information is well planned. He does have his own course up on measurementmarketing.io that’s worth checking out.


Take Away:


While the iOs 14 update did hamper the way, we used to optimize our ads to ensure we weren’t spending in channels that weren’t profitable to us, this article will help you get access to that data again. I would suggest waiting for at least 100 transactions before you start optimizing for anything since it is possible that google analytics does not pick up on every purchase. You can also use the above to report the ‘correct’ number of conversions through your Facebook ads since the iOS 14 update made attribution hard.

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