Mastering Cookieless Advertising on Social Platforms | A Complete Guide

Cookieless Advertising

With the shift to depreciate third-party cookies by Apple and Google, social media platforms have had to adapt their own systems to best help advertisers deliver successful ad campaigns. In this video, we’ll walk through how some of the key social ad channels are thinking about the future of advertising without cookies.

While many of the social media platforms o er some form of first-party tracking pixel or API for advertising, we find that the majority of business users are relying on Meta or LinkedIn to drive the bulk of their social media advertising.

Let’s start with Meta, which encompasses the Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp platforms. Meta is urging its advertisers to use its conversions API which is designed to create a direct connection between marketing data and the systems which help optimize ad targeting, decrease cost-per-action, and measure results across the Meta platforms. Directly connecting your marketing data with the Meta platform through the API will help power ad personalization, optimization, and measurement so your ads are shown to people who are more likely to find them relevant.

Here’s Matthew Felser, head of global advertising partnerships, business engineering at Meta, with more.

Matthew Felser: The Meta Conversions API helps you adapt to the advertising ecosystem changes by o ering better control to respect regional regulations and users’ privacy purposes, and it helps you adjust to a change in limitations, and browser and operating system policies. This reliable, controllable connection can also help businesses performance by reducing cost, correction, improving measurement, improving lead quality, and improving targeting capabilities. By using the Meta API you may reduce your cost per action as a result of improved connectivity. Since you’re connecting your marketing data directly, you’re less likely to experience browser slowdowns and disconnections. You may also optimize ads for actions that happen later in the customer’s journey.

Matthew Felser: With Meta Conversions API advertisers can send a wider variety of data in the pixel, including post purchase events that might happen outside of your website, such as recurring subscription payments and lead conversions. This data helps you use Meta tools to show ads to users that are more likely to generate valuable outcomes for your business. You may also improve measurement of ad performance and attribution across your customer’s full journey, from discovery to conversion. This helps you better understand how digital advertising impacts both online and o ine results. And you can reduce your cost per action as a result of increased event matching. In the conversions API, you can specify additional customer information parameters that help increase how Meta matches data and users across its social platforms.

Matthew Felser: Data from the Conversions API is delivered more reliably than data sent from a browser pixel when you’re alongside a pixel. This more reliable connection can increase attribution, which helps our delivery system to decrease your cost per action, and helps you measure the results of your marketing.

You can also increase data control. When implemented separately from the pixel, the conversions API gives you more control over what you share and when you share it.

There are a number of ways to connect your website or server to the Meta Conversions API.

Matthew Felser: There are currently three ways. Brands can connect to Meta’s Conversions API. First, they can choose to work with one of our 50 plus partners that

support the Conversions API today. Advertisers can leverage these partner integrations to pass data instead of having to establish a connection on their own. The second option is to develop a Conversions API integration themselves. This direct implementation will give the brand additional control of the data. They pass back, but it does require development resources. The final option brands have is the Conversions API gateway. This is a piece of software, written by Meta, that runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and passes your browser pixel data through the Conversions API. This is a code-free method, but it does require the advertiser to pay for AWS.

As Matt mentioned, if your website runs on one of Meta’s partner platforms, such as HubSpot, you can easily set up your Meta pixel and conversions API in the Meta Events Manager. Using a partner integration is quick, easy, and requires no editing to your website’s code. If you’re using HubSpot to manage your ads, check the resources section for a link to instructions on how to connect your data to the Meta Conversions API.

Meta also o ers lead ads for advertisers looking for cookieless ad options.

Matthew Felser: By incorporating leads into your digital advertising strategy, you can find people who may be interested in your business and collect information from them using a native form on one of Meta’s platforms. Companies are able to request contact information from potential customers, such as name, email, address, phone number, and more. These forms also allow you to include custom questions to help you understand your potential customers which is key in a cookieless world. Companies can use lead ads to identify potential customers for the business, encourage them to download brochures, opt into a mailing list or enroll them in programs.

Let’s look at LinkedIn next.

LinkedIn o ers its own conversion tracking which allows you to:

  • Track conversions and optimize your campaigns automatically.
  • Get more leads and conversions by retargeting your website visitors.
  • Learn about who’s engaging with your brand with exclusive audience insights.

LinkedIn conversion tracking works through the placement of either a lightweight, JavaScript, insight tag on your website pages, or by installing event-specific tracking code on individual conversion events (for example, a button or a link) that you’d like to track.

Here’s Molly Mitchell, product marketing manager at LinkedIn to share more.

Molly Mitchell: Conversion tracking helps marketers better measure results and optimize campaigns by measuring the actions a customer takes after clicking on an ad. Given B2B buying journeys take place both online and o ine, our conversion tracking products are designed to be used together to provide a comprehensive view to advertisers. Connecting customer actions back to LinkedIn campaigns allows advertisers to understand how their campaigns influence their ROI and key business outcomes.

To prepare for a cookieless future, we have made many enhancements to our conversion tracking products so we can provide customers with insight into how their campaign is performing while enhancing member privacy. For example, data for conversion attribution is processed directly on device rather than sending third-party information to a server. And we also use di erential privacy to further enhance individual anonymity. Di erential privacy is a type of privacy-enhancing technology that essentially injects a layer of noise into the data set to extract aggregated insight while helping protect individual level data. To capture as many conversions as possible, we are using models to measure conversions in place of using third party individual level data. And our insight tag collects conversion data through first-party cookies. And last, our o ine conversions and conversions API are also wholly cookieless solutions.

You’ll also be able to take advantage of what LinkedIn calls “Group Identity for B2B.” With “Group Identity for B2B,” the site leverages first-party data to group members together based on shared professional identity attributes, such as seniority and industry. This process helps you reach your intended audiences across channels, like the LinkedIn Audience Network, without the need for individual-level tracking across sites.

LinkedIn’s Group Identity and Offline Conversion Tracking: Enhancing Ad Performance and Privacy

Group Identity is LinkedIn’s proprietary privacy-enhancing identity solution that puts our unique first-party B2B data set to work for advertisers. It works by grouping members together by shared professional traits, such as industry, title, seniority, and more, to help with ad delivery and measurement. Importantly, it does not rely on individual trackers, and it’s a wholly cookieless solution. It’s proven e ective on the LinkedIn audience network and connecting brands with professional audiences wherever they are. When testing Group Identity, we observed up to a 37% higher average click through rates on group delivered campaigns across channels compared to those that targeted individual profile characteristics. Group Identity is one of many steps we are taking to provide an e ective ad experience for our customers on enhancing the privacy of members. We’re going to continue to iterate and involve the solution along with the privacy we will continue to iterate and involve the solution along with the changing privacy landscape.

Setting up o ine conversion tracking can be done by using a CSV template and uploading your data into your LinkedIn Campaign Manager. This can be time consuming and requires regular updates to your information. For best results, LinkedIn recommends doing this daily.

If you’re using a LinkedIn marketing partner, this process can be automated and your data will be uploaded and updated in the Campaign Manager in near real time. If you use HubSpot to manage your LinkedIn ads, check the resources section for a link to instructions on how to set up the insight tag and LinkedIn conversion tracking.

Leveraging LinkedIn Marketing Partners for Enhanced Campaign Performance

There are many advantages for a brand to work with a LinkedIn marketing partner. Partners are an extension of our ecosystem. So, working with a marketing partner makes the brand even stronger and more e cient with their media strategy. Partners provide specialty tools to build professional communities on Linkedin, launch and manage campaigns to centralize and optimize leads to the full funnel experience, create audiences and provide robust analytics along the way to ensure you are maximizing ROI. Today one in five marketers on LinkedIn are leveraging a LinkedIn partner to meet their objectives, and 100% of top brands advertising on LinkedIn use one or more partners to drive value for their business.

While marketers might not be able to track their customers across the web for much longer, there are a myriad of options available to help you successfully make the shift to alternative tracking methods for your social media ad strategy.

You can gather first-party data, then use that to target your ads. You can better track how users move through your funnel using UTMs. Targeting by location, demographics, or interests will still allow you to target users in your target audience.

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