“We’re Changing Everything”: Navigating Social Ads in the 20s

Last year the social advertising industry was turned upside down.

With the release of iOS 14.5 for iPhone, Apple gave users the ability to opt-out of tracking for targeted advertising. The New York Times has reported that more than 80 percent of users have done so—a huge shift that has meant more than a few sleepless nights for CCAH’s Digital Advertising Team.

“The ad landscape has changed dramatically over the past year,” says Senior Digital Advertising Manager Mike Crump. “It’s been a time of rapid learning for everyone in the industry.”

Earlier this week, Mike and Senior Advertising Specialist Linsey Park led a session at the Nonprofit Technology Conference exploring both the challenges and unexpected opportunities presented by last year’s dramatic shift.

The numbers tell the story: impression costs on Facebook are double or even triple what they were last year. Donation rates are dropping, there’s less individual engagement on Facebook, and changes to interest-based targeting—particularly important for nonprofits—have thrown many marketers for a loop.

Not CCAH’s Digital Advertising team, however.

“It’s been a challenge, but an exciting one,” says Mike. “It has given us the opportunity to reassess some longstanding assumptions within the fundraising and advertising space—and try new things.”

One example is the team’s push for more creative advertising approaches, incorporating video and animation—as well as static ads—to grab and hold users’ attention. Mike, Linsey and the rest of the Digital Advertising department have also been exploring a variety of lead generation strategies like quizzes, surveys, petitions and more. Investing in these strategies will drive traffic and create a “well” of users for later retargeting.

But no matter how creative you get, there’s no getting around it: Facebook and other social media platforms simply can’t provide the audience or the data that they used to. That’s why CCAH’s Digital Advertising team remains committed to following the data.

In this new era of digital advertising, it’s more important than ever to monitor costs, track conversions, and adjust accordingly.

In addition, bringing digital advertising out of its traditional silo has become absolutely essential. Ads should compliment what is happening across other channels, contributing to overall brand awareness and increasing the number of touchpoints.

Linsey sees CCAH’s Digital Advertising team as uniquely ready to meet this challenge. “In our department, we have seasoned nonprofit fundraising professionals as well as for-profit experts.” She believes that industry-wide changes will lead to more of an overlap between for-profit and non-profit advertising—and knows that CCAH is more prepared than most for this shift.

If you’d like to know more about how CCAH and our Digital Advertising team can help your organization during this period of transition, feel free to reach out to Mike at mcrump@ccah.com or Linsey at lpark@ccah.com. We’d love to work with you!