September 2021: What’s working for Facebook, Google, TikTok and Snap UA? Check out our HOT TIPS for tactics and strategies to test right now!

September 2021: Smoking Hot UA Tips!

Check out our Q2 IDFA Impact Report to see how major gaming and platform companies are communicating the impact of IDFA, in their own words. Get insights from Apple, Facebook, EA/Glu, Playtika, Skillz, Unity, Applovin, IronSource, and Rovio.

IDFA Impact: Here’s what we’re seeing

  • We see a -15% to -20% average revenue loss for iOS apps targeting broad audiences and -35% revenue loss for apps with niche audiences
  • With only a 35% consent rate to ATT, custom and lookalike audience size has been reduced -65% and effectiveness has dropped
  • Continued downward pressure on click-to-install (c2i) is indicative of lower traffic quality across paid social channels
  • Many small and mid-sized mobile app developers have paused spending on iOS or shifted heavily to Android, inflating CPMs
  • Several public companies appear to have tied COVID traffic decreases with IDFA impact as a way to buy time for full impacts to become clear

IDFA Impact: Here’s what public companies said

  • Apple: revenue from ads will be down
  • Facebook: +6% ad impressions, +47% CPM avg
  • Applovin: iOS 14.5+ adoption +80%, 35-40% ATT prompt consent
  • Playtika: iOS 14.5+ adoption +75%, 34% ATT prompt consent
  • Zynga: warned IDFA will have a material impact; H2 bookings could be down by $100M
  • Unity: captures 50 billion daily in-app events and sees movement toward a contextual ad model without IDFA; raised 2021 guidance $50m
  • Ironsource: a platform built to analyze contextual data has 2.5 billion monthly active users; no material IDFA impact loss yet
  • Skillz: IDFA loss is yet to be determined, but is expected to be neutral; experimenting with engagement marketing rather than UA spend while CPIs remain high

Here’s what’s working right now:

With only a 35% consent rate for ATT, custom and lookalike audience size has been reduced -65% and performance is rapidly eroding, and the highest ROAS audiences—which used to last two to three months—now last two to three weeks with a significantly lower return. Long-running lookalike audiences 1%, 3%, 5% have all declined in performance, as has Facebook’s AAA.

As lookalike audiences struggle, we are heavily testing interest groups and focusing on the much smaller ATT opt-in audiences for unique app events in a variety of countries. While these audiences require a lot of work to uncover and they burn out quickly, they offer significant pockets of efficiency for two to three weeks. The strongest performance we’re seeing is coming from top countries with localized ad copy with AEO or broad targeting. We see CPMs rising. No CPM discounts from lowering spend.

Facebook UA: Here’s what’s working

  • Best performance coming from VO campaigns, particularly with international campaigns
  • AAA campaigns leveraging AEO or VO found to be stronger performers over AAA Installs + App Event
  • Strongest performance from CBO campaigns, leveraging FB to find the best performing segments
  • Combining Geos for greater reach and lower CPMs, also allowing for tactics like City Level targeting
  • Using Facebook activity to create Lookalike Audiences (ex: Page Engagement, IG Engagement, Video Views)
  • AAA campaigns are most successful when loaded with a wide variety of creative and copy
  • Testing and finding static asset wins allows for lower CPMs
  • Longform story-based copy is attention-grabbing

Google UA: Here’s what’s working

  • Strongest performance from English language targeting in Tier 1 Countries for Android
  • Localized campaigns targeting French & German speakers in Europe shows promise
  • ATT implementation has weakened iOS campaigns further causing performance fluctuations
  • tCPA with lower-funnel events mitigate SKAdnetwork conversion reporting delays on Google App Campaigns

TikTok UA: Here’s what’s working

  • Strongest performance with behavior targeting, but greater scale with interest targeting
  • Timezone targeting is used to scale best interests
  • Custom LALs are better than app activity and engagement lookalikes but can be hit or miss
  • Strongest performance from country targeting vs. geo grouping, low inventory in Canada
  • Auto placement is more cost-effective than TikTok Only
  • Feature UI for stronger performance
  • UGC content performs better, looks more native
  • Combine UGC with gameplay/features for extended life of creative
  • Headlines in a solid block lettering, shown for the entirety of the ad, enhances performance

Snap UA: Here’s what’s working

  • Best performance: AEO Purchase and Max Conversion bidding
  • Highest ROAS from country targeting vs. geo grouping, low inventory outside the U.S.
  • 21+ targeting strong performance. Ad inventory is heavy 13-21 users. No age targeting, impressions will serve to younger users unlikely to monetize
  • Story Ads often outperform Snap Ads.
  • Snapchat CTA “Swipe Up” enhances performance.

How to survive IDFA impact and thrive

  • Focus on persona-led creative to drive performance advertising at scale without deterministic tracking.
  • Invest in 20-50 new creative concepts to find a winner, because 85-95% of new creative concepts will fail to outperform the best ad in a portfolio.
  • Tear down the silos between product and marketing teams to support agile creative development because winning ads last only 10 weeks before they fatigue and die.
  • Adjust onboarding to identify consumers that indicate a propensity to spend within the first 48 hours of gameplay to effectively operate within SKAN’s restrictions.
  • Test contextual advertising techniques by combining interest group targeting with persona-led creative tied to customized onboarding flows to help educate the paid social algorithms to deliver better audiences.

Need More Scale?

Do you want to get additional scale and pockets of efficiency from your Facebook apps that run multiple languages? Try the following:

  • AAA + AEO + Single Country + Localized creatives for that country + language targeting for that country.
  • Example:  AAA+AEO Purchase targeting France. Use French text, images, and videos. Set language targeting to French. Set ample budget to exit learning phase within 1st week.
  • Identify top creatives from your AAA campaigns. Then, launch a new test campaign with CBO+AEO Purchase + France + French language + Top Interest Groups and LALs. Note: Be careful with LALs as recent performance is significantly fluctuating. Use your top 2-3 videos/images and top 1-2 copy variations. Aim to have 4-6 ads per ad set.

Why Trust Our UA Tips?

  • Founded in 2013, we are a technology-enabled marketing services company and creative studio that has managed over $3 billion in creative and social ad spend for the world’s largest mobile apps and performance advertisers.
  • We provide end-to-end creative and user acquisition services for mobile app marketers via performance-oriented creative storytelling, integrated UA, and creative optimization.
  • We provide game-changing results driven by quantitative optimization and a relentless focus on increasing your net profit driven by client-specific, creative learning agendas.
  • Need fresh assets to get ahead of creative fatigue? Check out our CA+ premium asset creation services which include: Live-Action, Video Production, Photography, Production, Full Post-Production Services, 3D-Computer Animation, Gameplay Capture (Unity & Unreal Engine), Branding, AppStore Icon & Video Design and A/B Testing, Illustration Asset Creation. Asset delivery across all major platforms: TV, OTT, DOOH, Social, Mobile Ad Networks, and more.
  • Clients we’ve helped grow: Roblox, Glu Mobile, Disney, SuperHuman, Rovio, Jam City, Wooga, NBA, MLB, Ford, Sun Basket, Lion Studios, MobilityWare, and many others.

Want Better Results From UA?

Email us at

Check out our creative work:

Creative Trends 

As part of Brainlabs
we now offer:

Paid Search | SEO | Programmatic

Learn more!
Global CTA

Read Our

Creative & UA Best Practices For Facebook, Google, TikTok & Snap ads.

    Please prove you are human by selecting the House.