Digital Advertising: ‘Change is Going to Come’

Recently, Danielle Rice and Nils Smith joined Trent on the Cause+Effect podcast to discuss the ever-changing nature of digital advertising. We hope these insights will help you stay relevant and find the right audience for your unique platform and message.

The landscape of digital advertising is shifting – and it’s happening fast.

In order to continue making an impact, nonprofits and ministries need to be on the front foot of adjusting to these changes. Because the reality is, the report you gave your board last year is not going to be the same report you give your board this year. It’s going to have different metrics. And being able to interpret performance and give context for what’s happening is important.

So… what exactly is changing?


When Apple rolled out the iOS 14.5 and iOS 15 update, tracking for apps was limited.

Think about it this way: Your phone knows where you like to go and what you like to interact with. This update basically limited how much your phone can actually know about you.

And when it comes to advertising, we’ve seen a reduction in being able to target Christian audiences. Along with that comes the challenge of wanting to provide the audience with valuable content. The way we used to do that before has now shifted. And while it’s still possible, it looks a little bit different and is a bit more expensive.

Meta (Facebook)

Meta shutting off targeting from an advertising perspective is something we want but don’t want. As individuals, we want privacy, but as marketers, we want targeting opportunities. And once you’ve experienced the benefits of open data, it’s hard to go back.

So your creative needs to be stronger than ever in order to cut through. And from a targeting and optimization side, things are broadening and you’ll need to use multiple platforms to get to the same end goal as before.

Think of your advertising as a team sport now, where you need multiple channels working together seamlessly. And that means advertising in more places.

It’s simply supply and demand. Although there is less targeting availability, there are still the same amount of advertisers. And to some degree, you can’t bombard people. In addition, the growing amount of even non-complex advertisers coming into the realm is driving up the cost.

Takeaway? Gone are the days of just finding the “average Joe” to run your Meta (Facebook) ads. You need someone who is strategically by your side and focused on creative. And it takes consistent management.

Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics is a free web-tracking platform, a response to maintaining web tracking while certain internet structures are changing.

Many platforms and different apps still struggle to integrate Google Analytics 4. The best thing to do is to run Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 side by side for as long as possible in order to maintain your historical data.

That also means that if you haven’t yet updated to Google Analytics 4, you need to ASAP!

This tool prioritizes cross device tracking. It tries to intuitively see who is on your website, app, or other property. It takes a multi-channel sense of the user and gives you a more insightful picture about who that person is across multiple properties. 

Social Media

Social platforms like Next Door and TikTok with specific content types have found niche audiences and it’s working for them. There is growth on Twitter, and YouTube continues to expand and work well as a unique advertising opportunity. Most recently, a platform called Presearch has emerged. It’s built on blockchain technology and a decentralized search engine that gives both user privacy and advertising opportunities.

So where do I start?

In light of all the changes and new opportunities, here are three things to focus on right now:

  • Set up Google Analytics 4 and make it a priority. The way things are going, you’ll to need to make more decisions in the future based on the data that you have available.
  • Be on the lookout for new advertising opportunities. Then, get in while the getting is good! Double down and look for creative ways to get your message out.
  • Stay flexible. Whether it’s Apple, Facebook, Google or Social, you can be sure of one thing: It’s all going to change. These platforms that we are very reliant upon will continue to shift. And it’s our job to adjust. 

For more helpful tips and insight into effective advertising in 2022, be sure listen to the Cause+Effect podcast The Changing Landscape of Digital Advertising.

+ More Insights from Dunham+Company: “10 Ways You Should Capitalize on Digital Advertising

Ready to take the next step? Dunham+Company is here to help your organization have more impact and establish deeper relationships with your donors and supporters.