Get Ready – Search Ads are Coming to the App Store

This fall, app developers currently depending on Facebook advertising to drive the bulk of their app installs will be able to reach potential customers where they’re most likely to download – within the iOS App Store. Search ads within the App Store is huge for app developers and marketers since over 65 percent of app downloads come from App Store searches.

No Minimum Ad Spend Requirements

Since advertisers can dive in without minimum spend requirements, launching Apple search campaigns shouldn’t even be a question. In the digital space, brands have found that it pays to get the jump on the competition by capitalizing on the fact that there’s bound to be some who are comfortable sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the verdict to come out on whether this is the next big thing to hit mobile advertising.

Apple Continues to Protect User Privacy

Typically, advertisers want as much information as possible when it’s time to evaluate the success of a campaign. And, for a company like Apple, known for its strong stance on user privacy, this could have easily become an issue. However, it seems that they’ve found the perfect balance: a robust Attribution Application Program Interface (API) that both complies with Apple’s privacy policy, and has the ability to track downloads driven by Apple Search Campaigns.

To guarantee that the correct channel receives credit, once an iOS app is installed a query is sent to identify whether that particular device was shown search ads. This, along with the fact that a developer can only perform a lookup for their current app customers, and only for apps installed as a result of search ads, illustrates Apple’s commitment to privacy.

Of course, users can always opt-out by turning limit ad-tracking on their device to “on.”

Easily Set Up Campaigns, Targeting & Bid Parameters

To keep campaign setup simple, Apple’s Search Match feature allows campaigns to be created in fewer steps, similar to Google Adwords Universal App Campaigns. However, unfortunately, advertisers will also be limited to the creative assets that have already been approved within the App Store — which, of course, might not sit well with advertisers employing comprehensive testing strategies across all of their campaigns.

Targeting and bidding are straightforward:

  • Target based on gender, age, location and operating system.
  • Ads will only be shown to those who haven’t downloaded your app.
  • Cost Per Tap auction model — you bid the max amount you’re willing to pay for a customer to tap on your ad (it’s important to know what you can afford to pay for a new customer).

And, most importantly, irrelevant ads will not be shown in the ad spot, regardless of how much an advertiser is willing to pay. This should help even the playing field, especially when only one ad spot is available each auction!

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