Apple’s App Store has become a critical part of how most of us manage our day-to-day lives. Imagine navigating traffic, conducting online banking, or even working out without the help of a few handy apps. In fact, the majority of the time that most users spend on mobile, around 86%, is spent in-app.
This makes sense because most of us are tethered to our phones every waking second, and for those who use sleep tracking apps, every sleeping second as well. But with apps available for nearly every human need, the App Store is pretty crowded. That’s why it is critical to make Apple Store Ads an integral part of your strategy to win new users in the App Store.
Here’s a helpful guide to making Apple Store Ads a crucial part of your app install strategy.
What are Apple Store Ads?
Remember your last App Store search? Maybe you were looking for one of those sleep apps. Simply typing “Sleep” into the App Store search bar yields an endless scroll of apps, some free, some paid, all seemingly highly rated and able to fill every sleep need under the sun (or moon, in this case).
But those top two spots are reserved for sponsored ads, which look just like other search results, save that they’ve got a blue background and ad disclosure icon. Their formal name, Apple Search Ads, can appear on all iOS devices, including iPhone and iPad.
Apple Store Ads are just as important for apps as SEM is for websites
There are many ways a brand can market its app, which is essential, from social to organic search rankings and connecting with influencers. But it is search marketing–the approach that worked so well on the standard web in the early days of the Internet—is becoming one of the clear best practices to drive acquisition for apps. Despite all the other ways to market an app, searches still offer the best time and right place to drive installs and adoption.
Brands must understand that most apps get discovered through App Store searches. In a study on how customers find the apps they eventually install, iPhone users listed various methods of finding their last app, including “My friends/ family told me about it” and “I read about it on the web.” However, the top discovery method was, by far, using the App Store’s search function. On iOS, 47% of users said they found the app through App Store search results.
Apple Store Ads help you outshine competitors
And as those users scroll through results searching for new apps, they will run into your competition. Adopting Apple Store Ads (and bidding on your competitors’ keywords) is a meaningful way that your app can stay top of mind in a crowded marketplace. One proven effective strategy in both SEM and Apple Search Ad strategy has been using ads to bid on competitor keywords. If you aren’t bidding on your competitor’s terms, just know that they might be bidding on yours. It is important to remember that an ad will always bump the top organic position down the screen within App Store search results.
Apple Store Ads help drive revenue
Apps are used to provide a wealth of first-party user data. However, as Apple adopts new privacy restrictions, that is no longer the case. In 2021, Apple introduced significant changes to its privacy protections for app users. The company’s iOS 14 updates included App Tracking Transparency. Before App Tracking Transparency, app marketers were automatically able to track user data within an app and then compare that data to activity around the web to personalize and measure ads. Now, App Tracking Transparency means that users must opt into data tracking.
However, the good news is that consumers are more interested in purchasing via apps than ever before. In fact, worldwide consumer spending on mobile apps grew by a staggering $23 billion from 2020 to 2021. So while changes to data privacy might seem to limit how app marketers can personalize user experiences, consumers are more willing to invest in apps they trust than ever before.
Reaching new audiences in the age of data privacy, not to mention an increasingly crowded App Store, requires new solutions for app marketers. However, the payoff for investing in new strategies, like Apple Store Ads, is almost certainly worth the effort.
Skai is an official Apple Search Ads partner
As part of Skai’s omnichannel marketing platform, our App Marketing solution helps your app stand out among millions in the top stores with Apple Search Ads, Google Universal App Campaigns, and more. Skai leverages an advanced algorithm based on AI and machine learning to ensure your ads reach your target users. Increase installs and user acquisition with streamlined automation, optimization, and reporting.
Client results include:
- 280% increase in installs for DraftKings
- 314% increase in registrations for C-Date
- 20% decrease in cost per acquisition for eToro
- 2x increase in conversions for Epix Now
To learn more about Skai’s App Marketing solution, please schedule a brief demo today!