Have you heard that Google App Install Ads are being retired and will be replaced by Universal App Campaigns? Learn why Google is taking this important step and how advertisers can benefit.
Mobile Apps Dominate Audience Attention
Mobile apps and their use have come to dominate modern life. We communicate with friends and family over Facebook’s Messenger, scrapbook our lives on Instagram, and play mobile games when waiting for a bus. These are just a few of the ways we interact with apps. And if you’re an app developer, there’s never been a better chance to grow and thrive.
Google AdWords is the best way to use digital marketing to grow your business and drive app downloads. Recently however, Google announced changes to how it intends to manage app campaigns. Today at the blog: we discuss what marketers who run app campaigns should know about Universal App Campaigns. Let’s have a look:
In the past, AdWords featured two campaign types for promoting app downloads. These were app-install ads and Universal App Campaigns. Both of these campaign types worked toward the same end: increasing downloads for the user’s mobile apps. Each had its own benefits and drawbacks, however, with some distribution overlap.
AdWords app-install ads offered more direct control over placements, such as single channel and multi-channel, as well as bidding. Bidding methods could include cost-per-click, cost-per-impression, and others. A major drawback of this increased control was that app-install ads were more complex to create and manage.
Universal App Campaign ads ads on the other hand, are automatically distributed across various Google networks. These can include search, display, YouTube, Google Play, and more. Universal App Campaigns also use a cost-per-acquisition model for bidding. Unlike app-install ads which would require the marketer to create and upload ad copy and creative for individual ads, Universal App Campaigns ads are generated by Google based on assets from the app store description and other factors. An apt comparison would be dynamic search ads as opposed to standard text ads.
More than two years after the initial launch of Universal App Campaigns, Google has decided to place all app-install ads beneath the umbrella of Universal App Campaigns. What this means for marketers is that as of October 16th, 2017, all app-install ads will run as Universal App ads. Any current app-install ad campaign will cease running on November 15th, so marketers will need to adjust their campaigns accordingly.
Why the Change?
To justify yet another move from Google toward increased emphasis on machine learning, the company points to data showing that 50% of all app downloads across its network are now the direct result of Universal App Campaigns. It is believed that one factor behind Universal App Campaigns success is its ability to bid and optimize against a range of goals. These can vary from CPI, CPA or ROAS (return on ad spend) and UAC can setup automated smart bidding to achieve these goals.
Google is also reacting to another trend in app campaigns. The company is seeing a shift from install driven campaigns, to campaigns that focus on engagement or specific in-app actions. These can include booking a hotel, renting a car, and so on. Google states that marketers who: “optimize for in-app actions with Universal App Campaigns, on average, drive 140 percent more conversions per dollar than other Google app promotion products.” Universal App Campaigns ads are more successful at driving these conversions and are thus being favored.
How Advertisers Can Benefit
As with so many other decisions Google is making as of late, the shift toward Universal App Campaigns ads represents a common theme: automation is the future for AdWords. The company intends to focus more and more on goal based bidding, machine learning and auto-optimization to help advertisers achieve their goals. This change need not be a scary one for marketers to make. It is definitely important to stay informed though, especially for advertisers who market mobile apps.
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