Apple’s App Store search ads were introduced a few months ago, and have proven to be far more of an asset than a trend

If you have an app on the app store, search ads are your new best friend by providing an easy and efficient way to help people discover your app. Their flexible and effortless design means that you can invest as much (or little) time as you have, and still get results. The simple setup includes:

  1. Tell the App store about your app. This will aide relevant searches
  2. Set your budget. There is no minimum budget, rather the budget is defined by the maximum spend you choose
  3. Add your payment information
  4. Add your keywords (this will increase your chances of ‘matches’)
  5. Refine your audience – who are ultimately your potential customers
  6. Schedule your ad campaigns

With the ability to customise, add features, and track analytics, it is no wonder that app search ads are slowly becoming a major tool for publishers. Apple’s App Store search engine assesses how relevant your ad is in relation to what someone is searching for, and shows the ad if it matches.

How did this love affair start?

Digiday tells us in their recent post Publishers are loving Apple’s app store search ads that when Apple’s App store search ads first went live a few months ago, it was suspected to be a temporary success;

“My initial reaction to that first test we ran was, ‘This [success] must be a temporary thing, But it’s been a few months now, and out of all the channels we experimented with, search ads is up there [among the best performers].”  says Roman Karachinksky, co-founder News360.

Bringing out early returns, the search ads are knocking most other user-acquisition strategies out of the park. The success of the search ads are not topic-specific but extend across industries of interest. Sports publishers, such as ESPN and TheScore, are adopting the same tactic as news publishers, such as CNN and The New York Times, to maximise on the opportunity search ads bring.

It seems the relevancy of the search is more important than the amount you are willing to bid. Apple has made the priority of the tool to be user experience (sounds a lot like our priorities!). Apple is also focused on maintaining quality and relevance by involving a fairly strict approval process.

As app providers, we fully support this resource. It adds an additional chance for your app to be seen and experienced, as a strategy that gets your brand out there. Fox News began experimenting with the app store search ads, and has climbed into the top five news apps since December – and remained there!

John Fiedler, Fox News’s svp of digital, says, “We are very focused on app growth. The audience on the apps we have are our most engaged readers.”

So far, so good. It will be interesting to see how the Apple App store search ads continue to make progress for publishers’ brands in an effective and experience-based way.

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