For companies with apps looking to use it as a sales channel, it’s a nightmare to work on that application only to have it disappear into the app store without a download. Recently, Apple announced that they will be including sponsored search results within the app store starting this fall (one per search), which will allow companies to advertise their apps to people that search for them.
Although these search ads have not launched yet, marketers are being encouraged to join the search ads beta now.
Here’s what we know about the platform so far:
- It’s not going to have as many targeting and control capabilities as Google and Facebook
- Apple plans to open up a dedicated auction-based platform (via API), which will allow for campaign creation, management, and reporting. As a result, this should give advertisers good control over the entire process of running an ad within the store.
- The platform will include a Search Match Feature (which is similar to Google Adwords Universal App Campaigns), which will make it easy for advertisers who are new or pressed for time to create simple campaigns quickly.
- Apple will limit creative use to what is already approved within the app store, preventing advertisers from using custom creative ad processes.
- Apple is holding onto their data for the meantime, meaning they may not allow advertisers to track individual users.
- There will be no minimum bid, meaning large app developers can’t buy out terms. The ads shown will instead be based on relevance.
- You can use someone else’s brand in your keywords, which Apple hopes will help smaller developers sell apps that are related to other brands.
There are many details still to understand – what does to take to get the ad shown by way of some form of Quality Score-esque relevance and bid formula or something else? How quickly with the targeting options evolve (by leveraging Apple’s user knowledge, since 100% of users are logged in)?
In addition, advertisers will need some sort of keyword choosing tool to understand what searches are being made and at what volumes so they don’t waste their time building lists based on guesstimates.
Still, the undeniable outcome is that advertisers and developers can now actively promote their applications on both Apple and Android. We’ll see as they roll out how successful this is for advertisers in marketing their apps.