Apple Search Ads and Google UAC are the two most popular marketing tools for app owners; with both platforms able to boast impressive statistics that entice users to create campaigns.
Apple Search Ads
Apple Search Ads originally launched in the US Storefront in October 2016. Since then, it has expanded and is now available in an additional twelve territories. The success of the platform has been documented with an average Conversion Rate of 50% and an average revenue per user that is 30% higher than other mobile ad platforms. Apple offers two types of campaigns: Search Ads Advanced and Search Ads Basic. Search Ads Advanced gives marketers greater control over the searches, reports and audience.
Search Ads also enables you to target users that are actively looking for an app, meaning that the first obstacle has already been tackled. And, with 65% of iOS downloads coming directly from a search on the App Store, it’s a lucrative marketplace. Nevertheless, by only targeting users in the iOS App Store search results, you are missing out on valuable users.
UACs were first introduced over three years ago and use Google’s wealth of knowledge on machine learning to optimise ad placements. UACs can be created for both iOS and Android apps and ads are placed in the Google Display Network, YouTube, Google Search Network and, in the Google Play Store (Android only). Unlike Apple Search Ads, Google Ads allows you to define your Conversion (e.g. an install, or an in-app event) and then set a target cost per Conversion.
In comparison to other Google app promotion products, UACs, on average, generate 140% more conversions per dollar. A pretty impressive figure, no? However, in UACs, you can’t add negative keywords or control who sees the ad like you can in Search Ads. You have to trust Google’s machine learning algorithm to place the best ads to your best audience! Are you willing to put that much trust in a machine that has your money?
Which do I choose?
Although both platforms have fighting cases for why they should be at the top it's not a case of ‘either-or’. This is because each platform targets different ad placements. Therefore, by only using one platform, you may be missing out on entire audiences. The true question is not which platform to use but, how do I split my budget between the two tools?
When dividing up your budget between the platforms, the most important thing is to have a clear understanding of what you are hoping the campaign will achieve. Do you want a larger user base? Do you want to get new users at a set cost? Maybe something else?
Your goal will influence which campaign metrics are the most important and whichever tool provides the best results based on your goal is the tool you allocate the most budget to.
For example, if your goal is to drive more traffic, regardless of the cost. Metrics such as Impressions, Taps and Installs to your app will be the most important.
Or, if the goal is to increase the number of users who have installed your app at a set cost based on the Customer Lifetime Value. The two most important metrics are Conversions and Average Cost Per Acquisition.
Similarly, it is important to be aware of the differences in how the platforms allow you to spend your cash. While Search Ads allows you to put both a hard-cap on total spend and daily spend. You can only set a Daily Budget in Google Ads and this is not a hard-cap. Although you won’t be charged more than your average daily budget multiplied by the average number of days in a month, your daily cost in Google Ads may be up to two times the set daily budget. Therefore, when you are tracking the spend and performance of the campaigns, keep this in mind.
In conclusion, try not to take an ‘either-or’ approach to these marketing tools. Both platforms are valuable and give marketers the opportunity to widen their potential customer base. Remember before you allocate budget to each platform, decide the goal of your campaign and allocate budget accordingly. In addition, be wary of the ways the platforms differ in how spend is managed throughout the month.
Sounds like too much hard work? Why not let our Blackbox Platform optimise budget allocation and bids using our machine learning algorithm!
Or for more information on how to manage your marketing campaigns, get in contact with the agency that is Apple Search Ads certified and Google UAC ready.