Unveiling the pontential of Apple Search Ads for digital banking and fintech apps

Fintech companies have changed the dynamics of the traditional finance and banking industries, by providing customers with tech-led financial products and services, delivered via web and mobile app. These services are available to customers wherever they are in the world, removing the need to be physically present to make financial transactions. The rise of neo and digital banks, and their apps, has revolutionised how we manage our money.

As a result, the fintech market across banking and trading is fiercely competitive - the never-ending pursuit of mobile customer acquisition has put the focus on return on advertising spend (ROAS) and nowhere is this more cut-throat than on the app stores, where conversion of valuable users is fiercely sought after. Hence, investment in a comprehensive Apple Search Ads strategy can be instrumental in reaching and converting more users.

This article shares valuable Apple Search Ads insights from our experienced team, acquired across many years’ of testing hypotheses and implementing and optimising strategies. These time-tested insights will prove useful to fintech apps with ambitions for improved Apple Search Ads performance in 2024.

Before we kick off – further reading

In case you missed them, parts one and two of this series about fintech app growth provide insights into the key metrics that drive growth in this app vertical, and discuss how to navigate the challenges and set up successful strategies. They lead nicely into this piece about Apple Search Ads, so make yourself a coffee and settle in!

Why Apple Search Ads for Fintech Apps? - Discovery and Acquisition

To begin, Apple Search Ads is a channel with extremely high user intent; 70% of App Store visitors use search to discover apps - search is the primary route to discoveryAs such, Apple Search Ads has a huge role to play in expanding UA for our fintech and digital banking clients and for helping to convert the traffic that their wider media investments drive to the App Store.

From a user perspective, Apple Search Ads is a trusted route for app search and discovery - an important factor if you’re a digital banking or fintech app.

Contact Redbox Mobile

How the Redbox Mobile team uses Apple Search Ads to acquire the most valuable users for apps in the digital banking and fintech space.

Client Alliance

The closer that an app brand can work with its agency, the better - sharing of insights and knowledge is a key driver of success. Redbox has close relationships with client teams; this mutual trust delivers better results, so don't be shy with your UA agency!

User Segmentation

An advantage of operating in a digital world is the availability of customer behaviour insights that illustrate how customers are using apps, their features, and services. Analysing user behaviour patterns, activity frequency, and feature usage, facilitates user segmentation, and this can be a very valuable resource for your Apple Search Ads ad variations and custom product page strategies.

The tailored UA strategies that have been implemented by our team, using such insights, have enriched app engagement and delivered a +25% uplift in conversion rate.

Targeted Campaigns

Targetted Campaigns

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that high user intent on the App Store is a shoo-in for UA; your app still needs to demonstrate relevance to that search and to the consumer because Apple Search Ads is matching your ad placements with people based on a direct signal of their intent – their search term – delivering an average conversion rate of +60%

Our experience in harnessing the opportunity of intent-based searches on Apple Search Ads has given us a deep understanding of best-practice for digital banking and fintech apps, and how they should target specific high-value user groups who demonstrate a greater likelihood to perform the desired action within the app.

A key driver here is to avoid narrowing the audience targeting parameters of a campaign to suit certain profiles.  Why? Since the advent of iOS 15 when Apple introduced their privacy prompt when opening the App Store, 78% of iOS 15 search volume came from devices with Personalised Ads turned off (limiting the use of their information for advertising delivered by Apple). With this in mind, our team recommends that you achieve your targeting goals by creating highly nuanced ad variation campaigns, with custom product pages.

Based on data, 78% of App Store iOS 15 search volume came from devices with Personalized Ads turned off in the first quarter of 2022. Hence, we not only cast the audience net wide for our clients, but importantly, we also enable the creative content and ad messaging to do the targeting, simply by being highly relevant to the search terms used. When coupled with a suitable keyword and ASO strategy, this becomes a powerful approach to UA and to maximising that intent-based search traffic.

Diversifying Campaigns and Addressing External Influences

In the fintech vertical, especially for global apps, launching campaigns on different geographic storefronts requires its own strategy, as some financial terminology and concepts differ across geos. Like the usage of a Current Account in the UK vs a Checking Account in the US. Hence diversifying campaigns can yield enhanced results.

Performance of fintech apps also depends on how they respond to events external to the App Store and convert those users efficiently. Our team understands years of industry trends and how they can shift the dial to acquire more relevant users for your app.

Leveraging external events like the End of Financial Year, Lending Rates, Fluctuation in stock markets, Crypto News etc, have proven great results for our partnered fintech clients.

Optimising Ad Relevance

Fine-tuning Apple Search Ads campaign structure and bid strategies for high-performing keywords like “Savings”, and “Business Banking”, and matching with a complementary creative (custom product page) strategy has unlocked exceptional conversion rates while effectively optimising ad spend. This precision-oriented approach ensured that our ads were served to the most relevant potential users, translating App Store views into valuable installations and, importantly, long-term user value.

Capitalise on Impacts with a Multi-Placement Apple Search Ads Campaign

Multi Placement Ads

Implementing multi-placement campaigns presents an enhanced engagement and conversion opportunity. A blend of ad placements will ensure that you reach users throughout their App Store journey, giving your app campaign a higher likelihood to engage more people at a point-of-need.

Brand trust is critical in the fintech vertical – increased ad frequency is a key driver in establishing brand recognition, understanding and trust.  A multi-placement strategy increases your impacts and exposure to that end and also improves your organic ranking and performance.

Importantly on the Today tab and Product page ads, your impressions are free – you’re only paying if a user clicks the ad. However, this goes way beyond in brand building and creating awareness for apps. Having a creative strategy along with advertising experience allows apps, especially in the fintech space to expand their reach and acquire more users. When reviewing performance of multi-placement campaigns, we see that the CPAs are often reduced overall, when compared to individual ad placement results.

Building an integrated Apple Search Ads campaign in this way delivers additional brand exposure without cost and helps your search tab and search results placements to work even harder for you, through increased brand exposure overall.

Leverage MMP insights for greater return

Without the ability to assess which campaigns are driving installations and post-instal events (account opening etc), your Apple Search Ads investments are harder to assess. It’s vital to integrate with a MMP (mobile measurement partner) for deeper campaign insights and for refining your strategies.

Astra, our automated Apple Search Ads campaign management platform offers integration with all the leading MMPs, which means we’re able to see event data and ROAS (return on advertising spend) in the dashboard and quickly assess the strategies that are delivering performance in line with financial targets and KPIs such as deposits, account openings and investments.

The Promise of Apple Search Ads for Fintech App Marketers

In the competitive digital banking and fintech sphere, Apple Search Ads has emerged as a linchpin in our quest to acquire and retain valuable users for our clients - particularly so since the launch and adoption of ad variations, custom product pages and multi-placement strategies. The success of our clients’ app growth and their improved performance versus the competition, serves as a testament to the potential of Apple Search Ads in propelling digital banking and fintech apps forward.

Its multifaceted opportunities and tailored creative targeting have delivered success in this ever-evolving landscape; and, as the fintech industry evolves, the marriage between innovative financial solutions and the ad placement opportunities offered by Apple Search Ads will continue to redefine how we approach UA growth strategies for the App Store environment.

What next for you?

It requires strategy, creative and technical expertise to achieve success in growing digital banking and fintech apps; mastering the potential of the App Store environment is something that you can place at the door of Redbox.  Our holistic view of your App Store performance, which includes Apple Search Ads, ASO, creative and machine learning bid management has been proven to fast-track fintech apps to success.

Our award-winning Apple Search Ads campaign management platform Astra is delivering +30% efficiency improvements across performance (and importantly), management time.  Used by our team and our self-service Apple Search Ads clients alike, Astra’s automation and machine learning capabilities have revolutionised campaign management.  Ask for demo today.

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