Several big-name brands have started using Apple’s recently launched Search Ads to drive download for their iOS apps. The app-install ads, officially rolled out in early October, which enables developers to promote their apps at the top of relevant search results in the App Store. So far, brands including Domino’s and Amazon have been using Search Ads to target users, especially those who search for their competitors’ apps. According to mobile marketing platform Singular, Search Ads has a mobile conversion rate of 4.9%, a much higher rate than regular app-install ads.
What Brands Should Do
By buying against competitor apps and relevant keywords, the aforementioned brands find a clever way to surface their apps to a targeted audience that is actively searching for products or services in their respective categories. In order to stand out in the over 2 million apps currently available in the App Store, brands seeking to engage mobile users via branded apps should consider buying Search Ads to give their apps a boost.
Apple announced Search Ads in the App Store at this year’s WWDC event, and now the Cupertino-based company is ready to release this much-anticipated ad product which will appear at the top of the App Store’s search results based on search relevancy and keyword bidding. iOS developers can sign up and start planning search ads for their apps starting today, but the ads won’t appear in the App Store until October 5th. Apple is also giving developers a $100 credit for Search Ads.
What Brands Should Do
Apple announced at its iPhone event earlier this month that more than 140 billion apps have been downloaded from its App Store, up 10 billion since June. In order to stand out in the over 2 million apps currently available in the App Store, brands seeking to engage mobile users via a branded app should consider buying Search Ads to give distribution a boost.
In anticipation of its annual WWDC developer conference that kicks off on Monday, Apple has announced several strategic changes to its App Store.
In an interview with The Verge, Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of global marketing and head of App Store, says that Apple will start displaying ads in App Store search results. Seemingly taking a cue from Google’s Play Store, Apple will start “cautiously” testing paid search ads in the App Store, displaying a single ad per search at the top of the search results. The ad auction system in the App Store search will be “fair to developers and fair for indie developers, too,” according to Schiller.
Schiller also revealed that the company will reduce its take of app revenue for apps that can retain long-term subscriptions. Instead of the existing 70/30 revenue split model, Apple will reduce its take to 15% provided that the app manages to retain a customer subscription for more than a year. If widely adopted, developers will be incentivized to build apps that charge recurring fees for access to content and services, instead of selling them at a one-time cost. Shortly after Apple’s announcements, Google broke the news that it will match Apple’s new model, offering Android developers the same 85/15 revenue split immediately,
Why Brands Should Care
As a harbinger to the upcoming WWDC announcements – which we expect to include a smart Siri, a refreshed iOS, and an updated Apple Pay that works on mobile web – these changes to the App Store signals Apple’s willingness to learn from Google and incentivize its developer community. Google’s counterstrike also shows that they are more than willing to play ball and keep up. For brands, the new search ads in the App Store can help increase their app visibility and drive more downloads, which will undoubtedly come in handy when launching a new app or gearing up for a mobile-based campaign.
For more updates on Apple’s WWDC announcements and the implications they may have for brands, remember to check back next week for our take on the event.
Source: The Verge & Engadget
Apple has reportedly put together a secret team to work on improving search in its App Store. The team is said to be exploring the possible addition of paid search ads, which would charge brands and developers to have their apps prominently displayed in app search results. It is likely that they will end up with an implementation similar to the one that Google currently has in the Google Play store.
What Brands Need To Do
With over 1.5 million apps available in the App Store, it is getting increasingly hard for apps to get discovered. If implemented, paid search ads in the App Store should provide brands the opportunity to make a strong push for their branded apps. When a user searches for an app, the keywords they use indicate intent, and brands can reach those users by buying certain keywords that align with the utility or service their apps provide. For example, a retailer could promote its app to all users searching for “fashion” or “shopping,” whereas a hotel brand could target potential travelers who are searching for airline apps or transportation maps for specific cities.
New reports indicate that both Apple and Google are trying hard to get exclusive games into their mobile stores. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple and Google are rewarding outlets like Electronic Acts, Gameloft, and ZeptoLabs prominent placement atop their respective app stores for loyalty and exclusive content. The companies haven’t been offered direct financial incentives, but they essentially have been by extension; prominent placement in the app store is the equivalent of many more purchases and, by extension, financial success. The joint push by Apple and Google comes on the heels of increasing awareness of each others’ app store successes by trying to get exclusives and continuously being aware of what the other offers. In the end, both are pushing hard to break through as the clear leader in the mobile gaming space, and neither are winning just yet.
In today’s mobile ad world, consumers are used to being redirected to the app store to tell them to purchase an app that they’ve expressed interest in. A mobile ad company, Tapstream, wants to refine that process, and today announced a piece of software called Deferred Deep Links to create individualized landing pages within mobile ads that will re-direct users after the app is installed. It works like this: when a user normally clicks a link, they’ll be directed to a specific page within the app, or if the app in question isn’t installed they’ll be prompted to install it in the App store. Deferred Deep Links simply takes the step of redirecting the new app-owner back to the original link they were directed to within the app, meaning that now advertisers are guaranteed that users aren’t lost in transition. It means that mobile ads will become that much more reliable, and guarantees that users will be seeing the right add within the right app at the right time.
Apple’s latest product launch may have slipped under your radar. On January 31, Apple updated its Developer documentation to include reference to new “easy-to-read links to your app…which use the AppStore.com base URL plus a specific form of your app or company name.” This announcement was unusually subtle for Apple, but was noticed widely during the Super Bowl ad for the new Star Trek movie, which pointed viewers to AppStore.com/StarTrekApp. Vanity URLs will be issued to new apps by Apple, without the option for developers to configure them, and direct conflicts will be resolved by leading common extensions to a search page.
Apple App Store and Google Play store often boast about their selection of more than 600,000 apps but it turns out only a fraction of those generate significant revenue. In fact, about half of total app store revenue lies with the top 25, all of which are gaming apps with the exception of Pandora. While paid apps and in-app purchases are on the rise, some apps are clearly more sticky than others.
Facebook makes another mobile push, launches App Center
There were a few big announcements regarding the iPhone and iPod Touch at WWDC this week.Â The biggest announcement was actually just a price drop: With the iPhone 3G at only $99, it hits the magical price point thatâ€™s going to move a lot of phones.Â Though admittedly, there is still a large issue in the monthly costs to AT&T, as a plan with unlimited data and text is going to be more per month than the phone costs.
Appleâ€™s newly announced numbers show a continued acceleration in the popularity of the AppStore.Â While 40 million iPhones or iPod Touch devices worldwide reflects a steady progression, the announcement of 50,000 apps in the AppStore is a sharp increase over past numbers.Â With over one billion apps downloaded since the AppStoreâ€™s inception, thatâ€™s an average of 20,000 downloads per application. Continue reading “Apple takes off the gloves”