How do mobile app promotion campaigns achieve success?
The answer, as both Appcoach and Google know well, is through algorithmic user targeting reinforced by experienced human intervention and guidance.
On the 25th of March 2016, Google, Appcoach, and 30 global mobile growth leaders gathered at Google’s San Francisco offices to listen to insiders from Google and Appcoach discuss methods of employing this strategy on the Google platform. A buffetbreakfast was enjoyed and vista of the sun shining over the Oakland Bay Bridge admired.
“2016 is all about user intent.”
Patrick McGuigan, an app promotion expert from Google’s headquarter in Mountain View, elaborated on the key advantages of Google as a marketing channel. With its ecosystem and new algorithmic advantages, Google helps advertisers capture key moments when reaching potential customers. “When most people think of Google ads, they think of AdMob. But things have changed. 2016 is all about user intent across the Google suite.”
Take, for instance, Google Search. “Search is a much undervalued channel, but in fact one in four users discovers an app through search." To double down on this reality Google launched Google Play Search Ads in Q4 2015, a powerful automated ad format which reaches more than one billion Android users in over 190 countries. For Android developers now then, app install campaigns run on AdWords automatically display in Google Play search results alongside Google search results. No extra setup is required.
Or take Google’s UAC (Universal App Campaign) product. Launched in 2015, UAC is designed to help advertisers achieve full mobile coverage on the Google suite with minimum effort. With UAC developers can now employ one single campaign to capture user intent across search on Google, discover in Google Play, engagement with apps and games, surfing on the web, or the watching of YouTube videos.
Yet, automation is not the sole ingredient of a successful promotion, and Patrick conceded that automation alone does not always secure ideal performance. “Appcoach has proven success in helping our developer partners achieve stronger results on Google through their human element.” By choosing the right combination of marketing channels for Google advertisers, Appcoach serves to supplement automation. In other words, Appcoach builds and executes feasible plans to capture user intent and achieve the marketing goals of developers, managing the workload of making sense of billions of users, millions of sites and dozens of channels and hundreds of creatives.
“Google is not a network.”
Simon Adams, Director of Advertiser Sales at Appcoach, agrees with Patrick, “One things I always tell my partners is that Google is not a network. OK, Google has a network in Admob, but when taken as a whole, marketing on Google cannot approach like one would approach marketing on a network. The Google platform requires a long-term and fluid approach which marries algorithmic machine learning to weight of human intervention in achieving optimal effectiveness.”
Multi-themed creative production, complex account structure designing, channel selection under a budget constraint, etc, are all examples of tasks which maintain the requirement of manual, human-driven optimization. Take UAC for an example. “For Appcoach, UAC is not something that allows you to sit back and relax,” according to Simon, “its value lies rather in providing simple scale and key insights into how to spend your manual optimization time wisely. We consider UAC as another channel alongside, but not in place of, the other key Google channels.”
And this takes us to what Appcoach does best: helping advertisers select the most suitable Google channels and designing the account and campaign structures necessary to effectively achieve marketing goals. With a case study of a multi-account partnership between Appcoach and a leading developer, Simon helped share one of the agency’s key insights in driving success, “a broad initial targeting approach affords both you and Google’s algorithm the greatest probability of identifying the right audience on the right placements. Work with the data, not with your bias.” With a properly designed account structure, and timely optimization of Google channels, user groups, placements and creative, developers can achieve the most success when casting a wide then before focusing in on pockets of success.
“Prepare in advance for success”
Google is devoted to providing new solutions which help advertisers achieve promotion success. In addition to UAC, Patrick introduced three other new Google products: trial run ads, CO (conversion optimization) for in-app events, and custom audience list uploading, three features which Appcoach was exposed to early. “Appcoach is usually among the first companies to try beta features. They have their own experience with new products and develop best practice for clients ahead of the curve.” With the continuous launch of new products, time spent in pre-launch preparations is critical.
To ensure Google’s automated algorithm achieves success, it is wise to divide the marketing plan early into three phases: pre-launch, launch, and post-launch. “It is important that you take into account your post-launch strategy far in advance of launch,” explained Simon, “with new Google tools allowing the manual uploading of custom audience lists, new processes are required to continually and effectively compile lists of high performing users to assist in audience targeting. Deploying the Google remarketing tag in your app is something which you additionally want to have locked down far in advance of launch.” Develop protocols which will help you avoid wasting time making costly adjustments later.
The launch week is when essential creative, placement, and audience optimization functions are employed. Simon encourages advertisers to interpret campaign data analytically but also to have patience for Google’s algorithms. Google being a CPC platform, the adjustments may take longer to take effect than network channels, but once aimed in the right direction Google will help advertisers achieve quality and scale unachievable through other sources.
Once enough data has been collected, the post-launch period can begin, where further account structure adjustments and expansions happen. Integrated and unified long-term marketing goals allow Appcoach to optimize towards advertiser’s goals regarding post-install user actions, leveraging the launch data.
Fighting ad fatigue, ultimately, is a mission that Appcoach values in each of the three phases. The agency provides relentless consulting and production services for ad creative throughout the campaign for each client, as it firmly believes that creative is the foundation of promotion.