Get the most out of your App campaign

App campaigns make it easy to promote your apps across Google’s largest properties, including Search, Google Play, YouTube, and the Google Display Network. This article goes through the best ways to set up and manage your App campaigns in order to get the best possible performance.

Set up, bidding, and maintenance

To run a successful App campaign, you’ll need to set the right goals for your marketing objectives, and use the most effective bids and budgets. 

Campaign set up

When setting up your App campaign, think about:

  • Your marketing goals: Decide whether you are you trying to get people to download your app, take a specific action inside your app, or something else.

  • Events: Send any events that you are tracking in your app back to Google Ads, and consider tracking other events that can act as a proxy for your desired event. Learn more About Mobile app conversion tracking.

  • Ramp-up: Take conversion delay into consideration. App campaigns can take a few days to start gathering information. If you see a high cost-per-install (CPI) early on, remember to account for conversion delays, and set a realistic conversion window. Learn more About conversion tracking.

  • Competing campaigns: Avoid launching App campaigns in the same geographic location, as this can cause your campaigns to compete against each other.

  • Budget: Ensure you have enough budget allocated to allow your campaign to grow.

Bidding

When setting bids for your App campaign, keep in mind:

  • Conversion delay: Make sure you account for conversion delay when evaluating your campaign’s performance. In the first few days (or even weeks) of a campaign, the CPI may be inflated.

  • View-through conversion (VTC) adjusted CPI: Consider calculating your adjusted CPI by adding VTCs to your CPI equation. Learn more about view-through conversions.

  • Recommended bids: Set your daily budget at 50 times your target CPI, or 10 times your target CPA.

Learn more About bidding in App campaigns.

Maintenance

Once your App campaign is up and running, it’s important to maintain it properly for best performance. We recommend that you:

  • Avoid changing the campaign type, for example, from “Install volume” to “Install actions,” after launching.

  • Try not to make drastic changes to your campaign, for example, changing the budget by >20%, or changing your CPI by >20%.

  • Avoid restricting your campaign’s audience by excluding too many locations, placements, mobile categories, or by using other targeting options.

Assets

Creative assets are the “face” of your App campaign—it’s what your potential customers see first, so you want to make sure they’re being shown the most effective ad. To make sure the right ads are showing for the right people, it’s important that you upload a variety of assets for your App campaign. It’s also helpful to understand how the App campaign asset report works.

Video assets

Having a variety of video assets is critical to the success of a App campaign. Make sure you provide:

  • Videos of multiple durations

  • Videos with different orientations, like vertical, square, and landscape (the ideal video aspect ratios are 16:9, 1:1, and 2:3—keep in mind that portrait videos have a 60% higher conversion rate than landscape videos)

  • Videos that feature gameplay or app usage, and have a clear call to action, for example, “Download” or “Install now”

Asset reporting

Asset reporting lets you check the cost, clickthrough rate (CTR), CPI, and other data for your assets all in one place. The asset report has 5 different ratings: “Waiting,” “Learning,” “Low,” “Good,” and “Best,” and these ratings are relative to the other assets in your campaign. We recommend that you:

  • Add more assets instead of removing “Good” or “Low” rated assets—it’s better to have two assets than one, even if one is rated “Good” or “Low”.

  • Double check (or change) the date range for the report if you see questionable data or a “0” in one of the data columns.

  • Keep in mind that sometimes a conversion can happen without a click, for example, if the view-through conversion window is longer.

Other assets

Text assets can be used independently, or combined with other assets (for example, with a landscape image to create a native ad). Remember to:

  • Use all four lines of text when setting up a campaign.

  • Make sure your text assets don’t contain more than one exclamation mark (!) so that they don't violate our editorial policies.

  • Run your HTML5 assets through the Google Ads HTML5 Validator tool prior to uploading your HTML5 ad. Learn more about HTML5 for App campaigns.

  • Try and upload four independent lines of text, 20 images, and 20 videos, and use a diversity of aspect ratios and image sizes.

Measurement

Correct measurement set up and event tracking is crucial to your App campaign’s success. We recommend that you:

Events

Sending in-app events to Google Ads helps your campaigns succeed by providing more data for the system to learn from. Think about:

  • Events: At a minimum, track installs and at least one in-app event. Ideally you should track multiple events, including revenue generating events.

  • Timeline: Confirm that the Google Ads conversion window aligns with the windows you’ve set up in your third-party system. For most third-party providers, the default is 30 days.

  • Count: Decide whether to count only the first time an event happens, or every time.

 

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