Earlier this year, Apple expanded their Apple Search Ads portfolio on the App Store by offering a placement in the “Suggested” section of the Search tab. So while app marketers have always been able to reach customers in the results after they search for keywords, now you can get your ads in front of users even before they search.
This functionality opens up “keyword-free” advertising, meaning your ads will show based on your target audience (location, age, gender, and device type), and the ad copy will be generated from App Store metadata.
Search tab campaigns are an easy way to help users discover apps they may not have intended to search for, and it also helps app marketers drive visibility and awareness at the right time (versus an always-on approach), while also topping up your conversions and audience pools.
So, does it work? The simple answer is yes! So let’s have a look at some strategies you can use to get the most out of Search tab ads.
When is the best time to run Search tab campaigns?
1. Seasonal periods (Black Friday, Holiday, end of season sales)
For retail, entertainment, and any app marketer impacted by seasonality, running a Search tab campaign can be a really effective way to drive sales during a short time period. You will be showing your ads to customers in your target audience before they search. Tactics like these help gain a competitive advantage by giving you maximum visibility.
2. Key business events (product and app launches, new entertainment or gaming releases)
Similar to seasonal periods, any business event can benefit from an additional boost, especially in a saturated market. Let’s say you are marketing a streaming entertainment app, and you have a new season of a streaming series launching soon — leveraging Search tab ads can build momentum by driving downloads in anticipation of the release date. Follow this up with a search results campaign with the show’s keywords, and you’ve got a one-two punch to maximize conversions.
3. Reaching specific audiences
Because Search tab ads use target audiences, they are a great way to reach new users, returning users, or users of your other apps. In the example above, for instance, perhaps you have users who fell off after the last season ended. Search tab ads can complement your integrated media plan: once you’ve raised awareness in the market, you can reach returning users at just the right time, reminding them to re-install before the next season starts.
4. Brand/awareness activity push
Of course, anyone can benefit from additional exposure, whether you are a well-known brand or just getting started. Most brands have budgets allocated towards competitor campaigns. These can be costly and quite often suffer from low conversion rates. By using Search tab campaigns to target specific audience types, you can drive added value, and help reach new customers. Think of them like an expansion pack to bidding on competitor terms.
How do I get started with Search tab campaigns?
Setting up a Search tab campaign is easy. The process is essentially the same as setting up a search results campaign, only you can skip the keyword miming and implementation step. Since there are no keywords in the campaign setup, Search Match is disabled. Apple Search Ads uses the assets you’ve already uploaded to your App Store product page (app name, icon, and subtitle) to create the ads, so there is no need to provide anything else.
As for pricing, ads are based on a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) model. There is no minimum spend, and you can determine the maximum amount you’re willing to pay with an overall campaign budget as well as a daily cap. You’ll also be able to start, stop, or adjust campaigns any time.
MarinOne’s Apple Search Ads integration supercharges already powerful Apple Search Ads campaigns. From optimization to reporting, MarinOne offers unique advantages to app marketers. Advanced analytical grids provide flexible reporting within and across Apple Search Ads with unlimited data retention. MarinOne for Apple Search Ads also seamlessly integrates with BI Tools such as Tableau and Google Data Studio. Cross-channel reporting puts paid media metrics from search, social, display, and e-commerce all in one place, streamlining reporting workflows.
MarinOne also offers automated bidding leveraging advanced machine learning. Advertisers can also set custom bid modifiers for MarinOne Bidding to adjust to external signals, giving you more time saved on manually optimizing campaigns, better performance, and happier clients. Budget pacing, forecasting, performance insights, and recommendations make planning and management a breeze. Plus, cross-account edits and manual keyword bid overrides give marketers full control over their campaigns. Advertisers can also integrate MMP data and optimize toward post download metrics.
As Search tab campaigns are best used to reach particular audiences and drive tap throughs during specific periods, any comparison to always-on activity is somewhat misguided. By incorporating both Search tab campaigns and search results campaigns into your overall media plan, you can reap the benefits of incremental growth, reach and additional exposure.
CLV is how much money a customer spends with your business for the duration of your relationship. It’s an important—yet overlooked—metric: rather than looking at a sale as simply a one-off exchange, CLV considers how valuable a customer is over time.
Understanding this can help you spend your marketing budget more wisely and keep your customer acquisition costs low. After all, it costs more to attract a new customer than it does to close an existing prospect or keep an existing customer.
Keeping your CLV high is vital to the long-term success of your business.
What is CLV?
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) refers to the profit you expect to make from a customer over time.
For some businesses, this may mean that your profitable customers make larger purchases or many repeat purchases, thereby increasing their value to your business over the lifetime of their relationship with you.
However, for many industries with long sales cycles, that profit may come months or even years after you’ve established the awareness of your business with the customer at the top of the funnel (think: buying a car, applying to a university, procuring new software, or purchasing a home). These are big decisions and consumers need time to evaluate their purchases.
5 Reasons to Measure CLV for Your Paid Search Advertising Campaigns
Regardless of the nature of your customers’ CLV, optimizing your marketing campaigns to CLV is good for business. Here are five reasons CLV matters:
It helps you keep valuable customers
If you can identify and target high CLV customers, this should translate into higher ROI and could be a good way to improve your campaign performance.
You may find that there are segments of the market who value your product but have a lower than average CLV/CAC ratio, meaning you're spending too much on acquiring individual customers. If so, it may be worth exploring ways in which you can acquire these new customers at a lower cost or perhaps look for marketing activities where you might get more exposure for the same budget (e.g., by increasing reach).
It decreases CPA costs
Customer Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) is the amount of money a company spends on acquiring new customers divided by the number of new customers acquired during a given period.
You'll notice that different customer types have different CLVs, which means they contribute more or less than others towards paying your CPA. You can use CLV to compare campaigns and determine which ones are performing better, resulting in improved return on investment (ROI).
It's important to monitor this metric over time, as you may find you can reduce CPA while maintaining or even improving your bottom line. This is because the lifetime value of certain customer segments will increase with time on your platform, resulting in an overall decrease in acquisition costs.
It allows you to optimize your bids to different stages of the funnel
Full-funnel bidding allows advertisers to use top of the funnel conversion types for bidding while also factoring in final sales as a second bid factor. This bidding solution enables advertisers to grow efficiency and revenue from the sales funnel’s final stage while maintaining reactivity to recent market changes. Bids stay reactive to market changes, while efficiency targets are based on latent conversion metrics.
It helps you calculate campaign effectiveness
CLV will reveal which paid search campaigns are more successful, allowing you to optimize your total marketing spend.
You can compare campaign effectiveness by sub-segmenting customers by their CLVs. For example, instead of just looking at conversion rates for all traffic sources as a whole, you could break down the conversion rates by each campaign. This will make it easier to understand which traffic sources are most effective at converting.
It helps you grow in the long run
CLV isn’t something you need to track all the time, but ignoring it could spell trouble. Keeping an eye on CLV helps you spend your marketing budget more wisely, engage with your customers more effectively, and keep your CPA costs down through better loyalty—all of which helps your bottom line.
How to Calculate CLV
The simplest formula is as follows:
CLV = Customer Value (average order spend x number of orders in a year) x Average Customer Lifespan (in years)
To calculate CLV, you need to track customer metrics over time and calculate your customer churn. This will allow you to determine CLV across any given timeframe.
You may want to deduct CAC (customer acquisition cost) from your total to give you a deeper understanding of the true value of a customer.
Using a comprehensive reporting suite like MarinOne, you’ll be able to Identify which channels are driving revenue to your business. You’ll then need to track offline sales and interactions back to their source with a conversion tracking solution like Marin Tracker. Make sure to continue tracking touchpoints beyond the initial click-through, all the way through conversion.
How to Improve CLV
Here are some tips on improving your CLV.
Optimize onboarding. As soon as possible, the user should be able to get value from your product or service (e.g., signups, downloads).
Don't focus on customer acquisition alone. It's important to make sure users are retained over time.
Optimize CLV by marketing based on customer behavior. If people aren't making repeat purchases or converting to long-term high-value purchases, consider investing in marketing efforts to increase retention.
Look for ways to improve value. If customers are joining, but not staying around or buying after a certain period of time, focus on improving user experience and product features.
Over-deliver. If your product and service are great, people will come back.
Boost user experience. If you can provide an improved user experience, make sure to communicate this benefit in all your marketing efforts. Consider advertising on social media platforms that offer the opportunity for strong engagement.
Increase average value order. If customers are buying, but not purchasing many items per order, then there is room to boost sales.
Gather market research. If you can gather unbiased opinions about your product or service from potential customers, use this data to create marketing campaigns that will appeal directly to your target audience.
Uncover business drivers. You may need to modify your business plan based on what customers are saying.
Improve customer service. If you’re not delivering great customer service, customers will avoid dealing with you in the future. Not only that, but they’ll likely share their experiences on social media—which could turn away potential new customers.
Measuring CLV plays an important role in determining ROI, optimizing your advertising spend, and keeping your CPA low—all of which means less budget spent on search campaigns. Optimizing your CLV can provide valuable insights regarding whether or not there is excessive spending on your search campaigns. CLV allows you to evaluate the financial impact in order to re-strategize regarding how various programs are measured and attributed.
How MarinOne Can Help
MarinOne’s powerful self-serve platform connects your offline conversion data to the ad clicks that ultimately drive the sale, making it easy to see which customers are the most valuable and which campaigns have been effective in closing customers. From analysis and reporting to advanced bidding algorithms—analyze the most valuable shoppers, optimize your bids to revenue, and focus your efforts on your best customers. This leads to extending your marketing spend while attracting high-value customers to your brand.
Apple Search Ads has been around for several years as a standout strategy for app marketing. Lower acquisition costs, high intent audiences, and straightforward setup have drawn advertisers to the platform (and kept them there). After the addition of Search tab campaigns back in May and the recent integration with MarinOne, if you’re not running Apple Search Ads yet - you should be.
Ads drive downloads
If you’re not familiar with Apple Search Ads, here are a few motivating metrics:
70 percent of App Store visitors use search to discover apps. Ads display at the top of search results, giving marketers prime placement for their apps.
65 percent of downloads occur directly after a search on the App Store.
50 percent is the average conversion rate for ads on the App Store search results.
All that Apple Search Ads has to offer
Advertisers can choose between Apple Search Ads Basic and Apple Search Ads Advanced. Basic (as you might assume) is made for those with limited marketing experience, relying on automation to drive campaigns and performance. Advanced is for those with a bit more gusto for advertising, giving marketers more control over keywords, bidding, and audience refinements.
Apple Search Ads setup is similar to other search ads, so PPC natives will feel right at home with the recommended structure and terminology.
Apple Search Ads now offers placements on both the search results page and the Search tab suggested apps list. Search results ads are billed on a cost-per-tap (CPT) model while the newer Search tab ads are priced based on a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) model. Unlike search results ads, Search tab ads don’t require keywords.
Apple Search Ads recommends search results campaigns separated by keyword themes: Brand, Category (read: non-brand), Competitor, and Discovery. Within each campaign, keywords are typically broken down into ad groups with exact match queries, broad match, and Search Match (Apple Search Ads’ flavor of automated intent matching). Advertisers can add negative keywords and refine audiences as needed to funnel intent.
Search tab campaigns work differently since they don’t require keywords, but advertisers still have control over bidding and audience refinements such as device, customer type, demographics, and locations. As mentioned above, Search tab campaigns are priced on a CPM basis.
Maximizing Apple Search Ads campaigns with MarinOne
MarinOne’s Apple Search Ads integration supercharges already powerful Apple Search Ads campaigns. From optimization to reporting, MarinOne offers unique advantages to app marketers. Here are all of the details:
Advanced analytical grids provide flexible reporting within and across Apple Search Ads with unlimited data retention. MarinOne for Apple Search Ads also seamlessly integrates with BI Tools such as Tableau and Google Data Studio.
Cross-channel reporting puts paid media metrics from search, social, display, and e-commerce all in one place, streamlining reporting workflows. Combined with powerful dashboards for easy data visualization, you’ll have everything you need for effective account management in one place.
Automated alerts can be set to notify marketers of performance changes. We all know alerts are life changing!
MarinOne offers automated bidding to improve your Cost Per Tap and Cost Per Downloads leveraging machine learning. Advertisers can also set custom bid modifiers for MarinOne Bidding to adjust to external signals. Read: less time spent manually optimizing campaigns, better performance, and happier clients.
Budget pacing, forecasting, performance insights, and recommendations make planning and management a breeze. Plus, cross-account edits and manual keyword bid overrides give marketers full control over their campaigns.
Advertisers can integrate MMP data and optimize toward post download metrics.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably heard about Facebook’s announcement that certain detailed targeting options will be sunset in early 2022.
Here’s a quick review of the news straight from Facebook:
“Starting January 19, 2022 we will remove Detailed Targeting options that relate to topics people may perceive as sensitive, such as options referencing causes, organizations, or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation.
Health causes (e.g., ‘Lung cancer awareness’, ‘World Diabetes Day’, ‘Chemotherapy’)
Sexual orientation (e.g., ‘same-sex marriage’ and ‘LGBT culture’)
Religious practices and groups (e.g., ‘Catholic Church’ and ‘Jewish holidays’)
Political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations, and figures ”
While some are supportive of this change, other marketers are concerned about the implications for companies that leverage this targeting in light of an already rapidly changing advertising landscape. Cause-based organizations, political parties, healthcare brands, and many others will need to change tack in how they communicate with their audiences.
In the same announcement, Facebook also teased that they’re working on additional Ad Controls to enable users to see fewer ads related to gambling, weight loss, and other unspecified categories. They also reminded marketers that users currently have the ability to see fewer ads related to politics, parenting, alcohol, and pets.
So why’d they do it?
This latest announcement comes on the heels of escalating public scrutiny, FTC antitrust suits, and steadily increasing concerns around consumer privacy. Not to mention a huge rebrand. Facebook, er, Meta has had a busy few years.
In the announcement, Facebook states that they “heard concerns from experts that targeting options like these could be used in ways that lead to negative experiences for people in underrepresented groups.” While this move might pose a challenge for advertisers who use these detailed targeting options benevolently, Facebook’s move also removes the possibility that they will be misused.
Especially in a time of heightened scrutiny, it makes sense why Facebook would prioritize reducing the possibility of perceived negative experiences on the platform. Continuing to make Facebook an attractive option for social media users works in advertisers’ best interests as well.
What Advertisers Can Do (And How Marin Social Can Help)
Facebook’s announcement comes with several suggestions:
Leveraging Engagement Custom Audiences to capture relevant intent on Facebook-owned properties. Targeting users who currently like your page or users who watched one of your videos in the news feed are a few examples. Facebook also suggests using these audiences as a seed list to create a lookalike audience.
Remember the 2-Second Video Viewer audience that is no longer available on Facebook? Marin Social still offers this option so you can get even more out of your Engagement Custom Audiences.
Website Custom Audiences can still be used to target customers who interact with a company’s website (and can also be used as a seed list for a Lookalike Audience).
Want to take your custom audiences to the next level? Marin Social offers Enhanced Website Custom Audiences, which integrates rules to automatically segment your audiences based on parameters you build. Save time and find your most valuable audiences seamlessly!
Location targeting is suggested to help brick-and-mortar retailers reach customers around their locations.
Marin Social offers “Location Clusters”, which lets you group together your target locations in one fell swoop for easy use in campaigns. All of the marketers who spend hours quality checking location groups can breathe a sigh of relief.
Customer lists are a great way to connect with customers (if you have their permission to do so). Try segmenting your customer lists and customizing messaging to get the most out of using customer lists.
For marketers whose campaigns are impacted by Facebooks’ upcoming targeting changes, Marin Software’s social marketing experts are here to help you through the transition. Click here to schedule a demo with us and learn more about what Marin can do for you!
Ensure that the 2021 holiday season will be even more successful with these last minute tips!
Managing Bidding during a Sales Event
Before the sale:
Find out Revenue-Per-Click or Conversion-Rate uplift from historic sales as a percentage.
On the day of the sale:
Apply your historical percentage uplift calculated as a boost on day of sale.
Remove all bid change limits. Preserving bid change limits only allows your bids to change up to the limited amount, possibly restricting a number of keywords.
Ensure campaign budgets are set appropriately and will not be overly restrictive.
Once the sale has begun, check hourly spend rates in the publisher accounts. Compare your spend trend in the current sale with previous sales to confirm bidding configuration is not over or under-spending.
Assess the number of terms hitting bid caps
After the sale:
Add previous and latest sales periods to Excluded Dates.
Set bid change limits to pre-sale setting.
Revert Boost to historic level.
Effective Tips and Tools
Flighting is a technique where you schedule your ads to run for a period of time (called a flight) followed by a period where you pause all ads for the advertised product or service. A smart way to leverage flighting for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is by offering progressive promotions. This means, you can start your campaign offering a promotion with low percentages off, and as the days/weeks go by, increase the percentage off.
To increase relevance, CTR and Conversion Rate, consider including in your ad creatives words such as: Discount, Deals, Promotions, Savings, Offers, Free, Black Friday, Cyber Monday.
Sitelinks / Promotion Extensions
Include these special sales and offers with your ads to make your promotion stand out so potential customers can spot great deals and generate new sales for your business.
Let potential customers know about sales or special events by adding a countdown timer to your ad text to create a sense of urgency.
Increase Budget Caps
To cover the increase in traffic, you must consider increasing the budget of your campaigns to capitalise on the increase of impressions and clicks.
Good luck! Marin Software has got you covered. We’ve put everything in place to provide above-and-beyond customer service, particularly during the critical Black Friday and Cyber Monday events, for our retail customers in the midst of their busiest time of the year. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your account manager or our sales team today.