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Apple Ads: Crafting Emotional Epics in the App World

Apple Ads, introduced in 2016, has revolutionized the way iOS app developers connect with their audience. With iOS commanding a significant 27% share of the mobile app market, the potential for reaching a high-spending user base through App Store advertising is immense. The key lies in the strategic setup of these ads.

Apple Ads: Crafting Emotional Epics in the App World

Initiating Your Apple Ads Journey

Once your app is live, the next crucial step is to register for Apple Ads. This involves using your Apple ID to create an account on the Search Ads platform. The initial phase requires a thoughtful approach to account structure, ensuring it’s manageable and aligns with your campaign goals. This stage is critical for defining your target audience and setting up your campaign to effectively reach them.

Crafting the Perfect Semantic Core

Selecting the right keywords is a pivotal part of your Apple Ads strategy. Tools like Google’s keyword planner can be instrumental in this process. It’s essential to consider the geographical scope and objectives of your campaign. Key questions to address include the need for brand protection, leveraging competitor traffic, understanding regional differences in audience interests, and determining the type of traffic that aligns with your goals.

Navigating Brand & Competitor Dynamics

Protecting your brand in the App Store is crucial. Competitors can legally use your brand for their ads, so it’s important to include brand-specific queries in your campaign. Additionally, if competitors aren’t utilizing Apple Ads effectively, you can capitalize on this by targeting their branded queries, provided your ad and app are relevant to the user’s interests.

Let’s start with a simple fact. More than 50% of queries in the App Store are branded searches. And this is an impressive flow of targeted traffic. If competitors don’t use Apple Search Ads or their branded queries in it, then it is quite possible to “redirect” their organic traffic to their application using the same branded queries. In this case, it is important that both the ad and the application are relevant to the interests of the user. Otherwise, it will be carried out in vain.

Choosing the Right Traffic Type

Your campaign’s success depends on whether you aim for a broad reach or a more targeted audience. Broad matches are suitable for reaching a wider audience, while exact matches are better for targeting specific, well-defined groups. The choice of match type should align with your overall campaign strategy.

Apple Ads: Crafting Emotional Epics in the App World

For example, for a branded campaign, an exact match would be ideal. And for a Discovery campaign that helps you find new searches based on current ones, it’s better to use a broad match.

Mastering the Art of Bidding

Winning ad auctions is a balance of competitive bidding and ensuring your ads are relevant to user interests. Strategies include setting a CPA (cost per action) goal at the ad group level and a CPT (cost per tap) bid at the keyword level. Grouping keywords based on performance can also enhance your chances in auctions.

How to make competitive bids?

The cost of a keyword depends on the bid and budget of the campaign. These parameters are set at the campaign, ad group, and ad level.

There are two ways that increase the chance of winning an auction:

  1. At the ad group level, a CPA (pay-per-action) goal is set, and a CPT (pay-per-click) bid is set at the keyword level. In this case, it is more likely that Apple Search Ads will perceive the account as ready to pay for conversions, and therefore ready to attract them.
  2. Group keywords according to performance. Use more effective queries in some ad groups and less effective ones in others so as to not mix statistics and mislead the Search Ads algorithms.

How do you track relevance?

Ads that give users what they are looking for are relevant. In order to assess their compliance with this characteristic, you should use the TTR (Tap Through Rate) metric, which can be found in the advertising account.

There are two kinds of relevance:

  • Technical, which shows the connection between the query and the advertisement. This is determined based on category and metadata.
  • Actual. Displays the link to the request to the banner that is shown to the user. In other. words, it shows how the content of the advertisement corresponds to the interests of the user.

To improve the effectiveness of advertising, it’s important to monitor both kinds of relevance. For different categories of applications, the optimal TTR level will differ. The Utilities and Music category is the easiest to win over an audience while the Sports Apps category is the hardest. When evaluating the TTR for your campaigns, you can focus on the chart below, but you should also take into account factors such as geography, market characteristics, competitor advertising, etc.

Apple Ads: Crafting Emotional Epics in the App World

Budget Management Strategies

Effective budget management involves prioritizing efficient queries while allocating remaining funds to less efficient ones. Creating topic-based ad groups and managing them at the campaign level can also aid in budget control. Utilizing a CPA objective simplifies budget management.

Additional Considerations for Apple Ads Success

To maximize your Apple Ads’ effectiveness, consider creating separate campaigns for each country, even if they share a language. Adapt your metadata to regional cultural and social nuances. Align time zones in your tracking service with your advertising account. Utilize organic user data for audience customization and employ phased advertising rollouts to test different parameter combinations. Trusting automatic targeting to the Search Match tool can also be beneficial.


The success of your Apple Ads campaign hinges on understanding your application and its audience. Regular monitoring and timely adjustments based on campaign performance are essential. With these strategies, you can unlock the full potential of Apple Ads and achieve market dominance in the iOS ecosystem.

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