Mobile app marketers can rejoice: this week, Kenshoo announced plans to add Apple Search to its platform, meaning advertisers can now manage Apple Search Ads alongside Bing, Google, and Facebook campaigns all in the same platform.
Consolidating campaign management into one convenient platform is a smart way to help advertisers maximize their ad spend, according to Tom Affinito, vice president of product marketing for Kenshoo.
“Right now, companies tend to work with advertisers is in a very siloed way,” Affinito says. “And Bing, Google, Apple, they’re all good, but starting to connect the dots is important. Brands are trying to figure out how much to invest in each, and having a coordinated approach to all publishers together is the real advantage of a platform.”
Apple Search Ads allows advertisers not only to promote their app at the top of search results in the app store, but also to optimize the image that appears alongside their app based on keyword search.
“For search Apple continues to innovate,” says Will Martin-Gill, chief strategy officer for Kenshoo. “They keep increasing the amount of creative that you associate with app search, like creative that’s show in search ads based on they keywords customers are using to find the app. For example, someone searching the word ‘marathon’ would have a picture focused on running. And with iOS 12, we’ll see browse and search continue to grow.”
Kenshoo’s new offering allows advertisers to manage all aspects of their Apple Search Ads, from keyword discovery and campaign management to tracking and reporting, along with similar aspects of other campaigns, which will ideally drive app downloads.
Traditionally, search dollars have gone to Google and Bing, but the last few years have been a boon for app search, with Apple offering innovative new solutions for offering helpful ads to app search.
“The app store is nothing new,” says Martin-Gill. “But now they’ve really gotten it right. When people are going in to browse, Apple is making sure brands have the tools to offer ads that are native and additive to the experience.”
The move seems to be successful for both Apple and advertisers. In 2017, Apple announced that 50% of users who tapped a search ad ended up buying the app, putting the cost per install of a search ad at $1.
While that high conversion rate could be attributed to the benefits of being an early adopter, … also believes that buyer intention also has a lot to do with it.
“There’s definitely a first mover advantage, but not just that,” … says. “What we’ve seen is that when advertising in this context, customers are in this experience to discover a new app.”
In fact, since the launch of iOS 11, 56% of game downloads were from search. Perhaps more importantly, 69% of non-game app downloads were from search. Those numbers could be all the more reason for emerging markets in the app landscape to adopt Apple Search Ads.
For example, as Apple launches initiatives like the electrocardiogram app for the Apple Watch and over half of smartphone users report having downloaded a health app, competition for the top spot among wellness-focused apps could grow fierce.
And while traditional e-commerce brands and game developers are the most eager to explore Kenshoo’s new offerings, healthcare, finance, and travel are industries also looking to tap into the app search market.
“A lot of historical big spenders in apps have been games and media and entertainment providers,” says Affinito. “But now larger companies, especially financial services, are looking to expand their mobile offerings.”
While Kenshoo is currently signing existing clients to its beta program, the company expects to offer general availability in November 2018.
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