Apple Search Ads has grown dramatically since its introduction, and has become a must-buy for marketers seeking to launch and grow their install base and revenue. This is especially true for clients in the gaming space, but it can be of use to apps in any vertical - and in this blog post, we’ll go into more detail about how clients are using Adjust Automate to increase the quality of paid traffic with Apple Search Ads (ASA). We also hear from CEO of photo editing app Instasize, Hector Lopez, to get the lowdown on his company grew their installs by 167% after implementing Automate.
To start off, let’s look into why there’s a need for automation within mobile marketing in the first place. One technique that we see many clients practicing is launching and maintaining multiple campaigns at once, specifically to A/B test creative and reach multiple audiences across multiple geographies. With such a diverse spectrum of creatives, brands can have much better targeting and personalization — the issue is that managing dozens, if not hundreds, of campaigns simultaneously creates a significant operational burden.
Research conducted by Adjust found that:
- 81% of marketers surveyed said their company was planning to increase its marketing or advertising automation budget in 2020.
- Marketers handle an average of 19 advertising campaigns across approximately 14 different networks, highlighting the scale and complexity behind current marketing campaigns.
- When asked about the three biggest pain points in their roles, marketers listed merging and acting on disparate sources of data, individually updating bids and budgets, and accurate campaign management.
- Marketers would have to adjust over 250 distinct bids and spend limits, every day. That means even a moderate number of campaigns can become complex to keep updated.
Designed as a cross-app, cross-partner and cross-network dashboard, Adjust’s Automate is designed to simplify these processes, and reduce the amount of manual work marketers typically spend on adjusting hundreds of distinct bids and spending limits every day. The product enables clients to view data across all their apps and campaigns and act on it - giving marketers back the time to focus on more creative and strategic decisions. So how have clients leveraged Automate, and what results are they seeing?
Success with Apple Search Ads
Automate’s integration with Apple Search Ads enables clients like Instasize to easily manage bids on the ASA platform. Prior to March, Instasize was averaging around 30k paid installs a month. Beginning in March, Automate was added to their account.
“The addition of Automate enabled us to launch and manage dozens of campaigns on Apple Search Ads. The ability to evaluate our ad campaigns from the Adjust dashboard, and then change bids for Search Ads also from the Adjust dashboard, dramatically improved our efficiency,” said Hector Lopez, Instasize CEO.
After Automate was added, installs jumped over 50,000, an increase of around 160%. Moreover, the average rate of paying users per install with Apple Search Ads was ten times that of other ad networks, while the return on ad spend was eight times of other networks. The return on investment led Instasize to increase their overall spend with Apple Search Ads, as ASA had proven to be their most profitable channel by far.
Doubling down on marketing automation
Mobile has emerged as a critical store-front, and in some cases the only store-front, for some of the biggest companies in the world. As a result, it’s essential brands invest in their mobile marketing and gain proven, measurable results. But small changes in spending or targeting strategy can result in extremely complex changes involving multiple ad networks and dozens of campaigns.
“With Automate, marketers can offload manual, routine tasks, leaving them free to focus on being creative,” said Paul Müller, Adjust’s Co-founder and CTO. “Automate can also be an equalizer in mobile marketing, increasing the number of campaigns one person can manage and allowing smaller teams to compete with larger marketing departments.”
The impact of marketing automation, and its potential to change how brands across all industry verticals, is best exhibited by hypercasual games. Those companies are a relative newcomer to the gaming market, but they’ve disrupted the competition for user acquisition and ad monetization by harnessing automation to drive downloads at scale. From a standing start a few years ago, hypercasuals now dominate the top of the App store and Google Play Store, with an estimated $2 billion to $2.5 billion in annual revenue.
What makes hypercasual companies unique is that they don’t look at the daily active users within a single app, but across their entire portfolio. As attention flags for one game, users are driven to the next app and then the next, rolling and growing the company’s user base - something we call the “snowball effect”.
Automation is the force driving hypercasual dominance of the app stores. It’s not humanly possible to manage the number of campaigns these games require. If you have 20 campaigns across 20 networks, you have to manage 400 campaigns. If you want to adjust your bids and volumes on a day-to-day basis, optimize your creatives, and run a lot of A/B tests to see what works, that’s a lot of work for a typical UA department.
“Automation helps marketers scale campaigns at a scale they could not imagine before. We are pushing the boundaries. Why stop at running 400 campaigns for a single app if you can run 40,000, or 400,000, with a machine doing all the heavy lifting,” said Müller.
To try Automate for yourself, make sure to check out our automation offerings here. For more insight into how to make automation work for you, check out our introduction to best practices for growth-focused marketing automation.