Earlier this week, Google unveiled three new features to help app marketers better reach and engage with consumers.
Marketers can now automate video ads, recommend similar apps, and better target consumers who are more likely to make in-app purchases as part of the new offerings under Google’s Universal App Campaigns (UAC).
UAC allows app developers to run ad campaigns across all Google properties, including Google Search, YouTube, Google Play, and Google Display Network.
Here’s an overview of the three new offerings:
- AutoDirector will automatically create a promotional video by pulling images, descriptions, and ratings from app vendors like the App Store and Google Play, which can then be distributed via UAC.
- App recommendation ads will be displayed in a rotating carousel format within Google Play under a “You might also like” label. These ads will surface next to search results.
- Developers can target users more likely to make in-app purchases (IAPs). Android developers can opt to track IAPs rather than installs. This information can then be used to target users who have previously made IAPs.
With the updates, Google is aiming to fix a number of consistent issues facing publishers, developers, and marketers:
- App stores are overcrowded. There are more than 2 million apps in the Google Play store alone, making it increasingly difficult for developers to get their apps in front of users. Providing marketers with more tools via UAC is one way Google can help increase app visibility.
- App engagement and retention is low. Developers are in an app engagement crisis, with 23% of consumers abandoning an app after just one use and 75% doing so within 90 days, according to Localytics. This could be because the app doesn’t provide the experience users are expecting. Recommending apps to users who have downloaded similar apps could help mitigate this high churn rate.
- Only a small share of consumers actually spend money in-app. Just 5% of app users spend money on IAPs, according to AppsFlyer. Giving marketers the ability to target these users could help app makers better monetize their products.
Both Google and Apple have been working toward providing more advertising options within their respective app stores to address these major issues. As each of these app marketplaces becomes even more competitive, it’s likely both Apple and Google will roll out more advertising tools, though developers are hopeful that they will also address issues around organic app discovery, such as creating a more robust app search capability.
Cutting through the noise of an overcrowded app market is critical for any app developer looking to build a viable user base. There are now well over 3 million apps available across the world’s five largest app stores. Delivering the right product to the right audience at the right time in this environment is imperative to the success of any app.
The challenge of marketing an app effectively has made app-install ads — an ad unit that directs users to download a mobile app — an essential tool for developers seeking to stand out in the Google Play and Apple app stores. This is why it’s not surprising that more marketers are using paid channels to drive downloads than ever before. In fact, over 80% of respondents in a survey of the top 100 grossing mobile app developers noted they plan on increasing their spend on app-install ads in 2015.
BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on mobile app-install ads that looks at the revenues from app-install ads and how they’re expected to grow over the next five years. It also looks at the performance of app-install ads and how these metrics are expected to change over time.
Furthermore, the report examines the top app-install ad products and pricing models offered by the leading advertising platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and Google, as well as newer app-install formats from Instagram and Snapchat. Looking to the future, the report examines how companies are shifting their app-install ad spend to new formats, as well as the new tools they’re using to improve optimization and ad effectiveness.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- Mobile app-install ads — ad units that direct users to download a mobile app — are an essential tool for developers, and they account for a major share of mobile ad spend. We estimate 25% of total US mobile ad revenue was generated by app-install ads in 2015.
- A combination of new developers entering the space and rising ad budgets will drive increased spending in years to come. US app-install ad revenue will grow to over $7 billion by year-end 2020, according to BI Intelligence estimates.
- Mobile app install advertisers have traditionally invested heavily in display and interstitial ads, but are moving to mobile video and native install formats. 86% of developers currently use in-feed video app-install ads, and video ads are seen as the most effective app-install format.
- As formats like video rise in popularity, older formats are losing their appeal for install campaigns. Static nonnative ads are widely used but are not seen as effective. Free app networks and offer walls have also fallen out of favor.
- Ad platforms are now developing innovative new install formats to earn even more revenue from these lucrative ad units. New approaches, including deep linking and app streaming, are more contextualized and interactive than older ad formats.
In full, the report:
- Forecasts app-install ad spending in the US through 2020.
- Explores which app-install ad formats developers believe are most effective.
- Discusses what the most popular platforms and ad networks are doing to attract ad spending.
- Investigates new tools for marketing apps, including deep linking and app streaming.
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