Here is the latest Mobile Video Monthly, where we discuss the changes and trends regarding video in the mobile app space. Whether it’s news about video in App Store Optimization, User Acquisition or other ways video can be leveraged by developers and publishers.

Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss any of our blog posts. Check out the previous editions here:

Instagram to start putting ads within the Explore page – June 26

Instagram is adding an ad placement to its app on the Explore page.

It won’t be displayed directly on the Explore grid itself (for now), but once a user taps on an Explore posts and begins scrolling.

It should therefore look very much like an Instagram feed ad, and the ads will be photos  and videos.

pasted image 0 1

Advertisers will have an option in their Facebook manager to select or not this specific placement.

Google extends App campaign inventory for Apple iOS – June 26

Google aims at getting more conversions for advertisers on iOS, and will roll out in July updates that should allow to have an App campaign placement in Google Search results even on Safari.

App campaigns Search Safari Ad

The Safari browser represents about 58% of market share on iOS, so this should add significant reach.

Facebook #1 ad network for rewarded video ads – June 27

According to a Monetization Benchmark report from Soomla and shared by Business of Apps, Facebook (via Facebook Audience Network) is the leader when it comes to first impressions on rewarded videos.

pasted image 0

This is based on an analysis of 100+ million users and 2.1 billion impressions.

Admob (Google’s ad network) leads when it comes to overall share for video and interstitial formats.

That’s it for this month, no huge announcements! Have we missed anything important related to mobile video? If so let us know in the comments below!

Sylvain Gauchet

Hi there, I’m Sylvain and I’m one of the co-founders of Apptamin. Apptamin is a creative agency specialized in app videos (video ads, app store videos, etc.) where we find engaging ways to present mobile apps and games so our clients can either increase their conversion rates or improve their user acquisition.

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Latest posts by Sylvain Gauchet (see all)





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Mobile isn’t just the future – it’s the present. It’s where your customers are right now. According to one source:

  • 80% of shoppers use smartphones during physical shopping

  • Apps account for 89% of mobile media time

  • Average smartphone conversion rates have gone up 64% compared to desktop

  • 90% of consumers watch video on mobile

Here are some tips for a more effective mobile marketing strategy for better mobile marketing campaigns. READ MORE



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Digital experience insights platform Contentsquare announced today that it is buying experience analytics firm Clicktale.

The companies said this new combined entity, under the Contentsquare name, will now have about 600 enterprise clients worldwide and will be five times larger than any competitor in the experience analytics space. Contentsquare’s clients include Walmart, Sephora and AccorHotels, while Clicktale’s list of customers include Dell, T-Mobile and RBS.

Follows Pricing Assistant acquisition

The acquisition comes a week after Contentsquare announced its acquisition of Paris-based pricing optimizer Pricing Assistant. With that purchase, Contentsquare said it will be able to better show retailers how pricing factors into customer behavior.

Both Contentsquare and Clicktale provide a detailed understanding of user behavior on desktop and mobile web sites, and in mobile apps. The results are KPIs, benchmarks and recommendations on ways to improve sales, user actions, revenue and brand loyalty, which can activate experiences in more than 50 marketing tech integrated tools.

Contentsquare founder/CEO Jonathan Cherki told ClickZ via email that, while both companies are focused on behavioral data science to increase conversion and competitive advantages, they have taken complementary paths toward those goals.

Opportunities, friction

Contentsquare, he said, is “very strong in retail, luxury, automotive and travel, and our leadership is well-known in Europe.” Cherki said the emphasis has been on uncovering “unseen opportunities, such as how to customize the digital experience based on the [visitor’s audience segment or referral source.]”

On the other hand, he said, Clicktale has focused on retail, financial services, telco and tech companies, and “has a longer history in North America and Asia.” Cherki added that the company is “best known for helping brands diagnose and resolve friction, such as when you notice a steep drop off in conversion when launching a new promotion.”

The combined entity will be able to glean insights and benchmarks from about nine trillion interactions daily, he said. The companies say their platforms will be integrated and released as a single experience analytics platform later this year.



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Affiliate marketing image of a book cover with "From the Real Experts"

Photo by Rita Morais on Unsplash

Despite that echoing refrain that pops up year after year, affiliate marketing is far from dying. In fact, it’s thriving: affiliate marketing spend hit $5.4 billion in the U.S. in 2017, and is predicted to reach $8.2 billion by 2022. And the industry already generates 16% of all online orders — the same amount as email marketing. That makes affiliate marketing one of the top four biggest sources of e-commerce orders, beating out both display advertising and social commerce.

As members of the partner marketing ecosystem, affiliates are a valuable resource for brands looking to grow incrementally while maximizing ROI. (We would know; HasOffers is the original software for affiliate networks, and we’ve been writing about the industry for years.) Yet the cries of Affiliate marketing is dead! continue. That’s why we’re going back to the basics in this post to cover the what, who, and how of affiliate marketing — so you can make your own informed decision about the health of the industry. Let’s get started.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance marketing. It is one of many partnership-driven marketing strategies that exist under the umbrella of partner marketing.

In affiliate marketing, an individual (the affiliate) earns a commission for promoting an advertiser’s product. Commissions are usually based on the sales or revenue the affiliate generates for the advertiser; this is called revenue sharing. However, commissions can also be earned for leads or clicks, and be paid as a flat payout, tiered rate, set percentage plus a fixed amount, or a number of other ways.

You probably see affiliate marketing in action a dozen times a day. When a beauty blogger reviews a new makeup collection and links to it on her blog. When a “Bachelor in Paradise” star reveals the contents of their latest subscription box on Facebook, then encourages fans to purchase it with a unique promo code. When a website displays an ad in the sidebar for a camera, and the website publisher receives a commission for every purchase the ad drives.

Today, affiliate programs exist for almost every business and industry out there: big box stores, hotel chains, airlines, credit cards, fashion, subscription boxes, home improvement, gaming, online retailers, gig economy apps, dating services, e-learning, real estate, cryptocurrency, health and wellness, sports, beauty brands, DTC retailers, SaaS companies, et cetera ad infinitum. Not surprising, given that 81% of brands were already leveraging affiliate marketing programs in 2016, and the industry’s only grown since.

Who Are the Main Players in Affiliate Marketing?

For those just getting started, it can be difficult to lock down exactly who is who and who does what in the affiliate marketing ecosystem. It doesn’t help that many terms in the industry are interchangeable or loosely defined. Before you begin to build an affiliate program, you should understand these key terms:

Affiliate Program
(also known as a partner program, affiliate marketing program, or partner marketing program)

A program offered by an advertiser that provides affiliate marketers a way to earn compensation in exchange for promoting a product or service. Affiliates are paid by the advertiser when a predetermined measurable action occurs. This action can be a purchase, form fill, registration, download, or other conversion.  

Advertiser
(also known as a brand, marketer, merchant, or seller)

An owner of a product or service looking to pay affiliates to drive traffic to their website and/or app, with the goal of increasing revenue. In other words, someone with something to sell. Examples: a retailer looking to sell athletic shoes, a subscription box company looking for new subscribers, a real estate firm looking for new leads.

Affiliate
(also known as a publisher or partner)

A marketer who promotes advertiser products and services by driving traffic to their websites and/or apps through paid or non-paid channels. They generate revenue for the advertiser and earn a commission each time a predetermined measurable action occurs, such as a purchase or registration. An affiliate is the owner of a website, app, or other marketing channel where the advertisement can be promoted. Examples: personal blogs, Instagram profiles, podcasts, major news websites, gaming apps.

For example, if an advertiser wants to sell athletic shoes, they may choose to partner with several affiliates who run sports blogs. These affiliates have gathered audiences who align well with the advertiser’s target market. The advertiser provides a tracking link, which records each unique affiliate and the traffic they drive to the shoe website. The beautiful part about affiliate marketing is that everything is transparent and performance-based, so the advertiser only pays when a sale occurs.

Customer
(also known as a consumer, user, visitor, or traffic)

No surprises here; the customer is you and me — the ones buying the products being sold by advertisers and promoted by affiliates. In technical terms, traffic can be considered the actions that are measurable against an ad. Impressions (ad view), clicks (ad click), and conversions (ad engagement) are the most common.

In our example, the customer would click the tracking link in the athletic shoe promotion on the affiliate’s sports blog. If they ultimately purchase the shoes, the advertiser pays the affiliate a commission.

Affiliate Tracking Software
(also known as a performance marketing platform, partner marketing platform, affiliate marketing software, or affiliate program software)

Software that empowers businesses to measure and manage their performance-based partnerships directly through one unified dashboard.

After the predetermined action occurs, affiliate tracking software acts as the glue that ties together the referral from the affiliate and the conversion from the advertiser, making accurate attribution and compensation possible.

Affiliate Network
(also known as an ad network or network)

A company that acts as a relationship liaison for advertisers and affiliates. Networks help advertisers remain free to focus on their products and services, and affiliates remain free to focus on publishing and promoting offers. In other words, the middleman that connects all the pieces.

For some advertisers, affiliate networks provide additional value and insight, but it comes at additional cost. Affiliate networks typically specialize in managing both advertisers and affiliates in the context of an affiliate marketing program.

For a more visual representation of this ecosystem, check out this post on our favorite performance and affiliate marketing infographics.

How Does an Affiliate Program Attribute and Pay? 

In addition to what’s covered above, there are a few other important details you’ll want to know about affiliate marketing. These details vary among affiliate marketing campaigns and should be managed by the advertiser’s affiliate tracking software. Namely:

Attribution Windows

The maximum time period during which a conversion event can be claimed by an affiliate. Let’s say an affiliate drives a consumer to visit a website, and that same consumer comes back seven days later and makes a purchase. If the attribution window is 30 days, the affiliate will get credit for that purchase. If the attribution window is 36 hours, they won’t. (This is why affiliates usually prefer longer windows versus shorter ones.)

Attribution Methods

We don’t want to get too far into the weeds here, but you may hear terms like client-side tracking, pixel tracking, cookieless tracking, server-side tracking, and postback tracking thrown around a lot. Many of these terms overlap or only vary slightly, but those small differences matter. For example, pixel tracking is also known as client-side, cookie-based, and in-browser tracking. It’s one of the easiest ways for performance marketers to measure on the web, as it relies on cookies stored in users’ browsers, but can be affected by ad blocking measures. It also doesn’t work when it comes to mobile apps. Postback tracking is a HasOffers invention that is also known as server-side, server call, server-to-server, server postback, and cookieless tracking. Postback tracking is more technically complex to set up, but is much more reliable and accurate than pixel tracking, as two servers handle the entire process. Postback tracking also works on mobile apps and mobile web. You can read more about the differences in our pixels versus postbacks article.

Payout

There is no hard and fast rule for how to pay an affiliate for the results they drive. As mentioned above, revenue share models pay commissions that are based on the sales the affiliate generates. But commissions can also be earned for conversions other than sales, such as leads, clicks, registrations, form fills, and others. These can be paid out as a flat fee, in tiered rates, as a set percentage plus a fixed amount, and many other variations and mixtures of payout models. When determining payout, remember that different companies, industries, and affiliates will prefer or require different methods. There are also a variety of factors to consider, like how much influence a given affiliate has, how engaged their audience is, how much a brand wants to work with them, and how niche their market is.

What Should Affiliate Marketing Programs Measure?

Since affiliate marketing is a type of performance marketing, measurement is an essential part of the process. Here are a few things you’ll want to track, analyze, and optimize in your affiliate marketing program:

  • Clicks: A click interaction with an affiliate tracking link
  • Affiliate sales: Income generated by affiliates
  • Revenue: Total income generated for the brand from all sources
  • Cost per click: How much it costs to get a user to click on an affiliate promotion, paid as a flat amount
  • Cost per sale: The percentage of the total sale amount that an affiliate earns for driving the sale (good where multiple items may be added to a shopping cart)
  • Cost per lead: How much it costs to acquire a prospective customer, paid as a flat amount
  • Conversion rate: The percentage of how many clicks turn into completed actions (click to sale, click to registration, click to download, etc.)
  • Return on ad spend: How many sales result from the total money spent on advertising, which informs how much revenue is generated (or in some cases lost) per dollar spent
  • Top affiliates: An advertiser will want to know their top-performing partners and affiliates so they can allocate more advertising and resources to them
  • Affiliate referrals: Incentives for existing affiliates to recruit new affiliates to a program
  • Program diversity: How many different types of affiliates and audiences a program covers

2019: Affiliate Marketing’s Best Year Yet

Whatever you decide about the health of the affiliate marketing industry in 2019, we’ll be here with plenty of resources to support your performance and partner marketing goals. Check out HasOffers.com to learn more about the industry’s most flexible partner marketing platform, or visit our resource library for how-to guides, best practices, and other educational materials.

 

Ready to learn more? Here are some of our top affiliate marketing resources:

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Author

Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor’s degree in English from Wake Forest University. You can find her waxing poetic about the South and exploring her new home from her headquarters in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood.



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Each year, mobile marketing solutions company 3Cinteractive publishes its Mobile Loyalty Report. These reports offer important insights for brands looking to improve loyalty through mobile channels. Over the past four years, the mobile reports have revealed that loyalty program growth is steady and that brands are making progress in meeting customer expectations.  
 
Recently, Loyalty360 sat down with Margie Kupfer, Vice President of Marketing at 3Cinteractive, to discuss the 2019 report. Our conversation revealed some key data. Overall, we discussed mobile technology, personalization, and communications. Kupfer also offered improvement advice for brands.
 
On the genesis of the report, Kupfer said, “We have seen a lot of research about how consumers are interacting with technology, but we hadn’t seen a lot of research around how brands were trying to keep pace. As consumers ourselves, we had this hypothesis that there was a really wide gap between what customers wanted from mobile and what brands were really able to provide. That was the lens through which we put the first survey together.”
 
Looking back to the 2016 report, Kupfer found two pieces of good news. She said, “Back in 2016, 52 percent of the customers surveyed said that a mobile-enabled loyalty program made them visit or purchase more often. In the years since, it has gone up to 61 percent.” Even though, according to Kupfer, 52 percent was a large number, 61 percent is even better.
 
The second piece of good news is that more brands are mobile-enabled. Kupfer said, “For brands who are not mobile-enabled, the biggest blocker was lack of IT resources and the know-how to get started. That was 65 percent in 2016. That number has come down to 49 percent this year.”
 
Kupfer did say, however, that the report encouraged 3Cinteractive to take a step back and re-strategize. She said she feels that, as a sales and marketing team, her company needs to help brands take the necessary baby steps as they expand their capabilities. “It’s almost like a crawl-walk-run roadmap we need to put together for brands,” she said.
 
This crawl-walk-run roadmap is especially important when it comes to personalization. Kupfer noted that respondents to the 2018 Mobile Loyalty report said that personalization was a high priority, something they really want from the brands with whom they shop. So, Kupfer had some advice.
 
“Start small,” she said. “Don’t try to boil the ocean. Start at broader segments. Start at a preference level and get it into chunks. Then, continue to have a roadmap to work your way down the funnel until you can really get at that one-to-one relationship.”
 
Another piece of advice Kupfer had involves communication. She explained the issue, saying, “One of the other things we’ve started to see is the consumer appetite to want to chat with a brand. We know that today’s phones are actually used more for texting than for phone calls. People are very used to texting with their friends and their family, and we’re seeing a growing trend toward wanting to do that with a business. We’re seeing it start in customer-care functions: where’s my order, track my shipment, how much data do I have left, when is my bill due. As technology gets better, this is going to continue to grow.”
 
She continued, “Consumers don’t necessarily feel well-informed from their favorite brands about where their status is. They can’t always remember their login number, that sort of thing. They really want easy access. They want to be able to text into a brand and say, ‘How many points do I have that I can use?’ They want to be able to get an easy answer back, rather than having to login into an app or login to a website.”
 
This state of affairs has reinforced the need for brands to become omnichannel. “There’s not one channel that all customers are going to, so you have to be everywhere,” she said. “It may change throughout the day. An email might be fine in the morning as the customer is online and getting ready for her day, but if she has a change in status, or she has points that are going to expire, that’s probably better as a text message.”
 
She continued, “We’re all about testing and learning, understanding where customers are and starting small. So, messaging is really key. We see a lot of brands still not using messaging, but the brands that do use it are seeing incredible results. The read rate is much higher than email.”
 
In addition, she said, “You have to tailor the message to the channel. It can’t just be one message that goes across five channels. The same message you put in email might be slightly different in a 160-character text message. You also don’t want them to get the same message across three or four channels.”
 
Her final recommendation was that brands become early adopters. “We’ve noticed, particularly in retail, that D2C brands are pretty nimble, and they’re absolutely willing to try new things. They seem to adopt new technologies much faster than traditional retailers, and that hurts [the traditional retailers]. They’re not as quick to move. They’re not as quick to adapt. The early adopters are faster moving and they’re outpacing the competition. Technology is fueling that.”
 
From our own Loyalty360 research, we’ve seen that technology is a hurdle in meeting customer expectations. However, it’s good to see that we’re not the only ones who recognize the pulse of the industry.
 





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Using high-performing creatives is one of the most important levers to optimize user acquisition.

There is not one creative fits all: different channels and different placements often require different kind of creatives or at least slight variations of these creatives. They may need ownit webmail basta bredband.

When producing image ad creatives or video ad creatives you need to take into account where they are going to be displayed so you can adjust things like aspect ratio, duration, tone or even style.

You’re either not speaking to the same audience, speaking to the same audience but at different times and in different places or any combination of these.

This is true with placements within the same “platform”, like Facebook feed ads vs. Facebook Story ads vs. in-app ads with the Facebook Audience Network. It’s especially true with Google App campaigns where ad creatives can range from a YouTube ad to an ad banner in a game.

Most established apps looking to scale their user acquisition efforts generally do not limit themselves to running ads just through Facebook and Google’s platform. The difference between ad creatives then gets even more obvious when you compare say a Facebook feed ad to a TV commercial.

In this blog post we take a look at how several apps’ ad creatives vary across user acquisition channels. Let’s compare the ad creatives (mostly video ads) of some of the top cashback apps!

Note: we do not have “insider information” regarding these app’s UA strategy. We used some of the available tools to conduct a competitive analysis, which means the list of creatives we got is not exhaustive and for some channels just a “snapshot”  taken at a specific time.

Here are the main tools used:

Where do cashback apps advertise?

Here are the 3 cashback or coupons apps we took a look at and where we’ve seen them run ad creatives:

Apps UA Channels 1

These apps don’t have the exact same positioning, so of course their ad creatives also differ. But there are definitely some similarities!

Let’s dive into the different kind of video ads used on these channels.

Facebook/Instagram feed ads

These are ads you can find by searching the Facebook Ads Library.

These ads are the ones displayed in people’s Facebook feed. We can assume that a lot of them are also displayed on Instagram.

We grouped ads by similar “themes” when we observed some.

Focus on 1 partner and/or product

This allows to target a specific audience for which the product or partner is appealing.

This video ad clearly leverages the partner branding and even the partner’s service. It also displays a clear value proposition as well as Ebates branding at all times.

It’s more subtle here but their partner Lowe’s is featured. This approach is interesting because if the creative performs well you can create variations for other “needs” (they have one with “Need a fresh coat of paint?” for example).

General value proposition

These Facebook feed video ads give more of a quick overview of the apps’ main value propositions.

Very straightforward and “direct”, it sums up what Ebates is and shows partners. It is also made compelling by the mention of a welcome bonus.

And here is a variation where the focus is on partners’ products instead of their logo. A nice addition is the Ebates logo at the top.

Ibotta tends to go with a quick overview of the product instead: how it is different than coupons and how it works.

It’s a good way to appeal to people interested in coupons and introduce Ibotta.

They also have “variations” (the structure of the video is the same) in full animation (instead of showing the actual app UI) and live action. Notice how regardless of the “style” (lifestyle or animation) branding is prominent and copy at the top and very visible.

Of course when looking at ad creatives for this kind of apps you’ll also find some “seasonal” ad creatives for things like Black Friday, winter or summer.

Flipp has a similar approach, albeit with their own positioning. It starts by showing products, then shows how they can be purchased (at reduced cost) in the app. Flipp also makes sure to showcase some of their biggest retail partners.

Another interesting creative is the one below, that is more “inspirational” yet also gives an overview of how the app works.

Our quick analysis:

  • Facebook feed ads for these apps are short (< 15 seconds, often < 10 seconds);
  • The video creatives are straightforward in their messaging: they are not “smart” and do not really use storytelling. A direct message for a direct response;
  • They all use captions/text;
  • They often show the product/app in use;
  • They all show brand elements (logo mostly), including from their partners;
  • Most of the ad creatives are in square and in portrait 2:3 ratio.

Pinterest Ads

It’s not surprising that some of the Facebook ad creatives are also used on Pinterest, since users’ behavior is pretty close (a feed that you scroll).

But for Flipp and Ibotta we also found a few Pinterest ad creatives that are not used (or not used anymore) on Facebook.

You can find them in the Videos section of their Pinterest page: Ibotta and Flipp.

Note: we can’t know for sure that these were used as Promoted Videos on Pinterest, however the important thing here is that they are made with the Pinterest feed in mind.

Our quick analysis:

  • Relatively short videos (< 30 seconds with most of them being < 15 seconds);
  • Portrait 2:3 aspect ratio;
  • Careful choice of images (often bright and colorful images) – you’re competing against lots of good looking things on Pinterest;
  • Leveraging text overlays;
  • Logo included throughout the video.

Twitter Ads

Although we know some of these apps are running twitter ads, we were not able to spot any Twitter ads.

But here is an article with examples and best practices for Twitter ad creatives!

In-app ad network ads

In-app video ads are displayed within other apps either via Facebook Audience Network, AdMob or other in-app ad networks.

Facebook Audience Network

eBates is also running at least two of the creatives we saw earlier on the Facebook Audience Network.

Fcebook Audience Network ad creative eBates 1
Mobile Action tells us that one of the app this video was displayed in is Bubble Pop Spinner
Fcebook Audience Network ad creative eBates2 1

Same thing for ibotta. They seem to run most of their Facebook feed creatives on FAN as well.

Fcebook Audience Network ad creative iBotta vertical 1

Judging by the number of apps the ad appears in, ibotta must be spending a good amount on the Facebook Audience Network.

Flipp is also running some of the same creatives as the ones they use for Facebook feed ads.

AdMob

Ibotta has also been running some ads with Google App campaigns, since Mobile Action spotted some AdMob ads in several gaming apps.

The creatives placed on AdMob are the same kind as the Facebook ones above.

According to Mobile Action’s data, it’s via AdMob that Flipp has displayed the most in-app video ads for its iOS app. The videos displayed on AdMob short and straightforward like you can see in the example below (a campaign for Spanish-speaking countries in this case).

Other in-app ad networks

eBates also tried advertising through Unity, with different creatives. These video ads are longer (15 seconds and 25 seconds) and give more of an “overview” of the app.

Here are 2 of them (Mobile Action spotted about 5 different ones used on Unity – not counting seasonal ad creatives for Black Friday, etc.):

Ebates is using a very similar video to the first one for their iPhone App Preview, which they also run as Apple Search Ads.

These video ads are landscape. This works well when they are displayed in a landscape app/game (it’s the case when displayed within [PROJECT:OFFROAD]) but not so well when they are displayed in Dotcraft, a casual game played in portrait. If you’re serious about advertising with in-app ad networks, you should also have a vertical version of your creatives.

This is something ibotta is doing, both on Vungle and AdColony where they run several different creatives.

Fcebook Audience Network ad creative Ibotta horizontal 1
Ibotta has both vertical and horizontal versions of their creatives to maximize CTR and CVR

It’s also ok to have longer-form videos on these ad networks, because these video ads are usually not skippable (at least for several seconds). You don’t need to be as straightforward as when you’re targeting someone in a social media feed.

An example from ibotta with a longer intro

You’re not sure how a specific in-app ad network displays video ads? Ask them or download one of the apps that used their sdk and have a look by yourself. Whenever an ad displays you’ll see a little “i” (information) that allows you to verify you’re looking at the correct advertising partner.

Our quick analysis:

  • For Facebook Audience Network or AdMob, these advertisers often use the same ad creatives they run for feed ads;
  • To optimize, make sure you have video creatives in both landscape and portrait orientations;
  • Because a lot of these ads are not skippable, you still want to grab the attention quickly but it is ok to have more of a “build up” compared to social media feed ads.

YouTube Video Ads

What about these apps’ YouTube ads?

If a product can be used on desktop (like eBates), then it is possible that they are advertising through YouTube TrueView for Action. If that’s the case they send people to the website, not the app.

Otherwise, if the video creatives are used for app install campaigns on YouTube then they are ran through Google App campaigns. This means that you don’t have control on which video asset is used on YouTube or somewhere else (e.g. Admob): it’s the AI that will decide this based on the estimated asset performance or actual asset performance (and your bid).

We can’t know for sure how the video creatives below were used, but when we see big volume of views like below we can be pretty sure they have been used for advertising. If other videos they use for advertising are Unlisted, then we can’t access them.

Ebates is the app that seems to be running the most YouTube ads, with several different creatives over the last year or so.

The video with the most views is a 15 second testimonial videos:

This video was taken out of a 30 second video, that was most likely used for advertising as well.

Ebates also had a high-budget 3D animation TV commercial made before the holidays last year, leveraging a partnership with the movie Grinch.

Ibotta is using some of the same videos on YouTube and for TV commercial, like the ones below.

Our 2cts on this first video is that it seems great for TV, but for YouTube it is a rather slow start: Ibotta is not mentioned before 0:12. And there is not branding/logo at all before. A banner with logo and tagline somewhere might have been a smart addition (like in the Ebates testimonials video).

They did this in this other ad below:

We couldn’t find a recent YouTube ad for Flipp, but they were running the one below about two years ago (also one of their TV commercials):

Note: you can check TV commercial for these apps here.

Our quick analysis:

  • Most of the apps running TV commercials recycle them for YouTube (or vice versa);
  • Videos tend to be longer and more polished;
  • Ideally the brand is still mentioned/shown very early in the video. If needed, overlay the brand name or logo (but ideally it is included organically – the videos here and here do a great job at it);
  • Sound plays a big part on YouTube and TV, so all video creatives have a voice over or actors talking.

This is why we recommend to add a longer, more polished video to your Google App campaign asset mix. That way Google can serve it if it performs better than the shorter more “direct response” square or vertical videos you might already have.

That’s it for this look at ad creatives across channels for the cashback and coupons apps. Hope this gave you some insights you can apply to your own UA creative strategy!

Sylvain Gauchet

Hi there, I’m Sylvain and I’m one of the co-founders of Apptamin. Apptamin is a creative agency specialized in app videos (video ads, app store videos, etc.) where we find engaging ways to present mobile apps and games so our clients can either increase their conversion rates or improve their user acquisition.

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With memories of another manic week in Barcelona fading fast, we asked some of those attending what they made of the event…

Johana Leeflang, head of global marketing, Glispa
“It was no surprise that many of the conversations this year focused on the long-discussed transition to 5G, with the subject continuing to top the agenda. However, the difference this year was that the technology being discussed started to feel more real. Mobile operators outlined timelines of 5G service rollouts and the likes of Samsung unveiled impressive 5G-capable foldable devices that demonstrated for all to see that 5G is officially now a reality.

“As such, mobile video looks set to become more competitive than ever, with the arrival of 5G forcing advertisers to step up their creative to produce more engaging storytelling in order to engage with digital audiences. Faster ad loading times will make in-app promotion more appealing and, without server delays, programmatic buying will improve and adapt.

“Moreover, new formats such as VR, AR, and mixed reality will become feasible options for advertisers, and playable ads will break free from 2D graphics, with 5G mitigating the bandwidth and latency issues that have previously restricted developments in these areas. What the event ultimately demonstrated was the enhanced viewing experience that 5G brings, positioning mobile video advertising as an exciting and attractive space to be in right now.”

Kumaran Sambandam, SVP global revenue, Mobfox
“MWC is the pinnacle for mobile technology and trends and this year did not fail to impress. We saw a lot of activity centred around 5G phones, with a focus on cameras, blockchain, and foldable devices.

“Despite an decrease in the number of ad tech companies exhibiting this year, the event has gone from strength to strength and continues to grow alongside the technology trends within the mobile industry.

“The event is not known for computers but both Huawei and Lenovo shook things up by introducing their new laptops, demonstrating the event’s commitment to showcasing the best in all areas of connected technology.

“MWC still tops the charts by far for the best conference to meet with partners and clients – existing and new – to layout strategies for the growth of the company and industry as a whole.”

Andy Ashley, international marketing director, Digital Element
“Yet again, 5G was a key talking point at MWC Barcelona this year as the race is well and truly on in the jostle to be leader in the space. However, alongside the hype around the aesthetical impact of 5G, were crucial discussions – on and off the stage – putting data security in the spotlight.

Experts are conflicted over the impact 5G will have on the industry, as the increased number of devices able to connect through its development opens up increased opportunities for cybercriminals to attack. The accelerated growth of connectivity, and the sheer volume of data now available, has placed a greater need for effective measures that identify and protect against fraud and other cyber risks.

“With the theme of this year’s MWC, ‘Intelligent Connectivity’, running true, there is an acknowledgement that high-quality, real-time data in this era of digital transformation is the key to not only tackling the influx of fraudulent activity digital developments brings, but also unlocking success at a global scale.”

Lindsay McEwan, VP and managing director EMEA, Tealium
“While the novelty factor of foldable phones attracted attention at this year’s MWC, the real focal point of the event was the notion of ‘intelligent connectivity’ – something 5G, another key topic of conversation, will help to make possible.

“It goes without saying that 5G networking – as it becomes more refined – will not only offer consumers the instant gratification of lightning-fast, reliable connectivity, but will also pave the way for increasingly advanced technologies. But, as users interact with brands and content at a faster rate, the improved connectivity will also hail greater swathes of data for marketers to manage and harness.

“With that in mind, data privacy and protection remained a hot topic nearly 12 months on from the implementation of the GDPR; the general sentiment being that advancing technology needs to be built in consideration of privacy regulations, as opposed to compliance being an afterthought – especially with more and more customer data being created.”



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We’re back with a new Mobile Video Monthly, where we discuss the changes and trends regarding video in the mobile app space. It can be news about ASO, UA or other ways video can be leveraged by developers and publishers.

Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss any of our blog posts. Check out the previous editions here:

YouTube Originals Will Soon Be Free And Ad-Supported – May 2

Google announced that all new YouTube Original series and specials are going to be available for free with ads, where before they were behind a “paywall” (the Netflix model).

This means advertisers are going to have even more opportunities to target YouTube users. It looks like only certain advertisers might be able to take advantage of these placements however, as Google mentioned “YouTube Originals will be available to advertisers through bespoke sponsorships or Google Preferred lineups.”

New YouTube Ad formats and Ad Groups coming to Google App campaigns – May 8

For a couple of months now there has been a new YouTube Ad format with “Expanded” ads where the full screen is “taken” by the app install ad.

pasted image 0 1

Google made the format official at Google I/O on May 8.

App campaigns ad groups were also announced and should be available this quarter: advertisers are soon going to be able to create unlimited ad groups, each with their own creative assets.

The idea is to create different ad groups for different audiences and group your creatives by “themes”. Creative reporting will also be available by ad group, making it easier to understand which theme resonates the most with your potential audience.

We’re also excited that Google has made Apptamin a trusted app creative partner and looking forward to helping you with high-performing creative assets for your campaigns.

Longer YouTube ads increase by 19% – May 15

A study by MediaRadar shows that the number of 30-second ads on YouTube increased by 19% in January and February this year compared to 2018. Six-second ads fell by 20%.

Although Google has promoted shorter formats, when it comes to App campaigns it’s always been recommended to upload a variety of videos: from shorter vertical videos to longer form (read 30 seconds) landscape videos. The latter are usually especially meant for YouTube, and a longer video can help better sell your app’s.

15-second ads still remain the most popular on the platform. What’s more important than the duration however, is to make sure that the first few seconds (before the skip button becomes available) are attention-grabbing and also show or mention your brand.

LINE adds Stories feature to the app’s timeline – May 20

The calling and messaging app created in Japan and very popular in APAC has just added a “Stories” feature.

The feature is of course very similar to what’s available on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp: vertical photos or videos disappearing after 24 hours.

pasted image 0

And just like for the apps mentioned above, we can expect that once the feature gains traction it will be leveraged for Line Story ads.

WhatsApp to have in-app ads in 2020 – May 30

Back in October last year, Facebook announced that it will show ads to Whatsapp users in an upcoming release.

It looks like this upcoming release will end up being next year. The in-app ad format is expected to take over the full screen and appear in WhatsApp Statuses (introduced in 2017).

Another advertising feature planned is to redirect users from Instagram ads to WhatsApp, where they can communicate with the business.

Amazon acquires the ad server business of Sizmek – May 31

Sizmek had filed for bankruptcy on March 29, and Amazon acquired its ad serving technology.

Although Sizmek Ad Server and Sizmek DCO (Dynamic Creative Optimization) are going to operate separately from Amazon Advertising for now, this is a move that should allow the company to compete further with the Google and Facebook duopoly when it comes to advertising.

We can wonder if Amazon is going to use this new technology “only” to drive further traffic to its store or also allow brands to advertise other things (like apps).

Apple A/B testing how landscape videos are displayed on Product Page? – May 31

It looks like Apple is testing different ways to display apps’ landscape App Previews on the Product Page: it is now either displayed in the Gallery (like it was before when screenshots had the same orientation) or in the “A Closer Look” section (so only screenshots in the gallery.

Lanscape App Preview Before
How it always was before
Landscape App Preview Test
What we’re seeing for several apps (video only in A Closer Look even with screenshots that have the same orientation)

That’s it for this month! Have we missed anything important related to mobile video? If so let us know in the comments below!

Sylvain Gauchet

Hi there, I’m Sylvain and I’m one of the co-founders of Apptamin. Apptamin is a creative agency specialized in app videos (video ads, app store videos, etc.) where we find engaging ways to present mobile apps and games so our clients can either increase their conversion rates or improve their user acquisition.

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Latest posts by Sylvain Gauchet (see all)





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The internet has been around for quite some time and before there were instant messages or social media platforms, email services existed. This can be considered as one of the oldest internet communication methods and it has not lost its charm yet. That is why it is widely used to market till today and produces great results as well. We have listed a few advantages of email marketing below.

Cost Effective

email marketing

Credit: Tierney

There are many other marketing options available which may be cheap but the cheapest of all is email marketing. if you do it yourself, it is absolutely free and if you hire someone, then you will have to spend a minimum amount and get maximum returns.

Personalization Based on the Customer’s Taste

Through email marketing, you can customize the message according to the customer which adds a personal touch and there are more chances of customer engagement.

Effectiveness Can Be Measured

Email marketing effectiveness can easily be measured by the analytics provided by email marketing platforms such as Mail Chimp. While you can just monitor the analytics of email marketing through this, you will not be able to compare how well your other marketing attempts are giving results. Using web analytics services can help you figure out how well your efforts are paying off and how various marketing tactics compare against each other.

Global Reach

Email marketing uses internet hence there are no limits and boundaries to whom you can reach. Mobile marketing may be more useful locally, but email marketing can be used globally to reach to your customers on the other end of the world.

Easy to Use

Email marketing is not complicated at all. You can easily create a new campaign in no time and reach to as many people as you wish to who are your existing customers or can become future customers.

Multi-Device Reach

Nowadays people operate their emails as well through mobiles hence by doing email marketing, you will be reaching out to a larger customer base through their desktops, laptops, tabs, and smartphones.

It Can Be Automated

Email campaigns can be pre-scheduled and do not require you to sit around sending emails. You can target the time when your customers are most active online and set up automated emails to generate maximum results.

Improves Your Website SEO

You can add a click to action button on the email so that the customer can visit your product page, that would increase the traffic on your site and improve your SEO as well.

It Is Scalable

There is no upper or lower limit on the number of emails you can send at a time. You can reach out to 20 people or 2000 people as per your marketing goals.

Many millennials assume that email marketing is an old technique and social media is in today, but the fact is that though you can reach thousands of people through a single social media post, there is no surety that you are targeting the right audience. The best feature of Email marketing is that you can target your audience and send them individual emails as per their interest so that they can be turned into new customers which is just beyond anything social media marketing can do.

uva basketball team of destiny

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is now available at a special pre-sale discounted price of $20. The book is expected to ship by June 10, 2019, and will retail for $25.
Pre-order for $20: click here.
The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

 

augusta free press



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Performance marketing is moving to a more algorithmic and AI-based approach.

This is true for several ad networks, and even more for the 2 giants that are Facebook and Google.

Facebook has AEO (App Event Optimization) campaigns. With Google App campaigns (formerly Universal App Campaigns – UAC), the way to run mobile app campaigns with Google radically changed.

The change is a big adjustment. But some publishers have had their best performing campaigns on App campaigns since they’ve embraced it.

It also seems that Google has a few tricks up their sleeves, with recent announcements regarding video ads on the Google Play Store, similar audiences and playable ads.

Insights, advice and opinions on App campaigns from the industry

Google App Campaigns
The reach of App campaigns

For insights on Universal App campaigns and advices on running your own campaigns, here are some very interesting resources:

We’re putting together a detailed guide that summarizes the advice and best practices Google and advertisers have shared so far.

In the meantime, what you need to know for this post (but we encourage you to read the resources above) is that there are different types of campaigns:

  • Install volume – campaigns that optimize towards driving app install volume (can still factor in data from those who have completed target in-app actions)
  • In-app actions (“value-driven campaigns”) – campaigns that optimize towards cost for specific in-app event(s) post install (reaching X level, a sign up, etc.). For this you will need conversion tracking set up, either with Firebase or a 3rd party like Adjust
  • tROAS (target Return On Ad Spend) – you tell Google Ads the average value you want back for every dollar spent. Your budget is then used to get as much value as possible at the amount you set. This should become publicly available later this year.

It is also not recommended to run campaigns optimized for In-App Events straight from the start. This is something you want to gradually introduce so the algorithm can learn more about the type of users you should focus on and improve performance.

Universal App Campaigns strategy timeline
Google recommends to gradually go from installs to in-app events

Before optimizing for ROAS (tROAS bidding), you first want to make sure that your campaigns optimized for in-app actions are successful.

Why creative optimization is critical for App campaigns (formerly UAC)

Creatives optimization is one of the most important levers to play on for App campaigns, given that Machine Learning takes care of a lot of manual placements compared to the campaigns you could run before with Google (Google Search Network, Google Display Network or YouTube ad campaigns).

While App campaigns has taken away the manual placement and simplified bidding, it has enabled new bidding strategies like in-app action targeting or ROAS targeting. Making advertisers’ strategy more about engagement and what happens further down the funnel.

This also puts an emphasis on ad assets optimization, because this is what you have the most control on when starting your campaigns: ad text ideas, creative image assets and creative video assets.

Want to talk to one of our project managers so we can put together a proposal for your App campaigns creative asset? Contact us here!

By increasing the conversion rates of your ads, you can directly improve your performance in auctions and enable your campaigns to back out more efficiently to your target CPIs/CPAs.

This is why in this article we focus on App campaigns creative optimization.

UAC healthy mix creative assets
This is what Google advises. We’ll see that you can also play a bit with what you provide to limit to certain placements

In terms of creatives for App Campaigns, you want at least: a landscape video, a portrait video and a landscape image.

If you’re looking for inspiration or want to understand where other apps in your niche advertise and which creatives they use, check out our post on how to do a competitive analysis for app install ad creatives.

Leverage Ad Groups and group creative assets by theme

By the end of May 2019 you should be able to use ad groups in your App campaigns.

Ad groups give you the possibility to have different ad groups, with different marketing themes, within the same App campaign.

This allows you to have themes highlighting different features or benefits of your app.

Examples of different themes for a healthy meals app:

  • Focus on the most popular recipes
  • Focus on the variety of diets available
  • Focus on automatic shopping list
  • Focus on delivery options
  • Focus on social proof (testimonials, endorsements)
  • Special seasonal deal
  • Etc.

You can also upload different creative themes (gameplay vs. cinematic for example, lifestyle vs. app footage), both so you can get a sense of what works best and also because depending on the video placement some creative themes might resonate better than others.

There is unlimited ad groups you can create within a campaign, so technically you’ll have unlimited assets per campaigns (with a max per ad group of 4 text ideas assets, 20 image assets and 20 video assets).

Below are some slides from Google I/O 2019 where they made the announcement.

Ad Groups Creative Report UAC Ad Group example

Optimizing ad text ideas assets

The first part of the Ad assets in your Universal App campaigns dashboard are the ad text ideas.

Ad text ideas

You have to choose 4 short texts (max 25 characters) and value propositions that will be used in ads. This is different from how it worked in the past (Adwords app install campaigns) where you could set as many campaigns as you wished, so make sure you make the most of these text lines and refresh frequently to test what works best.

The feedback so far from advertisers is that texts that focus on benefits rather than technical features typically drive better performance.

When working on these ad texts, you want to keep in mind that they can be used on all types of inventory across the Search Network, Display Network and AdMob.

UAC AdMob Search Network Display NetworkSome users might be searching for your app on Google, others might be reading an article related to a keyword you inserted in the Ad text ideas.

In both cases, your App title will be displayed. So 2 things:

  • Your app title should be optimized (thought through) so it works both for organic users in the Play Store (App Store Optimization) and paid traffic (UAC);
  • There is no need to repeat the keywords that are in your app title: it’s best to find complimentary benefits of your app.

As mentioned your Universal App campaign optimization can be done either focusing on App Installs (Install Volume) or specific In-App Events (In-App Actions).

You need to adapt your Ad text ideas based on the kind of optimization you’re choosing. For example:

  • If a campaign is optimized for Install Volume, putting the focus on benefits that come quickly to users might be best. Something like “Free books & bestsellers!” for example. Note that there is already a download button on the ad so using a text line to ask to download would be redundant.
  • If another campaign is optimized for users that register/sign up, it makes more sense to have something like “Sign up for free today!”. Same here, keep in mind there is already an install button.

It’s also important to understand that the texts will be mixed and matched within an Ad Group. This means they should be able to work by themselves (provide a clear value proposition) but also when combined together.

Using punctuation (if number of characters allows) can help give more sense to the ads when the texts are combined. Example:

  • Ad text idea 1: “Healthy meals delivered.”
  • Ad text idea 2: “Easy and free sign up!”
  • Potential combinations (Google chooses those): “Healthy meals delivered. Easy sign up!” or “Easy and free sign up! Healthy meals delivered.”

Just know that Google won’t combine two text assets that have a “!” in them, as it would then violate Google’s editorial guidelines.

UAC Text Assets
Google’s recommendation for text assets

App campaigns Image assets tips

Google lets you upload up to 20 images that will be used to create ads for the Google Display Network. There are many possible image types and dimensions, because there are many placements possible. Google’s recommendation is to now focus on:

  • Landscape image: 1200*628, 600*314
  • Square image: 250*250, 300*300
  • Banner: 320*50
UAC Image Assets tips

Below are what were previously the most common ones.

UAC Image Assets Sizes

Here are a few other tips straight from Google regarding image assets.

App Campaigns Assets Best Practices

Optimizing your video creative assets for App campaigns

The first thing to know is that if you do not upload any video asset, Google will most likely automatically create a video using your Play Store or iOS App Store screenshots/elements. This results in a video where you do not control the messaging (or quality), and where the quality will most likely be lower than what you could create yourself (or have an agency specialized in video ads like us create).

Here is an example of an automatically created video asset:

By uploading your own video ad creative assets, you keep a better control over your messaging and how you present your app.

We might be biased…But both Google and the advertisers shared that videos are the ad creatives that tend to bring the most valuable users.

Videos indeed help better depict your value proposition and anyone who downloads the app after watching a video has a better understanding of your product and therefore will be more likely to be an engaged users.

So we of course recommend to create and use videos that target your audience, have the right messaging and have better chances to perform. Instead of relying on what is created automatically.

Where your App campaign video creatives can be displayed

Just like for the image assets, uploading different kinds of videos (in this case with different ratios) opens new placements.

For App campaigns, you can upload videos in any ratio between landscape 16:9 and portrait 9:16. For example:

  • Landscape 16:9
  • Square 1:1
  • Portrait 2:3
  • Portrait 9:16

The good news? The first 3 ratios above are also supported by Facebook so if you’ve been using video creatives on FB you can test them on App campaigns very easily.

Regarding the actual resolutions, Google does not share a best practice on this though. Here is what we typically use for our clients at Apptamin: 1920×1080 (landscape), 1080×1080 (square), 1080×1620 (portrait 2:3).

We tend to prefer videos in portrait 2:3 rather than videos in portrait 9:16 because the latter might be cropped when displayed on YouTube depending on user’s behavior.

App Campaigns YouTube Ads

What you therefore want to do if you go with portrait 9:16 (which might be good for the Display Network) is avoid having  core messaging in the top 10% and bottom 25% of the video.

YouTube Ad Vertical

So where are these videos displayed?

Want to talk to one of our project managers so we can put together a proposal for your App campaigns creative asset? Contact us here!

Admob

On the display network (via the AdMob ad network), all 3 ratios (16:9, 1:1 and 2:3) might be displayed.

If you don’t have all the ratios, the ads either “adapt” the creatives or they will just not be displayed at all. It’s important to understand because 70% of all video ad views on Admob are on devices held vertically.

In terms of adaptation two things can happen if you only provide a 16:9 video (landscape/horizontal) and the orientation of the user’s device is in portrait (vertical):

  • Google will show other information below the video

A UAC landscape video ad via AdMob

  • Google will use its “auto flip” technology to transform the landscape “original ad” to a portrait ad. It uses machine learning to turn a landscape video into a portrait video based on what it believes to be the main content of the frame.

    UAC Video Rotation
    UAC Landscape video auto flip

This is useful but it’s best to upload your own portrait 2:3 video ads: you are maximizing the chances of the ad being displayed. Because it is meant to be a portrait ad the user experience is also more immersive (and better) and should lead to better CTRs Installs (or post-install conversions).

Also, neither you or Google can ever know what the ad looked like when it is served using AutoFlip because it just shows as an impression against the landscape placement.

Square videos also tend to perform better than landscape video for the Display Network.

YouTube pre-roll ads

The other main place where your ads can be displayed is of course YouTube.

Just like your Google Play Store promo video, the ad video creative for YouTube ads should be a landscape video. If you do not have a landscape video, then your ad most won’t be displayed to YouTube users.

You can ask your Google account representative to make an App campaign video only, however there is no way to display on YouTube only or push more towards YouTube vs. Admob. To access the YouTube inventory, bidding higher is definitely necessary. In the past (pre-UAC), YouTube bids needed to be about 3 times higher than for the Search Network.

App Campaigns Square Video
An example of YouTube ad with a square video

If you use YouTube often, you might have seen two new placements that Google has launched recently:

  • YouTube Homepage ad – you are eligible to show app ads on the Homepage when you upload a landscape image asset. You don’t need to do anything else to benefit from this new placement.
    YouTube Homepage Ad
  • YouTube Full-Canvas in-stream video ads – the space below your video ad show additional app store information, including the first 3 screenshots. You are automatically eligible to show these ads if you upload a video (landscape or portrait)YouTube Expanded Ad

For users on iOS, they are of course shown the iOS App Store listing (see below).

YouTube Expanded Ad Example

YouTube bumper ads

YouTube bumper ads are unskippable 6s ads that are displayed during a video a user is watching.

At the moment App campaigns do not place any video as bumper ads and it doesn’t look like it’s going to become public this year (it is “whitelist” only for now). The methodology to measure engagement will be different (a bumper ad view corresponds to a click for example).

Google Play Store video ads

On March 15, AdMob/Google announced that they are beta testing video ads on the Play Store. This is something that will be available to developers (starting with game developers) via Universal App campaigns as well. As for the other placements, it will use machine learning to better target potential customers.

The ads are landscape and will be “click-to-play” (no autoplay). It of course does not need to be your Google Play Store promo video: it can be any videos that you upload as a video creative in UAC.

Creative considerations for App campaign videos

The advice Google gives below are pretty classic for app install ads. In other resources Google advises to grab attention in the first 2-5s: when users click within the first quarter of the video, conversion rate tends to be highest with lowest CPI. You get it: grab users’ attention.

App Campaigns Tips for Video
Some advice from Google on your video creatives

Different lengths

You also want to upload videos of different lengths while remaining between 15 and 30s. You can technically upload videos with shorter lengths however it is not advised until the bumper ad format is official.

The placements will not be different when you upload different lengths, but it is a way to test which creative works better.

For games, 15s videos generally work better but Google still recommends to upload different lengths.

For non-games, here too you should upload as many variations as possible. If your brand is less known, some extra seconds can help you better communicate what your app is about.

When your videos are longer, you should still start strong and quickly make clear what you’re expecting users to do via a call-to-action.

Video messaging in line with your campaign optimization (Installs vs. In-app actions)

Once you start allocating budget to in-app actions campaigns (optimized for in-app events such as reaching X level, signing up, etc.) keep in mind that what you eventually want new users to do is reach that action.

This is why you should adapt ad creatives to the actions you want them to do. Just like we talked about in the ad text ideas section. Talk about the benefits (or excitement) that they will get once they get there. Or a specific promotion for the in-app action you’re optimizing for (example: use code WINE10 for your first wine bottle purchase).

What we mentioned above about uploading as many variants as possible is especially true for UAC campaigns optimized for in-app events: you are giving more “input” to Google’s AI algorithm to optimize (hopefully, faster and at a lesser cost). Both advertisers that have had success with UAC and Google say that you should use all 20 video slots that you have.

Design for sound on and off environments

Google estimates that 95% of YouTube ads are watched with sound on.

Sound for YouTube Ads

So even if your videos will not only be placed on YouTube (cf. “Where videos display” section) it is highly recommended to leverage sound in your UAC video creatives. It improves significantly brand awareness, ad recall and consideration.

This is a major difference compared to what you might have been doing with your Facebook or Instagram ads.

That said, do not forget users that have sound off or on low volume (let’s say, playing a game on a subway). So make sure the video can also be understood with the sound off. Like for Facebook feed ads, use copy or subtitles.

Showing your brand early on

Despite your best efforts to keep them engaged, several users won’t stick around for the entire video. This is especially true when they’re given a way to skip the ad after 5s like on YouTube.

That’s why it’s important to show your brand really early on in the video. So within the first 5s, make sure your brand is shown in the video. It can be showing your app icon but also done through showing your brand in the app/product.

Using the App Campaign Ad Assets Creative Report to optimize

So what happens when you start running your campaigns?

First, you want to give some time (so yes, money too) to each of your campaigns. Less than a week is definitely not enough because the algorithm needs a bit of time to adjust and optimize (especially for In-app actions campaigns).

On the MobileDevMemo Slack group, Jorge Canga from Lab Cave said that “It takes the algorithm around 2 weeks for Android games and 4 weeks for iOS to show the best CPIs”. Others talk about waiting for at least 100 conversions before making any changes. The people we talked to at Google mentioned 3 weeks as often being the sweet spot (but it does vary depending on bids and budget: the more Google can front load bids and budget to test more and higher quality inventory, the better).

You can start seeing the performance of the different assets in your Ad Assets creative report.

Ad Assets Report
Universal App campaigns Ad Assets report

In there, you’ll find two main types of information for each asset:

  1. Performance grouping: Best, Good, Low, Learning;
  2. “Typical” conversion information like number of Clicks, Impressions, CTR, Average CPC, Cost, Conversion, Conversion rate and Cost per conversion.

When making your decisions, you can not only look at one or the other: the creatives are served on all different types of inventory that inherently perform different from one another. For example a video can show on Admob or YouTube, and those platforms convert very differently, so you can’t just compare CVRs or CTRS in isolation.

As Assets Metrics
The overall metrics for a creative matter, but don’t stop at that

In order to understand how different networks or conversion types contributed to the performance of each asset, click the segmentation icon pasted image 0 13 then “Network”.

Ad Assets per Network
Also look at the performance per channelSource: Google’s Ad Assets for App campaigns Course

Note: Google Display Network regroups impressions/conversions from the Google Display Network and the Google Play Store ads.

For performance grouping, the most important is to understand that the performance Google indicates is relative to the performance of all the other assets within each Ad Group (when available). And based on lifetime assets.

This means that you can have 3 creative assets that perform very well yet have one indicated as Best, one as Good and the last one as Low. So as long as you have not reached the 20 videos limit, be careful about discarding the Low assets.

This is why it’s of course also critical to look at the conversion metrics as well, so you can get a better sense of the assets’ performance (and compare with other UA channels). It allows you to remove creatives some with more confidence when they are not working well.

There is also something you can assimilate to the “less worse” ad asset for a specific placement. An asset optimized for a specific placement (example: short portrait video for Display Network) might not have a performance grouping and metrics as good as a landscape video ad does on YouTube for example. Yet removing it might lead to the landscape video ad being used for the Display Network placement and lesser performance then the initial portrait video. Here’s how Google puts it:

LOW performance grouping

That’s why Google recommends to replace assets categorized as Low only once you’ve reached the maximum number of assets for a specific format.

You should also look at post-installs insights for the events you’re tracking for each creative. For this, you have to add columns for conversion data in your ad assets report, and then segment > conversions > conversion action.

Note: asset reporting currently does not include the assets that were automatically generated, so you should not expect the sum of all asset spend to be consistent with your overall campaign spend.

Using YouTube Analytics to optimize App campaigns

Despite the fact that you can not get “advanced” insights for each video anymore, one additional source of information you can leverage is YouTube analytics.

The new videos that you add to your Universal App campaigns are YouTube videos. If you upload them as unlisted videos (which we recommend) then you can analyze different engagement metrics for each ad.

You can for example look at the audience retention for each video and understand when users drop off in the ad: the first few seconds, or later on.

YouTube Analytics RetentionWhat would be super interesting to know is of course when people convert the most during the video, but this is not possible.

Conclusion

App install ads are clearly evolving to take more into consideration what happens after the download, and that makes Facebook’s AEO and Google’s UAC really interesting.

It also changes the way advertisers work and approach their campaigns, including when it comes to creative assets.

It’s really important to understand where and how your assets are displayed, so you can optimize them to improve performance. Different placements lead to different creative considerations when producing your videos. With UAC your videos can be displayed on/via:

  • Admob
  • YouTube
  • YouTube bumper ads (upcoming)
  • Google Play Store video ads (in beta)

Once your campaigns are running, a critical part of the optimization you need to do as an advertiser is analyzing the ad assets creative report and updating assets based on performance. For video optimization (and future video productions), taking a look at the YouTube analytics of your creatives can also help.

Have you been running UAC campaigns? Share your insights and questions on best practices and creative optimization in the comments!

Sylvain Gauchet

Hi there, I’m Sylvain and I’m one of the co-founders of Apptamin. Apptamin is a creative agency specialized in app videos (video ads, app store videos, etc.) where we find engaging ways to present mobile apps and games so our clients can either increase their conversion rates or improve their user acquisition.

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