How to Advertise on the Apple App Store

You created an App. You published it on the Apple App Store. Congratulations! Now comes the hard part: Helping people find your app in the App Store. With millions of Apps on the App Store, it can be difficult for your App to stand out. Luckily Apple has created an advertising network that allows App publishers to promote their App. Understanding and using the options provided by Apple can help you take full advantage of the advertising network.

First, select an App Store Plan. There are two options:

  • Search Ad Basic Plan: Giving Apple the control to run an automated hands off advertising campaign.
    • Apple will build an audience based on historical performance of similar ads (ie. apps that are in the same industry)
    • Apple will create ads based on your App description and metadata
    • Note that you can only select the Cost-Per-Install pricing model. You cannot control the bid price
  • Search Ad Advanced Plan:
    • You can  select keywords and set your targeting audience parameters (ie. Geography, date/ time, device type)
    • You are responsible for the ad copy and ad creative
    • You can control the Cost-Per-Install and the bid price

If you select the Ad Basic Plan it is important to review your app logo and description to ensure they are accurate. If not, your app will be promoted to the wrong audience and you will not get the downloads you want.

If you move forward with the Ad Advanced Plan, you have to do some additional work, but you can create ads that are better targeted compared to the automated approach.

Some of the additional items needed for Ad Advanced Plan are:

  • Determine the campaigns and the keywords associated with each campaign
    • Examples: Branded, competitor and general keyword campaigns
  • Select imagery that is separate from your App Store creative to help your App standout
  • Create short videos that show the ease of use and user experience

No matter which advertising plan you choose, you will be taking an important step for increasing traffic to your App and, in turn, see an increase in App downloads.