We all know that Apple Search Ads is a highly favored campaign platform for mobile user acquisition. With its several benefits to mobile app marketing such as the opportunity of reaching out to users with personalized ads, it’s attracting more and more mobile marketers every single day. And, a well-built campaign structure is a major aspect of optimizing Apple Search Ads.
In this article, we are going to start by going over the 4 major campaign types of Apple Search Ads and then we’ll discuss Proxy Campaigns in detail and how they can be useful.
Apple Search Ads Campaign Types
Apple Search Ads allows you to meet users at the top of the search results. In this way, app marketers get the opportunity to reach users right after they conduct a search in the App Store. The efficiency of the platform is incontrovertible. However, we can always try to improve our own Apple Search Ads strategy
As you know, Apple Search Ads runs ads via keywords. In order to increase our downloads, we have to have a good set of keywords and optimized bid levels. Therefore, we must have a well-functioning system to find the right keywords that will reward us with fruitful users.
This well-functioning system arises from our campaign types: Brand, Competitor, Generic, and Discovery.
Let’s quickly remember them.
Here we bid on keywords that almost exactly match our brand keyword to win the auctions. Because if we don’t, our competitors will, and as a result, they will have the opportunity to steal users from us. Since we know which keywords we want to appear on, we set keywords to exact match.
This campaign, as you would have guessed, is to bid on our competitors’ brand keywords.
Because, there is no harm in showing your product before the deal is closed, right? If we can win auctions for our competitors’ brand keywords, we might be able to acquire some valuable users.
Similar to Brand campaigns, we would want to target the exact keywords in our keyword set. Therefore, we again set our keywords to the exact match option.
This one is for targeting a general audience.
Meaning that, unlike the campaign types above, here, users don’t have a specific brand in mind, so instead they search for a generic keyword that describes the genre. In this case, we again would want to appear on these keywords with the exact match option.
Discovery campaigns are where the fun begins. Because now, we are in search of new keywords.
We usually have two different ad groups under Discovery Campaigns: Broad Match and Search Match.
The Broad Match option will bring us related keywords such as synonyms, misspelling, related searches, and phrases.
For the Search Match ad group, we should turn on the Search Match option that will automatically match our app to relevant searches. In this way, we can find new search trends that we can add to our keyword set.
Now, let’s take a look at Proxy Campaigns and how you can use them to further evaluate the search terms you generated from Discovery Campaigns
Proxy campaigns can be considered a byproduct of Discovery Campaigns.
This is where Proxy Campaigns can be helpful for identifying new and profitable keywords.
We can run a Proxy Campaign where we add search terms we discovered through our Discovery Campaigns with the exact match option. In this way, we find the opportunity to test the performance of these new keywords.
So, with Proxy Campaigns, another step is being added to our Apple Search Ads optimization process. Let’s see how we can utilize it in the best way possible.
How to Run Apple Search Ads Proxy Campaigns
Let’s go step by step.
- First, we add discovered search terms as an exact match to our Proxy Campaign.
- Second, we add these keywords as negative keywords back into our Discovery Campaigns to prevent duplication.
- Third, we either pause search terms that underperform or we add the prospering ones to other campaigns as an exact match.
As you can see, these three steps will lead us back to a data-driven Apple Search Ads management. However, this process can become challenging especially if we are managing tons of keywords or multiple campaigns.
Because, we will have to monitor the data, pause or transfer the keywords where it’s due, add newly discovered search terms into the Proxy Campaign, and run the whole loop again.
So, let’s talk a little bit about optimizing our Apple Search Ads budget by utilizing our SearchAds.com management platform.
Optimizing Apple Search Ads
For instance, with SearchAds.Com’s automation tools, we can distribute keywords that perform well, with the exact match option to the other campaigns and with the negative match option to Discovery Campaigns in an instant.
The keywords that underperform can be added into negative keywords.
You don’t have to create separate rules for every single keyword in your list, you can do bulk operations. Our loop will work automatically, and in the meantime, we will be able to focus on other aspects of our growth.
Now that we have extra time, let’s add the budget to that list.
The best way of scaling our budget is to determine precedents. So, let’s do that. We are going to run 5 campaigns: Brand, Competitor, Generic, Discovery, and Proxy.
Which one do you think should be our priority? One way to determine your budget is by classifying your spendings as exact or broad match keywords. One rule of thumb is to spend 70% of your budget on exact match keywords. Although, depending on your expectations and position, you can use different budgeting methods or ratios.
For those with the budget for Proxy Campaigns, it could be said that the best way to do it is by following the structure above. Since in Proxy Campaigns we are testing the discovered search terms that will eventually go either to Brand, Competitor, or Generic Campaigns based on their performances, we can group keywords that are in the same classification such as Brand or Competitor. And then, we can distribute our budget according to these groups.
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