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Apple Launches paid search ads for App Store

Apple has recently made their first foray into paid search advertising with App Store search ads.

Although it’s still early days, results are showing big promise for app developers looking to acquire users.

Apple’s slice of the advertising pie

Search marketing is huge business. According to Interactive Advertising Bureau figures cited by an Ad Age report, revenue generated by search advertising in 2015 topped a whopping USD$9 billion.

With numbers like that, it’s no surprise that Apple is finally looking to claim their slice of the search advertising pie.

However, in typical Apple style, they’ve chosen a unique direction for first play in the game. Apple’s advertising offering focuses entirely on user searches within their own App Store.

It pays to be at the top of the pile

Facebook has historically been the leader for paid app user acquisition. However, around a quarter of all app installs come from organic searches. Being at or close to the top of the list when it comes to App Store search returns can be the difference between an app’s success or failure.

Until recently, the only way developers could target an audiences was by using keywords, often shoe-horned into the name and description of their app. The method was messy and not always effective.

Apple’s App Store search ads have changed that dynamic. Offering the ability to pay to appear in relevant user searches they are simultaneously making it easier for apps to find users, while challenging Facebook’s dominance of app user acquisition.

The early word: it’s working

Although only several weeks old, App Store search ads are proving popular with developers thanks to early effectiveness and relatively low costs.

According to reports, the retention rates from App Store search ads are already outperforming other acquisition sources—and with a lower cost-per-install to boot.

Time will tell if App Store ads can maintain the early promise. After all, fewer advertisers means less competition. Costs could rise as more app developers get in on the game.

For now, however, one thing is certain: for brands in the business of selling apps, Apple’s App Store search ads warrant immediate consideration.     

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