Apple Search Ads (ASA) have become a necessary part of any app’s user acquisition strategy in 2019. We have seen very successful campaigns when properly managed and have helped clients build their apps in 2018 utilizing ASA.
However, lot’s of concern has arisen in the last year surrounding competitor’s bidding on each other’s brand names.
“How can this be fair?” many developers have asked. “In PPC, at least there’s more than one ad being shown, giving you a fighting chance. ASA ads take up the entire above-the-fold view on the App Store!”
The answer: you must run ads that bid for your brand name to defend your placement.
Let’s describe what happens when a competitor bids on your brand name in ASA:
If a competitor bids on your app name, and you’re not simultaneously, their app will show above your organic listing. This is why you need to consider running a “brand defense” Apple Search Ads campaign.
Check out this example of brand defense by Sweat:
You can see that their brand term (which could be misconstrued as a general broad search term) is still being shown as a “defense ad”, above their #1 organic listing for that term.
On the other hand, this example of Clash of Clans shows that a competitor’s ad can easily display higher than your organic listing if you’re not running an optimized brand search ads campaign:
All this being said, running a branded search ads campaign is not a 100% guarantee that competitors still won’t show above your organic listing. It does, however, give you a fighting chance to stave off a host of competitors from flooding in to take your branded search traffic.
If you are a developer with multiple apps in your portfolio, you have it easier. You can have your cake and eat it too as your branded term will also display a developer “folder” of your apps (try searching “Microsoft”).
Here are a few more reasons you should consider running a “brand defense” Apple Search Ads campaign.
- Did you know that over 50% of searches on the App Store are branded? Apple places a lot of weight on branded terms because it qualifies the search intent of the user without fault.
- Even if a developer isn’t specifically bidding on brand terms (with either exact or broad match), ASA’s broad and search match will enter that ad group into branded keyword auctions in order to get more traffic. This is true especially for campaigns with higher CPA goals or larger budgets.