Apple Search Ads Holiday Marketing Campaigns Guide
Holiday season means new opportunities for app marketing. Many people seek apps during the last few months of the year in order to prepare for and enjoy the season, resulting in increases in searches, downloads, and in-app revenue.
When to Launch Holiday Marketing Campaigns
In addition to well-known and international holidays, holiday marketing also includes days such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Even the release of a new season of a popular series can be used as an opportunity. Seasons tend to repeat year after year, and users tend to have cyclical recurring behavior. In the New Year, everyone is looking for gifts; with the start of the NFL, football fans become more active; millions of people wait for Black Friday. This is what seasonal and holiday marketing is built on. You’re missing out if you don’t take the chance to give users what they want at this time.
To get the most out of the holiday user acquisition marketing strategy you need to have a comprehensive approach to promotion that implements various tactics such as holiday emails, social media, chatbots, and notifications.
It’s important to mention that graphic and text optimization should be complemented by internal events in the application, which are timed specifically for the holiday. These can be special events, special sets for in-app purchases, various thematic functions, or options. Without matching the internal content of the application and external advertising, all your efforts will be in vain: brand trust will be lost, and you will lose subscribers.
In this article, we will focus mainly on ASA strategies that you can use to maximize and complement your overall app holiday marketing strategy and make this holiday season the best ever.
Apple Search Ads is a great instrument for user acquisition that gives you great results and conversion rates. If you somehow still haven’t used it yet and don’t know how to track Apple Search Ads campaigns, it’s best to try it as soon as you can.
Why Do You Need to Launch Apple Search Ads Holiday Marketing Campaigns ?
Holiday marketing campaigns allow you to leverage traffic trends and provides you with a great opportunity to attract new users. Launching app updates tied to holidays such as Christmas or Halloween can help apps be competitive and maintain core rankings. Here are some more reasons for you to use this kind of strategy.
Leveraging seasonal marketing ASA holiday campaigns can help improve the discoverability of your app by getting you featured on the “browse/explore” pages on both stores. This is especially relevant for Apple Search Ads after Apple added new ASA placements into the “today” and “search” tabs.
Increase in conversion rates
By implementing seasonal ASA you can increase your store listing conversion rates.
Increase of engagement and re-engagement
Seasonal marketing can be used to boost the number of reactivations. That is because limited-duration marketing creates a sense of urgency in the user to react to what is being promoted.
Combining seasonal marketing and ASA is a good way to show that you actually update your app and add new stuff that is interesting for users. This will increase their curiosity. On average, such reinstalls give an increase in conversion of about 15-30%.
Once you understand that using ASA in your holiday marketing strategy makes a lot of sense and will bring you many benefits, we can proceed to the practical tips for creating them.
Tip 1. Do not Overspend on Apple Search Ads Holiday Marketing Campaigns
During the holiday season it’s extremely important to plan and allocate your Apple Search Ads budgets. You need to think about timing for each event and prioritize to ensure your budget covers the entire period.
The most important advice here is to allocate your marketing budgets wisely. It is true that, during the holiday season, it is much more difficult to compete for keywords. Big companies with high budgets usually don’t really care about the ROAS price or ROI; they just want visibility and try to do everything that they can to achieve this.
If your product is not related to the upcoming events or you don’t have a budget specifically for the holidays, it’s a good idea to double check if it is worth it. Maybe you can spend this money at the end of the season when the competition is less intense. For example, December is the most expensive month, because of the high bids from companies that don’t pay attention to ROI, but in January these companies are more relaxed, so this is a good chance to run highly targeted campaigns and conduct profitable user acquisition.
Tip 2. Optimize Apple Search Ads Custom Product Pages for Each Holiday Campaign
Custom product pages allow you to create different versions of App Store product pages and can be a good complement to your holiday ad creatives. Usually they showcase certain features of the app in each version and share them via unique URLs. Optimization of custom product pages during the holiday season can boost both IPM and conversion rates. To achieve the maximum effects from them, it’s best to leverage it before the holiday season begins.
Try to create a different custom product page for each season or holiday. Again – testing is a must. You need to test several different custom product pages to see which one performs best for your ad group. Once you find the best performing customer product page, you can use it across all the campaigns. Don’t forget to refresh creatives on your product pages to create a sense of newness for your users and thus increase conversions. It’s sufficient to refresh product pages once per month.
To understand the whole picture of your custom product pages’ performance, you need to attribute this data to your analytics platform. For example, Qonversion allows you to automatically collect Apple Search Ads attribution data for each campaign so you can create ad groups with identical settings but different CPPs. This lets you conduct A/B tests to determine which custom pages perform better. If a particular ad group with a unique CPP generates more installs, trials, and revenue, it may be beneficial to focus on it.
It’s a good idea to base the product page on your best-performing holiday ad creative. This way your campaign will have a more focused message and flow that will likely bring in new installs.
As for recommendations, you need to have at least 4 screenshots for each CPP. Highlight important features in the captions and make them readable and visible. Draw the user’s attention to the special events for the holiday season using descriptive action verbs. Don’t go overboard with the visuals; it should be concise and legible.
Prepare your holiday logo
Pay attention to your logo during the holiday seasons. Adjusting it to a holiday or seasonal event can increase your conversion rate.
Create holiday-themed screenshots
Adjusting your app screenshots to a holiday or season might make users more likely to explore your app. Such screenshots can show your potential users that you update your app regularly, too.
Tip 3. Use Relevant Keywords for Each Apple Search Ads Holiday Marketing Campaign
It’s well known that Apple’s algorithms won’t index apps for search terms specific to the holidays on their own. The more unique the season or holiday is, the more complicated it is to identify relevant keywords for your campaign. Again, you need to analyze your audience before the season starts to identify which keywords perform best. Try to do thorough custom research so that, by the time the season starts, you can predict what text query your user will search for a seasonal update.
During the holiday season, it’s better to use the Discovery campaign, as these campaigns will help you to broaden your audience and mine relevant holiday keywords. Use Search Match and Broad Match within the campaign and create two ad groups: an ad group that has Search Match enabled but no keywords and an ad group that has Search Match disabled but has top-performing keywords in broad match.
Consider adding relevant specific keywords for the particular holiday or season to your existing category-themed ad group. Such keywords increase your coverage and help you to attract new users. You may also want to create separate ad groups for Halloween, Black Friday, Christmas, or other holidays and seasonal events.
Tip 4. Test Your Creatives – Lots and Lots of Ad Creatives
Although creatives aren’t directly related to your Apple Search Ads holiday campaign, there are a lot of benefits of using holiday ad creatives. They help you increase your click-through rates and conversion rates and improve your brand awareness and engagement. They are easily shareable, and people love to engage with them.
Testing ad creatives is a must for seasonal strategy. Testing lots of creatives and identifying what works best can help you outmaneuver your competitors, because usually a lot of people don’t iterate with creatives much and concentrate only on screenshots. We’re not saying that screenshots are not important here, but the synergetic effect from both of them will be most valuable.
While performing A/B creative testing, remember that:
- Each seasonal event needs to have sample hypotheses that require lots of creatives to test.
- Hypotheses need to be strong, clear, and achievable
- Don’t try to test more than one hypothesis at once, as results will mislead you and you may lose your traffic.
- Follow competitor research and user opinions.
Testing and identifying the best working creatives is not enough. You need to switch creatives, because customers tend to get bored of the images they see, especially if you’re targeting a really niche target audience with your ads. On-time creatives changes can save your conversions.
Changing creatives once per month is a good baseline, but during holiday season it might be a good idea to do it more often. For example, once in two or three weeks may be effective. This doesn’t have to be a complete makeover; simple changes to the background color, headings, lead layout, or text sizes can be sufficient. Keep in mind that holiday-themed creatives sometimes continue to perform well even after the holidays.
General Recommendations for Holiday Marketing Campaigns Creatives
- Ensure you have enough resources for creating holiday-themed creatives. There’s not much time and it requires a good amount of work to create a new batch.
- Your creatives should evoke emotions in users. Utilizing emotions in general is a good idea for everything, not only for holiday creatives, but during the holiday times people usually feel nostalgic and emotions can play a particularly large role. Moreover, it’s good to use real footage with real people to emphasize emotions, because such creatives increase conversions.
- Pay attention to the details. Even small things, like changing typical items for holiday elements, can have good results. You can, for example, switch a sword to a Christmas tree, or some other element to a pumpkin. Don’t forget about pointers and buttons: you can turn pointers into Santa’s hand, a witch’s broom, or a New Year’s cracker.
It’s hard to know which creatives perform better without analytics. Qonversion recently added SIngular attribution to help you gain a comprehensive ad creatives analytics so you can measure performances and make the best advertising decisions. Combining the dataset from Singular and Qonversion gives you instant insight into how much subscription revenue you earn from each ad creative as well as the ROAS in one dashboard. These allow you to see how often you need to change your creatives, which of them you should leave, and which of them to stop.
Tip 5. Track Your Apple Search Ads Holiday Marketing Campaigns Performance
Holiday or seasonal marketing can bring a lot of value to your app promotion. Moreover, the holiday season is a great time to test new Apple Search Ads placements such as the Search tab, Today tab, and Product pages to increase the number of impressions.
To make sure that your Apple Search Ads campaigns reach their true potential, you need to have enough data and comprehensive analytics. The main problem with the Apple Search Ads dashboard is that it does not include any in-app data or crucial revenue metrics, like post-install events, that are essential for subscription apps. You only have access to impressions, installs, CPA, conversion rates, tap-through rates, and new downloads. These are not enough to ensure that your ASA-campaign is fully effective, though.
To have a full picture of your ASA holiday/seasonal campaign performance you need to track revenue from a cohort of users at a campaign and keyword level. That is the only way to make effective marketing decisions, maximize your ROI, and run effective advertising campaigns.
Therefore, for a successful holiday user acquisition campaign, you need to utilize the right tools so you can accurately measure advertising performance. For example, Qonversion Apple Search Ads attribution provides you with the tools to monitor important metrics for your subscription-based apps, scale your campaigns, and maximize your profits.
We wish you happy and profitable holidays and hope that you found this article useful. If you have any questions or ideas about Apple Search Ads, feel free to reach out to us!