SUCCEED WITH GOOGLE UAC: 19 CREATIVE BEST PRACTICES TO ADOPT

Mobile marketers want their apps to captivate the hearts of as many quality users as possible – that’s where Google’s Universal App Campaigns (or UAC) comes in to do the heavy lifting.

Here’s the truth: Google UAC is fantastic, but it’s only half the success of your app promotion campaigns. The other half is hidden in your creatives; in their power to mesmerize and engage. Think of Google UAC as the brains and your creatives as the beauty.

What are Google UAC creative best practices? Let this blog be your guiding force in the land of UAC creative tips. We’re going to dive into texts, images, and videos so that the next time you run an app promotion campaign in Google UAC, it will drive the most performance and value for you.

1. UAC Text Tips

You have four lines of text to write and a story to fit into a limited amount of words. It seems like mission impossible, but it can be done. These creative text tips will help you clear the fog:

  • Know your audience – this one seems to appear everywhere in content writing, but it’s super important. Dissect user behavior and psychology, uncover your audience’s deepest and strongest desires and communicate with users in their language. Digging into your audience’s needs can help you write easy-to-understand and very straightforward calls-to-action later.
  • Tell a story – every line should be a story in itself; each one should convey its own message. With that, the four lines should speak in unison, just like music.😊 That way, when they’ll appear in pairs across Google properties and networks, they’ll flow smoothly, without overwhelming users.
Winning text ads tips
The four key elements of a winning Google UAC text ad
  • Keep it short – Out of those four lines, at least two should be shorter than twenty characters. Why? Firstly, it’s for the sake of being brief. Secondly, keeping things short is the recipe for better performance. Bonus: By using shorter lines you prevent truncation in properties like Gmail.

2. UAC Image Tips

Google UAC tips

Good news! You can upload up to 20 image variations (same for videos and HTML5 creatives). It’s always a good idea to utilize this capacity to the fullest to ensure maximum reach and scale – but this is far from being the only UAC image tip you’d want to follow. 😊

  • Leverage high-reach image assets – Our partners at Google suggest including at least two variations of recommended top-performing image formats. That is, image formats with a high reach like 320X50, 320X480, 300X250.
  • Be simple – Since your images will appear on smaller screens, aim to create and upload images with simple designs and minimum text.
  • Showcase your app – Show screenshots of your app to users, especially if they are engaging and relevant to the targeted audience.
  • Add credibility – App store badges and logos mean a great deal. Use them to show how trustworthy your ad is.
  • Use HD – high-quality images speak volumes! Try uploading images twice the pixel density for better results (e.g., 350X500 à 700X1000).
  • Upload landscape & portrait – Our partners at Google advise uploading both landscape and portrait images. Keep in mind, though, that landscape ones work best for native ads; portrait images are great for interstitials. Maximum size for all images (.png, .jpg, .gif) is 150KB.

3. UAC HTML5 Tips

Google UAC HTML5 TIps

HTML5 is a relatively new format in Google UAC, which works both in iOS and Android. There’s no need to create two separate playable ads; if you want to use HTML5 for both operational systems – upload your playable ads twice to AdWords and use a different URL for each ad.

Google says that to use HTML5 in UAC, you should upload it as .zip with a maximum size of 1MB, not exceeding 40 files. And, UAC only supports these sizes: 300X250, 320X50, 480X320, and 320X480 (the last two – landscape & portrait).

To get the most out of your ads, it’s recommended to follow these best practices as well:

  • Take advantage of intros – Interactive ads are somewhat unexpected, so make sure to provide an intro caption before the ad starts. Your intro can also give users a sneak peek into your ad and spark interest. Think movie trailers.
  • Play with ad orientation – begin with playable portrait ads, split it about 70/30 impressions. As for landscape, it usually performs better and can boost your reach by a third.
  • Experiment with length – Try different lengths, but keep it in the 30-120 seconds range. Our partners at Google say that 90 seconds is the optimal length.
  • Use an end card – Let users know that your ad is over by providing them with an end card and a clear CTA to install your app (great for videos as well).

4. UAC Video Tips

Google Universal App Campaigns Video Tips

We saved the best for last – UAC video creatives😊 Here’s a bunch of actionable UAC video tips to help your app promotion ad stand out:

  • Diversify – Don’t stick to just one type of video or one video size (Google recommends 10/15/30-second videos). After all, there’s no one-size-fits-all for length, and not every ad should be cinematic; it can be just a wide variety of images, depending on your app. The smart way to go is to make a couple of video ads, perform an A/B test and see which one of them drives the most performance.
  • Grab attention fast – Use the first five seconds to spark interest by including an engaging CTA and don’t forget to insert your app’s icon in the video.
  • Work with different formats – You have three different video formats to use in UAC: landscape, portrait, and square. By the way, portrait videos have shown to drive higher conversion rates than landscape ones. Just remember that all your videos should be uploaded to YouTube first.
  • Leverage UAC’s magic – Don’t have any videos prepared? UAC can make them for you by using the assets you have in your app store listing.
  • Show benefits – Don’t just describe your app in your video. Show your audience how it can solve a problem or show others using it. Localize your video content by making it relevant to the audience you’re promoting to. Going back to the beginning of the post, you should know your audience to achieve the best result possible. 😊
  • Use music wisely – Music can help you enrich your audience’s experience, but don’t forget that sound might be off, so put in an effort in the visual appearance of your video as well.

That’s it! Google UAC arsenal is at your disposal – and we’re sure there’ll be more exciting tools to work with. 😊

Now that you know Google UAC best practices, you can start growing your app. Our app promotion team can help you with that, drop us a line!

8 CLEVER WAYS TO PREPARE YOUR MOBILE APP FOR THE HOLIDAY RUSH

Winter is coming! Do you know what that means: hello holidays! 

We believe that all app owners should lay the groundwork and be ready to make the most out of the potential holiday goldmine.

Check out these 8 tips on preparing your apps for the holiday season:

1. Early birds get the worm

It’s best to start preparing your mobile apps for the holiday bonanza as early as possible, deciphering the minds of your targeted audience, allocating budget, brainstorming for inspiring copy and designs and creating content that encourages users to act; otherwise…

2. Be prepared to spend more on advertising

The thought of your in-app purchases rising during the holidays may be heartwarming, but you should know that all numbers tend to increase that time of year – conversions can go as high as 60%, ad impressions increase by 50%, order value increases by 30% – and so do media costs.

Webpals Mobile’s data shows that a typical increase in daily user acquisition budget during the holidays stands at 25-50 percent, on average, but it can be even higher. For instance, one of the popular e-Commerce apps we work with doubled its budget for the holidays last year, along with many other leading apps.

After the storm…

Our app promotion experts noticed that the storm in media prices usually calms towards mid-December. During that time, many eCommerce app owners witness a big drop in in-app purchases and orders since many users realize it they may not get what they want in time. The result? A sharp decrease in demand for media and a plunge in prices.

While this time is less lucrative for eCommerce, it presents a window of opportunity for apps in other verticals, such as finance, gaming, travel, and so on.

In case you failed to catch the “low-cost” wave, be prepared to capture those valuable seasonal users for a bigger buck.

3. Ride the wave of peak buying times

Different holidays

To get the most out of your app marketing strategy, look at the bigger picture and don’t just focus on the mainstream holidays. Consider investing more in holidays like Alibaba’s Singles Day, Harbolnas in Indonesia, or White Day in Japan. These are yet to get the attention they deserve in the West, and some extend beyond January, which opens an opportunity for you to save on media costs.

4. Unwrap your app’s potential with paid user acquisition

As app stores become more and more crowded, it is highly recommended to complement your organic acquisition strategy with a paid one to stand out.

With the paid acquisition, you get to enlarge your user base by successfully engaging even the most niche of audiences who you may not have seen your app otherwise. Granular targeting does its magic.

Paid user acquisition can also help boost your ROAS as well as organic ranking (all those impressions count) and downloads. Downloads have proven to jump by as much as 1.5 times across all app categories.

5. Be present on different social media

Savvy app owners can’t just hold on to the past and ignore the latest developments on social media: Google’s YouTube began testing more actionable video ads; Pinterest is going all in with mobile shopping, and Instagram has added more shopping features to support direct sales.

On each of the platforms, try playing with different kinds of creatives, changing them frequently to avoid exhaustion and ad blindness. For example, consider serving playable ads for games and interactive apps to drive installs of higher quality.

6. Leverage holiday-themed images and copy

We all want to curl up in our cozy blankets and spend time with our friends and loved ones, sipping hot tea near a fireplace while drowning in glowing lights during the holidays. Why not infuse your app marketing with some holiday spirit?

Try injecting jingles, holiday slang, colors, etc. into your push notifications. As for in-app messages, decorate your apps with holiday-related images. Experiment adding snowflakes, gifts, Christmas lights, and anything else holiday-related. You can even beef it up a little and insert holiday imagery inside your logo (don’t overdo it, though.)

holiday offers mobile apps

[Image source]

7. Be the Santa Claus that comes early

Everyone loves to catch that special holiday sale. Don’t be a Grinch and give away some presents to your app users. Statistics show that Americans spend $906 on Christmas gifts, on average.

As people lighten their wallets, app owners can help reduce shopping stress by offering special deals, vouchers, discounts, and so on.

Thanksgiving offer

[Image source]

If your app has nothing to do with eCommerce, try finding other ways to resonate with users. For instance, travel apps can spark user interest with travel guides that feature must-see holiday spots. Food delivery apps can offer special deals to lighten the burden of cooking during the holidays or free shipping on orders above $X.

8. Celebrate with a new, holiday-themed app

The winter snowfall causes app downloads to skyrocket. App Store reported “a record-breaking holiday season” last year.

“A record number of customers made purchases or downloaded apps from the App Store, spending over $890 million.”

This seems like a good enough reason to have an app launched especially during the holiday season. Your app should solve people’s problems during the holidays, to make their lives easier.

Here’s an excellent app idea for the holidays: health and fitness brands can develop apps that show people how to get in shape with individual workout plans and food recipes. Fashion brands could build apps offering tips on what to wear on New Year’s to help users make next year a successful one. If you are in gaming, a fantastic way to go is to develop a unique Christmas game app, like the one below:

Christmas game app

[Image source]

If you lack resources to build a full-blown app from the ground up, you can always opt for a seasonal promotional mini-app. You’ll need less capital and resources to create it, and you can still make the most of the holiday rush.

Go App Owners, Go!

The most joyful time of the year, characterized by a very intense app activity, is coming! Make the most of it by prepping your apps for the holiday season now, and don’t leave it to the last minute. This list of app marketing tips for the holidays should get you started.

If you need a hand with growing your app, our app promotion experts are ready to help. Leverage our professional know-how, remarkable campaign management and optimization technology, exclusive data, and in-house creatives to unleash your app’s potential. Contact us today!

GET YOUR APP TO SPEED: GOOGLE UAC BEST PRACTICES FOR SCALING MOBILE APPS

Google’s Universal App Campaigns (or UAC) is shaking the mobile marketplace up. Intended to incorporate machine learning into advertising and make it easier for developers to promote their apps across different platforms and networks, UAC has already produced more than 6 billion installs and delivered over 50% of all app downloads.

To help advertisers scale up their UAC campaigns, Webpals Group and Google have decided to put together a webinar. If you missed it, here’s a blog to bring you app to speed.😊 Here are a few of Universal App Campaign best practices to think about when promoting your apps with Google UAC:

UAC Best Practices per Campaign Type

With Google UAC, it’s possible to drive installs, in-app actions and even build lifetime value (or LTV) by targeting paying users. The last option has already proven to be very effective. Although it is still in beta, you can run LTV campaigns by working with Google’s partners such as Webpals Group.

UAC for Installs/Advanced Installs

Google Play users downloading apps

If you are on the hunt for more installs, which is a great choice if you want to boost its performance, keep these tips in mind:

  • Number of Conversions

UAC’s conversion optimizer needs 100 conversions to stabilize and about two weeks to optimize. To ensure the most optimal result, remember to target by country and avoid excessive splitting of your targeting by regions/cities.

If you want to run an advanced UAC Installs campaign – targeting users that are more likely to engage with your app while keeping the volume of installs – stick to more than ten in-app conversions per campaign a day to allow Google UAC to do its job and optimize closer to the CPA model.

  • Ads

UAC uses texts and assets to create a diversity of ads for you automatically. That means, the creatives you upload become the building blocks for UAC.

To drive the best performance, make sure to add at least five images and one video in addition to the copy (four lines) for your text ads. By the way, videos are a game changer for iOS UAC campaigns.

Note that the same recommendations apply if you want to run advanced install campaigns in UAC.

  • Budget

Since UAC algorithms need to have some room to work with when it comes to your target CPI (or tCPI), set your budget to a minimum of 50X your target CPI (or tCPI.) Also, frequent changes of more than 20% to your bids and budgets are not recommended. That way, UAC algorithms won’t get mixed up and start working from the beginning every time you make a change.

If you are going for an advanced UAC install campaign, keep these recommendations in mind as well. Also, do not forget to bid 20% higher for your tCPI.

Why? Advanced install campaigns drive installs of higher quality that are more likely to drive actions – and those actions are going to cost you more.

  • Settings

UAC campaigns will yield better results if you tick “Yes” for only one install/first open. All other conversion settings should be marked “No.” If you’re running two campaigns for your apps from a single account (one for Android and one for iOS), tick “Yes” for both. Apropos, this is true for all UAC campaign types.

Google UAC settings

When it comes to advanced install campaigns in UAC, in addition to the above, it’s best to refrain from changing in-app event optimizations at campaign level to ensure the smoother performance of UAC algorithms.

UAC for Actions

Google UAC reaching valuable users

If your goal is to drive as many in-app actions as possible (registrations, purchases, etc.), it’s best to run “UAC for Actions” campaigns, which, in contrast to UAC advanced install campaigns, help you reach the right users by focusing solely on in-app actions.

According to our app promotion experts, these campaigns are more suitable for matured mobile apps and present an excellent opportunity to drive more paying and loyal users.

  • Number of Conversions

Just like with advanced install campaigns, set the number of conversions to be more than ten in-app conversions per campaign daily, but make sure it is representative enough of your business goal. Besides that, targeting multiple events of different value can overwhelm the system. For example, if you’re gunning for “Registrations” and “Purchases,” pick only one.

  • Ads

With this campaign type, one of UAC best practices is to upload five image creatives and two videos (both portrait and landscape), in addition to writing your four lines of text. Apropos, Google data shows that portrait videos tend to have a 60% higher conversion rate than landscape ones.

  • Budget

Here you’ll need to set your budget to at least 10X your target CPA (tCPA) to ensure the best results. Our partners at Google give a great example: a $300 actual, historical CPA and a $10 UAC bid will not do you good.

Google suggests checking the last three months of campaign results to examine the CPA you’ve been getting for the targeted event so far in your existing campaigns and make sure it’s similar to the CPA you want to bid on.

  • Settings

See the recommendations for “advanced UAC installs” campaigns above.

Let’s face it: bidding on the desired event is far from being a rose garden. Think of all the event data you need. Not to mention, your targeted events must occur at least ten times a day, which is not always the case. That’s why sometimes your best bet is to find a proxy event – the event that highly correlates with the targeted event.

Proxy event targeting
If the desired event can’t be targeted (Purchase), Webpals Mobile experts check which of the events corresponds to it in the best possible way (Add to Cart).

Putting Yourself in User’s Shoes

No matter what type of UAC campaign you choose, always try to understand in-app user experiences, identify user behaviors and optimize – that’s the approach our app promotion experts take to help leading apps define user funnels.

There’s no doubt that there’s a lot of ground yet to cover regarding UAC best practices. Read about UAC video, images and text tips in our next blog. For now, our app promotion experts are ready to grow your mobile app by leveraging our professional know-how, exclusive data, and in-house creatives. Contact us today!

4 SMART TRICKS TO TURN YOUR GREAT FINANCE APP INTO AN AWESOME ONE

Banks and other financial institutions and services have developed an insatiable appetite for mobile apps, and for a good reason – 40% of smartphone owners use their phones for finance; and 63% of them do that at least weekly.

With such an amount of traffic, mobile banking and personal finance apps can drive higher ROI, boost customer engagement and revenue.

Here are 4 actionable tips and hacks, revealing the key features of top finance and banking mobile apps, to help you turn your app into users’ favorite:

#1: Feature-Rich Mobile Apps

Best finance apps features blog Webpals

Mobile banking apps with five or more features can make your app users extremely happy. A Citi research tells us that consumer loyalties lie with financial institutions that have feature-rich mobile apps in 80% of cases. Not only that, if you want your mobile banking app to stand out in a crowded market and become users’ favorite, its features must serve different functions. Case in point, Chase Mobile, a mobile banking app with tons of features that users love. The features allow users to view transactions, transfer money, create custom alerts, and more.

#2: Users’ Needs are Everything

Answering users' needs

Many financial institutions tend to focus on chasing profits, which leads to adding more features that ultimately improve their bottom line. For users, though, it is highly likely that an awesome app is the one that answers their needs in the best possible way.

One of the recent Google studies shows that when it comes to personal finance, users prefer to turn to mobile apps for money transfers, account status, and investment checks.

Take Acorns, for example, one of the leading investment apps on the market. They’ve realized that the app’s “Potential” feature truly has a lot to offer users. In an L.A. Times interview, Acorns said that the feature captivated the hearts of 17% of investors during the first months of testing. Such popularity led to the development of another feature – “Round-Up Multiplier,” which, combined with the first feature, allowed investors to recognize that they can invest more from purchases.

Going back to that Google study, 64% of respondents reported that ease of use and good navigation are the factors that help them decide whether an app is worth their attention – which brings me to my next point.

#3: Great UX

UX mobile apps Webpals Group

Don’t just look at your app through the lens of what it already has or might need in the future. A bullet list of features may be attractive, but you must pay attention to UX as well.

Look at Capital One’s mobile banking app, for instance. The app asks users to sign in every time they open it, and they are signed out automatically when they leave. Besides that, it sends notifications about every purchase.

Although automatic notifications are often seen as a big “no-no” UX-wise and might be considered annoying and invasive, it is less of a case with mobile banking: the demand for security in the sector is on the rise. In the case of Capital One, automatic notifications help create a safer user experience.

#4 A Sense of Control

A sense of control

Want your finance app to be one of the best mobile apps out there? It’s a good idea to follow Mint’s example and offer features that provide a sense of control to users. In Mint’s case, not only users can pay bills using the app, but they also can analyze their spending habits. Also, users can create different budgets based on their spending patterns and set up alerts to notify when a budget limit is reached. It’s the type of proactive budget management most users are drawn to. Mint is a great example showing how to properly capitalize on people’s need to reduce anxiety about being able to control their expenses, especially when it comes to emergencies.

With years of performance marketing know-how, proprietary data and exclusively owned and operated personal finance, Webpals Mobile has proven to be very successful in the acquisition of high-value users and promotion of leading mobile apps. Here’s a selection of our success stories.

Contact us to see how we can help you unlock your app’s potential.