iAd guide: How to promote your Brand/App to millions of Apple users ?

Hi guys,

If you haven’t got the chance to use iAd Workbench yet, below are everything you need to get you started.

1. What is iAd?

It is Apple self served platform that enables you to promote your App or product/site to Apple users in sixteen countries. These countries are:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Luxembourg
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

If you are in APAC, there are five countries that you could use iAd workbench to reach Apple users: Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan.

2. What can you promote?

Well it’s pretty straight forward, you could either promote your brand, your App on the App Store (encourage App download) or your product on iTunes Store or your website (mobile friendly of course).

3. Available Ad format

All basic ad formats could be used like: banner (static or gif), video, audio ad (via iTunes Radio). If you want to use Rich Media format, you need to contact Apple iAd Sales team

If you use video or audio ad, you may not need to have a destination because your objective is brand awareness.

One thing to note is that Apple would require you to submit all banner sizes for best user experience across all iPhone screen sizes, in both landscape and portrait. For example, some of the required sizes are below:

  • 640 x 100 pixels| 350KB max.iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 4s and iPod touch 5th generation and earlier(Portrait)
  • 960 x 64 pixels| 350KB max.iPhone 4s and iPod touch 4th generation and earlier(Landscape)
  • 1136 x 64 pixels| 350KB max.iPhone 5, 5c, 5s and iPod touch 5th generation(Landscape)

4. Targeting & Bids

Well iAd targeting is much more limited in comparison to Google Adwords or Facebook or other DSPs.

The first option is automatic, which simply means you let Apple decide where to show your ad based on your objective.

I would recommend using manual targeting to ensure that you could test different targeting options.

Basically you could only target based on device, gender, age, geography, iTunes Store Preference (user interest), App Channels (categories in which you want your ad to appear).

You could do frequency cap and ad scheduling but that’s about it.

At this point, it seems that you can’t use first party data to make your iAd more targeted i.e. no remarketing available.

As for Bids, iAd allows you to choose mainly from CPC, CPM. If you enter CPA goal, the system will try to optimise your campaigns to achieve the CPA, however, this is not guarantee i.e. you do not pay per desired action.

5. Account hierarchy

This is quite important to understand because iAd workbench is quite different from Google Adwords, and quite similar to Facebook Ad Manager hierarchy.

You have three levels: Campaign, Targeting (or Line) and then Ad.

Each App you want to promote could have a separate campaign. After that each targeting option is a Line, with budget and its unique targeting of course. For example, you could create one line for Male, using iPhone, 25-35 year old in Australia and another line for the same audience but on iPad.

Ad is the lowest level, you create different ads and need to associate them with respective Lines that you want to run.

6. iAd Reporting

Right now on iAd Workbench interface, you can only see very basic reporting. You can see how your Line or ad via the below metrics:

  • Spend (USD)
  • Impressions
  • Taps: The number of times users tap a banner to view your app
  • Avg. CPC (USD)
  • TTR (%): Tap-through rate, or the ratio of taps to impressions (for example, if 100 users are exposed to an ad banner, and the banner is tapped five times, the TTR is 5%)
  • Conversions: The number of times a user taps your ad banner and watches your video for either six seconds or 25 percent of its length (whichever is less), or downloads your app or other iTunes Store content

Note: Conversions aren’t reported for ads with website destinations.

  • Conversion Rate %
  • Avg. CPA (USD)
  • Avg. Time Spent: The amount of time (in seconds) that the user engages with the ad
  • Visits: A visit consists of a single set of user actions that follow a banner tap. If there’s a pause of at least 30 seconds, any additional actions following the pause count as a separate visit
  • Content Views: The total number of screens or pages viewed within the specified time period (for ads containing one or more screens or pages that are identified as individual views)
  • Content Views/Visit: The average number of content views per visit
  • Video Views: The total number of video plays initiated (for all ads that include video)
  • Video Avg. Time Spent (Sec): The amount of time, in seconds, that the user watches the video (banner ads with video destinations only)
  • Video Completes: The number of times the video has played all the way through (banner ads with video destinations only)
  • Video Completion Rate: The total number of video completes divided by the number of taps (banner ads with video destinations only)

You can’t see where your ad appears i.e. which app/app category/iTunes preference performs unless you create a unique Line per user interest that you want to test. So this omission massively hinders your ability to optimise at granular level.

That’s about all the basics that you may need. Do you want to know anything else? Let me know.



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