5 New Features from Google, Updates to AdRules, and Our New Google Premier Partner Status

Google App Campaigns launched five important new Google features that will change the way user acquisition managers do their jobs. Here’s how they can help you increase ROAS and save more time.

 

New Google Features

 

1. Creative Uploading

UA managers can now upload videos and images for their Google App Campaigns directly to their own dedicated media library.

 The benefit: No more excuses about not being able to find the right file for a new ad group or campaign. And no more having to upload the same file over and over. All creative assets can now live within your own App Campaigns’ media library.

2. Asset Reporting

Monitor the performance of individual creative assets including videos, images, ad copy, and playable at the ad group level.

 The benefit: If you’re into creative testing (and you should be) this information is gold. You can now easily see which assets are helping your ROAS and which assets are hurting it. And because creative is the best competitive differentiator advertisers have now, the more insight we can get into how creative assets are performing, the better.

3. Value Bidding

Facebook advertisers have been able to use value bidding, aka “target return on ad spend” for a while. Now App Campaigns advertisers can optimize their campaigns this way as well.

 The benefit: Spend less time managing bids and automate bid management without needing access to expensive third-party tools. Note that this is yet another small step toward advertising automation. More in a moment about how this should change the way user acquisition managers spend their time.

4. Similar Audiences

This is Google’s term for what Facebook advertisers call Custom Audiences. Whatever you call it, Google’s App Campaigns now lets advertisers find new users similar to their existing users.

 The benefit: Once again, this is a move toward automation – we’re letting the algorithm go find people similar to our best customers. And if you’re careful about how you define who your best customers are, the algorithm can do an excellent job. Finding similar audiences is also, of course, a way to extend the life of your top-performing creative.

 Pro tip: We’ve found these new Similar Audiences can be particularly effective when they’re paired with Value Bidding.

5. Ad Groups

Advertisers can now set up multiple ad groups within the same campaign and then tailor the assets in each ad group around a different “theme” or messaging strategy for different customers.

The benefit: Put the right message in front of the right people without making your campaigns and ad group structures overly complicated. Simplified campaign structures will become increasingly important as the algorithms continue to do more and more campaign management. In fact, Facebook recently came out and expressly recommended advertisers use a simplified campaign structure.

 All these new features are good news for advertisers. Google is giving UA managers sophisticated tools to manage their campaigns and to streamline their campaigns and their work. The teams at Google are not going to sit back and let Facebook steal their market share. 

How UA Managers Should Use Their Time Now That the Algorithms Are Taking Over

We don’t advise user acquisition managers to sit back, either. Even if it is summer. Facebook and Google are moving toward more and more automated campaigns. And with this latest round of new Google features, the platforms are getting even more sophisticated.

For us, it’s an interesting evolution. A year or more ago, it was Google that stepped in and made something of a black box out of app advertising automation. Now they’re stepping back from total automation a bit, giving UA managers more control and more information.

And this is all happening only a few months before Facebook’s massive new change: mandatory Campaign Budget Optimization for all campaigns (unless you use a tool like AdRules; then you’ve got until September 2020 to still run your campaigns without CBO).

So Facebook started its automation journey by incrementally taking control away from advertisers. And Google started out by basically taking all control away. Now, Google’s giving back some more control, and Facebook is taking control away.

We believe the two superpowers of app advertising will eventually find a middle ground between human-managed campaigns and fully automated advertising. That will probably happen around Q1 or Q2 2020… which is not all that far away.

If you’re a UA manager, and that just sent a shiver down your spine (“pink slip coming, ETA Q1/Q2 next year”), stay calm. The automation isn’t going to put you out of a job – if you can pivot the right way.

Increase ROAS with New Google Features

Instead of spending all the hours you used to spend managing bids, managing budgets, and managing media buying, let the algorithms run all that. You, as a human, can’t crunch the numbers at the speed the computers can.

Let the computers do what they do best. It’s time for humans to switch over to what we do best. And that is… creative.

Facebook and Google still haven’t figured out how to automate creative. They can’t really even automate creative testing yet. Maybe someday they will, but that day hasn’t come. And they definitely aren’t good at analyzing competitive creative, or at generating new break-out, 100x creative concepts.

So take all the time you used to spend with bids and budgets and media buying and shift it to creative. Odds are, you aren’t spending even 2-3 hours a week monitoring and analyzing your competitors’ ads. So shift from bid edits and go do that. Or even better, spend 4-8 hours a week monitoring and analyzing competitor’s ads, and even ads from outside your industry. This research can result in blockbuster new creative concepts – the type of 100x ads that rocket ROAS.

Also, put more time into creative testing. This is the secret sauce for better results in 2019. It’s probably one of the highest return on investment actions any business can take – in any department, for any business goal. Creative testing beats out almost everything else when it comes to ROI.

So if you’ve been spending three hours a week on testing, double that. Then double it again. And if you’ve been spending ten hours testing – double that. Then try to double it again. No matter who you are, or how much creative testing you’ve been doing, do more. It’s the single best way to boost ROAS right now.

Before We Go…Learn How We Support the New Google Features

Here at Consumer Acquisition, we’ve got a few new changes, too. Namely, we’ve upgraded our AdRules tool so it supports all of Google App Campaigns’ new Google features. Creative Uploading, Asset Reporting, Value Bidding, Similar Audiences, and Ad Groups – all those cool new tools work in AdRules.

adrules tool

We are also proud to announce our new status as a Google Premier Partner. This makes us one of only two Google North American Creative Partners and Premier Partners. It’s a privilege to gain this much trust from a company and a platform we admire so much.

google features

Google’s New App Campaign Features Supported By Consumer Acquisition’s AdRules Platform

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — August 13, 2019 — ConsumerAcquisition.com, a Google Creative Partner and Premier Partner, today announced that its AdRules self-service platform now supports Google App Campaigns new features: Value Bidding, Similar Audiences, Ad Groups, Media Library, and Asset Reporting. AdRules works in parallel with Google and Facebook’s platforms helping to automate repetitive tasks. Giving mobile app advertisers the ability to easily upload and analyze creative assets across Facebook and Google. Also, giving them the ability to quickly generate thousands of audiences, build and launch ads, and adjust budgets. Starting today, Google and Facebook advertisers can leverage AdRules for 60 days free. Then pay only 0.7% of spend for any connected account.

Brian Bowman, CEO of Consumer Acquisition, said, “Google is continually enhancing the features of its App Campaigns to provide advertisers more control and better ROAS. And we’ve expanded our AdRules platform to offer these new features. We are excited to release support for creative uploading, asset reporting, value bidding, similar audiences, and ad groups in AdRules. In addition, we offer the most affordable rate in the market so advertisers of any size can use our platform to simplify their Facebook and Google advertising.”

Alexander Potichnyj, Director of Marketing with Checkout 51, said: “Consumer Acquisition has been a true partner in helping us scale our user acquisition efforts through Google’s App Campaigns. AdRules makes it fast and easy to do creative testing and the integration with Google’s platform makes them the obvious choice when it comes to optimizing our campaigns. Their platform is all about delivering performance and I would recommend AdRules to any company that would like to grow their business.”

Google is reinventing its App Campaigns with several new features launching this month.

Consumer Acquisition is currently supporting:

  • Creative Uploading: easily upload videos and images directly into a dedicated media library for Google App Campaigns
  • Asset Reporting: asset reporting of videos, images, ad copy, and playables available at the Ad Group level

Coming soon, Consumer Acquisition will support the following:

  • Value Bidding: Facebook advertisers have been able to use value bidding, aka “target return on ad spend” for a while. Google App Campaigns advertisers will now be able to target this way as well.
  • Similar Audiences: In a similar vein to Facebook’s Custom Audiences, Google App Campaigns will now let advertisers find new users similar to their existing users powered by Firebase. Pairing this new feature with value bidding could radically improve return on ad spend (ROAS).
  • Ad Groups: Advertisers will be able to set up multiple ad groups in the same campaign and tailor the assets in each ad group around a different “theme” or message for different customers.

With these new features in Google App Campaigns, advertisers are expected to receive even better results. Similar to Facebook advertising, creatives will be the primary driver of performance. Even with Google’s AI and its ability to optimize creative elements for different placements and users, it’s essential to provide the algorithm a constant supply of creative assets. AdRules’ workflow automation capabilities provide advertisers with the most efficient way to source creative, upload, test, and iterate new creative concepts. The platform seamlessly integrates with Google’s media library for running App Campaigns.

 

Google Premier Partner Badge

In addition to today’s AdRules news, Consumer Acquisition also announced that it has been awarded a Google Premier Partner Badge; making Consumer Acquisition, one of just two Google North American Creative Partners and Premier Partners. Google’s App Preferred Creative Partner program is a highly selective program. It is designed to help customers identify the highest performing and most reliable companies. Which are based on their Google App Campaign and creative needs. According to Google, “Achieving Partner status means that your company has demonstrated Google Ads skill and expertise. In addition, your company met Google ad spend requirements and delivered company agency and client revenue growth. Also, while sustaining and growing your client base.” Premier Partners are held to an even higher standard. They must demonstrate expert-level AdWords knowledge and performance in order to achieve this badge.

To learn more about Consumer Acquisition, visit www.consumeracquisition.com

 

About Consumer Acquisition

Founded in 2013, Consumer Acquisition provides a creative studio, fully-managed user acquisition, and SaaS tools for Google App Campaigns and Facebook social advertisers. We have managed over $1.5 billion in social advertising spend for the world’s largest mobile games, apps, and performance advertisers. For more information, visit www.consumeracquisition.com

Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.

Google® is a registered trademark of Google LLC.

Media: Press@ConsumerAcquisition.com 

Google App Campaign Partner Badge

Facebook Power5: New Best Practices for Facebook Advertising in 2019

Facebook advertising has changed. It’s time advertisers changed with it. Let’s learn more about Facebook Power5.  

Over the last few years, Facebook’s advertising algorithm has gotten so much better at automating campaign management that it can now easily outperform a human manager.

The change has come through a series of updates, best practices, and new features. Following all those changes one by one can make the evolution of this platform seem complex and even overwhelming. But once you step back, and use a new framework to understand the new Facebook, it all makes a lot more sense. 

Here’s a detailed look at the new Facebook Power5.

 

Facebook Power5

Facebook’s new “Power5” set of advertising tactics is that framework. It distills all the current best practices of social advertising and incorporates all the key changes that have happened over the last few years. So if you’ve been asking yourself, “What do I have to do to make Facebook work in 2019?”, this is the answer.

 

The Facebook Power5 is made up of these five advertising tactics:

 

  • Auto Advanced Matching
  • Account Simplification
  • Campaign Budget Optimization
  • Automatic Placements
  • Dynamic Ads

Here’s a quick explanation of each tactic, and how it can drive better results for user acquisition campaigns:

 

Auto Advanced Matching

You’re only as good as your tracking. 

User acquisition managers live and die by how well they can track their campaigns. They have to track every click, know where every sale comes from and set a value for each action. And while today’s advertisers have better tracking tools than their predecessors could ever dream of, tracking is still an imperfect science. 

Auto Advanced Matching makes it much more accurate. Once you’ve turned Auto Advanced Matching on, Facebook can use data you’ve collected on your website (like email addresses) to find lookalike audiences across their user base. 

But that’s not all AAM can do. It adds more data parameters to each action, and each person tracked, so tracking is far more accurate than other solutions. This helps you manage your campaigns better and usually results in significantly better ROAS because you can more accurately pinpoint where your results are coming from. 

 

Account Simplification

Facebook’s simplified campaign structure can make your account go from looking like this:

To looking like this:

That doesn’t save you from naming all those Ad Sets – the real benefit of a simplified campaign structure is that Facebook’s advertising algorithm can manage all the tests and settings you used to manage with dozens (maybe even hundreds) of ad sets. So you can let the algorithm handle all that complexity. You just tell it the results you want, and let it run.

If you’re hesitant to let go of all your carefully constructed campaigns and Ad Sets, we get it. We used hundreds of campaigns and Ad Sets ourselves until February of last year, when Facebook rolled out their Best Practices update. But after that change, tests started to show it was more effective to just hand this optimization work over to the AI. With the simplified campaign structure, campaigns also get put into “Learning Mode” less often, which saves a lot of ad spend. And campaigns become more likely to hit their target CPA goals. 

Want to learn more about Facebook’s Simplified Campaign Structure? See our blog post, “Facebook Ads Keep Evolving. See Facebook’s NEW Simplified Campaign Structure Recommendations!

 

Campaign Budget Optimization

Campaign Budget Optimization is a best practice now, but you’ve got less than two months before it becomes mandatory. Facebook will switch most campaigns over to CBO as of September 1, 2019. If you’re not using one of their API tools (like our AdRules tool), your campaigns will automatically be shifted over to CBO. And any new campaigns you create will use CBO, too. 

Fortunately, once you know how to use it, CBO is great. You just need to pick smart goals, give it enough creative elements to do its thing, and get used to having a few hours of free time every week. 

Learn more about Campaign Budget Optimization in our blog post, What Marketers Need to Know About Facebook’s Campaign Budget Optimization

 

Automatic Placements

Smart advertisers know the right placement can make the difference between success and failure in a campaign. So they test placements every chance they can get. 

Trouble is, there are 14 possible placements across Facebook’s current ad inventory. Testing all those placements takes a lot of time and blows through a lot of ad budgets… unless you’ve got a world-class advertising algorithm to do it all for you in the background. 

Which is exactly what automatic placements can do. So not only do you have less work to do, but you’ll also get better results. Nice

Dynamic Ads

Relevancy is one of the power laws of advertising. Relevant ads – ads that are aligned with consumers’ interests – will always crush the performance of irrelevant ads.

Facebook’s Dynamic Ads leverage that relevancy power law. They let you show ads that feature whatever products people have looked at on your website or in your app.

To use Dynamic Ads, upload your product catalog and set up a Dynamic Ads campaign. After that initial setup, your ads will continue to run without any intervention. Any time someone has been on your website or in your app and looked at products there, the Dynamic Ads campaign will automatically show ads that feature those specific products to that specific visitor. You can manage any pricing, availability, or product updates for your ads by updating your product catalog.

According to Facebook, Dynamic Ads have increased click-through rates by 280% and reduced CPAs by up to 60% for some advertisers. So this is definitely worth a test.

 

Conclusion

It’s time to change how you’ve been advertising on Facebook. Thanks to the platform’s machine learning algorithm, user acquisition managers can now step back from certain parts of campaign management. 

This doesn’t mean anyone is out of a job (yet). It just means it’s time to shift gears and put more time into things only humans can do, like creative development and competitive analysis. 

Of course, there’s still a need for humans to supervise the machines. Many of the day-to-day tasks of campaign management can be automated now, but the overarching strategy of user acquisition still requires people – smart people. People who can see where advertising is headed, and pivot as quickly as the algorithms evolve. 

Google App Campaigns: 8 New Tools & Tricks You Need to Succeed

There are digital advertising channels, and then there’s Google App Campaigns. The platform is a breed apart in many ways. It does most of the heavy lifting for advertisers, from building ads to automating routine tasks to fine-tuning campaigns. It also offers unbeatable reach. 

The only thing Google App Campaigns won’t do is design creative elements (images, video, and HTML5), which it wisely leaves to humans.

This summer, Google App Campaigns will start to look a bit more like Facebook in terms of what advertisers can do to tailor their bidding, creative, and targeting. Below, we’ll explain how you can take full advantage of these new features to optimize your user acquisition campaigns.

 

3 New Google App Campaigns Features Designed to Enhance Return on Ad Spend

Coming July 2019, these new features will allow user acquisition managers to tailor their campaigns even more and ensure the best possible use of their ad spend. 

1. Value Bidding

Value bidding, or target return on ad spend (tROAS), has been available to Facebook advertisers for some time. With this new Google App Campaigns feature, you’ll get more value out of your ads by paying more for users who will likely spend more and paying less for other users. You’ll also be able to set multipliers for tROAS bids so you can target users who are likely to spend at least twice the cost of acquiring them. If your daily budget is $200 and tROAS is 20%, your goal is to get about $40 of value from your ads.

2. Similar Audiences

This is similar to Facebook’s Custom Audiences, which allows advertisers to target new users who are similar to existing users. Google App Campaigns will use machine learning to update similar audience lists in real time. Pairing this feature with value bidding could radically improve your return on ad spend.

3. Ad Groups

An ad group features multiple ads with similar target audiences. Soon, Google App Campaigns will allow you to create multiple ad groups as part of a single campaign, with each ad group promoting a different theme or message for distinct customer groups.

 

Ensure Google App Campaigns Success with These 5 Best Practices

Getting started with Google App Campaigns is easy. The hard part is knowing how to maximize ROAS. It’s a complex equation with many variables: strategic priorities, timing, value targets, creative quality, and more. These expert tips will help you lay the foundation for a winning campaign.

1. Deploy Ads Before You Launch

Start building your user base before launch day. Google App Campaigns’ pre-launch campaign tool allows users to register before an app is available and sends push notifications when the app is ready to download.

This is an excellent tool that delivers big returns: higher D1 and D7 install volumes, 38% conversion to install on average, and higher conversion than with external pre-registration sources.

Google App Campaigns Daily Installs Graph

2. Refine Your Google App Campaign Bidding Strategy

With a target CPA (tCPA) bidding strategy, you can maintain a set cost per acquisition while still getting as many conversions as possible. AI will automatically optimize your bids, but you can tailor your bids with auction-time bidding.

Here are a few things you’ll need to consider before setting a CPA/CPI bid or making any changes.

Consolidate all campaigns to snap to Google App Campaign best practices and separate campaigns according to:
  • Country Tiers (US, T1, ROW)
  • Language (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean)
  • Mobile OS (iOS, Android)
  • Bidding strategy (tCPA, tROAS)
Set bids early in the day.

This will allow you to be competitive, but you’ll also have room to begin tapering the bid down once your campaigns have achieved enough event volume each day.

Start tCPA bidding at a minimum of 10X.

This will let you ramp up your campaigns quickly. Also, test a bid-to-budget ratio of 20X once you’ve got some campaign history established. 20X bids will often show stronger performance.

Set CPI budget caps at 50X the target.

If you’re running a CPI (cost-per-install) campaign, bids should start around $4-$5. Aim for that even if your CPI goals are lower.

Cluster your budgets.

If you can’t increase your daily budget, try clustering your budgets together into a single campaign. You’ll want to make sure your tCPA campaign bids start around 20–30% higher than your ultimate goal.

Cluster your markets.

Markets, tiers, languages, and other factors should inform how you structure your campaigns and campaign strategy. That said, if you’re starting with a small budget, it’s helpful to combine ad campaigns if they are in one language and have low bids. You’ll have a higher bid-to-budget ratio, along with more events firing every day. You can also control delivery a little better.

Use caution when changing target bids.

If you have a smaller budget, keep bid changes small. Don’t change target CPA/CPI bids more than 20% in 24 hours until the campaign is generating 40-50 targeted in-app events per day.

Geo expansions can wait.

You need to prove success in Tier 1 markets before uncapping your budgets. As you increase your bid-to-budget ratio over time and get closer to 20X, you can begin to consider expanding your reach.

3. Be Generous with Creative Elements

Now that Google App Campaigns’ AI-enabled features have leveled the playing field and made so many ad tech products unnecessary, creative is the new battleground for developers. We’re proud to be a Google App ads creative partner dedicated to making world-class creative affordable and scalable for every budget.

To take full advantage of Google’s owned and operated (O&O) inventory on display (YouTube, Google Play, etc.), you must add images to your campaigns. But images alone won’t be enough. You’ll also need video assets and HTML5 creative. Your best bet is to create a balance between still ad images and videos, which will help balance out your ad spend.

Google App Campaigns Asset Portfolio GraphGoogle App Campaigns Creative Asset Mix

Google’s algorithms can optimize the best placements for your ads across multiple channels, such as Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, and the Google Display Network. You can feed your campaigns by maximizing your asset coverage.

Here’s how all those different ad creative formats can be distributed.

Google App Campaigns Creative Ad Formats

You can add up to 20 of each of the following assets:

Structure and Testing

Consolidate your creatives into top-performing Ad Group to snap to Google AC best practices

  • Testing all dimensions (Square, Portrait, Landscape, Vertical)
  • Re-test Headline/Description copy extensively

And, test creatives using video-only and text-only Ad Groups and scale to top-performing Ad Groups.

Video

The importance of video can’t be overstated. Adding just two videos to the asset mix usually results in a 25% increase in conversions. Don’t skimp on portrait videos, either: when advertisers use portrait rather than landscape videos, we typically see a 60% increase in conversion rates.

If you don’t have videos to add, Google App Campaigns can make a video ad for you using assets from your app store listing. To create your own videos using still images, follow this step-by-step process.

Here are some essential rules and tips for video use.

      • Videos must be hosted on YouTube.
      • Orientation can be landscape, portrait, or square.
      • Make videos that can “flex,” or work regardless of how a user holds their device.
      • Build creatives that show the app, not people. Many top-performing ads do not show people at all, or only show hands using a phone.
      • Design videos that highlight the app experience rather than tell a story. Most top-performing ads show a direct experience of the app action itself or a quick demo of the app’s capabilities.

Images

In our experience, we’ve found that certain image characteristics perform better than others (simpler backgrounds, primary colors, authentic/user-generated photos, etc.).

      • Upload images as .jpg, .gif, or .png with a maximum size of 150KB.
      • For native ads, landscape is the most valuable format.
      • For interstitial ads, portrait is the most valuable format.
      • Other valuable formats include 320×50 pixels, 320×480 pixels, and 300×250 pixels.
      • Click here to learn how to upload image ads in different sizes.

HTML5

Google recommends using Google Web Designer to create HTML5 assets for campaign use. 

      • Upload HTML5 as .zip (maximum size 1MB) containing no more than 40 files.
      • To validate your HTML5 assets before uploading, run your .zip file through the HTML5 Validator tool.
      • HTML5 sizes currently accepted include 480×320 (landscape interstitial, variable size); 320×480 (portrait interstitial, variable size); 300×250 (fixed size); and 320×50 (fixed size).

4. Run Multiple Formats Continually for Maximum Reach

App Campaign Performance

According to Google, there are three ways to kick app campaign performance into high gear: landscape images, landscape video, and portrait video, all run continually for the greatest possible reach. Using this strategy, advertisers can simultaneously achieve creative excellence and maximize app campaign results. 

Be sure to focus on the top image dimensions to ensure Google App Campaigns are serving across all networks.

      • 320×480 (portrait interstitial)
      • 480×320 (landscape interstitial)
      • 300×250 (square)  
      • 1024×768 (tablet)
      • 768×1024 (tablet)
      • 1200×628 (landscape image)
      • 728×90 (leaderboard)
      • 320×50 (banner)
      • 320×100 (banner)

Google App Campaigns Components of Success

5. Make User Retention a Priority

User acquisition may be the name of the game, but user retention is often an app’s biggest profit engine. Google App Campaigns’ latest updates make user retention campaigns easier than before. Use automated, cross-channel, tCPA product targeting to encourage users who’ve already downloaded your app to come back and engage again.

 

The Leading Success Factor: Google App Campaigns World-Class Creative at Scale

Google App Campaigns were good before: easy to use, expansive reach, and the power of AI to manage and optimize campaigns. Its AI’s ability to assemble and reassemble pieces of creative for different placements and platforms has made the user acquisition manager’s job easy. 

With new features like value bidding, similar audiences, and AI-driven audience selection and ad placement, we expect advertisers will see even better results with Google App Campaigns—as long as they focus on developing top-quality creative.

To learn about what it takes to produce world-class creative at scale, and how surprisingly affordable it can be, check out our Creative Studio

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