AdWords Targets Mobile App Market with New Mobile App Download Ad Format

ads for apps

Google has rolled out a new “click-to-download” ad template that makes it easier for people to find and install mobile apps, directly from a Google search listing page on your mobile device. The new ad format allows users to download a mobile app from iTunes or the Google Play Store with just one click from a search listing on their mobile device. The new ad template is part of the Enhanced Campaigns roll-out, which should be available to all AdWords accounts by now.

The mobile app market is a huge, fast-growing market with over 700,000 Android and iPhone apps today. In fact, the mobile app industry is believed by some estimates to be a $30 billion market in 2012 – which is an utterly remarkable statistic considering this industry didn’t even exist 5 years ago! Google appears to have noticed this too, and so they’ve rolled out this new ad template to solve for this common advertising use case.

How to Advertise your Mobile App on Google AdWords

Advertising your mobile app in Google is easier than ever. To create a “Click-to-Download” ad in your AdWords account, navigate to the “New Ad” button and click on the “App / Digital Content Ad” option, as illustrated below. This only works for enhanced campaigns.

click to download ad

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Next, pick the App Platform, Android or iOS. (Sorry, Microsoft and Blackberry users/developers, your phones are not supported at this time!)

Once you’ve picked the app platform, you can then search for your app in the respective app store (Google Play or iTunes). Type in the name of your app, click “Look up app,” then pick the app that you’re trying to promote.

adwords click to download

Next you just type out the headline and description for your ad. Google will show you an ad preview to give you an idea of how your app download ad will look like on a tablet and on a mobile phone.

mobile app marketing

As you can see, the new app download format prominently features your mobile app’s icon, and a green link to the app download page, both of which are sure to drive additional attention to your listing and drive more app installs.

The Click to Download Ad: It Just Works

The new click to download ad format is a huge step forward in ease of use in comparison to the previous way of doing this, and is part of Google’s master plan to make ads smarter and more responsive to user context. When I talked to Surojit Chatterjee this week, he explained:

Previously there was no easy way to do this. Now you put a URL to iTunes or Google Play, we’ll figure out if it works on tablet or mobile, then we’ll only show the ads to the right people. So, if you have an iPhone app, we’re not going to show that ad to an Android user or on a tablet if it can’t run on a tablet. We’ll automatically figure it out. We also have better ad formatting than before. Most of the App developer use cases seem to be nicely handled. 

New Mobile App Ad Extensions, Too!

In addition to the launch of the Click to Download ad format, Google has also released a new Mobile App Extension, which lets app marketers deep link to a specific page within their mobile app, right from the ad.

To create a Mobile App Extension, go to the “Ad Extension” tab, then select “App Extension” as shown in the following screenshot:

mobile app download extensions in adwords

For example, a user who already has your app installed can be brought to a specific section inside your mobile app, and could complete a conversion inside your app.

Mobile App Advertising Made Simple

If you’re an app developer, particularly if you’re launching a new app, you need to invest in getting some credibility in terms of a large number of installs and reviews so that everyone looking for your type of app picks your app from the list. Alternatively, if you already have a big number of installs and reviews, you could employ this advertising as a way to get even more reviews and downloads and prevent competing apps from ever having a chance.

In summary, the new app download ad format is a simple, powerful, effective way to get people to find and use your mobile app right away. Upgrade to enhanced campaigns and so you can start taking advantage of this format now!

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