How Will Google’s App Re-Engagement Feature Improve Your Campaign?

Smartphone AppsPhone apps have become a pretty important part of our everyday lives.

You want to know whether or not it’s going to rain on you during a road trip? There’s a weather app for that. Need to monitor how many steps you take when you power walk in the evenings? Plenty of apps to choose from.

Need a recipe, a definition for a word you’ve never heard of, a date…? No problem – your smartphone’s app store will offer you a variety of options, both free and paid.

According to comScore, in 2014 more people spent more time in apps than they did on desktop computers, and it is estimated that by 2017, mobile apps will be downloaded more than 268 billion times, generating revenue of more than $77 billion and making apps one of the most popular computing tools for users across the globe.

As impressive as these number are, Google has reported that 60 percent of all apps available are never installed, while 80 percent are only ever opened once. It is estimated that the average smartphone user has 36 apps on his or her phone already.

What does this mean for a business with an app and a goal to meet?

It means that people interact with apps when they have a specific use for them or need to solve some issue, and you should be making your app memorable among the competition and as useful as possible for your users.

How Google AdWords Can Help You with This
Google, who has taken note of the mobile app craze, has many fancy tools that can help you make the most out of your mobile app campaign. Some of these include:

  • Developing ads and an app store page. Create ads and an app store page that clearly show how your app can meet people’s needs
  • Promoting your app with a “Mobile app installs” campaign. With this campaign, you can create custom app install ads that run exclusively on phones and tablets. Adwords will even allow you to promote your app to people who are more likely to be customers, based off of their existing app installs and usage. This strategy has been known to increase downloads of a particular app, with some businesses claiming as much as a 30 percent increase in downloads.

    ad promotion

    Google search shot of a mobile ad promotion involving grocery store apps.

  • App Conversion Tracking will help you track that you are accurately tracking and attributing installs. According to Google AdWords, you can measure AdWords performance reliably by installing the AdWords conversion tracking SDKonto your app, which counts only confirmed installs and doesn’t rely on estimation to attribute conversions.
  • AdWords app is now available for you on-the-go. Google announced in early March the release of a new AdWords app (only for Android currently) that allows businesses to access and make changes to their ad promotions on-the-go.

In March, Google also announced it would be enhancing its app promotion features by offering video app promo ads – immersive video ads that highlight how users will interact with your app – and Conversion Optimizer for in-app buyers.

But one feature that interests me most, is Google AdWords’ re-engagement offerings.

Re-Engagement Defined
According to Christina Fournier of More Visibility, promoted re-engagement should be thought of as a gentle reminder that a user already has an app on their device to solve the problem they are currently working on.

Getting a user to install your app is just the first step. Now you must get them to continue using your app. App re-engagement will allow you to direct your ad traffic by way of “deep-links” into an app instead of sending your mobile traffic to a landing page on your website. With app re-engagement, you can send traffic to a specific page within your app.

Why Is The Re-Engagement Tool Good For Business?
This feature will allow for more specific messaging while reaching app users who have more interest in a product or service. Specifically, advertisers will use lists to target specific groups of people, based on how they interact with the app, including those who haven’t used the app recently, those using specific versions and those who took specific actions within the app.

Google also says that these types of ads allow flexibility for counting conversions, bidding and targeting. Likewise, the app helps people complete an activity they already started and can recommend they try out specific features or levels.

Though these features are all well and good, simply having something to remind users that your app is there is probably the top selling point of re-engagement. Google does specify that this type of ad works best for apps with a significant number of downloads, as they work to encourage users who already have the app and have been engaged with it previously.

Re-Engagement for the Future
It can be said that in the SEO realm, web search is still far ahead of app search. Mike Fyall of Wired described re-engagement best when he said “Deep links help us understand the content inside apps so we can categorize them in a smart way.” With deep linking, ads will have the ability to become more meaningful to app users and more effective for advertisers.


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