If you read my last article, you might be wondering – do I even need an agency to promote my app? If Google, Apple, Facebook and others offer automated advertising robots, why should I pay for an agency to advertise my app, if I can do it by myself for cheaper? That’s a great question, and you can definitely try, however there’s much more to it. For starters, agencies have a better understanding of the advertising world, due to the amount of apps and data that passes through them on an ongoing basis. Moreover, agencies have a direct access to various advertising channels, influencers and more.
What do Agencies do?
With all of the above, agencies can better allocate and direct the efforts and funds, and choose the correct combination of the different Universal App Campaign (UAC) types. These are the types of UAC on Google:
- UAC Max installs: The classic UAC, CPI bidding, optimizes towards installs. No surprises here, it’s the UAC we all know and use, and aims for the largest target audience
- UAC Installs Advanced: CPI bidding, optimizes towards users who are more likely to complete in-app event you choose. Based on their algorithm, Google knows to target people who are more suited for your app
- UAC Actions: CPA bidding, bidding on the cost per action, in which the main difference is moving from installs to action. This type puts the focus on in-app events such as registration or deposit, and the payment is done only once this pre-set action is complete.
- UAC TBD: We know of a few very interesting UACs that are in the making, and working with an agency can get you beta access.
As you can (and often should!) run several campaigns simultaneously, you need to be able to monitor them all at the same time, in order to know which ones are succeeding and which ones are not, and thus re-allocate the funds as they progress. Again, this is based on the KPIs and real-world live events that the agency can better understand and respond in real-time.
Following the same reasoning, an agency can be more scientific in comparing the metrics to other apps of the same category, best analyze the industry in which the app is operating and set the initial bids for UACs. This part is crucial; you need to invest enough money in order to bring as many quality users as possible, without spending all the money at once. Furthermore, the agency knows how to measure the UACs and the ad assets inside for Ad Rank, CPA, ROAS, ARPU, ARPPU, etc. and optimize accordingly.
Budget and planning
An agency can help plan how many installs to expect, based on the planned Life Time Value of the users. This can be determined after a thorough research that includes all parts of the users’ behavior, stats and history. With all the information in hand, the agency can advise and create an optimized plan, taking all factors into consideration, not only to the expected new installs, but also to build an in-app conversion funnel.
Creative teams within agencies have a lot of added value, which can make a real difference in the app’s digital appears. First of all, making different types of materials for various clients keeps the creative teams “fresh”, often more so than the app’s in-house people. The second factor that can make a difference is that access to wide AB tests. Agencies can know better what works and what doesn’t; which creative orientation (landscape, portrait, square) and which dimension for each creative. These factors, coupled with a good agency ad asset optimization, can increase performance far beyond the regular “set-and-forget” UAC capabilities.
Agencies can consult on which in-app event (registration, payment etc.) is the best indicator of high Life Time Value and retention, and thus how to optimize towards the KPIs based on the app’s life cycle.
To Agency or Not to Agency?
The agency’s experience is a valuable asset. Google’s new advertising world order didn’t get rid of the agencies – it only differentiates between advertisers. The one type which believes that Google’s power is absolute and therefore “the machine can figure it on its own”, and the other, which appreciates the agency’s experience and added value. At the end of the day, it’s all about performance – we find that in most cases with significant budgets, working with an agency far exceeds its fee and brings a better ROAS. With the rise of machine learning ad campaigns, we’ll see more and more advertisers trying to keep their advertising activity in-house, only to discover that even Google needs some help sometimes.