NEWS – Apple Search Ads Creative Sets

Ohad Galitz

Careful reading this – because these news are HOT! On May 29th Apple rolled out a new feature to their Apple Search Ads Advanced platform – drumroll – Creative sets! The new feature was long awaited for by advertisers working on this platform (We would still like to see campaign-group level reporting and bulk editing *cough* *cough*). Essentially, it gives us, the advertisers, control on the ads themselves. However, like most good things, even this new tool isn’t lacking problems, or more correctly – limitations.

The Limitations

  1. Only screenshots that have been uploaded to the store can be used. In other words, in order to refresh creative materials and ads you must push a new app update.
  2. The order in which the screenshots will be uploaded to the App Store will dictate the available order of creatives in the Creative Set, which is not necessarily what we want. The ability to mix and match in any way best suited for you, as well as to test different ad combinations, is crucial to advertisers in determining which are working best and should be kept alive, and which we can and should take down.
  3. Perhaps the biggest difficulty when working with this new tool is the reporting feature. As it is not possible to see a combination of creative and the relevant keywords together, it becomes nearly impossible to know what works best on the keyword level.

The new feature will enable advertisers to better control the creatives as possible in other platforms (albeit with lots of limitations), and help to increase the CTR and CVR (TTR and CR in Apple lingo), by using more targeted creatives for each campaign/ad group.

The ASO Aspect

Creative sets can also assist with App Store creative A/B testing, i.e. not through 3rd party solutions such as Storemaven or Splitmetrics. To date there wasn’t an option to test App Store creative assets with organic search traffic, similar to the option to test on Google Play through its Experiments module. While not designed to be an A/B test tool, creative sets opens the ability to gain unique insights into App Store user behavior, not to mention the ability to test the performance of creative per keyword, an option which isn’t available on Google Play Experiments.

All in all, we should be thankful as we got a great new tool, which will enable us improve our targeting, get better App Store ranking and allow us to optimize our creative ads, making more scientific decisions. We hope this is the first step in Apple allowing advertisers more control over the ads they run, coupled with more data for better decision making for app marketers.

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