A universal app campaign was launched by Google two years ago, in order to make it easier for developers to easily promote their iOS and Android apps across its various platforms, rather than setting up different campaigns for search and Google Play.
For instance, UAC with a few lines of text, images and their bid can be used by developers, after which they'll allow the service to handle the rest of the work depending on what they want to optimize their campaign for. It can be for in-app conversions, app installs, etc.
A very big thanks to Google's advances in machine learning. That Google is moving all app install campaigns to UAC over the rest of this year, has turned out to be such an effective service. All new app install campaigns created in AdWords will run on UAC from October 16th, while all existing Search, Display and YouTube app promo campaigns will stop running from November 15th.
According to Google, more than 6 billion installs has been delivered so far to developers. That is a huge increase compared to the 2016 statistics that was offered, which stood at 2 billion installs. Google also said that UAC already delivers more than 50 percent of all app downloads from ads today, and that the machine learning algorithms that power the service analyze more than 300 million potential signal combinations in real time. Which means that the service searches for signals such as where people are looking at an ad, and what they are likely trying to do, for example.
The most important thing is the good performance of these campaigns. UACs bring 140 percent more conversions per dollar than the company’s regular app campaigns. Hence, it's not surprising that Google is doubling down on this campaign type.
The major advantage of UAC is allowing developers to not only optimize for app installs, but to also optimize for in-app engagement and lifetime value. This is because, for many developers, it is now less about having low-value installs, but about making sure that the users they get want to make a purchase, book a hotel room or subscribe to their service.
It is argued by Google that its algorithms know enough about potential users to allow it to automatically optimize when and where it shows a developer’s ads to bring the right users to the app.
“Having entertained over 1 billion people to-date, at Zynga we’re focused on creating games that are designed to entertain consumer audiences over the long-term while delivering strong operational efficiency. As such, our User Acquisition strategy has evolved to focus on bringing in players who will become part of our forever franchises, including games like Zynga Poker and Words With Friends, which are 10 and 8 years old, respectively," Kimberly Corbett, Zynga’s VP of User Acquisition, said about her company’s use of UACs.