Under the Radar

Under the Radar 49: App Store Search Ads


00:00:00   welcome to under the radar a show about

00:00:02   independent iOS app development I'm

00:00:04   Marco Arment and I'm David Smith under

00:00:07   the radar is never longer than 30

00:00:08   minutes so let's get started

00:00:09   so last week Apple launched App Store

00:00:12   search ads finally after we first heard

00:00:14   about them in June now they are launched

00:00:16   they're running and you can buy them and

00:00:18   we have and we like to share our

00:00:20   experience with that and I think we've

00:00:22   had I've had a lot of questions from

00:00:23   developers about just what some of the

00:00:25   terms mean with what you're buying

00:00:27   they're reporting that you get from the

00:00:29   App Store search ad system so I thought

00:00:31   first we go over a quick introduction to

00:00:33   the basic terminology of buying and

00:00:36   selling ads on the Internet

00:00:38   and this will lead into specifics about

00:00:40   the App Store search ads so first you

00:00:43   know I wanted to first go over some very

00:00:45   basic stuff so what is you know things

00:00:47   like impressions taps conversions so

00:00:50   very very basically here I'll try to go

00:00:51   through this relatively quickly an

00:00:53   impression is just how often an ad is

00:00:54   shown it's one showing of an ad to one

00:00:57   person click or tap that's obvious and

00:01:00   then a conversion is when somebody who

00:01:03   has clicked on or tapped on that ad then

00:01:06   does what the advertiser wanted so

00:01:08   usually it's buying something in a store

00:01:09   or it's like creating signing up for a

00:01:11   new account on a site or a service or in

00:01:14   the case of search ads for apps

00:01:15   installing the app so that is the

00:01:17   conversion is you know and ads are

00:01:19   priced in different ways one of the most

00:01:22   common kind of the baseline is CPM which

00:01:24   stands for cost per Mille a which is the

00:01:27   French word for a thousand which I'm

00:01:28   probably mispronouncing it basically

00:01:30   cost per thousand impressions so caught

00:01:33   how much you pay per thousand people who

00:01:35   see the ad the CPM model strongly favors

00:01:39   publishers generally in like where it

00:01:42   places the risk if I'm showing the ad

00:01:44   and somebody sees it but they decide not

00:01:46   to click on it or they decide not to go

00:01:48   through and buy it who bears that cost

00:01:50   of somebody seeing the app but just the

00:01:52   ad not working with CPM the publisher

00:01:55   gets paid regardless of whether the ad

00:01:56   has has you know worked it does however

00:01:59   have some weird incentives it

00:02:01   incentivize the publishers to put as

00:02:02   many ads on screen at spot as possible

00:02:05   that's why you have pages that are

00:02:06   absolutely full of ads there's also kind

00:02:08   of no guarantee that that people are

00:02:10   actually really seeing it like it's

00:02:12   showing some way

00:02:13   err and there's kind of no relation

00:02:15   between what the advertiser is paying

00:02:18   and how interested the viewers are in

00:02:21   the ad or whether they even saw it so of

00:02:23   course this also creates high fraud

00:02:24   potential you can kind of set up like

00:02:26   big farms and and things to generate

00:02:29   fake impressions or impressions that are

00:02:31   just from BOTS or from things that will

00:02:32   never lead to anything so then there's

00:02:34   kind of this middle ground cost per

00:02:35   click or tap CPC advertising is kind of

00:02:38   in the middle it kind of splits the risk

00:02:41   between publishers and advertisers you

00:02:43   know the publisher is paid when they

00:02:46   deliver interest to the ad their payment

00:02:48   somebody clicks on the ad but then it's

00:02:50   kind of up to the advertiser to turn

00:02:52   that click into a sale if they if they

00:02:55   can with this there is still fraud

00:02:57   potential that's that's fairly fairly

00:02:59   significant you know it kind of

00:03:01   incentivizes publishers to place ads or

00:03:04   they're gonna be accidentally clicked

00:03:06   there's not a very high cost to generate

00:03:09   fake clicks through BOTS and farms and

00:03:11   stuff and then the third kind of ad

00:03:13   payment is CPA this is cost per action

00:03:16   or acquisition and that's kind of

00:03:18   translated as cost per sale basically or

00:03:20   cost per conversion this strongly favors

00:03:23   the advertiser in the relationship this

00:03:25   kind of places all the risk of whether

00:03:27   the ad will work or not on the

00:03:28   publishers you know the publishers are

00:03:30   not gonna get paid unless somebody

00:03:32   actually not only clicks on the ad but

00:03:34   goes and downloads the app or creates an

00:03:36   account or makes a sale there is very

00:03:39   low potential for publisher fraud here I

00:03:41   mean you could theoretically like and

00:03:43   I'm sure people do create farms and

00:03:45   people to go buy things for stolen

00:03:47   credit cards or to go install apps on

00:03:49   fake accounts aren't fake devices but

00:03:52   this is a lot more involved than just

00:03:54   like you know basic click fraud or

00:03:55   impression fraud if you are if you are

00:03:57   buying the ad as an advertiser you

00:03:59   generally want this last method CPA

00:04:01   because you're only paying if somebody

00:04:03   actually buys your app or creates an

00:04:06   account under site or whatever else and

00:04:07   commit you know makes a sale on your

00:04:08   site that's ideal for you as the

00:04:10   advertiser because first of all it'll be

00:04:12   easier to figure out what to pay because

00:04:14   you'll know what you'll make and also

00:04:15   just kind of you don't really take any

00:04:17   risk there you know the risk of a

00:04:18   thousand people clicking on your ad and

00:04:20   then none of them buy anything you're

00:04:22   not bearing that risk because you're not

00:04:23   paying for people who don't buy anything

00:04:24   right so

00:04:25   as a buyer of ads you want CPA as a

00:04:28   seller of ads whether you're running a

00:04:30   website or running a store front that

00:04:32   has search ads in it or if you're

00:04:34   running a podcast pockets worked this

00:04:35   way too as a seller of ads you want CPM

00:04:38   because you want to be like well I

00:04:40   delivered a bunch of people who who were

00:04:42   exposed to your ad the rest is up to you

00:04:44   so CPC the cost per click or tap is kind

00:04:49   of the compromise nobody really loves it

00:04:50   there are still problems with it but it

00:04:52   is probably the most pragmatic

00:04:53   compromise between them in most cases

00:04:55   and then there are just a few little

00:04:57   terms you might see around that are

00:04:58   useful to know here eCPM which stands

00:05:01   for effective CPM is when you are paying

00:05:04   per click or per action you you

00:05:07   basically just divide it out by the

00:05:09   number of impressions so it tells you

00:05:11   roughly what you are earning per

00:05:13   thousand page views or impressions or

00:05:15   whatever or what you're paying per

00:05:17   thousand pages impressions even if

00:05:18   you're not paying per impression

00:05:20   technically you'll see on apples reports

00:05:22   for this you'll see terms like CTR or

00:05:24   TTR this is a click-through rate or tap

00:05:27   through rate

00:05:28   TTR is one of the last columns in the

00:05:30   search ads you will see it if you do

00:05:31   this that stands for tap through rate

00:05:33   which is the percentage of impressions

00:05:35   of the ad that result in taps on the ad

00:05:38   and then see are at the very end of

00:05:40   Apple's report see R stands for a

00:05:42   conversion rate so this is the

00:05:43   percentage of clicks on the ad that

00:05:46   result in installations of the app or

00:05:49   sales or whatever else that's it for the

00:05:51   basic give anything to add for that no I

00:05:53   mean I think the important thing I

00:05:55   though to keep in mind with all of this

00:05:56   stuff is that like this type of

00:05:59   advertising is usually it's this like

00:06:02   this is basically a numbers game where

00:06:04   you the purpose of the advertising is to

00:06:07   drive people to do something that the

00:06:09   advertiser wants and the way you do that

00:06:12   is you know you have these didn't they

00:06:14   call it a funnel is the fancy term for

00:06:17   it so if you ever see that's like a

00:06:18   sales funnel or something that's where

00:06:19   it's coming from but it's it starts off

00:06:21   where you cast this very wide net which

00:06:23   is where you start to get into the

00:06:24   impressions a sight of thing it's like

00:06:26   you just say you throw something out to

00:06:28   thousands of people and then a certain

00:06:30   subset of those will pay attention to

00:06:33   that and a smaller subset of that of

00:06:35   them will take some action as a result

00:06:37   of that

00:06:38   and then perhaps an even smaller set

00:06:39   will actually do the the final thing

00:06:42   whatever that is that's download the app

00:06:44   in this case and so all of the terms and

00:06:46   things are all about trying to

00:06:47   understand that that process and in many

00:06:51   ways it's just a numbers game at a

00:06:55   certain point that obviously each person

00:06:57   who's deciding whether or not to click

00:07:00   on an ad is making a choice and

00:07:01   obviously but from a you know the

00:07:04   holistic perspective there are far too

00:07:05   many people making far too many choices

00:07:07   for that to be something you could

00:07:08   really think about and that's why you

00:07:09   tend to roll it all up into these you

00:07:12   know you don't think about a impression

00:07:13   you think about thousands of impressions

00:07:15   gives you a sense of the kind of scale

00:07:17   that this process tends to work in and

00:07:19   that's why I'm gonna get advertising is

00:07:21   so numbers based is just you know it's

00:07:24   not really it's not that same thing of a

00:07:26   sales thing where you're making a cook

00:07:28   you know making a cold call to a person

00:07:30   in trying to have a direct interaction

00:07:31   you are just blasting out ads to all

00:07:35   kinds of different people in the hopes

00:07:36   that a small and a small subset of those

00:07:39   people will find what you're doing

00:07:40   interesting and that's why that's it's

00:07:42   so data-driven and it's just I can tell

00:07:44   like that's most of advertising is this

00:07:46   this kind of dialing things around to

00:07:48   try and hit the point where you're

00:07:51   making money but not losing money or

00:07:53   getting the you know if you have a

00:07:55   target for the number of acquisitions

00:07:56   you have you can work out well how many

00:07:58   impressions do I need to generate that

00:08:00   amount of interest and it's all kind of

00:08:01   just you know damn multiplying and

00:08:03   dividing with these kind of numbers all

00:08:05   right so moving on to specifics about

00:08:08   the Apple search ads first of all it's

00:08:11   important to understand how the pricing

00:08:12   works this is it's priced in a way

00:08:15   that's known as a Vickrey auction or a

00:08:17   second-price auction this is exactly the

00:08:19   same way that Google AdWords works as

00:08:21   far as I know or at least you know in

00:08:23   the ballpark and it's also if you ever

00:08:26   bought anything on eBay it is very

00:08:27   similar to how standard eBay auctions

00:08:29   work basically the highest bidder for a

00:08:32   certain keyword or whatever the highest

00:08:33   bidder for that keyword wins and gets

00:08:36   their ad shown and pays but they only

00:08:38   pay the amount of the second highest

00:08:41   bidder on that ad so you basically bid

00:08:44   what's the most you're willing to pay

00:08:46   for this keyword and so if you bid $0.50

00:08:49   and someone else bid 25 cents you

00:08:51   we'll win the auction but you'll only

00:08:53   pay 25 cents or some incremental thing

00:08:55   over the 26 cents or you know whatever

00:08:56   it is this actually is very favorable to

00:08:59   the to the buyer to the advertiser

00:09:01   because you only pay just enough to win

00:09:05   the auction but no more than that so

00:09:07   anything else that's between that and

00:09:09   your bid you guys get to keep that money

00:09:10   that that's your surplus there are some

00:09:12   big limitations in the Apple search ads

00:09:15   that other advertiser systems don't

00:09:18   necessarily have or don't usually have

00:09:19   one of the biggest ones is that you

00:09:22   don't have a lot of control over the

00:09:24   look and content of the ad itself the ad

00:09:28   is kind of these fixed format things

00:09:30   that Apple has it has your apps title it

00:09:33   has your app store description does it

00:09:35   does it have star ratings I think it

00:09:37   does right in the example when it does

00:09:39   on the in the search portal it shows the

00:09:43   rating but I've seen some in the app

00:09:45   store that don't and some that do so I

00:09:47   don't know if it includes it or if it

00:09:49   only includes it and if it has a certain

00:09:50   number of ratings or if there's

00:09:52   something more going on there but it may

00:09:54   or may not include your star rating

00:09:56   right so it's basically it basically is

00:09:59   like a tiny version of your app store

00:10:01   entry of your search entry so title like

00:10:04   the first line of the description

00:10:06   sometimes screenshots sometimes star

00:10:09   ratings and one of the problems with

00:10:11   this is that you as the as the

00:10:13   advertiser you don't really have a good

00:10:15   way to a/b test anything so like if you

00:10:17   want if you want a B test two different

00:10:20   description lines there and see like

00:10:22   which one generates more tap throughs or

00:10:24   more clicks or more sales the only way

00:10:26   you can really do that is to change your

00:10:28   description every so often but then like

00:10:30   you can't test those at the same time

00:10:32   with the same impression so it's it's a

00:10:34   little it's a less scientific test it

00:10:35   makes it harder to to know what is an

00:10:38   effective description or whatever

00:10:40   fective screenshots to show there or

00:10:41   whatever else you know again you can

00:10:43   test them just by changing them but then

00:10:44   that changes them everywhere and you can

00:10:46   only do that within a certain you know

00:10:48   time granularity so it's not a great

00:10:51   test yeah and I think it's also probably

00:10:53   good point to point out there that what

00:10:54   you're doing the what you're showing is

00:10:56   the same thing that you'll show on your

00:10:58   app store page

00:10:59   and so you could potentially imagine

00:11:02   wanting your ads to be geared towards a

00:11:06   particular demographic or type of

00:11:08   customer that is more specific than your

00:11:12   generalized app store page which is

00:11:16   something that we can't do and you know

00:11:18   so you could imagine you're having a can

00:11:19   add that you were running on a website

00:11:21   that's geared towards a very a fan of a

00:11:23   very particular thing or a particular

00:11:25   style you're just try different colors

00:11:28   see what people like but it whereas what

00:11:30   we have here is just whatever you kind

00:11:33   of have that you're doing for your

00:11:34   general purpose app store description is

00:11:36   the same thing that will be shown here

00:11:37   and so that's you know it's nice and

00:11:41   that it's less there's less work for us

00:11:43   to do I suppose yeah that actually is

00:11:44   really nice like I didn't have to come

00:11:46   up with a creative for this I think this

00:11:48   is a fancy if you ever are in marketing

00:11:50   and they call it like get me your

00:11:52   creative the creative ideas like the the

00:11:55   picture or the text or whatever it is

00:11:57   that you want to put in the ad but yeah

00:11:59   we have nothing to do with that it

00:12:00   should be no in many ways Apple is

00:12:01   making it appear it looks just like a

00:12:04   regular search result and so just

00:12:06   whatever you put in there is what's

00:12:07   going to show up and so your app you you

00:12:09   have to make sure that you're appealing

00:12:10   you know it's appealing both as a search

00:12:13   ad as well as appealing as a search page

00:12:18   that dholtze me that they're gonna go to

00:12:19   and look at in the app store which is

00:12:21   probably good practice anyway sure are

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00:14:27   all right so now that we've discussed

00:14:29   kind of you know ad basics and a few

00:14:32   things that make the app store ads a

00:14:34   little bit different let's talk about

00:14:35   the actual process of buying app store

00:14:37   ads for your app the first obvious

00:14:40   question here is how do you know what

00:14:43   you can pay per tap so so app store ads

00:14:46   are billed per tap as I mentioned

00:14:47   earlier they're different different

00:14:48   methods how much you can pay per tap of

00:14:52   course depends on a lot of things

00:14:53   what is your app cost or how do you make

00:14:55   money what is the average amount of

00:14:57   money that you make per new user and and

00:15:01   of course then like you know how how do

00:15:03   you translate between the number of taps

00:15:06   on your app store page or your ad and

00:15:08   how many people will actually install

00:15:11   the app and make you money so this is

00:15:14   obviously easiest for paid apps paid

00:15:16   upfront apps where you know that every

00:15:19   installation of the app will get you X

00:15:21   amount of money don't forget apples

00:15:23   Commission okay you know look at that

00:15:25   look at you X amount of money

00:15:27   and then you just have to figure out how

00:15:29   many views on my App Store page does it

00:15:31   usually take to make one sale and this

00:15:34   is very easy to find in iTunes Connect

00:15:36   analytics there's there's a bunch of

00:15:38   ways to do this and people have found

00:15:40   out in the various graphs and stuffs

00:15:42   will be linked to that in the show notes

00:15:42   was a good blog post about it basically

00:15:45   paid apps is fairly easy if your app is

00:15:48   not paid upfront you have to figure out

00:15:49   basically what is the average amount of

00:15:51   money you stand to make from somebody

00:15:53   who installs your app and that is not

00:15:56   necessarily straightforward depending on

00:15:57   how you make your money

00:15:59   it is certainly doable and you probably

00:16:01   have better bracer than I do don't you

00:16:02   sure I mean this is probably one of the

00:16:04   harder things that I've been trying to

00:16:06   work through recently is the under is

00:16:07   especially for a lot of my apps that

00:16:10   make their make their money from

00:16:11   advertising in so it's it's this big

00:16:14   video this big fantastic circle of

00:16:16   advertising is enterprising to get it to

00:16:18   get someone to download the app to show

00:16:19   them ads to give me money so that I can

00:16:21   buy more ads and you know that the cycle

00:16:23   continues but for them it's much more

00:16:25   complicated because yes there's no

00:16:27   upfront one-time purchase it's you know

00:16:30   that person who you know I'm paying for

00:16:33   a tap a certain number of people who tap

00:16:35   will then install the app they will then

00:16:38   use the app at a particular for a

00:16:40   particular a number of you know I'm out

00:16:41   of time which is if you're looking at

00:16:44   your analytics you're looking for

00:16:45   something called retention which is

00:16:47   showing you you know roughly how what

00:16:50   percentage of users will continue to use

00:16:52   your app after a particular time you

00:16:54   know so if you had say a 30 percent

00:16:57   retention after 30 days that means 30

00:16:59   days after someone downloads it there's

00:17:00   a good chance that they are continuing

00:17:02   to use it so you can kind of get a sense

00:17:04   of how often they'll use it then you

00:17:06   have to work out how many sessions they

00:17:08   typically do per day of those sessions

00:17:11   how many impressions you're showing on

00:17:12   your ad network and then you work out

00:17:15   that from there how much revenue you get

00:17:16   per impression and so on and so you it's

00:17:19   much more inaccurate and you know I've

00:17:22   been trying as best I could over the

00:17:24   last you know a couple weeks as such as

00:17:27   became a thing to try and really get a

00:17:28   good number for my apps but at this

00:17:30   point I just kind of have a vague

00:17:32   estimate of like it costs I get maybe

00:17:34   this much per user and I'm just kind of

00:17:37   basing my advertising on that because I

00:17:39   think it's also probably worth pointing

00:17:40   out

00:17:41   well it's the most straightforward way

00:17:43   to price this is just in the sense of

00:17:44   you know if I pay a penny less then I

00:17:48   make from that user for the ad then I'm

00:17:52   making money but you could also just

00:17:55   view it as a marketing expense that

00:17:56   certain kinds of marketing you're just

00:17:58   trying to get people interested in your

00:18:00   application and exposed to it and kind

00:18:03   of it's more I guess what you'd call

00:18:04   brand advertising that you're I'm glad

00:18:07   we're you we can worry less about it and

00:18:09   you know and certainly some of my

00:18:11   experience early on that's kind of what

00:18:12   I'm doing I'm just kind of curious to

00:18:14   see how inexperienced what it costs to

00:18:16   get users and thinking in some ways that

00:18:19   you know having my app in more people's

00:18:22   hands will have a bigger impact down the

00:18:25   road then they're not and it may not

00:18:27   necessarily match up one-to-one in terms

00:18:29   of you know I paid 25 cents I made 26

00:18:33   cents so I'm good it may be that I'm

00:18:36   paying overpaying by you know 10 cents a

00:18:39   user which isn't sustainable necessarily

00:18:41   in a direct sense but it may be if that

00:18:44   those extra downloads are broadly make

00:18:47   you know helping your app you know from

00:18:50   an exposure perspective so it's Tiffany

00:18:52   it's really tricky thing to work through

00:18:54   but you know you just kind of have to

00:18:55   sit down in your analytics whether

00:18:57   that's you know something like fabric

00:18:59   that you're using which is what I use

00:19:00   and I think what you use is or iTunes

00:19:03   Connect analytics can do a lot of this

00:19:04   for you as well

00:19:05   and you just kind of have to sit in you

00:19:07   take the numbers put it into Excel and

00:19:09   you do some crunching to see what makes

00:19:11   sense for you yeah I mean you know thing

00:19:13   to think about is like how what

00:19:14   percentage of your new users come

00:19:16   through clicking adds because like you

00:19:18   know if you're thinking that like you

00:19:21   make 25 cents per user but you know 10

00:19:25   percent of your users come from clicking

00:19:27   ads and the rest come from other ways

00:19:28   then like you actually might be able to

00:19:30   bid a lot more than what that is to get

00:19:32   those users you know and again it

00:19:33   depends on like what are your priorities

00:19:35   are your priorities to get more users to

00:19:37   spread it wider and then you know to me

00:19:39   maybe reap the rewards of that down the

00:19:40   road with just a wider bigger user base

00:19:42   and word-of-mouth marketing like there

00:19:44   or you know or do you really need to

00:19:45   care about like absolutely minimizing

00:19:48   cost of acquiring these users to begin

00:19:49   with and there's every app will be

00:19:51   different in this way what you know your

00:19:52   needs your priorities these will all be

00:19:54   different

00:19:54   and it really depends a lot on your app

00:19:56   and how much you stand to make per user

00:19:58   really and this is actually one thing

00:20:00   that I think this is actually helpful in

00:20:02   this new environment because III think

00:20:04   this will make people think about their

00:20:06   business models a little bit more and

00:20:07   maybe charge more money and charge

00:20:09   higher prices for apps that really that

00:20:11   that that can earn it that deserved the

00:20:13   higher prices so I think this actually

00:20:15   might help raise App Store prices as

00:20:17   people figure out you know it would be

00:20:19   really a lot better if I could bid on

00:20:20   these keywords and be a little more

00:20:22   competitive on the ad side but in order

00:20:25   to do that I have to charge a real price

00:20:26   for my app or I have to have some kind

00:20:28   of recurring revenue scheme or something

00:20:29   like that so ultimately I think this

00:20:31   might actually help ad pricing

00:20:32   substantially yeah or at the very least

00:20:34   it'll help I think it's definitely been

00:20:36   a constructive exercise for myself to

00:20:38   have to try and put a dollar amount on

00:20:41   each user yeah which it for someone who

00:20:44   loves numbers as much as I do is

00:20:45   something that I've never really done

00:20:47   and so it's definitely been a

00:20:48   constructive thing - if forcing you to

00:20:51   think down sit down and actually be like

00:20:53   okay what is a customer worth to me and

00:20:57   to put that into a number because even

00:20:59   beyond advertising that's a very useful

00:21:01   and important thing I think to

00:21:03   understand because even when you're

00:21:04   thinking about things like customer

00:21:06   support or things like other support

00:21:10   expenses or server hosting or things

00:21:11   where you if you can put your a number

00:21:14   on what a user is worth monetarily to

00:21:17   you then you can probably make more

00:21:19   informed decisions about the other

00:21:20   things that are involved in that are

00:21:22   costs for running an app yeah all right

00:21:25   and then I figure we spent our last few

00:21:26   minutes talking about keywords you know

00:21:28   what keywords do you bid on how you know

00:21:30   what do you buy what what do you bid

00:21:32   against apples and apples implementation

00:21:34   here is a little bit restrictive in that

00:21:36   they even mentioned this during the

00:21:38   during the the introduction of this that

00:21:41   if Apple does not deem the keywords that

00:21:43   are being searched for relevant to your

00:21:46   app and that's relevant by whatever

00:21:48   internal standards they're using that's

00:21:50   kind of a black box to us but basically

00:21:52   if Apple does not deem keywords relevant

00:21:53   to your app your ad will not be shown

00:21:55   against those keywords no matter what

00:21:56   you're going to bid on it which is

00:21:58   interesting for example like one of the

00:22:01   things I decided a bid on an overcast

00:22:03   sad campaign was some terms related to

00:22:05   the word

00:22:06   I do because podcasts are kind of like

00:22:08   listening to the radio and so I want to

00:22:10   kind of get those people to and all of

00:22:13   those if you look at their horse those

00:22:14   all have zero impressions and so it

00:22:16   seems obvious that Apple does not deem

00:22:18   the word radio relevant to my app and so

00:22:22   even if I'm willing to pay that's I

00:22:24   can't get those key words and this you

00:22:27   know so this is this is actually this is

00:22:29   probably a good thing so what it means

00:22:30   is like I couldn't bid against something

00:22:33   like Twitter or Instagram for overcast

00:22:35   to try to you know cash in on big search

00:22:37   terms that aren't actually relevant to

00:22:38   my app at all but also that means that

00:22:40   all of us small indie developers we

00:22:42   can't all be outbid in every single

00:22:44   category by things like clash of clans

00:22:47   and like casinos like apps that make

00:22:48   tons of money per user to the point

00:22:50   where they're willing to spend whatever

00:22:51   whatever it takes to even get users who

00:22:53   are searching for podcast apps because

00:22:54   they don't care it's it's a user as a

00:22:56   user to them and they they make so much

00:22:57   money they can do that so this basically

00:22:59   makes that impossible and it kind of it

00:23:01   kind of gives people a more fair chance

00:23:03   of their ads being shown in categories

00:23:06   that are not that hotly contested for

00:23:08   things like you know high profit games

00:23:09   if you actually make a game well that

00:23:12   might be harder but I'm sorry about that

00:23:14   I don't any harder for you anyway though

00:23:16   that's actually true your upside is

00:23:21   generally higher but it's harder to get

00:23:23   it anyway there's also this big question

00:23:26   about whether to bid on your competitors

00:23:29   app names and and we've had some

00:23:31   discussions on Twitter here and there

00:23:32   about this but my my position on whether

00:23:35   I've been in competitors names is yes

00:23:38   you should do it and that's just part of

00:23:39   the game and your competitors are gonna

00:23:40   bet in your name too and that's just

00:23:42   part of the system and that in general

00:23:44   it not only should this be considered

00:23:46   like you know unnecessary side of this

00:23:48   but I wouldn't even call it like a

00:23:49   necessary evil I'd call just a feature

00:23:51   of his system because you know you're

00:23:53   thinking you know if you're offended by

00:23:55   the idea of competitors bidding on you

00:23:57   you're probably thinking of bigger

00:23:59   competitors bidding on your apps name

00:24:01   but if you think about it the other way

00:24:03   you can bid on bigger apps names and

00:24:06   that is more powerful because that you

00:24:08   think like you know like one of the

00:24:09   biggest podcast apps out there is

00:24:10   stitcher right and and I'm I bid on

00:24:13   stitchers name B and I've gotten click

00:24:14   throughs and installs based on that

00:24:15   because I even if somebody's not

00:24:18   searching for overcast

00:24:19   irrelevant it's it's a perfectly valid

00:24:21   alternative in my opinion it's a lot

00:24:23   better alternative obviously and so I

00:24:26   can get users that are searching for my

00:24:28   competitors apps who are bigger than me

00:24:30   and that is that is a very kind of

00:24:32   freeing opportunity that I have it like

00:24:34   that that's a grab from you take

00:24:35   advantage of so if you think about it in

00:24:37   that direction I think it makes a lot of

00:24:39   sense why they allow that and that's

00:24:41   that's just part of that like all

00:24:43   advertising kind of works that way

00:24:44   that's I think that's part of the game

00:24:45   and I think that's a fair game and if

00:24:47   you decide that you don't find that

00:24:50   ethical that's fine you don't have to do

00:24:52   it but but i think i think standard

00:24:55   practice is going to be almost

00:24:57   everyone's going to do that so if you

00:24:58   don't do it you're probably gonna miss

00:25:00   out on some some pretty good sales

00:25:04   opportunities there sure I mean it's

00:25:06   also probably worth saying that the way

00:25:08   Apple's system works and this is

00:25:10   actually to your point about relevancy

00:25:12   if you're curious what Apple thinks is

00:25:13   relevant to your application the easiest

00:25:16   way to do it once you have been running

00:25:17   a campaign for a little while is to just

00:25:19   go into there the you sort of if you tap

00:25:22   down a little bit into your campaign

00:25:23   you'll get the breakdown of where what

00:25:26   your impressions are by keyword and many

00:25:29   of those keywords won't be things that

00:25:30   you put in they'll just be terms that

00:25:33   Apple thinks are relevant and so at a

00:25:35   high level I like I'm in my mind if it's

00:25:38   on one of those if it's in that list

00:25:39   that Apple is doing they're automatic

00:25:43   matching with then that's probably

00:25:45   roughly the universe of what Apple

00:25:47   thinks is relevant to me so if you're

00:25:50   kind of curious with that relevancy is

00:25:52   and the reality is in that list with me

00:25:55   putting nothing into it I'm seeing the

00:25:57   names of my competitors apps because

00:25:59   Apple knows that they're very relevant

00:26:01   like the in many ways the most relevant

00:26:04   results are when someone is very

00:26:06   specifically looking for an application

00:26:08   that is very similar to yours and I

00:26:11   think like you said it's just that is

00:26:13   just the nature of the app stores that

00:26:15   it's very competitive it's very um I

00:26:18   wouldn't cut throats the wrong word but

00:26:20   like that's the reality is that we were

00:26:21   you know we were competing for a very

00:26:23   limited number of of users attention and

00:26:26   so if it's like just not doing it like

00:26:30   not then just like don't buy ads be

00:26:33   and don't go down sort of into this road

00:26:35   because the nature of what we're doing

00:26:37   here is we're just paying money to get

00:26:39   Ateneo to pull the attention away from

00:26:41   something else because whatever was

00:26:42   gonna be the organic first hit there you

00:26:45   know this is what we are now pulling

00:26:47   money away from by buying it and that's

00:26:49   maybe kind of weird but that's the

00:26:51   reality that's the system that Apple's

00:26:52   building and if this is the marketplace

00:26:55   in which we want to work and operate

00:26:56   then I think taking full advantage of

00:26:58   that as best we can is serve the

00:27:00   responsible appropriate thing for us to

00:27:02   do yeah exactly

00:27:04   and I would say like the the biggest

00:27:07   takeaway I have is you know you might

00:27:09   have some idea of what you can pay what

00:27:11   things will cost how effective ads will

00:27:13   be but nothing beats actually trying it

00:27:16   and Apple made it is really easy on us

00:27:18   because they sent everybody $100 promo

00:27:21   credit and I don't know if all new

00:27:22   accounts will get that or if only the

00:27:24   existing dev accounts got it last week

00:27:25   but the hundred promo credit is awesome

00:27:28   because you couldn't you use get $100

00:27:30   worth of free advertising and that can

00:27:31   be your cap and that can be it so you

00:27:33   couldn't literally get free ads and then

00:27:35   learn the data from those ads you can

00:27:37   learn what keywords are working you can

00:27:39   learn what your average cost per tap or

00:27:41   your average cost per installation ends

00:27:43   up being and that can further inform

00:27:45   what you do if you don't get the free

00:27:47   promo credit or if you want to go past

00:27:48   that you can actually learn a lot with

00:27:50   not that much money relatively speaking

00:27:52   to the cost of computers and developer

00:27:54   accounts and developing apps and stuff

00:27:56   like if you want to put in 50 bucks a

00:27:58   hundred bucks that seems like a lot of

00:28:00   money into a lot of people but if you

00:28:02   put that in there you will get so much

00:28:04   data out and you will find out like

00:28:06   really what these things are what these

00:28:08   things do for you what they cost and

00:28:09   that's true of all advertising like

00:28:11   nothing beats just trying it and a lot

00:28:14   of times like you know a lot of times

00:28:15   you won't learn you can theorize as much

00:28:17   as you want you can you can run

00:28:19   theoretical numbers but you have to just

00:28:21   try it and sometimes it doesn't work out

00:28:23   and that's kind of the risk you take by

00:28:24   trying it but usually it and if you can

00:28:27   make enough money per user of your app

00:28:29   to to cover what these things tend to

00:28:32   cost and like it like my my cost per tap

00:28:35   is in like the 20 cent range right now

00:28:37   and it's going down as everyone's promo

00:28:39   credits run out so to give you some idea

00:28:41   what you might be paying what might be

00:28:43   spending here

00:28:44   you know if you can figure out how to

00:28:47   make that work for your app just try it

00:28:49   and and just and see what it does for

00:28:51   you

00:28:52   this is now just part of the it part of

00:28:55   the reality of working in the App Store

00:28:56   and so you got to try it put some money

00:28:58   into it and understand that sometimes

00:29:00   it's like I've put our money into

00:29:01   advertising and it kind of feels I'm

00:29:03   just throwing money away and in some

00:29:05   ways maybe that's the case I'm not doing

00:29:07   it right but the reality is just the

00:29:09   cost of doing business and you owe it to

00:29:11   yourself if you take your business

00:29:12   seriously to at least try it I think and

00:29:15   understand it rather than just just

00:29:17   counting it out of out of hand

00:29:19   exactly all right well we're out of time

00:29:22   this week thank you everybody for

00:29:23   listening and we'll talk to you next

00:29:24   week bye