Google doesn’t provide many levers to pull in their machine learning-based Universal App Campaigns (yet), so it’s important to take control of the areas you can adjust. Before launching a UAC campaign, there are two main components you need to consider: setting the right campaign type for your business goals and creating quality content.

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Matching Your Goals to Campaign Settings

UAC campaigns will deliver on app installs if given enough targeting freedom and budget, but there’s probably something more you want from your app users than a simple install. Whether you want them to sign up for a free trial, complete another level of a game, make a purchase, or give you additional lead information, there’s a UAC campaign type for you. If you have multiple business needs, you can run multiple campaign types to target different actions in tandem.

There are three campaign types to pick from:

1. Installs: This campaign type is based on a target cost per install and optimizes for as many installs as possible within your targeting. You’ll get the most install volume from this campaign type.

2. Installs Advanced: This campaign type is similar to the previous one in that the algorithm optimizes towards installs and runs on a target cost per install. The main difference is that this campaign type optimizes for installs from users who are more likely to perform a specific in-app action that you set, based on their previous behavior with other apps. You’ll likely receive less install volume, but the users you do get may be more profitable for your business depending on your goals. In order to run this campaign type, you’ll need to set up a third party tracking solution.

3. Actions: This campaign type optimizes directly for actions within your app and runs based on a target cost per action. For the algorithm to properly optimize, Google recommends that you have more than 20 completions of your targeted action a day for the last 30 days (or 600 per month). Before using this campaign type, you may want to start with Installs Advanced to see if you can reach this volume of completed actions. Similar to Installs Advanced, you’ll need to set up a third party tracking solution to run this campaign type.

Creating Content That Matches Your Goals

Once you know your goal and have matched it to the proper UAC campaign type, it’s time to create content that matches what you want to achieve. Consider that this may be the first time a potential user has ever heard of your app and brand. What is going to be appealing enough for them to click away from whatever they were originally doing and download your app? If you’re able to create ads that gets them to that point, pat yourself on the back!

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If you have chosen a goal beyond just app installs, it’s time to go deeper with your content. You need assets that will get users to actually open your app and make that action. That’s a lot to ask from someone who has only seen one static image or two lines of text. This is where video comes in. Video provides you with a chance to grab your audience’s attention, teach them about your app, and convince them to go all the way to taking an in-app action.

There are three main components to keep in mind when creating UAC video content:

1. Hook Your Audience: People respond best to videos of people. Showcase someone using the app and how it solves their problem, entertains them, etc.

2. Tell Them Exactly What To Do: Make sure your call to action is clear and put it near the beginning of the ad.

3. Sizing: If video is your highest quality content, you will want to make sure your ads can show across the Google Display Network, YouTube, and the App Store. Make sure to create versions of your video in square, portrait, and landscape dimensions so that it can show on more ad inventory. Only square and portrait videos can show in the App Store, and since GDN and YouTube inventory tends to be more expensive, you’ll likely see cheaper CPCs from running these video sizes.

Strategically picking your campaign type and content based on your end user goal will give Google’s algorithm the best chance at finding the perfect audience for your app. Even with Google’s machine-learning algorithms, the optimizations don’t stop here. If you’d like more expert help on mobile app advertising, talk to our team.