Create campaigns

How Apple Search Ads Advanced campaigns work

A campaign is set up to run ads in one of several ad placements on the App Store: On the Today tab, on the Search tab, at the top of search results, or across product pages while people are browsing apps. Depending on your ad placement, your campaigns may contain ad groups, audience settings, bids, and keywords, which you select based on your goals for the campaign. Campaigns, ad groups, and keywords can be duplicated, paused, and reactivated at any time. You can create as many campaigns as you need, and can remove unwanted or obsolete campaigns or ad groups from your account any time. Keep in mind that once you remove a campaign or ad group, it can’t be restored or modified, and all ads for that campaign or ad group will stop running.

Note that product page ads aren’t currently available on the App Store in mainland China.

There are a variety of different ways to organize and manage keywords in search results campaigns. Before you begin creating search results campaigns, take a look at our best practices for how to structure them and organize keywords within them.

See campaign structure best practices

Prepare to start your first campaign

  • Have your Apple ID associated with your App Store Connect account ready.
  • Have an app live on the App Store.
  • Choose the countries and regions where you want to promote your app. Note that in some countries and regions — like Brazil — your app’s metadata must be translated into the default language of the country or region where your campaign will run.
  • Know how much you can spend.
  • Sign up for an Apple Search Ads account.
  • Add a valid payment method.

If you create a campaign before adding a payment method, your ads will automatically start running when a valid payment method is added to your account, unless you set your campaign status to Pause. To prevent a campaign from automatically running after creation, set its status to Pause during campaign creation then change the status to Running when you’re ready to start it, or schedule a specific date upon which you’d like it to start.

Tip: Get a head start on reaching the
right customers.

If you want to cross-promote to users of your other apps and add them as an audience customer type, make sure to use the Apple ID associated with your App Store Connect account when you sign up for Apple Search Ads.

How to create a campaign

  1. From the Apple Search Ads Advanced Campaigns dashboard, click the Create Campaign button.

  2. Choose the app you want to promote.

  3. Select where your ads will run. You can either promote your app on the Today tab, on the Search tab at the top of the suggested apps list, at the top of App Store search results, or across product pages when users browse apps. Note that product page ads aren’t currently available on the App Store in mainland China. To advertise an app on the App Store in mainland China, your business and app must be approved. Additional requirements also apply, and may vary depending on the ad placement.

  4. Choose one or more countries or regions where your campaign will run.
 Note that if you plan to advertise in multiple markets, you may want to consider grouping similar countries and regions in one campaign for easier management. Group them according to attributes like customer value, customer profiles, language, global region, or sales or financial center location.

  5. Click Continue.

  6. Apply campaign settings:

    • Name your campaign. If you want to organize search results keywords or ad variations according to specific themes, it’s a good idea to reference that theme in your campaign name. For example, Brand or Discovery.
    • Set a daily budget. Your daily budget is the average amount you want to spend on your campaign each day over the course of a month. Your monthly spend won’t be more than your daily budget times the average number of days in a calendar month — which is calculated as 30.4 days. On days with opportunities to get more downloads, your spend may exceed your daily budget. Your campaign will continue to spend every month based on your daily budget, unless you pause it, remove it, or set an end date. If you don’t set an end date, your campaign spend will automatically extend to each new month based on your daily budget amount.

      Learn more about managing budgets
    • Schedule your campaign. Start your campaign immediately or set a date and time in the future, if preferred. You can also set an end date and time. This is an optional setting that can be changed before the end date is reached.
  7. Create an ad group:

    • Name your ad group. If you’re creating a search results campaign, it’s good to align your ad group name with a keyword theme.

      Learn more about ad groups
    • Set a maximum cost-per-tap (max CPT) bid for your ad group. Your max CPT bid is the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a tap on your ad. Because your max CPT bid is set at the ad group level, the same bid will apply across all keywords in a search results ad group unless you specify different bids at the keyword level.

      Learn more about bids
    • If you’re creating a search results campaign, you can add an optional cost-per-acquisition (CPA) cap, or the amount you ideally want to spend to acquire one customer.

      Learn more about CPA caps
  8. For search results campaigns, turn Search Match on or off.

    Learn how Search Match matches your ad to relevant searches

  9. Choose ad group keywords for search results campaigns. When an App Store customer types in a relevant search query that includes one of your keywords, your ad could appear.

    Learn more about keyword selection

  10. For product pages — while browsing campaigns, you have the option to refine the app category in which your ad runs. Choose to run your ad across all app categories, or show your ad only on product pages in app categories like yours or only in app categories different from yours.

  11. Set your ad to appear to all eligible users, or you can optionally modify audience settings to focus on particular device types, customer types, demographics, and locations. Keep in mind that adjusting your settings will narrow your audience and limit impressions.

    Learn more about audience settings

  12. Set a start date for your ad group, along with an optional end date. Note that your start date can’t be before the campaign start date and your end date can’t be after it.

  13. Specify the times and days of the week your ads will run, if you have a preference.

    Learn more about ad scheduling

  14. Preview or create your ad. For Today tab campaigns, you’ll need to assign a custom product page you set up in App Store Connect as your ad’s tap destination. Assets from the custom page you select will animate in the background of your ad, and will appear in a color from your app icon.

    Learn more about Today tab ads

    For search results campaigns, you have the option to use your default ad or create an ad variation based on a custom product page you set up in App Store Connect. You can align your custom ad to your ad group theme or audience.

    Learn more about ad variations

  15. Click the Create Campaign button.