Create campaigns

How Apple Search Ads Advanced campaigns work

Campaigns are set to run ads either in App Store search results ads or on the App Store Search tab. Depending on your ad placement, campaigns can contain ad groups, audience refinements, 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.

There are a variety of different ways to organize and manage keywords. 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.
  • Know how much you can spend.
  • Sign up for an Apple Search Ads account.
  • Add a valid credit card.

If you’re an agency, please contact us. Agencies that plan to promote third-party apps can have Apple Search Ads accounts set as Agency accounts. Note that your account should be set up by the legal entity that’s invoiced by Apple for all Apple Search Ads Advanced campaigns (and campaign groups) in the account. Don’t create a campaign group if you’re an agency whose client wants to own their account or be billed directly. If your client would like to be invoiced directly, they should create their own Apple Search Ads account and invite you as a user. The Agency setup process can take time and isn’t guaranteed.

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 Run 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 at the top of App Store search results or on the Search tab, at the top of the suggested apps list.

  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 keywords or Creative Sets according to specific themes, it’s a good idea to reference that theme in your campaign name. For example, Brand or Discovery.
    • Set a campaign budget. The amount you set can be increased at any time, but you can’t decrease your budget once your campaign has started. Your ads will run until you exhaust your budget, reach your campaign end date, or pause your campaign.

      Learn more about managing budgets
    • Set an optional daily cap. This will help distribute your spend each day so your budget will last for a specific time period.
  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 default maximum cost-per-tap (max CPT) or maximum cost-per-thousand-impressions (max CPM) bid for your ad group. In search results campaigns, your max CPT bid is the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a tap on your ad. In Search tab campaigns, your max CPM bid is the maximum you’re willing to pay for one thousand ad impressions. Your default max CPT or max CPM bid is set at the ad group level. For search results campaigns, this means the same bid applies across all keywords in an ad group unless you specify a max CPT bid at the keyword level.

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

      Learn more about CPA goals
  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. Refine your audience by device type, customer type, demographics, and location.

    Learn more about audience refinements

  11. Set a start date for your campaign, along with an optional end date.

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

    Learn more about ad scheduling

  13. For search results campaigns, add optional Creative Sets for more ad options that align to your ad group theme or audience.

    Learn more about Creative Sets

  14. Click the Create Campaign button.