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 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 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.
  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) 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 default 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) 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 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.

  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, choose to create an ad variation based on a custom product page you’ve set up in App Store Connect. You can align your custom ad to your ad group theme or audience, and users will be taken to your custom product page when they tap your ad.

    Learn more about ad variations

  14. Click the Create Campaign button.