December 8, 2021

Mobile Action Webinar Wrap-Up: Decoding iOS 15

How custom product pages, in-app events, product page optimization, and changes to Apple Search Ads will change things for your apps

Apple’s iOS 15 is live and in the wild, and for advertisers and developers, there’s a suite of exciting new features — some of which are still rolling out. yellowHEAD was honored to contribute to a talk from industry leaders in App Store Optimization and User Acquisition. Headed by Yusuf Barutcu, User Acquisition Advisor at MobileAction, yellowHEAD’s Sr. ASO Account Manager Chen Ofir joined Roy Yanai, Head of Product at AppsFlyer, and Laura Krivetskaya, Sr. ASO Manager at Product Madness to talk in-app events, adaptive strategies, and more in iOS 15.

You can watch the entire webinar right now, but here are some of the highlights:

Jump to a section…

In-app events

Custom product pages

Product page optimization

Apple Search Ads

In-app events

Late October 2021 saw Apple introduce in-app events to the App Store, limited-time events that can add new functionality to an app, and are highlighted on the app’s product page. These can be competitions, premiers, livestreams, and more — and they provide an invaluable opportunity to both capture new users and pull old ones back in.

In-app events can massively increase app installs and engagement thanks to the addition of exciting new visual and interactive elements. Creating compelling in-app events will require collaboration between multiple wings of any business: User Acquisition will have to partner with Product and Creative in order to generate compelling events and showcase them as strongly as possible.

In-app events have enormous potential to increase the visibility of your app through a number of avenues. The event will show up on the product page of the app itself, either below the screenshots, or in the “what’s new” section, depending on if the user has previously installed your app or not. Events have event cards, which can feature images, video, and text, the latter of which is indexable, which means the results will show up in search adding a whole world of new keyword targeting opportunities — so know what your App Store Optimization plan looks like, and be ready to add enticing new text.

Whenever Apple releases a major new toolset like this, the company will take the space usually reserved for featured apps, and instead show interesting examples of the new feature. This could gain an app a major traffic spike if you manage to get highlighted for your in-app event, but for apps that rely on being featured by Apple regularly, align your strategy with the changes or else expect a major drop in browse traffic.

In-app events will also provide an excellent opportunity to retarget and engage existing and lapsed users that no longer actively use your app. App developers have long been using limited-time events pushed out through notifications to draw back users, and the official rollout on in-app events will allow this on a much larger scale.

What we still don’t know is exactly what sort of store metrics Apple will allow for these new events. App Analytics for them will be rolling out later this year, and Apple says you will be able to “determine which events are best at acquiring app users by viewing downloads and filtering by a specific event. Learn where users discover your events by viewing acquisition sources. Understand how well your event page engages users by viewing engagement data, such as event impressions, event details page views, and app opens. Monitor interest in your event by understanding how many users chose to be notified when your event starts.” But these promises aren’t the same as seeing what the data actually looks like.

Custom product pages

Custom product pages will enable app developers to have up to 35 custom storefronts, allowing for a previously only dreamed of level of customization, and the ability to target different audiences within those different storefronts. For example, a dating app may want to set up different storefronts based on the gender of the user, their gender preference, if they want short- or long-term dating, and every possible combination thereof.

Apps that have multiple marketing channels, run UA campaigns, are driving traffic from a website or other content activity will be able to gain significant insight from custom product pages, as this feature will allow them to align the messaging between all the marketing efforts to the storefront.

Product Page Optimization

Apple is also finally rolling out A/B testing for apps, something developers have wanted for years. Developers will be able to adjust screenshots, video, and the app icon. However, only visual assets have been confirmed for testing. Apple did decide to allow Promotional Text to be customized, but it seems the company has intentionally excluded text from its A/B testing framework.

Apps that get a lot of traffic will be able to gain significant advantages from product page optimization, because it can allow them to test their creative assets and to see what converts better, and what resonates with their users.

Apple Search Ads

Next year, new tools will be available for Apple Search Ads and custom product pages, so it is a good time to reevaluate your ad strategy to make sure you’re using these tools as effectively as possible.

All search, including Apple Search Ads, are less affected by the changes in ATT, as the targeted advertising is seen by users after they run a search, therefore not running afoul of any data privacy controls. This is already manifesting as ad spend is shifting towards search networks, and on iOS Apple Search Ads are not only unaffected by ATT, but you are still able to gather a large amount of data in terms of full user volume measurements and granularity that is otherwise not allowed through SKAdNetwork.

Overall, while the changes may feel like they’ve left you without your usual resources, ATT and SKAdNetwork have done a lot to level the playing field. Everyone is now blind in the same way, which gives smaller teams the opportunity to differentiate themselves. For many, this will come down to controlling the conversion volume. A better conversion volume will do more to set you apart than almost any other metric, especially with everyone still working to understand Apple’s most recent changes.

*A note from yellowHEAD’s UA team: ASA campaigns are measured through a new self-attributing integration based on the AdServices framework, which is either built in or can be activated in MMPs, and this allows developers not to lose data otherwise lost in iOS 14/15.

Cooperation is key

All these changes provide both pitfalls and opportunities for developers and advertisers, so businesses should take the time before they take effect to consider their goals. Now is the time to plan your strategies for the upcoming year,, to confirm what your goals are, what tools you have access to, all to improve your product and convert more people.

These new features will also require greater cross-collaboration between departments. UA and ASO teams will have to work even closer together to create effective strategies, and custom product pages and A/B testing will demand a huge amount of creatives in terms of volume as well as working with the aforementioned groups. Teams with smaller creative capacity should start strategizing well in advance for where to prioritize resources. And with so many teams working together on these projects, it’s important to establish who will maintain and drive the process, so that it doesn’t slip between the involved parties.

We’d like to thank Yusuf and MobileAction for hosting this talk, and Chen, Roy, and Laura for their incredible insight into these new tools and how they’ll change the App Store. If you’d like to find out more about how yellowHEAD can help you with the new changes in iOS 15, contact our team today.

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