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4 tips for planning mobile marketing creatives after iOS 14.5

Following the release of iOS 14.5, serving hyper-targeted and personalized ads is now only possible with the user’s consent to app tracking. The tighter privacy measures from Apple’s update also limit segmenting users based on their stage in the purchase funnel, engagement-level, and purchase behavior.

So, while ad content can still be specifically designed towards install or reengagement campaigns like before, it can only be done with the user’s consent to both publisher and advertiser apps on iOS. Without this permission, identifying whether a user has already installed an app will no longer be possible and mobile ad strategies will likely shift towards a broader and more inclusive approach, which will have a significant impact on creatives.

What will a creative strategy look like post-IDFA and what practices can app marketers implement immediately?

While not all aspects of mobile app marketing will be disrupted, here are four tips that you can immediately apply to your creative strategy.

1. When it comes to visual content, err on the side of user acquisition

Retargeting creatives are typically designed for specific user segments, meaning that some elements aimed at returning users may not be relatable for those who have not installed your app. No-ID creatives should err on the side of user acquisition: select elements of the app that will be relevant for the entire audience, regardless of the app install or where in the app the users are in their journey.

2. When it comes to written content, err on the side of retention

Retargeting ad copy and calls-to-action (CTAs) entice the user back into an app by grabbing their attention at a specific moment, whereas user acquisition ads focus solely on the install. Without the ID, CTAs should be relevant to both new and existing users. Erring on the side of retargeting means choosing inclusive language.

The “Order Now” CTA is emphasized in no-ID campaigns. The incentive “Get X% off your first order” is supplementary.

Two examples of gaming ads that can be used for install and retargeting campaigns. The sample on the right creates a sense of urgency.

3. Stay on brand through your ad content and placement

Taking care of your app’s brand is still a valuable investment, especially in a world where decisions are made within milliseconds of viewing an ad. When it comes to the creative strategy, consider these two aspects of the brand:

  • Brand safety: This relates to the environment in which your ad is placed. Protect your brand by making sure that your DSP partner excludes traffic flagged as inappropriate content.
  • Brand relevance: This relates to the different elements that make up your ad creative. Include one or more elements that connect back to your app. Examples include your app logo and components such as characters, restaurants, or products.

4. Test and verify your creatives with incrementality testing

You can already begin strategically testing your creatives. When doing A/B testing, make sure to test one variable at a time and avoid multi-variant testing. By doing this, you’ll set up your learning in a way that comes with real isolated insights. For each element such as headline, main character, main image, CTA copy, or CTA color, test up to thirty variations (wherever possible) until you’ve arrived at the best performing option.

One option for testing without the IDFA would be to test larger concepts versus a group of small iterations (a.k.a. Incremental variable testing). This has been the standard until now.

Another option for testing would be to use a science-based methodology, such as incrementality measurement, to A/B test creatives. The set up would include a three-way split that consists of one control group and two test groups, where each test group receives a different creative. The group assignment will be based on dimensions such as device model, instead of the IDFA. While this would be the more accurate option to test creatives, you will need a significant campaign size to arrive at meaningful results.

A note on Remerge

Remerge is the award winning app marketing platform that helps the world’s most ambitious apps grow their business, drive revenue, and boost user loyalty. As of May 2021, Remerge has expanded its services beyond app retargeting, and is now also offering user acquisition for ID and no-ID users.