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Changes Are Coming: Google’s Push to UAC and What It Means For You

Published: August 23, 2017

Author: Natalie Aller

Last Monday Google announced that they will be moving all AdWords app install campaigns to UAC.  Starting on October 16th, any new app install campaigns created in AdWords will only have the option of running on UAC. On November 16th, any existing Search, Display, or YouTube app promo campaigns will stop running – so changing over to UAC as soon as possible is key!
To read more about 3Q’s take on the change, check out our blog from the day of the announcement.

What Does This Mean for App Businesses?

Some changes will have to be made to ensure that your ads continue to run smoothly, but the outlook for UAC is good, so there’s nothing to fear! Just read the following to get prepared.

What Campaign Types Are Available on UAC?

All campaign types below are available for iOS and Android.

  • Campaign types in the OLD ADWORDS
    • tCPI (installs) optimizing towards max installs
    • tCPI optimizing towards max in-app events
  • Campaign types only available in the NEW ADWORDS
    • tCPA (in-app events)
  • Plus other campaign types in beta!

* New AdWords is a new user interface of AdWords that also contains new and different features. It has already been rolled out on many accounts, and the full roll-out to all AdWords accounts will occur by early 2018. Any account with ad spend will be prioritized to roll out sooner rather than later. You’ll know that you have access to the new AdWords because you’ll see a message inn your AdWords UI saying “Click here to try the new AdWords !”

What Do I Need to Launch UAC Campaigns?

  • Tracking:
    • The specifics of what you’ll need will vary depending on the UAC objective you choose, but you will certainly will need tracking from one of the providers below for both iOS and Android campaigns. 3Q works with all of them, so your rep can help you with this!
      • Adjust
      • AppsFlyer
      • Google’s Firebase
      • Kochava
      • Singular (Apsalar)
      • TUNE
    • Google Play native install tracking: For Android apps only, you can create install conversion events in AdWords that pull install data from the Google Play store. Note: this is only for installs, not in-app events.
  • AssetsAlthough Google can create display and video creative assets for you, we believe that best practice is to upload your own assets. For each UAC campaign you can have up to 20 display assets, up to 20 videos (any length), and 4 lines of copy (25 characters per line). Note: copy is mandatory to upload. Copy should be interchangeable because a UAC campaign will mix & match the copy lines with each other.

How Will This Affect My Strategy?

Whether you like it or not, it’s time to take UAC seriously! There are lots of opportunities with this change. Consider all available campaign objectives (above) and think about taking a mixed approach using multiple UAC campaigns with differing objectives.
Creative testing and optimization are now available in the new AdWords, so take advantage of this!
Did you try UAC in the past and didn’t find success? UAC is constantly evolving and improving, so reach out to your 3Q account managers to brainstorm a more successful re-launch.

What about Standalone Search and GDN Campaigns?

If you have search or GDN campaigns that are currently running efficiently and have good volume, you should keep them going until November 15th – there’s no reason to end a high-functioning campaign before you need to.
However, you should definitely set aside budget to launch your UAC campaigns as soon as possible. It will take time to set up your UAC campaigns and then optimize the performance and spending, so plan in advance!

What about App Extension Campaigns?

These won’t be affected by the change to UAC, so don’t worry!

Do I Need the New AdWords?

YES. New UAC capabilities like bid guidance, creative testing, and tCPA bidding are housed exclusively in the new AdWords. There is also a new, more simplified version of attribution tracking only available in the new AdWords.

Do I Need to Advertise on All UAC Channels?

Currently you cannot opt-out of any UAC channels – this includes YouTube. However, UAC’s purpose is to optimize towards the best performing placements – so after a certain amount of time for testing, your campaign should receive high traffic only on the placements on which performance is good. If you are absolutely set against YouTube video ads, you can simply not upload any video assets and opt-out of the Google created video (though you will still be advertised on YouTube via small banner ads).

I’m Concerned…

Transitions can be unnerving, and UAC is not a “set it and forget it” tool, so it will require some work. But UAC offers new opportunities and Google continues to add new levels of insight and optimization to it. We at 3Q have seen Google’s UAC strategy evolve through agency and user feedback and are excited that this sophisticated mobile-exclusive campaign type will get its chance to prove that it can deliver strong performances.

We’ve Got You Covered!

If you are a current 3Q Digital client, don’t fear – we will develop a personal transition plan and work with you to make sure you’re comfortable with the change. Not a 3Q client but would like to be? Contact our team of mobile experts.

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