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Exploring Google’s UAC – Asset Creative Strategies & Best Practices

Published: August 7, 2018

Author: Molly Shotwell

Following up on yesterday’s post, today 3Q & Google share some creative tips for UAC campaigns, including answers to some common questions about asset creative.
When using Universal App Campaigns, make sure that you align your creative content with your campaign’s goal and type to achieve a higher CVR. Some examples of this are:

  • Installs: For UAC Installs campaign, build text ideas around calls-to-action to download the app, or demonstrate why users should download your app.
  • tCPA Purchases: For purchase campaigns, show discounts, sales, or items to be purchased. Showing promotions and discounts is effective.
  • tCPA Retention Event: Include the number of features available to users (“100s of puzzles to be solved,” “1,000s of restaurants to choose from,” etc.).

To make sure that your creative is working as hard as you are, follow some Google best practices:

Better creatives lead to better CVRs. Better CVRs lead to higher-quality inventory at the same tCPI or tCPA.

Image Creative Tips

  • Use simple designs with minimal, but accurate, text (these ads appear on the smaller screens).
  • Use engaging and relevant images taken directly from your app (e.g. action shots or product images).
  • Include iTunes/Google Play app store badges and your logo to give your ad credibility.
  • Use HD images (e.g. 72 dpi, upload a 640×100 creative instead of 320×50 for better creative quality).
  • Upload the maximum number of images to allow Google to serve different types of visuals for different users.
  • Use a diverse image asset portfolio based on the most important asset sizes (listed in yesterday’s post) to generate maximum user reach and inventory scale.

3Q Tip: The more assets you add, the more inventory you’re eligible for! We’ve seen adding one video asset increase our volume by 2x. Additionally, including banner images is essential for helping UAC campaigns scale. After adding banners to an Installs campaign for one client, we saw traffic and installs increase on both Search & GDN. The algorithm was able to reach more users on the Display Network with the banner images and also find more similar users on the Search network.

Text Creative Tips

  • Have a clear CTA (e.g. “Start Saving”, “Read the latest”, etc.).
  • Speak to your audience – use terms and phrases that they will understand.
  • Make sure each line can stand by itself and conveys something different (these lines can show in pairs).
  • Keep at least one text idea shorter than 20 characters to avoid truncation on properties like Gmail.
  • Be concise, but make sure that you communicate your value proposition to the customer.

Playable Creative Tips

  • Caption / Animation: Provide the user with an intro caption before the playable starts. Most users don’t expect an ad to be interactive, so use captions throughout to explain what to do.
  • Trailer / Mini-version: Make it an easy “intro” version of the game/app, giving users a sneak peak. This helps with qualifying and gauging interest.
  • Length: Keep it between 30-120 seconds (Google recommends 90 seconds). Test different lengths to see what works best for your app.
  • Compatibility: This ad is supported on iOS and Android so there’s no need to create separate playables for each platform. To accommodate both, you can upload your playable twice in the AdWords front-end and specify a different final URL (to the Apple or Google Play Store, for example).
  • Orientation: Begin with a Portrait experience since the split is about 70/30 portrait to landscape impressions. Make sure to still create Landscape experiences, though, or you’ll miss out on a third of the reach.
  • End card: When the playable experience ends, provide the user with an end card and a clear CTA to either download the app, dismiss the ad, or replay the experience.

Video Creative Tips

  • Diversify your video content: Not every ad has to be cinematic. Think about creating influencer, app experience, & user-generated content.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all for video length: Shorter videos sometimes are more impactful. Cut a single video into 6-, 15-, and 30-second files and see what works best for your brand.
  • Make the first 5 seconds count: Watermark your app icon somewhere early to promote brand recognition.
    • Generally a higher percentage of impressions are skipped as soon as the “skip” button appears so make an impact in those 5 seconds!
  • Lead with the benefit: Focus on the problem your app solves or show how people use it.
  • Make it locally relevant: Localize content or use subtitles when appropriate.
  • Music is great, but don’t rely on it: Music is great, but if a user’s sound is off, make sure your content is visually appealing.
  • Portrait video is a great handheld experience: According to Google, conversion rates are generally higher with this video type than with landscape.
  • Context is crucial: Super-relevant content makes your ad entertaining!

Google Tip: If you only have 1 video, consider creating Landscape, Portrait, & Square versions, all in 6-, 15-, and 30-second versions. That way, you have 9 types of videos to run in order to see which sizes and lengths work most effectively for your brand on UAC.

Common Questions about Asset Creative

Can all assets be ranked “Best” in the Asset Report?

No. They also can’t all be “Low” or “Best” since they are relative to the other assets in the campaign. Theoretically, they can all be “Good” if they have the same identical metrics across the board, but this is highly unlikely.

3Q Tip: Don’t just rely on Performance Grouping; take the actual CPA into account and compare them to the targets that you’re trying to hit.
How long does it take for the system to get out of the “learning” phase for creative assets?

Generally it takes 4 days and a maximum of 8 days, depending on how much the asset in question is being served. The general rule of thumb is the more exposure the system gives to creative assets, the quicker it will learn and provide a grade (Best, Good, Low) to the assets.

What date range does the system use to grade creative assets Best, Good, Low, & Learning in the Asset Report?

The system uses all-time data to aggregate its grading system for creative assets.

We know this is a LOT of information, so make sure to bookmark this page for reference!

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