How We Mastered Google Ads on iOS with a Lower CPI than Android

iOS advertising on Google Ads is full of complexities, particularly in terms of data transparency compared to Android. Despite the inherent challenges, at Kovalee, we have achieved notable success through our partner Bend through iOS campaigns on Google Ads. I will take you through our strategy and learnings that led the team to scale the campaigns quickly, achieving a lower Cost per Install (CPI) compared to our Android campaigns. This is not the case 95% of the time as the CPI is usually lower on Android.
Written by
Paolo Manca
Growth Specialist
Published on
March 29, 2024

Understanding the Challenge

iOS campaigns present a unique set of challenges in the realm of digital advertising, primarily due to the limited data transparency compared to Android. Historically, it has been challenging to scale iOS campaigns successfully on Google Ads while maintaining efficiency, making it a daunting task for many advertisers.

Breaking The Mould

4 main steps on how we achieved this: Android Test, 1 Account for iOS and Android, Creative Testing, Launch Target CPI Campaign.

1. Initial Android Test

Our journey began with the launch of an Android CPI campaign involving meticulous testing of creatives, including over 40 videos in multiple formats and multiple displays. This helped us to obtain initial results on the top performing creatives and served to train the algorithm, enabling us to transition successfully to Target ROAS campaigns on Android.

2. Launching the iOS US campaign in the same ad account as Android

Launching the iOS US campaign within the same ad account as our Android campaigns allowed us to capitalise on the valuable insights and learnings gathered from our existing Android ones. By leveraging the learnings of the algorithm, as well as the creatives and ad groups that had already been optimised for Android, we kickstarted our iOS campaign with a strong foundation for success.

3. Creative Testing

While starting from the foundation laid by Android's top performers granted us with a significant advantage, testing new creatives remained a fundamental step for achieving optimal results - what performs for Android does not necessarily perform in the same way for iOS, and vice versa. Hence why over 55 new video creatives in YouTube Shorts and landscape formats were tested on a CPI campaign for iOS. Leveraging on the learnings from other networks, as well as producing tailored creative batches, allowed us to achieve even better metrics than the ones seen on Android.

4. Target Cost per Purchase Campaign Implementation

Recognising the efficacy of Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) campaigns for our Bend Android campaigns, we seamlessly transitioned to a Target Cost per Purchase campaign model for our iOS endeavours. By adopting a familiar setup tailored to the iOS ecosystem, we were able to optimise campaign performance from the onset, capitalising on the proven success of our Android advertising strategy.

Results Shown

1 diagram showing that we achieved a lower CPI (cost per install) at $0.83 in the US iOS market, the other visual showing that we achieved a fROAS yield of 224%

Our data-driven approach and strategic implementation yielded exceptional outcomes, enabling us to spend almost 80% of the Target CPP campaign’s budget on YouTube from day 0, generating 89% of the installs from this network at a low cost ($0.83). More importantly, however, the campaign yielded a fROAS* of 224% for the period, signalling excellent performance. 
*fROAS (forecasted ROAS) is a metric shown on Krome, Kovalee's state-of-the-art UA tool. By leveraging on machine learning, Krome provides a forecasted Return on Ad Spend based on the forecasted LTV of the user per campaign.

Diagram of google analytics showing how our ads performed on various Google networks such as Google Search, Search Partners, Display Network and Youtube; with Youtube being the highest among all on cost, installs and impressions.

By challenging conventional approaches and leveraging our expertise, we continue to redefine possibilities in mobile app publishing. We look forward to building upon this success and continuing to push the boundaries of mobile app publishing excellence and drive exceptional results for our partners.

Kovalee can help you improve your app’s performance!

Whether you’re working with iOS or Android, we have a team of specialists at Kovalee who would be delighted to help you take your app to #1. We partner exclusively with subscription apps for mobile devices, building ad-hoc teams of experts in user acquisition, ASO, product optimisation, UX/UI design and more to bring your app the success it deserves. The best thing about working with us? You won’t have to pay us a thing upfront!

Learn more about how our partnership works here, or check out some of our use cases with partner apps here.

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