Festive season 2023: how to win the race with Apple Search Ads

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Katherine Nelidova
Festive season 2023: how to win the race with Apple Search Ads

Table of Content:

  1. Why you should take advantage of seasonal promotion
  2. How to get the most of the festive season with Apple Search Ads
    • Adjust your Apple Search Ads account structure
    • Stay ahead of your competitors
    • Take advantage of a view-through attribution
    • Enhance your keyword strategy
    • Tailor your app to the festive season with custom product pages
    • Get an additional shoutout with in-app events
  3. Afterword
  4. FAQ

With the holiday season approaching, now is the ideal time to optimize your app growth strategy and capitalize on seasonal momentum. Sensor Tower forecasts the total user expenditure on the App Store and Google Play to reach $156 billion by 2023. 

The festive season 2023 will be a peak time for app downloads and purchases, as more users will use their mobile devices, especially in the categories of e-commerce, gaming, social media, and entertainment. Running effective Apple Search Ads campaigns can help fuel your holiday growth, hit your yearly goals, and finish the year strong.

If you'd like to know more, see the recap of the webinar that covers this topic at length.

Why you should take advantage of seasonal promotion

Even if your app is not overtly seasonal, you can still capitalize on increased user engagement during the holidays. The holidays present a valuable moment to test new UA strategies, enhance your user experience, and generate ideas to inform future product development.

If you tested and stopped or never tried running Apple Search Ads campaigns, the festive season is just a perfect time to give this profitable and efficient channel another chance.

You could also run marketing tests to identify new audiences and positioning approaches to improve ongoing acquisition efforts. But before kicking off new initiatives, review your current metrics and benchmarks so you can properly evaluate the impact of your seasonal campaigns.

How to get the most of the festive season with Apple Search Ads

As we previously discussed, Apple Search Ads provide a valuable user acquisition channel for mobile app marketers. According to a report by Business Insider, Apple’s advertising division is predicted to generate $5 billion in revenue this year and Apple Search Ads is likely to be a major contributor to this amount.

Running effective Apple Search Ads campaigns this holiday season provides an opportunity to accelerate user acquisition, optimize your organic strategy, and test paid features—all at once.

Our team at Asapty has compiled best practices for holiday App Store campaigns by managing Apple Search Ads for top mobile marketers.

Adjust your Apple Search Ads account structure

Before you create any holiday-related campaigns, make sure to review and update your current Apple Search Ads account structure. We recommend implementing a SKAG (single keyword ad group) as it gives you full transparency and control over your account performance. With a SKAG structure, you can easily compare how your festive and non-festive campaigns perform, track metrics like impressions and conversions at the granular, per-keyword level.

Stay ahead of your competitors

The early bird gets the worm. With lots of apps increasing activity, early preparation gives you an edge. Bid on all relevant keywords to avoid losing impressions to competitors. Run campaigns covering competitor, brand, generic, and sub-generic terms to maximize reach. Asapty dashboard shows your top competitors' share of voice per keyword so you can adjust bids accordingly.

Use the SKAG structure to monitor keyword profitability and find the optimal balance between volume and earnings. Planning ahead ensures your campaigns capitalize on holiday momentum and outpace competitors vying for the same users.

If you are running Apple Search Ads in Europe, you can use Ad Repository to see the Apple Search Ads ran by your competitors with specifications by the placement type, keyword, and creative previews.

Take advantage of a view-through attribution

The key is using search ads to reinforce your broader acquisition strategy. In addition to optimizing current campaigns for better conversion rates and CPA, utilize Apple Search Ads to complement other acquisition channels through view-through attribution (VTA).

VTA attributes conversions to ad impressions even without a click. It recognizes that simply viewing an ad can nudge users to install, even if they don't click right away.

For instance, users already exposed to your brand elsewhere may convert directly after engaging with your ad. Adding Apple Search Ads can help convert users who have seen your marketing in other places, incrementally increasing overall installs.

Enhance your keyword strategy

One of the ways to enhance your keyword strategy is to research with Search Ads popularity. This feature allows you to see how popular a keyword is among users and advertisers, and how much it costs to bid on it. By analyzing historical data for the previous years, you can find the most potent keywords for your app and optimize your budget. However, be aware that even a slight difference in keywords can affect the bid.

For example, “Christmas video editor” can cost $1.8 while “Holiday video editor - $0.8. Once again, we recommend creating a SKAG (single-keyword ad group) campaign structure, which gives you more granular optimization options to control your bids more effectively.

Tailor your app to the festive season with custom product pages

Custom product pages are a feature that allows you to create up to 35 variations of your app product page and target them to different audience segments with Apple Search Ads campaigns. This can help you test and optimize your app store listing for seasonal promotions, as well as tailor different offers for different user groups.

Create a set of custom product pages with a festive theme, a special discount, and a catchy headline, and show it to users who are searching for holiday-related keywords. You can then compare the performance of these pages with your default page or other variations, and see which one converts better. By using custom product pages, you can improve your ASO and increase your app downloads during the festive season.

Get an additional shoutout with in-app events

In-app events are timely events that you can promote in a dedicated section of your app listing. They can help you attract more users and increase engagement with your app. However, there’s much more potential this section holds for your app. You can use in-app events to promote your specific app features and offers for a specific period of time (up to 30 days).

For example, you can create festive-related offers or tailor and give a festive glimpse to your current app offers, such as a Christmas-themed video editor or a New Year’s countdown timer. You can also use in-app events to test a product feature or special offer, and see how users respond to it. Another way to use in-app events is to use titles as keywords and use these keywords in Apple Search Ads. This can help you rank higher for relevant searches and drive more traffic to your app.

Watch the latest webinar led by top experts from Asapty, AppFollow, and Yodel Mobile to learn even more about capitalizing on the festive season in 2023.

Watch AppFollow's Holiday Season Webinar to learn about maximizing mobile app revenue during the festive season.


The holiday season is prime time for apps to level up growth. With forecasts calling for massive spending in the App Store, there's huge potential to win new users. Apps getting ahead of the game with Apple Search Ads can ride the seasonal wave.

If you’d like to learn more strategies on how to get on the edge of the holiday season with Apple Search Ads, learn more about Asapty smart optimization, or contact our team directly.


Is using ASO for Halloween marketing good for my app?

App Store Optimization boosts app visibility, especially during the holiday season. Season-specific strategies, such as updating app creatives with holiday themes, can lead to a significant boost in downloads.

Are in-app events useful during holidays?

In-app events are a powerful tool for promoting seasonal activities within your app. Use event cards that highlight special promotions or content to engage users and gain a more prominent feature in the App Store.

Why should I update my app's creatives for the holiday season?

Updating your app's creatives with seasonal elements will attract users looking for holiday deals and make your app stand out. Frequent updates, especially during the holiday season, can improve conversion rates and support the algorithm in favoring your app due to its relevance.

How does ASO & ASA work?

ASA complements ASO by targeting keywords that might be beyond the scope of organic ASO due to screen size and character limitations. It also provides immediate data on keyword performance, assisting in the refinement of ASO strategies. During festive seasons, precise targeting through ASA can maximize user acquisition.

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