Tag Archives: promote your app

ICYMI – Six Updates and a New SDK

Dev Center Acquisition & Engagement Platform

Successful developers use various channels to spread the word about their apps, such as Facebook, Twitter, popular blogs or Windows Dev Center’s own “Promote your app” feature. We’ve grown this solution over the past two and a half years, evolving it into a complete platform with machine-learning algorithms to maximize user acquisition and engagement campaign ROI.

Adding UWP Features to Existing PC Apps

In addition to Windows Store distribution and modern deployment technology, the Desktop Bridge enables you to use exciting Universal Windows Platform (UWP) features and capabilities that were previously unavailable to existing PC software.

Creator’s Update is next week!

Join our livestreamed event on February 8, 2017 to see what’s new for developers in the Windows 10 Creators Update, what it means for your apps and games, and more about Microsoft’s latest developer products. Whether you’re building for the web or UWP, the latest consumer app or line-of-business tool, there’s something in it for you.

Advertise Across Premium Platforms

The first and most important reason to use premium platforms is wider reach. Microsoft premium platforms such as MSN, Outlook, Skype and Solitaire collection are used by millions of users daily, and now your ad campaigns have a chance to showcase your awesome app when they interact on these platforms.

A triple-win with Playtem

Playtem’s monetization strategy is really interesting. The platform, currently available for Unity games deployed to UWP, iOS and Android, combines both ads and in-app purchases.

The latest Desktop Converter update is now in the Windows Store

Desktop App Converter is a tool that enables you to bring your existing desktop apps written for .NET 4.6.1 or Win32 to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). You can run your desktop installers through the converter in an unattended (silent) mode and obtain an AppX package that you can sideload on your machine or upload to the Windows Store.

Windows 10 SDK Preview Build 15021!

Check it out here: http://wndw.ms/KEXB94

The Windows team would love to hear your feedback. Please keep the feedback coming using our Windows Developer UserVoice site. If you have a direct bug, please use the Windows Feedback tool built directly into Windows 10.

A complete user acquisition & engagement platform

With so many apps getting published to the Windows Store daily, it can be a challenge to attract and acquire new customers. Successful developers use various channels to spread the word about their apps, such as Facebook, Twitter, popular blogs or Windows Dev Center’s own “Promote your app” feature. We’ve grown this solution over the past two and a half years, evolving it into a complete platform with machine-learning algorithms to maximize user acquisition and engagement campaign ROI.

Major milestones during the user acquisition & engagement platform journey

Our platform now lets you use objective-driven ad campaigns, where you can choose to acquire more customers or re-engage with your existing customers. With the recent launch of Universal campaigns, your app can get in front of customers interacting with Microsoft premium surfaces such as MSN, Outlook, Skype, Microsoft solitaire collection, etc.

The Dev Center user acquisition and engagement platform capabilities are tailored to meet the needs of every developer. You can start with zero dollars using community ad campaigns to advertise your app for free in other apps (in exchange for showing ads for other apps in yours).

You can also promote one of your apps in your other apps using house ad campaigns – again, for free. Even more effective are our paid ad campaigns, with a great return on investment for both app install and app re-engagement campaigns.

In addition, we have recently released our APIs so that you can use the campaign creation/update and reporting information with your organization’s built-in tools.

Universal user acquisition & engagement platform

Finally, for developers interested in running larger ad campaigns, we provide extra support with additional features:

  • $50,000 per campaign limit instead of the regular $5,000
  • Higher thresholds for billing campaigns
  • 1:1 product management team support to help tune your campaigns
  • Third-party tracking SDK support
  • Custom campaign dates
  • Custom user segment generation for huge volume goals

For info about qualifying for these features, reach us at aiacare@microsoft.com.

Whether you’re a developer just starting your journey with the Windows app ecosystem or a top developer looking to find users for your next hit title, the Dev Center user acquisition and engagement platform can help you reach more customers and grow your success.

How do I get started?

If you haven’t already used the app promotion capability, follow these steps to create a new ad campaign:

  • Click on the “Dashboard” after your log in to your Windows Dev Center account.
  • Click on the “Promotions” tab under the Main menu.
  • Click on “New Campaign” to create a new user acquisition or user engagement campaign.

Check out the documentation for more details, then give it a try! If you’ve got suggestions to make these features even more useful, please let us know at Windows Developer Feedback.

Go Universal! Now your ad campaigns can reach users across Microsoft premium surfaces like MSN, Outlook and Skype

Here’s your New Year’s gift from Windows Store team. The “Promote Your App” ad campaigns that delivered ad creatives in other apps in the Windows eco-system just got a major update.

We are happy to announce the launch of universal campaigns that will deliver your ads across Microsoft premium surfaces such as MSN.com, Outlook.com, and Skype, as well as games like the Microsoft solitaire collection.

Why should I use universal campaigns?

The first and the most important reason is wider reach. Microsoft premium surfaces such as MSN, Outlook, Skype and Solitaire collection are used by millions of users daily, and now your ad campaigns have a chance to showcase your awesome app when they interact on these surfaces.

Second, your ad campaigns will now get a very wide variety of touch points. Studies have shown that media-mix models can fetch your company multi-fold revenues. In the context of app promotions, it is the app installs and app engagements that can grow multi-fold.

MSN is primarily used in the context of news and entertainment, while Skype is used for personal communication and Outlook is used for email. Many Windows customers spend a fair amount of time playing popular games like Microsoft Solitaire. Your ad can now capture the attention of users in all these different situations, as well as improve recall and conversion rates.

Finally, the allocation of budget among the Microsoft surfaces is driven by powerful machine-learning algorithms. These algorithms start with finding the right set of users who should be exposed to your ad campaign, and then measure the effectiveness of each surface to adjust the target user profiles and budget allocations. Rest assured, these algorithms are working to give you the best possible ROI.

How do I get started?

  1. All campaigns that use auto-targeting will be universal campaigns by default. To use auto-targeting, make sure Automatic is selected for the Audience section of your campaign settings in the Dev Center dashboard.
  1. If you wish to create a manually targeted campaign, make sure you choose Universal for the Surface setting in the Audience section of your campaign.

Give it a try!  If you’ve got suggestions for how we can make these features even more useful, please let us know at Windows Developer Feedback.

ICYMI – Campaign APIs, desktop app magic and improved analytics

Developers, developers, developers!

We’ve got quite a few updates for you this week, ranging from the upcoming live event to improved analytics for your apps in the Windows Store. Read on to see our recap of the past week.

Windows Developers Day – Creators Update

Only a few days left to RSVP for the upcoming Windows Developers Day – Creators Update. You definitely don’t want to miss this event! Click the below tweet to find out how to RSVP and see a schedule of the sessions.

Campaign APIs for the Windows Store

We are very excited to announce the release of campaign APIs for the Windows Store. Using these REST APIs, media agencies can promote apps and manage their ad campaigns easily. ‘Promote your App’ is a feature within DevCenter that allows you to create ad campaigns for your apps to grow your audience and engage with them. Using ‘Promote your App,’ you can leverage advanced targeting capabilities and use our popular ad templates to advertise your apps among Windows users.

Calling Windows 10 APIs from a Desktop App

So here’s a question that generates a lot of confusion. Can PC software written in WPF, WinForms or MFC access the Windows 10 APIs used by the Universal Windows Platform (UWP)?

The answer is yes. There are some exceptions to this rule (and we’ll go over how to find them), but in general you can access the Windows 10 APIs. Or put a different way, there are no secret APIs being kept away from Windows developers.

Windows Store Analytics Updates

The team has enabled two new features that will simplify reporting even further: the Windows Store Analytics API set for both Advertising Performance Reporting and App Promotion Performance Reporting.

The Windows team would love to hear your feedback. Please keep the feedback coming using our Windows Developer UserVoice site. If you have a direct bug, please use the Windows Feedback tool built directly into Windows 10.

Promote your App – Anywhere. Anytime.

We are very excited to announce the release of campaign APIs for the Windows Store. Using these REST APIs, media agencies can promote apps and manage their ad campaigns easily. ‘Promote your App’ is a feature within DevCenter that allows you to create ad campaigns for your apps to grow your audience and engage with them. Using ‘Promote your App,’ you can leverage advanced targeting capabilities and use our popular ad templates to advertise your apps among Windows users.

About the APIs

These APIs are open to media houses that wish to run promotions on behalf of their advertisers – developers, game studios, anyone with apps on the Windows Store. Developers or organizations that already have a DevCenter account can also use these APIs to create and manage their ad campaigns.

These APIs are a powerful way of accessing your ad campaigns – they allow for bulk operations and features such as sharing creatives and/or targeting templates across campaigns. For media agencies handling large volumes of advertising, the APIs allow for flexibility while creating campaigns as well as viewing reporting data.

Developers can continue to use the DevCenter dashboard as well. Any campaign created under a single account – whether through the dashboard or API will be accessible from either channel.

How to get started?

Media agencies that would like to know more and get access to the promotion APIs, please reach out to storepromotionsapi@microsoft.com to sign up.

App developers and organizations using DevCenter can follow the prerequisite steps listed here.

Detailed documentation for accessing these APIs along with code samples is available here.

Promote your apps using APIs and reach the fast growing pool of Windows audience, starting NOW!

More Countries, More Languages, Improved targeting when buying ads to promote your apps

In June, we launched a feature in Dev Center that allows you to purchase ads to promote your app. This feature is one of several options available to promote your app, including Windows Store badges, the Microsoft Affiliate Program, and promotional codes. The promote your app feature offers two promotion choices: paid ads that run in other apps using the Microsoft Advertising SDK, and house ads (free ads) to cross-promote an app in other apps you’ve published in the Store. For more information on the Microsoft Advertising SDK, please read the New advertising features and walkthrough of using Microsoft ads and mediation blog post.

Today we’ll talk about new options for the promote your app feature that launched last week, with increased availability and languages, customized targeting options, and an additional reporting view. These features are designed to improve the effectiveness of your ads, driving more customers to download and try your apps:

  • Support for 51 new markets
  • Localized text used in your ad image
  • Reach estimates
  • Recommended settings for campaign targeting
  • OS targeting
  • World map reporting view

More countries in more languages

Support for 51 new markets

The promote your app feature is now available in 66 markets, up from 15. Developers from any market can purchase these ads, and run them in any of the supported markets.

Current Markets 
Australia New Zealand
Belize Philippines
Canada Singapore
Hong Kong SAR South Africa
India Trinidad and Tobago
Ireland United Kingdom
Jamaica United States
Malaysia
New Markets
Algeria Colombia Honduras Nicaragua Sweden
Argentina Denmark Indonesia Norway Switzerland
Austria Dominican Republic Iraq Oman Taiwan
Bahamas Ecuador Italy Panama Thailand
Bahrain Egypt Jordan Paraguay Tunisia
Barbados El Salvador Kuwait Peru United Arab Emirates
Belgium Finland Lebanon Puerto Rico Uruguay
Bolivia France Mexico Qatar Venezuela
Brazil Germany Morocco Saudi Arabia Vietnam
Chile Guatemala Netherlands Spain
China Haiti

Localized creatives

When creating ad images for campaigns, text options have previously been available only in English. Now, images can be created with text in 15 languages:

Arabic German
Chinese (Simplified) Italian
Chinese (Traditional) Norwegian
Danish Portuguese (Brazil)
Dutch Portuguese (Portugal)
English Spanish
Finnish Swedish
French

The text for the Windows Store badge, as well as the custom text, will show in the language you select for that campaign. You have to localize the custom text before putting it into the campaign, and then the Windows Store badge will auto-populate with the language you select. Below is an example of an ad in English and the version with Spanish localization:

1_localizedEn2_localizedEs

Targeting Improvements

Reach estimates

While creating a campaign with custom targeting, Dev Center will now provide you an estimate of the Windows users that will see your ad. The graph shows your current targeting selections as a percentage of all Windows ad-enabled app users in the selected markets. This allows you to adjust your targeting settings to ensure you’re reaching an acceptable number of Windows customers, and maximize the benefit of your campaign.
3_estimatedReach

Recommended settings for campaign targeting

There are two new options for campaign targeting: “auto targeting” and “manual targeting”. When you choose “auto targeting”, we will pick the best targeting options based on the app’s install history, category, and various other attributes. When you choose “manual targeting”, Dev Center will preselect your target audience with the recommended settings, and you can adjust these settings as you see fit. The recommendations are calculated based on the historical install base for that particular app, and calculations for new apps are based on similar apps in the Store.
4_audience

OS targeting

You can now select which operating system you’d like to target in your ad campaign. You can choose phone, PC/tablet, or both, and narrow it further by choosing Windows 8.x systems and/or Windows 10 systems. Your options will be limited to your app’s availability on each OS, so for example if your app only targets Phone users on 8.x systems, this will be the only option available to you.

5_osTarget

World map reporting view

The world map view is an advertising performance report that shows your eCPM and ad impressions on a global scale. It allows you to see which markets are the most profitable, somewhat profitable, and minimally profitable.   Ad performance can still be seen as a graph view if you prefer, the map view just adds an additional level of detail. To view the world map view, simply click on the “Map” option under Advertising performance.

6_adPerf

As we continue to roll out new features and tools for Dev Center, please let us know if there are issues (via developer support) or new features you’d like to see included in future releases (user voice).