Founded in 1997, Safaricom is a leading mobile operator in Kenya and the founder of the M-PESA mobile money service. The company is deeply involved in the promotion of Kenyan culture through initiatives such as This Is My Kenya, a photographic art project aiming to share positive images of the country through an Android app and a blog.

The This Is My Kenya (TIMK) app allows members of the public to share pictures they’ve taken in Kenya. To increase usage, Safaricom needed to raise awareness of the app as well as encourage people to download it and continue using it.

Safaricom and its agency Squad Digital turned to Google to find a scalable and cost-effective way to promote the app, setting a goal of 18,000 downloads. Using Universal App Campaigns made it possible to create, execute and manage the entire campaign using the AdWords interface. After writing the text for the ad, linking to the brand’s YouTube video and setting a target cost per install (CPI), the campaign was set live and optimised automatically across Search, the Google Play store, Google Display Network (mobile web and in-app) and YouTube.

Throughout the campaign, Squad Digital and Safaricom were able to analyse the copy to drive performance and maximise the value of video assets hosted on YouTube. Google’s Conversion Optimizer tool was activated in order to achieve the target CPI of $1.

Safaricom’s campaign outperformed this target, reaching a CPI of $0.50. Thecompany also exceeded its goal for number of downloads, attaining nearly 200% of the target during the 28-day campaign. Finally, the TIMK app improved its ranking in the Google Play store to reach the top slot in the photography category.

“With Google, we were able to reach users across different platforms through their online journey,” explains Brian Mungei, Manager of Digital Communication and Social Media Strategy. “We constantly need to reach more users while holding onto customers who are already using our app. Universal App Campaigns helped us to drive exactly this kind of quality download volume, which has led to increased engagement and participation by users.”