Mobile apps are a huge part of marketing today. In a world where competition for both clients and online attention is high, mobile apps can help keep users thinking about you and engaged with your brand.
Who wouldn’t say no to having customers automatically seeing your icon on their phone every time they unlock it?
Just like with everything else online, however, there are literally millions of apps out there, with 1.6 million in the Google Play store and 1.5 million available in Apple’s App store. Getting your app downloaded can be just as difficult, if not more so, than gaining new clients and sales. That’s where Facebook and Instagram Ads come in.
Facebook and Instagram Ads have proven to be highly effective platforms when looking to increase mobile app installs (and awareness, engagement, and in-app purchases), so we’re going to take a look at a few strategies and targeting options that can help increase app installs through the sister ad platforms.
What We Know About Mobile App Installs on These Ad Platforms
The objective to drive mobile app installs is available for both Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads, and you can even create campaigns that run on both platforms (though you may have to customize, crop, or alter the picture to meet Instagram’s image specifications).
Instagram Ads, though new, has proven to be particularly successful as a platform for mobile app installs. This makes a lot of sense; there’s less competition on Instagram to begin with (at least for now), and almost all users who are on Instagram are also on their mobile devices; this makes app installs much easier than if users saw the ad on their desktop and had to find the app on their phone or tablet to download it—that’s just too much effort.
Facebook Ads should still be an important part of your campaigns to drive mobile app installs, largely thanks to its larger and more varied audience, as well as the fact that Instagram’s CPC/CPA tends to be higher than placements on Facebook.
For more information about the cost benchmarks of Facebook Ads, make sure to check out our post on it here.
Strategies to Drive Mobile App Installs on Facebook and Instagram Ads
When you’re looking to drive mobile app installs (or any type of mobile app engagement, awareness, or in-app purchase), having the right strategies in place is essential, and having the right targeting options is a big part of those strategies.
1. Mobile Placement
Instagram pretty much has this one covered automatically, but this is an important tip to keep in mind; users are going to be much more likely to download your app if they can do it only one click on their mobile device, instead of buying it on their desktop and then getting their phone, finding the app there, and downloading it.
Because of this, I’d recommend putting all the focus for placements on the mobile newsfeed and audience network ads, which will only be shown to mobile users, in addition to Instagram placement, where most users will be on their mobile devices.
2. Target by Mobile Device
Many apps will only be available on certain devices. This could mean that they only work on Apple, or only work on Android. It could also mean that they only work on iPhones of a minimum update requirement (such only working on iPhones with software updates 7.1 or higher).
Since you’re trying to increase app installs, it only makes sense to only target users who have the specific mobile devices your apps work on—it can waste your money and cause user frustration if they go to download an app that isn’t compatible with their devices.
Mobile device targeting is available under the advanced options section. When you plug in an app, sometimes it will automatically target only the users who have compatible devices, but I’ve also recently seen it not do so- it’s always good to double check and be sure.
Additionally, you can also choose to target only users who are using Wi-Fi. Since app downloads may take up a lot of data to download and/or run (and may require fast connections), targeting by current Wi-Fi usage can also help increase app installs.
3. Use Custom & Lookalike Audiences
Using custom audiences has been a popular retargeting strategy when looking to drive sales, and it can be just as effective for mobile app installs. By running custom audience campaigns off an audience who is already familiar with your brand and may have already purchased from you, you have an audience who will be highly receptive to your app.
Once you’ve run custom audiences campaigns, you can run different lookalike audience campaigns to connect with new users who are likely to be interested in your app. For this, there are two different custom audiences you can use to create lookalike audiences who will be more likely to install your app—a lookalike audience based on a custom audience of those who have installed your app, and a lookalike audience based on a custom audience of those who have made in-app purchases or who have high engagement. Using these two audiences can help you target not only users similar to anyone who’s downloaded your app, but also to target your most high-value customers who continue to engage with it.
Don’t forget: to increase engagement or in-app purchases, you can later run app engagement campaigns with custom audiences of those who have already purchased your app.
4. Use Images or Videos That Include a Mobile Device
This tip is coming straight from Facebook: to help increase mobile app installs, it seems to help to have an image or video that includes a mobile phone, like the image shown in the screenshot below.
Having this image can be beneficial for two reasons; the first is that is can help the user register that they are, indeed, looking at a mobile app with just a glance at the image. It also shows someone using your product (in this case the app), which has been proven to be an image that can help drive conversions in the past.
Instagram now offers multiple visual options, including carousel ads and videos, test this strategy along with the multiple formats and see what works best for you.
5. Choose the Right CTA
Facebook and Instagram both offer a variety of CTAs you can use to encourage users to install your mobile app. Choosing an effective CTA can help you to increase your mobile app installs and engagement.
The right CTA will be determined by the purpose of your mobile app. The app could be designed to generate shopping (AdoreMe), entertain via a game format (Candy Crush), to provide users with content (Daily Burn), or help users access your services (like Fairwinds banking or Freshbooks).
Strong call to actions would include:
- Shop Now for sales apps
- Install Now for apps offering content or professional services
- Play Game
- Book Now
In addition to choosing the right CTA, make sure to advertise the benefit of your app clearly. AdoreMe promises easier shopping via their app, as well as additional exclusive discounts. Daily Burn boasts new and varied workouts that will be delivered right to your phone. Highlighting these benefits and pairing them with the appropriate CTA can help increase app installs quickly and efficiently.
Mobile apps can help increase your sales and keep your business and products at the forefront of your customer’s mind. With Facebook and Instagram Ads, getting users to install your mobile app—giving you that opportunity—is easier and more effective than ever. Targeting the right users and having the right strategies in place can help increase your number of app installs and potentially lower the overall cost in the process.
What do you think? Have you used Facebook and Instagram Ads to increase mobile app downloads? Have you used any of these strategies? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!