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How to use facebook ads to get more app downloads

December 7, 2017

Developing a mobile app can be the perfect solution to achieve a number of business goals. Brands in a range of different industries use apps to increase customer engagement, build brand awareness, and grow their sales figures.
Unfortunately, developing an app isn’t enough; you also need to get people to download and install the program. This is where so many businesses hit a wall. With over 2 million apps on the App Store alone, it can be difficult just to get noticed – let alone getting people to download and install your app.
For businesses that are looking to get more app installs, social media advertising platforms offer some of the most effective solutions. Here are a few tips for using Facebook for app downloads.

Target Mobile Users

People will be more likely to download your app if they can do it quickly and easily. If they see the ad on their desktop, they aren’t going to want to switch to their phone and go looking for the app. By targeting people that are already on a mobile device, you can increase the number of installs that will come from the ad campaign.
With Facebook, you have a platform that is commonly accessed through mobile and desktop. To ensure that you are reaching the right users, you’ll want to limit your audience targeting to people that are on a mobile device.

Target by Mobile Device Type

Compatibility could be an issue for some mobile apps. Your app might only work for Android, or it might only work on iOS platforms. If your app only works on Android, you won’t be able to get any app installs from people that see the ad on an iPhone. If your app is only compatible with certain types of devices, you want to make sure the ads only reach users that have the right kind of phone or tablet.
When you add an app to your Facebook ad it should automatically target the users of compatible devices, but you should always check. Go to the advanced targeting options to make sure your ads are targeting mobile users that are on the correct platform.

Feature an Image or Video that has a Mobile Device

An image that includes a mobile device can be helpful in a few ways. To start, it signals that the ad is about a mobile app. You can also use the graphic to incorporate a screenshot from your application that will entice more users to download it.
For an even more effective image, use one with a person that is using a mobile device. With any ad, an image of a person using the product is a good way to increase conversions.

Select the Right CTA

Choosing the right CTA can be the key to increasing conversions in any ad campaign. When it comes to ads for mobile apps, Facebook offers a few different options. For a mobile app, the purpose of the app should determine the correct CTA. If you have a shopping app, you would go with something like, “Shop Now.” For a gaming app, the CTA should be “Play Game.” If your app doesn’t fall into a definable category that generates its own obvious call-to-action, “Download Now” is always appropriate.

Custom & Lookalike Audiences

Using custom audiences can be one of the best ways to drive app installs. You could target a custom audience based on people that have already visited your website, people that have made a purchase from you in the past, and more. These people are already familiar with your brand, and they should be more receptive to your message.
Once you have some app installs, you could consider running Facebook ad campaigns to lookalike audiences. You could target a lookalike audience based on people that have already downloaded the app in order to upsell a feature or different product. Beyond that, you could also select a lookalike audience based on people that have taken certain actions within the app.
A mobile app can do a lot for your business, but you need to get people to use it. By using Facebook ads to encourage installs, you can move closer to the goals both specifically pertaining to the app and overall company objectives.

Ilan Nass is the founder of Taktical Digital in NYC, an award winning digital marketing agency specializing in paid social advertising, managing millions of dollars per month in media. Taktical has helped grow world-class startups such as WeWork, Elite Daily, Splash, Artsy and Fueled.

Ilan is widely regarded as a leading expert in SEO, SEM, Social Media and Conversion optimization. He has consulted for major brands and startups alike for years such as Standard & Poors, Barney’s, and Chase.

Ilan has been featured in Forbes, Inc.com, TheNextWeb and HuffingtonPost and has spoken at several digital marketing conferences from New York to Las Vegas.

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