5 steps to set up mobile app ads on Facebook Ads

Even the most useful mobile application can get lost among hundreds of similar products on Google Play or the App Store. High competition on marketplaces suggests that apps need ads. We’ll show you how to properly configure and launch it using Facebook Ads Manager.

Facebook Ads Manager Features

The audience of the most popular network is about 2.5 billion users and is constantly growing, and the platform itself continues to be a reliable bridge between the advertiser and the audience. The reach of users from different countries and demographic categories, as well as a wide range of settings, make the network an effective tool for promotion.

Facebook Ads Manager allows you to advertise iOS and Android apps on Facebook and Instagram social networks.

What the advertiser gets in the end:

  • Engaging target audience.
  • Product awareness.
  • Downloads and installs.
  • Perform targeted actions within the application.

After registering a product in this service, you will need to open access to it for your Ads account and Facebook Business Manager.

In order to not only advertise the application but also track events inside it, you will need to configure the Facebook SDK tool. You can measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign in the AppsFlyer analytics service or SKAdNetwork. The second option is relevant for products developed for iOS.

Step 2. Setting up an advertising campaign

As with any ad campaign, it’s worth starting with a goal here.

Typically, application developers want to either get the most installs or get users to take certain targeted actions while using it. The first case is relevant for new applications, and the Install target is suitable for it. In the second case, it is better to set “Conversions” as the goal. In addition to the campaign goal at this stage, you can also check the box next to the “Application advertising” option and proceed to set up the group. Another available option is “Automatic advertising of the application”, in this case, the system takes over the basic settings. We reserve the right to choose the settings and proceed to the next step.

Step 3. Setting up an ad group

Besides the fact that here you need to select the app store and the application itself, setting this level is pretty standard:

  • budget is set,
  • audiences are set,
  • promotion sites are selected,
  • optimization for display is selected.

Recommendations to help you set up your group more efficiently:

  • You can exclude people who have previously interacted with the application from the target audience. This can be easily done by specifying certain parameters (for example, “friends of friends who used the application”) or by adding a ready-made list of users. In the same way, you can return users by enabling the parameters of interest.
  • It is better to entrust the system with the choice of locations, as well as the operating systems of users. In this case, Facebook will cover as many display opportunities as possible. And in the future, you can turn off the least effective.
  • Optimization of ad display depends on its goals. That is, if earlier we specified the application installation target as the target, then we select the same here as well. This way, the system will distribute the budget in favor of users, who are more likely to switch to installing our product.
  • Optimizing impressions for a specific event will take some time, since the system will have to collect at least 1000 records for a given action. The accumulated data can also be used to create a look-alike audience.

Step 4. Loading ads

It’s time to use photo and video content. It remains to download the prepared creatives, fill in the titles, write short texts and select relevant calls to action. It makes sense to try different formats here (classic static banner, carousel, slideshow, video), as well as different acceptable aspect ratios.

Multiple creatives can be used in the same ad group. In the process of showing ads, the system will gradually distribute the budget in favor of a more efficient option. Depending on the settings, a click on an ad can lead a user to a company page, directly to an app store, or to the desired section in the app itself. In the latter case, you will need to add the generated deep-link to the settings.

Step 5. Campaign Optimization

Setting up and launching ads is just the beginning of the promotion. Next, you need to give the system about a week to train and reach stable results, and then move on to analytics and campaign optimization.

What to look for?

  • General data for campaigns and ad groups will show how the system allocates the budget.
  • By comparing several campaigns with different settings, you can reallocate the budget in favor of more efficient ones.
  • Uploaded ad creatives will also show different results. Since there is no way to change budget at the ad level, weak creatives can simply be turned off.
  • You need to compare conversions and costs across placements, audiences, and devices. Expensive segments can be disabled if necessary.

Since the system does not immediately adapt to changes, you should not make them too diligently. It is enough to change creatives no more than once a week (if the existing ones for some reason do not suit you) and “play” with budgets within 20%.

Promoting an app on Facebook will take time and attention, but if done correctly, the results can outperform classic PPC advertising.

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