After the Install: Driving Engagement and Conversion with Mobile App Ads

After the Install: Driving Engagement and Conversion with Mobile App Ads

October 6, 2013

Last year, Facebook launched mobile app ads to drive installs. These captured the growing number of Facebook mobile users and helped apps stand apart in the crowded marketplace of over 2 million competing products in both the Google Play and Apple App stores. It worked. Mobile app ads led to over 145 million installs this year to date (October 2013). However, brands are finding that increasing discoverability is just the first step in building and maintaining a mobile audience.

According to Localytics, a Mobile Measurement Partner, 66% of app users “only open apps between one and ten times.” Ever. To remedy this, Facebook has announced a new feature for mobile app ads centered around seven customizable CTA buttons to drive in-app engagement from stagnant or lapsed users. Specific options include: Shop Now, Play Game, Listen Now, Watch Now, Book Now and two catch-all options – Open Link, Use App – available for less customizable content.

Ampush-03102-BI-HotelTonightImage500pxThese buttons provide deep links that navigate users to specific content within the app to increase not just installs and app awareness, but engagement and conversion rates as well. Retailers can promote 24-hour sales with the Shop Now button and lapsed gamers will flock to new levels with the Play Now option.“50% of the top-grossing Android and iOS apps use Mobile App Install Ads,” says Deb Liu, Facebook’s social commerce/platform monetization product manager. However, she identified the major problem facing mobile marketers when she noted, “Users are adopting it at a faster pace than marketers can catch up with. This is really the early days in mobile engagement and advertising.” Verticals like games – a large sector of Mobile App Ads – see an obvious boost from deep link buttons, but Lui insists that apps like Expedia are “doing some really interesting things” and that every app can benefit from the right Mobile App Ad.

The key is to continually identify mobile app audiences – both potential and existing users – with tools like Facebook SDK, Power Editor, and Mobile Measurement Partners, then leverage that data into targeted campaigns. The mobile ad format is precise – copy is truncated after 90 characters and ad guidelines limit image size and overlay – but with the right combination of images, content, and CTA buttons, any app can continue past install bliss to engagement heaven.