Four Updates to Facebook’s Mobile App Ads You Probably Missed

Four Updates to Facebook’s Mobile App Ads You Probably Missed

May 13, 2014

Did you hear about the latest updates to mobile app ads? Don’t worry, it was easy to miss the news amidst the Facebook f8 Developer Conference buzz. But that doesn’t mean the news is one to miss.

Available soon, if not already, are four notable improvements to mobile app ads. These slight, but impactful updates will make it that much easier and efficient for marketers to reach more of their best customers on mobile and encourage them to download an app, make a purchase, or perform whatever action is desired.

Facebook is making this possible by providing advertisers more ways to segment and target mobile audiences on both Apple and Android operating systems, and adding more call to actions (CTA) for install ads. Read on for detailed explanations of each new feature, who should be using these features, and how to get started.

New Call to Actions for Mobile App Install Ads

Until this point, there has been just one call to action available for mobile app install ads: “Install Now.” Offering one choice of phrasing initially made sense for advertisers with “driving app installs” as their primary objective; however, installing the app is often just the first of many desired actions. Once the app is installed, we want the person to actually use the app. If it’s a music app, we want them to “Listen now.” If it’s a retail or shopping app, we want them to “Shop Now,” or “Buy Now.”

Users of mobile app install ads now have access to these options, as well as all others available for mobile app engagement ads, including “Open Link,” “Book Travel,” and “Learn More.” Offering more descriptive CTA options presents an additional opportunity to communicate the desired action to app installers and encourages them to engage with the app after installation.

Before making any changes, we recommend A/B testing the new CTA against your current “Install Now” CTA. Install Now may remain your best bet, or you may find that one of these new options is especially effective for driving install ads (and hopefully taking the next desired action as well).

Easier Exclusionary Targeting

Showing app install ads to people who are already using your app is a clear waste of time any money. Experienced advertisers have found a way around this by creating Custom Audiences of current app users then excluding these segments from targeting – a manual process with clear room for improvement considering the extent of the positive impact this can have on campaigns.

With this latest update, Facebook advertisers can easily exclude current app users from their campaign using the URL of their app. Identifying and segmenting out current users from your target audience is now as simple as entering the app URL during ad creation. Facebook will then be able to detect the app and eliminate these users from campaigns as directed.

Advertisers currently using Custom Audiences to this effect should be pleased with this simpler, equally accurate solution, while those not using exclusionary tactics now have even more reason to adopt this advertising best practice.

Availability of Android Data for Custom Audiences

First-party data in the form of emails, phone numbers, Apple IDs, Facebook UIDs and app IDs is one of the best resources an advertiser has for retargeting current customers and discovering new high value audiences that look like their customers on Facebook. Advertisers can now leverage one more data source to create Custom Audiences: Android’s advertising ID.

App developers with Android apps and especially developers whose app is built exclusively for Android should be jumping to create Custom Audiences of their app users. Android users make up justover half of mobile device users – a massive audience and bank of data that can be utilized to further hone targeting and campaign effectiveness.

Create Custom Audiences from App Events

Mobile app developers now have the ability to create Custom Audiences of people that have taken – or not taken – specific actions inside their app.

Online advertisers that leverage the Facebook pixel have found great success targeting customers that have performed certain actions on their website, such as complete a purchase over a certain price, or visit the site frequently. Now, mobile developers are afforded a similar and equally powerful capability with the option to create audiences based on App Events. High value audiences, such as people that make up the top 10% of purchasers or people that have made a purchase in the past 28 days, can now be easily identified, duplicated (using Facebook’s lookalike audiences tool), and targeted with ads.

App events take a bit of time and coding to set up – be sure to consult Facebook’s documentation for developers, or, if you’re an Ampush client, work with your designated media team to create a strategic plan of attack.

new headshotJillian Smith is a Marketing Strategist at Ampush. She specializes in creating content that educates and inspires marketers to reach their full advertising potential on Facebook and Twitter.  When she’s not being a marketing Jill-of-all-trades, you can find her singing in public places, getting hyped on Bay Area sports teams, chewing full packs of gum, and struggling to express her thoughts without sarcasm. Follow her on Twitter @jillyjsmith.