As an app publisher it is in your best interests to explore every channel you can to promote your app. Facebook is also one such important channel, which can be explored for app promotion. The best part is Facebook is riding high on its blockbuster second quarter earnings. Facebook reported sales of $6.44 billion for the second quarter which is up 59% from a year ago. The profits have tripled to $2.06 billion.
Year-over-year the number of its daily active users swelled by 17 % and the figure is now 1.13 billion. Imagine! Such a huge captive audience for your apps. The impressive user base of Facebook cannot be ignored. You can always segment and segregate the users to find your true demographic to target your apps at, but as a platform, Facebook should be an important part of an app publisher’s app promotion and user acquisition strategies.
So how to go about when promoting your app on Facebook? Let’s explore.
#Prerequisites of Promotion
There are a few prerequisites of showing a mobile app ad. One of them is that the advertised app should be available for download from Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store. If you want to promote your app with the help of an ad you should have the right image and right text ready to go along with it. You also would need to set up a payment source in the Facebook Ads Manager. You need to register your app with Facebook to set a CPA (Cost – per-action) bid. For example, if you set up your ad for ad installs, you will only pay Facebook when users install your app.
#Mobile Ad: A Sponsored Story
When you decide to promote your mobile ad for app installs on smartphone it will be delivered as a sponsored content. It will be labelled “Suggested App”. Facebook users on smartphones will be able to see this ad in their news feed and they will be able to like, share, comment and also install your app with a click.
#Promote Your App Ads in Select News Feeds:
Facebook can help you with your app installs by putting your ads designed to its specifications in the news feed of the select users. Facebook has smart segregating tools that can help you as an app publisher reach the right kind of audience. You can provide the details of the users you want to target- e.g. the age group, gender, the region they live in and more; and Facebook would enable you to put your app-install ads in the news feed of the users with the desired criteria. The rating of your app will also be shown in the ad.
# Crafting Ad Content
The Ad layout consists of the title, the image, the text that accompanies the ad and call to action. The area around number 1 shown in the figure given below is the ad layout. The number 2 shown in the figure is call to action, which simply states “Install Now”
Once the ad appears in the feed of the Facebook users, if they are interested in the app, they can simply click on “Install Now” and that link will take them to the landing page of your app in the App store. They can then download the app from the app store.
You can also promote your app with the help of a video ad.
# Facebook Ad Manager
Facebook’s Ad Manager tool is an easy way for advertisers to create ads, view the performance of their ads, change and edit details of your campaigns. You can access it from the desktop or you can download the app from Google Play or App Store. You can use it for insights. You can see how your campaign, ad sets or single ads are performing. You can segregate Facebook users into custom audience or lookalike audience to show your ad with the help of this tool.
# Setting Up Your Ad
After logging in, go to the ads create tool in Facebook and choose your objective as ‘App Installs’.
Once you click on App Installs you will see the interface like the one shown below.
You need to put in your App’s Apple App Store or Google Play Store URL. Once you put that, you can click on continue and then you would be required to customize your app install ad. You would need to put in the title, copy of the ad and the images.
You can choose to show your ad only on the smartphones. You will be able to see the preview of your ad before you decide to publish it.
#App Engagement With Deep Links
The advertisements for app engagements also appear in the news feed of your users. If you want to advertise your app and want the users to link to specific areas of apps, such as your shopping cart, your registration page or anything else, you can do so with the help of the deep links. You can strategise and take your users to the specific pages in your apps.
According to Facebook Photo Ad recommendations to ensure that the image in your ad always looks high quality on all the screens the picture should be of 1,200 x 628 pixels. The image ratio should be 1.9 : 1. Your image supporting text should be of 90 characters. If you are putting text over your image, ensure that the image does not contain more than 20% of text. Facebook prefers images with least amount of text as too much text on images creates unimpressive user experience for Facebook users. Try to put your text – as much of it as possible – in the designated text zone.
According to Facebook Video Ad recommendations the supporting ad copy (text) should have 90 characters, the headline should have 25 characters. The aspect ratio of the video can be 16:9 or 1:1. Fixed frame rate, square pixels, progressive scan and H.264 video compression needed. Format should be .mp4 container ideally, with leading moov atom. Audio is required to be Stereo AAC audio compression, 128 kbps+ preferred. File size can be upto 4 GB and frames requirement should be 30fps or lesser.
# Setting up a page
You can set up a page for your app to engage with your users in a better way. For that you need to log in and click on ‘create page’. Select the type of page you want. You need to choose a category of the business which is most applicable to you, add some basic information about your app, agree to Facebook terms and you are on. Here you can post the content related to your app. Users who are interested in your app will then follow you and the content you post will appear in their feed.
# Facebook Ad Testing:
You should test your campaigns, ads and ad sets. See which ones get you more engagement. Tweak your ads, optimize them. You can do all this with Ad manager. Ad manager can tell you which ad of yours works with which target group the best. You can also use Facebook’s Power Editor.
If you want to take advantage of Facebook’s advanced targeting, measurement and optimization tools you can add the Facebook SDK in your app while developing it. Facebook highly recommends this integration. With the help of Facebook SDK imbedded in your app you will be able to measure installs and engagements, improve targeting, add deep linking to your ads, measure app events, measure in-app conversions and more. Both Facebook Ad manager and Facebook Power Editor can help you manage and track your campaigns. If you are a big business with multiple campaigns going on at the same time, Power Editor can serve you better.
# Facebook Targeting
When you advertise your app on Facebook, you can use its segregation tools and techniques to target the user group which is most likely to install your app. Facebook helps you reach the people of a specific country or a city. It can help your ad of the app reach the right demographic- users with right age, gender, education and more. You can target people based on their activities and interests. Facebook enables you to reach the user group based on their purchasing behaviour. Facebook can even help you segregate and target users with a specific phone device, if you want. You can target the people who have downloaded your app but aren’t using it.
You can create custom target group of your users with the help of information you have about them. You can create lookalike group on the basis of the custom group. Facebook thus helps you target people who look like your established customers. You can design different kinds of ads for these different target groups.
It is a very important feature of Facebook. The Audience Network scales up your Facebook advertisements to high –quality third party apps and mobile websites. You app ads thus have much more visibility. There are several apps and mobile websites that are a part of the audience network. Each one of these third-party apps and each mobile website is manually scrutinised before being granted the approval to be a part of the Facebook’s Audience Network. You can effortlessly scale your apps with the help of Audience Network. Audience Network uses the same image-creative you use for Facebook Ads. When you advertise on Facebook, with the help of Adverts Manager or Power Editor by default your ads appear on the Audience Network. You can opt out by unticking the Audience Network option in the placement section when you create the ads.
Let’s look at two case studies where the app publishers benefited from promoting their apps on Facebook.
#1 : Power Clean (App)
LionMobi used Facebook to create ad and increase the App Installs numbers of its app ‘Power Clean’. Facebook’s suite of applications helped LionMobi earn users and revenue. LionMobi used Facebook ads to distribute its product globally. It also used Audience Network that helped it run its ads inside third party apps.
- Over 35 million installs
- 20% higher engagement from users acquired through Facebook
- Monthly App advertising revenue doubled after partnering with Audience Network.
#2 Piano Tiles 2 (Game App)
Cheetah Mobile, the Chinese Mobile Internet company used mobile app install ads on Facebook to reach the gamers to promote the installs of its game Piano Tiles 2. The photo and video ads showed how the game was played. Its core audience was fans of casual, puzzle, rhythm and dance games. It scaled up its reach by using Lookalike Audiences feature of Facebook to find more people with similar interests. Cheetah Mobile experimented by promoting the games to non gamers, music enthusiasts. Target audience saw the ads in their news feed. They installed the game.
- 20 million players acquired.
- 100 million monthly active users, 88% of whom were outside China.
- The game ranked #1 free game in App Stores in 146 countries.
- The game ranked #1 free game in Google Play in 87 countries.
You can read more success stories from Facebook here.
App promotion through photo and video advertisements on Facebook can really give your app the necessary push it needs to succeed in domestic and global markets. As an app publisher you must use Facebook as one of the channels to gather users and to promote your app. Its extensive suite of tools and features enable you to reach the right kind of users for your apps. It is a channel you shouldn’t ignore.