Gaining visibility for your app is increasingly more difficult
So you’re ready with a new app. But have you thought about what you will do to make a huge number of people see your app in order to make its launch a success? Your app launch can either be all “fire” or “all smoke, no fire”; depending on the number of people it reaches after the launch.
The unfortunate reality is, most apps don’t ever really take off, and the reason is there’s no one there to drive the app marketing engine.
Think of your app as a car that requires a driver behind the steering wheel. It can only reach a destination when the driver actually knows what they are doing and where they are heading. Launching your app is the same. If you’re not driving that process, or if you don’t know what you’re doing, your chances of making a splash in the competitive app market are slim.
The booming competition on the major app stores is also making it increasingly difficult for app developers to get significant organic views and download numbers. As a result, many are turning to paid user acquisition and ‘app install ads’ as solutions to this problem. There can be different campaign goals but there is one thing that everyone wants: minimal advertising costs.
How to be a smarter app marketer
Most of the app developers choose Facebook as their favourite advertising platform. The huge user base which is over 700 million daily users on mobile, amazing targeting options, and most importantly, the ability to deliver low-cost app installs and engagement, make it an ideal solution for app developers to make their app successful. On Facebook, if right strategies are used for advertising you app, it is possible to get over 100k people to see your new app within a budget of 100$.
But like anything else, there are learning curves if you want to optimise your Facebook app install ad campaigns.
There are several ways to improve your Facebook ads for apps and your ad campaign can either make it or break it for you when it comes to your app success. In this guide, we will look at the case study of a popular app that gained maximum visibility on Facebook, which can be used to learn the ways to get huge number of people see your new app on Facebook in a limited budget.
Let’s look at the success story of an app that made most of their Facebook ad campaign to find out what can be learnt from them to start a successful ad campaign for an app.
Case study: ServisHero
ServisHero is a mobile app that connects people to service providers for cleaning, air conditioner servicing, moving and more. It was launched in June 2015 and the app operated in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. It provides quotations, profiles and reviews so people can hire with confidence.
As a new start-up, the team at ServisHero wanted to learn more about its customer profile and increase conversions on Facebook. It also wanted to increase app installs.
To identify its target audience, ServisHero team used location and interest targeting, showing ads to people within the Klang Valley in Malaysia. With a partner agency, the team tested a variety of core audience sets, such as young parents and people interested in South-east Asian start-ups, for instance, and used Facebook’s audience retargeting and exclusion capabilities. It found that people aged 25–40 engaged with the ads most. However, most of the job requests came from females aged 30–39.
The campaign used ads and an animated video to promote ServisHero’s key services on Facebook. The ad series demonstrated its variety of services with cartoon visuals that positioned the brand as friendly and accessible. The ads also highlighted ServisHero’s mobile app to encourage downloads.
Generating great content for your ad campaign
Their comical 30-second video featured 2 friends in a living room. The clumsy one makes a mess, and the other friend pulls out her phone to call ServisHero. The catchy video, with its upbeat music, demonstrated how easy it is to use the app.
‘Custom Audiences’ (a Facebook tool for app ads) helped ServisHero reach people who had previously requested its services to encourage them to make another booking. The company also used Lookalike Audiences to find potential customers similar to those who had already shown interest.
“Facebook Ads helped us know our customers better, increase awareness and drive transactions. Collaborating with our social agency, we have improved our business performance while reducing transaction costs. Given our success, we will be allocating a higher proportion of our digital marketing budget to our Facebook campaigns.”- Siddhant Hiremath, Digital Marketing Associate, ServisHero
- Video Ads
- Audience Insights
- Conversion Tracking
- Custom Audiences
- Lookalike Audiences
- App Installs Ad
- Increase views and Raise Brand Awareness
- Drive Online Sales
- Promote Your App
Using Facebook to identify its key audience, ServisHero saw a large increase in job requests and app downloads. The campaign, which ran from early February to the end of June 2016, achieved:
- 56% lower cost per job request
- 32X more mobile app installs
- 10% more job requests than from other ad platforms
“Facebook provides effective ways to reach, influence and convert audiences who need the professional services available on ServisHero. Using our prospect-to-conversion marketing recipe, we accelerated business growth, improved return on investment and moved the brand from zero to hero”-Oliver Cheah, Managing Director.
So, now the question that comes to mind is what can be done in order to be as successful as ServisHero with the help of Facebook? Read below to know:
Targeting is what makes Facebook Ads so powerful compared to other advertising platforms. Targeting is all about putting your ads in front of the right people. The right people are the ones who will download, and use your apps.
Facebook offers a huge range of targeting options that was utilised by the ServisHero team. Let’s look at each type of targeting that’s available and what you can do with them.
- Demographics – Target people by location, age, gender, relationship status, the level of education, work, financial income and net worth, generation, whether or not they are parents, political preference, or certain life events.
- Interests – This is where it starts to get really interesting. You can target people based on what they are interested in. This data isn’t just guesswork, Facebook knows because people share this information openly. Use it to your advantage while targeting the audience for your ad campaign.
- Behaviours – In case that’s not enough for you, Facebook also allows you to target audiences based on behaviours. Here are just a few examples of some user behaviour you can target:
- People who often look up for services online
- People who have made a purchase at a high-end luxury store
- or young parents who live in a household
Yep, all of those are actual targeting options taken straight from Facebook which turns out to be great for app developers and advertisers.
Tips To Help App Developers Improve Facebook App Install Ad Targeting:
- Determine who your perfect user is– Whether it’s through analytics or market research, you need to really get specific about what your most valuable app users look like. That will make targeting much easier and more effective for you. Once you know who the ideal users are, use demographic targeting to find them. Narrow down the demographic targeting as much as you can.
- Be specific with interest targeting- For example, let’s say you have got a running app. You could target people interested in ‘Fitness.’ But health & fitness is a broad topic, right? This means you probably wouldn’t want to show your ads to people who are interested in yoga. The good news is you don’t have to! You can get really granular and target people interested only in running, and that’s exactly what is recommended.
- Target users who are interested in your competitors- Interest targeting also allows you to target people based on products or services that they like. That means that you can often target people based on them being interested in a particular app.
For example, many game app developers used this to target an audience interested in the app ‘Subway Surfers’. They knew people who liked that game would also enjoy other similar game. And it worked really well for them. With that campaign, they achieved installs from tier 1 countries (The USA, UK, Australia & Canada) for less than $0.40 each.
- Gain Attention with a Stunning Image or Video – Once you’ve got your targeting set up, it’s time to create the app install ad. The image or video that you use is going to be the first thing people see, so you have to make it count.
The role of the image or video is to get the attention of your ideal user and the video made by ServisHome worked for them. By ideal user, we do not just mean anyone. You could use a picture of a pink gorilla dancing in the street that will get the attention of a broad audience, but if 99% of those people aren’t interested in your app, it won’t be effective for your app install ad campaign.
How to create effective image and video ads for Facebook app marketing campaigns
- Observe your competitors to get an idea of what’s working. Leverage the work already done by big marketing departments by studying the images and videos they use for their ad. See what techniques they are using and apply them to your own images or videos.
- Don’t apply the same strategies to all apps. Once you start looking at competitors you will notice that particular techniques work better for particular app categories. Find what works for your category.
- Use something that is bright, eye-catching, and interesting. There is a lot going on in the Facebook feed, so you will have to make something that stands out from the crowd.
- Make it relevant. For example, if your app is a running app, it would be appropriate to show a fit person running than someone sitting on the couch watching TV.
- Don’t use low-quality images or videos. This is going to set the first impression of your app. If you use a blurry, poor quality image or video, people will assume a similarly low level of quality from your app.
- Capture The Click With Great Text
After looking at your app install ad’s image or video, the next thing people do is read the ad title and body text. After the image does its job of capturing attention, it comes up to the text to convince a person to click on the download option.
Writing sales copy for your app ads
You need to communicate the most appealing features of your app in as few words as possible. Here are the tips:
- Think about what features appeal to your audience most and tell them about those features as briefly as possible.
- Always include a call to action. When you create the call to action, use something they enjoy doing instead of just “download now!”
If you’re advertising a multiplayer racing game, think -what your ideal user like doing? It can be racing with their friends. So as a call to action, you can put “Click here to race your friends now!” as that would be much more appealing to your audience than just a boring “Download Now”.
Make Sure Your Non-Keyword ASO Is Amazing
This is something that is often overlooked, but it is crucial for your app success. ASO (App Store Optimization) means managing everything that a person sees on the app store page for your app.
This can include the icon, title, app description, and average rating.
When a user clicks on an App Install ad on Facebook, they are taken to the App Store page for your app. They will then see all of these things before deciding whether or not to take the final step and download it.
It’s great to have an effective Facebook ad, but all the efforts will be in vain if people get to your app store page and don’t download because you haven’t optimised your non-keyword ASO. Don’t let a bad icon or app description ruin an otherwise great ad campaign.
Another thing here is the importance of your app’s average rating. The average rating is displayed in both the App Store page and Facebook ad.
Having a 4 or 5-star average rating will have a positive effect on your ad campaigns because people love social proof. If someone sees an ad for your app with a 5-star rating shown below, they are much more likely to click.
Spend some time creating different ad combinations and always run at least three per campaign. On top of testing different ads, you should also test different targeting strategies for your Facebook Ad Campaigns. Like the ads themselves, it’s unlikely that you will create the perfect targeting strategy on the first attempt.
Therefore, take the time to tweak and test your targeting based on the data that you get from the reports. The more you can optimise your targeting, the cheaper those installs or engagements will become.
And there you have it. Use these key components of a Facebook Ad campaign for your app to get better results.
There’s a lot to take in and try out, but remember not to get intimidated. You can always start small until you get confident or use an agency to help.
Campaigns can be run for just a few dollars per day, so why not start experimenting.
There are higher chances that with proper planning and effective implementation of Facebook ad strategies, your app will get enough views to be added to the list of most popular apps in the world.