If this headline caught your eye, you probably already know what Mobile App Install advertising is. But, just in case, here’s a brief summary of how it works.

What are Mobile App Install Ads?

Mobile App Install ads, or MAI ads, are designed to drive installs of your mobile app. They show up in the Facebook Mobile News Feed, Instagram Feed and/or Facebook’s Audience Network, and redirect users to the Google Play or Apple App Store.

Best Practices for Successful Mobile App Install Advertising

Now that we got the basics out the way, we’d like to share some tips for successful MAI advertising. Why should you listen to us? We have a lot of experience in this area as our advertisers are investing approximately $10 million in MAI advertising on Facebook every month.

Step #1: Set Up Tracking

First and foremost, it’s critical to set up proper tracking for MAI advertising. Be sure that Facebook can track your installs and in-app events by utilizing the Facebook SDK. We recommend also employing a 3rd party SDK (from a Mobile Measurement Partner), to ensure you’re getting the most valuable data. Otherwise, you can even direct-server calls to your ad-serving platform for enhanced optimizations.

Step #2: Create Custom Audiences

In order to capture the most relevant audiences, start by creating at least two custom audiences that reflect your highest value users. For example:

  1. Highest value users (in terms of purchase value) from the last 14-30 days
  2. Most engaged users from the last 14-30 days
Step #3: Create Lookalike Audiences

Expand your reach by leveraging your custom audiences to create three lookalike audiences per country.

Create them at either the 1%, 2%, 3% level, or 1%, 3%, 5% depending on the population in the targeted country. As you create each new lookalike, be sure that you exclude the users from the previous smaller one in order to avoid audience overlap.

Step #4: Create High Level Targeting

At this point, you’ve created a lot of audiences so it’s best to group them into higher level targets in order to make optimization and analysis easier. Our recommendation is to create groupings by country and then by device.

Step #5: Set Goals

Set your goals for every targeting group created above so you know what you’re optimizing for. These goals should be based on one of two options – either an estimate of Lifetime Value (LTV), or if LTV is too low, the maximum you are willing to pay per event.

Step #6: Automate Optimization

After you’ve set your goals and budgets, be sure to automate your optimization so that you can hit your goals in a scalable way, without needing to check in on your campaigns every hour.

Step #7: Set Up Targeting Segments

Target the lookalikes that you’ve set up by country. If you also use interest-based audiences, don’t forget to exclude them from your lookalikes to avoid overlapping.

You may also want to test placement optimization (combining Facebook News Feed, Instagram News Feed and Audience Network), instead of targeting placements separately. Giving Facebook more wiggle room to optimize sometimes pays off.

Expert tip: If you run a global user acquisition strategy, consider Facebook’s Worldwide Targeting to compare results between the country specific audiences you’ve created.

Step #8: Launch

Launch one campaign per country, one ad set per persona, and 3-6 creatives per ad set. Include videos, carousels, and high-quality imagery to capture attention.

Expert tip: Take advantage of the mobile screen by launching portrait or square videos rather than landscape. Taking this extra step tends to increase click-throughs.

Step #9: Analyze and Discuss

Analyze your campaign results to identify which creative performs best for each audience. Monitor the frequency of your creative to avoid ad fatigue, and keep a close eye on your KPIs (key performance indicator) to ensure you’re on track to hit your goals.

Are you a Kenshoo Client? Discuss your analysis with your Customer Success Manager so they can help improve your campaign. Your success is our success so this feedback is critical!

Expert Tip:  Easily identify trends and results by utilizing the analysis tools in Kenshoo.

Step #10: Adjust and Relaunch

Update your goals, recalibrate your optimization and update creative based on findings from previous campaigns. Re-launch one ad set at a time to ensure there are no overlapping audiences. You may need to adjust and relaunch several times until your campaign is performing at it’s best.

Contact Us

We hope these steps have been helpful!  We are committed to your success. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.