BREAKING NEWS: Facebook App Install Campaigns Aren’t Just for Downloads

October 31, 2019

When advertising on Facebook, an often overlooked campaign objective is App Installs. When planning out your campaigns you may think, “I don’t need to get any more app installation,  only purchases” and app install campaigns wouldn’t make the final cut. I’m here to tell you not to sell app install campaigns short! They can drive great results when used correctly!

The most important thing is to have tracking set up within your app. Refer to Facebook’s help article about setting up in app event tracking for iOS and/or Android. If you have the dev resources it would be ideal to set up each valuable action within your app as an event. Now, that’s some coding and has the potential to affect your app up, so I’d stick to the top 4-5 things worth tracking. Things like; account creations, in-app purchases, passed level ‘x’, invited a friend, etc. This will allow you to not only track those in app events, but will allow Facebook to optimize your campaign towards one of them. If you know that users make lots of purchases from your app, you could create an app install campaign with the event of purchases being optimized towards. This will let Facebook’s algorithm know to focus only on users who have a higher likelihood of purchasing in your app. 

PRO TIP – Don’t exclude any remarketing audiences if your focusing on a purchase event. You can create a ‘deep link’ if the user has already downloaded your app and direct them to the store within your app if so. We’ve seen remarketing audiences perform much better when optimizing towards a purchase. 

When running an app install campaign and a basic conversion campaign at the same time, both focused on new registrations, we saw an interesting outcome between the two. The app install campaign actually had a better cost per registration than the conversion campaign by about 20%. Full disclosure, this wasn’t a true A-B test but definitely shows the potential use case for an app install campaign driving GOOD performance for something other than a basic install. 

A few other tips when running your app install campaign is to make sure your creative relates to the event your optimizing towards. For example, if you’re optimizing for in app-purchases make sure your creative is about buying something! That way the user doesn’t simply download the app and then say “Now what?” You want them to have it in the back of their mind already that “this app sells name brand shoes at a huge discount” or whatever value your app offers. As with all campaign types make sure that you’re attribution window is appropriate to the event. If you know it typically takes up to 7 days for a user to make a purchase be sure to look at that attribution window when evaluating your campaigns. Otherwise, you may be making a hasty decision to cut the campaign. 

To check other attribution windows from Facebook’s UI:

  •  click the columns dropdown menu
  • Select customize columns
  • Then select comparing windows  and select the attribution windows you’d’ like to see

If you have an app, the resources to set up tracking, and want to test new things to find your ‘homerun’ I’d highly recommend testing out app install campaigns. Even if you don’t have the last two things, if you have an app let us at Four15 Digital help you at with tracking and campaign creation.