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How to Create Effective Ads for App Installs

How can I make my ad stand out, so people will download my app?


Here are a few tips and tricks to help your Instagram and Facebook ads beat the competition and boost your app downloads!


Picture this: you’re scrolling through social media when an ad briefly catches your eye. You are intrigued and you download the app it promotes. Suddenly, you are hooked! What happened?


Why are you drawn to those ads over others? What does it do differently? As a stakeholder in an app, it is important to understand how to make your ads beat the competition!


Social Media on the Rise


There are so many benefits to advertising on Facebook and Instagram as their popularity is quickly growing and they can reach billions of people worldwide.


Over 1 billion people use Instagram every month, making Instagram the second-ranked traditional social network, behind Facebook. Instagram reaches 140 million U.S. users while 88% of total users are located outside the United States. In general, Instagram users spent an average of 30 minutes per day on the platform in 2020, so an ad must POP for a user to see it.


In regards to businesses, 81% of people use Instagram to help research products and services. 58% of people say they have become more interested in a product or a service after seeing it on a Story. This is great as Instagram’s potential advertising reach is 1.16 billion users!


Meanwhile, Facebook has 2.74 billion users and reaches 59% of the world’s social network population. Facebook users spend 34 minutes per day using the platform and 79.9% of users only access the platform on their mobile device, with easy access to an app download store.


Facebook’s advertising audience consists of 2.14 billion users. An average user on Facebook clicks on 12 ads per month. But, let’s remember that not every ad needs to be clicked on for it to be effective!


Let’s Get to Posting, It’s Easy!


On Instagram, the first thing you have to do is switch to a business Instagram profile. Business accounts will drive traffic to your profile! You will now have the opportunity to run Instagram ads for strategic promotion!


Frequent posts on your Instagram account page will make your brand and app relevant to a user’s feed. If the posts are attractive and intriguing, the odds are higher that you will see a rise in app downloads! Instagram offers a step-by-step guide on how to post ads on your new business page on their app.


On Facebook, you need to make a Facebook Business page as well and set up your Facebook ads manager account. You will need to register as a developer on Facebook so you can manage and post ads.

If your goal is to increase app downloads, you will want to select the feature “App Install” campaign objective when creating a new campaign. This will help to reach those in your target audience easier and optimize app installations.


Facebook allows you to play around with different features such as the age, gender, and location of your audience so you can see which demographics perform the best with your ad. If you are starting with a smaller budget, it is recommended to start with a narrower audience that is more likely to be interested in your app. Facebook’s ad features will be sure to boost your app downloads!


Alright, what kind of ad do we post to make it successful?


  • Headline: The headline on your ad must be large and bold enough to catch someone’s eyes while they are rapidly scrolling through thousands of posts. Summarize the app’s purpose and include its name. Play around with this and figure out what makes users engage.


  • Creativity: Choose ad content that is creative and unique to your brand. You want your app to stand out amidst the competition in the app store, and you want the same for your ad amidst posts on Facebook and Instagram. While images perform well, videos tend to perform better as they offer more visuals and quickly connect users to the ideas of your brand and what you have to offer them. Social media can be overstimulating at times, so any post with movement will draw a user’s eye and they will give that post their attention.


  • Images and Videos: When choosing images for your ad, choose something bright and visually appealing so it will stand out amidst the white background of feeds. As for videos, perhaps show your app in use, a brief demonstration, or someone in your target audience viewing the app. This way, users can see your app in use firsthand and can better understand what it can offer them.


  • Deep Link: What is a deep link, you may ask? Deep links are great in that they will increase your conversion rates and reduce your bounce rates. A deep link sends users to your app straight from the ad, but ALSO sends them straight to a specific piece of content! These are especially useful if your ad highlights a specific feature of your app and the deep link will take them right to it. Facebook for Developers offers more information on how to best utilize deep links in their ads.


  • Call-to-action: Always add a call-to-action to your ad to drive your users to accomplish that goal by installing and continue using your app. Without a CTA, users may not download your app or understand the key benefits it can provide them. CTA’s serve as great motivators for app downloads and will be sure to grow your brand! Iron Roots Inc. says in reference to using CTAs to complete product sales, that “a user-friendly product page has links with these calls-to-action (CTA) that are easy to find on the page. Having clear CTAs on your product page, with buttons next to each product, will make the checkout experience easier for your customer. This isn’t a process you want to overcomplicate with branding or clever jargon. It’s very simple and regardless of the CTA you choose to use, and it should always encourage the customer to complete the sale.” The same can be applied when adding CTAs to your ad to generate conversions as app installs! CTA’s serve as great motivators for app downloads and will be sure to grow your brand!


  • Hashtags: Create a branded hashtag for your app and include it in every post that you do about your app on Instagram and Facebook. Hashtags have proven that they increase engagement on Instagram posts. Studies have shown that Instagram posts with hashtags result in a 70% increase in likes compared to those without hashtags. The more often you use hashtags related to your app and your brand, the more attention your mobile app and social media profile will get. Hashtags will increase likes and followers, provide free, user-generated content that they can share, and motivates an audience to check out your brand.


  • Use Tools Offered: Many tools can help you save time publishing ads on Instagram and Facebook that will allow you to schedule images, videos, and carousel posts, analyze a post’s performance, plan your Instagram feed, and queue posts and ads in advance. Schedugram, Hootsuite, and Planable are all sites that can allow you to easily manage your social media accounts and boost your app on Instagram and Facebook!



Finally, it’s time to launch your advertisement. This part is exciting! You will be able to have access to performance data provided by Facebook and Instagram that detail who and how your ad is reaching consumers. This data will allow you to make strategic decisions about optimizing your ads and boosting app downloads.


Have fun with these ads, get creative and stand out, and be sure to keep your users engaged after they install your app!



Author: Payton Hoffman

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