Last month, Facebook made significant upgrades to their “Mobile App Install Ads.” The improvements included creative customization, inline app installs, and improved developer app insights. These changes lead to a far more appealing ad unit for app developers seeking to increase downloads. Here are some early observations:
1. CTRs are highest of all Facebook ad units (outside of premium) after customization.
We observed Click-Through Rates (CTR’s) averaging 3.7% (with individual campaigns drifting as high as 10%) on highly targeted Mobile App Install Ads with customized image and copy. CTRs are driven by the fact that these units have Newsfeed placement, are large 600 x 360 pixel images, and have customized text up to 130 characters in length. These uniquely eye-catching ads grab even more attention as the images and descriptions gain relevance to the targeted audience. Therefore, deep segmentation has increased value.
2. Costs are quite low.
Our ads have seen costs lower than $0.10 per click, in the United States, when running at controlled volume. Costs do vary subject to volume goals (there’s a premium on greater exposure) and type of application, but extremely strong CTRs allow advertisers to get great value on mobile clicks. As adoption of this ad unit grows, greater competition may likely drive increased costs
3. Improved installation flow benefits advertisers and users.
Installing mobile apps via Facebook’s new ad unit is easier than ever for iOS 6 users. The requirement to leave Facebook when installing a new app has been removed; users are presented with an App Store dialog box overlay directly upon clicking on an iPhone or iPad. After confirming the download with information from Apple accounts, users will be returned to their Facebook Newsfeeds. These Installs are less disruptive of the mobile Facebook user experience and should also boost conversion rates because of the less disjointed flow.
4. Tracking can come through integration of a Facebook or Third Party SDK.
An application does not require a Facebook login option in order to be promoted using Mobile App Install Ads, but the app must first be registered with Facebook. In order to track installs at the ad level, developers must install the most recent Facebook Software Development Kit (3.0 or greater for iOS, and the latest SDK for Android) or work with a 3rd-party mobile measurement provider. Advertisers can then allocate budget more efficiently and (if using Facebook’s SDK) even use oCPM bidding to optimize delivery toward users who are most likely to install the app.
These promising ad units prove Facebook has recognized the growing shift toward use of its platform on mobile devices and the related opportunity for app growth and discovery. Make sure to incorporate these exciting new options into your mobile strategy in 2013!
– Jon Oberlander co-authored the post with Alba Mertira (pictured), an NYU Economics grad who joined Ampush in October, 2012.