With more than a billion users regularly connecting via mobile, Facebook offers a huge and tempting audience to app marketers. However, the opportunity Facebook offers to cost-effectively build a loyal user base is not without its challenges. App marketers need to figure out how best to take advantage of this powerful advertising tool. 

Here are five tips to maximise your results using Facebook’s mobile app install ads.

1. Leverage Facebook’s versatile audience refinement features

One of the most valuable features of Facebook mobile app ads is the near-endless combination of characteristics you can use to refine who sees your ads. Facebook leverages the information in users’ profiles to give marketers the ability to show their ads to a precisely targeted audience. Options include demographics, interests, behaviours, and more, and they can be combined in any variety.

You can also provide a list of current customers who have demonstrated excellent lifetime values, and Facebook can find more users like them. This “lookalike” option can be an extremely effective way to capture highly profitable users and expand your audience.

In addition to targeting users on Facebook’s News Feed, the introduction of Facebook’s Audience Network brings the option to deliver ads to third-party apps that are targeted using Facebook’s user info. 

2. Develop creative assets specific for Facebook

Facebook is a unique traffic source, and your creatives should reflect that. Here are a few items to consider:

Using the 1200×828 banner size. This ad unit has been proven to deliver twice the click-through rate of the default size.
In your text description, making sure you use the broadest keywords possible while still staying relevant.
Testing often: different images and keywords might work better with different segments. 

3. Reconnect and extend relationships with existing customers

App marketing on Facebook shouldn’t only be about acquiring new customers. Thanks to the “custom audience” feature, you can migrate existing customers to your mobile app. On Facebook, a custom audience is one targeted using identifying information you provide, such as email addresses, phone numbers, Facebook IDs, or mobile device IDs.

For example, many companies with significant audiences in the desktop space want to reconnect those customers to their mobile app. They could upload their current list of customers and target them with messages specific to that audience – a cost-effective way to spur that migration. These techniques often result in CPIs more than 60% lower than average for a given app.

4. Bid strategically using optimised CPM

Because click-through and conversion rates on Facebook are so high, if you choose CPC or CPM bidding, you can expect those bids to be noticeably higher than typical display networks, although the long-term ROI more than makes up for the increased initial costs.

However, we recommend bidding using optimised CPM, which can be more cost effective if done correctly. Optimised CPM allows you to set a goal, in this case a set cost per app install, and have the Facebook platform automatically display your ads to groups it believes have the best chance of beating your goal.

5. Don’t rely on Facebook alone: Develop an approach that reaches the entire ecosystem

Facebook can be an extremely powerful and effective traffic source for your mobile app. However, Facebook should not be the only traffic source you use. As every app has its own personality and target audience, Facebook may or may not be the most effective way to reach loyal app users.

It’s why we strongly recommend testing multiple traffic sources as part of a robust app marketing strategy. A varied approach allows marketers to insulate themselves from the high costs associated with network saturation, as well as reach the largest potential audience at the best cost per user.