Video and carousel ad formats are to thank for a 54% annual lift in budget thrown at driving mobile app installs, according to a new report by agile marketing specialist Kenshoo.

Social platforms Facebook and Instagram helped generate a 95% year-on-year increase in total clicks throughout Q2 this year, owed in part to carousel ad formats, which support a slider of up to five separate images and links for a single product.

“Offering multiple links and images, or showcasing apps through video provides advertisers more flexibility in demonstrating their appeal to users”, said Kenshoo’s senior director of marketing research, Chris Costello.

“What’s more, these ads can facilitate greater interaction with users, driving clicks that are then opportunities for apps to be downloaded and integrated into people’s daily routines.”

Indeed, ramped up spend appears to be bearing fruit; Kenshoo found that a surge in clicks contributed to a 4% rise in the click-through rate for app install ads during the second quarter, based on analysis of 25 billion impressions, over 250 million clicks and over $100 million in total paid social spend.

Seasonal spikes

An important trend highlighted by the report is ‘seasonality’ within the mobile app space, identified by a considerable gap between investment in the last quarter of the year, when social spend is focused on product and retail ads, and the beginning of the year.

This pattern can also be seen in a month-by-month breakdown (see graph below), with low rates of spend in the months of Q4, before rising again after the holiday season, with January marking a spike app install ad investment.

Gaming dominates

The company’s managing director for EMEA, Rob Coyne, believes the study reflects the growing confidence among app marketers to increase budget for social app ads and using new formats, and underlines the significant role played by the gaming sector in social app install advertising.

As a segment particularly focused on driving app installs, gaming makes for a big share of the overall spend on app install ads. In Q2 it accounted for a staggering 78% of the total social ad spend.

As the market matures, Kenshoo is expecting to see more core patterns developing, with plenty of space for growth and change yet to occur.