Tag Archives: Viral Marketing

Google Apps

Facebook Ads for Mobile Apps – Insights and Retargeting

In part 1 we looked at Audience targeting options, Custom Audiences and Lookalikes.

In part 2 we will review how to create Facebook mobile ads with Facebook Insights and Retargeting and include a few mobile app specific ad examples.

Facebook Insights

If you have a Facebook fan page or a custom audience with 1,000 members – you can start exploring Facebook Insight data for an existing audience or target audience.

If not – Facebook Insights still provides a truly amazing market research tool – for free.

FB Audience Insights

Whether you are using Facebook to run user acquisition or re-engagement ads or not – investing some time in Facebook Insights can help you better understand your target audience, or find new audiences for your app.

To show how powerful Facebook Insights can be – let’s look at it in action.

FB Insights Yoga MomFor this example, we’ll explore a very specific target audience and see if we can’t gather some insights about this group.

We have a product or service that targets women with children who love yoga. Maybe it is a mobile app that has 5 minute yoga routines for busy moms who can’t find 45-90 minutes to escape into Yoga zen, but still want to keep flexible on the go.

Following along on the left – you can see all the audience criteria I added. This is probably too targeted as some of the value of Facebook Insights is to start broad and let the data “come to you” – but wanted to show just how deep you can get.

Our criteria for the group:

  • Female
  • 22+
  • Interested in Yoga
  • Speaks English
  • Married
  • With Child/Children 0-12 years old
  • Owns a Smartphone





Insights tells us that this group fits into a few lifestyle groupings that seem pretty obvious, and show us that occupations such as Nurses and Personal Care (child and senior care) are more than double as likely for this audience than the general Facebook audience.

FB Insights Occupation


FB Insights Lifestyle

Keep exploring across the tabs for Page Likes, Location etc..  to gain further insights into your audience.

Our Yoga Mom audience is more likely to have a household income of $125K+ and spend more on “subscriptions” and “kids products” than on “health and beauty”.

FB Insights Income


FB Insights Purchase

How could this impact your campaigns?

Yoga Mom Nurses in $125k households who spend a lot on kids, and subscriptions but not “themselves” – how about:

You spend all day taking care of others – spend 5 minutes on yourself with “5 Minute Zen – the 2 pose per session Yoga App” – only $4.99 monthly

Lot’s of different things you could do with this data – for Facebook ads, or just general market research and product development.

I kind of want to make the 5 minute yoga app now!


If you use any free or paid analytics in your mobile apps – you are familiar with custom events.

Used to track user actions in your app, from viewing a specific screen/location in your app, to pushing buttons, sharing, purchasing an in-app item etc..

With Facebook Custom Audiences – mobile app publishers can create unique campaigns targeting existing users who have taken specific actions in your app.

For example – if a user was a heavy user (measured by usage or LTV) of your app, you could run a campaign in Facebook targeting all heavy users with advertisements for your newest mobile app.

Or new in-app items, or in-app sale.

Or target heavy users who have not opened app in 3 weeks with a half-off sale.

Again – the possibilities are just about limitless.

Just as with custom audiences based on specific actions in your app, Facebook provides retargeting pixels.

Marketers can create and target a custom audience built of people who visited an app landing page and didn’t sign up (or who did – you are the boss) with news of your app launch/new version/promotion.

Worth noting – Facebook requires at least 100 people per targeted country before they will build Custom Audiences or Lookalike audiences.

Better to start tracking in your next release or add a pixel to your app landing page, even if you don’t have a plan for how to market to visitors or users yet.

With Facebook investing a great deal in tools and infrastructure for mobile app developers and marketers – including app analytics, messaging and app linking (to name 3) – Facebook’s advertising platform and tools are becoming an essential piece of a complete mobile app marketing strategy.


User recommendation is the most powerful sales tool

It has been established by numerous independent studies that App Store Search is the most powerful sales channel for apps of all kinds.  Nearly 70% of all downloads across both iOS and Android ecosystems are driven by keyword search queries.  This behavior is easy to understand – most people don’t know what specific app they want to download, only the problem that they are looking to solve.  Indeed, whenever I observe friends or family downloading apps they turn to search first – terms like “Finance Apps” “Movie Times” “Shooter Games” are how end users define app discovery.

The point above also illustrates why charts are largely irrelevant for most apps.  Charts are an un-targeted, expensive way to get a great deal of visibility – but not necessarily the right visibility.  Most users who want an app to perform a specific task aren’t going to scroll through 100’s of tiles in a category listing to find what they are looking for.  Buying your way to the top of the charts has been reported to cost as much as $100,000 in today’s market, making this kind of “bulk marketing” extremely risky gambling for most developers and publishers.

Success in App Store search requires picking the right keywords, optimizing your app description and taking steps similar to traditional SEO for the web.  Unlike the web, there is a tool that apps have to enhance their positioning within App Store search and increase the traffic from this powerful channel.  In all digital marketplaces, more than 85% of users base their purchase decisions on recommendations from other users.  This is also true in the App Store (and other digital stores like Google Play).


If your app doesn’t have user validation and feedback, mobile user reviews, you won’t fully maximize your opportunity to reach users in App Store search.  This is very much like being in the middle of a foreign city and searching for a nearby restaurant.  You are far more likely to dine where others (locals, not necessarily those just in your own social network) recommend you will have the best experience.  When a potential customer searches for a term closely related to your app, they are making a decision to click and view more almost exclusively based on the recommendations of other users.

Think of your own app download behavior – doesn’t this process ring true based on how you discover and download most apps?

In addition to these benefits, user reviews and ratings impact how App Store search engines relate your app to the keywords that you have chosen.  If you are focused on building a travel app that gives a guided tour of Iceland, you will probably select keywords like “Travel” “Iceland” “Iceland Tours”, etc.  Having user reviews that mention this focus will help the App Store know that your app is related to those keywords.   Think of this like having strong back links to your website which help Google determine what your website is all about.

Consider these factors when designing and marketing your next app.  The choices you make and tools that are used can greatly increase the effectiveness of your marketing and increase organic uptake.