App promotion on social media for beginners
Social media is the most successful promotion tool for mobile apps today. Let’s find out why this is so, what types of ads exist and how to save money on ad campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat. It is an introductory guide for those, who’re discovering the world of ad promotion.
There are many ways to promote your app such as using web-channels, in-app advertising, Search Ads (in the App Store), and social media. In this article, we will review social media advertising and outline the key points.
Advertising on social media is integrated into the feed so that it does not differ from ordinary posts. The more «native» it is, the better: such ads are perceived naturally so that they do not annoy. Setting up targeting correctly will be rewarding. Moreover, each social media has its own specifics of presenting a product, and this should be borne in mind when targeting your ad.
Facebook advertising is a simple way to adjust an ad. Such tools as Ads Manager and Business Manager can offer a variety of formats, most of them target mobile devices. The Help Center allows you to quickly understand how it works, and choose the most comfortable format, set up targeting, study the necessary metrics and analyze the results of campaigns. Not the last advantage of the manager is the ability to run your ad on any of the related platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network (These are linked apps, which cooperate or belong to Facebook, they usually have a cheaper cost per click, but the conversion is lower too).
The following formats are possible:
- Ads in Messenger
- Instant Experience (It’s a landing page with different formats).
Instagram has proven to be the first-rate platform for promoting any goods and services, including apps. With an audience of over a billion subscribers worldwide, developers do have a chance to find their custom audience. What promotion options are possible?
- Posting in Instagram communities.
- Promoted posts and/or stories in influencers’ feed (more details are below).
- Content promotion on Instagram app.
- Correctly done giveaways with the right prize.
- Running ad campaigns from your Facebook account with Instagram as another placement. It can be paid ads in Feed and Stories. It is important to set up the right target.
How to set up targeting?
1. If we run an interest-based ad campaign, do not add too many interests in one ad set, one or two is enough;
2. It is better to create custom audiences right in the Ads Manager, and focus on them. We have such an audience — what kind of creative ad can we test? Where to get audiences: customer lists, Lookalike audiences, based on the lists of people who are similar to your current audience. For advanced users — we set up Facebook Analytics, implement events we need into the app, create an audience based on these events and launch an ad.
3. If your budget is more than $20 per day, it is better to simultaneously test several creative ads/banners on the same audience at once (sampling must be homogeneous and the test is correct). If your budget is less than $20, then iteration is better.
A nice option for promoting your personal brand and «warming up» the audience before a new product is released is to promote your Stories. It is a good way to increase your reach and to improve your brand’s visibility. A popular tool since 2017 is Facebook Instant Experiences (formerly known as Canvas), a special ad format for Stories. It is a full screen landing page that can include other formats such as video, image and carousels. You can also add call-to-action button — it is suitable for installation apps too.
To make friends with influencers
One of the supporting ways to promote on Instagram is cooperation with influencers. Choosing one, make sure that your audiences and values are alike. After that you should scrutinize the following numbers:
- The engagement rate. It is better when it is more than 2%. Remember, that the more popular the profile, the lower the index.
- Month-over-month follower growth rate. If the dynamics of follower growth are negative, it is likely that followers came from ads from other influencers or during a giveaway, but did not stay. It means that an influencer failed to engage a new audience.
- The dynamics of likes. The more gradual the line, the more likely it is that there are no fake likes. This data can be analyzed via services like Picalytics, Minter, ThendHERO.
If you are new to ad promotion and you are afraid of wasting money, start with Facebook and Instagram. They have the common Ads Manager where you can set up a simple campaign for testing. You can set up campaigns for owners of smartphones, tablets and new devices.
In 2020, the base of the new social network specializing in short entertaining video content reached approximately 1,368.3 million users and it continues to grow. The main selling principle here is, ‘Don’t Make Ads. Make TikToks’. No one will watch one-minute videos if they contain an explicit promotional message. The main pros of TikTok as an advertising platform:
- It is a field for experimentation with low cost per click in comparison with other social media;
- There is an extensive library of music to accompany the videо;
- «Hot» audience is a loyal creative community;
- There is a wide range of tools to tell the story of your brand.
Social app Plato was promoted through influencers: 10 bloggers in total made more than 1.2 million views, each of them individually provided up to 8,000 likes and 100 to 200 comments per post. You can read more about promoting mobile apps on TikTok and compelling business cases here.
You can promote your product on YouTube with the help of embedded ads and bloggers. There are a lot of ad formats, but most of them work to reach and increase visibility without the ability to interact with the ad. This is not very convenient for mobile app promotion. In this case, it is better to choose a skippable in-stream ad. Skippable in-stream ads play before, during, or after other videos. Viewers can click on the link and download your app.
If you have the mobile game, you must have your YouTube channel. At least with a gameplay video. In this case you would better use a Masthead ad. The banner will be placed on the main page of the mobile version at the top. It features a video thumbnail, channel name, icon, customizable headline, description text and call-to-action. A video will autoplay without the sound. When a user clicks on the ad, he will be taken to your YouTube channel.
Among the forms of collaboration with bloggers are:
- Let’s play – it is a video recording the playthrough of the game, including a blogger’s commentary.
- Live streaming – it is a live broadcast of the game.
- Review – it is a detailed review of the app features with blogger’s tips.
Twitter has three main ad formats: Promoted Accounts, Promoted Trends, Promoted Tweets.
- The first format motivates to follow your brand or product account.
- The second format will help to place your ad in Trends list on Twitter’s. It will be on top of the Trends list.
- The third format is about a certain tweet promotion. It allows you to target specific users and post your tweet directly in their feed.
Twitter Ads is uncertain. Generally, it is much more expensive compared to other mobile ad formats. For a start, it is better to test the conversion with a small budget.
Snapchat has many promotion options:
- Single Image or Video Ads – it is images or video shown between Stories. Users can swipe the screen to see more (website link, full video, or article).
- Collection Ads – it is an ad, containing a video and four tappable tiles to showcase product features, in our case, of a mobile app.
- Story Ads – it is a series of ads in Snapchat’s Discover section that may have a collection of 3-20 single images or videos.
- Lenses AR Experience – it is an opportunity to make stories with elements of augmented reality, based on characteristics of your product. It promotes a more engaging experience of users.
- Custom filters with your brand icon.
- Commercial non-skippable 6-second video ads. This is the new Snapchat ad format, which we have covered in our last digest.
Things to remember when promoting your app
- Don’t forget to install the attribution tool. You should do it before launching your campaign otherwise you will not understand from which channel, how much conversion you will get. The most popular attribution tools are: Appsflyer, Adjust, Kochava и Branch.
- Calculate everything and write a media plan. The analysis helps to predict how much one new user will cost. You can write a media plan with clear future expenses and stick to it.
- Set a minimum budget to test. You can keep within a budget of $100-150 per channel and see which one brings in the most conversion during the week.
- Remember that downloading an app by a user is only part of the success. Users often delete an app after a few minutes of using it or do not open it at all. It is important to maintain users’ loyalty with regular updates, rewards and special offers (you can use push-notifications), work honestly with feedback, especially with negative reviews.
Check out our article on how to properly deal with feedback.
Social media are constantly launching new ad formats, so it is better to check for updates. We have our finger on the pulse and tell about all the news in our monthly digests. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay tuned.
Don’t forget about free promotion methods. ASO is one of them. We write a lot about the nuances of optimization and provide accurate analytical data for promotion. Try it.