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Make the most of paid promotion with Facebook Ads

Posted by on 09/02/2016


When it comes to advertisement, Facebook is one of the most effective platforms. Since it gathers huge amounts of data about users based on updates, likes, comments, shares, page visits and even activities on other sites (yes Facebook is monitoring you even when you’re not in it), it is one of the most capable platforms for finding people based on their preferences.

Therefore, Facebook Ads have some of the highest conversion rates among paid advertisement platforms. A survey by eMarketer is testament to the fact: More than 95% of the polled marketers said that among social media platforms, Facebook gave them the best ROI.

This naturally means that Facebook should be your prime choice for paid app promotion. But you should take note that even though it’s effective, it’s not a magic recipe that will start getting downloads for your apps without any effort on your part. Like every other promotion platform, it’s got its own kinks and needs experimentation to master.

The key is to find the right people, in the right place, at the right time instead of wasting money targeting very broad demographics. And Facebook is perfect for that. In this post, I’ll share some tips to help you shortcut your path to success and get the most installs for your money.

geographic areas

Be very specific when choosing the target location for your ads. For instance, instead of targeting entire countries, go for cities. If you have a website to go with your app, with a little help from your analytics tool you can find the cities where you’re receiving the most traffic.

Your first instinct might be to opt for the city with the highest traffic. But that’s not necessarily a wise decision. Other factors are involved as well.

Placing ads in locations with higher traffic will require higher bids per app install. And there’s no guarantee that you’ll get high conversion rates by paying more, because you’ll have to compete with other publishers.


In most cases, choosing an area with less traffic will yield better results. It will lower the bid considerably while thanks to Facebook’s targeting accuracy it will still reach out to the convenient audience and can generate the same amount of installs at a lower price. This will help you save money on installs while keeping the conversion rates high.

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user demographics

As with geography, the key to targeting the right demographics is to avoid broad audiences. It abides by the same rules you find in ASO and SEO pertaining to aiming for long-tail keywords instead of high-traffic broad keywords.

For your audience demographics, make sure you choose the right age range, gender, interests (and device type if you’re offering your app on a specific platform). Again, you can choose your favorite analytics tool to find out about your demographics, but if you’re running a Facebook page (which you most certainly should), you can use Facebook Insights to determine your target audience.


As a last point, I want to emphasize again that when it comes to choosing target characteristics, instead of going with your instincts and making the most obvious choice (which will probably be what most of your competitors will be doing) try to make a slightly different choice, aim for a market that – albeit a bit less relevant to your app – will be less clotted with similar apps.

don’t turn over control to facebook

Facebook Ads have an ostensibly cool feature that lets you hand over the steering wheel to Facebook and let it optimize your bids automatically by choosing the best balance between bid and install rates. I don’t know about you, but in my case, despite all the respect I have for Zuck, I’m not willing to trust him with my wallet.


After all, they’re in it for the money and who can blame them? To be fair, the optimization algorithm does work to some degree, even though it takes a few days to get used to your audience and make the best choices. But at the end of the day, you never know what’s going on behind the scenes and you’re better off putting the extra effort to get more reliable results.

don’t pay for impressions

As you see, finding the right audience will get some work and getting used to. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wise to pay for impressions that don’t convert. So never start with the CPM (Cost per Thousand Impressions) because it’s going to start draining your cash without generating value. Note that this is the default value for Facebook Ad campaigns (obviously because it generates the most cash for them).

Start with the Cost-per-Install (CPI) model because in this way you’ll be paying exactly for the value you’re getting from your campaign. Once you’ve tweaked your ad message and audience and are confident on the right people that are receiving your message, you can consider the CPC and CPM models.

link your website’s traffic to your facebook ads

Landing pages and websites are a must have for apps. In fact, your website should be up as soon as you conceive the idea for your app and become serious in developing it. Website analytics give you some invaluable insights on your audience.

To make the most out of your website’s traffic, you can install a Facebook Pixel to link your site traffic to your app promotion campaign and retarget people who visit your site with your Facebook Ads. It will allow you to retarget people who visited your site with Facebook Ads. The Facebook Pixel Helper plugin will tell you whether your site’s FB pixel is working properly or not.

over to you

Facebook Ads have a lot of potential for generating installs for your app. Hopefully, these tips will help you to speed your way to mastering it and boosting your app’s acquisition rates.

If you have tips to share or questions to ask, please write to us in the comments.

Topics: App promotion