Written by Kat Peake April 7, 2020

Making the most of your app install campaigns across networks

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man using smartphone

With some 4.18 billion mobile internet users

in the world today, apps are increasingly instrumental in the way people communicate, work, work out, shop, increase their productivity, play, and more. Just think of how many apps you open in a day! Today more than ever, with a large part of the global population staying at home, apps of all kinds are seeing a surge.But just riding the wave of app popularity and hoping for the best won’t cut it. The goal of any  business with an app is to get their application into the hands—and onto the phones—of the people who are most interested in what you have to offer.

Digital advertising is a powerful way to achieve that goal. Across networks, advertisers can leverage innovative solutions to drive the right customers to their apps.

To help you drive better results for your app install campaigns, here’s a look at your options across networks and some best practices for your campaigns.

App install campaigns

Let’s take a step back to define exactly what we’re talking about. App install campaigns drive the audience directly to your app store listing for near-frictionless installation. These campaigns are an essential part of the acquisition strategy of any business with an app.

So, what are your options across networks? Here is a quick overview.

audible creatives


App install objective. Facebook’s App Install objective showcases screenshots and videos, explains the benefits of your app, and uses a custom call-to-action button such as “Install Now” to direct your visitors into your app.

Facebook playable ads. Originally conceived for gaming, these interactive ads can be a great way for any app to drive installs. They allow users to engage with the experience of an app or game in their Facebook news feed, before clicking through to download it from the app store. Businesses like audio books platform Audible and the finance app Stash have seen great results with playable ads!


App Install attachments allow Snapchatters to swipe up and download the advertised app. The App Install attachment displays an install card at the bottom of Single Image or Video ads, Story Ads, and as a small pill CTA for Lenses.


With app install campaigns on Twitter, people are able to install your app directly from their timelines. These ads use App Cards, which let users preview an image, view app ratings, and install or open an app directly from Twitter.


Google streamlines the process for app advertisers. You gather all the elements: a few lines of text, a bid, some assets, and the rest is optimized by Google using Machine Learning to help users find your app. This works across Google’s properties, including Search, Google Play, YouTube, Discover, and the Google Display Network.

Best practices

Running the right campaigns on the right networks is only a piece of the puzzle. Here are some best practices that can help you get the most out of your app install ads investment.



If you’re running app install campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, you’ll need to install the mobile SDK, which is much like the pixel. The Facebook SDK enables you to pass app event data from your app to Facebook. With app event data, you can accurately track and measure the actions people take in your app. Having more accurate data on these actions lets you target your ads even better.

On other networks, use a third-party tracking partner like AppsFlyer or Adjust to measure app event data.


international-lookalike-audiencesCreate audiences based on the behavior of your app users. This can be used to re-engage users who have stopped using the app or to acquire similar users compared to the ones you already have using lookalikes.

Also think cross-network when it comes to segmentation. Retargeting across channels can be a good solution to get more users interacting with your app.

You can also use in-app behavior to better target your ads. You might want to serve a different ad to someone who uses your app frequently compared to an infrequent user.



Just like with any other type of ad, your creatives are what will tell your app’s story and draw users in. Here are a few quick tips to help you design effective app install creatives:

  • Show some of what the user will see in the app so they get a sense of the look and feel of it.
  • Make it clear that you’re advertising an app. One way to do this is by including a mobile device in the creative itself.
  • Adapt your creatives to where your customer is in the funnel. Video could be effective in getting users to install your app, whereas a promo code could work better if your goal is to re-engage users.
  • Test different elements to see what performs best: CTAs, images, copy. Just be sure to limit the number of elements you test at one time to ensure you have the data you need to draw the right conclusions.

Mobile duplication on Paragone to simplify your campaigns

When it comes to apps, targeting based on the user’s operating system is essential.

The process of setting up campaigns for different operating systems is time-consuming, though, since networks don’t offer an easy solution to duplicate a campaign from Android to iOS or vice versa. So we decided to create a solution! It’s easy. All you have to do is open the report for your mobile OS specific campaign in Paragone, and then click the “Duplicate for Android” (or for iOS if your original campaign was targeting Android devices), and your whole campaign will be duplicated with an audience targeting only Android (or iOS) users.

This feature is particularly useful for businesses advertising their apps, but it works for any kind of campaign.

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