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Using Facebook ads to drive app downloads

Wandering on Facebook 24/7? App developers, you can now cash in on your obsession. This article shows you how to harvest Facebook to reap your…

It's no secret that using Facebook to advertise has become a booming trend and effective tool utilized by businesses across the world to improve their bottom line. For the mobile developer, spreading the word about your application to a network of millions of people can be done with a few minutes in an editing tool and a small fee. Getting your own app onto Facebook to push your download rates to the next level is a straightforward process that only requires a few overarching principles in place to be accomplished properly. 

It All Starts with the App

Everything about your advertising methods should start with your application in mind. The app is your blueprint for the entire project so make sure to model it for success. Some apps can rely on brand recognition and a large marketing budget to overcome shortcomings in their product, but most startups will fade into oblivion if they advertise an incomplete or broken app. You can plan your marketing strategy ahead of time, but avoid trying to reach beyond the staff and any staunch supporters until you are ready for launch.

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Advertisement Design Basics

A Facebook ad is constructed through its browser-based tool and consists of either an image combined with text or a video that is filtered to viewers via profile results. Take the time to determine your target audience for every advertisement individually, then construct the actual ad with them in mind. This portion requires a combination of marketing brilliance and a stroke of authenticity. Try to recall the Facebook ads that captivated you while take pains to avoid those that tend to repel you from click on their links (e.g. poor grammar, obvious hyperbole, overused statements, and boring imagery).

Try to think of the larger marketing scheme while forging your first ad. Changing vital elements like your app's logo or mascot will reset brand recognition, so a firm decision on which path to take can limit wasted efforts. Conversely, don't stick with a flopping campaign that is having a negative impact on downloads, reputation, or just because it is the plan in place. It’s better to abort a disastrous campaign and swallow your losses rather than wait indifferently for the entire ship to sink. Similarly, question the integrity of status quo at all times and don’t be afraid to replace current affairs to more effective methods.

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Making It Easy

Facebook will encourage you to select an objective for your advertisement campaign, and "Get installs of your app" is one of the options. By plugging in the link to your app's iTunes or Google Play page, the Facebook ad tool will provide you with a “Call to Action” button that installs the app. But don’t stop there. The consumer market is yours to carve. Take advantage of the profiling tools by creating individual ads for both Android and iOS versions of your app if it's cross-platform. This makes it easy to go directly from the ad to using the app and avoids frustrating the potential user.

Pay the Piper

Heath Ledger’s Joker once said “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” Facebook knows the value of their service, and they aren't going to give it away like fortune cookies. The amount of "airtime" your advertisement gets will be determined by the budget you set for your ads, and throwing more funds at them will directly result in more views. There is no right or wrong level for your budget, but considering the potential of daily views that Facebook suggests when determining the budget, the general rule of thumb is that 1% or less will convert into actual downloads. From there you can begin to have an idea of how much reach your ad will have.

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The Social Sphere

After you have a person enamored with your app, you need to take advantage of the proximity to their social network that's offered by a Facebook-based ad campaign. You've already made it easy to sign up and share, but now you need to give them the incentive to do so. Here the developer’s craft and cunning is tested. How do you make potential customers take the bait? Tickle the hungry stomach with a shred of bacon and it will growl for the hidden steak. Some users will share simply because they found your app useful or entertaining, but you will see a drastic increase in sharing if you provide a free upgrade, premium service, or another valuable functionality in your app to compensate them for becoming a part of your marketing campaign.

To reiterate: The entire point of using Facebook to advertise is because it is the kingpin of social networks. If you do not get the most out of the "social" aspect, you are not getting the most value from your marketing. Facebook is the most popular and reputable social domain. If you want to successfully advertise anywhere on the web, this is the ideal launching pad.

Facebook, desktop, laptop, mobile, phone, ads, app, downloads, conversion

A World Driven by Data

After your ads are up and running, maintain a close watch and adjust the specifics as needed. Any and all data that you can store for analysis should be kept, but make sure to follow security regulations if it happens to include personal information or financial details. Facebook will provide you with information like Click-through-Rates and conversion ratios, and your marketing staff and social media managers should all be paying close attention to the numbers. They can point to a failing advertisement, problems in the target audience, or the single ad that caused your app to go viral.

Data analysis is the final key to creating an effective, impactful Facebook campaign for your mobile application. With these guidelines in place, you're on your way to being a savvy social marketing expert. Follow these steps closely but allow room for split-second improvisations and you can levy the annoyance of social media popups into your very own cashing printing machine. Now whenever you sign onto Facebook, you will be greeted with a welcome that goes beyond homepage notifications.

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