If your mobile application is a serious part of your marketing or sales strategy, the first way you usually choose is Pay Per Click (PPC) or Pay Per Install (PPI) promotion for your app. First of all, it is because you can plan your product launch and know how much money is required to achieve your initial goals regarding the number of app installations. The general approach to Pay Per Click or Pay Per Install campaigns is similar. But PPC is a bit simpler technically because it has less steps required to set up your advertising campaigns, while Pay Per Install approach usually requires to set up some kind of data exchange process between an ad network and an app store. The advantage of Pay Per Click platforms (networks) is obvious: they deliver quality internet traffic with wide targeting opportunities. Moreover, PPC networks provide huge coverage, so you can get as many downloads as you like. And lastly, Major PPC networks can deliver visitors with the highest conversion rates (such visitors will probably download your app and make some in-app purchases).
Developing your Pay Per Click promotion strategy may be tricky because there are so many options: from super quality Bing Search traffic to cheap PPC advertising networks like PopAds. Unless you work in one of few super profitable niches, you (PPC Manager) will probably have a hard time finding the balance between the traffic amount and its CPC (Cost Per Click). PPC budget optimization is a crucial question for marketing success for your mobile app and your online business in general.
In this PPC user guide, we analyze the best platforms to set up your PPC campaign (and/or PPI campaigns) and tell you about strong and weak sides of those systems. After reading this short Pay Per Click user guide you will be much more confident about which PPC networks to use under your circumstances. To keep it simple, we assume your marketing goal is achieving the maximum number of downloads for your budget. This will be a basic Pay Pay Click guide for mobile app promotion campaigns, so it is mostly suitable for busy small business owners, or those having no experience in mobile app promotion. But first let’s answer a couple of popular questions newbies ask regarding mobile app promotion strategies.
What landing page is better to promote: my mobile app’s app store page or a dedicated app download page on my website?
It is heavily dependant on your category/niche. For popular app store categories, it may be worth fighting for the high ranking in the app store search. But for new or undeveloped categories it is often better to guide your internet traffic through your website first; in this way, you have a better opportunity to use long-tail or unrelated keywords and convert those visitors to app downloads via some educational materials and lessons. Landing your potential clients on your app supporting website will also suit better in case your app is not approved by the major app stores, so that you can still get downloads for your mobile application no matter what.
How to set up the data transfer between your app and PPI advertising network?
While setting up your advertising campaigns, you may wish to pay for app installs, not for clicks. Pay Per Install advertising networks will suggest you to set up an automatic data transfer process, which will allow you to set goals, payments and get detailed reporting based on the actions your users take inside your mobile application. A set of developer tools provided by advertising platforms allows you to arrange the data transfer directly or via some established mobile marketing data providers, like AppsFlyer.
Facebook Ads basics: using Facebook Ads to promote your app (including Instagram ads)
After opening your Facebook Ads Manager and choosing to start a new advertising campaign, you will first be asked about your objective. If you have some relevant experience or just prefer to use Pay Per Click (PPC) model, then you will simply choose Traffic and drive potential clients to your app’s app store page or some dedicated app download page on your website. This option is often recommended to newbies. Otherwise, you can choose App Installs, but in this case, you are required to set up Facebook SDK (Software Developer Kit) before running any advertising campaigns. You can use a bunch of other approaches to promote your app, but we will limit this PPC user guide to Per Per Click and Pey Per Install advertising only.
Facebook SDKs will pass your app event data to Facebook. It means that you will accurately track some actions people take in your mobile application. Learn how to start with Facebook SDK setup by reading their help section. You will also need to register your mobile application on the Facebook For Developer's website.
After completing that Facebook SDK setup, you expect to get very detailed ad campaign reports. Facebook Ads is one of the best systems for the comprehensive campaign reports, as well as wide targeting options. You will be able to see many Mobile App Actions, which include: mobile app registrations, content views, searches, ratings, tutorial completions, add to cart actions, adds to Wishlist actions, checkouts, purchases, achievement unlocks, credit spends and more.
Facebook Ads Manager has the best location settings among all PPC/PPI advertising platforms, and it allows you to select streets and zip codes for the majority of countries and regions. Then you have a basic set of demographic targeting options: age range, gender, and languages. But no other advertising system can offer such a detailed setup in advanced demographic section, including education, income, date of birth, relationship status, employer name, job title, etc. It is only available on Facebook Ads, because people are completing their profiles on this social network with a high degree of specification. When making your ad campaign targeting you can also specify Interests (what topics are people interested in) and Behaviours (multiple behavior characteristics, like purchases).
Another important feature of Facebook Ads in Connections setting. It allows you to reach people who have a special connection to your Facebook page or app. It enables many retargeting ideas. And remember, that you can manually edit placements and include the assets of Facebook, Instagram or Messenger, where you want your ad to appear. With Facebook Ads Manager you can set up text, image and video ads.
Google Ads basics: using Google Ads to promote your app (including YouTube ads)
Google Ads is the only internet traffic platform which makes possible to bring a considerable amount of sales to almost any product niche. It is because Google Search has such a huge coverage and at the same time you grab your potential clients just when they are actively searching for your topic (and ready to buy your product). In case you have a complicated product, you can take the full advantage of video advertising on YouTube, which can explain the product in detail, preparing your customers for their purchase.
In Google Ads your ads can be generated using your own text ideas, some uploaded assets, and also content from your Google Play or Apple App Store page. Your Google Ads account can promote your app via a number of other Google properties, including Google Display Network and Play Store. It is worth mentioning that Google Ads provides you with very detailed location targeting, where you can target small GEOs, or even postcodes. But it depends on the country because some smaller or developing countries will not have the same level of deep targeting.
With Google advertising platform, you can set up both Cost Per Click and Cost Per Install campaigns for your app. In case of Cost Per Install model, you can import your conversions from a linked Firebase project. For this purpose, you should link your Firebase and Google Ads accounts first. As Android is also owned by Google, you can automatically track Android app installs and in-app purchases without adding any special code to your application. Another option is importing your Android or iOS app conversions from a linked third-party app analytics provider. For this purpose, you need to link your provider to Google Ads.
What is really convenient with Google Ads is that you can set up your bid separately for smartphones, tablets and desktops, plus adjust your bid for some demographic segments, like age groups, gender, or income. But the most important feature of Google Ads is the possibility to target specific keywords in Google Search. It does not matter whether you decided to promote your app store download page directly or using a special section of your website – in both cases, you will benefit from the exact keyword targeting. That will allow you to immediately bring app downloads and in-app purchases to any project, plus you can test any of your business processes inside a specially selected group of clients.
Twitter Ads basics: using Twitter Ads to promote your app
Twitter Ads will generally provide you with medium-cost-medium-quality traffic. The coverage is smaller than you can have with Google Ads or Facebook Ads, but it is still large enough, especially for advertising on launch or any other special event. It is the specifics of their product, reflected in Twitter audience. You can deliver a lot of visitors to your website with Twitter Ads, but this is not the most efficient way to drive direct traffic. If you use Twitter Ads where it performs the best, you will really see how good this channel can be. Twitter allows the whole world to immediately know about something, and what is the most important that people are usually ready to check out the thing that is trending. So, when using Twitter Ads your purpose is usually creating a trend, a piece of viral content, which may start with Twitter Ads and then continue for free. So, this is “just think” rather than “just do” attitude. If you are a “just do” kind of person, you better go for Google Ads.
With Twitter Ads you can set up your advertising campaigns to be charged on the number of app clicks or app installs. Any advertising should be inside a sponsored Twitter post, so when using Twitter Ads make sure you create an account that looks relevant and reputable enough to carry your advertising campaigns. The good thing is that there is an option to target your own followers, meaning that it is always worth to develop your account, not just using it for sponsored Twitter posts.
Like many other advertising platforms, Twitter Ads will give you an option for automatic bids, where your bid will be optimized by their bot, but it is usually better to set up as much as possible manually, because you need to deeply understand how does the advertising platform work to make sure you spend your advertising budget efficiently. Don’t be afraid seeing Twitter Ads suggest you a very high recommended Cost Per Click max bid – just put your desired CPC and you will probably get enough traffic with it. In fact, it is usually possible to get a considerable amount of traffic setting your maximum bid 5 times lower than recommended by Twitter bot.
Speaking about targeting options, Twitter Ads platform offers you a good way to set up some precise demographics: gender, age range, location (country, or as detailed as zip code for some large countries), language, desktop/mobile, device model, OS version, etc. Moreover, you can target your audience by such features like Twitter Search keywords, events, behaviors, interests, follower look-alikes, movies, and TV shows. Twitter keyword targeting works as good as Google’s, but people use that Twitter’s search box in a slightly different way compared to Google Search, so make sure you understand its specifics.
For the purpose of setting up the mobile app conversion tracking and thus getting your campaign reporting (on such important metrics like app installs or user sign ups), you will need to use one of Twitter’s mobile measurement partners. It includes many well-known brands like Adjust, AppsFlyer, Adways, or Kochava.