Boost Facebook Mobile App Ads With App Event Optimization

By Tinuiti Team

An Overview of App Event Optimization on Facebook Mobile App Ads

Facebook just became a better place to advertise mobile shopping apps.

Right now, most purchases occur through apps (58%), but according to Facebook, apps are abandoned by 94% of users about 30 days after downloading.

Unfortunately, optimizing your Facebook Mobile App Ads for “App Installs” doesn’t really help with app retention.

Enter: Facebook’s App Event Optimization. Now, according to Facebook, you can optimize your mobile app ads for App Events, or “people most likely to complete an app event.”

How Does Facebook’s App Event Optimization Work?

Instead of targeting with a focus on “App Installs,” you can get your mobile app ad in front of those users who are most likely to buy, browse, or complete other valuable actions over a longer period of time on your app.

These mobile app ads can be seen on Facebook mobile, desktop, Instagram mobile, and Instagram Mobile App Carousels.

Here are some of the new targeting options that can get your mobile app on the radar of more targeted customers on iOS:

To see a full list, see Facebook’s App Events for all platforms. 

Facebook App Event optimization options


Photo by Facebook

According to Facebook, you’ll be charged the same as you were when optimizing for installs. However, “The difference is that your ads reach people most likely to take the action you specify, not just the ones most likely to install your app.”

So how can you make the most of these new features for Facebook Mobile App Ads?

1. Start With a High-Quality App

First, it’s important to have an app that’s worth using in the first place. If your app is buggy, glitchy, or just doesn’t provide enough value for your user, you can’t expect Facebook’s App Events to keep them coming back for more.

Sarah Rogers, Senior Social Strategist at CPC Strategy, weighs in on the sarahquality factor.

“If a brands want people to continue interacting with their apps, it has to be worth it. And to create a good app, they’ll have a lot of time and effort into it. If they have the resources to dedicate that to an app, they’ll likely see better results.”

2. Set the Right Goals

facebook mobile app ad

Your mobile app ad strategy should be based on your unique goals.

For instance, if your goal is to generate brand awareness, you may care more about lots of downloads and not necessarily long-term use.

“The mobile app downloads ads I’ve run in the past were all for branding interactive “fun” apps, and they perform really well, but they’re short term,” says Rogers.

On the other hand, if your goal is to get users engaged with your shopping app on a regular basis—as it is for most shopping apps—then you’ll really benefit from these targeted ads.

What Facebook is trying to solve is how do we get people not to just download these apps, but continue to interact with them,” says Rogers.If you’re focused on branding and meant to be a fun one-time app, a user deleting your app one month later isn’t a bad thing. But if you’re trying to build out an ecommerce app, that would be a bigger problem.”

3. Target the Audience With the Most Potential

There are so many options for targeting potential app downloaders—from cart abandoners to recent signups. What targeting option is right for ecommerce apps?

“I think it still depends on what your goal is,” says Rogers. “But for the majority of ecommerce apps, ‘add to cart’ would be a good segment to target because you’re not just getting in front of people who are app-happy. You’ll actually get in front of people who buy from apps.”

4. Use Concise Ad Copy

An app is most likely to be used by shoppers past the “top of the funnel”, and content should be tailored accordingly.

“You should be trying to target people who are past the awareness phase,” says Rogers. “It’s asking a lot of people who’ve never heard of you to download your app, especially if you’re a new brand. If they do download the app, it’s probably just out of curiosity.”

Perhaps even more importantly, don’t be ambiguous in your ad copy.

People should know exactly what they’re downloading and why they’re downloading it. If I hit “install now”, there shouldn’t be any question in my mind what I’m going to get,” says Rogers.

Getting Started With Facebook App Event Optimization

Ready to get those Facebook Mobile App Ads optimized with this new feature? Here are the basic requirements for using Facebook App Event Optimization:

If you qualify, follow the directions to set up your Facebook Mobile Ads with App Event Optimization.

Want to learn more about advertising on Facebook? Check out some of our recent posts:

Want to learn more about Facebook App Event Optimization? Have you tried it? Share your thoughts at [email protected]

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