Incipia blog

10 Tips for Optimizing Facebook App Install Ads

Gabe Kwakyi | August 11, 2016

Featured image credit: Facebook Ads Manager

So You Set Up a Facebook Ads App Install Campaign...

And it's not performing as well as you'd hoped. Not to worry - it happens to the best of us. Check out these 10 proven tips for improving Facebook Ads campaign performance:

Preliminary Step #1: make sure your Facebook SDK is tracking the events you care about such as purchases, so you can create custom audiences and generate targeted lookalikes, as well as take advantage of Facebook’s new event optimized bidding.

Preliminary Step #2: make sure you know what your metrics and KPIs and target ranges are. What CPI or event conversion rate is acceptable? How much budget can you devote to your campaign? How do your other marketing channels perform? Without knowing what your goals are, you're pretty much flying blind and won't know when it's time to double down, stay the course or scale back; I want to get as many conversions for as low a cost as possible is no longer acceptable in the era of "hollow CPIs."
  1. Create a custom audience of your most valuable users and build and advertise to lookalike audiences in increments of 1% from 1% to 5%. These will have different CPIs and conversion rates, so study their performance and bid and budget accordingly to maintain ROI
  2. Study breakdowns and narrow targeting of placements/devices/ages/genders that do not perform
  3. Test creative constantly - try different images, ad types, ad text, ad headlines, CTA (call to action) buttons, everything. If you can change it, you can test it and get better performance.
  4. Separate Instagram from Facebook and the Audience Network, and create custom ads that resonate with users of each platform
  5. Keep an eye on ad frequency - lookalike campaigns can burn out fast and your conversion rate will decline, causing an inflation in CPI after a certain frequency
  6. Keep your CPI within an acceptable range without sacrificing volume by trying average cost bidding and allowing Facebook some more leeway to drive more installs when it finds pockets of performance
  7. Analyze a custom audience of users whom you receive the most value from in the audience insights tool and add characteristics of those users to your targeting
  8. Test iOS vs Android, phone models (e.g. iPhone 6s vs 6), operating systems (Android 5.0 vs Android 6.0), wifi vs any connection and other technical targeting characteristics
    1. Try different campaign types - several other Facebook campaign objective types can be relevant for mobile apps, including:
      1. Website clicks/conversions (driving app installs or service signups from your web page)
      2. Video views (if you have an enticing video)
      3. Brand awareness (if you can corral people to install your app)
      4. Lead generation campaigns (for email marketing)
    2. Hire an app marketing company that can implement these tactics and more and help you optimize your campaign performance

    That's all for now folks! Thanks for reading - stay tuned to the Incipia blog or subscribe to our email list for more app store optimization tips, tricks and hacks.

    Incipia is a mobile app development and marketing agency that builds and markets apps for companies with a development specialty in high-quality code architecture and keyword-based marketing optimizations. For blog/video or speaking requests, business or press inquiries please contact us at