Redefining Facebook: how brands should use Facebook Ad Apps

facebookFacebook is expanding its mobile advertising offering with a highly specific mobile app format.

It has been introduced to bolster the social network’s fast-growing mobile business and is a key revenue focus for the future. But how effective will they actually be? And how can clients use them to drive business value?

Mobile app ads, which allow companies to promote content within their mobile apps, will encourage users to remain active within the apps beyond the install.

The ad format will show in a user’s news feed and is a development on the app install ad, but instead of directing the user to the relevant app store, (to download), the new format will deep link to content within the app itself.

Previously, we would focus on one metric – cost per install. However, this only shows intent to download. And whilst the number of installs is vital for user acquisition in the infancy of a campaign the challenge then shifts on getting installed users to return and remain active within the app.

If a user has already downloaded the app then they are pre-qualified customers for the brand and more likely to be receptive to further advertising. From the user’s perspective the advertising is relevant to them as they have already signalled that they are interested from installing the app.

For clients, using Facebook’s mobile app ads increases the odds of a conversion and gives them the ability to directly link media spend on the platform to ROI – therefore driving business value.

Facebook’s new mobile app ads demonstrate the shift towards our clients wanting to track and attribute in-app purchases and user engagement metrics beyond the initial installation and these ‘mobile app ads’ help direct the user to the most relevant location within the app once installed.

This is vital to remove an extra stage in the consumer journey (which is often one of the main barriers for continued engagement with mobile and tablet apps) as well as allowing clients to flag a specific promotion or new update to the user.

For example, if a retail client combines its list of existing app downloaders from its own CRM database with Facebook’s custom audiences they can retarget lapsed customers by enticing them with a flash sale or the launch of a new product or range using the call to action, ‘shop now’.

Re-targeting users is nothing new in advertising and it is surprising that it has taken Facebook this long to integrate such a feature to help optimise the funnel beyond the install.

Currently there are limited calls to actions (7 in total) such as ‘book now’ or ‘watch video’, but hopefully more will be added in the future giving our clients more flexibility to entice their users back to their mobile apps.

Lexi Brown is Comms Planning and Strategy Executive at Carat UK