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- From Frustration to Success: Master Facebook Ads Media Buying with These 7 Game-Changing Tips
From Frustration to Success: Master Facebook Ads Media Buying with These 7 Game-Changing Tips
Here are 7 smart tips to nail for mobile app ads
If you are a media buyer for mobile app ads, then first of all, I sympathize with you. Ads are harder to run for mobile apps than DTC, SaaS, or any digital product.
Why, though? Well, you can’t track the direct conversion from the ad to purchase and attribute it easily. And, you will never know which ad is working, at least not for iOS.
Playstore is a different game and user behavior is totally different. So, you can’t really conclude if Playstore experimentation ads would work exactly the same way as for an iOS user. The average revenue per user for Apple users is also higher than for Playstore users (at least for my clients).
But don’t worry, I’ve finally figured out how to track and attribute the right way track and attribute. Even if you’re not in mobile app marketing, you’ll learn a thing or two from this post.
Here are 7 smart tips to nail for mobile app ads:
1. Choosing the right campaign objective and event
I’ve tried purchase, app installs, and add-to-cart events as an objective. What I’ve learned, is that if your purchase objective is too far in the funnel, FB won’t be able to track and app install is kinda “leads” objective but you will not see if someone actually created a new account or not.
I’ve decided to go with “add to cart” i.e., start a free trial as an event. It’s a mid-funnel campaign event.
So, which objective should we choose? Choose to maximize app events, not installs or clicks and focus on add to cart.
If you are directly leading to purchase, no freemium or free trial. I recommend choosing to purchase as an event.
This is the key learning. I tried at least half a dozen experiments to arrive at this conclusion.
2. Automated vs manual campaign types
Just like Advantage Shopping+ campaign, mobile app have automated ads. So, I’ve now decided to run automated ads campaign + manual campaign to see which one is giving good results.
Automated ads have a max 50 creative asset limit and then FB decides which ones to choose. I thought this was a good decision until I found out that FB is not spending money on my winner creatives.
Therefore,, I made a new campaign and added all my winners, and conversions were way better. So, I’ve decided to run two main campaigns and one experimental manual campaign.
Key mental model: Don’t rely 100% on Facebook. My cost per free trial is $14 cheaper compared to automated ads.
3. How to target the right user
At the moment, I am only running broad campaigns and no lookalike audience. I have not tested lookalike campaigns long enough to have a significant conclusion on that. Facebook finds the right users for me.
But do make sure you have this setting right since it will impact your entire campaign:
Make sure that you choose iOS 14+ campaigns
Remove iPod and iPad targeting
This placement setting (shown below) is more important than you think
4. How to learn if FB Ads is working as a channel post-iOS 14
For post iOS 14, here are few ways you can verify if Facebook Ads are working for you:
You can try a post-purchase survey and find the difference
You can try turning off Facebook Ads temporarily to see the impact on your new user acquisition
You can run ads for one country and see if that country gets more traction than other countries
Most importantly, you need to allow 7-14 days for your creative testing before you see the results. It takes a while for iOS to pop results.
5. What’s the holygrail for fixing attribution?
Many mobile apps have the same issue. Can I tie my ad to finding the purchase and then figuring out if there was a message-market fit or not?
Well, the only solution for fixing the attribution is: using a quiz for web onboarding via a quiz.
You can see it in these three examples:
All of these brands have moved toward web onboarding and all have seen significant increase in conversion rates. One of the brands that I work with, has seen a 3X increase in conversion rate.
But the best part? They don’t have to pay the 30% Apple fee.
I’m also trying web onboarding with one of my clients to see if we can bring the CAC down, increase the conversion rate and attribute the ads properly.
I’ve tried Savvy for this kind of onboarding. I was super happy with it and if you do try it, let them know I sent you (not affiliated).
However, figuring out a proper converting quiz won’t be easy and will take time. You need to be patient and smart about how to do it.
6. What metrics to track?
Other than the traditional metrics, I am paying close attention to cost per install, cost per free trial, and CPC to make my decisions. But most importantly, you need to allow at least 7 days to evaluate those metrics.
7. Key lessons I have learned from running mobile app ads
If possible, avoid mobile app ads clients. You’ll be much more relaxed. Why? Not knowing which ads convert is pretty painful
Be patient: allow at least 7-12 days to find winners in your experiment campaign
Mobile app ads play more of a creative strategist role than a media buying role, so make sure your clients understand this
Focus on CRO to improve conversions
For global audiences, run ads based on languages and group them together in one campaign
Use attribution tools like Kochava, Savvy, Adjust, AppsFlyer and data.ai (formerly App Annie) to make your life easier
If possible, move to the web version as soon as possible. More opportunities lie there.
That’s all from this week.
I know this is a niche topic but I bet you’ve got something out of it. Especially, don’t rely on Facebook 100%, and try a quiz funnel.
Happy Growing with Paid Social,
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