PPC Strategies for Marketing Your App

Last modified:
Sophie Monks

Senior Social Specialist

In March 2010, there were 150,000 apps in the App Store, by June 2015 there were more than 1.5 million. Whereas, according to App Annie, worldwide app downloads grew 15% year-on-year in 2016 to more than 90 billion from the iOS App Store and Google Play.

With humungous figures like this, it is understandable why many new businesses are eager to get into the competitive market, but how can you ensure your app stands out from the rest and achieves maximum downloads?

Well, first you need to understand why people use apps – you can read all about that in our post ‘Mobile App Marketing: Why Do People Download Apps?’ Then, the next step is to check out this guide where our PPC Specialist, Luke Ali, discusses pay per click advertising for mobile app marketing:

Start with the Basics… App Install Ads


If your main goal is to maximise the number of app downloads, then app install ads are probably the best place to start as they allow users to install an app straight from an ad. Some advanced ads even allow you to show a playable preview of the app, however the most basic text ads with their icon and description text should be enough when first starting out.

If you opt for a universal app campaign, your app install ads will appear in a number of different formats across Google’s network and will be automated based on your targeting and bidding.

Talking of bidding, it is extremely important to take care when choosing your keywords. It’s a delicate balance between maximising impressions and targeting specific audiences which are more likely to convert.

laliLuke’s top tips: Collect reviews of your app and include ratings in your ads – these can be a great trust factor and encourage installs.

Go Social with Suggested and Sponsored Ads

Another avenue to consider is social media ads as they are relatively inexpensive and have powerful targeting options. For example, ads on LinkedIn can me segmented by company or job title, whereas Instagram ads can be targeted using interests and behaviours.

For example, Facebook proudly talks about App-happy’s success story which secured 110,000 signups for its new app and achieved 85% of its revenue from Facebook traffic. The company received five times the return on its ad investment too.

And this isn’t an isolated event. HappyFresh, an online grocery platform in Asia, used Instagram app install ads and managed to reach 3.6million people in Kuala Lumpur and a 30% lower cost per install.

laliLuke’s top tips: Will your app be available on iOS, Android or both? As a consumer, there is nothing more annoying than being advertised something you can’t use.

Say “Hello Again” Using Remarketing

Whether it’s cart abandoners or past browsers on your site, remarketing to those who have previously visited but not converted can be a successful way of maximising installs. After all, some people like to mull things over before making a commitment and downloading.

Google’s second chance ads can be effective as you know this customer has an interest in your sector, therefore these ads are more likely to lead to conversions than first-time text ads.

Don’t want to badger people who aren’t interested? No problem. Remarketing allows you to target users based on a number of factors, including:

• how long they spent on your site
• if they abandoned a cart
• if they made a prior purchase

Plus, much more… which means you can choose how far along the purchasing funnel users must get before they become remarketed too.

Learn more about our remarketing services by reading our blog post ‘Remarketing: Why It’s Bad (And How You Can Do It Right)’

laliLuke’s top tips: Consider the copy on your landing page and in your ads so it is clear what users should expect. Stats show that 90 days after install, 95% of people have abandoned an app – don’t let your users leave 89 days before that.

Let Liberty Help Maximise Your Installs

App install ads, social advertising and remarketing ads are just a taster of some of the many PPC strategy techniques you can use to for mobile app marketing. There’s also in-app retargeting, customer match, and whole host of methods, including advertising within the App Store itself… but we’re not going to tell all our secrets.

If you’re interested in learning more about PPC strategies for marketing apps, then pick up the dog and bone and get in touch with our specialist team. Or, read more about PPC services:

Our Guide to Programmatic Media Buying
Find Your Treasure Trove Through Promoted Pins. It’s Seriously Pinteresting…
Excel Formulas for PPC: 7 Tricks to Make Paid Search Simpler


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Sophie Monks

Senior Social Specialist

Sophie has over 6 years of experience in the social media and content space, working in both in-house organisations and agencies. She has worked with exciting established brands in her time such as Campari, Aperol Spritz, Oppo Ice Cream and PayPal Australia. She enjoys the content creation process – from mapping out the shot and…

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