How Mobile App Install Advertising Works

It’s estimated that mobile app install advertising could reach $3 billion this year accounting for more than 10% of mobile ad budgets with an 80% year-over-year increase in spending. So, if you’re looking to jump into the fray, here’s some background information on how mobile app install ad campaigns work in Google Ad Networks:

  • Ad campaigns for mobile app installs are geared specifically toward getting more people to download your app
  • AdWords can help customize targeting, keywords, and ads based on your app ID and other information
  • You can easily gauge your campaign performance by tracking installs as conversions

Advertise apps with campaigns to drive downloads

With mobile app install advertising on the Search and Display Networks, and TrueView for mobile app promotion on YouTube, custom app install ads can be created that run exclusively on phones and tablets. AdWords helps create app install ads based on app icon and reviews, and these ads take people straight to the app store to download your app.

Based on the mobile operating system for the app you choose, AdWords can find your most likely customers and focus on showing ads to people who don’t have your app yet. Connecting your AdWords account to your Google Play Developer account makes this even easier: you can sync user lists and targeting, and track installs seamlessly.

Where mobile app install advertising can appear

  • On the Display Network, you can reach people while they’re using other apps that are similar to yours with app install ads. These advertising campaigns often get large volumes of impressions, which can increase awareness of your app and attract new app users who may not be actively searching for you.
  • On the Search Network, you can show app install ads to people while they’re looking for an app like yours on the Google search app, or Google Play (Android only). Search Network ad campaigns are a great way to connect with people who are actively looking to download an app like yours.
  • On YouTube, you can show video ads to reach people who are interested in content related to your app. Video ad campaigns can help boost awareness of your app with engaging content that grabs your customers’ attention at just the right moment.

Keeping track of your mobile app downloads

Use conversion tracking to help you see how effectively your mobile app install advertising campaigns lead to app installs and in-app activity. For Android apps distributed by Google Play, AdWords can track your app download conversions automatically. For iOS apps in the Apple App store, you’ll need to set up conversion tracking to count downloads as conversions. For both Android and iOS apps, you can also use 3rd-party conversion tracking systems to keep track of your app downloads.

Because these campaigns are optimized to count app downloads, there is no waiting period for Conversion Optimizer. As soon as you’ve set up conversion tracking, you can use Target CPA bidding to get more installs at your goal cost-per-install.


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