Are you a business with a mobile app, or do you help businesses advertise their apps? Facebook ads are now helping you get them installed on more devices. Let’s look at some current trends in mobile apps, and then what Facebook is doing to help.
Mobile Apps, the Holidays and Beyond
Are you aware that mobile apps are a vital component of the holiday shopping season? While we’re fresh off the 2016 shopping season, we can learn a lot from past holidays and apply that to the coming year. For example, in 2015, comScore reported that online retail visits on mobile exploded with the mobile web exceeding app visits but app visits grew at 2x the rate.
An App Annie Intelligence report, “The Growth of Retail Apps” shows significant growth of mobile retail throughout the year: The total time spent in bricks-and-clicks apps (those from companies with both an online and physical presence) has gone up almost 40 percent in the last 12 months, and online-first retailers are seeing even better growth in time spent—more than 50 percent.
In money terms, mobile retail sales are expected to reach $220 billion in 2016, which is a 53 percent increase over 2015 sales. In fact, mobile represents 31 percent of online retail sales, and 44 percent of online retail traffic.
The inference here is that the most active shopping season of the year will take place largely not just online, but also within apps, and a lot of money will be exchanged in that space. So think about that for holiday season 2017.
Why Advertisers Should Care About Apps
Not long ago, we talked about trends in mobile apps and advertising, and emphasized how advertisers should pay attention as in-app advertising develops and gets greater spending.
That post looked at a comScore report on mobile apps, and highlighted the following:
- Almost 60 percent of time spent with digital is with mobile apps.
- The number of app users is growing by the millions.
- Smartphone apps drive the most web use for most adults under 65.
- Mobile app downloading has slowed, and most users spend their time with just a few preferred apps (like Facebook).
- Reaching large audiences with apps can be more challenging than with the mobile web.
- Mobile app audiences, once reached, are more loyal than mobile web users.
All this to say, app use on smartphones is popular, increasing and somewhat isolated for many users. If advertisers can advertise on one of the top apps this holiday season, they have access to a loyal and expanding audience.
If you have apps of your own, understand that they will likely be a top advertising channel, and can even be integrated with more traditional channels, such as television and internet ads. Further, while app stores used to provide the incentive to download apps, it seems that traditional and digital ads are now primary encouragers of app downloading.
For now, Facebook is the leading mobile app (see previous link). Let’s see how the social platform is bringing together the ideas of mobile apps and advertising.
Use Facebook Dynamic Ads to Promote Your Apps
What if you could use the most popular mobile app to effectively advertise your own apps? With Facebook—which is connecting advertising and app use on a whole new level—you can.
On Dec. 8, 2016, Facebook promoted dynamic ads as a way to push app installs. The timing is perfect, as smartphone sales and activity (like app installs) tend to spike after the gift-giving of electronics over the holidays.
As we saw in the previous section, most apps get little use. To counter this, Facebook also says it can help app advertisers target users who will actually interact with the app more than once, and then the platform will measure the impact of the dynamic ads.
Here’s how it works: Advertisers already use dynamic ads to promote relevant products and find the people who are likely to buy them. Now, Facebook is letting app advertisers show ads for apps, and to the people who are more apt to install them, such as recent visitors.
Taking it a step further, companies can use app event optimization to target customers who are more likely to use the app for bookings, gaming or shopping.
App advertisers can also use app remarketing to re-engage users and drive repeat actions, and view-through attribution to track impressions that aren’t followed up with clicks (which are known to drive installs).
In a conversation with AdWeek, Facebook app ads marketing lead, Christine Di Martini, said:
“The holiday period aside, app businesses are also facing a very unique challenge, and that challenge is that app businesses are no longer looking to just get discovery. It’s not that it’s not important, but the fact that it’s getting discovered by the right people and by the people who will use your app and use it over time is becoming increasingly important to their business.”
If you are an app advertiser or creator, now is the time to take advantage of Facebook’s dynamic ads and the growing popularity of apps in general. It can serve you well during the holidays and beyond!