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The Complete Guide to Running a Facebook App Install Campaign

Congratulations on your new app!
Unfortunately, your app will only have a substantial impact, make you money or impress potential investors if it accumulates a significant amount of installs.
Luckily, getting started on a Facebook app install campaign isn’t as daunting as you might think.
Just follow this comprehensive guide:

Step 1 – Register your App with Facebook

Navigate to the Facebook Developers website and under the “My Apps” menu, click on the menu item to “add a new app.”

App Install Campaign

Next, select the platform that you would like to begin with, enter the name of your app and press the button to “Create New Facebook App ID.”

App Install Campaign

Then, select the app category and click on the “Create App ID” button.

App Install Campaign

Click on the “Skip Quick Start” button on the top right of your screen to reach the Facebook App Dashboard.
Click the “settings” button and then the “+ Add Platform” button.

App Install Campaign

Select a platform and enter the relevant details for your app (Bundle ID, iPhone Store ID, Google Play Package Name, etc).
Make sure that you add both your iOS and Android apps.

At this point, you have succesfully registered your apps with Facebook.
The final step is to add the Facebook SDK tracking code to allow Facebook to track and associate installs to the proper campaigns.

Step 2 – Create your Campaign

Once your app is registered and tracking installs you can start your campaign.
Open Facebook power editor and select the “app install campaign.” On the ad set level, select your app and the operating system (iOS or Android).
If you have both an Android and an iOS app you will need to create a separate ad set for each app.
This will make sure that your ad is only shown to users who have the ability to download your app.

Selecting an audience for new apps or startups can be a bit of a challenge. If your company has an email list, then a custom audience of these users might be a good place to start.
You can also target users who have liked your Facebook page or a custom audience based on users who have visited your website.
If you want to expand your reach even further, you can create a lookalike audience of either of these audiences in order to reach similar users.

If you do not have any of the above to work with (which can be common for startups), your best bet is to target your audience based on interests.
Create two or three different interest based audiences in order to test which one(s) performs best.
In addition, consider further splitting each audience into separate ad sets by gender and/or separate age ranges.
This will allow you to easily identify the audience that performs best and focus your budget there.

In either scenario, once you have enough downloads it is highly recommended to create a lookalike audience of the people who have downloaded your app.
This will typically be the most relevant audience.

After you have selected your audience, you have the ability to select the specific devices that you want your ads to run on. By default, all devices will be included.
You may decide, for whatever reason, to exclude tablets or specific mobile devices.
In addition, make sure to select the minimum operating system that the user must have in order to install your app.
You do not want to pay to show an ad to a user who will be unable to download or use your app.

For the ad itself, it’s best to test a few different types of creatives in order to see what works best for your audience.
If you have a video explaining the app, this typically works best!

Focus on the Right Metrics

When analyzing your App Install Campaign results, the most important metric, by far, is the cost per app install.
You will be able to see this result in the main screen of your Facebook Ad Manager.
After a few days, you will start to see which ad sets and ads are working best and you can begin to shift budgets accordingly.
Make sure to pay attention to your frequency; your ads and ad sets may begin to suffer from ad fatigue once they are running for a while.


You have spent lots of time and money to develop a great app. Now, it is easier than ever to get the message out to your potential users.
Follow the above steps and you will be at 1,000 downloads in no time!


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