Facebook Ads for App

facebook ads for app installs

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Is it possible to use Facebook Ads to get people to install a mobile app? Hi, my name is Francisco. I own a Digital Marketing company called Planet Marketing. We specialize in Facebook Ads, Google Ads and Remarketing. In the years that I have been in business, I have worked with quite a number of people who were looking to promote their apps on Facebook. That’s the information that I am going to share in his article. This post has the following sections; 

  1. Why Facebook is the right place on which to market an app.
  2. Goals when advertising on Facebook
  3. Creating your ad

Why Facebook is the Right Place on Which to Market and App

So, is Facebook the right platform on which to market your app? That’s a question that I get a lot from people. My answer is yes, Facebook works very well if you wish to get your app before the right people at the right time. 

If you go through this article, you will notice that I have written countless Facebook ads marketing articles. I have an article covering Facebook ads for immigration attorneys, and another covering Facebook ads for adult stores

Clearly, whatever the business you may be engaged in, Facebook is the right platform for finding new customers. The following are some of the reasons why Facebook works very well if you are looking to get people to install your app; 

People who you are targeting already use Facebook

That’s the first major reason why Facebook works when it comes to marketing apps. At the time of writing this article, the platform was used by over 1.7 billion people daily. These people can be found all over the world. 

But what does it mean? Well, it simply means Facebook is the place to be for those looking to have their apps reach as many people as is possible. You may have heard that Facebook is on a wan. There are some critiques who belive this. 

Statistic: Number of daily active Facebook users worldwide as of 2nd quarter 2021 (in millions) | Statista

Find more statistics at Statista

However, that is not the case. The platform continues to grow. You can check out the current statistics in the graph above from Statista. Facebook is clearly still on an upward trajectory. So, it’s the platform of choice for those looking for app installs. 

You can precisely target your audience on Facebook

Facebook knows a lot about the people who use it. Some may actually say Facebook knows too much. If you are a Facebook user, you may be interested to learn that Facebook probably has the following information about you; 

  • Your name.
  • Your address.
  • The names and addresses of your friends.
  • Your marital status.
  • Where you work.
  • You age. 
  • What you like.
  • Your behavior.

Use this information to target the right people

There are a lot more things that Facebook knows about you. But what’s the significant of this information? Well, from a personal standpoint, this information can leave you cringing. Each day, seemingly some new question is raised about the issue of Facebook and Privacy. 

But from the point of view of somebody looking to advertise on the platform, such information can be a goldmine. 

It means you can precisely target your audience on the platform. You can easily reach the people who you wish to have install your app. There are many settings on Facebook that you can use to achieve this goal. We will look at them later in this article. 

Advertising on Facebook is Affordable

Budget tends to be a major consideration when deciding whether or not to advertise on Facebook. This applies for those looking to market apps and for everyone else. So, are Facebook ads affordable? 

Truth of the matter is that you don’t have to worry about the cost of advertising on Facebook. Did you know that you can start advertising on the platform from as little as $1? For that amount, you can boost your post. 

Alternative, you can create an ad that reaches quite a number of people. Of course, your results will be constricted if you operate on such a low budget. You won’t be doing yourself justice. But really, advertising on Facebook is affordable. 

You can run your own campaigns

At Planet Marketing, we have a Facebook ads setup plan under which we do all the initial hard work of setting up your account. From there, you can take over and run your own ads. 

Yes, Facebook ads are a vast subject. You are never going to learn everything. But you can learn just enough to run successful campaigns on your own. 

Goals when Advertising an App on Facebook

What are your goals?

What are your goals?

In this section, I thought I should go over some of the goals when advertising an app on Facebook. The section is meant to clarify matters. As you will discover later, having clarity of goals is paramount when creating Facebook ads. 

1. To get as many people as is possible to install your app

That’s probably the overriding goals when creating Facebook ads for apps. For most people, the aim is to get as many people as is possible to install the app.

In order for that to happen, you need to get the app before as many people as is possible. But how do you do that? That’s what we are going to look at in this article. 

2. You could be looking reengage existing users

One thing that you may discover is that there are people out there who are happy enough to install an app. However, that does not mean anything if these people do not end up engaging with the apps. 

So, another possible goals when advertising an app on Facebook would be to get people to engage with your app. Again, that’s something that we are going to show you how to do in this post. 

But just to explain a bit, perhaps you wish to get people who have installed your app to take some action, such as making a purchase. To get them to do that, you will need to create a Facebook ad that drives them towards this action. 

Steps when Marketing your Mobile App on Facebook

Now that we have covered the background, it’s time to move on to showing you the steps when advertising your Facebook. What is it that you need to do?

And is creating Facebook Ads for apps similar to creating normal Facebook Ads? The following are the steps that you need to go through in order to start advertising your mobile app on Facebook; 

  • Use your Facebook Page to promote you app
  • Register your mobile app
  • Work on Audience targeting
  • Create your Facebook ad    

Use your Facebook Page to Promote your App

Before you even get to creating Facebook ads for your mobile app, what should be your first port of call? Well, you need to start by promoting your app on your Facebook Page. Surprisingly some people neglect this step, in spite of the fact that it’s an absolutely essential step. 

Facebook Pages are free. So, there is really no reason for you not to have one. They are a great tool for businesses looking for a platform on which to engage their audiences. I have an article on which I show you how to properly run Facebook business pages. 

So how can you promote your app on your Facebook Page? There are several ways of doing this. You can post pics of your app. You can also talk about you up in general. Encourage people to try it out. 

Success here is going to depend on how vibrant your Facebook page is. If you have a Page that has a thousand followers, you will have no problem pushing your app on the platform. However, if your Facebook Page only has a few followers, you will need to take other steps to reach out to the necessary people. 

Register your Mobile App

Before you can create Facebook ads for your mobile app, you need to first register the app. In order to do that, you are required to be registered as a Facebook developer. Don’t be scared, it’s nothing difficult. Registering is required if you want to implement app ads. 

The app dashboard

The App dashboard

You will also need to implement the Facebook SDK. The goal here is to make sure that data on events on your app is passed over to Facebook. That’s important if you wish to get a clearer picture of what’s happening. 

Creating your Ad

Facebook Ads are created in Ads Manager. The process of creating Facebook ads has roughly 3 main steps. First, you will need to choose a Campaign Objective. Next, you will need to set up your audience in the Ad Set. Finally, you will need to create your ad. 

The Campaign Objective

The Campaign Objective basically describes your goal for each campaign. In the first part of this article, we gave a few possible goals when creating Facebook Ads for an app.

We noted that it’s important to be fully aware of what it is that you wish to achieve. Facebook has 11 Campaign Objectives. You can only use one for each ad. The following are the available Campaign Objectives; 

  • App installs
  • Lead generation
  • Store traffic
  • Catalog sales
  • Conversions
  • Reach
  • Messages
  • Traffic
  • Brand awareness
  • Video views
  • Engagement

Campaign Objective for Facebook Ads for an App

Facebook ads for app

Choose the App Installs Campaign Objective

So, which Campaign Objective should you opt for? In this case, the choice is fairly obviously. The best Campaign Objective when creating Facebook Ads for an App is App Installs. You want to have as many people as is possible install your app. 

Enter the App URL

Enter your app URL

Enter your app URL from the store where is hosted

Once you have chosen the Campaign Objective, you will then go into the Ad Set. Here, the next step will be to enter the URL for your App. 

We are assuming that your app is already active on any one of the major app stores that are out there. For this example, we are assuming that the app is live on Google Play. 

Link the App to your account

Facebook ads for app

Link your app to your account

If you have not already done so in App Manager, you will now need to link your App to your account. That can be done by clicking on the button highlighted above.

But why do you do that? That’s done to enable you to measure measure and optimize the performance of your app. 

Budget and Schedule

This is the part that scares a lot of people. We have already noted, however, that Facebook ads are highly affordable. My advise to people is that they should start with a meaningful amount such as $5 a day. See where that gets you. You can then increase your spending as you optimize your ad. 

One thing to note is that Facebook retains your credit card details on file. What this means is that you should never have open ended campaigns. If you do that, you will be at risk of having money deducted even when you no longer wish to have a particular ad run. 

It’s way better to run ads for a specific time frame or for a specific budget. As an example, you can say I am going to run ads for 7 days at $10 a day. That means you will have spend $70 at the end of the set period. Or you can run ads with a total budget of $100. That way, you won’t exceed your budget. 


This is an important section. You have various settings that you can use to define your target audience when doing Facebook Ads for apps.

What you don’t want to do is to have your ad displayed to everyone. Rather, you need to be as specific as is possible with audience targeting. You can use the following to target your audience; 


Use location to define your audience

Use location to define your audience

Where are the people who you wish to reach with your ads located? Are they in the United States or are they in another country? Are you gunning for a global audience? Whatever the case, you can choose your settings here.

For this example, we are going to be targeting people in the United States. But it all depends on the nature of your business.

If you own a restaurant and you wish to have people install your app, then you will need to be very narrow with your targeting. That’s because restaurants are highly localized. The same applies for other businesses such as gyms and bars. 


You can also use Age to target your audience. Perhaps your app is for people within a specific age range. In that case, use this setting to reach out to the correct people. 

Demographics, Interest and Behavior: Detailed Targeting

Remember we noted that Facebook knows a lot about it’s users. You can target people who fall within a particular demographics group. That’s based on the information that Facebook has gathered from people. 

Facebook Ads for app

Detailed Targeting

You can also target people who are interested in a specific subject. As an example, you could have your app shown to people who are soccer fans. Facebook has all this information, so it should come in handy here. 

Regarding behaviors, you can reach out to people who use a particular type of phone. As an example, you can choose to have your ad shown to people who use Android phones or iOS devices. 

The Ad

We won’t dwell much on what your ad will look like here. Each ad will be different. It’s important to note that the ad needs to be as good as you can make it.

People on Facebook are not really interested in being sold stuff. So, you definitely have a difficult job trying to sell your app to them. 

Make sure that you have a minimum amount of text on there. Facebook recommends that your text be no more than 15% of your ad. So, that’s important.

One thing to note is that you can experiment here. Facebook allows for video, image and carousel ads. So, play around with those formats to see what works for you. 


That’s how to create Facebook Ads for an app. Facebook is a good platform on which to market your mobile app. So, you shouldn’t hesitate about going there. Yes, there are many steps that you need to take, including registering your app, but once that is done, you should be good to go.

If you need help, get in touch with me. This is what I specialize in. At any given point in time, I am managing a number of accounts for clients around the country. You can also sign up for my Facebook Ads mini course using the form below. 

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