Facebook Ads for iOS Apps and Android Apps

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So, you have come up with that next-level app that you think is going to cause a revolution around the world, right? But wait! So far, only you, your colleagues, and your parents have installed the app. This is surprising, considering it’s amazing awesomeness. Hi, my name is Francisco, and I am the owner of Planet Marketing, a digital marketing agency. My company specializes in Google Ads, Facebook Ads and remarketing.​ Over the years, I have helped a number of clients run Facebook Ads Campaigns for iOS and Android Apps. In this article, I am going to;

Why Facebook Ads Marketing is for App Developers

Innovation is great! There can be no doubt about that. But it takes something a bit more to succeed. It’s not going to help to come up with the best product in the world, only to fail to bring it before the right audience. Fortunately, there are solutions to this predicament. 

One such solution involves marketing your iOS or Android apps on Facebook. Yes, I often get asked whether or not app developers can benefit from advertising on the platform. The answer is a big YES, for the following reasons;

Statistic: Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 2nd quarter 2020 (in millions) | StatistaFind more statistics at Statista

  • The challenge, if you are an app developer, is to get people to install your app. Not only that, but you also want to have them spread the word about the wonders of your creation. So, you need to market your product in places where people congregate. And today, there is no better place than Facebook when it comes to bringing people together. As of the time of writing this article, Facebook had over 2.7 billion monthly active users. By the time you read it, that figure will probably have grown significantly. So, whatever the audience that you are aiming for, you are assured of finding it on Facebook.
  • One thing that I like about Facebook Ads is that you can really zoom in on your target audience. That’s something to keep in mind while creating Facebook Ads for iOS apps and Android apps. Your target audience is going to depend on what your app does, of course. For this example, we are going to assume that you have come up with an app to help fitness fanatics estimate the number of calories that they are burning while jogging or doing some other forms of exercise. It’s possible to zoom in on the most appropriate people for our app on Facebook. Offhand, one could say the best audience for us in this particular instance would be composed of fitness conscious individuals. You will learn more about audience targeting below.
  • One worry for people when ​creating Facebook ads is that it’s going to be an expensive undertaking. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Most people wish to compare Facebook advertising with Google Advertising. Which one is better in terms of cost? Well, the bare truth is that Facebook Ads ​are way cheaper. In fact, you can start advertising on Facebook for as little as a $1. If you are running a ​Reach campaign, as an example, that’s an amount that you can start from. Of course, it’s probably better to​ have a budget of around $5 per day ​to achieve meaningful results. 
  • It’s ​possible for you to create your own Facebook Ads for iOS Apps and Android Apps. That’s something that anybody can do. And if you are an app developer, it means you know your way around computers. Of course, most people will not have the time to spend trying to come up with Ads for their apps. That’s where I come in. I have created a Facebook Ads setup plan that you can sign up for. Once you have done that, I do all the initial hard work on your behalf. At the end of the day, you will have 2 live ads up and running. You will also have a professional landing page. Once that done, you can take over running of your Campaigns. So, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

Before Getting Started

get ready

Getting Ready

You can create Facebook Ads for iOS Apps and Android Apps the “normal” way. Normal is when you choose a “safe” Campaign Objective like Traffic. That works to a certain extent. The challenge is that you will only be optimizing for clicks and not for app installs. In actual fact, what you should be looking for when advertising your App on Facebook is to get as many people to install it as is possible. To get there, there are some basic steps that you need to take;

Register your App

This is the first port of call as your set up to create Facebook Ads for your mobile app. You need to first register the app. This is done in the Facebook App Dashboard. Registration enables you to then implement Facebook SDK and to use App Ads as outlined below. To register, you first need to turn your account into a Developer Account.

Set up the Facebook SDK (Software Developer Kit) with your app

This is the ​next thing that you need to do on the way to creating Facebook Ads for iOS Apps and Android Apps. Setting up Facebook SDK allows you to get your app before the best possible audience.

Set up App Events

Another ​step that you need to ​take is to set up App Events. One thing that you are going to want to do when advertising on Facebook for your App is to keep track of what people are doing.

As an example, when somebody installs your app, you need to be able to know it. And if somebody completes a purchase using your app, again, that’s information that you want to have delivered to you. This all happens through app events.   

Creating Facebook Ads for Mobile Apps

Facebook Ads are created in Ads Manager

Facebook Ads are created in Ads Manager

Those are the basics ​of the process of advertising your iOS apps and Android Apps on Facebook. Now that you have done the background technical work, it’s time ​for you to create your very first Facebook Ad. ​Facebook Ads are created in Ads Manager. The process of coming up with an Ad is composed of 3 steps;

  • Choosing a Campaign Objective
  • Setting up your Target Audience
  • Creating your ad.

Choosing a Campaign Objective

One thing that you will notice is that there is a lot of background work that is involved as part of the process of creating Facebook Ads for iOS Apps and Android Apps. The background work is important. It’s what ensures that your ads get delivered to the right​ audience. 

​The ​next thing that you are going to have to do as part of the process of creating Facebook Ads for your mobile apps is to choose a Campaign Objective. Facebook provides you with 11 Campaigns Objectives. You can only have one for each Campaign. The following are the 11 available Campaign Objectives for Facebook Ads;

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

Which Campaign Objective should I go for? 

Facebook Ads for iOS and Android apps

Choose a Campaign Objective for your Facebook Ads

The best Campaign Objective when creating Facebook Ads for iOS apps and Android Apps is obviously App installs. That’s a Campaign Objective that’s specifically designed for app developers. It involves a lot of technical work, however. But that’s not something that you cannot overcome. And if you don’t have the time, ​hire somebody who is experienced in running App ads on Facebook.

Please note, however, that some of the other options above could very well work as Facebook Ads ​Campaign ​Objectives for mobile apps. You could​ go for Brand awareness, as an example. Or you could go for Traffic, in which case people will be directed to a page where they can install your app.

You could also go for ​Video views if you have created a video ad featuring your app. Another option is to go for Reach, in which case you will be aiming to have ads featuring your app delivered to the widest possible audience. So, you have many options. But the one that works best is App installs. As already noted, that’s a Campaign Objective that’s specifically designed for this particular purpose.

Setting up your Target Audience

This is probably one of the most important sections when doing Facebook Ads marketing for Android apps and iOS apps. Your target audience should be composed of people who are interested in what you have to offer as a business. Otherwise your ads are going to fall flat and you will have a hard time achieving your objectives.

Facebook is vast, as already noted. It can appear rather daunting to figure out who to target and how to target them. Fortunately, you have a wide range of settings at your disposal that are specifically designed to make your job easy;



Target people in the right location

Where are the people who you are targeting with your Facebook Ads? In which Geographic location(s) would you like your iOS and Android apps to be installed? Is it in the United States, or across the globe?

One thing to note is that different businesses will have different reaches. A restaurant can only serve people who are immediately around it. Let’s assume then that the restaurant has come up with an app that people can use to view what’s on the menu and to place orders.

In that case, the app would need to be advertised within the reach of the restaurant. Maybe that’s about 5 miles around for a restaurant that makes deliveries. However, if the restaurant in question is part of a global chain, it may be beneficial to extend the reach. For our example, we will be targeting people in the United States.


You can also target delivery of your Facebook Ads based on age. For this example, we will go with an age range of 25 to 55. Really, your age range can be anything. Feel free to play around with the settings here. You know best ​what your target audience usually looks like.


You can also target people based on gender. Some products are gender specific, while others appeal to both men and women.

Detailed Targeting

Detailed Targeting

Narrow down on your Target Audience

The Detailed Targeting section is where you can zoom in on the people that you wish to reach with your Facebook Ads. So far, our audience has been rather generalized. It’s made up of people in the United States between the ages of 25 and 55. That’s millions of people. We need to narrow down on our target audience if we are to have success.


Demographics can also be used to ​narrow down on your target audience when creating Facebook ads for mobile apps. As an example, you can target people based on their education, income, employment history, marital status and much more.


One point to note here is that Facebook knows a lot about its users. In fact, it knows a lot more tha​n most people would like to believe. If you are a Facebook user, you can be sure that the platform knows if you are interested in one thing or the other. For our example, we have already noted that we will be targeting people who are interested in fitness.


Facebook also pretty much has a handle on the behaviors of its users. This information comes in handy when creating Facebook Ads for Android and iOS apps. As an example, Facebook knows the type of gadget that you use, the things that you like to buy, and much more. Of course, this knowledge is voluntarily given.

Setting up your App

We have already described part of the work that needs to happen here in the preceding sections. In the Ad Set, the first thing that you are going to have to do is to Choose your App. Options are Google Play, iTunes, iTunes for iPad, Facebook Canvas and Instant Games. Once you have pasted your App URL, you will need to link the app to your Ad Account.

Budget and Schedule

One thing that I am always advising people is that they need to keep control of their spending when doing Facebook Ads. Never run open ended Campaigns. Instead, set start and end dates for your Campaigns. That way, you know exactly how much you are going to spend within a certain timeframe. After that period, you can do an audit to see if you are achieving the desired results.

Set a budget for your Facebook Ads

Set budgetary controls when running Facebook Ads

If not, you can always adjust elements of your ads till you get to that sweet spot. It’s also possible to keep track of your spending by setting a Lifetime Budget. In the above screenshot, we have set a daily budget, along with a start and an end date for our Campaigns. Our daily budget is $40.

Creating your Ad

Ad Preview

A preview of our Facebook Ad

We come to the final section of the process of doing Facebook Ads Marketing for iOS and Android Apps. Please note that the ad is what people will actually see in their feeds and elsewhere. So, you should always try to make it as good as possible. Otherwise all your had work will be for naught. There are a few ​things that you need to ​take note of when creating your Facebook Ad for a mobile app;

Ad Formats

Your ad can be in the form of a video, a single image or a carousel. You will notice in the preview section that an image of your app will automatically appear based on the App URL that you added earlier. You can ​replace that ​with an image or a video. 

Primary Text

The primary text appears at the top of your ad. It’s what people will read first. So, it needs to be good. Don’t be tempted to write too many lines here, however.

People on Facebook are always in a hurry. They don’t have the time to ​waste reading your ad. In fact, if your Primary Text runs to too many lines, that has the danger of distracting from the image, which, after all, is the biggest selling poin​t.

The Call to Action

The most intuitive Call to Action when creating Facebook Ads for iOS apps and Android Apps is “Install Now.” That’s because you want to have people install your App. If you have chosen Campaign Objectives other than App Installs, you may wish to look at the other Campaign Objectives that are available.


That’s basically how do create Facebook Ads for mobile apps. You will have noticed that there are many things involved in the creation of a Facebook Ad. We have previously written on Facebook Ads for eCommerce and Facebook Ads for Shopify Stores. You will notice that things are different in each instance.

The choice of Campaign Objective that you make at the beginning determines the trajectory of your Facebook Ads. Some steps are more difficult than others. Creating Facebook Ads for mobile apps is, as an example, a lot more difficult than is normal. That’s because you need to do a lot of background work setting up your SDK.

Anyway, if you need help ​running Facebook Ads that ​bring results, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. I do Facebook ​Marketing on a daily basis. I run accounts for various clients, some of whom ​have businesses that are similar to yours. So, feel free to give me a call today!

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