Once you’ve created and launched your new app, your next biggest challenge will be marketing. Without marketing, your app will never reach its full potential, meaning huge amounts of lost revenue.
And in many cases, the most crucial part of this phase of the project will come down to finding the best marketing channels that will increase not only total app installation, but the quality of those app installs, too.
There are plenty of different app marketing channels out there, but they each have their own pros and cons. To help you find the right ones for you, we’re going to take a look at the 6 most effective types of marketing channels that will help you get high-quality installs quickly.
It’s essential to choose strong, reliable, and high-engaging marketing channels that will put you in direct contact with your target audience.
And since every app is different, that means the best channels may vary based on your audience segments. You may have better luck reaching Gen Z with TikTok or Instagram Ads, for example, than Facebook. This is because they spend significantly more time on the former platforms than the latter.
Similarly, high-cost or niche ads may get outstanding results when promoted by a trusted influencer or affiliate, where they might struggle to gain traction from other platforms without a more extended digital sales funnel.
In addition to audience relevance, you’re also going to want to take a few more factors into consideration:
With all that being said, let’s take a look at the seven best marketing channels for higher-quality app installs.
Social media ads are a go-to platform for mobile app installation.
Facebook and Instagram in particularly are exceptionally high-value. You can show your ads exclusively to users who are on mobile devices if you choose to, and prioritize having your ad shown to users who are most likely to download and engage.
The targeting on all social media marketing platforms— including Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Promoted Pins, YouTube Ads, and even Reddit Ads— is phenomenal. You’re able to set targeting criteria like age, gender, interests, location, job title, and even income. Most platforms also offer retargeting, so you can show ads to users who viewed an on-platform video before but didn’t convert.
An outstanding asset for social media ads is a relatively low risk for fraud compared to other platforms— though fraud is still possible here. The huge increase of ad fraud and fake clicks are still a concern, but compared to DSPs and similar platforms, social media ads present less of a risk.
For best results with increasing app installs with social media ads, try the following best practices:
Search Ads are another outstanding advertising channel that makes it easy to connect with potential users to drive installs.
When users search for a keyword through search engines like Google, Bing, or Apple Search, they’ll see a list of search results. You can run ads that promote your mobile app, which will appear for users who are searching for the relevant keywords you’re targeting.
If someone searches for “best hiking trails in Acadia National Park,” they might get an ad for an app that shares reviews of different hiking trails, for example.
These ads are so effective because they allow you to capture high-intent traffic that’s looking for exactly what you have to offer, whether that’s an app to track what they have in their refrigerator or a game full of brain teasers to keep them entertained while they wait at the airport.
And like social media ads, search ads themselves are fairly fraud-resistant. Google is the publisher for Google search ads, and they’re not out to defraud advertisers. The same goes for YouTube search, Bing, and Apple. While it is possible with fake clicks and the increase of ad fraud overall, search ads (like social media ads) are a lower risk platform overall.
For best success with search engine marketing for mobile app installation, keep the following in mind:
Mobile ad networks are third-party networks that essentially pair up mobile app advertisers with publishers. You create the ads and submit them to the network, the network then places your ads in designated slots on participating publisher’s websites.
Think of it like Google Display Ads, but the management of the ads is a bit different. Managing the ads relies heavily on the advertiser, with the mobile ad network serving as a middle point between two ends of the value chain. The inventory— your ads— are moved to publishers based on supply and demand and your goal.
When users see the ad— which can be a still image or a video— and click, the ad “fires,” and you can track where the new user came from.
Some ad networks will have advertisers paying for clicks; others will let advertisers pay for mobile app installs.
Examples of different mobile ad networks include the following:
These platforms can be a great way to expand your reach even further with engaged audiences. A large number of our clients have had great success using many of the ad networks listed above.
One important thing to note here, though, is that third-party platforms are high-risk for mobile ad fraud. This is going to be one of the most direct paths for publishers or ad networks to use a variety of different fraud techniques to either fake clicks or installs, or take credit for clicks or installs coming from other platforms. Take a close look at our mobile ad fraud guide here so you can know the signs and act quickly if needed.
It’s increasingly common to see mobile apps promoted through television advertisements. This includes both conventional cable commercials, but we’re also expanding the definition to include commercial-like ads on platforms like YouTube TV or Hulu.
While these platforms don’t typically have the same kind of laser-focused targeting that social media ads might offer, they do have a pretty extensive understanding of who their viewership is. This makes it easier for apps to target the right audience with ads.
Apps for weight loss, cooking tips, or recipes would excel when promoted during commercials from Food Network shows, for example.
And users who are watching Bravo are more likely to be interested in apps that would help them find the best new restaurants near them, or track changes in fashion.
Again— this is a more fraud-resistant platform, because the publishers are more authentic. The downside, however, is that it can be difficult to properly track attribution. Users also typically need to see your ad and be motivated enough to then look it up on their phone to download, which is another step that they need to overcome to convert.
That being said, these ads can be effective, and they’re a great way to expand your reach quickly.
For best results, make sure you test different placement and channel options. You’ll also want to tell stories with your ads as much as possible, because this is what will motivate users to act.
Looking to get some help from professional marketers or influencers when it comes to promoting your app? That’s where affiliate marketing comes into play!
Affiliate marketing with established and credible experts lets those experts promote your app for you. This may include writing a blog post, sharing about the app on social media, or recommending it to their friends, colleagues, or clients.
They’ll give users a link or a code that can be entered for an incentive, like a free week of use, a discount in-app, or free bonuses. That link or code can be tracked back to individual downloads or sign-ups, allowing you to see that the affiliate has sent someone your way. You get the app download, and they get paid.
Affiliate marketing is great because it leverages an influencer’s already-established network that trusts them and values their input. It’s also often cost-effective because you aren’t paying for clicks or views that might not convert; you’re paying an affiliate for actual installs that happen.
To get started with affiliate marketing, make sure that you have a formal program set up to automatically track and pay affiliates. Reach out to established thought leaders, businesses, and influencers in the space and explain what your affiliate packages have to offer. For best results with outreach, offer a free version of the app for the influencers to use themselves for a few weeks to a month.
There are a number of “app of the day” websites available online, and plenty of sites that have different “app of the day” posts or columns. Examples might include those from App of the Day or AppFollow.
Most of these sites allow for sponsored promotions. These are prime opportunities that allow app developers to pay a flat fee for their app to be featured and reviewed. This may cost anywhere from a few hundred USD to a few thousand, depending on how engaged the audience is and the estimated reach of the app in question.
The advantage of this strategy is the ability to choose platforms with engaged readers who fit your target demographic. Plenty of apps have had great experiences using this strategy.
The disadvantage is that you’re paying a single flat— and sometimes sizable— fee in order to be featured. There’s no guarantee that the standard readership tunes in to read that day, or that they click, or that they’re even the right target audience. This can be a high-risk, potentially high-reward strategy as a result.
Because of this, it’s important to do your research. Investing more in sites that have engaged and consistent readerships is crucial, and make sure that their demographics align with your core user demographics.
There are plenty of different options when you’re looking into effective, consistent, and high-performing marketing channels that can help you increase both the quality and the quantity of your mobile app installs.
Take a look at the six different types of marketing channels above, and consider which would help you best reach your target audience.
An invoice tracking app, for example, might do exceptionally well with LinkedIn Ads and when being promoted by a “Freelance Business Guru” as an affiliate marketer. An app that helps you style your clothes, meanwhile, would do better through Search Ads, TikTok Ads, and a featured spot in a popular fashion website online.
You can always test different platforms to see what works best for you and adjust as you go. High-quality, detailed mobile app analytics like myTracker can help with that, making it easy to assess which platforms drive the highest quality app installs— and which need a second look.