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The Complete Guide to Mobile App Install Campaigns

In today's mobile world, apps are increasingly how brands engage with customers. For businesses looking to drive app downloads, app install campaigns can be highly effective. This guide will explore how to craft successful app install campaigns across platforms like Google, Apple Search Ads, and social media.

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What are Mobile App Install Campaigns?

A mobile app install refers to when a user downloads and installs an application on their mobile device after engaging with an advertisement or link. Driving app installs is a key goal of user acquisition campaigns for mobile apps. Getting new users to download and open your app is the first step to onboarding them.


Some key points about mobile app installs:

- They represent new users added for an app. Each install equals a new potential customer.

- App stores like the Apple App Store and Google Play track and report on app installs. This allows developers to measure the success of campaigns driving installs.

- Downloading an app does not guarantee user retention. But installs are useful to build a user base which can then be nurtured with engagement and retention marketing.

- Cost Per Install (CPI) is a key metric for evaluating the efficiency of app install campaigns. Lower CPIs mean cheaper user acquisition costs.

- Mobile ad platforms like Facebook and Google ads allow optimizing campaigns directly for app install conversions. This enables driving installs at efficient spend levels.

In summary, app installs represent a critical first conversion for acquiring engaged mobile users. Understanding mobile app installs is key for any company utilizing app install advertising and tracking success.

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Driving new app installs through paid advertising offers several key benefits for mobile marketers:

1. Grow your user base - App installs allow scaling the number of users which expands the potential audience. More users means higher engagement, retention, and monetization potential.

2. Target new demographics - Mobile ads can reach users beyond an app's existing audience by targeting new demographics and interest groups. Expanding to new segments fuels growth.

3. Cost-effective user acquisition - Platforms like Facebook Ads offer optimized bidding for app install objectives to get users at efficient CPIs. Cheaper users mean greater ROI.

4. Measurable results - App installs are a direct response conversion that can be clearly tracked. This allows measuring ROI and optimizing campaigns for better results.

5. Retargeting - Users who have downloaded the app can be retargeted with ads to drive re-engagement. Previous installers are great prospects.

6. High intent users - Those responding to app install ads have demonstrated clear intent in your app offer. This leads to higher conversion rates once installed.

7. Omnichannel reach - App ads can be run across search, social, display, native and more. Omnichannel campaigns drive greater reach.


In summary, app install campaigns deliver highly qualified and measurable new users at efficient costs. They are a foundational user acquisition strategy for expanding mobile apps.

7 Benefits of Mobile App Install Campaigns

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4 Key Mobile App Install Components to Help You Succeed 

1. Audit Existing App Store Presence

Before launching campaigns, audit your app store presence, including:

- Evaluating current conversion rate from store page views to installs

- Optimizing app title, descriptions, icons and screenshots

- Ensuring positive app ratings and reviews


2. Select Platforms and Ad Types

Consider which platforms and ad formats make sense for your campaign:

- Google Search, Display, YouTube
- Apple Search Ads
- Facebook, Instagram
- Native ads on publishers/blogs
- Retargeting via platforms like Twitter


3. Research Target Audiences

Conduct research to identify your target audiences and their interests to reach with ads. Useful for targeting include:

- Demographic data like age, gender, location
- Behavioral data like previous app usage
- Contextual data like keywords and topics related to your app

4. Optimize Campaigns

Use platform analytics to gain insights and optimize campaigns for better results over time:

- Adjust targeting to improve CPI and conversions
- A/B test different creatives
- Monitor and increase LTV of acquired users


This covers the core elements of building successful app install campaigns. With the right targeting, creative, and optimization, you can effectively scale app downloads.

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At McFarland Marketing, our app install campaigns follow a strategic process to deliver efficient and scalable user acquisition.

1. Competitor Analysis - We thoroughly analyze competitors' install campaigns to identify successful targeting and creative approaches worth emulating or improving upon.

2. Audience Research - Leveraging tools like Facebook Audience Insights, we dig into our client's existing user demographics and behavior. This informs what new audiences and interests to target to find more of their best users.

3. Creative Testing - We develop a range of ad creative variations and test them head-to-head to determine what messaging, visuals and calls-to-action perform best.

4. Landing Page Optimization - Prior to launching paid ads, we optimize the app store landing page to maximize conversions from page view to install.

5. Multi-Channel Campaigns - Our app install campaigns utilize a cross-channel approach across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Apple Search to reach the widest audience.

6. Bid Optimization - We leverage advanced bidding techniques to acquire users at the target cost-per-install (CPI) threshold required for positive return on ad spend (ROAS).

7. Attribution and Reporting - With conversion tracking and attribution modeling, we deliver clear campaign performance reports to quantify install volumes, costs, and lifetime value of acquired users.

8. Optimization - We iterate and refine targeting, creative, and channel mix based on performance data to continually improve results over time.

This strategic, metrics-driven approach allows us to deliver highly effective and scalable app install campaigns for leading mobile brands.

The McFarland Marketing Approach to SEM

Get Started with a Free Mobile App Install Assessment

The mobile experts at McFarland Marketing can provide a comprehensive assessment of your app's install performance to identify opportunities to improve. Our team will analyze your current install volumes, cost per install, lifetime value metrics, and attribution data across channels to determine where your strategy can be refined for better efficiency and scale. With our app marketing analytics and strategic expertise, McFarland Marketing can guide you to higher quality app installs and lower cost user acquisition.

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