5 Insider Tips for Driving Native App Installs

Okay folks, let’s face it — whether it’s digesting breaking news, tracking your dinner, or just spending time on the latest gaming fad, chances are: there’s an app for that.

And it’s not just a passing trend, either — given that eMarketer estimates consumers will spend 88% of their mobile time surfing across apps in 2020.

Though with a whopping $462 billion in app revenue projected for this year alone, the  well, billion dollar question for Marketers really becomes: “how the heck am I supposed to reach the right audience and drive installs amid all this digital noise?”

And look, we hear you. Because driving engaging app discovery and sustainable customer LTV is the exact inspiration behind the launch of our App Install Smartads — one of the trendiest (and most ROAS-friendly!) additions to Outbrain’s Native toolkit yet.

But don’t worry, we’re not in the habit of leaving your strategy empty-handed. Which is why we did some digging and found 5 trending tips and insights you can take to the bank when testing out our latest ad format. So let’s dive in…

1. Get Creative With Your Creatives

Something we already know? App Install Smartads can drive up to 2x more conversions compared to their standard counterparts.

Which means now’s the time to think beyond the typical static creative strategy. Interactive GIF images, branded logos, CTA buttons, and more — all at your fingertips when it comes to building the perfect app content for snagging the attention and long-term loyalty of your target audiences.

💡Brainy Tip: Start that building with a strong foundation. Case in point — imagery that prominently features gaming scenarios are actually top-performers when scaling clicks and engagement. Product creatives, close-ups of tech gadgets, and images featuring women also win big with high conversion rates.

2. Think Categorically

Almost as important as what your App content includes is where that content is being shown. Because let’s be honest — you gotta make a good impression (pun definitely intended, Marketers).

And, maybe not surprisingly, content categories that feature Technology and News sections are strong conversion volume performers when looking at App download campaigns. But c’mon, you didn’t think we were going to leave you with the obvious, did you? 😉

Take for example Health, Business & Finance, and Recreation focused categories. Not only are these sections impressive in terms of sheer conversion volume, but also stand out among the highest performers when taking actual conversion rate into account.

💡Brainy Tip: Interest-based reporting to the rescue, especially on platforms like Outbrain! Learn which categories are resonating best with your App content by clicking on the “By Interest” tab within your report tools — sorting by different audience interests to gauge impressions, conversions, and more.

Oh, and if you want to go into your first campaign extra hot, brush up on some potential trending categories for your content beforehand with a handy always-on insights tool (hint, hint).

3. More Than Mobile?

You likely wouldn’t be shocked to learn that our App Install Smartads are tailored for Mobile devices. But think: how is your overall App strategy utilizing cross-platform trends?

Now sure, it’s true that the vast majority of all App downloads stem from Mobile devices. What is a little more surprising is that Desktop actually wins the silver medal for that conversion performance — even better than Tablet!

Meaning now’s the time to keep building that audience hype with cross-platform ad formats perfect for supporting your Mobile tactics — from native Click-to-Watch to interactive Carousel Ads.

💡Brainy Tip: Set your mobile-first strategy up for success right out of the gates. Test comparisons by breaking out your campaigns by each device platform, even segmenting between iOS and Android users. Just be cautious — go too granular at first and you might be restricting a promising audience base!

Either way, this is not the time to set it and forget it. Stay sharp and again, keep those reporting tools busy — plotting spend, clicks, and other platform KPIs over time for your campaign. 

4. Be Ready to Go Global

Depending on the availability of your App, you might have to break out that passport — at least with your audience targeting strategy.

And luckily, our App Install ads are always game for a good global hike. Turns out, countries like the United States, Australia, and the UK have already experienced mile-high conversion rates — while audiences in Germany, France, and Italy are especially hooked with high click and engagement rates.

💡Brainy Tip: Leverage location-based targeting on platforms like Outbrain to really go full-funnel with your audience strategy. Building high-level brand awareness in countries ripe for engagement? Or drilling deeper into the DMAs and postal codes that go conversion-crazy for your App? It’s all on the table.

Plus, if you’re feeling extra fancy with your data, consider uploading specific user IP location targets into your campaign directly. Just be sure to consult your performance reporting tools along the way (how many reporting plugs is that so far?).

5. Just Keep Testing

We know, we know — might seem like a broken record at this point. But we’re staying real when we say that usually one round of campaign testing isn’t enough — especially given the LTV potential at stake across your App-loving audiences.

From CTA options to the keyword possibilities in your headline, take this as an opportunity to dive deep into what messaging and visuals best resonate with your targets.

What if my audiences convert better on App Install content with GIF images as opposed to static? Only way to find out for sure is to run that split test!

💡Brainy Tip: Remember, one thing at a time. Thus being the golden rule of the long-sacred A/B test. And that’s no exception when it comes to App Install content. Test each component separately — whether it be headline copy, imagery, CTA, or even bid strategy. 

So, interested in finally testing out our App Install Smartads for yourself? Knew it.

Get even more hyped by discovering all the exciting details, or just dive into a campaign — setup for your first (or another!) campaign takes only seconds.

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