Will Facebook Ads Spell The End of ‘Spray and Pray’?

As Facebook creeps slowly and quietly towards becoming the largest ad network in history, we ask the industry what Mobile Install Ads mean for their business. Will this be the silver bullet many are looking for?

Discovery and insights
Damian Routley, CEO of Glow, one of Facebook’s preferred marketing developers, says: “One of the criticisms of native app stores is that app discovery is limited. This new release from Facebook will enable a much broader distribution of quality apps which is great news for developers, and as the ads are shown based on relevance, it it useful for users too. Facebook will also build up fantastic insight about which apps resonate with which users – something they can use to their advantage as they continue to own more of the mobile ecosystem.

“We’re really excited about Mobile App Ads as it will bring a huge opportunity to reach very relevant users at scale – combining precise demographic, device type and ‘Likes’ and ‘Interests’ targeting. For example, we can now target mobile ads to users who like Trip Advisor and show them an ad for Kayak which links directly to their native app store. As such we see this as a core part of any app marketing campaign.”

Third-party tracking

“This is a very exciting development in what has been a continued stream of media innovation from Facebook,” says Ed Chater, media operations director at Somo. “A key consideration has to be tracking to allow advertisers to see if it is working. Facebook have addressed this with their SDK, which when implemented allows advertisers to see conversion events in their Facebook analytics. Not every advertiser wants another SDK in their app though, so it is important that Facebook open up the system to allow 3rd parties to independently verify install volumes. In addition, this would allow advertisers to have a unified view on performance alongside their other media sources.

“What will be interesting to see is how this ad unit along with the raft of other sponsored products appears in a user’s already crammed mobile feed. Pushing too many products at the same time could have an impact on the user experience. For Facebook to succeed they need to continue innovating, looking for new ways of mimicking inherent social behaviour. Sharing apps with friends is something people already do, and giving advertisers the ability to mimic this behaviour is a great way to help improve app discoverability.”

No more spray and pray?
“This highlights the opportunity of smarter audience buying and the importance of audience data in driving campaign uplift,” adds Adfonic CTO Wes Biggs.

“Behavioural and demographic data is key to achieving efficiencies, by focusing on the audience and avoiding the ‘spray and pray’ content and contextual buys.”

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