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How to use ads for boost app installation

Team PaperLit


Promoting your digital magazine app through advertisements is the most effective way of boosting installations. However, not all have found success through this route, and this is mainly because of three things.

Firstly, it could be that something is wrong with the elements that make up the ad; it could be the copy, the image used or even broken links or dysfunctional landing pages. Another cause could be that the app itself is no good at all. Finally, it could also be that the ads themselves were not tailored enough to the viewer to make them attractive.

It’s time to boost your digital magazine app downloads:
learn how in our free guide to app promotion and user acquisition!

The lowdown: App install ads

According to the Miniwatts Marketing Group, global internet penetration is at 54.4% at the start of 2018 meaning a little more than half of the world’s population has access to the internet.

It’s no wonder that internet ads are now one of the most popular choices for advertisers. Its key strength is being able to accurately segment and target its audience as well as being able to apply functionalities that are perfectly designed to elicit action.

App install ads have been designed to get apps qualified traffic from sources outside the stores, such as search, social media and even other apps. The call to action and design is used to encourage visitors from this traffic to go to the stores to download the app.

Cost-wise, while pricing models differ across various platforms, app install campaigns are (for the most part) based on a cost-per-install (CPI) basis. Ad products can also differ depending on the channel they appear in. You may also need to consider different iOS and Android specifications. Basically, if you have both an iOS and Android app, you’ll need to set up separate campaigns as each will link to the specific store.

App ads in social media

Among the various ad channels for apps, social media is the most popular. One reason is that since most of social media usage is through mobile phones, the person who saw the ad can immediately be directed towards download and use of the app.

Among the various social media platforms, Facebook is perhaps the most popular considering its 2 billion user base and targeted reach powered through its Custom Audiences. Specific demographics and preferences of users can be used to create targeted ads making them highly effective.

Another popular platform is Twitter. This social media channel itself is very mobile-oriented, as it caters to the real-time audience that uses the app at any given time. Twitter has App Install Cards that can also be used to re-engage lapsed users, and show targeted ads to “lookalike” audiences or similar profiles to the profiles you already have in your database.

With its image-based environment and short-form updates, Instagram is highly popular with the millennial and younger demographic. It has action-oriented ads that digital magazine apps can use to have an “Install Now” call to action along with the ad.


As still the largest reigning search engine in the world with more than 2 billion monthly unique users, Google is one of the biggest channels to reach potential app users.

Using AdWords, digital publishers can create ads in different formats that can be shown across the Search, Display and YouTube Networks. Search Network campaigns can be used to drive downloads from people who are actively searching for a solution that your app provides.

Google has “Mobile app installs” campaigns that can be set up to target app-specific searches across Google.com, Google Play (for Android apps), and Search Partner sites.

To sum up…

There are of course other channels for digital publishers to promote their digital magazine apps. There are ad networks that allow your apps to be showcased in a variety of media sources, and even other apps themselves, as well as through some emerging ad platforms such as Tumblr, Pinterest and more.

To be able to get a better view of app install ads and their role in app promotion strategies, download our Starter’s Guide to App Promotion and User Acquisition for Magazine and Newspaper App Publishers!