Facebook Ads for Mobile Apps - Insights and Retargeting

April 18th, 2015

Facebook Ads for Mobile Apps - Insights and Retargeting
David Bell

by David Bell

CEO at Gummicube, Inc.

In part 1 we looked at Audience targeting options, Custom Audiences and Lookalikes. In part 2 we will review how to create Facebook mobile ads with Facebook Insights and Retargeting and include a few mobile app specific ad examples.

Facebook Insights

If you have a Facebook fan page or a custom audience with 1,000 members - you can start exploring Facebook Insight data for an existing audience or target audience. If not - Facebook Insights still provides a truly amazing market research tool - for free. FB Audience Insights Whether you are using Facebook to run user acquisition or re-engagement ads or not - investing some time in Facebook Insights can help you better understand your target audience, or find new audiences for your app. To show how powerful Facebook Insights can be - let’s look at it in action. FB Insights Yoga MomFor this example, we'll explore a very specific target audience and see if we can't gather some insights about this group. We have a product or service that targets women with children who love yoga. Maybe it is a mobile app that has 5 minute yoga routines for busy moms who can't find 45-90 minutes to escape into Yoga zen, but still want to keep flexible on the go. Following along on the left - you can see all the audience criteria I added. This is probably too targeted as some of the value of Facebook Insights is to start broad and let the data “come to you” - but wanted to show just how deep you can get. Our criteria for the group:

  • Female
  • 22+
  • Interested in Yoga
  • Speaks English
  • Married
  • With Child/Children 0-12 years old
  • Owns a Smartphone

Insights tells us that this group fits into a few lifestyle groupings that seem pretty obvious, and show us that occupations such as Nurses and Personal Care (child and senior care) are more than double as likely for this audience than the general Facebook audience. FB Insights Occupation FB Insights Lifestyle Keep exploring across the tabs for Page Likes, Location etc.. to gain further insights into your audience. Our Yoga Mom audience is more likely to have a household income of $125K+ and spend more on "subscriptions" and "kids products" than on "health and beauty". FB Insights Income FB Insights Purchase How could this impact your campaigns? Yoga Mom Nurses in $125k households who spend a lot on kids, and subscriptions but not "themselves" - how about:

You spend all day taking care of others - spend 5 minutes on yourself with "5 Minute Zen - the 2 pose per session Yoga App" - only $4.99 monthly

Lot’s of different things you could do with this data - for Facebook ads, or just general market research and product development. I kind of want to make the 5 minute yoga app now!


If you use any free or paid analytics in your mobile apps - you are familiar with custom events. Used to track user actions in your app, from viewing a specific screen/location in your app, to pushing buttons, sharing, purchasing an in-app item etc.. With Facebook Custom Audiences - mobile app publishers can create unique campaigns targeting existing users who have taken specific actions in your app. For example - if a user was a heavy user (measured by usage or LTV) of your app, you could run a campaign in Facebook targeting all heavy users with advertisements for your newest mobile app. Or new in-app items, or in-app sale. Or target heavy users who have not opened app in 3 weeks with a half-off sale. Again - the possibilities are just about limitless. Just as with custom audiences based on specific actions in your app, Facebook provides retargeting pixels. Marketers can create and target a custom audience built of people who visited an app landing page and didn't sign up (or who did - you are the boss) with news of your app launch/new version/promotion. Worth noting - Facebook requires at least 100 people per targeted country before they will build Custom Audiences or Lookalike audiences. Better to start tracking in your next release or add a pixel to your app landing page, even if you don't have a plan for how to market to visitors or users yet. With Facebook investing a great deal in tools and infrastructure for mobile app developers and marketers - including app analytics, messaging and app linking (to name 3) - Facebook's advertising platform and tools are becoming an essential piece of a complete mobile app marketing strategy.

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