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Mobile app install ads – trends and insights

Published: July 18, 2013

Author: Molly Shotwell

mobile appsToday’s post is by Dayna Moon, head of marketing at AdParlor.
July 10th marked the 5th year of Apple’s acclaimed App Store. There are currently more than 900,000 apps available – with downloads topping the 50-billion mark and showing zero signs of slowing down.
Industry estimates range for 2013 range from 82 billion global app downloads to a more modest 56 billion, with to more than double to 200 billion app downloads by 2017. Not surprisingly, Facebook has taken the top spot as the most downloaded free app of all time, but marketers still face the challenge of differentiation or “discoverability” and ensuring usage of the app.
Enter the rise of the Mobile App Install ad unit. Less than a year old, the unit has already fueled Facebook’s entrance into the mobile space, accounting for nearly 30% of the company’s mobile revenue in Q1 of 2013. Additionally, research from ABI recently predicted that app revenues will top $25 billion this year alone – with 65% percent attributed to smartphone apps and the remaining 35% stemming from tablet apps. For advertisers and brands looking to gain awareness and drive application installs, this ad unit is a natural fit.
AdParlor recently analyzed over a half-billion impressions to share insights into some of the key trends and KPIs across the globe for Mobile App Install units.
cpi mobile apps
The North American and EMEA territories posted the highest cost per install (CPI), slightly more than 3x the average global CPI of $2.24. The maturity of these markets undoubtedly contributes to these figures; it also resulted in higher conversion rates, with North America at an average of 13% and EMEA at 11.5%.
In comparison, the APAC and LATAM regions have a slightly lower-than-average CPI at $1.22 and $0.75 – APAC showing an 11.18% CVR and LATAM at 7.68%.
According to Flurry, a mobile application analytics firm, a number of Latin American countries are among the fastest-growing iOS and Android markets in terms of active devices.These emerging markets are expected to continue to grow at scale, contributing to monetization and revenue figures as smartphone adoption and usage continue to grow.

Stat breakdown by country


Russia has the most expensive mobile cost per install at $6.30, with Norway following at $5.06 and Finland closing out the top 3 most expensive at $4.75. The United States and the United Kingdom ranked in the top 15 at $2.53 and $2.47, respectively. (By contrast, Bulgaria posted the lowest CPI at $.54.)
India’s average mobile app install CTR topped the list at 4.46% — more than 5x Portugal’s CTR of .88%. Peru ranked second at 3.81% and Indonesia was third at 3.2%. The United States remained in the top 15 with a 1.49% CTR – slightly under the overall average of 1.57%.
Mobile app install CPC rates show a similar trend with Russia posting coming in at $.82 – over 16x more expensive than Peru’s $.05.The U.S. rounded out the top 10 at a $.35 CPC – or 63% higher than the global average.
The average CPM on mobile app install units is $3.00; however, the average for Russia is almost 3x that at $8.86. Belgium and Luxembourg posted numbers closest to the average at $3.16 and $2.31; the U.S. rounded out the top 5 highest CPMs at $5.21.

Keys to improving performance

There are significant variables that affect the performance of app install campaigns, with distribution still being the largest challenge. Marketers, however, are becoming increasingly creative in utilizing strategies to gain awareness and testing new techniques, such as:
– Use relevant and “real” images that resonate with your target audience will increase performance. Fans clearly respond more to images that reflect their own social community engaging in similar activities versus stock photos. We’ve seen increases of up to 36% in CTR after testing multiple creatives and using a clear call to action in the ad unit.
– Include an image of a device and/or an actual preview of the app as an additional testing parameter that can be used to increase the number of installs. Limiting the text associated with the ad unit and keeping it under the allotted 20% will generally aid performance as well.
– Consistently refresh and add new creatives to keep the campaign up to date and relevant to a brand’s fan base. This inncreases awareness and ensures the app remains top of mind to the intended audience.
As a relatively young ad unit, mobile app installs seem poised to become a key component in marketers’ future digital initiatives, especially as mobile advertising revenues continue to surge. According to a recent release by the IAB, global mobile revenues jumped a staggering 82.8% to $8.9 billion in 2012 from $5.3 billion in 2011; we expect similar increases on Facebook as the company releases its Q2 numbers in the next few weeks. No time like the present to dive in and start building – and optimizing – your campaigns.
dayna moon ad parlor– Dayna Moon brings over 10 years of digital marketing experience to Adknowledge, where she serves as the Head of Marketing for its social division, AdParlor – an industry-leading social media platform and Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer.AdParlor provides a full-service solution – managing and optimizing large and complex social ad campaigns for its world-class client base. 

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