14 App Install Ads That Are Winning The User Acquisition Game

14 App Install Ads That Are Winning The User Acquisition Game
Posted on May 21, 2019

App install ads are like shirtless Abercrombie models strategically standing outside a store entrance, enticing potential customers.

Fortunately, you don’t need to wait for prospective app users to walk by so you can impress them with six-pack abs. You do, however, want to attract them to install your app with a term inspired by Abercrombie’s customer acquisition strategy: “six-pack ads.”

Mobile app marketers today have access to multiple channels for user acquisition. Some of these strategies include social media app install campaigns, in-app banner ads, and interstitial ads, among others. How are successful mobile marketers using app install ads to drive their user acquisition strategies?

Continue reading for insights into real-world examples and strategies for your app install ads or jump to our full infographic below.

What Are App Install Ads?

App install ads are typically paid acquisition strategies that funnel the advertisement’s audience directly to your app store listing for near-frictionless installation. These ads can be shown within search results, social media feeds, websites, apps, and more.

These ads are essential for a successful user acquisition strategy, which pushes them up the priority list for mobile marketers. If you can answer a search query with an offer to solve the user’s problem or intrigue someone with your concept in their social media feed, your app install ads will be successful.  

Let’s take a look at some examples of ads that are driving hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people to install the company’s app. Below are 14 examples of app install ads across mobile search, app store search, social media, interstitial ads, and more.

14 App Install Ad Examples

App install ads come in many forms but are laser-focused on their goal of user acquisition.

App Install Ads on Search

One of the most effective strategies for acquiring new customers is answering their questions in the form of a value proposition. This is the benefit of targeting relevant keyword-driven traffic in your ad strategy.

01. DoorDash

Let’s take a search term like “food delivery near me” as an example. We can assume the users behind such a query are interested in just that — getting food delivered. Mobile apps like Grubhub and DoorDash are great services to show up among the search results, even in the form of an advertisement.

app install ad on google search results for doordash

DoorDash’s app install ad simply states the value proposition of speedy food delivery from hundreds of restaurants. They also lean into their immaculate five-star rating from over 2.5 million users.

02. Bumble

bumble app install ad on google search for best dating apps

It’s common for advertisers to target the keywords commonly used to find their competitors. In this example, Bumble shows up in searches for Tinder, a dating app competitor.

They also take this opportunity to explain what differentiates them from their competitors: they make dating safer. They also support the proposition that you will “meet new people,” with the social proof that the app has over 40 million users.

Social Media App Install Ads

We couldn’t do these ads justice if we simply grouped all app install ads on social media together, so we will cover some of the top platforms individually.

It’s no coincidence that ads for apps are shown while you yourself are inside a mobile app — advertising an app within an app, very meta.

Mobile marketers brilliantly understand how important it is to target users on specific devices. If you happen to use Twitter’s mobile app, you will likely see more ads for mobile apps, compared to Twitter’s desktop experience where more web-based advertisements are shown.

App Install Ads on Twitter

Twitter is a great place to advertise products that market to millennials since 80% of Twitter users are affluent millennials.01

It’s also an important audience to advertise mobile apps to since 85% of millennials have smart devices, compared to 79% of generation X and 54% of baby boomers.

03. Blinkist

app install ad with animated gif for blinkist on twitter

Blinkist has a unique approach to the common time limitation associated with reading. They consolidate the key insights from nonfiction books into 15-minute summaries. They also condense their install ad into an easily digestible GIF.

They include more information in the Tweet but simplify what their value proposition is right above the “install” button: “Books in 15 minutes.” It’s worth leaning into your value proposition when character count space is confined.

04. 7-Eleven

app install ad on twitter using video for 7-Eleven

7-Eleven used its advertising budget to create a professional commercial for their app install ad. They’re also in partnership with a film studio to promote an upcoming Pokémon movie. It’s a brilliant strategy: taking advantage of a popular film franchise to entice their existing fan base to download the 7-Eleven app.

Collaborations like this can be a great strategy between two or more mobile app companies to cross-promote to your strategic partner’s audience.

05. RoboKiller

robokiller app install ad on twitter with the power of social proof driving downloads for user acquisition

This example from RoboKiller is evidence of how novel solutions for common problems can quickly spread within networks. Getting a user to install the app from the ad is great, but if people share the ad with their network, the result is viral marketing.

RoboKiller used social proof in the form of news coverage to beget more social proof in the form of likes, comments, and shares. With over 46k likes and 9k retweets, we can safely say this app install ad was a successful campaign. If your mobile app addresses a common pain point, take the time to clearly explain your solution and how it’s uniquely capable of relieving that pain.

Snapchat’s App Install Ads

93% of people between 18 and 24 use Snapchat. This makes Snapchat a great platform to reach millennial and generation z audiences.

06. Acorns

app install ad on snapchat from acorns with Ashton Kutcher being interviewed

With a growing number of millennials and generation z not saving for retirement, it is more important than ever to convince these demographics to start.02 Acorns presents investing and saving as approachable activities for their audience on Snapchat using the tagline, “Invest spare change.”

When advertising on various platforms, understand which demographics you will commonly reach and how best to communicate with them.

07. AFK Arena Game

snapchat app install ad example from AFK Arena hyper casual game

When promoting games, it’s a great strategy to advertise with actual gameplay. Including proof of the game’s graphics, mechanics, physics, or other relevant visuals can be a great way to incentivize installation and trial.

AFK Arena does well to show how the game functions. This can make the game feel more approachable and even onboard users with a quick demonstration of how the game is played.

App Install Ads on Instagram

Businesses are using Instagram as one of the most effective channels for connecting with their target markets, since 71% of users are under the age of 35 and 80% follow at least one business.

Over a third of Instagram’s users have made a purchase on mobile and with average engagement rates of 2.2%, Instagram is one of the best places for businesses to advertise.03

08. Wag

app install ad for wag dog walking application on instagram

Wag uses the sophistication of Instagram’s (read: Facebook’s) ads manager tool to find segments of users who are a good fit for their app’s service.04 If the app has yet to expand internationally, or even nationally, they can select specific locations the app is currently available in.

The ad manager tool also allows for detailed targeting based on demographic and psychographic segmentation. This means Wag can target people who fit into the pet ownership customer profile and are among the working class– all the more likely to require dog walking services.

09. Albert

app install ad on instagram for albert using the iMessage thread for familiarity

Albert’s ad takes advantage of a familiar sight for iOS users: the iMessage thread. It also demonstrates how easy the product can be to interface with and add value to the user’s life.

Subscription services have grown in popularity and can easily be forgotten and unused, yet still withdraw money from the user’s account. Albert’s solution is eloquent and although this is only scratching the surface of their product’s feature set, it’s an easy way for audience members to quickly grasp a common use case.

When advertising your app on Instagram, take advantage of visuals to inform users how the app functions and relieves their pain point.

YouTube’s App Install Ads

With 75% of adults watching YouTube on their mobile devices, this is a great place to advertise your mobile application.

YouTube is also available in 91 countries and over 80 languages, which makes it a great platform for a global growth strategy.05

10. 7NOW

App install ad for 7-Eleven's 7NOW app on YouTube

7-Eleven is making a big push for mobile. In this YouTube app install ad, they are promoting a delivery service for food and alcohol delivery. They also make a generous offer within their ad: the first three deliveries are free.

Many food delivery apps employ referral marketing campaigns to offer a single free delivery. 7NOW’s strategy is to get users hooked on the product after three free trials.

Include a generous offer in your app install ad so that the decision to download becomes as easy as possible for users.

11. Sideline

Sideline app install ad on YouTube for 2 numbers 1 phone

Sideline might take the cake for the most concise app install ad copy. Their value proposition is straightforward and easy to grasp: two numbers, one phone.

It’s so clear, in fact, that they didn’t feel the need to differentiate the description from the title from “2nd Phone Number” to “Get a Second Number.” Enough said.

When drafting your app install ads, keep the ad copy and visuals as simple as possible while still clearly conveying what your app does.

Banner Ads

Although banner ads have reportedly seen a decline of average click-through rates to 0.06%, they are still relevant in certain situations.06 If an app’s business model is built on advertising revenue, it’s important for the engagement with the app’s core feature to remain intact while displaying the ad.

Hyper-casual games, for example, can sacrifice a portion of the screen to make way for a monetization strategy in some cases.

12. Golf Rival Game

app install ad in hyper-casual game play banner for golf rival game cross promotion

In this example, Golf Rival is cross-promoting their game within another hyper-casual game. This is a similar strategy to the higher-level approach of advertising mobile apps on mobile devices. Games want to take advantage of audiences who already play mobile games.

Consider the various channels and platforms where your app install advertisement will reach an audience and align them with your target market. If you are in the B2B space, for example, Twitter is a great place to reach your audience. If your app is more B2C, Instagram and Snapchat would be good options.

Interstitial Ads

These full-page ads are shown in between two pages or views within the app experience. In between two levels of a game, for example, interstitial ads take advantage of this time to provide a fully immersive advertisement.

13. Wordscapes

interstitial app install ad in between gameplay of mobile app

In this example, Wordscapes takes advantage of the time between games of solitaire. It’s a great time to catch users as they prepare for the next screen or another round of gameplay.

Consider using interstitial ads in your user acquisition strategy to take advantage of the user’s undivided attention. Unlike banner ads that become peripheral and possibly unnoticed, interstitial ads can be a great way to inform users quickly while you have their attention.

App Store Ads

App discovery takes place primarily on the App Store. In fact, 70% of App Store visitors use search to find apps and the conversion rate for Apple’s search ads are reportedly 50%.07

With success rates like this, these ads are essential for mobile marketers to get right.

14. JUMP

Apple's app store install ad from scooter search returning JUMP scooters from Uber

In this example, JUMP places an app install ad within the App Store search. This means that people searching the App Store for a scooter app will be first shown JUMP. These ads appear above the fold, which creates the feeling of superiority as the first search result.

Bonus: App Install Ads Postmates Case Study

postmates app install ads case study with google search youtube and banner ad examples

Are you interested to see how these app install ads can culminate into a fully formed user acquisition strategy?

Postmates is clearly taking advantage of app install ads, as you can find them on nearly every advertising channel we’ve discussed above. They are clearly winning the user acquisition game with over 5 million installs on Android and a combined 124,000 ratings on Android and iOS.08,09

Interactive Snapchat Ad

interactive snapchat app install ad for postmates example

Postmates created a fun and interactive app install ad on Snapchat which definitely stands out in a crowded advertising environment. Users must tap (make that a clever tap) the button to break the glass and win their coupon code.

App Store Ad

postmates user acquisition case study featuring app store search ad for food delivery postmates app install ad

Postmates also targets the app store to advertise in the competitive food delivery market. When searching for “food delivery,” their ad placement can be one of the first results. This makes it more likely for app store users to trust the legitimacy of these results.

Your App Install Ads

As they say, take this with a grain of salt. We say, pepper your users with the highest quality and most engaging app install ads possible.

Repetition and familiarity are powerful forces in advertising. As your app install ads become more recognizable on a user’s favorite platforms, they will become more likely to install your app.

If you want valuable insights into your omnichannel marketing strategy, sign up for a demo of CleverTap’s powerful suite of mobile marketing tools. You can also learn more by checking out some of our white papers, webinars, and other resources.

app install ad examples featured infographic with tips for app install ad campaigns

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