How to Buy App Install Ads on Twitter

Because 80% of Twitter’s users  (Twitter internal data, 2014) accesses its platform from a mobile device, mobile application developers have a huge opportunity to reach a relevant audience. Here is our guide to help boost your app installs and engagements on the micro-blogging platform, by getting people to download and open your mobile app from directly within a Tweet.
Setting Up Your Twitter Account
Ok, presuming you already have your app on the App Store and/or Google Play, what you need to do next is setup a Twitter business account. Remember the basics: every element of your profile: your photo, header bio and pinned Tweet,  should reflect your business identity and personality. Use them to showcase your best content.  Here is a useful video on how to setup your account.
 Video: simple screencast tutorial showing the process of creating a Twitter account for your business

 Source: Ryan Labelle 

Creating and Installing Your Twitter Card
Next you need to drive users to your mobile app by initiating your app installs or engagements campaign. To do this create an App Card that will be promoted to a targeted group of users. Users can preview an image of your app, a rating and a call to action within their home timeline and then download or open your app with a single click.
Screenshot: Twitter App Card example


The Twitter business account website gives detailed instructions on what to do, so here is a snapshot of the process:

  • To create an App Card, start by writing a short description that explains who your app is for and what it can do. Call out what makes your app unique and why a user should download it.
  • Next, add an image that helps you stand out and a strong call to action to complete setting up your App Card.
  • When someone clicks on your App Card, they’ll be taken to the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store to download the app. If they already have the app, it will open.
  • Once you’ve created your App Card, use our targeting options to connect with the users who are the most likely to be interested in your app. To help you reach the people who are most relevant to your app you can target based on device, operating system, interests, and more.

Users can install or open the app directly within a Tweet. To ensure you’re reaching an audience that’s ready to engage, App Cards will only be shown when a user is looking at Twitter on their mobile device.
Twitter Tip: Take a test and learn approach by creating several cards for your campaign that include different combinations of images and Tweet copy. You can monitor your Campaigns dashboard to see which card is driving the most engagement and the lowest cost-per-install or engagement. Then you can use this information to adjust as you go and create more effective campaigns in the future.
Set Your Budget
Twitter App Cards are priced on a cost-per-click basis, meaning you’ll only pay when someone clicks on your App Card. The best way to control your spending is to set a daily and total budget for your campaign. Your campaign will end once your budget has been met, so Twitter will never charge more than you want to pay.
Screenshot: Twitter Auction illustration


Remember Twitter Ads work on an auction model,  which means that you’re bidding on access to your target audience. When you win the auction, you’ll only pay slightly more than the next highest bidder. Running an ad campaign is separate to your normal Twitter activity and you won’t be charged for organic tweets.
Define Your Audience
As with Facebook, use a specific set of criteria to reach users such as:

  • Device: Target users based on the device they’re using to access Twitter. You can choose by OS version, device, and WiFi connectivity .
  • Geography and language: Connect with a global audience or narrow the reach of your campaign to a specific country, state or even zip/post code. If you have language-specific messaging, you can also reach people who Tweet in that particular language.
  • Gender: Tailor a specific message to men or women to increase relevance.

At this stage a little market research would not go amiss, and you should be targeting users based on the following criteria, for example:

  • Interests: Connect with Twitter users based on their passions. Scale your reach with over 350 interest categories. This is a great option when you want to target more broadly.
  • Keywords: Reach people that search, Tweet about or engage with specific keywords. Deliver messages to users in the right moment based on what they’ve recently Tweeted or engaged with in Tweets.
  • Followers: Reach people with specific interests or who are similar to followers of specific accounts. This is the recommended option when you’re looking to target a niche audience.
  • Television: Reach people who Tweet about, or engage with Tweets related to specific television programming.

 Tip: You can also reach users on Twitter who you currently market to via other channels. With Tailored Audiences, you can use your own CRM lists to target these groups with a specific message. 
Measure Your Campaigns
One of the great things about Twitter is that not only can you measure the effectiveness of your campaign through its Campaigns dashboard, which will show you a variety of metrics related to your app install or engagement campaign – such as the number of times users see your Tweets, the number of times users install or open your app, and your cost-per-click (CPC). You can also monitor engagement metrics for all of your Tweets, both paid and unpaid, in the Tweet activity dashboard.
Note: The conversion tracking that ties your App Card to a user’s action of installing or opening your app is currently done via third-party tracking SDKs.
Screenshot: The Twitter Campaigns dashboard


Twitter pinned apps feature
A relatively new addition, Twitter is testing its twinned pinned apps feature that allows brands to pin their apps to their Twitter profiles. Some select prominent profiles such as cab company Uber have already incorporated the feature. Apps can be installed directly via Twitter, driving up the rate of installs for a brand.
Twitter Carousel Ads
Twitter also launched its carousel ads earlier this year as part of its efforts to compete with rivals Facebook and offer app install advertisements on timelines. The feature allows users to swipe through various app ads and instantly install them from their mobile devices.
Twitter Amplify
Twitter Amplify enables media companies and brands to capture the excitement on TV and distribute it to fans and audiences across Twitter, beyond their followers. Audiences can immediately relive that moment or experience it for the first time on their mobile phones while they engage in Twitter conversations.
Promoted Video on Twitter
Promoted Video builds upon the Twitter Amplify program (above), and brings a new set of video tools to high-quality content producers. By using Promoted Video, it’s easy for brands to upload and distribute video on Twitter, and to measure the reach and effectiveness of this content.
Advertisers now have the ability to run ads with a new Cost Per View (CPV) ad buying model. This means advertisers only get charged when a user starts playing the video. Additionally, advertisers using Promoted Video have access to robust video analytics, including completion percentage and a breakout of organic vs. paid video views.
Ready to Get Started?
With millions of apps competing in the marketplace, driving app installs is vital for your business. Remember,  even after users have downloaded your app, repeated engagements can help keep your business, and your app, top of mind.
Follow this link to set up your account.
So that’s our guide to buying app install ads on Twitter – hopefully it’s provided some useful tips and you can find out more about other platforms in our coverage of Facebook, YouTube and Google, so stay tuned!

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