- Drivemode, a mobile app that lets people access their smartphones with voice commands and large buttons while driving, boosted its downloads with a campaign on Facebook managed by adtech firm Taptica, according to documents made available to Mobile Marketer. Using Facebook's immersive canvas ad format to reach a targeted audience, the app's installs rose 40%.
- Taptica's custom technology was used to target audiences on Facebook based on people's post-install actions. The groups consisted of American adults who had downloaded the app and used it once, at least three times or at least 10 times. The team then targeted its canvas ad to a 1% and a 2% lookalike audience based on these custom audiences. Taptica reallocated the campaign's budget according to the best-performing and lowest-cost audiences.
- In the four months since March, Drivemode reaped 60% of installs from Facebook's canvas ad with a 5% lower cost per install, 40% more app installs and 60% higher click-through rate than with traditional video ads.
Taptica's ad campaign for Drivemode is notable for demonstrating that audience targeting is often more important than just using videos to help drive app downloads. Every metric cited by Taptica compares its Facebook canvas ads with video ads, with a key difference in how custom audiences were developed for targeting.
Video ads have been touted for fueling mobile app interest, buzz and downloads, most recently in an April study from VB Insight titled "App store optimization – a practitioners' guide to ASO." The report said a video trailer for the mobile game Angry Birds improved conversion rates by 60% and cut costs per impression in half. Angry Birds developer Rovio Entertainment also found app users who responded to the video were highly engaged, with a 20% higher retention rate than users gained through other ad formats. The report was based on 35 interviews with app store optimization (ASO) professionals and an informal survey of more than 500 ASO users.
Just last week, Facebook said mobile video ads need to capture the attention of smartphone users immediately because they scroll through their news feed 41% faster on a smartphone than on a desktop, according to a blog post by the company. Facebook is seeking to make mobile video ads more compelling as ad agencies complain that viewability rates are as low as 20%, according to a report in Digiday. Media buyers are using new auditing capabilities that show Facebook's viewability rate is lacking compared to an industry average of 50%. Drivemode's results, however, show that marketers are generally more successful in driving new users and app downloads when they integrate valuable audience targeting into their strategy.