Google and Facebook make the ad world go round. They’re the first two mobile app advertising channels that people think of if they are not in the industry, and they have a truly dizzying reach: 3.5 billion searches are performed per day on Google’s Search network, and on average 1.49 billion people log onto Facebook daily.
Although their audience access is vast, those in the know will tell you; if you are using only the “big two” for your advertising, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities. There are many important alternative advertising channels in the mobile ad industry and most app advertisers use additional channels to take advantage of those opportunities.
For example, some app advertisers use alternative channels in order to have better transparency and control of their ad spend. As Facebook and Google are large enough to provide end-to-end services, they’ve chosen to develop as closed ecosystems. And although they process tons of data, they limit what advertisers have access to. They self-report and often limit 3rd party regulatory integrations, and for performance marketers who live and breath data, getting the insights they need often means complementing Google and Facebook advertising with other channels.
The Mobile Masterminds shared this week the pros and cons of using the big two, as well as their best performing alternative/supplementary advertising channels for their apps. Check out what they had to say.
App advertising with the best alternatives channels to Facebook and Google
From the time when Michael worked for eCooltra:“We’ve been using Facebook and Google Ads to scale while targeting specific cities with big volumes. But we use Apple Search and programmatic channels to increase our reach even further (everyone has a part of the pie in terms of traffic). It’s a great alternative because the prices are very competitive on Facebook and Google.
Since the launch of Apple Search Ads last summer we’ve used the platform for our Italian and Spanish cities. Although their service is not yet available in Portugal, we’ve seen great results so far. We’ve been able to reach a whole new audience and the competition is lower (for the moment). We have also been expanding our programmatic channels a lot during the last months with consistent traffic and great volumes.
Facebook and Google have a lot of volume but higher competition results in higher prices. The other channels we use have less volume but the cost per conversion is lower. The challenge is to find the right balance between volume and scaling, while maintaining a healthy CAC.”– Michael Jessen, Mobile Marketing Manager at eCooltra.
From the time when Rafael worked for InstaFit: “We use the big two, in conjunction with other channels. Facebook and Google make it possible to experiment with formats and campaign objectives to reach the goals of our app. They are undoubtedly an important source for installs and have high CR to purchase rates. Additionally, the self-serve nature of both platforms makes it possible to monitor KPIs daily, unlike other more complex channels that require external management.
Outside of the big two, the best channels for UA for InstaFit have been influencers. Influencers make it possible to communicate with potential new users on a human level, which is extremely important for lifestyle and fitness apps like us. Unlike many other channels, working with influencers also allows us to operate on fixed costs per conversion model. We provide them custom deep links that are easy to use on different social media networks and platforms, that ensures we can easily monitor the channel’s performance.” –Rafael Camargo, Head of Growth at InstaFit
From the time when Anna worked for Scoot:“For me, the two big channels to increase UA are Display and Apple Search Ads. Display allows us to achieve good volume with a steady CPI. The downside is that our current display targeting doesn’t allow us to be as precise as with other channels such as Social Ads.
Apple Search Ads have been great for impacting our users at the moment they’re looking for our solution. Even though they are quite new in Spain, transportation is a competitive vertical, and we have been getting good results. However, we still need to see how this new channel will evolve as it’s very new.” – Anna Juan Sala, Marketing Manager at Scoot Networks.
From the time when Etienne worked for Etermax:“Deciding which advertising channels to focus on outside of the big two really depends on the type of app you’re handling. For example for gaming apps, it’s definitely important to go for most of the video SDK networks. They’re filled with gaming inventory and allow formats like Video and Playables. These formats let you show a preview of what the game has to offer. Another important benefit of choosing SDK networks is that they’re safer than other partners since it’s a lot harder to commit fraud through an SDK integration than an API.”– Etienne de Guébriant, UA Team Leader at Etermax.
From the time when Lorenzo worked for Free2Move:“Of course, when you start your advertising activities and the budget is limited, the easiest and most cost-efficient way to generate results is to go for the duopoly Google – Facebook. Their audiences are big and the targeting options are more detailed. But what I found is that the platforms are not efficient for scaling Free2Move user acquisition. In fact, marketing activities get quickly more expensive, and the efficiency of the spend decreases with time.
Working with Free2Move, it’s been crucial to explore different opportunities. Over a period of 2 years we tested LinkedIn, Reddit, Snapchat, Pinterest, Apple Search, Yahoo, Outbrain. We also tried Programmatic, Pre-installed campaigns, and different Ad Networks. We even experimented with some OOH campaigns in Berlin that showed promising results.
From our experimentation, I see big potential in the paid content distribution platforms like Outbrain and Taboola. The costs are still relatively low on those platforms, and they provide the opportunity to approach users with more meaningful content, not just a push ad. I also see Influencer Marketing as a channel with increasing potentiality, even if unfortunately it is not perfect for an exclusive urban-environment focused product like Free2Move.” – Lorenzo Rossi, Head of Marketing at Free2Move.