Facebook Envisions Deeper Links in Mobile App Ads

Now that Facebook has proven its ability to drive mobile app downloads from ads, it has a new scheme to help businesses keep those apps active among users that originally installed from an ad.

Facebook’s mobile app ads now include seven different calls to action that businesses can choose from, including typical actions like opening a link or application to more specific actions tailored for the most popular activities on mobile.

Thousands of businesses that use the mobile app ads have collectively driven more than 145 million installs on Apple’s App Store and Google Play so far this year, according to Facebook. But 66 percent of app users open their apps less than 10 times, according to a study by Localytics, one of Facebook’s mobile measurement partners.

Facebook hopes to increase those numbers by expanding the actions delivered by its mobile app ad unit to include shopping, gameplay, booking, listening to music and watching video.

Advertisers can awaken existing customers that have already downloaded their apps by delivering ads that direct users to specific content promotions, products or features in the app.

“The ability to engage people on mobile by deep linking them into our app from Facebook is very powerful,” notes Kevin Kwon, marketing manager at HotelTonight. The hotel-booking app plans to use the new features to drive more last-minute bookings.

Facebook put together some developer tutorials to show how it is trying to close the loop from awareness to customer acquisition and ongoing engagement in a single ad. While the company initially launched mobile app ads to solve app discovery, it has morphed into a more far-reaching ad unit with many highly sought-after benefits.

Facebook envisions a variety of real-world applications from the ad unit for specific types of advertisers. For example, the company suggests retailers could highlight a sale or promotion, mobile games could bring players to updated levels and music apps could direct listeners to a new playlist.

In other news, the Menlo Park, California-based company announced that David Lawenda has joined its ranks as vice president (VP) of global sales in the US. Lawenda will lead the US sales team and report directly to Carolyn Everson, VP of global marketing solutions. Lawenda comes to Facebook from Univision, where he also led sales and marketing.

“From the people, to the platform, to the mission of connecting the world, I feel privileged to join and lead the US team,” he notes in a written statement. “We intend to help every marketer use the power of Facebook to drive their business in the years ahead. As media consumption continues to shift to digital, and consumers recognize mobile as the first screen, our team will support clients in redefining how they market on these platforms.”