Facebook and Snapchat: Key Elements of an App Install Ad

Facebook and Snapchat: Key Elements of an App Install Ad

by Andrea Knezovic

If you have an app you just published on the App Store, you’ve probably been nervously checking how many installs you got. The reality is, you likely won’t get a huge audience if you don’t start advertising. Usually, new users will discover you after seeing your ad on one of the mobile ad networks. For example, Facebook or Snapchat. You should adapt your app install ads to the placement, and network, as well as to your target audience. Here are the key elements of app install ads. 

User Acquisition Never Stops

There will always be users who downloaded your app and never started using it. Some stop using it after some time or uninstall it completely.

The number of paid installs will continue to grow, with revenue growing faster than the number of installs. Non-organic app installs will be the fastest-growing category among attributed installs. The decline 📉 of organic installs has been constant. Achieving organic user acquisition at scale has never been more difficult.

It’s already very difficult to stand out with so many apps in the market. Even if you have a quality product, a good idea, a bug-free app, it is still not guaranteed you’ll reach the top charts. 🚀 The most common reason apps don’t live up to the hype is that they never get discovered. Thus they don’t grow enough to gain traction.

If you already invested your time, knowledge, and money in development, then you should invest in marketing as well. Paid advertising is one of the fastest ways to grow your audience. Of course, a successful marketing strategy will consist of more than just paid ads. There is plenty of things to measure, optimize and utilize to help your mobile app/game grow.

We spoke about 7 ways to acquire more users in one of our previous blog posts. One of those ways is app store optimization (ASO).

In this article, we’ll go through the key elements of an ad on Facebook and Snapchat.

Heard of the AIDA framework for App Install Ads?

Think about implementing it when you’re designing ads for social media.

A – Awareness/Attention

The first step of advertising, from browsing to conversion is showing your ads. Depending on which platform you display your ads (Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat), your ads will be displayed in feeds, stories, messaging apps. How will your ad stand out from other ads on this platform? Will it entice users with just one glance?

I – Interest

If the ad grabbed users’ attention, he’ll show interest in what you’re advertising. What is the element of your ad that will attract the user to click the CTA button?

D – Desire

Once the user is involved with your ad, why is he going to download the app? If the ad is leading to the app store page, is the page optimized and does it correlate well with the ad?

A – Action

If all of the steps above are completed, the user will download your app from the app store and enjoy using it.

Facebook Ad Elements

We’ve noticed many big advertisers are making beginner’s Facebook ad mistakes. Understanding the key components of an engaging Facebook ad will help you avoid these mistakes and get the best out of your app campaigns. 

Visual elements

Humans are visual creatures and the visual element of your ad is the first thing they will notice. If your image isn’t high-quality and engaging, users will hardly notice it while they scroll through their feed


While creating ads, think about your audience so you can remain as relevant as possible.

< 20% text

Facebook has found that ads with less than 20% of image text perform better. There is a tool to help you determine how much text is in your ad: Facebook Image Text Check. Keep the text for the text elements of your ad (headline, body, and call to action).

Optimize for small screens

Trends are showing that users are spending more time on their mobile devices. According to eMarketer, 70% of mobile time is spent on smartphones. Mobile advertising in the USA exists for 12 years, and it is already bigger than television.

You don’t know whether the user is seeing the ad on their mobile device or desktop. Thus optimize the image so it performs well on all devices and screen sizes.

Text elements

The text element of the ad shouldn’t be too long. You can customize 3 main text elements of your ad, the body, the headline, and the link description. Copywriting might seem easy, but it is actually a challenging process. Copy should be engaging, not too long, and in the natural tone of the brand.

Body: 125 characters (depends on placement and device)

Image and the headline will be the attention-grabbing elements of your ad. Body text should be an extension of the headline, further explaining the key benefits and convince the user to click on the ad.

Headline: up to 30 characters, depending on the placement and the device

The headline is limited by space, but it is also the most important and noticeable text element of the ad. Each element is an individual part of your ad, but they all should work as a whole.

That means the headline shouldn’t be a short version of the body of the ad.

Think through the AIDA framework. What would intrigue the user? What summarizes the benefits of your app? Why is your app unique? How will the user benefit from downloading and using your app?

It should be 1-4 words summary of your app. For example:

Get a Ride! – carpooling app

The most addictive game! – mobile game

Hungry? We got food! – app for ordering food

Link Description: 30 characters

Short description of the link in your ad.

Call to action

Facebook has a list of 11 specific calls to action buttons from which you can choose one for your ad. Choose depending on what is your ad advertising and who is your target audience:

  • Subscribe
  • Book Now
  • Download
  • Install Now
  • Learn More
  • Listen Now
  • Play Game
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Use App
  • Watch More

Good Facebook App Install Ads 

Here’s a few examples of Facebook ads for mobile games done right.

Coin Master

coin master facebook ad

This ad by Coin Master is good for several reasons. The first and most obvious ones are visual elements.

The ad creative includes humans, even better, celebrities. Mobile game influencer marketing is getting more and more popular by the year. The main reason for that is – because this strategy works. People like getting advice from others, especially if they look up to them. 

Of course, only the top games can afford this kind of advertisement.

On top of that, it includes a well-produced video. Generally, video content is a better choice than static images because it’s more engaging. 

Finally, the ad text is short, visually appealing, engaging, and includes a strong CTA.

8 Ball Pool

8 ball pool facebook ad

This ad by 8 Ball Pool also includes a video creative that engages with the audience through a choice. It is related to the ad copy that includes a direct question regarding the choice the user can make.

Even though the ad copy itself does not include a CTA, the headline invites for a game with friends, making it more personal. The ad also features an install now button. 

Brain Out

brain out facebook ad

Another engaging video ad comes from Brain Out. Here, the ad copy is encouraging people to download the game by complimenting them.

What can also be seen is a preview of a higher level that gives a preview of how challenging the game is later on. 

Finally, the ad headline is compelling, and the ad includes an appropriate CTA.

Project Makeover

project makeover ad

This Project Makeover video ad begins with a typical ugly duckling storyline as seen in numerous teenage movies. However, it ends with an unexpected twist, making the ad more captivating.

It features a girl that doesn’t meet her peer’s standards of beauty, a boy she likes, and a few ‘mean girls’. She goes in for a makeover, and after the player makes outfit and makeup choices – she ends up disappointed and angry, asking the player, “Are you kidding me?”.

As you can see, the caption describes the ad in a short and enticing way. Finally, the ad features an install now button.

I would like to point out that Project Makeover ads are usually pretty controversial, while this one is pretty moderate. 

evermerge facebook ad


In this Facebook ad for a popular puzzle merge game, EverMerge, we can see several things done right.

The video features a real person with a dog (always a nice addition) in an at-home, lazy edition. This is something a lot of people can relate to. Another thing people can relate to is canceling their plans to do something just for them. In this game, the girl does this to play EverMerge. 

For these reasons, the first scene users see in this video ad has the power to catch their attention

Another good thing about it is that the ad also includes gameplay. The thing is, always desirable to include gameplay in video ads. This way, players can get a real idea of how the game looks and how it’s played. 

Moreover, since the video has a textual description, it is optimized for mute viewing. This is important because, in most cases, video ads on social media are auto-played at mute. 

The video ad ends with a “Play Now” call to action. Also, they’ve decided on Facebook’s “Play Game” CTA button. All of this tells the player to do follow in the footsteps of the girl in the video. 

Snapchat App Install Ads: Key Elements

Snapchat was developed in 2011, and it soon became popular because of its video feature “Stories” that disappear after 24 hours.

As of 2021, there are over 280 million daily active users on Snapchat. This is 22% more than in the year before (Omnicore). Snapchat was an ads-free platform at the beginning, but of course, as time passed, the ads were introduced.

The Snapchat Community has a unique style of communication and a specific sense of humor. Your ad should be a representation of your brand but still created with your target audience in mind.

This is because the Snapchat community is young. According to SproutSocial, 75% of its users are between 13 and 34 years old


Snapchat is a highly visual platform and your content should represent that. Your Ad can be placed in Live Story, Publisher Story, or User Story Playlist.

There are multiple types of attachments you can add to your Snapchat Ad. It can be a long-form video, article, app install, web view…

Brand Name and Headline Placement

Brand Name: Up to 25 characters with spaces (i.e. company name, movie title, etc.).

Headline: Up to 34 characters with spaces (i.e. product name, Campaign slogan/tagline, tune-in date, etc.).

Call to Action

There are 20 Call to Action buttons on Snapchat to choose from:

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Buy Tickets
  • Download
  • Get Now
  • Install Now, etc. 

In the Business Center, you can find listed all the translations of the call-to-action buttons to the most common languages: Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Finnish, French…

To Sum Up App Install Ads

We listed only a few recommendations based on our successful ad campaigns. You can be creative as much as you want, experiment and optimize based on the results.

Each platform has different targeting features, ad sizes, and placements (with advanced targeting options). Your efforts won’t matter if the targeting isn’t on point.

We encourage you to test multiple creatives as well as multiple headlines, call-to-action buttons… Testing is the only way to truly find out what works for your app install ads, and what doesn’t!


About Udonis

Udonis is an independent full-service mobile marketing agency that acquired more than 200,000,000 users for mobile games since 2018. Visitudonis.co

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