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Key elements of a Facebook and Snapchat App Install Ad

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

Slavica Grgić

May 6, 2019

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 probably won’t get a huge audience if you don’t start advertising. And usually, your new user will discover you after seeing your ad on one of the mobile ad networks such as Facebook or Snapchat.

Each mobile ad networks has specific, key ad elements and you should adapt your ad to the placement, network, as well as to your target audience.

User acquisition never stops since 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 with attributed installs. The decline 📉 of the organic installs has been constant, and achieving organic user acquisition at scale has never been more difficult.

Number of apps in the leading app stores

It’s already very difficult to stand out with so many apps in the market. Even if you have a quality product, the idea is good, the app is bug-free, that still doesn’t guarantee that you’ll reach the top charts. 🚀 The most common reason apps don’t live up to the hype is that they never get discovered and 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 too. Paid advertising is also 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 be measured, optimized and utilized to help your mobile app/game grow.

We spoke about 7 ways to acquire more users in one of our previous blog posts. There are free ways to acquire users as well as optimization of the app page in the app store, more commonly known as app store optimization (ASO).

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

Heard of AIDA framework?

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

AIDA framework

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 correlates well with the ad?

A – Action

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

Elements of Facebook Ad

Facebook Ad Elements

Visual elements

Humans are visual creatures and the visual element of your ad is the first thing that will be noticed. If your image isn’t high-quality and engaging, users scrolling through the feed will hardly notice it.


Think about your audience when creating ads 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, a market research company, 70% of the overall digital impression in 2017. were mobile. Mobile advertising in the USA exists for 11 years, and it is already bigger than television. You don’t know is the user seeing the ad on their mobile device or desktop, so optimize the image so it performs well on all devices and screen sizes.

Text elements

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

Headline is limited by space, but it is also most important and the most noticeable text element of the ad. Each element is individual part of your ad, but they all should work as whole. That means 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 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 call to action buttons from which you can choose one for your ad. Depending on what is your ad advertising and who is your target audience, choose one from the following:

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

Elements of Snapchat Ads

Snapchat was developed in 2011, and it soon became popular because of their video feature “Stories” that disappear after 24 hours. Today, there are more than 186 million daily active users on Snapchat. Snapchat was ads free at the beginning, but of course, as time passed, the ads were introduced.

Snapchat Ad Elements

Community of Snapchat has unique style of communicating and a specific sense of humor. Your ad should be a representation of your brand, but still created with audience in mind. Actually, 94% of American young adults use this app. Across this network there is over 3 billion snaps sent every day, and Snapchat Stories are reportedly viewed 10 billion times a day.


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 is 20 Call to Action buttons on Snapchat to choose from: APPLY NOW, BOOK NOW, BUY TICKETS, DOWNLOAD, GET NOW, INSTALL NOW…

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

To sum up:

We listed only a few recommendations based on our successful ad campaigns. You can be creative as you’d like, 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 was to truly find out what works, and what doesn’t!

I think you’ll also find these articles interesting! 👇 💁

Mobile user acquisition – 7 ways to attract new users
What is user acquisition (UA)?
New Facebook Ads Library – all Facebook Ads in one place?

About Udonis:

We are an award-winning marketing agency specialized in mobile apps & games. We help scale products that people love, keeping the attention on data and results. Have questions, need help? 🤗 Email us at hello@udonis.co!

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