August 26, 2022
August 26, 2022

Mobile App Advertising on Snapchat: 5 Ways to Increase App Installs

Use these Snapchat advertising best practices to boost mobile app installs, visits, and engagement.
Mobile app advertising on Snapchat helps you drive mobile app installs and reengagement by showcasing your apps to highly-engaged audiences at scale. As a mobile-first generation, Snapchatters are actively seeking new apps to download and engage with -- 40% say they typically download between one and five apps per week1, and 41% use apps to make purchases at least once a month.2

With mobile app advertising becoming the primary way to build and grow your app business, launching an app-install campaign on Snapchat can help you achieve your business goals - whether that’s growing your user base or prompting them to open your app more often. In this blog, we’ll look at a few ways advertising on Snapchat can help mobile app advertisers increase app installs, drive engagement, and boost in-app purchases.
5 Ways to Increase App Installs Through Mobile App Advertising on Snapchat
  1. Align Your Campaign Objective With Your Business Goals
  2. Bid Toward Conversion Events That Matter
  3. Target Snapchatters Based on Interests and Behaviors
  4. Create Ads That Drive App Installs and Visits
  5. Track App Installs and Post-Install Events in Ads Manager

Align Your Campaign Objective With Your Business Goals
When developing a campaign in Snapchat Ads Manager, you can choose between two workflows: Instant Create and Advanced Create.
  • Instant Create: Using a streamlined ad creation flow that leverages popular templates and simplified ad detail options, Instant Create is great for launching your first ad in just a few minutes to drive app installs and visits. 
  • Advanced Create: Take full control over your ads and create multiple ad sets with advanced targeting through Custom Audiences. With this workflow, you can also bid toward conversion goals that support your business, including optimizing toward Snapchatters who are most likely to install your app.
In this blog, we’re focusing on Advanced Create specifically because of the expanded options it provides for app install campaigns. Once you’ve selected Advanced Create, you’ll be prompted to select your campaign objective. For mobile app advertising, choose one of the available app-specific campaign objectives:
  • App Installs: Send Snapchatters to the app store to download your app.
  • Drive Traffic To App: Encourage Snapchatters to open your app or a third-party app.
  • App Conversions: Drive specific actions, such as purchases, within your app.

Bid Toward Conversion Events That Matter
Once you’ve selected your objective and completed your initial campaign setup, you’ll be able to specify settings like audience details, budget, goal, and flight time for your campaign’s first ad set.
Next, leverage Snapchat’s Goal-Based Bidding to optimize toward app installs and in-app purchases. Goal-Based Bidding offers campaign optimization according to your bid strategy, meaning Snapchat will serve your ad to Snapchatters who are most likely to take the action you’ve selected.
In the Delivery section, choose the goal you'd like to bid toward and select your bid strategy:
  • Auto Bid allows Snapchat to automatically set bids that are optimized for your campaign goals and your target audience while staying within your budget.
  • Target Cost tells Snapchat to keep your average CPA (cost per action) at or below the amount established by the ad set end date.
  • Max Bid gives Snapchat the maximum amount to bid for you while working to achieve the most efficient CPA possible.
Bid goals will be listed in the dropdown based on the objective you’ve selected. For example, if you selected app installs as your objective, you can then bid on app installs, swipe ups, in-app purchases, and more.
Target Snapchatters Based on Interests and Behaviors
To get your app seen by audiences who are ready to take action, you can use Snapchat Ads targeting to help you reach audiences based on key factors like location, demographics, purchasing patterns, and more.
With Snapchat’s easy-to-use Custom Audiences, you can achieve greater reach and relevance for your app install campaigns, allowing you to build highly-targeted campaigns that are optimized to drive more app installs or visits. 
Here’s an overview of the available Custom Audiences you can use to optimize your targeting on Snapchat:
  • Snap Audience Match: Reconnect with Snapchatters who have interacted with your brand or business in the past.
  • Lookalike Audiences: Expand your reach by targeting Snapchatters who are similar to your existing customer base.
  • Mobile App Custom Audiences: Dynamically update audiences generated from your app data passed back to Snapchat from your Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP).
  • Pixel Custom Audience: Target a group of high-intent Snapchatters who have engaged with your brand using a flexible lookback window.
  • Ad Engagement Audience: Retarget Snapchatters who have swiped up on an ad or were served a paid impression from your brand previously.
  • Third-party Custom Audience: Reach Snapchatters based on their past buying patterns or browsing behaviors.
Additionally, you can drive more conversions and further engagement with Snapchat’s retargeting strategies. By personalizing your retargeting ads using Snapchat’s Dynamic Ads, you can create an individualized shopping experience for your customers. Dynamic Ads are built directly from your product catalog and are tailored to Snapchatters based on their browsing behaviors on your app or website, helping you stay top of mind with your audience.
Create Ads That Drive App Installs and Visits
After completing the settings for your campaign, objective, and targeting, you’ll be prompted to build your first ad. An effective way to drive Snapchatters to download or use your app is by building Snapchat Ads that support mobile app advertising via app install ads or re-engagement ads.
  • App Install Ads drive Snapchatters directly to the app store.
  • App Re-Engagement Ads use deep links to drive existing users back to your app. These can improve retention, re-engage lapsed users, and drive efficient revenue for your app.
  • App Install Attachments allow Snapchatters to swipe up and download your app.
  • Deep Link Attachments help re-engage Snapchatters who’ve installed your app by directing them to a specific aspect of your app. If you reach a Snapchatter who doesn’t have your app, they’ll be prompted to install.
The following Snapchat Ads formats are supported for app install ads or re-engagement ads, depending on your advertising objective:
  • Story Ads reach Snapchatters with a series of ads, helping to build brand awareness.
  • Collection Ads showcase 3-20 Single Image or Video Ads featuring your latest collection of products to drive sales (deep link attachments only).
  • AR Lenses let advertisers create interactive AR experiences that Snapchatters can play with and send to friends.
You can check out all of our Snapchat Ads formats and their specs here.
Track App Installs and Post-Install Events in Ads Manager
Finally, be sure to measure and monitor the performance of your app-install campaigns. You can track app installs and post-install events generated by Snapchatters who have downloaded your app - as long as you’re integrated with an approved MMP. Just configure your app with an approved MMP to measure ad performance and get access to actionable metrics like app installs, purchases, sign ups, level completes, ad clicks, and even custom events.
Once you’ve completed your MMP implementation, you can view campaign metrics in Snapchat’s Ads Manager using custom date ranges at the campaign level, ad set level, or ad level. At the top of the screen, you can see the default visualizations that show high-level metrics for your campaigns. You can customize which metrics you’d like to view by clicking on the Customize Columns icon. Learn more about Ads Manager metrics and what they mean.
Launching a well-designed app that provides value to your end user is a key factor in growing your business, and once your app is live, optimize and advertise on Snapchat to increase installs, expand your reach, and build a highly-engaged audience. 
If you’re just beginning your advertising journey and are interested in scaling your app business with Snapchat, learn how to get started with Snapchat Ads.

Snapchat can help your business grow.

1Snap Inc. survey of US Snapchat users, November 15–19, 2019. Age and location data subject to restrictions. See for details. Question: “How many apps do you typically download in a week?” 3407 respondents.
2Snap Inc. survey of US Snapchat users September 19 - 30, 2021. Age and location data subject to restrictions. See for details. Question: "How often do you make a purchase using an app?"; 513 respondents.