Developing and launching an app takes effort, time and financing, and that’s before you even start to consider the marketing. You might be wondering how to get your first downloads, and how people will even discover what your app is about. One way to accomplish that goal is to start gaining traffic through a sponsored app ad campaign.


That’s what we’re diving into today – How do you run app store ads? But first,

What Are Sponsored Ads, And Are They Worth It?

Sponsored ads let you promote your app, and it’s displayed as “Sponsored” or “Ad”, similar to Instagram, it helps people differentiate between promoted and regular apps. Sponsored apps are displayed higher on the search page in the app store, and are also promoted in other apps.

If you’re wondering whether ads fit your budget, here’s a rough idea of how much they cost – in the US, it costs roughly $2 per install on the iOS app store, and $1.72 per install on Google Play Store. It’s important to factor these costs in before you begin spending!

How Do You Run Ads?

The process changes based on which app store you’re looking at. Here’s what each app store process entails.

iOS App Store

  1. Set up an Apple Ads account, and go to ‘Promote an App’
  2. On your dashboard, choose the app you’d like to promote, and select your geographical preferences
  3. Decide on your budget, and mention your cost per install (CPI).
  4. Boom! You’re ready to go!


Google Play Store

Google uses the content of your app listing to design ads for you, and optimizes your promotions so that your target audience sees them. These ads show up on the Play Store, YouTube, and other platforms.

Google’s process for app promotions is fairly extensive, and their website lists out the steps. Here’s a summary:

  1. Sign up for Google Ads
  2. Go to ‘Campaigns’ and select ‘New Campaign’
  3. Select ‘App Promotion’, and then pick your campaign type: App installs or app engagement
  4. Enter your app name, package name, and publisher to find your app
  5. Update location or language setting, and choose your average daily budget.
  6. Go to “campaign optimization.” and select the actions that you’re interested in driving
  7. Set your campaign dates, and select an ad group name
  8. Go to “Ad Assets.” Include two headline ideas or more, and a description idea
  9. Voila! That’s it!

How to Create Mobile App Ads That Work!

Ads for mobile apps are similar to any other type of ad, so think of it the way you would with any other ad. The marketing content principles remain the same!

  • Write a powerful headline that grabs attention
  • Make sure you’re keeping your audience in mind!
  • Craft a compelling headline. Use this free headline analyzer to get some tips!
  • Draft a clear, engaging summary of your app and its key benefits.
  • Use easy-to-understand, conversational language.
  • Include keywords and ONE clear call to action.
  • Select an image that fits your brand and would stand out to your target audience

Wrapping It Up!

Once your ads are running, you’ll want to track your app metrics on a regular basis to see how your campaign is performing. Here’s a handy guide to the important app metrics that you’ll need to track. Once the downloads start coming in, make sure you encourage users  to leave reviews and keep your app store optimization going.

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