When it comes to app promotion, Facebook and Google rule the world. Just as they tend to be key players in a variety of fields related to tech, social media, and online communications--the two heavy hitters continue to take the mobile advertising arena by storm--reeling users in with their unique ads, individualized algorithms, and simply because they dominate the internet.
Of course, there are many reasons they are kings of the industry including their reach, influence, and prowess in the field; however, just because they are the biggest doesn't mean they are the best. In fact, there are actually many areas that Facebook and Google need to work on in order to become stellar app promotion platforms. Here are just a few from the top of my head.
Not Quite Mobile First
Particularly for Google, ad real estate in the mobile sphere is a challenge. Facebook has the advantage in this realm because their news feed supplies a seemingly endless amount of ad space as the user can continue to browse and scroll down. However, with regards to Google, if you are not on the first page or two, your ad will have significantly lower clickthroughs.
While this can be true for desktop as well, the situation is even more magnified when it comes to mobile. While desktop users might have the patience to go through a few pages in a search engine, mobile users in particular are looking for something fast and convenient. Therefore, they are less likely to continue clicking to new pages and as a result, the amount of space Google can offer to their partners is highly limited.
Less Capacity for Targeting
"Although Facebook has built an incredible app discovery business model translated into the new Audience network, they are currently failing on delivering scale of new users at an affordable way. Their effective interests, demographics targeting, and user acquisition costs are reaching high prices very quickly and many small and indie developers aren't able to afford the cost." says Elad Natanson of Appnext.
Clearly, while targeting is necessary, the financial barrier that Facebook ads has created turns away many of the newer, less established apps due to lack of budget.
The Price is not Right
Don't Always Take Advantage of Native Formats
While Google does use native ads for searching, they still have not developed the same for display footing. The closest they have is their Lightbox ads, which are essentially banner ads with the capability of becoming full screen. Without being on trend with regards to creating user-friendly app formats, advertisements will be far less effective than they could have been.
They are Stretched to Capacity
In contrast, when ad networks are smaller, and specialize in this specific niche, they understand the industry and make the needs of developers their number one priority. They are easy to reach, easy to work with, and value your business. For me, this is a huge consideration when formulating business partnerships.
All in all both Facebook and Google get a lot of things right when it comes to app promotion. But there are still areas where they can improve, especially when trying to target newbies in the industry. Depending on what you are looking for, there a number of great mobile advertising specialists that can give you most the benefits of the big guys without the drawbacks. Therefore, it's worth your time (and money) to do a bit of research to discover which one will help you monetize your app and create a dynamic, successful mobile business.