back to all blogs

Let’s face it: mobile app advertising is complex. Defining very precise segments, collecting copious behavioral data, testing numerous themes and messages, and making sure you reach the right type of users on mobile is not easy. The major players within the mobile app advertising industry are constantly updating their platforms to further refine the ability to target specific audience. These segmentation options can help your app adoption a great deal, when implemented correctly. Fail to keep up, and you risk getting lost in the sea of growing applications in the marketplace. Here are some highlights of the latest updates to keep you up to speed.

Twitter – Tailored Audiences

Twitter’s “Tailored Audiences” includes a feature called “look-alike-only targeting” that allows you to find users that are similar to your existing audience. According to Twitter, it is particularly useful for campaigns to reach users similar to those who have already installed your app.

If a user sees an ad on a brand’s website, information about this user can be shared to Twitter through an ads partner such that the brand can run the same ad as a promoted tweet and the user will see it, again. This is essentially what builds tailored audiences for Twitter, allowing you to create segments or groups of prospective and existing customers based on users’ web browser history, email addresses, mobile advertising IDs and other CRM data.

Google AdWords

Google AdWords targeting is very extensive, with options including location, language, audience, device targeting and other CRM data. Depending on the type of application that you want to promote, their device targeting includes smartphones, feature phones and phones that can only make calls. AdWords campaigns for mobile apps include mobile app installs, mobile app engagement and ads in mobile apps.

Note: Due to recent changes, your ads may need to be updated to continue to run. If you have click-to-download ads or app/digital content ads in your Search Network only campaigns, you will need to move your ads into a new “Search Network only – mobile app installs” campaign by July 2015.

They have also changed their mobile targeting to have an option that excludes tablets. According to Google, they made these changes to “clarify that by selecting this option, your ads will only be eligible to appear on smartphones with full browsers, not on tablets.” If you’d like all of your app install ads to appear on both smartphones and tablets, no changes are required.


In a recent blog by Bing, Upcoming Changes to Device Targeting in Bing Ads, they discuss some device targeting changes they have made.

“Specifically, we have gotten feedback that having both the enhanced campaigns model of bid modifiers and explicit device targeting adds complexity to managing paid search campaigns in Bing Ads. More importantly, we have seen that user’s search behavior and advertiser performance is similar between desktops and tablets on the Yahoo Bing Network.”

Initially, they had tablets in their own targeting category, but they have now combined it with desktops and laptops and include an option to adjust the bids on all devices accordingly.
Additional Bing targeting functionality is slated for early 2015, including the ability to “provide end users a way to download apps directly from popular mobile app stores in a single click from that ad.” These “app promotion” ads are expected to replace the OS targeting capabilities that are currently available.

Tracking all your key metrics, and using data to further segment your users can help you optimize and deliver the best experience to all of them. The targeting updates described above all took place within the last few months, but you should expect major platforms to continuously refine and enhance their targeting capabilities. Staying abreast of industry updates is important as it enables you to ensure current campaigns are operating as designed and that future ads are connecting with your audiences.

back to all blogs