Showing Apple my app via Facebook

I’ve been working recently on getting more exposure to my existing apps, especially myDrumPad.  It’s a fun app, and I have a few more updates that are in the works when I get a couple of free weekends, but frankly I’d like to see its sales figures climb a bit higher than they are now.  Of course, if you’re an iOS developer, you’ll know the biggest thing that can improve your sales rankings is to be featured on the AppStore.  A large part of getting featured is left up to lucky chance, but to improve your odds, one of the things you can do is to target Apple employees with Facebook ads of your application.  Read on to see the results I’ve had so far.

My reasons for going with this route was it’s perhaps the lowest-hanging fruit I could have done to attempt to “Win Big”.  It’s the iOS developer equivalent of lotto tickets: I have better chances of making money by doing actual hard work, but it’s a small amount of effort that will pay big if I luck out.

I created a simple ad in Facebook, using my app’s iPad icon as the image for the ad.  After a few tweaks of the copy for the text, I configured the ad to target people within 50 miles of Cupertino, CA that were employees of Apple.  With those simple settings configured, I started the ad campaign, setting a maximum lifetime budget of $50.

Mostly what I had hoped was above and beyond Apple employees clicking on the link to download the app, I was hoping for them to simply be exposed to my app.  Seeing the name and its icon is significant even if they don’t click directly from the Facebook ad.

Results so far

I started this ad on October 14, so it has only been running for a little over 2 weeks so far, and the results are better than I had expected.

Facebook Ad chart of clicks over time

The number of clicks on the ad I’ve gotten isn’t bad, and is certainly more than I had expected.  In fact, I had expected only a few employees to click on the myDrumPad ad.

Facebook ad chart of impressions over time

What is more impressive to me is the number of impressions over time.  These are the number of Facebook users who saw my ad.  Overall it’s a hefty figure.  There is the off chance that users may have even downloaded the app out-of-band of Facebook, assuming they don’t actually sync their iPhone or iPad off the computer they were using Facebook with at the time.

Facebook Ad campaign summary statistics

The summary view is my favourite.  At a glance you can see how many impressions my ad has gotten. The click-through-rate (CTR) isn’t anywhere near as impressive as your average ad campaign would hope to get, but considering I consider it a success even if Apple employees are just visually exposed to the app, this seems good enough for me.

If you’ve tried this yourself in the past, what have your results been?  Has anyone seen any success with this technique, beyond simple exposure?

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