Branch specializes in all things mobile, so when a customer came to us using Branch for deep links, we weren’t surprised. When they asked how to use Branch for attribution, our first response was “doesn’t Branch do deep links?” Turns out, Branch provides the attribution for our customers without needing to install an extra SDK.

The Problem:

One of our customers’s has an app for small business productivity. January is their best month and we started working with them two weeks into the start of 2017. We needed to launch ads, fast.

But here’s the problem — they didn’t have a mobile marketing partner (MMP). Here’s the scary thing about mobile — attribution for ads is really, really hard. When we run ads we send users to the App or Google Play stores. This means they move from a Facebook or Google ad, to a page where they install the app and then actually open up a mobile app.

From here we know which users click on a link, but the hard part is verifying that the same person who clicked the link for the ad is the same person who later installs the app.

Long story short, we didn’t want to be the people to tell the engineering team that they needed yet another SDK in their app.

The Solution:

If we were launching ads in the desktop world, we would just add a different tracking URL to the ad. So why can’t we do that in mobile?

Turns out we can (thanks, Branch!). And the process is really similar to what we’ve already seen in desktop.

Below we’ll show you how to set these up on Facebook, but you can use Branch links for any ad platform where you can input your own tracking template (like AdWords) or use a deep link.

Steps for Branch-based Attribution

Step 1: Launch a mobile app install campaign on Facebook.

Step 2: Follow the steps to create a new ad set (where you set targeting and budget) and create your ad (with the image and ad copy)

Step 3: Go to Branch and input your campaign, ad set and ad IDs (need help finding your Facebook IDs? You’ll need to create the ad first, and then you can customize the columns you see in Facebook). Make sure you click “Configure Options” to add the extra fields!

Step 4: Add your deep link to the ads on Facebook.

That’s it! Now you’ve fully implemented tracking for your mobile app install ads — sans MMP. And the best part for this particular customer was that they already had Branch deep links tracking in their database, so we could easily track full-funnel metrics (and stay out of Excel and Power Editor). That means everything from ad spend to account creation, purchase data and LTVs are now all at my fingertips. The best part? This doesn’t only work for ads, but you can use this technique to measure every channel. Moreover, Branch is able to track both app and web at the same time, giving you a better comprehensive view into your organic attribution.

P.S. Does this seem like a lot of work to do for every ad? No worries; I’ve got you covered with just 1 click. Find out how Step One Growth integrates with Branch deep links.

The Results:

The team at Lightning AI has run lot of mobile app install ads. We’re talking hundreds of thousands of ads. We rarely have attribution match the numbers we see on Facebook (even after checking that our MMP and Facebook are set to the same attribution window). We’ve never had these match consistently throughout hundreds of ads.

The future of mobile advertising is in the data. Using Branch links for ad attribution didn’t just work — these links have perfected measurement of attribution.