Weather Underground: Severe Weather Triggered Mobile App Install Campaigns

Severe weather triggered location-based Facebook Advertising campaigns


Severe weather is something that will impact all of us at one point or another, but most people don't think about it until it's an imminent threat. With this in mind, Vert partnered with Weather Underground to develop a systematized approach to creating quick, lightweight, opportunistic Facebook advertising campaigns. These campaigns target users with Mobile App Install Ads for the Storm iOS app when it is most relevant to their needs.

Based on the key features of the Storm iOS app, the most common types of severe weather, client goals, and industry benchmarks, Vert built a collaborative system that would allow us to receive a severe weather campaign request, develop specific messaging and creative for the location, build targeting profiles, and launch a location-based advertising campaign — all within 48 hours. This fast, customized approach would be key to reaching users when they were currently or about to be under the threat of severe weather to help prepare users for the storm and drive mobile app installs.

The system proved to be extremely effective. In 2015, we launched more than a dozen campaigns using this formula, and the results consistently met or exceeded the client's expectations when it came to downloads, impressions, and efficiency. We were also able to test and tweak the creative along the way, making optimizations based on results that suggested which types of creative assets and copy iterations perform the best for certain types of storms or certain geographical areas. These location based campaigns achieved the core concept of relevancy - by reaching the right users in the right place at the right time — and as a result, we were able to provide citizens with a valuable tool when they needed it most.

Since these campaigns began, the Weather Underground Storm app has consistently appeared in the App Store's list of the Top Free Apps for Weather, and has received hundreds of positive reviews. Most importantly, our analytical data shows us that users who install the app during severe weather campaigns are more likely to continue using the app over time - suggesting that this relevant, timely approach has been an extremely effective way to both attract new users and build brand loyalists.
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