Mobile app advertising is one of the most popular methods for app monetization and revenue generation. In-app ads are relatively easy to implement and give developers the ability to distribute complete, feature-rich apps at no charge to the end user. Free apps are downloaded more frequently than paid apps, and this makes marketing and distribution much easier for developers and publishers.
So what makes good mobile app advertising? And where can you put advertising to more effectively monetize your app? This article explores a few methods of mobile app advertising, and then details a few strategies that can help improve the conversion rate for mobile app advertising.
Benefits of Mobile App Advertising
Advertising can take place any time and place that there is contact with the user. Since TechCrunch reports that almost 3 hours a day are spent on apps, and the vast majority of that time is spent using apps, this is clearly the most valuable advertising space. In-app ads offer quite a few benefits over standard ads.
They are targeted. When someone uses an app, marketers, advertisers, developers, and publishers have a pre-targeted audience to choose from. Targeted ads are more specific, offer the users exactly what they are looking for, and convert well.
They are integrated. As we’ll discuss below, well-done ads can be integrated seamlessly into the app. The best advertising solutions complement the function of the app and don’t stand out.
They can add value. Users are looking to be entertained and informed. Poor advertising interrupts users and can result in a poor user experience, but mobile app advertising offers benefits above and beyond traditional interruption advertising, by actually delivering the value that the user is seeking.
Types of Mobile App Advertising
In general, mobile app advertising comes in the same forms of advertising that can be found elsewhere on the web: images and text.
Display ads are images or video clips such as banner ads. When integrated into mobile apps, these ads often take up a portion of the screen real estate. However, since display ads were so popular and overused during the early days of the internet, effective display advertising can be a challenge.
Text ads are advertisements that are integrated in the text of an advertisement. These ads can look and act like hyperlinks, and lead the user to an advertiser’s offer. Text ads can also be offset into other parts of the screen, like display ads.
Most often, advertisements are a hybrid of the two, and contain both images and text. Facebook ads, for example, usually combine images and text to grab the user’s attention.
Strategies for Mobile App Advertising
As mentioned above, advertisements can be either disconnected from the app content, by segmenting the screen real estate, or they can be integrated with the app. Though slightly more challenging, this method usually converts better and offers a better user experience, since they can actually deliver the value that the user is seeking. Advertising solutions such as MobileFuel tackle this problem by integrating a search function that generates revenue every time a search is conducted.
Contextualized promotions blend with the app experience. This type of advertising solution overcomes the obstacles that traditional display advertising faces, such as banner blindness. Contextualized monetization solutions such as MobileFuel offer value and advertising simultaneously, while avoiding the pitfalls of traditional display ads, which can only distract and detract from the app’s usefulness.
Understanding and Targeting User Intent
“User intent” is the term used to describe a user’s purpose and intention when using the app, surfing the web, shopping, and so forth. Users on social media, for instance, typically intend to socialize with family and friends, while users searching Google for “best pizza new york” probably have the intent to buy some pizza.
Understanding the intent of a user allows advertisers to promote specifically to that user. A user playing a mobile game wants to have a great gaming experience, which is why in-app purchases, such as virtual candy and power-ups work with gamers. An app that offers reviews of local venues or dining, for instance, will aim to serve users who intend to visit those outlets.
Targeting a user’s specific intent can increase conversions, add more value, and create a richer user experience.
Improving the User Experience and Adding Value
People use apps because the apps offer some benefit. Developers who aim to solve problems certainly understand this, but advertising solutions don’t always assist with that goal. The more seamless and contextualized an ad is, the less it detracts from the user experience. The more relevant an ad is, the more value it creates for the user.
As the mobile space continues to evolve, with wearable technology, new devices, and new software platforms, the advertising game will also continue to evolve. What won’t change, however, is best advertising practices. The more relevant and contextualized the ads, the more value they will add and the more income they will generate.