Mobile advertising keeps growing at a staggering rate. In fact, a new research predicts a 75% increase in mobile advertising budgets, with a market value of 31.5 Billion Dollars.
That said, this increase has yet to bring a new approach to the ads themselves. Standard banners are still the main monetization tool for most app developers and mobile web traffic owners, with an increasing market share for full page ads (interstitials and offerwalls). With more than 1 million apps in Google Play and the appstore, the need for better, more sophisticated promotions in stronger than ever. So, what has changed recently? Quite a lot, actually. The experience gained by developers during the past 3-4 years is now helping the entire community to earn more, while maintaining a decent level of user satisfaction. These are the 3 major trends helping this reality materialize:
The importance of the location of the ad inside the app has been underestimated for a while. Not anymore. However, most app developers have yet to test most of their possible ad location. Traditionally, Exit ads (which appear once the user is ready to leave the app) were considered to be the best performing location, with a minimal intrusiveness effect. A recent study we conducted at appnext, evaluating over 4,000 different apps, showed that the ultimate opposite approach – interstitials showed during app launch – is not only generating a better eCPM, but also maintains the same level of user satisfaction. Of course, this approach cannot be right for every single developer out there, but it does prove that repeated testing of the ad location is always worth it, in the long run.
Multiple call-to-action options
With most call-to-actions being so simple (promoting an app install), we seem to have forgotten that ‘now’ might not be the right time for a user to do anything else but to use his current app, even if he finds the promotion interesting. A new type of ad, already available, will offer the user an option to install the app at a later time, more suitable for him:
The very idea of having 2 different options to engage with an ad will create a better approach towards the promotion, with better chances to engage with it. Treat your users as adults, even with ads, and they will most likely return the favor.
Yes, that catch-phrase everybody is talking about, is rapidly gaining speed. Native ads are actually the same promotions usually shown in banners or interstitials, presented in the right context, with an embedded graphical approach. The idea behind native ads is very simple: the more an ad expresses the real nature of any app, the less intrusive it becomes, and more likely that users will engage with it. Recent researches by various ad networks show native ads generate revenues up to 10 times more that the average standard ad. Definitely something any developer with a little bit of time on his hands should look into.
Native ads can appear an integral part of an app/game:
Another popular approach with native ads is to make the ad appear contextually:
Native ads are created using an API, with the app developer/mobile website owner choosing which ingredients of the ad (URL, description, image, app name, etc) they want use, and how.
The main conclusion from these 3 mobile advertising trends is one – substantial ad revenues are still very much possible in the mobile industry. Using the original design to create promotions, keeping an open dialog with the user and testing your decisions are crucial, but will definitely pay off.