The shift from desktop to mobile advertising has become increasingly apparent over the past few months. One indication is the impressive growth rate of in-app advertisements – about 60 percent per year. In addition to proven statistical growth, market research by IDC and AppAnnie suggest mobile in-app ads will surpass PC online display ad revenue within the next three years. It’s this shift toward an expected $25 billion in sales that has caught the eye of so many brands not currently using in-app advertising.
The Strategies Behind In-App Advertising
As is the case with any advertising campaign, in-app advertising requires a focused strategy. Here are three basic strategies your brand may consider:
- Total integration. Companies like Microsoft have successfully integrated their ads into the app itself. Users tend to have a more positive brand association when the ad appears to be a part of the app – not an intrusion to it. This is most easily accomplished via games.
- Pay-off. Although it is a bolder approach, bribery is another popular choice for in-app advertising. The idea is to ask users to sit through an advertisement for some sort of app bonus.
- Quality. Many experts believe mobile users will look at in-app ads positively. The point here is to develop rich, quality ads that encourage mobile users to interact with your brand and take action. Apple’s iAd platform, released in April 2010, is designed to help brands create “mobile ads with emotion.”
Tips for Developing Successful In-App Ads
NativeX, the industry leader in mobile game advertising, understands the importance of quality as it relates to in-app advertising. Co-founder Robert Weber points out that monetization is where apps usually fail. To break through and generate financial returns, he believes an in-app ad must follow specific tactics. Here are three of his suggestions:
- Associations. Your ad should be familiar to the user. In games, this means using thematic elements that a user will associate with. They should create positive emotions and prove relevant to the app they appear in.
- Timing and placement. While design is ultimately the most important feature, Weber believes timing and placement is a close second. Make sure your ads are not interrupting game play, and instead choose to place ads between levels or events.
- Segment. Take advantage of available analytics to develop key insights about different users. Just as with any form of advertising, it is best to focus on particular groups.
In-app ads are the future of mobile advertising. Learn from the best and discover how you can take advantage of this new direction.