Mobile App Advertising Review & Insights 2015

Mobile App Advertising and Marketing

My addiction to downloading the latest apps is now equaled by my excitement about App advertising. I have historically been focused and most interested in the web from the desktop perspective, but for the last two years I’ve had two iPhones and an iPad that get just as much attention from me as my macbook. And, this is now a reality in device usage numbers across Ireland, which has surpassed the UK in mobile traffic volumes. There’s no doubt the Irish love their mobile phones, and are closer to Finland in the context of mobile phone per capita usage.

Mobile Advertising Platforms

Both Google and Facebook offer great platforms for advertising in general, but both have embraced and developed app advertising channels that work brilliantly. Google’s ability to seamlessly integrate Google play app store is impressive as we can specifically target Android mobile users who have downloaded specific apps, and then record conversions in the same campaign. However, iPhone users are still the key target audience in most cases, and this is driven by the reality that most iPhone users are on better plans with more data allowance; they are therefore in more channels to available for advertising, and more likely to download your app.

Facebook’s ability to present users with sponsored app suggestions is a gold mine for driving app installs. However, facebook is slightly more expensive while Google’s display network is almost unlimited in terms of placement options (on popular websites, and in other apps).

Mobile Advertising & Mobile Traffic

Mobile advertising has been drummed-up loudly by Google and the introduction of enhanced campaigns helped advertisers bid appropriately on mobile traffic. However, as much as the mobile audience has grown substantially, it is a different device, and a different behaviour to desktop. While driving clicks and traffic from mobile to suitable responsive website works to a degree, conversions are much harder to drive. The chances are your mobile user isn’t going to fill out a subscription form, or a lengthy contact us form with numerous mandatory fields – or worse yet, pull out their credit card and tap away all those digits on a small screen, over a public wifi connection.

But mobile users can easily be motivated to download your app from an app store. No not-quite responsive website issues – just the familiar app store and a few clicks from engagement on an app level. Maybe even a long term relationship!

Are In-App mobile adverts the future of advertising?

The traditional success model for advertising campaigns has come a long way since the days of TV, adapting and shifting its form based on consumer behavior. The idea that people would watch ads on tiny screens they keep in their pockets might have seemed far-fetched a few decades ago, but now it is a part of daily life.

Mobile App Advertising TargetingThe average smartphone user comes across dozens of in-app mobile ads every day and a significant part of these views convert into sales and other app downloads. New data shows that mobile ads, though seen as intrusive by some, perform much better than traditional web advertising and have great potential for publishers. Now we can talk about “appvertising”, the newest direction in product promotion, one that can change the way customers receive and interact with ads.

Why are in-app ads more successful?

The success of in-app ads is not necessarily due to their form or content, but rather to the medium by which they are served to the customer. Apps are slowly but steadily surpassing the Web in terms of popularity, because more and more users choose social networks and apps instead of websites. Apps run on smartphones and tablets – devices which have already started to change the way people interact with the Web and which are often more sought-after than desktop computers or laptops. The latest data reveals that in-app ads have higher click-through rates than traditional Web banners: 0.58% compared to 0.23%!

Mobile App Advertising TargetingThe context in which smartphones are used is also relevant: people often use their phones on the go, making them more likely to tap on travel or entertainment ads. While at home, they are more likely to tap retail ads or ads that involve online purchases or registration for a certain service. Another reason why in-app ads are preferred is that people who use apps on a daily basis are seen as early adopters, trendsetters and dynamic thinkers, so they would be more open towards ads.

Effective product placement

There are two main trends regarding ad placement in apps. First, publishers can integrate the ad seamlessly into a game, making the user feel like the ad is a part of it. Doing us does not disrupt the gaming experience; instead, it enhances it. Second, there is the more common and less expensive method of having the user watch an ad to continue using the app (implemented especially in free apps). This method is more intrusive, disrupting the user experience, but it is not without benefits. For example, users will go ahead and watch an ad if this allows them to use the free version of the app or if it gives them an advantage in a game (watching an ad to restart the level from a checkpoint, not from the beginning).

It’s time to be creative

The advent of “appvertising” brings with it a demand for higher quality ads that promote user engagement and increase click-through and conversion rates. Without an increase in quality, users will have minimal interaction with the ad and even install third party apps that block ads altogether. Just like traditional advertising, “appvertising” needs to become more creative and engaging to maximize its impact.

Examples of App Advertising In Ireland

Most popular Irish websites and apps hand over their remnant display inventory to Google. In short, the display advertising they can’t sell at a premium passes onto Google’s display bidding auction system. This represents an opportunity to programatically purchase quality display advertising placement at lower-costs, even on a cost-per-click basis.

The following table represents guidance in terms of display placement costs, that have been achieved in real advertising campaigns for Irish clients.

App Display Advertising - Ireland - Placement examples

App Display Advertising - Ireland - Placement examples

For anyone that’s ever purchased premium inventory on popular websites at the usual industry rate of €7 – €10 CPM (cost per thousand impressions), these CPCs/CPMs might make you want to re-think how you’re spending your budget.