When advertising hit the web-market, it ran high for a long time before ads began to be perceived as the chains which hinder one’s experience of the website. Stuffing your website with ads was to degenerate the web-ranking and exhibit compromise on the authenticity. Any web developer had to maintain a cautious balance between the quality and quantity of ads and how the ads connected to the website content.
The next major step in the virtual advertising realm is the in-app advertising which invited with better response from the users. While web-ads shook on flimsy grounds, the prophecy for mobile-ads declares that we would be peaking $100 billion across the world in 2016 extracting 51% of ad expenditure from the digital market.
App-advertising, aka Appvertising, is a creative and skill-based force which could take you either way: the users could find the ads to be friendly and click on them or they could simply label them as intrusive and opt out of the app itself. Here are some of the ways to confirm if your in-app advertising is a honey trap of the ad-world.
Tilling the Soil for Harvesting Money: Is your app ready for ads?
How many downloads do you get on your app on an average? Depending on the number of times your app is downloaded and used, you can determine which method to use for monetizing your app. If your app is downloaded and used consistently, then in-app ads is an effective method for earning. In case the download-range is not high and the app is not visited frequently, then you could go with in-app purchases or direct charging.
An optimum way of introducing ads is by including them in the free version of your app while allowing the pro version to be ad-free with other features.
Speaking the App-Ad Vocabulary: Different Models for Ad Monetizing
Advertisers can buy apps in many ways. Keep in mind the following terms to grasp the methods:
1. CPM (Cost Per Thousand): In the CPM system, the advertiser pays a sum of money for thousand times of ad-display. You will be the publisher and will get a certain percentage of the payment.
2. CPC (Cost Per Click): In the CPC method, you will be paid for every click that the ad gets on your app.
3. eCPM (Effective Cost Per Thousand): Here, the cost is derived by dividing the total amount of earning to the total number of impressions (in thousands).
4. CPI (Cost Per Install): Every time the app is installed, you will receive a certain amount of money. This is a popular in-app ad model.
The Catalogue of Ads: Kinds of In-App Ads
When you are choosing the kind of in-app ad, remember that while monetization is important, it is secondary to the response that your app receives. Do not compromise on the functionality and glamour of the app with clingy or disruptive in-app ad types.
Following are the seven kinds of in-app ads you can use:
1. Dialogue: A pop-up box asking the user to check out an app or advertiser’s website
2. Banner: Vertically placed on top or bottom of screen showcasing the app or website
3. Rich Media: User-response based ads which can do a variety of stuff
4. Video: Short pop-up video introducing the product or app
5. Interstitial: Ads which appear during app-junctures like next level or during exit
6. SmartWall: On basis of data connection, ad inventory, and other factors, the interstitial ad shows the ideal ad-format (video, banner, dialogue or others)
7. OfferWall: A singular in-app interstitial ad which showcases multiple offers simultaneously.
The Legal Maze of Transparency: Follow the Rules
When one takes a class on in-app advertising, the story of Apple facing a major lawsuit under the charge of making children spend millions through in-app purchases without parental approval is a classic reading in the first few classes. In iTunes, the in-app purchases could be made without entering the password again.
Go through the rules and regulations regarding in-app ad and take special care in case children are the target audience. Ensure that the in-app purchases are labelled ‘optional’ to avoid any future accusations on payment policy and method.
Be a Mal-WatchGuard: Choose the Mobile Ad Network Carefully
In April 2013, Marc Rogers posted a blog on BadNews, a malware mafia which expanded to over 30 apps in 4 of the developer accounts in Google Play, affecting over thousands of downloads. BadNews is a pest-network of ads (‘malicious distribution network’) that can send fake messages, solicit installations of apps and most disturbingly, distribute private information like device ID and phone number to the C&C (Command and Control) server. While choosing the mobile ad network, it is mandatory to do a thorough examination of its background along with a pilot test of the network with a set of users. The basic criteria for choosing an ad network must be: size of the network, quality of the ads on network, diversity of ad-types, payment methods and rules, and the substratum technology (a mixture of hardware architecture and user experience interface). It is ideal to choose a network which not only caters to your monetization needs but is also a ground for publicity (this will reduce separate expenditure towards the publicity platform). The most well-known mobile ad networks of 2015 include RevenueHits, Revcontent, Adblade, Undertone, and BidVertiser.
The User is the Ruler: Customizable In-Apps
Invite and initiate ads which have interactive form of ads. A piece in VentureBeat revealed that over 70% of the Facebook app users inclined towards interactive ads than static ones. Let the in-app ad seem like part of you app itself, like the pop-up sleeves on a sleeveless shirt. Consider that you are playing a game and need money to buy some farm tools or weapons. Sensing this need, an in-app ad pops up putting up the offer- “Talk to the Bot and Get 50 Farm Coins!” This form of interaction allows the in-app ad to be non-intrusive and sync well. Most importantly, let the user decide when to stop seeing the ad: pitch in a ‘Skip’ button. The users only spend about five seconds deciding if they want to continue with the ad- without a ‘Skip’ button, you run the risk of app-uninstallation.
No one wants to stand in the queue! What is the load time?
When a user loads the ad, how much time does it take? No one wants to wait more than 10 seconds for the ad to download. The download rate must be at least 100kBps over mobile networks. You can apply some network-slips to increase the speed: while working on HTML, utilize the 2D sprites and JPEG masks. You can also add in a feature to only pre-load the desired data, depending on the selections of the user.
Keep the Treats Coming! Don’t let down your baits!
Once your in-app ad is set up and gets going, don’t forget to keep the heat running. If you continue to use a certain ad-format for a long time, the user will eventually feel visually not stimulated and move on to newer trends. Keep revising and updating your in-app ad methods and bring the latest and most sophisticated system to their screens.
Since the mobile in-app ads is a fast growing industry, the possibilities of greater optimization are plenty. You can evaluate responses from the users to make changes to the layout and interface conduct (swipes, zooms, taps, pinches, and other gestures). You can record the events which receive the highest number of exists and optimize your in-app ad strategy.
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