3 Cardinal Rules for In-App Advertising

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It has been almost seven years since the original iPhone was released. That was the final year that a non-smartphone was the top seller.

In-App Advertising

Caption: Nokia 1200 – Top Selling Mobile Phone in 2007

In 2008, the entire mobile experience shifted.  Apple opened the first mobile application store where apps could be downloaded directly onto your apple device.

A little over a year later Apple’s App Store had over 100,000 apps available for download, leading to the famous “There’s an app for that.” campaign.

In-App AdvertisingAlso within that first year, two more mobile app stores became available; Android’s Market and Blackberry’s App World.

Flash-forward to 2014, where 1 in 5 people have a smartphone and 1 in 17 people have a tablet, it’s safe to say mobile app downloads are on the rise.  Especially since 85% of mobile users prefer mobile apps to the mobile web.

When it comes time to downloading apps, 61% of mobile users want free apps, even if it means they feature in-app ads. Reports show that these in-app ads actually perform more than 11X better than standard banners ads.

Ding! Ding! Ding! Advertisers: Time to get your in-app advertising strategy in gear!

Here are 5 Cardinal Rules for In-App Advertising…

1.    Send the Right Ad to the Right Customer

We all know targeting is important with advertising. In-app ads are not any different.

Be sure to target the appropriate app categories available. For instance, if you are advertising a diet offer, try running an ad in the ‘Health & Fitness’ category where your offer will be very relevant.

In-App Advertising

FitCalc Free Health Calculator

Targeting ads to app categories is great start, but don’t forget to target specifically to relevant apps as well. Again as an example, if you were advertising a health or fitness offer, try running an ad on the app ‘FitCalc Free Health Calculator’.  This app received a very high prevalence score within our platform and likely attracts a health conscious crowd.

2.    Clear Call to Action

Nobody likes being tricked into buying something.

Don’t waste time and money on banner ads that try to blend into the app giving the user the illusion that they aren’t clicking an ad.  As soon as the app begins to redirect to the their mobile app store or browser, you’re just going to annoy the user.

Ads like these are great for getting clicks, but aren’t always great for converting…

In-App Advertising

Although it is a common tip to use familiar imagery in your ads, making it seem like you are able to chat right in the app is a tricky way to get clicks. Clicks that likely won’t convert.

In-App Advertising

This ad uses a jumping gold coin to make it seem like you will get points by clicking. It has zero call to action and is also very interruptive. It’s doubtful that this ad has a high conversion.

In-App Advertising

Call to Action… Anyone? If one is not familiar with your brand, it’s important to support your ad with clear copy.

Instead use banners that feature a clean creative and a strong call to action. Such as these top performing banners…

In-App Advertising 3.    Static Ads Over Flash

Using WhatRunsWhere’s Top Ads feature, it was noted that only 3 out of the 30 top in-app ads were flash. (Two of them were from the same advertiser.)

This is not to suggest not to test flash ads in your own campaigns, however it is interesting that most of the top ads are finding success as static banners.  Always be sure to test what works for you.

In-App AdvertisingWhy not give in-app advertising a spin. With smartphones users spending 80% of their online time in-app, it only makes sense.

Already experimenting with in-app advertising? Be sure to share what’s working for you in the comments.

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3 thoughts on “3 Cardinal Rules for In-App Advertising

  1. Gagan

    Great article. I think these rules can be applied to traditional web ads too. As for mobile ads, I ran a campaign with airpush but I couldn’t target apps in my niche. Which ad networks out there let you target your ads to apps of your choice?

    Reply
  2. Pingback: 10 PRO Podcast Marketing Tips – 100% of the top podcasters do tip #1 (Ep. 095) | Daily Podcast for Internet Marketing

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