Increasingly, more and more people are spending a whole lot of time in front of their smartphones instead of television sets or even desktops and laptops. Consider these figures from eMarketer:
Brands want to be where their target audience is, so their agencies must adapt. Any brand agency worth its salt today must be able to provide its clients with a range of advertising options for reaching and targeting mobile users.
For agencies just stepping foot into the world of the app store and app developers, let this guide show you how to advertise on apps so that your client see real, lasting results at scale.
As part of our ongoing Mpower Mobile Masterclass series, we’ve been traveling the country to talk to agencies just like you about all things mobile in-app advertising. If you’re interested in having a mobile ad expert stop by, drop up a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a session.
How is Mobile Advertising Different from Digital Marketing?
First, before we dive into all things app, let’s take a moment to consider broadly how mobile as a format diverges from digital advertising more broadly. If digital marketing is a rectangle, mobile advertising is a square - mobile is a subset of digital.
While some of the mechanics are the same (programmatic display networks, real-time bidding, scale, etc.), in other ways the two are nothing alike. It all comes down to the form factor.
Consider how someone uses a mobile phone versus how they might use a desktop or laptop. Mobile devices don’t have a house, are navigated through scrolling, gain internet connectivity from Wi-Fi or cellular service, and have smaller screens that are typically oriented vertically. These differences affect how people interact with an ad, what they expect from it and what ad format is likely going to perform best.
For example, a playable ad that required a keyboard likely wouldn’t work well on a smartphone or tablet. On the flip side, banner ads that push app installs to promote your app (this is the kind of ad Uber might want, for instance) wouldn’t work well outside of a mobile device.
Mobile Web Versus Mobile In-App: Is There Really a Difference?
To properly optimize your mobile ad spend for your client, it’s key to know the differences between mobile web advertising and mobile in-app advertising. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it on mobile.
If you’re used to standard digital marketing, then mobile web advertising is just an extension of that environment - except on a smaller screen. Also, some of the functionality may be limited. The ads themselves will be smaller, and it’s harder for your target audience to type (i.e. fill out a form) on a smartphone, among other attributes.
To really target your desired user base, it likely makes sense to embrace the mobile in-app ads space. A mobile app advertisement is so much more powerful for a few key reasons:
“Mobile is often oversimplified as one strategy, while in reality there needs to be two distinct approaches to design and execute a successful mobile ad campaign,” says Kayla Wilson, Head of Programmatic Client Success for the InMobi Exchange.
How to Scale Mobile App Advertising
Hopefully, by now you’re convinced of the benefits of mobile advertising and want to provide more options for your clients. So where to begin?
First, consider if you want to run universal app campaigns, or if you’d prefer to target a specific mobile app (for example, just a Facebook ad campaign). While larger apps have a significant built-in audience, it can be hard sometimes to break through the clutter. Plus, if your clients want independently verified metrics and cost-effective ad spending, this might not be the most ideal route to take.
A campaign involving multiple apps allows you to offer scale to your clients, while also being more targeted and more focused on the bottom line. For example, let’s say a major headphones manufacturer wants to target hip-hop fans between the ages of 18 and 24. Instead of advertising on just the top 10 apps in the app store, your client may have better luck with this target audience on more niche music sites that already cater to this audience, like DatPiff and SoundCloud.
But, is there a way to easily reach all of these apps with as minimal effort as possible? In short, yes! Let’s take a quick look at some of the key players in the mobile in-app advertising supply chain.
There are a lot of terms and acronyms in the mobile advertising space, as the above guide is just scratching the surface. It can get confusing keeping track of them all. Let our guide on The Crazy Advertising Technology Landscape be of assistance!
Before beginning any mobile in-app ad campaign, be sure to choose the right partners. Ask diligent questions about how each selected vendor works, and who they work with. Make sure you have alignment on goals, and that they can actually help you and your clients meet key performance indicators.
Interested in getting started with mobile in-app advertising at scale for your clients? Be sure to go to inmobi.com/advertising-cloud/ad-exchange for more information on the InMobi Exchange, and drop us a line at inmobi.com/company/contact/ if you have any questions or want to get in touch.