Mobile advertising is a key part of the app economy. A report from Business Insider claims that mobile ad spend in the US could reach $42B in 2018, with marketers shifting away from desktop to appeal to the new mobile reality.
But we all knew that already, right? More interesting than the increasing size of the mobile advertising economy are the new tactics being used to take advantage of it. Marrying new advertising formats to innovative thinking, pioneering companies are increasing their returns in ways you might not have thought about.
Here are four such tactics that you might consider for your mobile app.
1) Sponsored Listening on Pandora
Ads and music have gone hand in hand for years. Listen to any commercial radio station or the likes of Spotify without a subscription and you’ll be well aware of the lengthy ad breaks they take.
But do users actually listen to what’s being said by advertisers? There’s a new take on that model from Pandora that makes it more likely ads on their service will actually have attention paid to them.
Called Sponsored Listening, users get a free hour of music after they’ve interacted with an advertising unit from a company. Once they’ve checked out the rich media or video advert, they then get to spend 60 minutes with their favorite artists unrestricted.
By mixing incentivized video advertising with a traditional advertising model, Pandora has claimed marketers have received a 12% lift in brand awareness and a 30% increase in purchase intent. If those figures are true, this may well be a type of advertising worth tuning in for.
2) View to play games
Ads and free apps go together like peanut butter and jelly. The mixture of massive audience, regular in-app sessions and the wide variety of networks means a developer can use ads as a way to bolster in-app monetization.
According to a new Finnish gaming start up, there could be even more to it than that. Futureplay, a team featuring veterans from Rovio, Remedy Entertainment, EA and Digital Chocolate, are hanging their hats on “view to play” – an entire company business model based on a natural integration of incentivized ads.
We have, of course, seen games do this before e.g. Crossy Road. But their commitment to an advertising first (if not only) model in regularly released games marks Futureplay out from the start-up crowd.
It’ll be interesting to see whether view to play really can work in mobile gaming’s IAP economy in the coming years.
3) Instagram advertising
Social media advertising has proven to be truly powerful. The combination of install bases in the hundreds of millions, precise targeting options and engaging native formats has powered the likes of Facebook to multi-billion dollar success.
So it’s little surprise that one of Facebook’s acquisitions is proving to be a new frontier for mobile ad returns. Instagram is on course to generate nearly $600m this year, according to a new report from e-marketer, with it potentially surpassing the revenues generated on mobile by Google and Twitter already.
The reason for the success seems pretty obvious. Because Instagram leverages Facebook API, marketers get all the advantages of Facebook targeting in a service that is to all intents and purposes a perfect showcase for visual creative.
But its success will be a wake up call to the many marketers who may have mistaken it for a niche. Instagram looks to be big business and it’s worth getting on board with it early.
4) Real-world advertising
Finally, back to the future fans will be delighted to see that real world advertising remains a smart way to market your mobile game.
On paper, it may seem strange to do it. After all, the effort your company has almost certainly put into learning how to acquire, engage and monetize users from digital advertising means that determining ROI on real world ads is nearly impossible.
But that, to be honest, isn’t the point of them. Posters, billboards and even pop up events are a great way of generating brand awareness and can be used to introduce a playful side that display advertising struggles with.
Google’s real world advertising in New York in October 2014 was one such example of this, with everything from street signs to bowling balls used to promote their voice search service.
And with user acquisition giants like Supercell turning to TV and King running promotional events featuring famous celebrities, the real world remains a great place for mobile advertisers to show off their wares.