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All About Mobile App Ad Types

Market trends change frequently. Especially in the digital world, where the pace is fast and new innovations and technologies appear all the time. In all of this marketers, growth managers, and app developers find themselves stuck, striving to discover all the new opportunities that could help them achieve their business goals.

In the world of digital marketing, the ways to draw the attention of users and to improve their experience are shifting and updating all the time. Ads, in particular, have gone a long way as well. From pop-ups to interstitials, native and video ads – they have shifted and became more user-friendly – more focused on keeping the user experience whole.

In-app VS Mobile Web Ads:

We cover the differences and the advantages of mobile app ads in this article, so if you’re looking for a more in-depth reading or trying to understand which is best for you – you should start there. 

The amount of time a user spends on an app is usually long and focused on the app’s purpose (whether it’s a game or food delivery), this might cause that users will have less incentive to pay attention to ads, and click on them. On the mobile web, however, browser usage is less frequent and the bounce rates are higher which makes users keener to click on an ad. On the other hand, app usage is a daily habit, meaning they do not require the same level of engagement as other forms of media (such as TV, or Newspapers), and the chances a user will encounter an ad is much higher. 

To sum it up, mobile apps advertising is considered a safe bet. It always was, but the conversion rates have grown a lot especially during COVID19 when 49% of people open an app 11+ times a day (according to DCI’s article).  However, if you are to go for a mobile app advertisement – your ads will need to not only catch the users’ attention but also communicate with them.

Understand the Various Types of Ads:

For brands that venture into the world of mobile advertising, the first step for those who want to take their mobile advertising campaigns to the next level is to understand the differences between mobile app ad types, their performance, and their results. The most common mobile ad sizes in the industry are:

  • 300×250, medium rectangle. A high performing ad unit and the most popular ad size. Increases viewability and potential for user engagement. The larger the ad size unit tends to generate better revenues. 
  • 320×50 and 300×50, standard mobile banners, best implemented as a docked/anchor unit.
  • 320×480, the standard for full-screen interstitials; proven to yield higher engagement rates.
Interstitial Ads:

Interstitials are full-screen ad units that cover the whole app or game interface and offer users the option to skip or exit the ad. This already makes them more effective than other types of ads that only cover part of the screen, as the larger the size of an advert, the more impressions it has on users (which implies a higher CTR, and so a higher CVR). More than that, interstitials engage users with customized ads at natural pauses in the app’s flow, ensuring that the user experience won’t be harmed, while still maximizing app revenue. 

Interstitial ads can be displayed in different formats; static (image) or rich media (video, or playable ads). When it is a static image, the ad can be closed directly most of the time, when it’s a video – the users need to wait until they will be able to see the exit button. 

Banner Ads

One of the oldest and widely used formats of mobile advertisement. They are also easy to implement and are less intrusive than the others. Originally they were only used as a sticky ad unit at the top or bottom of the screen with relevant text and graphics, but now they can also be expanded to full screen.

Banner ads rely on brand recognition, with almost no space to provide information. That is why banners should be made exciting with a call to action. Banners are the most simple and safe way for a brand to get publicity and wide exposure. 

Offerwall

Offerwall is a great mobile monetization strategy for freemium apps. They appear like a mini-store, which lists actions users need to complete in order to receive in-app rewards. For example, users can receive in-app coins if they choose to install an app and reach level 20 on a game. Offerwall is completely user-initiated, meaning the users can choose whether to engage with it or not  (can be accessed by clicking on a certain button or prompted when a user is low on energy, coins, etc). The benefits of using an offerwall can be split into two, for monetization purposes and UA purposes. 

For Monetization – offerwall boost ad revenue, Improves user engagement, Increases retention, and generates more in-app purchase. For User Acquisition – offerwall is cost-effective, can acquire loyal users, and is a way to continue generating revenue. 

Video Ads

The popularity of video ads is growing rapidly, they grab the user’s attention, tell a story and in so, improve brand recall. Another type of video ad is “rewarded video” – in which users are getting rewarded for watching the ad. This format is known for its ability to introduce freemium game content and for being a great way to monetize an app. 

Video ads should be engaging and creative. Unlike Interstitials, they’re not skippable, so they have a greater chance to grab users’ attention (but also, may piss them off). The ad should be non-intrusive in order not to harm the user’s experience, and it should appear at the right time (when a user needs assistance in order to pass a level in a game). 

Playable Ads

An interactive format that experienced significant growth in recent years. This format enables users to try out the core functionality of apps or games, like a free demo, before they commit to installing it. 

Playable ads have been proven effective for increasing conversions, retention, player LTV, and revenue. They are also effective in reducing uninstall rates since the users already know what to expect from the app. The CPI for Playable ads is more expensive than a typical video or banner ad, but the ROI ends up being higher due to focusing on high LTV users.

Native Ads

The goal of native ads is to blend well with the content of the site or app that presents them (both in form and function). They are the most subtle forms of advertising and are non-intrusive at all. 

Users engage with it, often not realizing they have clicked on an ad. Which makes this format earn higher views and shares, than the other ad formats. 

Final Thoughts:

Mobile app ads are available in various ad types, such as interstitials, playable ads, offerwall, rewarded video ads, and native. Each has its pros and cons, so choose the one that suits your goals perfectly.  The competition for catching the user is fierce and publishers face the problem of balancing monetization and user retention rates, and so they keep searching for newer, innovative ad formats. 

So while it’s important to keep optimizing and learning about the existing ad formats, it is also important to keep a close eye on evolving trends and re-evaluate your marketing strategy all the time. It is critical to identify and keep pace with mobile marketing trends as they occur frequently in the world of mobile apps, mobile advertising, and app development

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