The entertainment industry is exploding far beyond what it was five or ten years ago. Gone are the days where entertainment encompassed a standard blend of TV, movies, social media, and video games. Nowadays, new apps are coming into fruition on a daily basis for the sole purpose of providing fun and games for users right on their phones. With new mobile games coming up almost every day, it seems that the demand keeps growing, as users keep coming back for more.
But as the industry is steadily becoming more and more mature, the monetization question is always burning at the back of all developer’s minds. Obviously, if your game is paid for, developers automatically derive a source of income from the download fee. However, since often times paid games are less popular than the free version, many developers choose to make ads their primary monetization strategy.
But let’s face it, ads can be aggravating from the user’s perspective. Generally speaking, all users want to do is make it to the next level with as little unnecessary interruptions as possible. How to make sure you earn the maximum in-app advertising revenue while preserving the right experience.
A smart developer needs to develop the right strategy to ensure the ads add value rather than hinder the user experience. Here are a few ways to make it happen:
Champion ad relevance
Conventional thinking assigns in-app ads the role of ultimate UX bullies. Truth be told, that’s where it’s aligned with conventional execution. The in-app ad strategies of 2016 call for ads to become the integral part of the app, adding additional content layers.
Rewarded video is a classic example here. The users are offered the opportunity to watch an engaging app trailer in exchange for a post-view reward. The reward itself varies from classic in-app currency, to extra game time, to promotion to the next level, etc. – the opportunities are endless.
In fact, some of the top app publishers have started designing apps around this very user friendly and lucrative model. Tesla tubes is the new game by Kiloo that was released to both App Store and Googleplay in March 2016. When a user struggles with completing a level, he can access “hints” by watching a sponsored video ad, making the app and ad experiences inseparable.
Keep the right UX & Revenue balance
It might be counterintuitive for an ad-based monetization platform to make a recommendation to limit the number of ads you serve to users. Yet, that’s exactly what we think is the right thing to do as preserving the best-possible user experience is a must for a successful app business. However, not having enough ads will inevitably result in revenue left on the table and can jeopardize your apps financial success. Our recommendation for the optimal balance are as follows:
- Strive to implement up to 3-4 ad calls per user session
- Never call units, interrupting the app flow – in the middle of game level, or message typing
- Use a blend of traditional top-performers and the least intrusive ad units (Video and Native ads)
- Give your users freedom of choice – instead of pushing a single “install NOW” offer, try units featuring several apps they may like. This less aggressive approach delivers higher conversion, as we saw with our Video interstitial unit.
Become a monetization top manager
It may sound unbelievable, but next year, the mobile industry as we know it will be a dec
ade old. Many things have changed, evolved and are on entirely new level no
w. Monetization is no exception. It is no longer enough to connect to severalad networks and observe the results they deliver, making retrospective decisions. These days you are an executive in charge of your app business operation. In this regard, when it comes to monetization, full transparency and control have become absolute musts. Pro-active monetization management is the publishers’ responsibility to themselves and should include:
- A 360 view of apps and campaigns you promote
- Ability to instantly introduce changes
- Excluding certain categories from ad serving
- Defining min CPI bids
- Enhancing asset discoverability for Direct-Buy campaigns
So as you can see, the key to increasing In-App advertising revenue lies in making your ads relevant to your users. Nobody likes being bombarded with spam. However, if you make your ads pertain to users in specific locations and niches while also fulfilling their needs, your ads can reach new heights in terms of engagement and monetization that you never thought possible.