5 Ways to Build a Killer Mobile Ad Experience

As mobile adoption continues to accelerate, perhaps no topic has been more widely debated or examined than how to best monetize mobile apps.

In some ways, it’s funny that we’re still trying to develop a standardized mobile ad format that appeals to app developers, advertisers and of course consumers. With more than 80 percent of time on mobile devices spent in apps, it’s more important than ever to create ads that keep consumers engaged. To do that, it’s generally understood that ads cannot disrupt the user experience.

But with advertisers constantly seeking news ways to interact with potential customers, striking a balance between those needs, consumer and developer preferences, it’s clear that satisfying all parties is a delicate process. That said, mobile advertising presents opportunities for everyone to benefit, so long as you follow these best practices.

  • Keep it short. Shorter ads (15 seconds or less) do better than 30+ seconds. The average session time in many apps is less than three minutes. Users don’t want to spend a large proportion of that time in an ad.
  • Give users control. Partner with an ad-serving provider who makes sound optional and permits skippable ads. Be good to your target customers.
  • Pay attention to the user experience! Use the right partner to make sure your ad runs at a natural pause in the user experience. For instance, when someone is playing a game and loses a life, or between songs on a jukebox app. This way, you avoid interrupting users.
  • Mix up the format. A mix of video and full-page display ads strike the best balance for users and advertisers. Videos deliver the highest eCPM. They give advertisers the chance to truly connect with consumers, and give viewers the best understanding of the product being advertised, whether it’s a game, movie or even consumer good. Full-page display ads monetize fairly well as they can be shown at natural break points within an app, and monetize nearly 100% of an app’s user base.
  • Stay away from banners! Banner ads are seen as bothersome and offer a poor UX due to banner blindness and fat-finger clicking. According to eMarketer, almost 40 percent of clicks on mobile banner ads are accidental.

It’s no secret mobile is here to stay. Business Insider estimates that mobile advertising revenues will climb to $50 billion this year, and by 2018, $82.7 billion. With the flood of ad dollars pouring in, there is only going to be more demand for video inventory on the screens that people are actually paying attention to. It’s imperative for developers and advertisers to remember user experience matters above all, and to adjust their ad formats accordingly.

Photo Credit: Morid1n