Advertisers are quick to follow rapid in-app usage growth, with 77% of brands asking their media agencies to invest in in-app advertising.1 Forecasts indicate that in 2019 mobile in-app ad spending in the US will rise up to $77 billion, which is up 25% over 2018.2
With in-app advertising more important than ever, there are key factors for advertisers to keep in mind when buying inventory.
It’s All About Ad Viewability
Ad viewability is one of the most important things to consider when deciding what type of inventory to invest in. Considering that apps demand the full users’ attention, industry benchmarks for in-app viewability are at an impressive 95%, compared to mobile web, where overall ad viewability is just 57%.3
Advertisers should look for vendors that offer a protected marketplace and that have partnered with trusted third-party measurement providers, such as Moat, Integral Ad Science, and Open Measurement (OM). This way advertisers get a safe and transparent platform where they know their ads are being seen by real people.
Choosing a Brand-Safe Environment
Some environments are safer than others. By choosing the right in-app environment, advertisers can avoid the unexpected surprises of placing their ad next to offensive content. At the same time, they can be certain that their campaign is targeting the right audience with great precision.
This especially comes to focus with gaming apps. Since mobile games don’t rely on user-generated content, they offer a brand-safe and controlled environment for advertisers. Even more importantly, advertisers get to display their ads while app users are being caught in the right mindset. This benefit of placing full-screen ads in front of users and grabbing their full attention is something that mobile websites can rarely match.
Personalization of Ads
Consumers’ expectations are growing with each passing year, and simply personalizing a message with their first name won’t cut it. Users need greater amounts of personalization.
Apps have a major advantage over mobile websites when it comes to serving targeted ads based on language, location, interests, and other criteria that users normally provide during app installation.
The benefits of location-based targeting are well known across the industry. By utilizing a user’s location history and geo-behavioral patterns, advertisers can create location-based audiences or lookalike audiences. Furthermore, providers can identify whether a particular place is the user’s home or workplace based on the device location history. This granularity encompasses not only the physical location but also the context of that location. Such targeting possibilities give advertisers enormous potential to target users with personalized messages not only when they are physically in the right spot, but also in the right mood and setting.
Language-based targeting is another option advertisers have at their disposal and should consider within their campaigns. Targeting expats and tourists has never been easier. For example, marketers can target native English speakers traveling in foreign countries like Italy, Spain, or even China. Or they can target Chinese tourists in different parts of the Western world.
These best practices should help you optimize your next campaign and get your message across to the right audience.
In-App Inventory Buying Checklist
Here’s an additional list of questions for advertisers to ask when buying in-app inventory:
- How does the media structure look like?
- What purchase models does the seller support? CPI/CPC/CPM/dynamic pricing?
- What is inventory split between web vs. in-app in terms of percentage? This is especially important if you want to have solely in-app campaigns — in which case you should go with a mobile-only SSP.
- What are the targeting capabilities of a seller’s platform?
- Here are some targeting features that might be available: gender, age, device, apps on device, operating system, geography, interest/behavioral, negative targeting, retargeting, look-alike targeting, other proprietary targeting, etc.
- Which ad formats are supported?
- How does pricing differ by creative (e.g., static, animated, playable, native, interactive, rewarded)?
- What are the reporting possibilities of a seller’s platform?
- Is reporting per creative unit possible?
- Which measures do they take to fight ad fraud and verify traffic?
Buying in-app inventory gives advertisers a chance to connect with their target audiences in the most precise and efficient way while achieving higher ad viewability rates compared to other channels, inside a brand-safe environment. If there was ever a trace of doubt whether you should invest in in-app advertising, now more than ever is the right time to do it.
Sources: 1Mobile Marketing Magazine, October 2018| 2eMarketer, February 2019|3Chartboost, 2017