Adopting the best strategy to monetize your mobile app or website can be very complex and overwhelming, yet at Smaato we’ve been helping mobile publishers and app developers monetize their mobile inventory worldwide since 2005. Based on this experience, we’re uniquely able to recommend some best practices for tackling common mobile monetization challenges and improving the revenues you can generate with your mobile property. Here are five mobile monetization tips to help position you for success:
Tip 1: Pick a Monetization Strategy
The first mobile monetization challenge is to pick the right monetization strategy. There are dozens of ways to generate revenues with your app, however, mobile advertising is the easiest and fastest technique. Advertisers are now investing a substantial amount of their advertising budgets into mobile. This trend is driven by two valuable things your app or mobile website has: users and data.
Once you decide to monetize through advertising, you need to answer the following questions:
- Volume – How many impressions am I getting in my app or mobile website?
- Countries – What geographies am I receiving impressions from?
- Device – What devices are sending me impressions?
- OS – What operating systems are sending me impressions?
- Data – What sort of data do I have on my users that I can provide to enhance targeting?
- Ad format – What types of ads do I want to display on my app or website?
Some of those questions are easy to answer. Others, such as ad format, may require some research and reflection. In general, picking larger ad formats will bring you higher eCPMs. Indeed, our research shows that rich media ads generate 83% higher eCPMs than image-based ads. With engaging formats such as VAST Video, you’ll see over 12 times higher eCPMs than you’ll see with standard banners.
Tip 2: Inventory Pricing
Once you have chosen the type of ad spaces that will live within your app or website, you’ll need to decide on how to price your inventory. Here are 2 points you need to keep in mind when choosing your pricing model:
- Refrain from setting floor prices on your inventory too early. Instead, launch your inventory into the market and let the market value your inventory.
- Set different floor prices for each geographies to ensure good fill rates across all markets. eCPMS vary per geography – for example, traffic in the US bring higher eCPMs than that in Indonesia. This is often because geographies have different levels of sophistication with regard to programmatic buying.
Tip 3: User Data Is Key to Your Monetization Success
Collecting data about your app or website users is crucial to garnering you the highest eCPMS and fill rates for your inventory. These are the types of data you should consider passing in your ad request to increase your ad revenue:
- Gender (385% higher eCPMs combined with age)
- Geolocation (238% higher eCPMs)
- Device ID (29% higher eCPMs)
Passing this type of data on your users means you’re very likely to not merely receive an ad, but also a terrifically high eCPM for allowing advertisers to target users effectively.
Tip 4: Integrate to Your Monetization Platform
For apps, we strongly recommend integrating via the Smaato SDK, which creates a technical link between your mobile app and the Smaato platform. This solves one of the most crucial mobile monetization challenges: latency — which means that you get faster ads in your apps. It is easy and quick to integrate, it comes with a free ad server, and it also comes loaded with robust ad quality controls, such as the automatic blocking of auto-redirects. Your app’s ad requests are connected to an optimization algorithm that ensures they are routed to the most appropriate demand partner.
Smaato also offers the possibility to connect via API (for mobile websites) and Ad tags.
Tip 5: Optimize for the Highest eCPMs and Fill Rate
After you have successfully integrated, and are running advertisements and making money, you’ll want to invest some time in ensuring you’re getting the most out of SPX.
Here are some important questions to ask yourself at this point to maximize your revenue:
- Did I enter my download URL?
- Am I actually passing all of my data?
- Is my inventory transparent?
- Is my app or website categorized properly?
- Is my floor price set too high?
- Am I setting different floor prices per region?
- Do I understand currency differences?
More Tips for Solving Mobile Monetization Challenges
It usually takes about four weeks to get to the point where you’re truly set up and bringing in the revenues you should be. You need to set up, go live, optimize, see results, make new decisions, and, as new mobile monetization challenges pop up, you will need to optimize again.
Remember that advertisers are learning about your traffic to understand patterns, in order to make decisions on what to send you. Sometimes fill rates and eCPMs can spike early, then level off before building again. In other cases, your fill rates and eCPMs will start slowly and build from there. Keep in mind that much of this is very date, time and season-dependent, and that just as in the retail world, mobile advertising has its busy hours, days and seasons (many of which are very similar to in-store, brick and mortar traffic).