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How To Get A Slice Of That Sponsorship Pie

Tan VP Network Development
August 2, 2012

They say that in order to make it big, you’ve got to follow the money. And right now, advertisers and marketers are putting their money into mobile ads. According to the IAB, mobile advertising hit $5.3 billion in 2011 and additional reports and projections continue to put mobile ad spending on the rise—eMarketer predicts it to hit $6.4 billion this year. So how can developers get a slice of that pie?


Advertisers have money to burn, and they want to pay for premium sponsorship opportunities if it means that their ads will reach the best audiences, ultimately increasing their bottom line. Brands are seeing app sponsorships as key parts to their mobile  marketing strategies, hoping to provide integrated brand presences within apps to drive awareness and purchase intent. To get the right sponsorships, you need to start by making sure your app has content that a brand’s targeted audience would be interested in. With Back-To-School sponsorship opportunities right around the corner, we’ve laid out key tips to make your app attractive.


1. Think like an advertiser. Show advertisers that your audience is worth talking to—understand the demographics, geographic breakdowns and any other relevant details about your users to increase the value of your inventory. The quality and scale of your audience are key to making sure that users will be receptive to mobile ads and in-line with what advertisers want. In addition to knowing your audience, you will have to show that the performance is on par with advertisers’ expectations. As a rule of thumb, you should aim for a click-through rate of 1% or higher.


2. Think beyond the display banner. Make sure your app is enabled to display rich media and video ad formats. Since mobile phones are incredibly personal devices (and are also gaining traction in the second-screen experience being used with the TV, laptop and/or tablet), this creates a new and unique opportunity to display advertisers’ campaigns–making engagement come down to the creative. In most cases, we’ve actually seen that ads with rich media or video creative are more effective and have a higher click-through rate in mobile than on the Web.


3. Think seasonally. When you are planning to seek sponsorships, be mindful of what opportunities are available based on what time of the year it is. Advertisers like to make big pushes for seasonal events, and they do so about a month or two prior to the actual event. Prepare your app launch to coincide with the time of year that makes most sense to not only your app, but to advertisers and their sponsorship calendars in order to maximize your ad revenue.


For example, back-to-school time is a huge push for advertisers–it signals the start of the shopping season for new clothes and supplies. As advertisers prepare for the fall shopping season, publishers should look out for sponsorship opportunities through their ad partners (like us :) ), especially if your app has their desired audience:

Teens – It’s not just the parents calling the shots! Teens are the ones going back to school, and they are also empowered mobile users.

In-store shoppers – Major retailers are looking to drive shoppers to their physical retail locations so use your app to help drive that traffic.

Tablet users – Tablets are quickly becoming the preferred device for casual mobile browsing and shopping, especially for college and K-12 students.


If back-to-school doesn’t fit your app demographics, make sure to keep an eye out for other key events throughout the year that also drive big advertiser dollars:

 Sponsorship Calendar


It’s not too late to start optimizing your app for advertiser and sponsorship opportunities, whether or not it’s for back-to-school. With premium sponsors and ads come bigger pay outs–especially for rich media and video ad formats–and you don’t want to miss out on a chance at those dollars. Once you start thinking like the advertisers, your apps have potential to be the top choice for brands looking for prime real estate. Feel free to comment below or email me at tant@velti.com if you have any questions!


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