December 7, 2011
The end of the year is when advertising budgets hit their ultimate high – last year during Black Friday weekend alone, iPhone app impressions increased by 109% year over year. And as an industry, US mobile advertising spend is poised to top $1.23 billion in 2011 and set to reach $4.4 billion by 2015 (according to a recent eMarketer report). So as you can imagine, we are constantly strategizing with our ad network partners to figure out what the best use of their budgets are and how we can get our publishers the most money possible.
Mobile devices are personal gadgets that are with us at all times. Although standard mobile banners take up a limited amount of real estate, the user you gain is likely to be more engaged and therefore far more valuable than that of an online user. Advertisers are looking to spend large budgets for these engagement levels. As a publisher, it’s important to enable your title for the maximum potential revenue to capture this engagement. From enabling full screen and/or rich media units, to providing in-depth analysis for potential ad campaign sponsorships, to increasing your reach – it is important that these factors are readied ahead of time to ensure your application gets to capture a slice – if not the majority – of the revenue pie that comes with the Q4 surge.
Tan Tmangraksat, Director of Exchange Operations–Strategic Partnerships at Mobclix, will go over the three key tactics a mobile app developer should execute in anticipation of the Q4 surge.
1) Be Proactive (know thyself and show thyself)
Sponsorship opportunities are high-impact and high-quality experiences that are directly integrated into the functionality of your application. Not only does this provide for a seamless user experience, but it’s a highly valuable placement for advertisers. Brands are willing to pay top dollar for the exclusivity and engagement that these executions drive. In order for your ad solution provider to get the sponsorships that will bring in the most revenue, you need to be proactive and transparent with them. Does your app have the capabilities to do something creative and unique? This can range from skinning your app, hard coding logos, providing customized items in your app that promote the brand, etc. If so, what does that entail from your end? Calculate production time, implementation costs, creative specs, etc. Knowing this information beforehand will give your ad solution provider more leverage when working on potential sponsorship opportunities.
Another important factor is understanding your audience by painting an accurate picture of your reach and the ideal demographic that potential advertisers may be looking for. Packaging all of these relevant details together along with your user statistics into a media kit will provide for the most appealing sponsorship opportunities. A lot of times, marketers may not realize what’s out there until you put it in front of their faces.
The ‘Home Run Battle 3D’ app (by Com2uS) has incorporated potential sponsorship spots into their app to make it more attractive to advertisers. For example, as an advertiser you can place your logo on the scoreboard. Alternatively, the scoreboard can be clicked on to launch a deeper, engaging experience, like a video ad. This is a seamlessly integrated user experience, providing high quality advertising to a truly engaged user. Packages like this provide for at least 4x CPM’s and 5 digit budgets for our publishers.
2) Build Your Fan Base
Nothing makes an app more attractive than a huge user base. Apps with scale have more eyeballs and more eyeballs lead to more dollars. Right now is the perfect time to make a big push for app discovery. Taking every opportunity to grow your audience and illustrating its market value is key to drawing in brands and agencies to spend on your application. Marketing promotions and cross promotions through other applications can provide a nice push to your user base. Cost per install programs are probably the most effective mode of acquiring new users; these are marketing campaigns that are measured based on performance–you only pay the publisher when someone has downloaded your app. Timing these pushes with large sponsorship opportunities or even during pivotal shopping dates (like black Friday and cyber Monday) will guarantee that your application is maximizing its potential to monetize at the highest rates and budgets.
3) Go Rich to Get Rich
Rich Media advertisements are a huge in-app revenue driver. The most notable brands want to put their dollars into engaging and interactive rich media units. At the very least, you should have a 300×250 interstitial implemented into the user experience of your application. These units can garner two to four times the average eCPM of the standard 320×50 banner. Additionally, you will want to make sure you enable full screen ad and video capabilities into your app. These rich media units can range from your standard expandable ad unit to a fully functional 15-30 second video ad. On average, you can see anywhere from a five to ten times increase in eCPM depending on the specific rich media execution. This may require an SDK update, so it’s important to prepare for the resource allocation and lead time required to have this properly implemented.