In-Game Advertising: 8 Ad Formats to Monetize Mobile Games
The gaming industry turned out to be resilient to the global crisis and even demonstrate moderate growth. Games are surging in popularity, as people on the lockdown are searching for new ways to vent and connect with their peers. Video game usage increased by 75% since the start of worldwide social distancing. Mobile games are also the first to reap the rewards of this uplift, getting 13 billion new downloads in the first quarter of 2020.
As the consumer buying power is decreasing, app developers that relied on in-app purchases for their monetization are facing a decline in revenue. For this reason, game publishers should consider implementing ads on their platforms to supplement their income and offset losses during the crisis.
Several ad formats can be implemented in-game without damaging customer loyalty and generating additional revenue. There are two primary types of in-game ads: static and dynamic.
Pricing model: Individual arrangements on the development stage
Static ads are built into the game during development and can’t be updated in the future. They are a lot like product placement in movies or music clips. Static ads integrate organically and realistically into the elements of the game, in the contexts where players would expect to see it in real-world- on billboards, in a shopping center, etc.
Pricing model: CPM, CPC, CPA
In contrast, dynamic ads are banners across the game that can be updated in real-time. Dynamic ads are essentially display advertising ads inside the game; can be scaled, targeted geographically, and demographically and traded in the programmatic ecosystem.
Dynamic ads provide a diverse choice of ad formats, including expandable ads, interstitials, etc. It is probably the most common ad format that can be quickly implemented and scaled for most video games and gaming apps. This ad format is inherently programmatic and can provide a great market for audience-based buying. Let’s review the most common dynamic in-game ad formats.
Types of dynamic ads
Size: full-screen, 1024×768, 768×1024
Interstitials are full-screen ads that lay over the interface of the app. They work best at organic transition moments, for instance, in between levels, or during pauses in the game. Interstitial ads usually don’t interrupt the user experience and pop-up during natural stops in the gameplay.
They can host rich media with animated elements, making the ad more compelling, provide a lot of impressions and usually generate high conversions, and quickly memorized by customers.
How to use
However, it is worth noting that it is unskippable ad format, and advertisers need to work hard on the creatives and precise targeting not to appear annoying. Some of the metrics of interactions can be misleading as users are trying to tap ads to shut them off.
Game developers should not abuse this ad format, and place ads only where appropriate, during some level transitions and pauses. It is also advisable not to install many of these ad spaces, regularly asses displayed ad traffic. Low-quality interstitial ads can distract the user and deteriorate audience loyalty.
Size: 320×480, 480×320, 1024×768, 768×1024
Native banners are the most widespread in-game ad format since it is one of the least intrusive; you probably see several of them throughout the game. They are a lot like banner ads you meet across the websites, but they seamlessly integrate into the design and gameplay. Native banners do not interrupt the user experience; they hover over a part of the screen.
How to use
However, native banners if placed without caution, may obstruct a crucial spot of the interface, and spoil the gaming experience. Thus, banners must be placed tacitly in the corners of the screen, where important features or actions are needed. This way, the ads are apparent but not interruptive.
Contextual ads are a standard mobile format that targets users based on their content preferences, interests, and affinities. It naturally integrates a product or service into the gaming interaction.
It is a bit more sophisticated in games than in mobile apps and has to include an inner logic. For instance, one of the best contextual integrations is the ad of Starbucks in Pokemon GO.
How to use
Starbucks made an original native integration with the Pokemon Go. While playing the game, players had an opportunity to find the locate a designated Starbucks location and get in-game perks, as well as an exclusive Pokemon Go Frappuccino.
Similar contextual integrations can work even if your game isn’t based on real-world interactions; other brands can sponsor different kinds of loot or player outfits.
Size: 480×320, 1024×768, 768×1024
One of the ways to make ads less annoying or even wanted is to reward players for interacting with the ad with in-game points, virtual currency, a new outfit, or other in-game awards. This ad format has one of the highest view rates and shows positive traction during the crisis. Rewarded ads are more resource-consuming from a developer’s standpoint since you’re giving away freebies to get views.
How to use
Offering players valuable in-game bonuses for interacting with an ad generate a decent level of engagement and clicks. Nevertheless, there’s always a possibility that the player does not perceive the ad messages, and there is only one there for the loot.
With this in mind, rewarded ads are an excellent way to provide high-volume quality impressions, which might be more than enough for the advertisers’ goals.
Rewarded video and native formats are available in the Admixer.Creatives, an extensive library of ad templates for your campaigns.
Size: full screen, 1024×768, 768×1024
Expandable ads interrupt the game experience by taking over the screen when the user taps on them – which is often happens on accident how the expandable, in cases when the ad is placed in the active zone of the interface. With that in mind, the expandable ad provides an immersive experience that can be quite effective if the ads are implemented wisely.
How to use
These ads are commonly perceived as annoying, but you always get some sort of negative sentiment towards the ad. At the end of the day, Consumers increasingly tolerate advertising; nearly 9 in 10 consumers feel that online advertising is necessary to receive free content online. However, it is crucial to strike the right balance between acquisition, retention, and the life-time value of your customers.
This ad format is currently getting a mainstream adoption, and experimented by developers and advertisers. In-game video ads are usually fifteen-to-thirty second long. They have to be placed very carefully, at the natural transition point, similar to interstitials, since they noticeably interrupt the gaming experience.
How to use
In-game video ads come in different formats; they can be skippable and unskippable. For the most part, the player sees thumbnails and have a choice to interact or not with the ad. In this scenario, it is critical to intrigue the user enough to play a video; thumbnail has to be compelling enough for them to take a break in a game.
Most users aren’t going to stop playing the game to watch a video unless it provides some in-game rewards. The banner has to captivate the audience to invite further interaction, and don’t annoy the player. After all, having banners on the screen that is unrelated to the gameplay can distract and hurt the overall user experience.
Advergaming is the new word in advertising with games. Basically, advergames are branded games tailor-made to promote a brand, company, or particular products. There are generally no additional ads in these types of games. Instead, the entire game is promoting a single brand, and ads are intrinsic and embedded.
How to use
For instance, M&M has created a series of branded games that include racing, arcade, etc. This platform offers a rich gamified interaction with the brand, that instantly engage the potential customer and leave the lasting impression.
As mobile games become more common in our every day, the concept of advergaming will likely become more popular. Besides, if the game itself is original and appealing, it can foster a community around it, which an advertiser can consistently remarket. The value will surpass the cost of game development for a brand.
Despite the pandemic and looming economic crisis, the app industry is showing growth, which is excellent news for advertisers and marketers. Gaming apps are quickly increasing the number of served impressions since the beginning of the lockdown. In-game ads are now reaching wider audiences and can provide better reach and engagement than traditional channels.
At the same time, the game is a perfect brand-safe controlled environment for advertisers. Their ad will not appear next to some questionable or malicious content, as it frequently occurs on social media, where ads are displayed alongside user-generated content.
If you’re considering monetizing your apps or games, contact Tetiana Sichko, Business Development Manager at Admixer.DSP (Mobile): firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coronavirus Impact on Mobile App Industry: Installs, Ad Spend, and Revenues
The app industry was one of the fastest-growing segments in the digital economy prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the app industry boasted 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spendings. Last year, users, on average, spent 3 hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, outperforming TV.
Users are quickly transitioning to apps for their daily tasks and services. On average, mobile users spend 87% of their time in apps, and only 13% on the web.
The global health crisis and subsequent lockdown profoundly changed consumer behavior and reshaped the digital economy. Apps experienced a massive spike in usage, while the budget for mobile advertising is shrinking, dropping CPM by 14.8%.
In-app advertising is getting more affordable and can provide a broad reach across the various audience in the lockdown. Recently, Admixer hosted a webinar on In-App Advertising During the Crisis. Yaroslav Kholod, Head of Programmatic at Admixer and Fernando Granata, Head of Programmatic Demand at Appodeal outlined the most effective strategies and formats for in-app in the times of uncertainty.
Let’s review which segments of the app industry advertiser should prioritize.
App downloads and consumer spendings during Coronavirus
As the coronavirus continues to march across the globe, billions of people are trapped indoor in some form of lockdown. With some much time at hand, people turn to their mobile devices and actively download new apps. In the first quarter of 2020, weekly time spent in apps grew by 20%.
According to AppsFlyer, among non-gaming apps, the biggest winners were News apps (+189%), Health & Fitness (+107%), Music (+93%), and Shopping (+30%). At the same time, previously popular categories lost traction, segments like Travel (-69% organic, -62% non-organic) and Maps & Navigation (-61% organic, -63% non-organic) have been hit hard.
The number of sessions was progressively increasing since the first week of March. While non-organic installs remained the same, organic installs grew by nearly 15% between February and March.
First-quarter of 2020 became record-breaking in the history of the Apple App Store, with consumers spending $23.4 billion. Since the start of the pandemic, App Store earned $15 billion, while Google Play reported $8.4 billion in revenue.
In the first quarter of 2020, consumers downloaded 31 billion new apps, 15% more than in Q4 of 2019. To give you a perspective, Q4 is usually the most successful quarter of the year, due to Christmas and Thanksgiving, when people spend a lot on presents.
You can use Admixer.DSP for mobile ads campaigns both in web and in-app.
Mobile app usage increased substantially as people stay at home to spend more time on their phones. However, the question is if this uplift in traffic will result in ad spend and in-app purchases.
According to the report by Appsflyer, revenues from the in-app purchases have been rising since the end of March. Two-thirds of the app verticals increased their income in the last couple of weeks. Overall in the last week, app revenues grew by 10%.
However, the programmatic mobile app ad spendings in March decreased by 14%. Advertisers are shifting their priorities, switch off campaigns in the depressed categories, and reach out in rising segments:
- +178% ad spend to Shopping apps on iOS
- +122% ad spend to Parenting apps on Android
- +104% ad spend to Dating apps on Android
- +97% ad spend to Food and Drink apps on iOS
- +20% ad spend to News apps on iOS
- -99% ad spend to OTT apps on Android
- -97% ad spend to Medical apps on Android
- -95% ad spend to Sports apps
Countries that spend on apps the most
According to App Annie, China and the United States propelled the quarter over quarter download growth in App Store and became the largest markets by downloads. On Google Play, most downloads came from India and Brazil.
China was first to experience the effects of the coronavirus and had to enact drastic measures to curb its spread. As a result of strict self-isolation policies, in the first week of February, the Chinese downloaded 222 million mobile applications from App Store. The daily time on apps grew by 30% to 5 hours per day.
Italian households, first in Europe, undergo a strict quarantine, which resulted in a 34% jump in non-organic installs and a 39% hike in organic installs.
Currently, Italians are right behind Chinese in time spent using the apps. Since Italy is the first country outside of Asia to enter the full-scale lockdown, it is a litmus test for the outcomes that we can expect to see in developed markets like the UK, US, France, and Germany in the coming weeks.
Due to the harsh quarantine measures implemented by governments globally, we will likely see a further increase in time spent on apps.
Gaming apps were among the first to benefit from the surge in app usage. In the first quarter of 2020, mobile game downloads exceeded numbers of the same period last year by 20%. In Q1, the app market witnessed 13 billion new downloads. Gaming now accounts for the biggest share in the online marketplaces, 45% on Google Play, and 35% on App Store.
Role-playing and Strategy games become the most popular genres by consumer spendings in 2020 on Google Play. These segments of games provide sophisticated social interactions, with customizable characters, engaging competitive scenarios, and the close-knit gaming community. These features facilitate game loyalty and in-app purchases that drive consumer spent. In most cases, the App Store repeats the trends of Google Play, but it is not big on Puzzles, while Action games comprise a substantial share.
Many new groups and demographics are adopting games to relieve stress and feel part of the community. In-game ads are opening opportunities for targeting a highly engaged and diverse audience that gravitate towards various game genres. Advertisers should use the chance of decreased mobile ad spend budgets and get in-game impressions, where CPMs are low, and retargeting is relatively uncommon.
Locked indoors, people are using social apps to combat isolation and loneliness. Social Media apps dominate the largest app marketplaces. As of March, Tik Tok is the most downloaded non-gaming app worldwide, with 115.2 million installs.
ZOOM, Facebook, and Messenger are also in TOP 5 of the most popular apps. Despite to the spike in social media use, the social network becomes flooded with fake news and poor content. Your ad may appear next to some hoax or fear-mongering click-bait and compromise the reputation of your brand. Thus, it is wise to allocate your budget on more trustworthy ad inventory.
Zoom is another upstart, which swiftly expanded its audience. At the end of 2019, it was barely known, but in Q1, it is already named a top business app by iPhone daily downloads in 141 countries.
Another phenomenon in the app marketplace is the explosive growth of Houseparty. It is another tool for conference calls, but unlike ZOOM, it focuses on informal socializing.
Other popular categories of apps on Google Play are Entertainment and Business tools. The most significant share of non-gaming apps, besides social, in the App Store constitutes photo/video editing apps and various leisure apps.
On Google Play, Social and Entertainment demonstrate the biggest consumer spend and year-over-year growth. In large part, this growth is propelled by Disney+ and Twitch. Disney+ recently launched in several markets in Europe and already hit 50 million subscribers.
Tinder and Pandora are positioned to become leaders in the in-app purchases. In March 2020, they received the biggest revenues from their apps, $15.87 and $13.75 million, respectively.
Since gyms and public parks are closed, consumers prioritize apps that help them to remain fit and healthy while staying at home. The robust growth is noticeable in Health & Fitness, Education, and Business apps. The quarter-to-quarter increase in downloads constitutes 40%, 35%, and 30%, respectively.
Among professional apps, the biggest is collaboration and communication programs. Besides Zoom, the most popular conferencing tools are Google Hangouts Meet and Microsoft Teams.
Use Admixer.DSP for diverse options of advertising in various apps and mobile games.
In 2020, the app industry not only continued its expansion but gained additional momentum, picked up the pace in downloads, new subscribers, and in-app revenues.
The daily time on apps increased to 3 hours 40 minutes globally, while in China, where the population entered lockdown at the beginning of the year, the time spent reached 5 hours.
Lockdown pushed people to find new tools to collaborate, communicate, and have fun. The mobile gaming industry is booming, stimulating the growth of supplemental services, such as video streaming Twitch and messenger Discord. Social media apps witness a new wave of growth, with Tik Tok getting ahead, almost doubling its audience since the same period in 2019.
The growth of the app industry is excellent news for advertisers and marketers. The number of ad impressions served on the apps is quickly increasing since the beginning of the lockdown. In-app and in-game ads are now reaching wider audiences and can provide better reach and engagement than traditional channels.
If you’re considering reallocating your budgets to programmatic in-app advertising, contact Yaroslav Kholod, Director of Programmatic at Admixer: email@example.com
Admixer Technologies refines transparency culture with the app-ads.txt and sellers.json
Ad fraud is an ongoing problem in the advertising industry.
As overall ad spends are increasing year after year, the rate of frauds income is rising as well. According to eMarketer’s latest estimations, advertisers’ loss from such actions varies from 6.5 to 19 billion dollars. To improve the situation, IAB Tech Labs expands its anti-fraud arsenal by adding app-ads.txt protocol and sellers.json file.
Being dedicated to transparency and armed with ads.txt, Admixer Technologies is working now on embracing the app-ads version. Today we are talking about the importance of such a step on the way to the genuine traffic.
While bad actors keep on frauding with the counterfeit sites, illegitimate inventory arbitrage, and domain spoofing, there is contra scam recipe already available. IAB offers ads.txt and app-ads.txt to ensure secure and authenticated ads purchase.
Ads.txt represents a text file with a list of authorized sellers specified by a publisher. In this way, it’s possible to prevent a suspicious deal. Ads.txt is designed for websites’ hosted inventory. This standard isn’t mandatory, however, Google deactivates resources without such data file.
On March 13, 2019, IAB Tech Lab introduced the new extension for mobile and OTT apps. It works on the same principle for the same purposes but with a bit more complicated way of implementation. The main issue is that there’s no domain or URL to use as a directory where a list of entrusted partners would be stored.
So, the solution is to process two available indicators: identifier of the platform that app relates to, and the ID of the application for that platform. With these two key indicators, an advertiser can find the original app developer’s web domain where ads.txt file is stored.
Here’s how the path to the list of authorized sellers can look like:
Following up transparency goals, IAB has developed sellers.json – a data file containing identifying information about publishers’ accounts within their advertising platforms. It’s a digital passport of the supplier.
This mechanism is improving supply chain transparency within RTB and programmatic buying as an advertiser can clearly identify the supplier. It also allows media buyers to see all intermediary parties of every bid request.
Why it is a double-edged sword
On the one hand, app-ads.txt is a win-win solution for all parties in the advertising ecosystem. Developers who spend their budgets on creating audience-attracting applications get protection from unauthorized sellers and spoofing. Advertisers and agencies, in turn, can ensure that their budget spend is reasonable.
However, the issue here is that the process of adoption the standard is not as fast as it could be. It takes time for publishing content distributors to realize the importance and practical value of this mechanism. Meanwhile, brands show readiness to pay for high-quality inventory, rather than risk with dubious bid requests, even if they are cheaper.
Harnessing the latest trends
Practice with ads.txt has shown its effectiveness, thus, market leaders are actively taking steps to refine their services with app-ads.txt too. In-app advertising share is ramping up significantly and represents a Klondike, so publishing content distributors are strongly interested in embracing this initiative.
As an IAB Tech Lab member and adherent of transparency, Admixer Technologies enthusiastically implements all innovations of the industry to deliver a better user experience. Since this year already, we’re included in the app-ads.txt adoption chart by PubMatic.
Implementation of app-ads.txt is absolutely free and requires only a will. However, there are lots of app developers and inventory suppliers who still didn’t embrace the practical value of this mechanism. We are working on enlightening the values and benefits of this standard for inventory suppliers partners. By using it, they can earn extra points from potential advertisers.
If you are looking for transparency-driven partnerships with Admixer.SSP, reach out to Elena Storchak, Head of Supply Partnerships: estorchak@admixer.сom
Admixer guide to in-app advertising
How advertisers and brands can reach, engage, and measure their audiences with mobile in-app advertising.
In 2019 we rely on apps for everything, from navigating traffic on the way to making notes what to pick up at the grocery store, get reminders to exercise, drink water, and even breath. On average, adult smartphone users have about 80 apps installed on their devices and spend over 3 hours daily interacting with apps. It’s a great opportunity for advertisers to compete for mobile users attention, as well as – for mobile app developers not to provide technical opportunities for in-app ads.
Let’s take a short tour on what this kind of advertising is and how advertisers can benefit from leveraging it.
What is in-app advertising?
In-app ads are served through a mobile app advertising network, which connects advertisers and developers. Users see it as interstitial or rewarded video ads (you’ve probably come through one of those video ads when playing Clash of Clans), banner or native ads, ads in messengers, and technically advanced formats, like authentic in-game ads (which we’ll touch upon later on) and more.
Depending on business goal you’re focusing on – whether it’s increasing brand visibility, user engagement, or revenue generation – there’s a strategy behind picking right ad inventory and placing your ads wisely.
Why does anyone have to invest into in-app ads?
Instead of mobile web, for instance?
Mobile is the leading growth driver of global internet usage, with 78% of users accessing the web via mobile devices. But today’s digital world isn’t just mobile-first — it’s app-first. Apps dominate the mobile landscape, accounting for 89% of consumers’ smartphone time. This figure is only expected to grow as app usage continues to increase at a faster rate than the mobile web.
Along with snowballing number of app users, ad budgets – and revenues – are increasing. Here’s some recent stats at a glance:
- 30% of advertisers and brands expect programmatic direct in-app budgets to increase by more than 6% over 2019 based on Forrester research.
- 12% – this much mobile ad revenues will increase by the end of 2019, based on eMarketer estimation.
- By the end of 2020 gaming apps will generate $94 billion
- Social media giants also report that most of their ad revenue comes from mobile: 79% of Facebook and 86% of Twitter’s.
Besides, mobile app ads has several undeniable advantages. Like for instance, mobile devices, unlike desktop computers, are typically owned and used by one person, which means the apps we use are closely connected to our personal lives and daily habits.
This makes mobile apps the ideal place for advertisers to create effective advertising touchpoints. By leveraging mobile apps advanced technical capabilities to reach specific audiences, it’s also easier to verify that users are actually seeing their ads.
Along with advanced targeting opportunities, mobile apps have been resistant to ad blocking so far. Plus, leveraging apps, you can better track your users – without any privacy interruptions through, as users enable tracking by themselves, by opting-in.
How can you benefit from in-app advertising?
Along with advantages above, this type of ads bring to advertisers a number of other advancements. Here are just several opportunities to highlight:
- Placement: With in-app ads advertiser gets end-to-end infrastructure, providing their users with ad messages maximum relevant to their experience and context
- Performance: Advertisers and brands also get the opportunity to track their ad campaigns more precisely, filter out fraudulent traffic, leverage advanced targeting, and eliminate any ad blocking
- Brand awareness: Brands often underestimate advertising in mobile apps, thinking that to give a go with it they have to get own application first, which is not obligatory at all. Nearly any brand can serve their ads in applications that already exist
Your in-app ads checklist
With increase of usage and superior technical capabilities that keep advancing, it’s obvious why advertisers should invest into mobile ads. The next step is understanding how exactly to invest budgets wisely and get the most of ads. Here’s what we suggest to check before you start planning you in-app campaign:
#1. Where: Where your ads come from, verticals and app categories
#2. What: Choosing ad formats which fit your goals
#3. How: Identifying your goals and KPIs how you’ll measure the outcome
Recent and actual statistics, emerging in-app ad trends, and most importantly, strategies helping you plan, reach, and measure your advertising outcomes – here’s what you’ll find in this guide. Besides, you’ll get prepared for each step above, and will be equipped with everything you need to reach your in-app advertising goals.
BTW, talking about your goals…
With this guide you’ll find out which ad inventory to pick to address your goals best. Specifically we’ll lead you through the following formats, served by Admixer.DSP trusted providers, like Viber, InMobi, Fyber, Opera, Adverty, and so many more:
- Video ads (interstitial and rewarded)
- Banner ads
- Native ads
- In-game ads
- Ads in messengers
If you’re ready to power up your in-app advertising strategy, download your in-app guide for more details on how to start your in-app ads campaign with Admixer.DSP.
A guide to best mobile ad types and formats
At the beginning of 2019 (According to We Are Social and Hootsuite’s research) there are 3.9 billion active mobile internet users. That means that almost 78% of all users daily appear online either via mobile web or in-app. This fact inevitably boosts ad growth. Let’s run through best mobile ad types and formats.
Depending on where specifically user will interact with ads, it can be categorized as mobile web advertising or in-app ads. The key difference is simple: mobile web ads are placed on mobile versions of websites and platforms, while in-app ads are displayed in various applications, as it comes from its name.
Both options bring their benefits to advertisers – and users. Here’s a brief overview of what advertisers can get by placing ads each way.
Mobile web advertising
So far, users spent 13 minutes a day on mobile websites, according to eMarketer. By 2020, that will likely drop to 12 minutes daily. However, even though users spend more and more time in apps, mobile web ads still offer advertisers a wider range of properties in terms of ad formats.
Also, with mobile web ads, advertisers can reach audiences using standard ad formats, like mobile web banner, video ads, and more making it much easier for advertisers to make a creative that would be perfectly displayed on desktop and mobile devices.
Thus, mobile web ads are great for cross-platform ad campaigns, letting to reach an audience across a variety of platforms using just one version of an ad. Besides, compatibility creates a better user experience for the customer, who will be more apt to click on an ad that looks like it belongs on a site.
Mobile web ads is also a cost-effective option. Due to responsiveness and auto-resizing of ad formats, advertisers will have no trouble when new smartphone and tablet screen sizes and resolutions are launched as they won’t need to create new ads in all kinds of changing sizes.
Looking how to increase your mobile ads revenue?
Learn how you can do that with Admixer Mobile Ad Server
The most significant advantage in-app ads bring to advertisers and app developers is the amount of time that users spend with applications. Conforming to eMarketer, 89% of mobile usage time is spent in-app.
Alongside with this, in-app ads provide a better user experience. Even though ‘nobody likes ads’, apparently, some advertising is more tolerable and even found attractive and likable than others. With this in mind, advertisers can focus on in-app ads to create better ad experiences.
Being less distracting, highly interactive and engaging, and better controlled and managed in-app advertising keeps attracting the interest of advertisers and brands.
Along with the growing army of apps users, advertisers’ interest and willingness to invest into in-app ads keep increasing, too. A study conducted by Forrester found that 70 percent of advertisers and agencies spending at least $1 million every month on digital advertising are going to increase their in-app ad budgets in the following 12 months.
What’s so attractive in placing ads in the application? First, in-app ads is a great solution to address various goals: increase conversions, user retention and engagement, brand awareness, and drive overall revenue generation.
Plus in-app ad fits nearly every vertical, from social media, news and entertainment apps, to shopping, education, fitness, healthcare, banking, messaging apps, games, and beyond.
Advertising in games
Since gaming apps are among the most popular apps in terms of audience amount and time spent, these formats are worth mentioning separately from general in-app ads.
There can be various types of mobile advertising: rewarded video, offerwall, and interstitial ads.
Rewarded video ads intend rewards of benefits to a user for watching the ad, offerwall may contain lists of items a user can pick in exchange for receiving in an in-app reward. As for interstitials, we’ll touch upon this format later in the article.
These formats are great for promoting special offers, new arrivals, upcoming events, and more. Game ads work for a wide range of verticals: sports, beauty, ecommerce, beverages, even real estate companies, and so much more brands can leverage game ads. The main point here is relevance to the audience, context of the game, and right ad placement.
Generally, this type of ads brings the best out of in-app ecosystem: the interactivity, engagement, and memorable user experience.
- High interactivity
- Universally supported
This format represents an interactive type of ads that give users an opportunity to try out the demo of an app or game before installing it.
All interaction takes place in the ad unit directly. The best part is that users like these mini-games because of it’s pleasant mobile phone advertising experience and full involvement. Playable ads typically last from 15 seconds to minute.
- High conversions
- Users engagement and retention
Did you know that ads in games can be seamless and truly immersive?
Learn more – request a demo of game ads inventory: firstname.lastname@example.org
In terms of interactivity and elements that encourage viewers to engage with the content, there are standard mobile display advertising and mobile rich media ads.
Standard mobile ad formats
Mobile banner ads
Mobile banner advertising is the most common format due to its simplicity and possibility to yield higher CPMs thoughtful placement. Mobile ad banners are displayed in static ad units often placed at the top or bottom of the screen of the device.
Mobile banner ad sizes may vary, but the most standard banner sizes are 320×480, 300×250 and 320×50 for smartphones and 728×90, 768×1024 and 300×600 mobile ad units for tablets.
One of the most popular banner sizes is 320×50 mobile ad. Its success is due to its low price for advertisers. Big brands can leverage its minimal space for mobile ad campaign focused on increasing of brand awareness, while mid-size and small brands still can use this banner size to put the essential information about their offer. Plus it provides great user experience, as a mobile banner is non-intrusive and doesn’t interrupt user from the content.
Mobile ad banners design requires a careful balance between eye-catching and bringing too distracting experience. Best mobile banner ads should highlight key features or provide an offer with a clear and compelling call to action without too much text though.
Some interesting findings on mobile banner advertising by InMobi: on Android, the highest banner ads conversion relates to lifestyle content (2.02%); on iOS, banner ads works best for classified content (2.7%).
When is it a good idea to leverage this ads type? If you want to increase your brand visibility for a comfortable price among people who are your potential consumers, then mobile banner ads can be a reasonable investment.
- Available on all screens
- Available at low price
- Fast and easy to deploy
- Non-obtrusive for user experience
Native advertising on mobile appears in different sizes and forms. As it comes from the name, native ads are user-centric and organically fit into the context of the place where it appears. Accordingly, this format is perceived as relevant useful information in the flow that increases the chances for the ad to be clicked on.
Native ad imitates the appearance of the contextual environment, so its sizing might also be inherited, but it can be harder accessing the demand, so it might be better to try out 320×480, 300×400 or other typical sizes.
To bring great user experience and look seamless, the ads can come as an icon, feed or in-stream content. Here’s when it’s a good idea to use each of formats:
- Icon ads that can be easily displayed in apps with a multi-tile layout, such as news and entertainment
- Feed ads blend well with user-generated content in a chat list.
- Rich in-stream ads mimic the app’s content feed – ideal for mobile ad campaigns in social networking apps.
This format is similar to banner ads, but it doesn’t take up some fixed screen space or the full display and it’s less of an eyesore and non-disruptive because of its”native” look and feel.
With this type, ads will appear contextually appropriate, for example displaying the ad of cosmetics placed in the middle of an article on a beauty blog. This seamless placement makes native advertising highly effective resulting in impressive CTR.
Native advertising presents a unique opportunity to share your brand story. The combination of visual, headline, and description allows advertisers to state their message clearly and convincingly, and give extra information on the benefits, values, and story behind the product or service.
- Unobtrusive and contextually appropriate
- Higher CTR
- Better ad engagement rate
- Advanced user experience
This format is represented by pre-, mid- or post-roll videos seamlessly appearing in accordant place of the video. It’s supposed to be 320×480 or 480×320 sizes for smartphone and 768×1024 or 1024×768 for tablets. Also, 320×250 sizing is acceptable for outstream videos.
A typical video ad runs 15- or 30-second when user tap to play. With the growing popularity of shooting vertical video (mainly for social media), video ads also evolved to both horizontal and vertical options.
Accurate placement of mobile video ads can boost the high engagement of the audience. Specifically, placing it at a natural break in the users’ app journey is a good practice. Also, advertisers should think creatively when introducing a video to the users, as an attractive preview screen encourages users to play the video. To minimize the risk of frustrating the users, it’s a common practice to serve autoplay video with muted sound letting users turn it on and off.
According to numerous perspectives, mobile video play rates are higher on in-app (14.0%) compared to mobile web (8.3%).
Mobile video ads are the best way to engage your audience and ensure your brand’s presence at the point of purchase. This ad type works great when appearing on native environments and is similar to all the other content in terms of format and style, like on social and regular media. Mobile video ads fit nearly any purpose – from promoting product or service to telling a brand story.
- Users percept video ads good
- Focuses attention
- Good for advertisers
Mobile Rich Media Ads
Mobile rich media ad formats can be represented by videos, GIFs, audio and other content leading the user to interact with the ad inside the mobile ad units without transitions to other pages or sections.
They can have numerous animated effects like expanding, unfolding, parallax, floating, and more – or stimulate user’s actions, for instance, “scratch”, swipe or shake the image on the screen to thereby boosting the conversion.
Looking for more mobile rich media ads?
Check creative formats, available in Admixer Ad Gallery.
As rich media ads are designed to catch the eye and engage, this may also pose an intrusive threat. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure that creative doesn’t go overboard.
On the other hand, according to IAB survey, interactive banners are 25% more likely to recall an ad than those exposed to static banners.
- Interactive and eye-catching
- A simple process of implementing
- Engaging user
- Opportunity to measure the number of times users view the ad content
Here’s a sneak peek of several most engaging creative ad formats.
Mobile interstitial ad is a full screen advertisement that can be interactive and is displayed at the transition points like loading or closing the app, between game levels, while pausing or when the user is trying to switch the section in the app.
The most common sizes of interstitials are 320*480 and 480*320 for smartphones and 1024*768 and 768*1024 for tablets.
Interstitial mobile ads are adopted straight from the web and fit mobile devices perfectly. With this format, advertisers win user’s undivided attention and don’t have to worry about wrong click-throughs, as ads appear in between pages only without interrupting the user.
The interstitial mobile ads allow advertisers to create mobile ad campaigns fueled with beautiful and engaging content with high-quality visual and compelling copy. This can reduce the disruption factor for users. However, this type of ads needs to be managed properly in order to avoid the excessive frequency of views.
Normally, interstitial ad requires user action like to click a button to close the ad or swipe to navigate to the desired content. So when it comes to picking the right place and moment to place the interstitial ads, advertisers should pick carefully. For instance, when used in games, it’s better to put interstitial mobile ads within games with levels. Such a break is pretty naturally, thus showing ads won’t deliver any obtrusive experience for users.
As for use cases, interstitial ad is most attractive format for brand advertisers from nearly any domain.
Talking about the performance of this ads format, it has 2-3x higher CTR compared to banner ads (InMobi).
- Offering more ad space for a broader message
- Visually compelling and memorable
- High impressions and CTR
Mobile Swipe Ads
Mobile Swipe is hugely adaptable and can be used in many ways like highlighting a product, demonstrating its usage or performing a product tour. Using habitual interaction with mobile device – swiping – this format invites users to swipe through the images, each of which goes as a single ad unit and with a link to its own landing page.
- Fits perfectly for online shopping platforms and ecommerce
- Engage the audience
Scratch Banner Ads
Similarly to lottery tickets where you needed to scratch the shiny upper layer with a coin to reveal a prize, mobile scratch banner ad engages users to do that digitally. Using a finger a user “scratches” the banner on the mobile screen and reveals the image beneath.
- Works perfectly for special offers and discounts
- Interactive and engaging
Mobile Cube Ads
Being one of the most popular ad formats, mobile cube allows advertisers to showcase up to six images and a video on its six sides. A cube can spin automatically or by swiping, engaging users to interact with one of the ad messages.
- Encourages audience to interact with the ads
- Catchy yet unobtrusive
There are lots of types and formats of mobile ads and new ones appear from the nature of the case. Whenever you are ready to give a try with ad formats to drive your mobile ad campaign – contact Irina Kostiuk, Business Development Executive: email@example.com.
InMobi in-app inventory: 4 ad formats now available in Admixer.DSP
In the mobile-first world mobile phones alone generate 52% of the total internet traffic. To engage smartphone audience advertisers need to “catch” their audiences with compelling and non-obtrusive in-app ads.
InMobi, an in-app inventory provider with the coverage of 1.6 billion+ unique user profiles globally, is a reasonably good solution to leverage. InMobi demonstrates 95% app SDK integration and provides access to first-party mobile data. Get more insights and stats in this guide:
Since 2018 Admixer has been an official partner and reseller of InMobi in-app inventory.
Today we’re glad to introduce four mobile ad formats to help advertisers to be noticed and drive engagement with their audiences. All formats are now available for direct purchase in Admixer.DSP.
A standard banner is an ad unit that can be either static or animated image that is placed within a publisher’s specified ad content area around their live mobile content.
An interstitial ad is a full screen advertisement, which is displayed either during launch or between content or upon exit an application or mobile web page. Supports landscape and portrait view.
Non-intrusive ads that blend into the look and feel of the underlying app. This ad format helps reach new audiences on premium mobile publishers that work with InMobi for native ad experiences. Available in a form of multi-tiled layer with content blocks, feed, and in stream format, mimicking the social networking feed.
A format encouraging advertisers to create trailers for their blockbuster brands. This format offers carefully designed video ad layouts for brand storytelling, letting advertisers to add interactive elements, and create a story sequence or capture inputs from consumers. Supports both horizontal and vertical videos. Advertisers can also leverage rewarded video ads to enhance in-app purchases and reach out better loyalty.
If you’re ready to power up your mobile marketing, give it a go with one of these InMobi ad formats, available for purchase directly in Admixer.DSP. Download your InMobi guide for more details, specs, and the shortest guide on how to start your InMobi campaign in Admixer.DSP.
Have questions or need help? Reach out to Dmitry Breus, Director of Business Development, Admixer.DSP: firstname.lastname@example.org