This is a guest post by Josh Fenn, Global Marketing at Baidu.
According to Google, 4 in 5 consumers say price is important when deciding on whether to download an app. With price being such an important factor, app developers often have a difficult time getting consumers to dig into their pockets while there are so many free alternatives on the market. This means advertising within mobile apps has never been more important.
Mobile overtook desktop search as the leading advertising format in the US in 2016, climbing from 30 percent of the market share last year to 47 percent this year – while desktop search advertising dropped from 37 percent to 27 percent. With a greater potential for earning advertising revenues contrasted against the increasing challenge of making money off downloads, app developers need to make sure their app is attractive to advertisers. However, given there are over 4 million Android and iOS apps in the US, the competition between app developers is fierce. However, with widespread accessibility, a visible but not disruptive ad display and the right ad platform partner, app developers can deploy an advertising format that maximizes their potential for monetization.
Fighting through the noise to get noticed and make money
First off, apps need to be accessible and accommodating. It’s critical to be responsive to advertisers and maintain an efficient, consistent ad approval process. This not only minimizes missed opportunities and damaged relationships with potential advertisers, but also makes it easier for advertising providers to set expectations with their advertisers. Lately, advertisers have reported difficulties working with Snapchat because of poor responsiveness and an inconsistent ad approval process. Snapchat’s issues stem from its strict control over the ad content. Strict control is fine, although it’s important for companies to have the capacity to apply the same controls to all ad submissions, ensuring that all opportunities are attended to.
The overall user experience should also be top priority for app developers, and the ads are no exception. The tricky part is ensuring that the ads reach consumers without interfering with the user experience. This is critical: 83 percent of smartphone users worldwide think advertising interruptions are too frequent, according to recent Accenture research. This was a greater concern than any of the other smartphone usage issues considered, including connectivity, overall experience, security and privacy. However, on the flip side, hidden ads are ineffective. So, for app developers, it’s all about knowing the audience and finding the perfect balance.
Lastly, it’s important to find a partner that specializes in mobile advertisements to get the right ads for your audience (which results in higher conversion rates) and makes sure you keep a healthy portion of the revenue. For instance, DU Ad Platform, which is Baidu’s international mobile advertising platform, leverages a technology called Peak Selection Algorithm. This is an AI-driven tech that improves ad performance prediction and helps increase ad revenues. As we move forward, this type of technology-driven optimization will play an increasingly important role in the advertising world – for ad platforms and developers alike.