It would be an understatement to say that the advent of mobile app marketing has changed the fate of the global advertising landscape in general.
Just think about this mind-blowing fact: advertising on mobile phones first emerged in the distant 2000, when a Finnish news provider decided to promote their latest news through, believe it or not, SMS.
Cut to the beginning of 2023: studies showed that mobile app marketing, a very specific kind of mobile advertising, represented 64% of the global spending in digital advertising, a figure that had been steadily growing in previous years. This underscores the importance of mobile app marketing and how significant it is to understand it thoroughly, to learn how to harness this continuous rise even in 2024.
Let's take a look together at the different types of ads and their performance in the world of mobile app marketing, to stay ahead of the curve in 2024.
- Factors influencing ad performance in mobile app marketing
- The different ad formats in mobile app marketing
- Ad formats performances in mobile app marketing
- Emerging trends in 2024 in mobile app marketing
Understanding the target audience is fundamental to effective ad performance. Data regarding in-app sessions and post-install events help in revealing nuanced preferences, allowing marketers to tailor ad formats to resonate with diverse user groups and to optimize toward in-app purchases even further. By leveraging this information, campaigns can achieve higher relevance and, as a consequence, better results.
Strategic ad placement within the app significantly impacts user engagement. A/B testing different placements helps identify the most effective positions, ensuring that ads capture attention without causing frustration and disruption.
The creative elements of an ad greatly influence its performance. Recent data highlights a strong correlation between creative quality and user engagement. In other words, well-thought and original creatives perform well, scrappy and boring creatives don’t. Utilizing tools and techniques to create visually appealing and compelling ad creatives is essential for maximizing the impact of mobile app advertising.
Before taking a look at the single performances of every ad format, let us refresh your memory and remind you what kinds of ad formats can be employed during user acquisition in mobile app marketing.
Whether static or dynamic, banner ads are positioned at the bottom or top of the interface. While they provide constant visibility, they may be considered less immersive compared to other formats.
In contrast to the subtlety of banner ads, interstitial ads take center stage by occupying the entire screen. These full-screen ads strategically appear during natural breaks of the session, such as between interfaces or during loading moments. Their visibility and engagement are noteworthy, as users tend to be more receptive to ads during these intervals.
The rise of video content in mobile app marketing is undeniable. Video ads not only capture attention effectively but also convey information in a captivating manner. This kind of ad format boasts impressive user engagement and retention rates, and they seamlessly integrate with other formats like playable ads, interstitial ads, and SKOverlay technology, Apple’s proprietary technology, widely used in mobile app marketing.
The point of native ads is to seamlessly blend into the app environment and provide a non-disruptive advertising experience. As a result, native ads are often considered less intrusive while effectively reaching and resonating with the target audience. Native ads are adaptable to various platforms, which contributes to their widespread use in digital marketing strategies and in mobile app marketing.
Playable ads are almost exclusively employed in mobile games advertising, to which they bring an interactive gaming element. Users can engage with a mini-game or trial within the ad itself. This allows users to dive into a snippet of first-person gameplay. Playable ads have proven to be a highly effective mobile app marketing tool in generating substantial revenue.
Rewarded video ads
Rewarded video ads offer users a value exchange, providing incentives such as in-app currency, extra lives, or premium content in return for watching a video ad. This format as well is mostly employed in mobile games advertising and has proven to be highly effective and creates a mutually beneficial scenario for both gamers and advertisers.
With these notions in mind, we can now analyze and compare performances across different ad formats.
We can start by making a comparison with an easily foreseeable winner: video ads against banner ads. Video ads outperforms banner ads both in terms of Click-Through Rate (CTR), in which they lead with 86% compared to the 55% of banner ads, and Conversion Rate (CR), where they show triple the numbers compared to banners.
The appealing content and in-game assets that video ads are able to showcase increase user engagement and therefore lead to higher CTRs and conversion rates.
Another noteworthy comparison can be drawn between banner ads and interstitial ads: in fact, the latters achieve almost a 20 times higher conversion rate compared to the former. This is likely due to the difference in dimensions between the two, proving that bigger ads are more likely to drive more conversions.
Banner ads are probably the least notable kind of ad format. It is not uncommon to experience phenomena like banner blindness, in which users consciously ignore their presence on the interface, or banner fatigue, in which the prolonged exposure to blindness diminishes their impact.
When it comes to mobile games, there is no doubt that video ads and playable ads stand out as the most revenue-generating types of creatives. Both leverage engaging visuals and captivating content to guide users toward a conversion. Playable ads, in particular, are incredibly effective, boasting a three times higher conversion rate than video ads and generally quadrupling or quintupling the conversion rate of other ad creatives.
A separate matter can be discussed about rewarded video ads. As reported by udonis.co, they are considered the least disruptive of all formats, due to the fact that users can choose to watch them to get in-game advantages. Because of this reason, almost 70% of gamers like them and 76% of US-based gamers prefer them over interstitial ads, proving again that disruptions have a great impact on the public’s perception. Finally, from an economic standpoint, players that interact with rewarded video ads have a 6 times higher chance of completing in-app purchases, therefore increasing their Life-Time Value (LTV).
Interactive ads can easily be misunderstood and confused with playable ads, which indeed offer users a highly effective form of interaction.
However, what sets interactive ads apart is their ability to allow users to engage in different ways. This can mean interacting with the surrounding world, such as reading a QR code, or within the ad itself, involving choices that lead to different ad displays.
From a purely interactive standpoint, playable ads can be considered a specific case of interactive ads. In this sense, it makes even more sense to draw a comparison with another category we've already discussed: video ads.
According to magna.com, users invest as much as 47% additional time looking at marketing messages within interactive ads compared to their non-interactive counterparts. Just the inclusion of an interaction makes the ad 32% more memorable than standard video ads, even when users choose not to engage.
Moreover, Magna's research reveals an 8% increase in the rate of unaided brand recall and a 10% increase in aided brand recall for interactive ads. Other studies suggest that conversion rates experience a solid increase with interactive ads, resulting in up to a three times increase compared to traditional video ads.
Extended Reality (XR) ads
When we think about the concept of virtual reality, we often associate it with the world of video games, but primarily in terms of the gaming experience itself. What often goes relatively unnoticed is that Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), conceptually grouped as Extended Reality (XR), are gaining increasing traction within the lines of digital marketing and mobile app marketing.
The XR market was valued at over $15 billion in 2022, and projections indicate it will exceed $35 billion by 2026. These data are the reason why many smartphones already come with built-in AR apps and why very popular services such as Snapchat and Google translate offer this kind of feature.
Therefore, it is certainly a tool to keep an eye on for 2024: if used correctly, it can prove highly effective in increasing brand awareness and user engagement.