Mobile Advertising 101: The Basic Lingo
Mobile advertising is the place to be nowadays with predictions of this space hitting over $50 billion by 2015. If you are a developer looking to monetize your mobile apps, there are various options at your disposal, but studies after studies keep showing that mobile advertising is the way to go.
Great! Now that we know we want ads in our app, how do we go about accomplishing this and what do we need to know? Due to the blazing hot nature of this relatively new space, everyone wants a piece of the action, and there are many mobile advertising companies competing for your business. Relax, this is a good thing. Competition is always good for the consumer.
So how do you choose what company is going to lead your mobile advertising efforts? Well, for starters, let's just get one thing out of the way. There are many ad networks out there and while one might offer a decimal of a percent more eCPM (will explain that term later if you are not familiar), they are all pretty much doing the same thing. At inneractive, we believe there is no way for the average developer to make an educated decision on what ad network to use, so we integrated them all.
Our platform works with over 80 ad networks around the globe as well as many local agencies, which ensure that your ads are relevant to the person seeing them. That means more clicks and yes, more money for you, the developer.
Before we get ahead of ourselves here, lets cover the basics of mobile advertising. Here are some terms you need to be familiar with if you want to get into this space and see some real results:
- CTR: This term is not unique to mobile advertising and it exists in other industries like Web advertising and even Web search. CTR stands for Click Through Rate. What it signifies is the percentage of clicks that your ad/banner/search result got in comparison to its overall impressions. How many people saw it and how many actually clicked. Why does this matter? Well, like many other industries, in mobile advertising, the developer gets paid for clicks. So the more clicks your ad generates, the more money you can make. How do you ensure you are getting the maximum number of clicks? Aha, the million dollar question, more on that later. For the sake of perspective, inneractive has an average CTR of over 3%.
- Global Fill Rate: Here is the thing with ad networks, they only operate in specific countries. What that means is that while the people who download your app in the U.S might see ads and generate clicks, if someone in Asia or Africa downloads your app, and we already heard about how big Asia is for app downloads, chances are they will either see an ad that is completely irrelevant or no ad at all. Would you click an ad like in the screen shot below? The global fill rate is the percentage of ad impressions that are populated by an ad. One more thing to pay attention to when it comes to fill rate is that the ads themselves are ads that are generating revenue for you, as opposed to house ads that are just advertising the company you are working with. inneractive's global fill rate exceeds 90%.
- eCPM: Some might claim this is the most important term in mobile advertising. eCPM stands for Effective Cost Per Mille. This is the way you get paid for your ads. It is the amount of money you get for every one thousand impressions of your ad and it is the industry standard of measurement in mobile advertising. inneractive offers developers eCPM that is three times the industry average on any and all mobile platforms.
- Rich Media: Remember when I promised above that I would address the question of how to maximize clicks? Well, here is your answer. You want to create ads that are engaging, attractive, non intrusive, and targeted. Rich media takes care of the engaging part. Whether we are talking about an animated GIF, HTML5, Flash, or full fledged video, the more interactive your ads, the more clicks it will generate. Old school text ads still work, don't get me wrong, but to succeed in mobile advertising, you need to get with the times and that means support for rich media. All of inneractive's state-of-the-art SDKs (explanation coming up) offer full support for rich media ads.
- Location-Based Advertising: Once again, when it comes to increasing clicks, which should be your goal, serving ads that are highly relevant to the person seeing it, will directly translate into a click, in most cases. How do you do that? By targeting the ads based on location, content, and user. Yes, that is possible and even recommended. Users like to have access to free apps due to incorporated ads, but the ads need to be relevant in order to enhance the overall user experience of the app and not damage it. The more targeted the ad, the more value it offers for the user, hence the increased number of clicks the ad will generate. And yes, inneractive's SDKs support this as well.
- SDK: This is a general term you need to be familiar with if you operate in the mobile space. SDK stands for Software Development Kit and it is basically the development tools you are provided by the company. Apple has its SDK, Android has its, and every mobile advertising company has one that will enable you to add their ads into your app. However, there are SDKs and there are SDKs. You need to ensure that if you are going to work with a company on mobile advertising, they offer an advanced SDK that will not steal too much of your time on integrating it and will work flawlessly in order to integrate ads and maximize revenue. inneractive's SDKs are available cross-platform (see below) and have one single line of code. To integrate the inneractive ad SDK, you need ten seconds, then you get access to over 80 ad networks. How is that for spending your time wisely?
- Cross Platform: If you spend time reading any online publications about mobile technology, you might have the very mistaken impression that the only available mobile platforms out there are iOS and Android. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is still BlackBerry, Symbian, QT, Windows Phone 7, and even Java-based mobile phones. These platforms still have millions of users around the world and focusing only on iPhone and Android might not be the wisest strategy for you. Whatever mobile advertising company you work with, cross-platform support is an absolute must. You might only have an iPhone app now but tomorrow you will be interested in porting it over to Android or Windows Phone 7. You need to ensure that your mobile advertising company will support that transition. Guess what? inneractive has true cross-platform support and if the OS is running on any mobile phone, inneractive has an SDK to support it.
There you have it folks, the basics. There is of course much more to learn about mobile advertising before embarking on your journey, but a good place to start is here.