For mobile publishers, delivering in-app advertisements have often been viewed as a last resort, raising concern around jeopardizing their users’ experience. However, in today’s competitive app markets the shift to in-app advertising has taken on a new light. As technology evolves and more creative approaches drive innovation in the mobile ad space, advertising can be an effective way to monetize freemium apps while enhancing the user experience with interactive rich media mini-games. These types of ads allow publishers to monetize their non-IAP users while providing a valuable engagement channel for brands. The belief that in-app advertising is disruptive comes from the past, and current, state of mobile advertising.
What’s the issue with ads today?
- Ads can be invasive. They appear when you are trying to engage with an app and often at the wrong time. Publishers want users to enjoy their in-app experiences and maximize their retention, not turn them away due to intrusive ads.
- Ads can distract. Poorly constructed ads may leave your users confused and drive them to other competitors’ apps that don’t serve ads.
- Competition. Whether direct or indirect, other app developers may run ads that will cannibalize and steal away your users.
All three of these can be addressed with one simple solution: native integrated brand ads. Brands can leverage native app experience such as Angry Birds, Candy Crush or Draw Something to engage with their users. By integrating their brand into the gaming experience, they gain brand resonance through engagement and publishers maintain the quality and consistency without the competitive threat.
Aarki has seen that publishers are shifting to offer interactive rich media ads for brands, which offer experiences that are native to publishers’ games. While ever-present banner ads or pop-up interstitials actively distract users from apps, rich media ads that are built into in-app experience delight users, and enhance their experience while allowing brands to leverage your platform to engage mobile consumers. Because the ads are offered by brands, publishers can be reassured that their users will not be cannibalized, as brands are not directly competing for mobile users.
Kaiser Permanente partnered with Zynga for a month-long campaign to implement native ad experiences into the game “Draw Something”. Aarki worked with Zynga to develop an ad that mimicked the Draw Something game, in which words such as “apple” and “dumbbell” were offered for users to draw and share on Facebook. Kaiser saw very high user engagement, with CTRs well above industry standards, while Zynga saw that users’ gaming experiences were uninterrupted, due to the ad’s minimal intrusiveness.
Native rich media ads present a win-win scenario, bridging the gap between publishers, brands and consumers. Publishers can leverage premium brands to serve non-intrusive rich media ads while benefiting from the highest eCPMS to generate revenue. Simultaneously, brands can utilize native app experiences to connect more effectively with mobile consumers, increasing brand recall and resonance.