Ads in general are a common part of our lives. Every medium of mass media we know operates on advertising revenue. Newspapers, TV channels, and even YouTube and Facebook display ads on their platforms.
It is easy to dismiss ads as interruption marketing. From a consumer perspective, ads may seem nothing more than a hindrance.
And yet, businesses take them very seriously. Advertising presents an opportunity to massively increase awareness. No company would dismiss the importance of paid promotion and advertising.
This also includes entrepreneurs and small companies with an app in the market. It can be difficult to get app downloads in the initial weeks and months after a launch.
Mobile ads are a nifty solution at such a stage. They can help drive app installs and give an app its moment in the sun. Companies are responding to the advantages of mobile advertising as well. In the US, 65% of all digital advertising spend went on mobile ads.
It is crucial to learn how to effectively leverage mobile ads. One of the key components of using mobile ads effectively is choosing the right ad format.
This piece covers five popular mobile ad formats that really help promote an app and increase downloads.
#1 - Banner ads
Banner ads are the most popular ad units one is likely to come across. You’re likely to find a banner ad right now if you visit a news website or open YouTube.
The main appeal of banner ads is their simplicity. Advertisers only have to work on designing a rectangle banner. The banner sizes generally accepted are 320 x 50 and 300 x 50. Some publishers also allow bigger banners ranging around the 300 x 250 mark.
Thus, advertisers have to create designs for the following banners and the mobile ad network takes care of the rest.
Ad networks like Google AdSense have become even more advanced at promoting such ad units. For instance, dynamic ads on Google allow advertisers to simply enter their information and deploy the campaign. The ad network automatically creates a banner ad based on the information provided.
The success of a banner ad generally depends on placement. A killer banner design is a great start, but wrong placement can undo all the good design work.
How can advertisers control placement? It is vital in such cases to choose ad networks that can guide publishers on getting placement right.
Advertisers also have the option of getting in touch with publishers directly through official channels to discuss ads and their placement.
#2 - Interstitial ads
We earlier alluded to the perception of advertising as a form of interruption marketing. Every ad interrupts user experience to some degree.
The degree of interruption interstitial ads cause is perhaps the highest amongst all other ad formats covered here.
Interstitial ads typically hijack app users when they’re using an app. They are most common in mobile games. For example, you must have noticed how an ad appears every time you cross a level on a mobile game. You have to close the ad manually in such a case to return to the game.
The size of a typical interstitial ad varies. The most common size is 320 x 480. This means they take up much of the space on a mobile screen.
Interstitial ads have some obvious disadvantages. Users become trained to close them rather than review their content. It is not uncommon to see users grow irritated with a brand that regularly interrupts their experience.
These disadvantages are built into interstitial ads. There is no way to get rid of them.
Why then would any advertiser choose to go with interstitial ads?
Let’s say you build your own app and now want to reach a stable user base. Would simple banner ads work in such a case?
Banner ads are easier to ignore as users can pass by them without any manual action. This makes it difficult to get conversions quickly. Then there is also the question of placement. Getting the placement of a banner ad right requires serious analysis, sometimes with the use of mobile app analytics tools as well.
Interstitial ads don’t have such complications. They may intrude the experience of a user, but they ensure that they are aware of the app.
Advertisers who wish to drive app installs quickly generally go with interstitial ads. They provide the fastest route to downloads with greater impressions and conversion numbers.
#3 - Sticky ads
Also known as adhesion banners, sticky ads essentially remain on the screen even when an app user scrolls down.
These ads mostly remain in the header or footer of the app screen. The ad banner remains on the screen as users scroll down.
In essence, they permanently occupy the gaze of an app user.
Sticky ads are perfect for both advertisers and publishers who don’t like interrupting the experience of a typical user.
Let’s say you create a blogging app with your WordPress mobile app builder for Android and iOS. Readers come on your app and read your blog posts. Is it really wise to place interstitial ads at every turn to stop them from reading?
A better solution is to use sticky ads. They take a permanent place on the screen, but don’t stop users from using the app.
#4 - Video ads
Video ads typically work like banner ads. The only difference is that they contain a video instead of a static image.
The typical of these video ad units is 320 x 480. Advertisers have options to choose other sizes as well. Some video ads today can also be expanded onto a full screen these days. Expandable video ads typically come under rich media ads.
The entire point of using video ads instead of simple banners is greater information dissemination. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a 30-second video worth?
Many ad networks also display video ads within a video stream. YouTube ads are a prime example of the same. Videos ads that are displayed within a video are also called in-stream ads. You can deploy one on YouTube for instance with the help of Google Ads.
#5 - Native ads
Native ads refer to adverts designed to replicate the experience of an app. These are typically ads that do not stand out as adverts in a mobile app setting.
There are many benefits to using native ad formats. One of them is bypassing user ad-ignorance phenomena like banner blindness.
Banner blindness simply refers to users ignoring outright banner ads and other ad formats on pure impulse. This is a natural result after being bombarded with advertising for years.
Native ads are a solution to this trend. They assimilate within the environment of the app and give the appearance of normal app content.
This piece provides a detailed analysis on the five most popular mobile ad formats to promote your mobile app. You can use the aforementioned formats to grow your app’s user base and increase usage.
It is important to use these outbound marketing tactics from time to time. There are many other ad formats besides the ones covered here. Advertisers should keep an eye out for new ad formats that get significantly more engagement and conversions.