Beginner’s Guide To In-app Advertising

What Is In-app Advertising – A Beginner’s Guide

May 6, 2021

In-app advertising is becoming one of the most widely used advertising channels as 88% of the total time users spend on mobile is covered by mobile apps. Unlike earlier days when Facebook and Twitter governed the mobile usage, now the marketplace is subjugated by a variety of mobile apps across many verticals where users are spending their time at. This inclination towards mobile apps directed a lot of marketing and advertising spends towards it. So much so that mobile apps are expected to reach upto nearly $1trillion by 2023. (1)

Earlier, advertisers would connect with app developers or publishers directly when they wanted to run their advertisements campaigns in apps. They would directly pay the publishers to access their user base. But as the number of apps began to rise, advertisers and publishers couldn’t continue with the one-on-one personal deals anymore. This paved a way for programmatic ad buying and real-time buying which automated the process and eliminated the need of human involvement which resulted in a lot more efficiency and transparency in the whole process.

Coupled with robust data analytics and tracking, more control, and lots of other benefits, in-app advertising is fast becoming one of the important advertising channels for brands and agencies. Mobile apps and websites share commonalities, however, have fair share of differences too. For eg. mobile websites collect cookies to track, and apps use device IDs. Mobile websites are vulnerable to ad blockers, unlike apps. The average time a user spends on mobile web is relatively lesser than app. In this article, we’re going to discover more about in-app advertising.

Why In-app Advertising?

Benefits of in-app advertising

Targets Users Without Using Cookies

This is probably one of the biggest advantages of in-app advertising. As for any mobile web or other browser-based advertising, cookies are a primary source of collecting user information. Some of the drawbacks of using the same are that cookies have a relatively shorter shelf life. Some of them expire once the user’s session is over, failing to collect historical behaviour. Other than this, many users may also choose to clear cookies by setting the automatic function on their browsers. Cookies are also device-specific, hence those who use multiple devices cannot be accounted for.

Uses Mobile Device ID To Collect User Data

With the unique device IDs that each mobile device has, marketers get access to more insightful data than cookies. This number is not specific to limited apps as with cookies that are device-specific. Having access to such unique identification numbers help marketers understand the user behavior across multiple apps. For an instance, if a user is currently using a particular app and he sees an advertisement about a different app which might be of interest to him and he happens to click that ad, the device ID would provide all the information about the journey of a user across different apps.

Prevents Ad-blocking

Given the fact that there are no ad-blockers in apps, marketers can stay assured about the visibility of their ads. Be it display ads, banner ads, video ads, or any other types of ads that you’re running in-app, you don’t have to worry about your ads not being displayed to your target audience. Thus, in-app advertising providers marketers an edge over other advertising channels in terms of increased viewability, engagement, and hence conversions.

Enhances Click-through Rates

Owing to more creative flexibility, and creative formats available, marketers can benefit immensely from ideal CTRs. With appealing formats like video ads, interactive ads, playable ads, etc. it becomes relatively easier to grab the attention of the user and encourage them towards the motive that you’ve set. It could include visiting your website, social media page, downloading apps, making a purchase, etc.

Effective Targeting

Ads that are displayed in the apps are more contextually relevant, meaning they’re comparatively more innate than those that appear on the web. Apart from this, marketers also get access to a wider insight in their audience since the apps are capable of pulling demographics and geographics of the user directly. This means hyper-focused ad campaigns that also save marketers lots of resources because they are directed on the right path.

In-app Advertising Formats

Formats of in-app advertising

As we mentioned earlier, in-app ads offer more engaging experience to users owing to its high relevance and creative flexibility in terms of ad formats. This differs mobile ads from an
unwelcoming experience to a meaningful suggestion that actually betters the user experience. However, to take this experience to the next level, marketers should determine how their users experience the ad and use their device.

1. Mobile Banner Ads

In-app or mobile banner ads are one of the most commonly used types of format. Owing to its simplicity and capability to yield higher CPMs, mobile banner ads are also the most preferred type of ad format. They are displayed as static ads placed at either the top or the bottom of the mobile screens.

It’s important to note that thoughtful placements and visuals can reap the most benefits from mobile banner ads. An ideal mobile banner ad provides information in the most concise manner with visually appealing call-to-actions and very little text. Such ads are ideal when you want to boost your brand visibility at an affordable price.

2. Mobile Video Ads

In-app video ads can boost the engagement level of the audience at the highest when placed correctly. It’s typical for video ads to run for 15 to 30 seconds upon being tapped by the user. Video ads appear in both horizontal as well as vertical formats owing to the growing popularity of the same over the period of time.

As compared to mobile web, the play rates of in-app video ads are higher. They are ideal to keep your users engaged and your brand’s presence intact at all stages of purchase. Right from promoting a product to conveying a brand story, mobile video ads fit perfectly in all the motives of the brands.

3. Mobile Native Ads

As the name suggests, native ads match the original look and feel of the publisher’s content and fit perfectly within the context of the app. Hence, such ads appear to be user-friendly and non-intrusive which eventually increases the chances of it being clicked by the users. Such ads yield high CTR and promote a good engagement rate.

Native ads are more or less similar to banner ads, except that they do not occupy the fixed screen space or entire display. Native ads are ideal to promote your brand story along with many other motives. Such ads can appear in the form of an icon, in-feed, or in-stream content to provide a compelling and unobtrusive user experience.

4. Interstitial Mobile Ads

Interstitial ads are the full-screen ads that boost interaction with the users by appearing at transitions like closing of the app, loading, opening the app, etc. Such ads allow marketers to create highly compelling ads with visually appealing creatives and text. Interstitial ads attain the uninterrupted attention of the users as they occupy the full screen of the users’ device.

Although such ads are highly interactive, proper care needs to be allotted for these ads to not be repetitive by appearing at frequent intervals. When deciding where to put interstitial ads, advertisers need to be very careful so as to not disrupt the native experience of the users which may make them irritated and close it immediately.

What’s More?

Depending on your brand requirements and motives, there are a plethora of options available with in-app advertising. When you decide to try in-app advertising for your brand, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Ensure that the platform you choose to collaborate with has a platform with a great reach and other essentials like fraud-protection and brand-safety mechanisms in place. Other than this, be thoughtful of your ad placements, formats, and frequency depending on your brand motives. Or else, you will have created an undesirable impact in your prospects’ minds.

If all this overwhelms you and you’re looking for expert suggestions and support, write to us at for additional details and inquiries. We’d be happy to set a platform demo for you wherein you’ll be walked through all the details of the platform with ease.