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In 2021, the average time individuals will spend on their smartphone is expected to rise to over four hours a day. With such impressive growth in screen time, mobile advertising is the best way to win more customers for your apps.
Let’s take a look at some of the best mobile advertising companies, their methods and benefits, and how they can help in expanding your business.
Major Mobile Advertising Company and Platform Categories
Before looking at the top mobile app advertising companies, let’s categorise them on the type of services they offer, and how you can utilise them.
- App Install Platforms
- Mobile Advertising Agencies
- Demand Side Platforms
- Mobile Ad Servers and Supply Side Platforms
- Mobile Advertising Analytics and Attribution
- Mobile Marketing Automation
15 App Install Platforms
As the name suggests, app install platforms make it easier for you to get a higher number of app installs, and hence a larger user base. This category of mobile app advertising has several bidding models to choose from.
Mobile Advertising Business Model
- Cost Per Mile (CPM) – Pay the publishers when your ad is displayed and seen by an individual. The in-app advertising cost for this model is decided per thousand ad impressions.
- Cost Per Click (CPC) – Pay only when an individual clicks on your mobile ad.
- Cost Per Action (CPA) – Choose a specific action which you expect the individuals to do and pay only when they do it. For example, pay only when a user downloads your app or subscribes to your service, or purchase something in the app.
- Cost Per View (CPV) – This model fits mobile ad networks that offer advertisers video ad campaigns. Essentially, advertisers are charged each time their video mobile advertisement is viewed.
- Cost Per Install (CPI) – With this model, advertisers are only charged when a click on their ad results in an actual mobile app install. The Cost-per-install price has overtime become one of the most vital metrics for mobile marketers to measure and track. This is because it principally represents a price they pay to acquire customers, and as such, is factored into all ROI calculations.
App install platforms make up a significant chunk of mobile advertising companies. Here’s a look at some of the best platforms you can use:
Facebook will most probably be one of the earliest advertising platforms to use ads for app user acquisition. With a diverse crowd of users, Facebook ads is a great platform to target a wide range of audience
If you place an app install ad on Facebook, you can send your users directly to the app store, without a landing page. Another notable characteristic of Facebook app ads is that you can publish advertisements through your Facebook page. As a result, you can further improve the number of followers of your page.
- With roughly 2.8 billion active monthly users to target, as of the last quarter of 2020, Facebook still undoubtedly remains the largest social network world over
- Over 1.82 billion people log into Facebook daily, with the largest demographic being men aged between 25 and 34 years old (making up approximately 19% of the users)
- Facebook Analytics offers data visualisation, which makes it easy to interpret your ad performance
- The average Facebook click-through rate (CTR) is 0.9% while the industry average for other social networks is 0.35%
- India boasts the largest Facebook audience with over 320 million users
2. Twitter Ads
Twitter ads offer the best Pay Per Performance scheme. On Twitter, the app install ads are displayed as an App Card, which is either an image or a video.
An impressive characteristic of Twitter is that when a user clicks on the ad, the App Store opens “in-app”, rather than it being redirected. This makes it easier for the users to install apps without visiting the App Store, and at the same time, not being “interrupted” from using Twitter.
Twitter offers a remarkable keyword targeting technique. Using this method, you can display your ads to users who have used or interacted with a specific keyword in tweets in the past seven days.
- Twitter boasts an average of 353 million active users globally on a monthly basis, with 28.9% of them aged between 25 and 34 years.
- Adapt advertising to your business goals.
- Ads can go viral organically if they include clever writing or images. This is because Twitter users typically spend on average 26% more time viewing ads, in contrast to other platforms. Furthermore, it has been proven that Marketers on Twitter can easily reach 5.8% of the 13+ age population with ads.
- Lower average CPC of $0.38, compared to Facebook at $0.97. Additionally, the average Twitter CTR is in between 1-3% (an average of 2.21%) in contrast to Facebook’s that’s at 0.119%. However, generally speaking, click-through rates, engagement rates aren’t always standard – as you still need to carefully choose the best type of Twitter ad to get the most out of your campaign.
3. Snapchat Ads
If your app is made for millennials, then Snapchat Ads is the best place to gain installs. With a hyper-engaged crowd, Snapchat is a great platform to increase the social desirability of your brand.
The Snapchat Ads, known as “Snap Ads” runs up to 10 seconds, and are placed between users’ stories, which makes it easier for you to reach your target audience.
Interestingly, when a user “swipe-up” the Snapchat Ads, they don’t have to leave Snapchat to install your app. Instead, your app is accessed and installed from App Store or Play Store in the background. Furthermore, Snapchat enables marketers to easily take users to their website and app all on the platform. Thus, a swipe up easily becomes a click-through.
- Interestingly, Snapchat’s engagement rate peaks at 80%. To give more context, the videos posted on Snapchat typically reach 18 billion daily views.
- Probably the best place to currently target millennial audiences, as 55% of millennials typically have an ad recall after watching 0-2 secs of a Snapchat ad.
- Users engage with Snap ads for an average of 30 seconds.
- Best way to informally and indirectly increase brand awareness.
Leadbolt is a prominent mobile advertising company for delivering high-performance advertisements. It has a network of over 65,000 leading apps, spread across 165 countries.
Leadbolt uses machine learning and automated campaign optimizations to give you the ROI you expect. They also offer contextual advertising (serving ads based on the search context of users). You can choose the apps on which you want your app install ads to run, and in the format you wish.
- Offers playable ads – users can interact with your ad.
- Advanced geographic and demographic targeting. Essentially, Leadbolt delivers over 10 billion ads a month across four campaign types, namely: CPC, CPM, CPI, CPV.
- Several ad formats to choose from such as playable ads, interstitial ads, video ads and native ads.
MobAir makes user acquisition easier and faster. Also, the platform offers powerful tools for monetization of your apps. MobAir provides a full range of ad placement formats, and that too, without affecting the user experience. It also lets you target users based on age, gender, geographics and even interests.
- Offers granular targeting – display ads to a refined crowd with metrics on language, income, marital status, zipcode-based location and more
- Post-install optimization for app events such as add to cart, add payment info or product purchase
- Uses predictive analytics to know whether a user will uninstall an app (churn), and can take proactive steps toward preventing that
6. TikTok Ads
Just like Snapchat ads, Tik Tok ads are the best way to target millennial audiences. With over 800 million active users worldwide, it is among the best app advertising platforms that ensure high engagement rates.
Tik Tok ads elegantly place your advertisements between contents, which makes it brilliantly efficient among mobile advertising platforms.
Another benefit of Tik Tok ads is the extensive localization it offers. You can market your app in different locations with multiple localized contents.
- Can use hashtag challenges to make your brand viral, for example, the fashion brand Guess used #inmydenim as a hashtag challenge, which was used to show how users wore their Guess jeans. To better demonstrate TikTok’s reach, brands are presently purchasing TikTok’s in-feed ads for $10 per impression, with a $6,000 minimum campaign stipend dictated.
- Easy to collaborate with Tik Tok influencers as TikTok boasts a 69% engagement rate. Testament to this is the fact that TikTok influencers with around 2.5 million followers typically charge approximately $800 per post.
- Use branded lenses (create 2D, 3D and AR) for increasing brand awareness. Furthermore, TikTok reportedly made over $78 Million in 2020 just from in-app purchases on the App Stores.
Google App Campaigns, also known as the Universal App Campaigns, is a mobile advertising platform exclusive for Android apps. This platform generates ads using the assets from your app’s page in the Play Store.
Google offers Cost Per Install (CPI) or Cost Per Action (CPA) for you to choose. Using this ad platform, you can publish on all Google ad networks including Search, YouTube, Play Store and other Google Display Networks. With a search engine market share of 91.98%, targeting your potential users through Google is highly profitable.
- Offers responsive search ads. Google will test different variations of text over time, and find the best performing one
- Uses machine learning algorithms for better targeting
- Shows ads based on the context of user search.
The Apple Search Ads (ASA) is an iOS app promotion platform offered by Apple. Also known as App Store Search Ads, these are sponsored ads that appear at the top of the search results of the App Store. The platform allows developers to drive traffic to their app product pages via search using two plans – Basic and Advanced.
The Basic plan is currently available only in the US market and has a monthly budget range of $5000 to $10,000 per app. This plan is ideal for developers having limited time to promote their apps. Developers can run ad campaigns with specific CPI and minimal management from their part.
On the other hand, with the Advanced plan, developers need to set up the target keywords, choose the audience they want to target, set the budget they wish to spend, along with their bids.
- Automatically generates ads with the creatives an app has on its App Store product page.
- It offers CPI and CPC campaigns.
- For the most part, Apple search ads are reported to maintain an impressive 50% average conversion rate for most downloads.
- Furthermore, the Average Tap-through Rate (TTR) on Apple Search Ads is said to be approximately 6.84%.
- Allows advertisers to target users who are existing users of their other apps.
Taptica uses a proprietary technology combining AI and machine learning to reach the right users at the right time. It has a reliable network of over 200 million mobile users spread across the globe. Taptica uses interactive videos for dynamic audience targeting. It also employs several quality assurance algorithms to ensure your ads are best placed.
- Offers auto-optimization for budgets and run rates
- Offers retargeting and re-engagement
- Offers dynamic supply segmentation which forecasts the most appropriate set of audience that can yield better results
AppLovin is an app marketing platform, best suited for game developers. It identifies the best targets with the help of data-driven insights, and measures results with ROI-based analytics.
If you are looking to increase the database of your game app, then AppLovin is one of the best app advertising platforms with a reach of 470 million mobile gamers. Along with app install ads, AppLovin also offers lightweight SDKs to get the full benefits of in-app advertising for your app.
Rumours are circulating that the mobile ad platform and game publisher intends to go public in 2021. However, what can be confirmed is that it recently acquired Adjust, a Berlin-based mobile advertising attribution company for a reported $1BN sum.
- Instant feedback mechanism for maximising investment (analyses user response to the ad and suggests where to bid more for better returns)
- Exploit algorithms to intelligently identify new users who are likely to download your product.
- Serves game app ads based on the genre interest of users
- In-depth analytics allow quick rectification of errors in ads. In practice, employ real-time data to make the right decisions to accomplish marketing goals by driving app engagements.
StartApp is a mobile advertising platform that uses programmatic campaigns to buy the right audience at the right price and serve your app install ads to them. It allows specific user targeting based on mobile OS, app interests, and even mobile carrier targeting.
StartApp uses insight-driven mobile technology to maximise revenue for developers, and minimise cost for ad publishers. The platform offers four ad formats to choose from – Small Banner, Large Banner, App Wall and Full Page.
- Uses data and machine learning for better results
- The company offers seven types of ads, namely: Interstitial,Splash, Playable, Video, 360 Ads, Virtual Reality, and MREC Banners.
- Offers self-service accounts to launch ad campaigns on your own
- Can deliver high eCPMs (effective cost per mille/effective cost per thousand impressions) and fill rates through intelligence-driven targeting and innovative ad units.
- Offers 360-degree app install ads (users can tilt their phones to view a 360-degree view of your ad)
Founded in 2011, Propeller Ads is one of the best ad networks with more than one billion daily advertising impressions around the world. It allows you to serve advertisements using formats such as push notifications, interstitial and native ads.
Propeller Ads also offers mobile SDKs that allow developers to monetize their applications. Currently, more than 150,000 premium publishers have registered with PropellerAds.
- Multiple campaign types, including CPM, CPA, and CPC
- Multiple targeting parameters such as operating system, mobile carrier, device type, and user activity
- It offers AI-enabled automated ad optimization
13. Unity Ads
Launched in 2014, Unity Ads is an ideal platform to advertise and monetize mobile game apps using in-game advertising. It is offered by Unity Technologies, the same company that offers a cross-platform mobile game development engine.
Unity Ads work for both Android and iOS and for multiple display formats. The platform also allows you to target gamers who are more likely to play the advertised game and there is even an Engagement Suite for developers to personalize the gaming experience. It enables publishers to easily integrate video ads into their games in order to maximize revenue while delivering a great user experience. Essentially, the company partners with publishers like SEGA, Halfbrick, and Next Games to monetize their user base with video ads.
- Integration of in-app purchases is easier with Unity.
- The company delivers the highest revenue per user of all the rewarded video ad networks.
- Developers have a variety of options to offer gamers, for example, additional life, currency, or score increases, in exchange for watching a video.
- It offers lifetime value optimization (in place of simple fill rates & eCPM values) and advanced app analytics.
- Along with common ad formats, this platform allows you to serve augmented reality ads.
Liftoff leverages the power of machine learning (ML) to find high-quality users who are more likely to install your application. Instead of click-through rates, Liftoff focuses more on real conversion metrics such as subscriptions, in-app purchases, and other revenue events.
As an acclaimed performance-based mobile app marketing and retargeting platform, Liftoff serves approximately one billion ad impressions, every day and has more than 8 years of experience as a mobile advertising company. To make sure each user who installs the app engages and retains Liftoff analyses their behaviour and serves the most appropriate app install ads.
- You can create user profiles by considering age, gender, most used apps, and more. You can also exploit data and insights to optimize in-app ad campaigns by identifying specific ad formats that will enable you to effectively drive conversions and engagement.
- Their campaigns are optimized for the post-install engagement phase.
- Its unbiased ML identifies the users who are more likely to engage with your app by considering various post-install events and KPIs.
Unlike other platforms discussed, Tapjoy has an innovative approach to drive app installs and engagement. For watching video ads, subscribing to some services, or downloading promoted apps, Tapjoy gives its users virtual monetary rewards.
- Choose from multiple ad formats such as offer wall, mobile interstitials, playable ads and more.
- Easy to integrate SDK for monetization.
- Offers a proprietary targeting technique to access quality mobile audiences around the world.
On the other hand, if you’re curious to know how much do apps make from ads and other monetization strategies, check out our 2020 guide on how much do apps make.
Mobile Advertising Agencies
Mobile advertising agencies are a great touchpoint for you to get the full benefits of app advertising. You can talk with them about the requirements you have in mind, and they will help you choose the best strategies. If you are planning to expand your user base, or market your brand, mobile advertising agencies can help you.
Let’s look at some mobile advertising agencies out there. These agencies may or may not be providing services to your country of residence. So it is better if you search for the best agencies in your country, and compare it with the qualities discussed below in order to choose the right one.
Headquartered in London, The Specialist Works (TWS) is a mobile advertising agency that can improve your app advertising approaches significantly. Their marketing strategies will make sure your app gains a higher number of installs and better engagement rates. They also offer app store optimizations for better ranking of your app.
Edge226 is a mobile-first performance solutions agency, founded in 2006. They provide user acquisition strategies with the help of AI-powered advertising. They have adept expertise in using social media platforms to drive app installs. They also have access to around 80% of in-app advertising inventory in the world.
The Agency also delivers a fully transparent proprietary DSP and supplementary performance media buying solutions to help clients accomplish their desired user acquisition and re-engagement goals.
yellowHEAD is a performance marketing agency that houses brilliant marketing specialists. They offer data-driven user acquisition campaigns on search, display and social media platforms. yellowHEAD strategises brand building to increase user acquisition and engagement.
The AI-driven performance marketing company also received a highly coveted Facebook Marketing Partner (FMP) badge for Creative to boost its credentials. Despite already being a Facebook Marketing Partner in the Campaign Management category, yellowHEAD received the second badge due to its revered in-house creative expertise and proprietary creative optimization technology. Essentially, FMPs are typically carefully vetted by Facebook to ensure they provide expert guidance and measurable outcomes for advertising partners.
Bamboo is one of the top app advertising agencies with clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. They deliver end-to-end media strategy, campaign management and mobile advertising channels to grow brands and engage more customers.
Fetch is a mobile app advertising agency that kicked off in 2009. They deliver solutions to help you reach your potential users without any hassle. Their team specialises in mobile media planning and buying, app promotions and mobile marketing strategies.
Demand Side Platforms (DSPs)
Demand Side Platforms are software used by advertisers and ad agencies to buy mobile, search or video ad inventories from a marketplace. The advertisers can access and choose from the listed advertising inventory made available by publishers.
Principally, DSPs enable the flexible management of advertising across multiple real-time bidding networks, in contrast to just one, like Google Ads. For example, DSPs are embedded into multiple ad exchanges to facilitate and allow advertisers to automatically buy mobile ads on apps. This automated bidding process is called a real-time bidding (RTB). Essentially, ad placements are automatically auctioned off within microseconds every hour.
Since DSPs allow advertisers to purchase advertising high quality traffic at scale, with the help of automation, and with minimal friction, DSPs have become a powerful marketing automation tool. As we shall see later, when effectively combined with Supply-Side platforms, DSPs allow for a high level of programmatic advertising.
In practice, DSPs help advertisers to easily manage different programmatic purchase and auction activities like preferred deals, programmatic guaranteed, or private marketplace. They also offer different types of advertising, for instance, native ads and mobile or cross-device promotions targeting broader audiences.
Have a look at the components and advanced features of DSPs:
DSPs integrate with Supply Side Platforms (SSPs will be discussed later) and Ad Servers to present ad inventory to the buyers. The SSPs offer various options to reach an audience in the form of available ad inventories. The DSPs determine the best purchase to reach the intended audience at the best price.
Bidder is a crucial component of every DSPs. It is responsible for placing bids on advertising inventory, that is, the advertising spaces provided by the publishers.
Ad servers store the ad creatives and are responsible for displaying them to the users. Ad servers offer retargeting, optimizations and the records of all media purchases.
Campaign Tracker and Reporting Databases
This component records data regarding the performance of campaigns, including impressions, clicks, and amount spent. This data is then passed to the reporting databases.
User Profile Data
This database stores and processes the data about users, such as the type of content they access online, their interests, and what they view and click. This data is an essential part of campaign optimization.
The retargeting capabilities of DSPs enable advertisers to effectively resume campaigns and target different audiences without starting from scratch.
DSPs enable advanced audience segmentation for advertisers to easily choose whom to target leveraging multiple types of criteria (such as demographics or technology platforms used, etc.)
It is the dashboard used by mobile app advertisers or agencies to create, manage and optimize ad campaigns.
The omnichannel capabilities of DSPs offer an opportunity for media companies and advertisers. Essentially, this feature gives advertisers more options than ever to target their preferred audiences. However, at times, it also makes it more difficult to find the right audience segments to promote content to. This can become tricky as advertisers cannot afford to simply invest in all available channels, and should always focus on the most effective and efficient.
Let’s take a look at some of the best DSPs and their benefits.
AdColony is a great platform that helps mobile app advertisers to reach specific audiences on a global scale. It was acquired by Opera in 2016 and has a reach of more than 1.5 billion users. The platform allows both advertisers and publishers to market their brands and monetize their apps, respectively.
AdColony offers futuristic video ads using Instant-Play™ HD Video, which is buffer-free and offers impressive user experience. Also, using their Dynamic End Cards, you can serve interactive ads to users.
- Easy integration with bidding solutions from Google, MoPub and Fyber
- Aurora™ Playables – interactive ads for better engagement rates
- Optimized mobile inventory for maximum supply and demand
Appnext is a discovery platform that allows mobile app advertisers to display their app install ads as app recommendations to users. Appnext collaborates with leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) including Samsung and Xiaomi to display app ads as suggestions on their devices. The apps are recommended to users, depending on their interests and online behaviour.
Appnext powers over one billion app suggestions per day. To ensure high engagement rates, Appnext continuously re-engages users with app recommendations on an average of 20 times per day. It offers advertisers with a 360-degree view over creatives, performance and targeting of ad campaigns.
- Offers ads based on carousel widgets
- The Appnext discovery platform can serve daily app recommendations to users
- Self-serve platform for full control over the ad campaigns
MediaMath is a digital marketing company that first introduced DSP solutions to the market in 2007. It aligns its services specifically to the interest of the mobile app advertisers and guarantees high ROI.
MediaMath omnichannel DSP enables mobile app advertisers to manage ad campaigns across mobile, display and social media platforms. The omnichannel campaign management allows advertisers to access execution, creative control, targeting and reporting – all in one place.
- Offers intelligent ad sequencing for better results
- Easily mix multiple media and marketing strategies within the platform
- Connect with the audiences the right way with multicultural marketing
Bidease is a DSP that offers risk-free programmatic performance advertising with transparency and also protects marketers from advertising fraud. This platform uses a combination of its proprietary programmatic advertising technology, first-party data, and machine learning to optimize its campaigns.
Bidease offers global inventory access with all major mobile ad formats. It is a transparent DSP that provides full insights into your campaign spending. They also employ the best pre-bid anti-fraud technologies to ensure your campaigns are protected.
- Access a team of mobile ad creative experts for free
- Dynamic optimization of ads for better engagement rates
- One million unique user profiles to segment and target
Smadex is a mobile DSP primed for app marketing campaigns. It has a 100% transparent media buying process with offices in 18 countries, around the world. Smadex uses a combination of their proprietary programmatic advertising technology, machine learning (ML) and, first-party data to help marketers achieve their growth goals.
- World-renowned ad tech integrations
- Useful for app user acquisition, re-engagement, and enhancing brand awareness
- Compare multiple campaign dimensions on a single screen
SmartyAds is a full-stack programmatic ad platform, equally suitable for both advertisers and developers looking for advertising and monetizing their apps respectively. Using this platform, you can run geomarketing push campaigns with more than 30 targeting options.
- It offers a flexible CPM advertising model
- It has in-app traffic from more than 1000 top-rated apps
- Supports integration of third-party impression analytics tags and APIs.
Mobile Ad servers and Supply Side Platforms (SSPs)
The mobile ad server is a technology used by mobile app advertisers, publishers, agencies and ad networks to manage and run advertising campaigns. It is a software, hosted on a server, that manages when, where and how the ads are displayed.
These servers provide advertisers with essential data on ads’ performance, such as impressions, clicks and CTR ratio. Publishers can use ad servers to make money using their advertising inventory.
With mobile ad servers, advertisers can:
- Target based on specifications of a mobile, such as model, OS and mobile carrier
- Upload ad creatives to be displayed
- Control over budgets and bids
- Get real-time performance reports
Now, a little about SSPs.
As DSPs help mobile app advertisers to buy and manage ad inventory, supply-side platforms (SSPs) allow publishers to manage, sell and optimize their inventory on a global scale. With SSPs, publishers no longer have to seek advertisers.
As a variation of advertising technology (AdTech), SSPs are exploited in an automated and efficient way by publishers to show display, video and native ads to users, or to monetize websites and apps. Furthermore, SSPs can be employed in combination with publisher ad servers—as a single product or two separate integrated products.
Over time, SSPs functionalities have expanded to currently incorporate ad-exchange mechanisms that enable publishers to connect to DSPs directly(as hinted earlier.) With a vital role in RTB (real-time bidding) transactional process, SSPs essentially connect to ad exchanges, ad networks, data-management platforms (DMPs) and DSPs to sell ad inventory on behalf of publishers such as websites and app owners.
Let’s look at the components and notable features of SSPs.
- Integration into DSPs and Ad Servers for selling ad inventory.
- Ad Exchange orchestrates the selling and buying of ads between publishers and advertisers.
- Trackers collect data about the audience and publisher’s inventory.
- Reporting Database receives data from trackers and generates reports for publishers.
- User Interface for publishers to manage inventory, view reports, and access other features of SSPs.
- Analytics and Reporting give publishers information about the performance of their inventory.
- Header Bidding allows publishers to offer ad spaces to multiple SSPs or Ad Exchanges simultaneously.
- Yield Optimization increases revenue for publishers by setting floor prices, improving rates and managing auction mechanisms.
- Inventory and Campaign Management allows publishers to manage different types of ad inventory and enable or disable different kinds of ads.
Take a look at some of the best Ad Servers and SSPs in the industry.
Google Ad Manager is an Ad Exchange platform that facilitates both buying and selling of ad inventory. The platform allows transactions from multiple ad networks, and in different locations too. It has a free version, which is suitable for small to medium-sized businesses. Its paid version, known as the Google Ad Manager 360, has several advanced features, such as detailed audience targeting and auto-suggested ad units.
- Offers responsive search ads, which uses machine learning to test different combination of ads over time with multiple headlines or descriptions, and create the most compelling ads
- Provides more than 30 control options for protecting customers against harmful or inappropriate ads
- Easy-to-use and integrated platform
Mintegral is an AI-driven ad platform that provides mobile user acquisition and monetization solutions. It has over twenty global ad exchanges with more than 83 billion daily requests. It uses an AI-driven technology which allows publishers to gain the highest revenue for their inventory.
- Cross-regional mobile marketing for better engagement rates
- Lightweight SDK for publishers
- Offers splash ads which are full-page interstitial ads displayed immediately when an application is launched
Smaato is a publisher platform that offers a free ad server with private marketplace options and ad network mediation. It uses Dynamic Demand Technology to increase inventory demands and offers easy integration of publisher-owned ad networks.
- Provides more than 450 demand partners with billions of impressions
- Smaato Publisher Platform is easy and fast to integrate
- Can whitelist or blacklist specific apps for ad campaigns
OpenX is a cloud-based advertising server that allows mobile app advertisers to bid on impressions real-time, which boosts the value for each impression. It offers the OpenX Ad Exchange, which makes it easier for publishers to take full control of ads displayed using their inventory.
OpenX became the first major exchange to move its operations entirely into the Google Cloud in 2019. This move allowed the company to become truly serverless, and augment its ability to aggregate, curate and value consumer interest in real time to ensure marketers reach the eact audience they desire.
- OpenX Bidder offers highest yielding bids to publishers
- More than 300 billion bids placed per month
- Publishers can directly integrate it with OpenX APIs
Fyber provides several platforms to make the interaction between mobile app advertisers and publishers smooth. The Fyber FairBid is a mediation platform that allows publishers to monetize their apps with several auction systems. Fyber Open Mediation will enable publishers to work directly with ad network partners.
- Offers more than 180 DSPs
- Its lightweight SDK is easy to integrate
- Offers real-time bidding (RTB) for higher impression rates
Mobile Ad Analytics and Attribution
Mobile Ad Analytics is used to analyse and understand the effectiveness of an ad campaign. It is performed by capturing data from the mobile app or website visitors and identifying unique users, tracking their journey, and recording their online behaviour.
Analytics is crucial for mobile app advertisers in order to understand the overall user experience of mobile ad campaigns. With this data, campaign targets can be even more refined. With analytics, you can see:
- What draws visitors to a mobile app
- The average time a visitor spends
- Features interacted by visitors
- Where visitors encounter a problem if any
- What factors lead to a purchase
- What factors lead to long-term retention
Mobile Attribution is the tracking of user conversion into customers. It is crucial in measuring the effectiveness of advertising and marketing. The data from mobile attribution tends to bridge the “gap” between in-app advertising, the factors leading to app installs and users taking significant actions on an app.
Without attribution, app advertisers will find it difficult to measure the effectiveness of one campaign to another. Mobile attribution can see which ads worked, and which didn’t. It can also identify advertisements that lead to the highest number of valuable customers.
Now, let’s look at some of the best platforms for Mobile Ad Analytics and Attribution.
Leanplum is a mobile analytics company that offers a comprehensive platform for better engagement. Its Campaign Composer brings push-notifications, email marketing, and in-app messaging under one roof. For every ad campaign, it measures the conversion rate, purchases, and user session time.
- Segmentation options allow you to group users together based on criteria such as device, location and behaviour.
- Offers Control Groups to analyse the effectiveness of a campaign quickly
- Provides in-built tools for A/B testing
Tenjin is a mobile attribution and analytics company that provides an infrastructure to mobile app advertisers for user acquisition. Tenjin’s marketing dashboard offers aggregated data on attribution and performance for multiple ad campaigns.
- Monitor ad revenue and ad lifetime value (LTV) in one place
- Generate click or impression links to measure installs from custom channels
- An innovative dashboard that places retention, revenue and ROI of all ad campaigns for better analysis
Branch is a mobile marketing platform that offers attribution and deep linking. It is easy to integrate into your marketing strategies and data stacks. Branch offers data segmentation by device, channel, platform and campaigns. It also provides People-Based Attribution, which allows mobile app advertisers to use a single tracking system for all apps.
- Offers Deferred Deep Links, which can route users to contents of a link, even if the app which holds it is not installed
- Offers cohort analysis, which breaks user data into groups with common characteristics, for analysing and improving campaign performance over time
- Cross-platform Persona IDs for identifying users across the web and app
Singular is a marketing platform that offers three products – Automation, Intelligent Insights and Unified Marketing Data. Intelligent Insights is an analytical product that presents creative insights visualisation and custom or event metrics for campaign analysis. It also offers view-through attribution to understand the impact of ad campaigns on users.
- Incorporates image recognition technology to auto-group ad assets
- Can be used to identify the in-app behaviour of users
- Offers a built-in email notification system for alerts if the uninstall levels exceed the norm
5. App Annie
App Annie is an app analytics company that offers advertising analytics solutions for mobile app advertisers. It helps in determining which part of the marketing budget brings in the highest return of investment (ROI) and vice versa. It also offers monitoring of CTRs by ad platforms, campaigns or demographics.
- Can easily track market shares across downloads, usage and engagement rates
- Recognises competitive threats by analysing the performance trends in an app category
- It can be accessed through the web, mobile app or API
Mobile Marketing Automation (MMA)
Mobile marketing automation makes it easier to communicate with your customers across different channels, such as SMS, in-app messaging and push notifications. Marketing automation lets you segment contacts of your users into groups and control the messages sent.
Essentially, we can say that Mobile marketing Automation shares distinct attributes with traditional marketing automation. However, the difference is that it is specifically focused on mobile media.
Unfortunately, majority of the existing conventional marketing automation platforms are engineered to aggregate and segment customer data within normal channels except mobile. They are not tailored to track and automate mobile-only functions, for example push notifications, wearable tech, in-app messaging, email marketing, personalization, user flow management, A/B testing, localization and app performance.
Let’s take a glimpse at the features of MMA.
- Send SMS or MMS based on templates
- View reports on users’ interactions with the message
- Design and send different messages to specific user groups
- Create and send push notifications
- Send location-based messages
Here’s a list of some notable MMA platforms.
Salesforce is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software used to improve the interactions with your customers. It helps in the effective management of sales leads, marketing, and delivers actionable insights. The platform uses AI, which requires no coding, to analyse and predict outcomes from data.
An industry-leader, Salesforce essentially controls over 19% of the worldwide market share for CRM software. This comes as no surprise as it was one of the first enterprise tech vendors to deliver a robust stand-alone CRM suite; packed with advanced features like: contact management, workflow creation, opportunity tracking, collaboration tools, customer engagement tools, analytics and an intuitive, task management, and mobile-ready dashboard.
- A better social experience by integrating with marketing, sales and service
- Personalise marketing strategies targeting each customer using AI
- Allows easy creation of interactive data visualisations
WebEngage is a customer engagement platform that helps in crafting personalised campaigns. It engages customers through various channels, such as push notifications, in-app messages, SMS, Whatsapp and emails. With the help of real-time data and its recommendation engine, you can create hyper-personalised campaigns.
- Offers visual workflow to create cross-channel campaigns
- Create highly targeted strategies through user segmentation
- Offers targeted surveys to know your customers better
Swrve is a customer engagement and MMA platform used by marketers and app advertisers. You can set segmentation criteria in this platform, which will re-segment continually based on each user’s actions. Using Swrve, you can serve in-app messages on TV apps running on Apple TV, Roku, Android TV and Amazon Fire.
- Built-in tools for A/B testing the creativity of a campaign
- Offers dynamic imports of customer data for personalised messages
- Churn prediction using AI
Airship is a customer engagement platform that allows mobile app advertisers to acquire, retain, and grow their user base. The platform simplifies retargeting campaigns and automated message deliveries through smart orchestrations.
- Predictive AI suggests the best time to send a message to a user
- Seamlessly integrate any channel into Airship for centralised management
- Offers real-time data to understand customer behaviour better
Braze is a platform used to engage customers. It provides multiple solutions for marketing automation. With Braze, you can create cross-channel ad campaigns, send personalised messages, and stream ad engagement rates to numerous partners.
- Offers smart messaging based on predictive analytics of user history
- Share real-time ad engagement data
- You can connect Braze with your data stacks
Mobile Advertising Formats
The ad format decides how an ad will look like in the publisher’s ad space. The advertisers must make sure they choose the publishers and ad formats that are relevant to their products or services. Here are the different types of app ad formats you can incorporate into an app.
1. Banner Ads
Banner ads are considered the earliest form of in-app advertising and have minimal intrusion to the user experience of an app by consuming the least screen space.
2. Interstitial Ads
Interstitial ads consume the entire screen of the publisher’s app and are mostly interactive in nature. As they are placed between app content, they pose minimal intrusion to the app’s user experience.
3. Native Ads
Native ads align with the look and feel of an app and have the highest engagement rates. For example, on social networking platforms like Facebook and Instagram, native ads will look similar to the organic posts and will never appear out of place. Since they blend in so well with the content of an app, users are less likely to think of it as promotions.
4. Video Ads
Video ads are generally an introduction to products or services, followed by a call to action (CTA). These ads can range from anywhere between 5 to 30 seconds and guarantee higher engagement rates.
5. Rewarded Video Ads
With rewarded video ads, users get an incentive for watching each ad. Also known as incentivized advertising, this type of ad is prominently displayed in mobile games, allowing the users to revive their game character or gain in-app goods.
To know more about in-app advertising and how you can generate revenue from it, read our detailed guide on app monetization strategies.
Mobile Advertising Targeting Parameters
Here are some of the targeting parameters you can set while serving mobile ads.
This type of targeting enables mobile app advertisers to serve ads to only those individuals who own a particular smartphone or tablet model.
2. Operating System
This kind of targeting will allow you to deliver in-app advertisements to devices running specific operating systems (OS), for example, Android and iOS.
This type allows you to serve mobile app ads within specific geographical locations. The locations can be based on parameters such as ZIP code, city, or country.
This type allows you to target specific audiences based on parameters such as age, gender, income status, and education.
This is an advanced form of in-app advertising offered by top ad networks like Google and Facebook that serves ads based on the detailed user profiles they have collected over a great deal of time (probably years).
6. Mobile Operator
This kind of targeting allows you to serve in-app advertisements based on the mobile operator opted by the users, for example, Verizon, AT&T, Vodafone, and T-Mobile.
Mobile App Advertising Trading Models
There are three ways you can launch and manage ad campaigns on advertising networks.
1. Self-Managed or Self-Service
In this model, you’ll be presented with an online dashboard to run advertising campaigns on your own. Snapchat Ad Manager and Appnext are examples of a self-serve advertising platform.
2. Managed Service
In this model, the app advertising company will offer you the assistance of ad managers to run ad campaigns on your behalf.
In this model, digital advertising space is bought and sold using automated technology and algorithms.
Mobile Advertising Tracking
Just like analytics is critical for an app’s success, tracking ad campaigns is crucial for optimization and understanding which strategies work the best. Here are some of the tracking support offered by the majority of mobile advertising companies.
1. Third-Party Integration
This kind of tracking support is the most common type and is offered by ad networks in the form of ad tracking SDKs.
2. Tracking Pixel
It’s a simple programming code that contains an image of 1X1 pixel size which is placed on the website(s) where the advertisement needs to be tracked.
As an HTML code snippet loaded when a user visits a website or opens an email, tracking pixels are largely beneficial for tracking user behavior and conversions as advertisers can easily extract data to use for online marketing, web analysis or email marketing. In practice, with the right analytical tools, this data can be employed for different marketing purposes, such as retargeting.
This type of tracking support allows publishers and advertisers to track conversion without cookies. The instance of conversion is determined by a post-back URL.
Mobile Advertising IDs
Mobile advertising IDs allow mobile app developers to identify who are using their applications. The three dominant players in the industry are,
IDFA are offered by Apple to its iOS developers to efficiently serve ads and deliver targeted advertising by analytical tracking of user data. However, with the release of iOS14, collecting this ID will be on an opt-in basis – meaning, developers have to explicitly ask their users for permission to track data.
It is worth mentioning that IDFA does not provide access to any personal user information, but rather, pertinent data for advertisers to target iOS users.
It is the mobile advertising ID offered by Google to serve ads inside Android apps.
This allows developers to collect app user information using the Facebook SDK.
Best Practices for Successful App Advertising
1. Understand Your Audience
For a mobile advertising campaign to be successful, advertisers need to be precise about who their audiences are. Dig deeper into their demographics and target only users who align with your app’s nature. Similarly, publishers must make sure the ads they display closely resemble the interests of their users.
2. Create High-Quality, Appealing Content
An advertisement’s content is what makes it spammy or informational. Make sure it highlights key features and convincingly depicts how the product you are advertising adds value to a user’s lives.
3. Perform branding
Many of the app install ads that you run may not fetch users right away. For example, if you advertise a food delivery app, users may not install it as soon as they see the ad. But once the need arises for them to order food, they will consider installing an app for it. If you have marked your brand in app campaigns, users are more likely to remember and install them.
4. Choose Rewarded Ads for High-Quality Conversions
While displaying rewarded ads, users have a choice to view them or not. As a result, their viewability rates are higher as compared to other types of ads.
5. Use Gaming Apps to Reach Users of All Ages
As people of all ages play games for relieving stress and socialising, it is one of the most effective mediums to choose from if your in-app ads target multiple age groups.
6. Check Where Your Ads Are Published
Most parents share their devices with their children. This means if you are targeting ads based on a user’s age, you will most probably be displaying advertisements focused on parents but their children will be viewing them too.
This will be a waste of time and resources as kids will have the least interest in the products you advertise, nor the means to purchase them. While choosing publishers, make sure you exclude apps that have kids as their primary audience.
1. A/B Test Your Ad Campaigns
A/B testing is crucial for ad campaign success as what works for one group of audience may not work for the rest. Make sure you run multiple variants of an ad and analyse the performance of each and optimize accordingly.
2. Leverage Audio for Video Ads
Having intriguing audio adds a whole new level of meaning to your ads. Make sure they grab the attention of the users and can fascinate them to take action.
3. Refresh Your Content
Ad fatigue is a common phenomenon that happens when you run frequent ad campaigns to the same set of audiences. By displaying ads with the same creatives and content, the conversion rates will decrease as users will fail to notice them. Try refreshing your content every week for better engagement rates.
The various mobile advertising companies we have composed in this article presents some of the best players in the industry. Before you choose a platform to advertise or monetize your app, ensure you have a precise idea of your target audience and ad formats you wish to run.
Your target audience may be in a specific geographical location. If so, the platform must be able to reach them as well. Moreover, you must make sure the platform you choose has reliable analytics to measure each ad campaign.