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
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. The most popular models are:
- 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.
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 platforms to use advertising for 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.
- 2.45 billion active monthly users to target
- Facebook Analytics offers data visualisation, which makes it easy to interpret your ad performance
- Higher average CTR of 0.9% while the industry average is 0.35%
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.
- Adapt advertising to your business goals
- Ads can go viral organically if it includes clever writing or images
- Lower average CPC of $0.38, compared to Facebook at $0.97
3. Snapchat Ads
If your app is made for millennials, then Snapchat 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” your ad, 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.
- Best place to target millennial audience
- 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 high-performance advertising. 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
- Several ad formats to choose from such as playable 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.
- Easy to collaborate with Tik Tok influencers
- Use branded lenses (create 2D, 3D and AR) for increasing brand awareness
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. 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.
- 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.
- Instant feedback mechanism for maximising investment (analyses user response to the ad and suggests where to bid more for better returns)
- Serves game app ads based on the genre interest of users
- In-depth analytics allow quick rectification of errors in ads
StartApp 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
- Offers self-service accounts to launch ad campaigns on your own
- Offers 360-degree app install ads (users can tilt their phones to view a 360-degree view of your ad)
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.
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.
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.
Have a look at the components 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.
It is the dashboard used by mobile app advertisers or agencies to create, manage and optimize ad campaigns.
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 through its transparency and protecting advertisers from 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
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. 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 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 life-time 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.
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.
- 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
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.