Increase your mobile app revenues using new mobile ad formats with Leadbolt

James Cooper | July 17, 2012


mobile ad networks
This post is brought to you by Leadbolt – the Leading Mobile Ad Network as part of the Leadbolt Mobile Advertising Insights series 
It’s no secret that many mobile app publishers often feel powerless in the face of low CTRs. Most ad networks simply fail to offer enough options when it comes to ad formats, giving publishers little room to tweak and optimise their advertising efforts in order to see what works and what doesn’t. Yes there’s plently of choice between ad networks, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll benefit from making the switch.

Due to the heavily resticted screen real-estate on mobile devices, even small differences between banner sizes and ad formats can impact on user engagement. For instance, there’s a world of difference between the 3.5 inch screen of an iPhone and the 4.5+ inches that’s common to the latest Android smartphones, or the whopping 10 inches of an iPad. Those extra inches may not only affect the intrusiveness of a display ad, they could also affect how the user engages with your app and therefore how they respond to different types of ads. There’s much debate over this, but it’s generally accepted that you need to think about screen size when deploying mobile ads.
Then you need to consider the monumental difference between the ad experience on a tablet compared to a smartphone. iPad pre-roll video ads have 2x the CTR as the same video ads on iPhone.
It’s all about choice
When it comes to increasing your ad revenue on mobile, the key elements are choice and experimentation. There’s so many different ad formats and many different graphic types, sizes and other variables, within each format. Finding the right combination can have a big effect on how much money you make. Like with ad tracking and targeting, this is an area of mobile advertising that’s still developing. There are no wrong or right answers when it comes to what ad formats you should use, it’s all about what works best for you and your app.
Leadbolt is one of the few ad networks that has really made an effort to give developers a wide variety of different banners and ad formats to choose from. From app takeover skins, to full page interstitials, and from simple banners to mobile video, Leadbolt’s approach really lets you experiment to find out what works best for you and your users. Below are some of the formats Leadbolt offers.

Leadbolt ad formats

Banner Ad (SDK, Non SDK)
Banner ads are the mainstays of online and mobile app advertising. They benefit from being small and discrete and – if done right – don’t block access to mobile app or website content. They also come in a variety of shapes, sizes and can suit almost any available space. Given their low-key nature they may not provide the best CTRs, but they do deliver much higher CTRs than regular online banner ads.
Capture Form (SDK)
Not a revenue generator in itself but data capture forms can be a great way to collect marketing data either for your own purposes, or to sell-on to others.

Interstitials (SDK, Non SDK)
An interstitial ad is an advertisement that appears on top of website content or an application’s user interface. It’s typically a full screen ad that can been timed to pop up either before the app loads, or at convienent points during use – such as in-between levels in a mobile game. Research has shown engagement rates can be 4x higher on full screen ads than on banner ads.
Advanced Overlay (SDK)
Advanced Overlays essentially lock-off parts of your app to the user. If the user then wants to access these areas they have to complete a predetermined action. This action can be as simple as completing a survey or downloading a new app. Advanced overlays may not work with all apps, but they’re a great way of incentivising engagement. If you have a mobile game then you should definitely consider using an advanced overlay.

Video Ad (SDK)
Video ads on mobile apps allow advertisers to place television-style ad on smart phones. Usually, video ads play while a smart phone owner is in the middle of using an app or in between levels in a game. Video ads on mobile have some great engagement rates compared to other mobile ad formats and online video. According to data from Rhythm New Media mobile video achieves 94% viewer retention compared to 81% for online video.
App Wall (SDK, Non SDK)
App walls are usually full page interstial ads that help users with app discovery for new free apps including access to new offers. With Leadbolt the user is in full control to select the apps and offers they like and they are not incentivised (as you may know incentivised app instals have come under fire, particularly from Apple). There is data that shows app walls can see CTRs of 7.5% on average (though this is from 2010, so take it with a pinch of salt).
Push Notifications (SDK)
Push notifications create text-based advertisements in the notification bar of a smart phone. Push ntofications can therefore reach smartphone users even when they’re not using your app. When a user touches the notification icon, it can launche a webpage linked to the ad. There’s lots of data that testify to the effectiveness of push notifications, with eCPMs for some publishers reach $100s of dollars. But beware, some users may find them intrusive.

App Icon (SDK, Android Only)
App icons essentially install themselves on a users smartphone home screen, giving the appearance of an app. They’re activated when a user purchases a mobile app or downloads an app for free. Then when the user touches the icon, it opens a webpage or application designed to help the user obtain the advertised product. Effective, but again – like with push notifications – some users could find this intrusive.
What works for you?

LeadBolt multivariant testing

As you can see Leadbolt offers lots of ways to mix and match your approach to in-app ads, whether you want to combine interstials with push notifications, or app walls with banners.
Not all strategies will work for all publishers. You have to think carefully about how people use your app and even what kind of demographic your app is popular with. Plus you need to consider about how you deploy different ad formats. The timing and placement of a full page interstitial ad can make all the difference to its effectiveness. Luckily Leadbolt also offers multivariate testing, allowing you to set-up alternate versions of text and ad graphics, and then testing all combinations simulaneously to asses the best ad settings. All of this flexibility and choice adds up, ultimately giving you the power to refine, tinker and optimise until you’re squeezing out every last bit of value.
For more information on how to increase your mobile ad revenues head on over to Leadbolt 
mobile ad networks
Leadbolt is the leading mobile ad network offering a range of innovative mobile ad solutions across a range of formats including intestitials, content locks, banners, offerwalls, in-message ads and overlays.  Leadbolt works throughout the user-lifecycle from opening the app, during usage and when the app is not running.  Developers enjoy high yields and benefit from automatic optimization to maximise possible revenues.  

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