What we’ve learned from the thousands of Android developers that we’ve helped is that there is always a way to increase a developer’s revenue. Improvements to their mobile monetization strategy might be as complicated as A/B testing ad formats and encouraging advertisers to propose direct deals. But optimization can also be as simple as avoiding these five basic mobile monetization mistakes.
Don’t mistake “eCPM” for earnings
Developers will often mistake eCPMs as a measure of a publisher’s potential earnings, but eCPMs are really just a standard of measurement that assess the quality of how well an advertiser’s ad is performing in their app. While it’s easy to say that developers like yourself should fill your inventory with ads from high eCPM advertisers, the number of impressions that you allocate to advertisers and your app’s fill rate will both affect your earnings. A word of advice: analyzing eCPMs alone can misrepresent how well your app is monetizing. For instance, an advertiser with a $2.00 eCPM can generate less revenue for you than a $1.00 eCPM advertiser if the $1.00 eCPM advertiser is comparably receiving more traffic.
Interstitial ads are better than you give them credit for
The interstitial ad might “pop up” at strategic times and fill up a mobile phone’s screen, but it’s undeniably one of the most effective ad formats on the market. If monetization is your priority, don’t take the interstitial ad format for granted. In fact, when we analyzed the earnings that publishers generated from both CPC and CPI advertisers, interstitials consistently out-earned app lists, panels, custom ads, and banners on AppFlood. However don’t get me wrong. Monetizing your app doesn’t end with downloading the SDK. As with deploying any ad format, you should be mindful of the ways that you can minimize in-app interruptions, whether this means showing the interstitial in between levels of a mobile game or right before the user closes the app.
Make sure you have a monetization game plan
You’d be surprised by the proportion of developers that don’t have a growth strategy for their apps. For instance, in an AppFlood survey of 1022 app developers, 20% of indie developers “took a chance” on an ad network without so much of a substantial reason. If you’ve been a part of the cutthroat world of mobile app publishing, “taking a chance” on an ad network and coming in without a game plan won’t help. You need to identify the monetization strategy that’s best for you and your app. This may include choosing a mobile ad network that works for you, learning how to measure user engagement, or even investing in a burst campaign. A burst campaign is a strategy developers will use to purchase quality users in a short window of time to sprint their way to the top of the app store charts and later monetize the resulting larger userbase.
Don’t give up too early
99.99% of app publishers aren’t going to become millionaires overnight. But after installing an ad network’s SDK, many developers tend to get the wrong impression about mobile app monetization. What they expect is a high return off the bat. On the other hand what they don’t expect is the realization that monetizing an app is a test of patience. Just because the earnings after the first week of testing out the ad network weren’t satisfactory and they didn’t see the improvement they were looking for, doesn’t mean that it’s in the developer’s best interest to jump to another network. What they’ve neglected is the reality that higher earnings won’t appear magically overnight. If developers want to boost revenue, these publishers need to employ strategies for optimizing earnings, whether that means testing different ad formats and its placement, or redistributing traffic.
Don’t be shy – ask your ad network for help
Finally, don’t forget that ad networks are a service-based business and are there to help you maximize your revenue. For many developers, strategizing a monetization plan can get tricky, but fortunately for the mobile ad networks like AppFlood, which have addressed concerns and aided thousands of app developers, advertising networks have plenty of experience troubleshooting or even guiding your mobile optimization strategy. This might mean someone from the ad network will work directly with you to allocate traffic to target demographics, or your mobile advertising network of choice might fulfill your request for a data analysis report of your app’s monetization performance.
Don’t be afraid to reach out.
About The Author
Richard O’Connell is the Global Marketing Director for PapayaMobile and AppFlood, a mobile advertising network of 5,500 developers delivering more than 1.3 billion impressions. He has six years of experience successfully marketing global digital and mobile brands in the Europe, Asia and the US. He now leads AppFlood’s global marketing efforts including strategy, branding, mobile marketing, digital, PR and community management with a team spanning the US, Europe, and China.