Noam Neumann is the manager of mobile media at Matomy Media Group
While you have a surplus of options to make a profitable business out of your game, in-app advertising should be a part of your monetization strategy.
Global mobile ad spend is forecasted to grow to $41.9 billion by 2017, according to Gartner.
If you are a mobile game developer, you would be remiss to not want to try to take a piece of that market share for two reasons.
One, there is demand from advertisers to reach your audience, no matter how seemingly niche it might be. Second, developers like Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter are making huge dollars off advertising. Why shouldn't you?
That said, there is a huge difference between selling ads and optimizing your product, inventory and processes so that you can make the most money off of your inventory without compromising the user experience.
Unless you are a mobile advertising expert, knowing where to start and how to optimize your ad business can be tricky.
Here are some insider tips to get started:
Optimize your demand partner
Depending on your geography, audience demographics, category and many other factors, certain partners will perform differently.
In order to maximize your revenue and have the highest fill rate possible, it's important to diversify your advertising partner portfolio based on their performance.
It's important to diversify your advertising partner portfolio based on their performance.
In order to best do this, you'll want to make sure you'll have a handle on your data. If you have more than one partner, you'll need to understand how you should allocate inventory to each so that you can make the most money.
As a rule, you should always allocate more inventory to the demand partner who can provide you with a higher eCPM beyond a certain fillrate threshold (for example, 10%+).
Combine this strategy with backfill partners who can provide you 100% fill rate for what goes unsold. Analyze not only fill but also eCPM; a partner might provide you 100% fill rate, however their eCPM may not be competitive in the market.
Take advantage of high-earning ad units
Native? Interstitials? Video? Don't let these fancy ad format descriptions intimidate you. As mobile continues to evolve, so does the creative and technical capabilities in-app advertising can offer.
More importantly, as consumers continue to embrace and demand technology that makes their lives more enriching and efficient, advertisers need to adapt to these behaviors and provide more sophisticated and seamless mobile ad campaigns.
Although banner ads typically represent a significant amount of in-app advertising demand, rich media units garner 3-5x higher eCPMs.
Native advertising, which is more engaging and less intrusive than banner ads, has started to make mobile inroads. While ad spend on mobile native remains relatively small, overall native spend was projected to rise 46.7%, to $3.2 billion, in 2014, according to eMarketer.
Do this without compromising your UX
You don't have to comprise a great user experience for the sake of an ad. Instead, you can have both.
- Timing - Serving a full-screen ad at the end of a level or the end of game play is a natural progression for the user and receives higher engagement rates.
- Placement - Command attention without being intrusive; don't overcrowd your real estate. During the ad set-up process, make sure you clearly identify what type of ad unit you are requesting based on the placement so an advertiser knows what they are getting.
You can find out more from the following whitepaper entitled '5 Tips to Monetize Your In-App Inventory'.