How to Balance Ad Monetization & User Experience

Yossi Tarablus
Marketing Director
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If you’re an app developer, you know that ads offer great revenue potential for your app. How great? Let’s just say the mobile app forecast for publishers is raining billions: $189 billion by 2020, with $117 billion expected from in-app advertising alone. In fact, we recently surveyed over 1,000 app developers and discovered that a whopping 84% monetize their apps through ads – with 61% claiming these ads bring in the most money. But as always, with great potential (and power) comes great responsibility.

As an app developer, you’re responsible for ensuring that your users have a fantastic experience on your app, even while viewing ads. It’s a balancing act, and here’s the key to keeping both your bottom line and users happy.

The key to balance is quality

Showing ads without any filters, anywhere on your app disregards the user experience, and in the long run hurts your revenue. Think of ad quality as a weight in the delicate balance between user experience and ad monetization. Ad quality automation tools help you filter out the wrong types of ads for your users – specific ads and categories – as opposed to cutting the entire demand source. In other words, you don’t have to throw away an entire box of fruit because of one bad apple. Ad companies like GeoEdge provide tools that let you control what you serve and where you serve.

Optimize ads like you optimize IAP

In-app advertising should be treated not as an add-on, but as game mechanics. In a recent report, mobile game analytics company, DeltaDNA, discovered that a poorly integrated ad experience can be as damaging for a game as a poor on-boarding experience. To resolve the issue, it should be tested and optimized just like other game mechanics, including its positioning on the screen, its design, and availability within the game.

Use data to achieve balance

The mobile advertising market is evolving and publishers today are crucial to its evolution. Nowadays, data and technology, combined with stricter supply and demand compliance, are becoming the standard. Mobile publishers have sophisticated data tools to control both ad quality and the audiences their demand sources can acquire.

Creating your data plan

Having only data and not having a plan and measurable goals is like driving a car without directions, so use your data and move it out of the silo. Once you know your audience, leverage that into tailored deals for buyers. For example, if you know you have a large section of your app – men aged 25-34 who are actively using your app on the weekends or on the morning commute – you can better sell this data to the right advertiser at a premium cost.

Don’t sell your inventory, offer your audience

Offering audiences on top of selling your inventory on open RTB will not only improve user experience and the relevancy of the ads, it can also increase revenue. This is where the market is headed and this is how to make your app more appealing to advertisers.

Source: eMarketer

So, what’s the secret?

To achieve true and sustainable balance, the secret is to use your data, manage your inventory well, and utilize the ad verification tools on the market. If you work with multiple ad providers, choose the SSP that has an internal DMP or uses 3rd party DMPs – to empower your data. Make sure that they create deals for you as well as allow you to conduct and manage your direct deals, and of course don’t forget to use the latest ad quality tools.


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