At TapSense, we work on monetization for some of the world’s most popular mobile apps, on both iOS and Android. We’ve seen a lot of different approaches and tested a lot of ideas. Based on our experience from the past three years, here are four ways we’re sure publishers can improve their monetization efforts.
Put great tools in place to manage direct sold campaigns
Making the sale to a customer is only half the battle. Developing satisfied customers who buy again is actually what’s important. But to do so requires having in place the right tools and technology to manage their campaign properly.
What does a typical customer expect? At a minimum, you should be able to pace the campaign properly and control exactly how much you spend per day. Pause the campaign exactly when the budget has been spent. Provide accurate and detailed reports on a daily basis. Frequency cap the campaign to ensure the ad only displays a specific number of times a day to a unique user. Ensure the ad creative displays properly and does not cut off, with only a portion of it showing. And you must be able to do all of this flawlessly.
The technology required to do this well is a big investment for most publishers to make. Rather than build it on your own, consider working with a third-party ad server that has all of these tools and more. If you do it right, your customers will love you for it.
Develop ad placements that have the highest value
Where you place the ad slot matters a lot. Premium ad slots placed on the startup screen, or native in-stream placements, are generally considered premium. Advertisers will pay significantly more for them. Also, placements with relevant context are slots that advertisers will pay a premium for. Examples include highly trafficked content areas, logout screens, or videos players.
Tiny banners hidden on a settings screen don’t have a lot of relevance for the user or the advertiser. These types of placements generally perform poorly. We recommend that publishers consider removing their lowest performing ad slots, which can drag down overall performance and reduce CPMs.
Collect data that is relevant to most advertisers
All publishers know that data for ad targeting is valuable, but not all targeting data is valuable. Focus on collecting data that you can use at scale across your user base. The simplest and most obvious example is demographic data, such as male/female demo information. It’s generally the most valuable because it’s actionable across a high number of users. When exploring other types of data, limit your efforts to datasets that you can deploy across at least five million users in a single region.
Building complex tools that collect users’ interests, track their behavior, and monitor keywords is very hard for most independent publishers to sell. The granularity of this data can make it challenging to target users significant scale.
Improve your understanding of what your advertisers want — and build that
Most publishers have a good process to do this when it comes to end users. Why not apply the same process to advertisers? Have the monetization team spend time with advertisers, evaluate their needs, and develop products that make it easier for them to accomplish their goals. Conduct interviews with top buyers. Understand agency and demand side platform needs. What data can top buyers use most effectively? What type of placements work best for them? Use this qualitative data, along with data pulled from your RTB platform to prioritize your product roadmap to maximize your app’s monetization potential.