September 22, 2017 Last Updated 10:41 am

Guest Column: Importance of In-App Advertising

Romano Toscano, co-founder and CTO at HOOPIO™, discusses in-app advertising, currently the fastest growing form of mobile advertising on the market

Today, mobile apps have the ability to change the way we communicate, travel, learn and get things done. With millions of applications at our fingertips, it’s harder than ever for businesses to navigate their way around the app world and target the right demographic through effective advertising.

In the era of “appvertising,” or in-app advertising, today’s machine learning technology allows for companies and their brands, big and small, to deliver uber-personalized experiences directly to consumers’ phones. Using interactive mobile ads, all advertising can aspire to the same level of engagement, putting the user in control and making them part of an entire experience.

According to App Annie, an app analytics research firm, a record-breaking 25 billion apps were downloaded from the iOS App Store and Google Play during the first quarter of 2017. In addition, consumer spending increased by 45% year-over-year reaching $15 billion in Q1. This trend is expected to keep increasing; the firm forecasts that by 2020 the gross revenue of all app stores worldwide will be $102.5 billion and the number of app downloads will be 288.4 billion. Interacting with brands through mobile devices by inviting the user to click the screen, or shake the phone, has become the norm, and positive experiences keeps consumers coming back to their favorite brands.

A good experience on a mobile platform indicates a direct correlation to more revenue for the brand. In April 2017, Google conducted a study with 2,000 smartphone users tracking 17,000 experiences and found that “[n]early 9 out of 10 smartphone owners who describe a mobile brand experience as helpful or relevant would purchase from the brand again.” and “46% of those smartphone users said that they would not purchase from a brand again if they had an interruptive experience.” Interruptions include taking too much time for the page to download, forcing the user to cycle through too many ads and each ad being too long — these things decrease user attention and satisfaction, and makes it easier for the user to lose interest.

Eliminating these interruptive experiences by implementing a simple app navigation, an effective search capability, targeted advertising and fast load time on the app are crucial to keep a user engaged, and can make all the difference when gaining or solidifying customer loyalty.Studies have shown that the more users are engaged, the more loyalty they will have to a brand. 90% of mobile users who have a positive experience would purchase from that brand again. Conversely, having a negative or even a neutral experience lower the rate of purchase.

Why is appvertising different?

U.S. consumers are spending more time than ever on their mobile phones. According to data released in March 2017 by Flurry Analytics, whose data is used by app developers to track user behavior:

  • We spend up to five hours per day on our mobile devices, which is a 20% increase compared to a year ago.
  • The time spent using browsers on our phones has declined; in those 35 hours each week, only 8% of our time is spent on browsers in favor of using apps.
  • 50% of our time is spent on social, messaging, media and entertainment apps, dominated by FYIS, or apps such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram sand Snapchat, as well as WhatsApp; in fact, YouTube said in February that one billion hours per day are spent watching its videos, which equals 100,000 years.

In January of 2017, Flurry also reported that overall mobile app usage has grown 11% over the last year and time spent in mobile apps has increased 69% year-over-year.

  • Most of this growth comes from time spent in social and messaging apps — in fact, this category grew a whopping 394% over the last year.
  • Social and messaging apps are following by business and finance, which increased by 43%;
  • Shopping, which increased by 31%; and
  • Sports, which went up 25%.
  • Games, interestingly, decreased 4%.

In-app advertising is currently the fastest growing form of mobile advertising on the market. This rising trend has created enormous benefits for companies such as higher click-through rates, better targeting and endless marketing opportunities. These advertisements are sure to not only be seen, but be seen by an audience who is much more likely to be interested in your brand.

Companies must make sure that they create advertisements that target the right audience on the right app to see a difference. HOOPIO™ is a soon-to-launch robust prediction platform providing information regarding which mobile app is trending to both businesses and consumers alike. Using the latest artificial intelligence, specifically machine learning, the app will enable businesses to focus their mobile marketing strategy by providing statistics on the most-used apps within a specific age, demographic and location.

Typical website advertising does not give the user control over whether the ad will be displayed or not, and the ad often interrupts the user’s experience. However, when a user downloads an app to their personal device, they are not affected by browser restrictions or ad blockers. Mobile devices do not use cookies, so the ability to track user data is missing without advertising within the app. In-app advertising is more effective because it allows advertisers to target the right people at the right time by encouraging engagement and putting the user in control.

Romano Toscano is co-founder and CTO at HOOPIO™

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