What is in-app advertising? Definition, Tools, Tips

In-app marketing is a more cost-effective and targeted way to market to a mobile audience. But, it has a higher barrier of entry, and the advertising networks offer little insight into how your campaign is going.

You don’t want to miss out on this huge marketing opportunity, but you need expert guidance before you get started.

Great news! You can get professional help from top marketers that will walk you through everything from the basics to advanced techniques. These tips and tricks help you to create a successful in-app ads campaign.

What is in-app advertising?

What is in-app advertising?
What is in-app advertising?

In-app advertising in mobile applications is a way in which in-game advertisements in free games and apps with in-app purchases can be monetized in order for developers to make money. In this day and age, in-app advertising is an integral part of how people get their entertainment on the go. 

A common example of in-app advertising is when a player subscribes to stream or view content on their favorite Youtubers and Twitch. tv channels, the players often need to watch an advertisement in order for the videos to keep playing.

Unlike traditional TV commercials and pre-roll advertisements, in-app ads only show up when users want to play a game or use an app. In this way, users do not usually mind watching the ad as they are already engaged in the product and are likely to use it.

How does in-app advertising work?

The Android platform has a very flexible and dynamic method of handling advertisements. With this style, most developers can easily set up their apps to include advertisements without having to worry about complicated Java code. Thus, making the ad platform one of the best for developers.

What are the in-app advertising formats?

In-app advertising is a type of advertisement that appears in mobile applications. In-app displays are often found within free mobile apps, though some types of in-app advertising such as:


Paid apps are also displaying ads that take up screen space by finding themselves in the top or bottom of an app or within a location like a page fold, and full-screen ads that often take the entire screen.

Native ads

It involves a display ad taking up a small portion of the screen. In most cases they are static, but in some cases, they will have the motion to grab the user’s attention. Native ads like those on Facebook and Twitter can be considered banner ads as well. It takes place in-feed or as a native app install ad. 

Interstitial Ads

Interstitial Ads are also known as full-screen ads, which take up the entire screen like an app and require a user to close it out after they are finished viewing it. Interstitial ads can be used to get the user’s attention and direct them towards a landing page of the advertiser’s choice. 

Video ads

Video ads are a digital advertisement that delivers video content. Video advertisements are often displayed as pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll, and/or overlay ads. Video is one of the most engaging types of content because it hooks a user’s attention, can include compelling information, and often includes a call to action. In the case of video ads, it is often used as a call-to-action for website traffic and shopping decisions.

Offer Wall Ads

Offer wall ads can be offers and incentives. These might include in-game currency, “lives,” or other content in-app ad format that allows users to earn virtual currency, premium content, or gift cards by watching video ads. Some of these offers are free, while others reward users for taking specific actions, such as watching a video or downloading another app.

Playable Ads

Playable ads also called interactive ads, are ads that players can interact with. The ad is integrated into the game environment and offers game-like features.

Rewarded Ads

Rewarded ads are an interactive type of advertising where users watch a video ad to earn rewards like points, tokens, or items which they can redeem for prizes.

In-app advertising formats are different types of advertisements that you can find on the internet on mobile apps. There are two types of in-app advertising formats – playable ads and rewarded ads.

Benefits of using in-app advertising

In-app advertising is not as well known as mobile advertising, but it can be just as effective. More and more app publishers are turning to in-app advertising. And for good reason:

Improve user experience

App publishers have much better control over how their ads appear inside their apps than they do with standard mobile ads. Because of this, they can have a greater impact on users’ experiences.

In-app advertising allows publishers to show ads that are truly relevant to their users. This is especially true for games, where players can’t help but notice ads promoting similar games by the same developer.

More Monetization Opportunities

People enjoy using apps more when they’re free, so in-app advertising helps app publishers earn money without charging users. In fact, in-app advertising is a great option for companies whose apps are looking to monetize their user base — and it’s especially well suited to the freemium model.

Accurate In-App Ad Targeting

In-app marketing campaigns can be managed and optimized using ads SDKs like AdColony and UnityAds, which allow you to track installs, generate impressions and clicks, define custom events, and build deep-link campaigns. The result? You’ll be able to create high-quality ads that perform better than standard mobile ads.

Increase Conversion Probability

In-app advertising can’t work in isolation; it must be integrated with your app’s user acquisition strategy. For example, if you’ve found a way to connect existing in-app advertising with a user funnel, you could be seeing great results when it comes to driving conversions and retention.

Increase in-app purchases

In-app advertising is especially valuable for mobile app developers who are looking to expand their business into other global markets. In fact, according to App Annie’s 2015 Retrospective report, games from English-speaking countries tend to generate more revenue across all markets than do games from other countries.

Tips and tricks for creating a successful in-app ads campaign

Before you start a campaign, you should always go through the following checklist:


  1. Check that your operating system and device have in-app advertising support. You can do this on the Google Play or iOS Developer pages.
  2. Make sure that the SDK is properly configured on your app’s codebase. You can find more information about this on the advertising platform’s documentation.
  3. Check that you have enough money/budget for a campaign – you can’t start a campaign without having money to spend on it.
  4. Set up conversion tracking and put your advertising code into the app’s codebase.
  5. Determine goals for your campaign. What do you want to achieve? Is it ROI, sales, downloads, or just brand awareness?
  6. Set up placements and the budget for each placement. This will determine where your adverts will be shown and how much money you are willing to spend on them.
  7. Test your creatives (images, videos, or HTML5 banners). You can do this by uploading them to the advertising platform and setting a low budget for each creative.
  8. Write text creatives (if you use them). You can do this by writing a short text and upload it to the advertising platform.
  9. Test different ads, their placement, and frequency. You can do this by setting up A/B testing and gradually increasing the budget for different ads.
  10. Review your campaign’s performance. You can review the campaign’s performance by looking at the conversion rates, CTR, ECPI, or costs per acquisition.
  11. Make sure that you optimize your campaign for more conversions. Do this by increasing the visibility of your ads or changing their placement.
  12. Measure the campaign’s ROI (return on investment) and decide whether or not to continue it. You can measure your campaign’s ROI by looking at the difference between CTRs and CPAs of different ads.
  13. Make changes to your campaign and measure its effectiveness again. You can do this by repeating the steps from a number [11] to [13].

The example of Best In-App Advertising Networks

Some of the giants are leading the ads network including Facebook/Instagram with Facebook Ads, Admob is the mobile version of Google AdSense, which is owned by Google. Both two Platforms allow marketers to use different types of in-app ads to target audiences based on their age, location data, demographics, their behaviors, and habits, etc…

Other examples for successful in-app ads networks such as the Smaato Publisher Platform, Unity, InMobi…


Why use in-app advertising?

In-App advertising networks offer ad services, which means that they work together with software developers and publishers of mobile apps.  It has become a popular means of monetizing apps due to the fact that developers can gain up to 40% more revenue from in-game ads. In a recent study, it was found that mobile gamers are generally positive about in-game advertising as a means of supporting games they enjoy and are more willing to recommend these games to friends.

Players like in-app advertisements because it means that they are ready to like, comment, and share with others. This allows your ads can reach more target audiences.

How to Get Started With In-App Ads

When you’re ready to start monetizing your app with in-app advertisements, there are a few things you need to do first.

  • Select an advertising network

Ad networks differ in terms of performance, return on investment, targeting choices, supported platforms and ad formats, and campaign kinds. When you choose an ad network, you need to have your goals, targeted customers, and how to access your services.

  • Choose the Best In-App Ad Format

In-app ads can also be used with a host of other strategies that developers want to implement into their games or apps. There are a variety of options, you can choose the most suitable types for your ads campaign.

  • Choose a Pricing Model for Ads

For in-app advertising campaigns, there are a few different pricing schemes to choose from.

  • Cost per mille (CPM)
  • Click-through-rate (CPC)
  • Cost per action (CPA)

Depend on your app, your target audience, and your ads campaign, you can select the model which saves money and optimize your ads to maximize the number of people.

How to make a successful in-app ads campaign?

The most important principles that guide all previous and future in-app advertising campaigns:

Be honest with your clients. You will not find success if you deceive your clients or give them false hope.

Do not start several campaigns at once. There is nothing more irritating than opening an app and constantly seeing ads redirecting you everywhere.

Be careful with the frequency. Your clients will take you as a spammer if they constantly see your adverts.

Start your campaign with a limited budget. This will allow you to adjust the campaign’s settings and understand how it works before spending real money.

Do not forget to set up conversion tracking. You can’t improve what you don’t measure.

Do not be afraid to experiment. A/B testing different ads and adjusting the placements of your adverts will bring better results.

In conclusion, it’s clear that in-app advertising is a powerful tool for marketers to use if they want to reach their target audience. However, you need to be careful about how much money and time you spend on this type of marketing because the results may vary depending on your objectives. The best way to know whether or not an ad campaign will work is by running a test group with small budgets first before committing large sums of cash into them. To learn more about what we can do for your company, feel free to contact us today!

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