It’s estimated that around 65% of mobile apps use advertisements as part of their monetization strategy. While B2B and enterprise apps have clear value as useful business tools and assets, the financial benefit of a public-facing B2C app is often less apparent. This leaves many companies wanting to learn more about app monetization, which, when done properly, is quite profitable.
There are several basic app monetization models, including:
- Paid apps
- Free ad-supported apps
- Free lite version with a paid upgrade to full app
- Free apps with a paid subscription or in-app purchases
But not every app has a product or service to sell per se, making a paid subscription or in-app purchase model impractical. Similarly, it may not be practical or profitable to charge for the actual app. This leaves one option: a mobile app that’s monetized with advertisements. Although it’s not uncommon for developers to blend two strategies, such as offering a free ad-monetized app with the option to upgrade to a paid, ad-free version.
Mobile advertisements do have some potential drawbacks, though, so it’s important to thoroughly consider some key points before using ads as part of your app monetization strategy.
Where Are You in the Development Process?
Ideally, you should implement ad-based monetization at the very start of the app development process. That way, your designers and developers can craft a user interface (UI) that feels unified and well-integrated.
It is certainly possible to incorporate ad spaces in an existing mobile app, but redesigning the layout tends to be more time consuming than integrating the ads during the initial design process. Unfortunately, the layout often ends up being less-than-ideal under these circumstances, and it’s common to see compromises in terms of layout and overall aesthetics, as ads—by design—stand out rather than blend in with your interface.
How Will Mobile App Ads Impact UX and UI?
Ads are undesirable from the UI designer’s perspective, as they represent a lack of control over some potentially significant design elements. At best, you could end up with ads that lack cohesion with the rest of your UI. At worst, you may have downright ugly adverts that distract users.
Advertisements can do more than harm the look of your app, though; they can also detract from user experience (UX). This is especially true when dealing with interstitial adverts, which are displayed between page loads, or any other ad that holds a user “hostage” for a period of time. This can cause users to feel annoyed or frustrated, which is the opposite of what you’re striving to achieve.
Where Are You Going to Get Your Ads?
It’s vital that you consider how you’ll be sourcing your ads. There are two basic options: you can opt for an in-app ad provider like Google AdMob (think Google AdWords for mobile apps instead of websites) or you can sell advertising space on your own. Some app owners do both.
The latter option can be far more profitable, although it also entails a lot more effort to secure and maintain those advertiser accounts. Additionally, when you oversee advertising in-house, you can impose guidelines for ad appearance to ensure a greater level of cohesion.
On the other hand, providers like Google AdMob require virtually no effort aside from implementing a code into the app’s source code. This ease of use makes ad programs a popular choice.
Will Your App’s Ads Promote Competitors?
Ad alignment is a serious concern for many companies, particularly in highly competitive app niches. Most advertising programs give you some control over the type of ads that appear in your app.
It’s also usually possible to blacklist competitor ads so they don’t appear in your app. This is an important capability, as you definitely don’t want to drive traffic to a competing application.
Will the Ads Be Worthwhile Financially?
It’s important that your app’s monetization is truly profitable, particularly in the case of ads. The profit and benefit must outweigh the disadvantages that arise from advertisements, such as bad aesthetics or user frustration from interstitial adverts.
Ultimately, the end must justify the means. Not every monetization strategy is effective for every niche, so a change in tactic may be in order if you find your current approach isn’t bringing results.
Monitor engagement levels by carefully evaluating and tracking key analytics, such as the average time spent in your app, the uninstall rate, the number of repeat users versus one-time users and how frequently loyal customers open your app. If you see a dramatic change in your analytics following the implementation of a specific monetization technique, then you must consider whether the profits offset that impact.
If you’re unsure which monetization strategies may work for your app, it can be helpful to consult a skilled mobile app development company such as SevenTablets. We have extensive experience developing B2B and B2C apps for a variety of different fields. We’ve worked with clients in healthcare, the financial sector and the energy industry, which is thriving in Houston and Dallas.
Mobile app development requires a full understanding of the objectives for your application. As such, we’ll work with you to achieve a good feel for your goals and vision. Then, we’ll create a user-friendly interface that can successfully meet your needs. We also help you cut costs and development time by 30% or even 40% using our open source STAX platform. Contact the SevenTablets team today to discuss your project.
Lacey earned a B.A. from Baylor University. Sic'em!
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