App monetization and choosing the right partner
|Ignasi Prat in Monetize Friday, September 22, 2017|
Mobile monetization tips and how developers can choose the right ad monetization partner for their platform.
This is an economic contract and your selected ad partner should therefore offer full transparency in order to kick-off a healthy and productive relationship with your company. The prospective ad partner should be open to sharing their ways of working, data and metrics, and to discussing goals and roadmaps. The goal here is to not only evaluate performance, but also to assess their level of openness, transparency and trustworthiness. If you can't generate a clear picture of what this potential partnership will look like, then it may not be worth pursuing.
Working with programmatic ad partners can often be frustrating and time-consuming. Each ad partner has their own integration methods, and each method has its own particularities which may not suit your app i.e. some integration methods can negatively affect the performance of apps.
Whether you're a publisher or an advertiser, it's important to ascertain a potential mobile ad partner's inventory of advertising formats. Typically, the more options you have, the better. Selecting the optimum ad format to impact a particular target audience is critical for the success of a campaign . The same applies for a publisher which aims to serve the right ad to a precise audience, at the right moment in time, in the correct ad format. This optimal process will not only maximise probability to generate more revenue, but it will lead to increased engagement and better user experiences.
What are the best types of mobile ad formats?
- Mobile video ads
- Playable mobile ads
- Native ads
- MREC and Banners
- Offer Walls
eCPM, Fill rate
Let's be honest, every business model by definition is lucrative. Advertising isn't different, so when one is reviewing an ad provider, one will often have a publisher's perspective front of mind i.e. how can we earn and at what cost?
eCPM and Fill rate are the basic metrics for gauging monetization success that every publisher tends to look at, and which every ad partner should excel at. eCPM and Fill rate should be easily accessible and comparable with the average rates of the industry.
They are both correlated. Choosing a mobile ad network based only on its average eCPM by region is useless. The ideal scenario is to see not only the eCPM isolated, but how the two metrics fluctuate with each other to the point of finding the perfect balance between them. App and mobile game developers should think in terms of revenue, rather than investing too much time in trying to get the highest eCPM possible. The equilibrium between these two metrics gives you the opportunity to obtain a forecast for your expected earnings over a designated time period.
Some ad networks are efficient in one particular region, but not in others. You will need to find a partner that is proficient across your target regions, even if your reach is worldwide or hyperlocal. It's important to have the ability to segment audiences geographically in order to be highly effective with the ads you show, delivered in a context which is absolutely relevant, without negatively affecting the performance metrics such as eCPM and Fill Rate.
Analytics & reporting tools
You must have full access to view and analyze performance data. This crucial for helping you to improve across specific areas, because if something can't be measured, it can't be improved.
Ensure that your ad partner offers:
- A wide range of trackable metrics such as viewability, CTR, Revenue, Fill Rate, CPM per pageview
- The ability to segment and filter data
- An easy-to-use GUI and with powerful data visualization
- If possible, the option to build custom reports for analysis
- It would be a bonus for an option to download data in the most common formats, such as xls, pdf, csv), and also the option to export email reports to the team members
Cash flow is important, particularly if you are a startup, because you'll need to have cash readily available and it can be quite a headache to calculate when you're going to receive payments.
Net 15, Net 30 or even Net 60 are the most common payment schedules. This means that you'll have to wait 15, 30 or 60 days for a payout. Few companies offer immediate payouts, which can be a good option for publishers who want to have instant access to their generated cash.
It's also important to check what kind of payment methods they offer. As mentioned above in the ad format section, the wider range of payment methods, the better. The most commonly used payment methods are Bank Transfer and Paypal but there are other options around, like Bitcoins for example. Consider these elements before making a decision and study which payment options best fit your project.
Last but not least, the need to review a potential ad partner's client portfolio.
References are always a reliable method to build trust for companies. It's always good to hear people having good things to say about your service. They represent a bond of trust that can bring in new clients. Examine their portfolio of clients and read their case studies. If you see big, well known brand names, this can often be a sign of trust and confidence. But big players often have tailored solutions from the provider, so don't just look at the big names.
Also take a look at the indie names, the relatively unknown ones that companies often don't show on their portfolios. You'll often find them chatting in forums. This is a sector where lots of indie developers share their personal experiences and screenshot their performance. There are many forums focusing on mobile monetisation out there, offering a credible source and information that will help you with your decision making.
In covering the main aspects of what a mobile ad partner should offer, our aim is to offer insights that help you to monetize your mobile apps in an efficient manner. Assuming publishers choose wisely and work with ad partners collaboratively and professionally, it'll likely be a win-win relationship.
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