In-App Native Ads are Driving App Installs

July 25, 2019
Samantha Brachat

Those looking to increase their ecommerce conversion rate in the mobile app realm may want to consider leveraging more formats with native ads.

Native a Key Driver

Performance marketers who deployed a healthy share of in-app native ads over the 2018 holiday period seemed to benefit tremendously from their efforts. A new report generated by mobile platform Appreciate and shared with Mobile Marketer revealed that in-app native adds were the most significant performer in terms of driving app installations.

Not only did in-app native ads drive the most installs, but they also produced the highest install to sale ratio, as well was the lowest advertising cost per purchase.

Contrasting with Video

An interesting note around these findings involves video, which – despite its surge in popularity with brands and marketers in other advertising realms – seems to fall behind native formats when it comes to app installs respectively.

In-app video ads had a 60% higher cost per purchase that native adds – the highest cost out of all the formats that were reviewed. It also had the lowest number of actual installs during the peak holiday rush. In fact, even banner ads outperformed videos.

Targeting & Creatives

Diving a little deeper into what made native ads so successful during the busiest ecommerce period of the year, both creatives and targeting methods were major factors that separated winning marketing campaigns from ones that left more to be desired.

Campaigns that leveraged seven to eleven different types of creative had roughly 129% more app installs than campaigns that used four or less, with some app categories producing even higher results.

"Historically, we've seen that e-commerce campaigns with more diverse types of creative performed better, but that trend was even stronger this holiday season. In other categories, most notably games, entertainment, and utilities, the number of different creatives plays a smaller factor,"

said Appreciate’s VP of Client Success in North America, Shiri Lahat.

Additionally, time and day were two of the most important targeting elements for marketers who had higher success during the holiday period.

Ecommerce apps were found to have had their peak install and sale periods taking place on the weekends. Saturday had the highest amount of app installs, and Sunday had the best install-to-sale ratio.

Evenings in particular were found to be the best conversion time, with the 8:00pm to 11:00pm and 4:30 to 8:00pm timeslots leading the pack.

For mobile campaigns specifically, timing seems to be everything, as these statistics follow similar findings that were previously reported on by Wibbitz which showed that younger audiences spent most of their mobile time in between 8:00pm – 10:59pm.

Follow the Data

While it’s easy to get caught up in all of the new ways to deploy your ads, the insights above reinforce the need for brands and marketers to really ensure they are taking the time to analyze and act based on what the data is telling them.

As competition continues to rise, and digital spends keep expanding, brands will need to increase their efforts of distinguishing themselves in the form of their targeting methods.

The video data is an important element to be wary of. We’ve seen platforms far and wide recently add more video options for advertisers. And while video can definitely be an engaging way to get your offering in front of people in an engaging way, it can also be very costly and damaging to your overall KPIs if due diligence isn’t done beforehand. Weigh out your options, and don’t always be quick to resort to video when a cheaper/more resource-efficient option could be just as (if not more) effective.

The state of mobile as a whole – whether you’re in the app space or part of a broader ecommerce business – is something that can’t be mentioned enough either. The Appreciate report comes after previous insights by Smaato that showed holiday-targeted campaigns were the biggest contributor of mobile advertising revenue in the second half of 2018, taking up 49% of the overall market share, and further paving mobile as a major element to boosting digital revenue.

In summary, it’s no longer a question of “should” when it comes to mobile marketing. It has really become a question of “how much?”

If you have any questions about mobile best practices, or want to learn more about some of our top mobile offers, don’t hesitate to contact our performance management team.

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