Consumers usually see web ads as intrusions. A 2010 Wired report and a Trademob study found that web users do not click on banners in general. Instead, at least 40% of mobile ad clicks were unconscious or false. According to industry researchers app advertising tended to do better than traditional web ads. For developers, modifying ‘appvertizing’ strategies to attract and retain an audience is a work-in-progress for effectiveness. Some key strategies, however, can be successful.
- Product Placement
The timely appearance of brand products within apps is increasing. They are not, however, passive objects in a scene. Developers are finding ways to make them an intrinsic part of the app. Mashable.com, for example, points to Microsoft-Appsavvy collaboration for Windows 7 Cloud. Within the ‘GodFinger All-Stars’ game, users could use the cloud to navigate social media and earn money, or explore Windows 7.
- Virtual Game Currency
Some innovators are using virtual money to encourage users not to skip their ads. In exchange for watching the ad, a user could be rewarded with virtual gaming money or in some cases real prizes. SocialVibe used one such strategy and scored with users when Kia sponsored a football game for some Zynga gaming characters.
- More Engaging Ads
Sometimes developers need to think outside the box when it comes to creating engaging content. For example, Westin created virtual frost, covering the iPhone, which invited users to ‘tap to warm up.’ Wiping the screen revealed several Westin Resorts and Spas in warmer climates.
- Direct to Customer
Businesses are using apps for customers’ convenience too. Restaurants can provide daily specials, menus and transportation or traffic directions. Major retailers, including grocery stores such as Tesco, are providing apps with QR codes that allow customers to shop virtually, and pick-up at the store. Innovative ways to make the app useful to the customer can make the ad’s presence profitable.
- Use Media that You Already Use
It is increasingly easy to develop apps on different platforms. It is no longer necessary for a degreed, expensive, professional to design and maintain your apps. You can create an app that incorporates other social media that you use now. Integrate your Facebook page, or YouTube video with your app. You can then differentiate yourself from the crowd and be useful to customers.
The basics of good advertisements do not change, even for apps. Good copy, attractive visuals, and usefulness remain the core of a good ad. For apps, however, these basics need to go a step or two further. Interactive, engaging and relevant appvertisements will deliver the highest clicks and profits. Although, there is no guarantee that mobile apps will take over traditional media as an advertising platform, there is certainly enough evidence to suggest that it can be a viable and profitable alternative. The level of creativity and relevance to the customer will determine its success.