Key Points

  • In-app advertising can be a daunting challenge when you're just starting out, but it doesn't have to be.
  • In fact, you should start small and ramp up slowly - especially if your app is new or has a relatively small user base.
  • By setting the right foundation early on, you set your app up to become an ad revenue machine.

In-app advertising - where do you even start? It's a fair question faced by countless app publishers who are ready to start earning real revenue from their apps. And it's a question with right answers and wrong answers.

If you're in the app and digital advertising industry, it doesn't take long before you see this play out: A publisher decides to start doing in-app advertising, and a year later, their app user base has shriveled and their revenue is hardly any better off than it was before they started.

You don't want that. We don't want that for you. And that's why we have created this quick and simple guide. Here's where to begin with your in-app advertising.

Ready to get started with in-app advertising but prefer the professionally managed approach to build and implement your app monetization strategy? That's what we do. Reach out to Playwire to learn more about how we can help you.

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The Complete Guide to App Advertising

It's OK to Start Small

Want to know where to start with your in-app advertising? Small. Start with small. Let's put that another way: Don't do everything all at once. Just do a little. Dip a toe in before you go head-first.

How does that translate to in-app advertising? Often, it translates to an entry-level-friendly service like Google AdMob, which connects your app with broad demand for largely display advertising inventory and manages many of the more tech-heavy parts of getting an in-app advertising strategy up and running.

There's nothing wrong with starting out with a service like AdMob. In fact, most app publishers use AdMob in some form or another because it's a Google product that comes with leading technology and huge buyer demand.

That's not the only approach, though. You can choose one of many in-app advertising tools to actually put ads inside your app, and no matter how lofty their promises may be, you can start small with them, too. Here's how: Try adding just one place to run a simple display ad.

Don't cover up your app with ads out of the blue. Why? Because your users aren't accustomed to seeing any ads at all in your app. If they use the app tomorrow and are met with a digital version of the classified section, they may not come back the next day. 

That's not to mention, of course, that it's going to be easier to assess how your ad efforts are going if you start small and build up slowly. So, start small no matter how eager you are to start bringing in ad revenue.

Consider Your Audience

Your audience is your app's most valuable asset. Never forget that. Build your audience, and the ad revenue will follow. Neglect your audience, and your ad revenue will decrease over time.

Always put your website or mobile users, and their user experience first, but remember that many users are less sensitive than you think. If you happen to have access to a particularly ad-averse audience, you can consider ad units that provide an incentive to view ads, such as rewarded video ad units, or premium subscriptions that remove ads entirely.

Keep Your SDKs Agile

The gulf between the SDK integrations needed to run an advertising-free app and a fully loaded, in-app header-bidding capable app is a wide one. You're likely going to find yourself integrating a lot of SDKs as you get started with your in-app advertising. Do what you can throughout this process to keep your entire package of SDKs as agile and powerful as possible.

Agility is all about how difficult it is to make every existing SDK play nicely with a new SDK you're trying to integrate. When possible, choose SDKs that contain the functionality of multiple SDKs, like Playwire's RAMP SDK which incorporates the SDKs of 9 different mediation partners all in a single integration. 

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App Advertising Resource Center

The Complete App Advertising Resource Center

Play Around with Premium Ad Units

It's such a huge lift to go from no ads to simple display and video ads that you may be tempted to stop there. And while there's nothing wrong with waiting a while to see how your newly initiated ad strategy performs, there is something wrong with settling for simple display banner ads and never exploring your in-app ad unit options.

Once you have a baseline in-app ad strategy established, make sure you build in some room to experiment with premium units like rewarded video ads, interstitial ads, native ads, gamified ads, and the like. These units can perform particularly well inside mobile apps, and they offer unparalleled CPMs.

Never Stop Optimizing

Believe this: One day, your app will be bringing in enough revenue to make you profitable. You will feel happy and relieved when that day comes. But your job isn't done.

Things change every day in ad tech. And complacency makes you fall behind. The in-app ad strategy you have today is going to be outdated in six months, and when strategies are outdated, their revenue performance wanes fast.

So, never stop optimizing your in-app advertising. Pay attention to metrics and user behaviors (such as if the user experience is or is not being affected). Read industry news about trends and new web and mobile ad units. Try it all (responsibly), and dedicate real time to assessing ad performance.

Playwire: Where the Best App Publishers End Up

No matter where or when you start with your in-app advertising, your goal should be to maximize your revenue while keeping your app a favorite among your users. As your compass points you in that direction, you will find yourself being directed toward an in-app revenue partner like Playwire

Why? Because we do it all for you, but we do it with decades of combined expertise, proprietary tech and data, and the latest tools. That's how we've boosted our app publishers' revenue to previously unheard-of heights, and it's how we can do it for you, too.

If that sounds good to you, the time to start the process is now. Contact Playwire online right now.

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