In advertising, the word “premium” is often used to describe a better class of time and attention. But how do you define what a premium video ad placement actually is? While it can be subjective, there are three key factors that objectively contribute to quality user experiences in the mobile advertising space. We’ve created a handy guide to help marketers decide where to assign their ad spend.

1. Format: 100% full screen vs 100% viewable

What does a premium advertising format look like? Consider that film and television still account for some of the best opportunities of any advertising channel, representing almost 32% of total media ad spending in the US. Why is that? Because television and theatrical ads are full screen, meaning audiences engage with the content without distraction, unlike mobile web where host content and even other advertisements are competing for audience attention. Even as digital advertising continues to grow, cinema advertising continues to be a major source of mind share for top-tier brands, having closed out another record year in 2018 with more than $750 million in revenue.

Over time, the world of mobile advertising format shave come to embrace the same things that continue to make television and cinema such powerful channels for marketers. When advertisers first entered the mobile space, however, they relied on ad formats that were already popular on desktop — banners and in-browser video primarily — which are typically couched in less engaging content that only serves to dilute audience attention. It was a far shot from the dedicated viewing experience of a theatre or television screen, but things have changed for the better.

Today, modern mobile in-app ads have more in common with theatrical or television ads than their predecessors. They all occupy the entire screen to capture an audience’s attention in a way that few other channels can match. Our mobile devices are with us in our most private moments, affording advertisers a valuable opportunity to connect. Television, cinema, and in-app mobile ads provide a premium format for reaching audiences, more so than mobile web or even native social.

2. Contextual relevance

A premium advertising experience is one that is relevant to the largest possible percentage of its audience. It’s why modern advertising innovation is so heavily geared towards the reduction of waste through better audience targeting. The less money advertisers spend on the time and attention of audiences unlikely to take action, the better. This means pursuing the ideal of 1:1 overlap between advertising content and audience interest. A lofty goal, but one in-app advertising solutions are coming closer to every day.

Data is king here, and mobile applications are among the most data-rich environments around when users opt-in to share their information. Variables like age, gender, behavior, spending history, and more all empower mobile advertising platforms to deliver a more contextually relevant advertising experience, ensuring fewer wasted ad dollars.

It’s this same wealth of data and pursuit of greater contextual relevance that has already helped make mobile gaming become one of the largest and most profitable markets on the planet. Advertising and in-app purchases are the only two ways for game and app publishers to make money, and modern ad technology has proven effective enough to make mobile game revenue the second most profitable modern entertainment medium, beaten out only by global overall gaming revenue. Other mobile game and app developers have long leveraged these abilities for their own growth goals, but these same opportunities are available to brands.

3. Positive sentiment: Delight your audience

Few ads can perform as well as those users enjoy interacting with. Studies show that ads which offer in-app rewards consistently generate the highest sentiment of any mobile ad format, while mobile pop-ups typically rank last. A recent Tapjoy study found that 68% of respondents felt positively towards mobile rewarded ads that operate in this way, the highest of any format available. Mobile users are perfectly happy to watch ads frequently, provided their time is respected, and this means higher ad engagement for brands.

Recent years have seen the rise of “value-exchange” or “rewarded” advertising. Mobile veterans recognize it as any integrated ad placement that prompts audiences to opt-in to view an ad in exchange for virtual compensation. Rewarded advertising has proliferated in the mobile gaming space, where ads can offer in-app currency and extra lives. It’s become the defacto solution for publishers, and as the practice becomes more popular, we’re seeing it expand into other app categories like dating and media.

Mobile advertising is both an art and science, but there are differentiators that distinguish a premium experience from a simply passable one. Always consider how the following can fit with your campaign:

  • Is your ad both full screen and fully viewable?
  • Is your ad contextually relevant to its audience?
  • Does you add offer tangible value or rewards to viewers?

If you’re an advertiser looking to make the most of your media budget and you answered “no” to any of these questions, the advertising experts are here to help. With more than 10 years of experience helping connect advertisers with their ideal mobile customers, we’re confident that we can deliver meaningful growth for any brand or product.

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