Piyush Shah is InMobi‘s Vice President of Products
In a continuously evolving world of mobile display advertising, different variations of ad formats now play a critical role in the success of engaging with customers. In order to interact with audiences within an increasingly limited and competitive space on the mobile screen, advertisers need to ensure constant innovation and agility amidst strict constraints to capture a consumer’s attention.
The full-page interstitial ad is probably one of the most interesting solutions to this problem.
A full-page ad that appears between content pages, typically on gaming and mobile apps, interstitials are conducive to content “interruptions” between gaming or app levels. Since an interstitial ad unit is typically 10 times larger than the size of a traditional banner ad and also because of how it appears within the flow of regular content, this type of ad is more likely to capture the user’s attention than other formats.
Why mobile interstitials?
Gaining undivided user attention is a marketer’s utopia. In an age of dwindling attention spans – a direct result of more and more emerging connected devices – audiences are often distracted by something else. By making the most of all available space on the screen, whether smartphone or tablet, advertisers are more likely to maximize user attention, encouraging engagement, click-through and ultimately, conversions.
An interstitial ad provides the user with the option to close the ad and get back to the intended content. Considering that an interstitial ad appears either prior to the app launch, in between app levels or before exit, the ad’s interference with the main app content is also minimal. As users intend to continue using the app, attention for the interstitial ad is guaranteed.
25X increase in video views, a 7X increase in conversions, 9X increase in eCPMs
Leading brands and app developers from across the world continue to use interstitials on our network and the results have consistently exceeded expectations. Interstitial ads work wonderfully for a number of advertisers, ranging from those focused on hospitality to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and game developers. For instance, a leading hotel chain saw as much as 25x increase in the number of video views when using interstitials. Another leading European casual game developer saw a 7X increase in conversions while promoting their app using a rich media interstitial ad.
With greater engagement and click-through, eCPMs delivered on developers’ app inventory are also significantly higher. eCPMs jumped by over 9 times when a leading American app developer began monetizing with interstitial ads as against traditional banners with InMobi.
After analyzing more than 12,000 app-download campaigns run on the InMobi network over the last six months and comparing the conversion performance across traditional banners and interstitials for different types of content, we found interesting results:
- On Android, banner ads delivered the best conversions for lifestyle content (2.02%), while interstitials delivered the best conversion for games (3.04%)
- On iOS, banner ads worked best for classified content (2.7%) while interstitials delivered maximum conversions for social and entertainment apps (2.71% and 2.26%)
In general, it appears that interstitials are most effective while promoting games, social and entertainment apps.
Best practices for maximizing app monetization
As with every ad format, developers can benefit from implementing and being cognizant of simple best practices while using interstitials for monetization. Based on our own experience, we make the following recommendations:
- Placement & Frequency
Interstitial ads should be placed such that there is minimum interruption in the user experience. Ideally, for gaming apps, we recommend placing interstitials after each game level; for non-gaming apps they can be placed after every 2 or 3 pages. The ad can also be placed when the app is just opened, before the user begins interacting with the app’s core content. While it may be tempting to use interstitials more frequently to maximize monetization, we have noticed developers see maximum eCPMs when interstitials are used after every 2-3 minutes. Too many interstitial ads at critical junctures within the game/app will lead to negative user experience.
- Choosing the right kind of interstitials
There are several types of interstitials, ranging from static interstitials to rich media and video interstitials, and even timed interstitials, which persist for a pre-defined time interval. For apps, which typically have shorter app sessions, static interstitials get the point across immediately and are found to be the most effective in driving engagement. Conversely, for more engaging apps with longer app sessions, video interstitials deliver higher eCPMs. Static interstitials typically are observed to provide CTRs as high as 20% while video-interstitials are found to deliver superior engagement.
Whether you are an advertiser promoting your product or a mobile publisher looking to enhance monetization via ads, interstitials will surpass your performance expectations. Not only do they offer a powerful way to engage with users, they also give advertisers the flexibility to provide a wide range of interactions on the ad unit that could make it more appealing or drive more conversions.
By leveraging maximum real estate on the mobile screen, developers can deliver an engaging ad experience to users and significantly boost monetization.
Piyush Shah is InMobi‘s Vice President of Products responsible for the overall vision, strategy and direction for the InMobi product portfolio. Previously he was InMobi’s VP and GM for Performance Advertising and Developer Platforms.
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