Presented by AdColony

Hulu, Spotify, Instagram. All three apps have a different purpose and cater to different wants and needs. But what’s something that they all have in common? What keeps their myriad of users satisfied and engaged throughout their experience? One word: variety. And this variety of content leads to a wide range of consumers.

These apps recognize that their audiences are diverse and have various interests. You won’t just find comedy shows on Hulu, but everything ranging from horror to family classics. Spotify doesn’t just allow users to stream pop songs but provide music catering to all tastes. The same goes for Instagram, with hundreds of thousands of pages and trendsetters, each catering to different hobbies, communities, and beliefs.

Whether you’re a movie buff, music lover, or social enthusiast, you don’t just have one interest. This may seem obvious, but surprisingly many companies are falling short when it comes to variety. Just like Hulu, Spotify, and Instagram provide a cornucopia of content to their consumers, advertisers should be more open to displaying their ads to a broader audience.

Limiting advertisements to a specific target market means losing out on opportunities like positive brand exposure, quality consumers, and revenue. Just because you sell football accessories doesn’t mean you can only target users in sports apps. Look for behaviors that indicate interest instead. A football fan may also enjoy playing adventure games or watching action movies. The key is determining your audience’s interests and tapping into all of them, instead of just the obvious one.

Mobile gamers, for example, are a very diverse group, with widespread demographics, preferences, habits, etc. They typically interact with multiple genres of games, rather than sticking to one. To test this theory, AdColony conducted an Ad Classification Study, which examined and adjusted conventional ad monetization practices. The results indicated just that: consumers enjoy engaging with ads that fit various interests.

Brands may be wary when it comes to opening up their ads to a larger audience for several reasons: appealing to the wrong demographics, potential changes to their brand reputation, and the biggest factor: age-inappropriate advertising. App ratings, for one, can be misleading and can prevent advertisers from placing ads on certain platforms in fear of inappropriate advertising. A certain age rating does not necessarily mean that the app targets that demographic, but rather that the app is safe for that demographic.

In the study, AdColony examined a successful publisher which was only displaying ads that fit a more mature audience. They partnered with the AdColony Publisher Growth Team to invite a wider array of ads to their app. The day the change was made, there was a 31 percent increase in impressions and completed video views. By noon the following day, there was an additional 13 percent increase in impressions and completed video views.

Spending that extra time to learn about your consumers, their interests and hobbies is critical. As this study revealed, the opportunity is there for both sides of the mobile advertising equation. Of course, it is important to ensure appropriate and relevant ad content, but don’t be afraid to step out of the typical target range. You’ll be surprised by the results.

Liz Waldeck-Pinckert is Director of Publisher Monetization and Strategy at AdColony.

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