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5 tips to solve the biggest challenge in mobile monetisation

Mobile publishers and app developers are faced with a litany of choices when it comes to monetising their content within their apps and mobile websites. Deciding on how best to configure your ad units for the app or mobile website can be very complex and overwhelming process for mobile publishers and app developers. As mobile is increasingly becoming an exciting arena with many entrants in the market that are infatuated to break into the billion dollar success of the app world, attention on how to build a sustainable mobile business to generate profit becomes a priority.

With our mobile first approach and experience we provide the understanding and best practices that can bring a significant impact to the revenues you can generate with your mobile property. Here are five mobile monetisation tips to help position you for success in 2016.

Tip 1: Pick a monetisation strategy
There are dozens of ways to generate revenues within your app; however, mobile advertising is the easiest and fastest technique. Advertisers are investing a substantial amount of their advertising budgets into mobile at an unprecedented rate. This trend is driven by two valuable things your app or mobile website has: users and data.

Once you decide to monetise through advertising, you need to answer the following questions:
• Volume – How many impressions am I getting in my app or mobile website?
• Countries – What geographies am I receiving impressions from?
• Device – What devices are sending me impressions?
• OS – What operating systems are sending me impressions?
• Data – What sort of data do I have on my users that I can provide to enhance targeting?
• Ad format – What types of ads do I want to display on my app or website?

If you know the answers to these questions, you’ll have the core information that you need to start displaying ads that are relevant to your users within your app and website. It’s important to also have a sense of what types of ads you can or want to display and their formats. In general, picking larger ad formats will bring you higher eCPMs. Our research also shows that rich media ads generate 83 per cent higher eCPMs than image-based ads. Simply put, publishers with more rich media inventory make more revenue. Other engaging formats such as VAST Video, if supported by your app can bring you 12 times higher eCPMs than you’ll see with standard banners.

Tip 2: Inventory pricing
Once you have chosen the type of ad spaces you’ll have within your app or mobile website, you’ll need to decide on how to price your inventory. Here are two points you need to keep in mind when choosing your pricing model:

• Refrain from setting floor prices on your inventory too early: Instead, launch your inventory into the market and let the market value your inventory. This strategy gives you the power to decide at what price point you want to pass your ad requests to a 3rd party network once they discover your inventory and thereby effectively measure performance.

• Set different floor prices for each geographies: To ensure good fill rates across all markets. eCPMS vary per geography – for example, traffic in the US bring higher eCPMs than that in Indonesia. This is often because geographies have different levels of sophistication with regard to programmatic buying. Developing markets are often in the midst of transitioning from performance-based advertising to the new world of programmatic, and this should be taken into account when deciding how to price your inventory in various markets.

Tip 3: User data is key to your monetisation success
Collecting data about your app or mobile website users is crucial to garnering you the highest eCPMS and fill rates for your inventory. These are the types of data you should consider passing in your ad request to increase your ad revenue:

• Age
• Gender (385 per cent higher eCPMs combined with age)
• Geolocation (238 per cent higher eCPMs)
• Device ID (29 per cent higher eCPMs)
Passing this type of data on your users means you’re very likely to not merely receive an ad, but also a significantly high eCPM allowing advertisers to target users effectively.

Tip 4: Integrate to your monetisation platform
If you’re running an app, we strongly recommend integrating via an SDK enabled ad network, which creates a technical link between your mobile app and their robust platform. It removes latency – which means that you get faster ads in your apps. It is easy and quick to integrate, it comes with a free ad server, and it also comes loaded with robust ad quality controls, such as the automatic blocking of auto-redirects. Your app’s ad requests are connected to an optimization algorithm that ensures they are routed to the most appropriate demand partner.An advanced ad network like us also offers the possibility to connect via API (for mobile websites) and Ad tags.

API is a server-to-server interface designed to fill the needs of mobile publishers and developers with their own sophisticated infrastructures who don’t require the tools that come with our error-proof SDK.

Ad tags are a piece of javascript code that can be placed directly into your mobile websites, or run via a third party ad server. It can be enriched using your ad server’s replacement macros in order to pass additional targeting data such as device ID, demographics or location data.

Tip 5: Optimise for highest eCPMs and fill rate possible
After you have successfully integrated, are running advertisements and making money, you will want to invest some time in ensuring you’re getting the most out of SPX.

Here are some important questions to ask yourself at this point to maximise your revenue:
• Did I enter my download URL?
Advertisers will check your app based on the download UR; so entering that data within SPX, as well as your app or website’s category will be helpful.

• Am I actually passing all of my data?
Once you’ve integrated with SPX, you need to pass certain information such as Device IDs and Lat/Long details. If this isn’t being passed, you’re missing out on advertisers who require it in order to send you traffic. The more data you share, the higher your eCPMs and/or the better fill you’ll get, with more targeted ads for your customers.

• Is my inventory transparent?
It is important to be transparent in sharing the data that truly belong to your app or website.

• Is my app or website categorised properly?
For instance, you might be a sports news app that’s been miscategorised as a “News” app, and therefore receives a certain amount of traffic that’s entirely irrelevant to your demographic. A simple adjustment, to categorise the app as a “Sports” app, will change the quality of advertising that will flow to this app or website.

• Am I setting different floor prices per region?
Not all regions are equal in pricing. What you’re able to get in China will be different than in the United States, for instance. Another good one to keep a close watch on as you optimise your SPX set-up.

• Do I understand currency differences?
Since you probably don’t want to put the same floor price in each region across the globe, you’ll also want to keep an eye on the fact that currencies also fluctuate, and that advertisers in local markets are paying in their local currencies.

Monetising and optimising your app or website is not a tedious process but one that needs attention and planning which usually takes about a month from the time you set up. App developers and mobile publishers need to keep revisiting their strategy to make new decisions regularly and optimise again.

Remember that advertisers are learning about your traffic to understand patterns, in order to make decisions on what to send you. Sometimes fill rates and eCPMs can spike early and then level off before building again. In other cases, your fill rates and eCPMs will start slowly and build from there. Keep in mind that much of this is very date, time and season-dependent, and that just as in the retail world, mobile advertising has its busy hours, days and seasons (many of which are very similar to in-store, brick and mortar traffic).

The column has been authored by Smaato Inc. which is the global real-time advertising platform for mobile publishers and app developers.
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