A popular mode of monetization for many developers, in-app advertising, offers creators a way to boost user engagement, customer retention, increase in-app purchases, and better improve the user experience. It gives brands the edge in reaching users within their target audience on a massive scale.
According to Pubmatic, mobile video ad spends increased by 239% from the second quarter of 2017 to the second quarter of 2018. This towering figure also accounted for a year over year growth rate of nearly 700% from mobile apps. Clearly, the in-app ad business is booming and is primed for growth in 2019.
Augmented Reality And Virtual Reality
Stockholm-based startup Adverty recently launched what appears to be the first programmatic ad platform for AR and VR native ads. Using a supply-side platform, or SSP, the company is able to import 2D images into a 3D game map- For example, you might see an ad for Big Box Store on a billboard within a game scene, or even wrapped around a character’s coffee cup.
CEO and co-founder Niklas Bakos has stated that the user viewability is “very, very close to 100%”. If that proves true, Adverty may have cracked the code on how to make ads both innocuous and impactful at the same time. And although the company is currently only working with game companies, particularly those using the Unity engine, the potential application across various verticals is staggering.
Artificial Intelligence and Programmatic Ad Buying
A much-hyped term over the past year, “AI”, has proven to be extremely fluid in its application, a multi-purpose answer to many different industries clamoring for more efficiency, automation, and predictive analytics. One unexpectedly powerful niche of implementation has been in the world of marketing.
AI in its most basic form aggregates relevant data, including massive, unstructured data, and parses actionable insights from it in real time. Machine learning capability means that over time, a program can essentially “learn” from new data and established protocols, processes, and past decision making in order to do its job more effectively over time. In a marketing context, AI and machine learning are being used to predict future consumer behavior. For example, a company can run a predictive analysis to determine the likelihood that a consumer will respond positively to an ad, determining how much they should bid for an opportunity. Additionally, AI promises to further streamline the ad buying process for marketers, offering up personalized dashboards, chatbot support, and more.
Influencers are social media personalities with an authentic, engaged following. They exist on a level never before seen in the age of celebrity endorsements and product placements. Advertisers can take advantage of the trusted relationship that an influencer has with his or her following, and subsequently position themselves as an equally trustworthy brand. With 60% of customers more likely to buy a product or service when recommended by their favorite YouTuber, the conversion rates are too lucrative to ignore.
Moving into 2019, experts predict a greater focus on micro influencers (influencers with smaller followings but higher rates of engagement), IGTV video ads, and further penetration into the podcast market.
Initial standards for 5G were set back in 2017, but this month, we saw the official rollout of 5th generation wireless from Verizon. There’s been some confusion as to what that means for users, but simply speaking, 5G has improved upon its predecessor 4G in terms of greater speed and interconnectivity amongst smart devices, which is a growing trend in tech.
This lightning-fast connectedness is predicted to have incredible benefits for marketers. Digiday paints the picture of a family using Amazon’s Alexa to source a recipe for dinner. Imagine hopping in your self-driving car with a holographic display of recipes and instructions based on your specific preference and diet history, heading to the grocery store- where your shopping cart is being assembled for you to pick up. It sounds futuristic, but the future of 5G is not far off.
Marketers can leverage faster load times and higher resolution, along with advanced retargeting, hyper-targeting, and inter-device advertising to reach any consumer, anywhere. This will be especially useful as more homes incorporate smart devices into their daily lives.
An encrypted digital ledger technology, blockchain has been used in recent years to support infrastructure and expedite secure payments across a shared network. However, supporters of the blockchain, as well as app developers, are pointing to the tech as the latest thing for native advertising ROI.
Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin commented that “There are a lot of intermediaries that end up charging 20-30% and if the concept of decentralization takes off and does well then those are also going to decline to near zero.” Applied to digital advertising, this means that blockchain could hold the key to a more efficient bidding network between advertising agencies and app developers, for far lower transactional fees than through traditional intermediaries.
Decentralized ad platforms also hint at greater transparency amongst advertisers. Blockchain “smart contracts” can help eliminate fraud, lock in clear KPIs, and ensure the efficiency of their ad dollars by tracking the money trail. Going forward, advertisers and technologists will need to work together to develop practical applications for in-app advertising, however current trends point to a greater collaboration in 2019.
To conclude, the trends above have had a large part to play in shaping in-app advertising over the last year, and show signs of new technological advancement in 2019. Marketers can leverage the latest tech and marketing developments to improve user experience and conversion rate, as well as minimize their own incurred costs.
Writer Bio: Maddie Davis is the Co-Founder of Enlightened-Digital, an up-and-coming tech magazine. She writes about the intersection of technology and human behavior.