In-App Advertising 101: The Basics of Mobile App Advertising for Conversion

In-App Advertising 101_ The Basics of Mobile App Advertising for Conversion
Mobile app advertising has become an essential component of app monetization. With more than 2.8 million apps available on Google Play Store and 2.2 million on the Apple App Store, the competition for app downloads is fierce. As a result, mobile app advertising has become a necessary investment for app developers, both small and large.

In this article, we will discuss the basics of mobile app advertising, including advertising strategies, in-app ad formats, ad networks, budgets, metrics, targeting, and app advertising ROI.

What is In-App Advertising?

In-app advertising is a type of mobile advertising that allows advertisers to place ads within a mobile app. These ads can take various forms, including display ads, video ads, native ads, and interstitial ads. In-app advertising can be an effective way for developers to monetize their apps and earn revenue from them.

Mobile App Advertising Strategies

To get started with mobile app advertising, it is essential to develop a sound strategy. There are several mobile app advertising strategies to consider, including:

Incentivized Advertising

This type of advertising rewards users for watching ads by offering them in-app currency or other bonuses.

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising involves using demand-side software to automate the buying and selling of ads.

Direct Advertising

Direct advertising involves working directly with advertisers to place ads in your app.

Social Advertising

Social advertising involves using social media platforms to promote your app and drive downloads.

Performance-Based Advertising

Performance-based advertising involves paying for advertising based on specific actions, such as clicks or installs.

In-App Ad Formats

There are various in-app ad formats available for developers to choose from. These ad formats include:

Banner Ads

Banner ads are a popular type of ad format that appears at the top or bottom of an app screen.

Native Ads

Native ads blend in with the app’s content, creating a more seamless user experience.

Interstitial Ads

Interstitial ads appear full-screen between app screens or during natural pauses in the app experience.

Video Ads

Video ads are similar to interstitial ads but typically include a video.

Playable Ads

Playable ads allow users to interact with a mini-version of the app before they download it.

App Ad Networks

App developers can work with various ad networks to monetize their apps. These ad networks include:

Google AdMob

Google AdMob is one of the most popular ad networks for mobile apps, offering a variety of ad formats.

Meta Audience Network

Meta Audience Network allows developers to place Meta ads within their apps.


IronSource offers a range of ad formats, including rewarded video ads, interstitial ads, and playable ads.

Unity Ads

Unity Ads is an ad network specifically designed for mobile gaming apps.

In-App Advertising by Channel

In addition to app ad networks, developers can also use different channels to advertise their apps. Here are some of the most popular channels for mobile app advertising:

Social Media Advertising

Social media platforms like Meta, Instagram, and Twitter can be effective channels for promoting your app and driving downloads. With social media advertising, you can target specific audiences based on their demographics, interests, and behaviours.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM involves placing ads in search engine results pages (SERPs) to drive traffic to your app. With SEM, you can target specific keywords related to your app to reach users who are actively searching for apps like yours.

Display Advertising

Display advertising involves placing banner ads on websites and apps that are part of an ad network. With display advertising, you can target specific audiences based on their interests, behaviours, and demographics.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing involves partnering with social media influencers to promote your app to their followers. With influencer marketing, you can leverage the trust and influence of these individuals to drive downloads and increase awareness of your app.

App Store Optimization (ASO)

ASO involves optimizing your app’s listing in the app store to improve its visibility and ranking. With ASO, you can optimize your app’s title, description, and keywords to make it easier for users to find and download your app.

App Advertising Budgets

When developing an app advertising strategy, it is essential to determine your advertising budget. There are several factors to consider when developing an app advertising budget, including:

  • The size of the target audience (total addressable market)
  • The estimated cost per click or cost per install
  • The duration of the advertising campaign
  • The app advertising network being used

App Advertising Metrics

To measure the success of an app advertising campaign, it is essential to track different advertising metrics. These metrics include:


The number of times an ad is displayed.


The number of times an ad is clicked.


The number of times the app is installed as a result of an ad.

Click-through Rate (CTR)

The percentage of impressions that result in clicks.

Conversion Rate

The percentage of clicks that result in app installs.

Cost per Click (CPC)

The cost of each click on an ad.

Cost per Install (CPI)

The cost of each app install as a result of an ad.

App Advertising Targeting

Targeting is the process of selecting specific audiences to target with ads. There are several ways to target audiences for mobile app advertising, including:

Demographic targeting

Targeting based on factors such as age, gender, and location.

Interest targeting

Targeting based on users’ interests and affinities, such as hobbies or likes.

Behavioural targeting

Targeting based on users’ behaviours, such as app usage or purchase history.

Contextual targeting

Targeting based on the content of the app.

App Advertising ROI

To determine the return on investment (ROI) of an app advertising campaign, it is essential to calculate the revenue generated from the app as a result of the campaign. The ROI can be calculated by dividing the revenue generated by the cost of the advertising campaign.

Best Practices for In-App Advertising

In addition to the strategies and techniques mentioned above, there are several best practices that can help ensure a successful in-app advertising campaign, including:

Optimizing the ad placement

Placing ads in the right location within your app can improve engagement and increase ad revenue. Consider using A/B testing to determine the optimal placement for your ads.

Keeping the ad design simple

A clear and simple ad design can be more effective than complex designs. Users are more likely to engage with an ad they can quickly understand.

Testing different ad formats

Experiment with different ad formats to see which ones are most effective for your audience. Video ads, for example, might be more engaging for some audiences than banner ads.

Using targeting to improve the user experience

By targeting ads to specific users, you can ensure that users see ads that are relevant and interesting to them.

Avoiding overwhelming users with too many ads

Too many ads can be intrusive and turn users away from your app. Strike a balance between monetization and user experience by carefully selecting the number of ads you display.

Monitoring your metrics

Tracking key metrics like impressions, clicks, installs, and conversions can help you measure the success of your advertising campaigns and make adjustments as needed.

The Future of In-App Advertising

The world of mobile app advertising is constantly evolving. As technology advances and user behaviour changes, new advertising trends and opportunities will emerge. Here are some predictions for the future of in-app advertising:

Increased use of programmatic advertising

Programmatic advertising has already become popular in other digital advertising channels, and it’s likely that more app developers will turn to programmatic advertising to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their campaigns.

Greater emphasis on data privacy

With concerns over data privacy growing, advertisers will need to be more transparent and careful with the user data they collect and use for ad targeting.

The rise of interactive ads

Interactive ads that allow users to engage with the ad content in a more immersive way are likely to become more popular as app developers seek to capture users’ attention.

The integration of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) into advertising

AR and VR technologies have already been used in some mobile app advertising campaigns, and this trend is likely to continue as these technologies become more mainstream.

The importance of personalized advertising

As user behaviour data becomes more readily available, advertisers will increasingly use this data to personalize ads and improve the user experience.


In conclusion, in-app advertising is a crucial part of app monetization. With the right advertising strategy and the right combination of ad formats, ad networks, budgets, metrics, targeting, and ROI calculations, app developers can maximize revenue and attract a broader audience. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to in-app advertising, by following the best practices and monitoring the latest trends, you can develop a successful advertising campaign that meets your app’s specific needs.

If you’re looking for help developing a winning app advertising strategy, Datawyze, a full-service digital marketing agency, can help you reach your goals. We have a team of experienced app marketing specialists who can help you develop and execute an effective app advertising campaign. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you optimize your mobile app advertising campaigns.

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