Ad format concept; web page with cartoon human hand pressing on advertising and coins.

Choosing the Most Effective Ad Format for Your Business

Advertising is a necessity for any business, including app advertising. Through effective app advertising, you can promote your brand and your own apps in ways that truly engage users and encourage them to interact with you. While app ads are critical for any advertising campaign, app and business owners who are new to advertising may not be sure about which ads to develop and run.

In this guide, we’ll review the different types of app ad formats you can use to communicate with audiences, along with ways to determine which format is right for you.

Playable Ads

One of the main types of ads you can run on mobile apps is a playable ad. These ads enable users to sample your brand experience or app before enjoying the full experience. Using playable ads, you can offer users a simpler version of your app using core features, essentially allowing people to try before buying.

Playable ads are among the best-used ad formats for many brands, as eMarketer concluded that they are the most effective type of in-app ads, with interactive ads right behind them.

Playable ads are popular among gaming apps, giving users the ability to try basic gameplay features, ultimately getting them hooked, and encouraging them to install the full app. However, non-gaming apps may also use playable ads to engage audiences. For instance, some companies may use playable ads on various platforms to introduce users to their brand experience. One company to successfully do this was the Australian home loan platform Lendi, which incorporated playable ads into its marketing strategy by offering people a playable refinance calculator.

The Benefits of Playable Ads

Playable ads can be a great way to showcase your brand’s capabilities and offerings in a format that’s highly engaging and entertaining. Typically, a playable ad features around one minute of gameplay, followed by a clear CTA button that directs people to install an app.

Giving people the chance to try your brand experience or app gives people a clear idea of what they can expect from your app, leading them to more confidently choose to install the full app. Additionally, people who enjoy the playable ad experience are more likely to continue enjoying the actual app experience, increasing retention.

Interactive video ads and ad format concept; monitor displaying play button

Interactive video ads

Interactive Video Ads

Video is one of the most popular types of content online, but traditional in-app video ads often disengage viewers because they’re unoriginal, bland, and aren’t interactive in any way beyond a tappable CTA at the end. If you want to switch things up and connect with audiences, interactive videos offer a new and exciting way for brands to engage app users.

With a creative interactive ad experience, you’ll draw far more attention than you would with a conventional ad by getting users directly involved. There are many ways to go about incorporating interactive video ads into your marketing campaigns. 

For example, you could use an interactive icon on a video that allows users to uncover a concealed message in the ad. Another option is to include interactive end cards that allow users to continue engaging with the ad after it ends. End cards may include content such as in-app rewards or incentives, ultimately driving users to complete the desired action, such as visiting a brand’s website. For instance, YouTube has long used end cards at the end of their videos to drive people to view other videos or subscribe to a channel.

The Benefits of Interactive Video Ads

Unlike ordinary video ads, interactive video ads offer multiple benefits that make them worth implementing for many campaigns. These ads can increase viewing time by holding viewers’ attention and significantly boost conversion rates. They’re generally a great way to stand apart from competitors who rely on less engaging video ads.

Interstitial Ads

Another type of interactive ad format you can use is an interstitial ad. These ads offer a rich interactive experience to app users, and they appear between content to create natural transition points. These ads are ideal for advertising on apps with linear experiences, with clear beginning and endpoints.

When using interstitial ads, placement must complement the flow of user interaction. The idea is to create a seamless viewing experience that doesn’t interrupt the user experience and annoy users. Many interstitial video ads also allow users to close them after around five to 30 seconds of time has passed, which helps further avoid obstructing the user experience. Meanwhile, static interstitial ads tend to allow users to close them immediately.

The Benefits of Interstitial Ads

The goal of interstitial ads is to attract users’ attention in the middle of their app session without irritating them. The ideal result is to engage users and encourage them to complete a certain action while keeping the ad transition smooth. With ads that appear in the right place at the right time, these ads can drive conversions.

Interactive Banner Ads

As one of the oldest ad formats for mobile apps, banner ads remain one of the most popular, particularly for businesses that are new to mobile advertising. These rectangular ads appear at various points throughout an app’s layout, usually at the top or bottom of the screen. These ads remain on screen as the user interacts with the app without obstructing their view. Oftentimes, these apps refresh periodically to display different brands, products, and services. 

People are often wary of using banner ads because of the oversaturation of banners appearing all over the internet, resulting in a phenomenon known as “banner blindness.” Because of this, many users may ignore banners if they come across them on a webpage or in an app. Despite this, it’s entirely possible to overcome banner blindness as a brand and draw attention to banners with the right design and strategy.

As long as your ad isn’t scammy, bland, or irrelevant, you can get a lot out of well-placed and optimized banner ads. One additional way to attract attention with banner ads is to have them appear after other in-app elements have loaded, creating a “pop-in” effect that makes them more noticeable to users. 

These ads are often deployed on apps with nonlinear experiences, such as utility apps. Hyper-casual games are another type of app that often incorporates banner ads.

The Benefits of Mobile Banner Ads

Both publishers and advertisers can benefit from using mobile banner ads the right way.

Publishers often like banner ads because they’re easy to place and work well to complement other types of app ads. These ads have the potential to generate more brand awareness and revenue. In addition, banner ads are cost-effective and can help maximize exposure to your brand and offerings without going over budget.

How to Choose the Right App Ad Format

All of these ads have unique benefits that make them worth implementing for many campaigns. On the other hand, it’s important to carefully choose the ad formats that work best for your business based on your individual needs and business goals.

One element to consider is the demonstrability of your products and services. Interactive playable, video, and interstitial ads are often best to use for demonstrating how offerings work through a brief preview. 

Also, consider your app’s ease of use. If your app features a relatively simple and user-friendly interface, you may be able to sample it with a playable ad. These ads would incorporate essential functionalities that reel in users and entice them to download your app for the full experience.

Meanwhile, if your brand carries a unique aesthetic value, banner ads may grab and hold users’ attention in addition to other app ad formats. 

The following are a couple of other key considerations to keep in mind when deciding on the right mobile ad format.

Consider Your Audience

In addition to your brand experience, consider what your audience wants to experience. Some audiences may respond more desirably to certain ad formats than others. You can always test different formats to see which generates the best response.

The Ad’s Overall Appearance

After developing and choosing the appropriate elements for your ad, test different placements to determine which looks best. Certain visuals will be more appealing in specific formats. For example, you may find that image or video ads that take up the entire screen work best as interstitial ads on various platforms.

Selecting the Right Ad Formats Can Guide a Successful Campaign

With the help of the right mobile ad formats and placement, you can make sure your brand resonates with mobile app users, dramatically increasing brand awareness and conversions. A combination of interactive ads, video and image ads, and banner ads can work cohesively to drive the best possible results. While it may seem ideal to maximize your reach with a mix of every type of ad, taking the time to carefully choose the appropriate format can help you get the most from your budget and optimize ROI.

If you need some help with your mobile app marketing campaigns and need a reliable platform to help your brand grow, App Samurai is here to help. Using this mobile growth platform, you can successfully acquire more users and ensure you make the most of your marketing budget.

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