In App Advertising - The Most Successful Advertising Formats: Promotional Video Most Effective + In-App Advertising Tips

22. 08. 2019 Ira Barvinska In App Advertising - The Most Successful Advertising Formats: Promotional Video Most Effective + In-App Advertising Tips

Earlier, we talked about the advantages of using video for advertising purposes compared to images. Today we’ll talk about which sites are the most productive for this format. Recent studies by Smaato and Litoff have shown that video ads work best in mobile applications.

Downloading applications on Google Play increases by 10% annually and with them the cost of in-app advertising

According to App Annie statistics, the number of downloads of mobile applications on Google Play is increasing by 10% every year. As a result, this year a new record was reached for downloading mobile applications: a total of 30 billion application downloads worldwide, of which 20 billion were downloaded using Google Play, and the rest using iOS.

With the increase in downloads, advertising costs in mobile applications also increased: according to emarketer, the budget for advertising in mobile applications in the USA exceeded the costs of television campaigns in 2018 by $ 6 trillion. According to his forecast, emarketer expects that by 2020 the cost of in-app advertising will double and that the channel will receive 43% of the total amount of advertising costs - more than any other advertising campaign combined.



Key messages from the Engagement and Conversion Report in App 2019


  • Video ads are significantly more expensive than display ads, but also have a CTR of 7.5 times higher.
  • Reward video ads are 86% cheaper than other video ads, but have comparable conversion rates and are also the most popular among users.
  • Although the effective CPM is very different in the 3 classic display ads: Interstitial, Native, and Banner, they still have a very similar CPA.
  • The cost of iOS is consistently higher than on Google Play, but also conversion rates.


80 trillion ad impressions from 33 million installations broken down by eCPM, CTR, CPA & CR

Smaato, a publisher of mobile app advertising, uses a massive dataset from Litoff, a mobile app retargeting platform published in the first quarter of 2019 for published statistics. For statistics, a total of 80 trillion ad impressions with 33 million installations were estimated. Smaato divides display ads into 3 classic types of advertising (banner, native and interstitial) and video ads into 4 (rewarded, interim, external and inbound video ads).



The following indicators were used for the design:

  • ECPM
  • Clickthrough Rate (CTR)
  • Click on Action (CPA)
  • Conversion rate (CR)
US market overview:


According to Statista we see a trend towards an increase in the number of downloads and monetization. In 2018, consumers downloaded 178.1 billion mobile apps to their connected devices. In 2018, global mobile app revenues amounted to over 365 billion U.S. dollars.



3 classic display ad formats:

Basically, there are many ways to implement display advertising. Smaato specializes in 3 classic ad formats: banner ads, native ads, and intermediate display ads.

● Banner advertising

- The most unobtrusive form in which the banner is firmly embedded in the upper or lower half of the screen.

● native advertising

- A correctly executed ad should be both informative and visually adapt to its environment. Since ads fit thematically into the application, users feel less concerned about the ads, and their perception, as well as interest, is usually greater.

● intermediate display ads

- The most attractive, but also the most intrusive type of advertising, where advertising fills the screen for a while. This often happens when you start the application or during the transition.

To measure success, eCPM and CTR are compared. This shows that intrusive ad formats attract more attention.



Mobile Promotional Video

Promotional videos are especially effective and very positively perceived by users. They are divided into statistics into 4 advertising formats with various implementation options.

● Rewarded video ads

The user receives a reward for watching an advertising video, often with a bonus to the game itself, such as an extra life or useful object.

● Interstitial video ads

- The promotional video will be displayed in full screen between transitions and can be closed after 5, 15 or 20 seconds.

● Outstreamf video ads

- Outstream video ads are implemented in the natural environment of the application and are played automatically as soon as the user goes through them.

● Instream Video Ads

- Since the application has its own video player, the promotional video will be played directly in it. This can be displayed before (before the video), during (in the middle of the video) or after (after the video) the real video.

A direct comparison of the two display ad formats and video ads shows that video is significantly more expensive, but also has a CTR of 7.5 times higher.



Google Play Vs. IOS

By comparing the performance of the two Google Play and iOS operating systems, it becomes clear that the cost and conversion rate for iOS is significantly higher in all advertising forms than in Android.



Optimization tips for in-app advertising:


  • Promotional video or display advertising?

When it comes to attracting users and attracting new customers, video advertising is the first choice, as it promises a high return on investment in terms of clicks and conversions.

If you want to increase your reach, you can work with cheaper display ads, such as banners.

  • What else needs to be considered when implementing advertising in the application?

1. Smooth transition from advertising to the landing page

The landing page should present to the user what the advertisement promises, and not on any thematically unsuitable page or even another product. For example, if this video is about a product, then clicking on the video should lead to this product, and not to a similar or well-meaning completely different one.

2. Attractive advertising that can be understood immediately

When creating ads, you should pay attention to size, since advertising on mobile devices is very small. This means that, despite the small size, everything should be clearly recognizable. In addition, the meaning of advertising should be understood directly. It is advisable that after 3 seconds the user understands what is at stake. Since many videos play without sound, the focus should not be on the audio file, but on the visual implementation.

3. Diversify ad formats

Although video formats are the most successful, for large campaigns you should use a combination of display and video ads.

4. Use existing data

Review all the available data and find out where and with whom the interaction is most effective. This can be done by gender, age, demography, or even language.