In-App Ads

6 reasons why in-app ads should be an important part of your marketing mix

6 reasons why in-app ads should be an important part of your marketing mix

From push notifications to App Store Optimization (ASO), the modern mobile marketer pushes towards their goals with a mixed strategy that gives them every opportunity to target the right users at the right time. One of the most important components is in-app advertising, which enables marketers to reach users while they enjoy an app they already own. If you have a mobile app, you can utilize in-app advertising as an advertiser and as a publisher. This article shares the importance of in-app ads and how they work.

What are in-app ads?

In-app advertising is a monetization strategy for mobile publishers. Developers can offer advertising space in their app and receive payment for serving ads to their users at opportune moments in their user experience. A developer can also be the publisher and advertiser simultaneously. For example, if a freemium (free to install) app shares an ad that encourages the user to buy in-app currency or upgrade to the app’s premium service.

This monetization strategy makes it possible for many mobile apps to be free to install, making them far more likely to be downloaded by users. As of August 2021, 96.9% of all Android apps were available for free, making it a difficult ecosystem for paid apps to reach a large audience and encourage them to install.

In addition to boosting installs by enabling the app to be free, in-app ads also increase the overall media consumption of users worldwide. It has resulted in more ad networks focusing on advertising via mobile apps. These ads are served through a mobile ad network that connects the publisher’s inventory to the advertiser’s creative. Programmatic media buying has also changed the way in which ads are served. The mobile app will request an ad from the network, resulting in the network’s algorithms identifying and delivering the highest bidder’s ad in real time. 

Why are in-app ads important to mobile marketers?

In addition to the ability to offer your mobile app as free to install, there are several benefits to in-app advertising that marketers can use to reach their goals. Here are 6 reasons they are an important practice in the mobile marketing ecosystem for publishers, networks and advertisers alike.

    • In-app ads leverage the increased time users spend on mobile: When advertising to your target audience, you need to find the digital spaces where they can be reached. Without in-app ads, marketers risk missing opportunities to serve ads to their audience. As much as 90% of overall time spent on mobile devices is spent in-app. This presents ample opportunity to reach users and optimize your marketing strategy based on user activity.
    • Apps have a higher Click-Through Rate (CTR): When compared to mobile web, mobile apps achieve a significantly higher CTR when serving ads to users. A study by Opera Mediaworks found that in-app ads had CTR that was up to 1.3x higher than mobile web across all surveyed countries. This is supported by a Medialets report that found the average CTR for mobile apps is 0.58% while mobile web is just 0.23%. 
    • Enhanced targeting capabilities: An app’s audience can be targeted based on criteria such as demographic and location. This gives advertisers enhanced targeting capabilities to reach their target audience and reach their marketing goals. 
    • Natural and intuitive ad placement: In-app advertising can be placed at opportune moments through a mobile app’s user experience. This also means they can be less intrusive and more natural compared to traditional ads served on mobile web. Different ad formats also make it possible to engage users in several ways. For example, rewarded video ads offer users in-app currency as a reward for viewing an ad for a certain amount of time. This can be a smart way to leverage a user’s engagement with a mobile game to your benefit. 
    • Increase revenue: In-app advertising offers opportunities to increase revenue and Average Revenue per User (ARPU). This is because there are several ad formats that can be used and developers can test a number of different methods to serve ads to their target audience. In-app advertising can also be used in conjunction with in-app purchases – a method known as hybrid monetization.
    • Optimize the user experience: In-app advertising can be seamlessly integrated into the user experience. This means that the mobile app selling inventory also benefits from offering a better user experience by ensuring that ads are not intrusive.
    • Increase user engagement and retention rates: With enhanced targeting capabilities and intuitive ad placements, mobile marketers can use in-app advertising to increase user engagement and retention rates. This will have an impact on Lifetime Value (LTV) and help marketers push towards their campaign goals.

Which ad formats are available for in-app ads?

If you want to use in-app advertising to reach your target audience, there are several formats to choose from. Here are 4 of the most popular formats used to convert users in-app.

  1. Rewarded ads: This is a format that enables you to reward users for engaging with an ad. For example, users can receive a discount or in-app currency for watching a video ad.
  2. Interstitial ads: These are expandable ads that can take up a user’s entire screen. They can include rich media such as video to engage users. The ad placement for interstitial ads is particularly important because they take up the entire screen – something that can either positively engage users or disrupt the user experience.
  3. Native ads: This is advertising content that matches the look and feel of the mobile app in which it is advertised.
  4. Banner ads: This traditional format that is synonymous with desktop and mobile web can also be used in-app.


If you found this guide useful, you may also be interested in The truth about alternative app stores and mobile game monetization. We also have a resource for How to feature apps on OPPO and Vivo’s app stores.

For more insights into how AVOW can help you leverage untapped audiences

In-app ads

Client Support call Blog

OEM marketing: How Avow’s customer service empowers you to scale

How Avow’s customer service empowers clients to scale their business with alternative app stores and OEM inventory  

We understand that offering excellent customer service is just as critical as providing untapped inventory to our clients. Avow clients gain much more than just access to OEM inventory: Our team goes above and beyond to provide a consultative approach with expertise in these untapped markets. This approach has resulted in satisfied customers all over the world, enabling them to tap into new markets and identify ways to scale their business. In this article, we share the advantages of onboarding with Avow, outline how we build strong connections with our clients and help them achieve their marketing goals.

     1. Adding value from Day 1: Seamless integration and onboarding

We understand the importance of creating the foundations for a long-term relationship from the very beginning. From the very first interaction with our clients, we aim to add value to their market strategy and provide the best onboarding experience possible. That translates into consulting around all options for OEM inventory, alternative app stores, and saving a client’s time spent planning to launch campaigns with us.

There are several benefits to OEM marketing and we have close relations with the leading alternative app stores. This means we know important performance factors and our team can offer expert consultation about the best options from the start and throughout the campaign cycle.

      2. Work with a specialist in your app category and target market

While we reach over 40% of the global market for Android devices and work with customers of all segments – including everything from Gaming to Fintech – we don´t want to miss the specifics of each target market to our customers. That’s why we have built a company with a global DNA while also offering a hyper-localized approach. By combining these two visions clients have enough independence in their target markets and the freedom to thrive in addition to gaining insights from other markets.

Targeting lookalike markets with Avow: Companies come to us to find new opportunities of inventory to promote their apps in addition to their existing marketing mix. We consult on how OEMs can add incremental value to their user acquisition and the reach of audiences in each GEOs. In some regions our customers can explore multiple OEMs and stores when promoting their apps.

As a team we are always up to date and ready to consult clients about the best media plan, OEM specifics and audience reach in each GEOs. For example, if you have an app based in Asia but also want to explore other GEOs, you can work with Avow to gain valuable research from our internal analytics and leverage opportunities in your target market. 

Country-specific expertise and specialists per app category: Our team of experts is always looking for innovative ways to help you scale in multiple countries. We have team members that are native to each region and have fluency in how to target each market. We also have experts for each app category to give you the best possible insights into how to market your app in each region. We know the leading trends for your target market and help with performance benchmarks.

Work with a team you can trust: Our goal is to work as an extended arm to our clients and be closest to them within their UA marketing mix – establishing a long-lasting relationship that produces excellent results. During our hiring process we focus on building an expert team based on how they can manage long term relationships, their knowledge of app marketing and high analytical skills. This ensures we not only execute around each campaign, but also add value around app engagement, KPI insights and GEO market specifics. On average, team members have more than five years of mobile performance experience either in their home country or working on an international scale.

      3. A consultative approach through the entire campaign cycle

We have a team of mobile experts who will offer a consultative approach, leading to several benefits:

  • Shorten the learning curve and save time: As a team we not only bring value to our client's overall app strategy. We also eliminate a lot of the work required for integration, acting as a one-stop shop for tapping several OEMs simultaneously. App marketing through OEMs goes beyond pre-installed apps and these new options combined require time and focus from marketers. Integrating each channel in-house can be very time-consuming, especially while marketers are also managing larger activity on Google and Facebook.

You can optimize campaigns with our platform towards your KPIs and gain insights from our team about opportunities to tap new inventory. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic created dramatic changes within the app market, affecting verticals in different ways. While some apps in travel and mobility dropped in activity, users rapidly adapted their usage to categories such as Delivery, Entertainment and Education. We have been able to consult clients about current trends, showing them what to expect based on the cases in our database. We have also become experts in promoting fintech apps for trading & cryptocurrency apps throughout this period and we also see an increasing number of Gaming clients running ads via OEMs.

  • A global team with a deep understanding of their local market: We have expanded customer service activities in GEOs such as India, SEA and Russia, so we are closer to our customers and provide better services. We offer timely support to clients and a fast return on advertiser requests, meaning your campaigns can go live sooner. We have a global team of mobile expertise who have a deep understanding of their local market and have connections to the top players in the industry. This is effective because we learn the business model of each advertiser.
  • A team equipped for specifics and knowledge in every store: We are constantly working to offer new possibilities and tools to target specific inventory. Our team is made up of mobile experts with backgrounds on the demand and supply side. This gives us a complete understanding of how to help our clients. Our team is also divided into vertical expertise to ensure customers have access to the best service possible.

We started from the ground to understand the nuances and benefits of app promotion, including alternative stores on top of Google Play and iTunes. This field is still untapped for most of the clients we partner with, presenting plenty of opportunities to acquire new customers at lower bids when compared to traditional channels. To ensure clients get the most out of alternative app stores, we are always open to guiding clients through each step to integrate their apps within these new placements.

       4. Comprehensive communication reporting

Avow is a pro-active, performance-based company that offers constant communication with clients about their campaigns and performance. Our team is equipped with several systems, including everything from MMP reports and analytics tools for app insights to weekly overviews for our clients. Our weekly reporting overviews include insights into overall quality, opportunities to scale and how to increase ROI. In addition to this, we offer quarterly reviews (QBRs) to screen end-to-end activity and performance. The value of running QBRs is to review the development of our key accounts and always bring insights and opportunities of new inventory to our clients. This helps customers find ways to reinvest and leverage new opportunities identified by our team.

        5. Build a long-term connection with our team

If a client has tested our platform and chooses to work with us after the testing period, it is common for them to stay long-term. We still have clients on the platform who joined since the very beginning of our journey – more than three years ago – as we continue to develop ways to scale their business and provide excellent customer service.

“AVOW became a strategic partner for AstraPay within weeks. By assessing untapped OEM channels and ad formats, they were able to drive incremental user acquisition on top of our existing marketing mix. Best of all, AVOW helped us achieve very healthy KPIs on engagement, with zero instances of ad fraud – a rarity in the region nowadays!”
Amar Ibrahim, VP of Marketing

AVOW is a leading app growth marketing company, specializing in OEM on-device user acquisition and advertising across alternative app stores. To learn more, get in touch in our  team.

>>Get in touch with us  and start your campaign!<<

How to develop your marketing strategy for Ramadan: Essential insights and considerations

How to develop your marketing strategy for Ramadan: Essential insights and considerations

During the month of Ramadan, 1.6 billion Muslims around the world practice their religious duty to fast from sunrise to sunset. Mobile marketing inevitably changes user behavior throughout the period. For example, 20.7% of Muslims consider themselves to be more generous throughout Ramadan. This requires you to develop your marketing strategy for the best results. Here’s what you need to consider when accounting for Ramadan in your overall strategy.

Ramadan: Essential insights for mobile marketers

There are several ways Ramadan impacts the mobile marketing industry. This ranges from the total ad spend to the number of downloads and in-app purchases. Criteo analyzed over 111 million shopping transactions in Malaysia and Indonesia during the Ramadan season and found a sales uplift of  68% for mobile ads and 53% on desktop. The same study showed a surge in sales 10 days into Ramadan, which sustained throughout the two weeks before Eid al-Fitr. Speaking about the study, Alban Villani, Criteo Managing Director for SEA-Pacific at Criteo explained that “Ramadan represents a notable cultural shift in consumer behavior, with the Middle East and Southeast Asia being key regions [...] the global Islamic economy is also growing year-on-year, estimating to reach $3 trillion by 2023. Given the growth potential of the halal industry, retailers should leverage Ramadan to engage Muslim shoppers.”

Forbes reported that downloads for shopping apps increased by 40% the week before Ramadan. They also found that in-app purchases increased by 35%. In an effort to capitalize on these shifts in user behavior, the average ad-spend also increases by 20% during Ramadan. With more competition for ad space throughout the period, it is more important than ever to use data insights to target high-value users who are most likely to convert.

3 things to consider when marketing throughout Ramadan

Implement your strategy early

Unlike many other religious occasions, which are celebrated for a shorter period of time, Ramadan lasts for 30 days. Despite this, it is always smart to implement your strategy before Ramadan begins. This gives advertisers more time to reach audiences and capitalizes on shifts in user behavior that occurs in the run-up to Ramadan. According to Facebook statistics, “83% of global Ramadan observers plan their purchases at least one week in advance and 50% at least 3 weeks in advance.” Starting early also gives you time to A/B test for the best results.

Get into the spirit on Ramadan with your creative

For Muslims all over the world, Ramadan is a time for reflection and introspection. Many brands will get into the spirit of Ramadan with their ad creative and campaign messaging. Forgiveness, harmony, and the importance of family are all common themes you might expect from ads during Ramadan. 

Target untapped audiences with OEMs

Mobile marketers can use OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) to reach untapped audiences and gain a competitive edge. These are companies that manufacture their own devices, have their own apps and independent app stores. Companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Vivo, and Oppo – which have huge market shares in many countries with a large Muslim population – are directly distributing applications to their customers via their own dedicated stores. For example, 87% of Indonesia’s population is Muslim and, according to Statistica, Samsung is the leading mobile vendor in Indonesia with approximately 26.16% of the market share. This is followed by Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi and Oppo.

There are several advantages OEMs offer that can be effective throughout Ramadan. For example, OEMs enable marketers to grow on a global scale by reaching new audiences and accessing new markets that cannot be accessed via social, search or SDK networks. OEMs also offer higher user-acquisition whilst paying lower CPI (cost-per-install) – an important factor considering the increase in ad spend during Ramadan.

Moreover, a year-round benefit to working with OEMs is that you can access a fraud-free ecosystem. This is because there are no additional layers between the budget holder and the OEM, and reach advertising placement is fully controlled by the OEM.

How Avow can help

As experts in OEM mobile inventory, AVOW partners with OEMs across the globe. We help our clients with a consultative approach through the whole campaign cycle, from getting apps listed on the respective OEM stores to distribution, tracking, and performance optimization. Mobile marketers can expand their reach and unlock new revenue streams with Avow’s OEM partnerships – which covers 42% of the global Android market.

>>> Contact us to learn more and start your campaign today! <<<

A complete guide

A Complete Guide to Ad Formats for Alternative App Stores

A Complete Guide to Ad Formats for Alternative App Stores

Alternative app stores offer advertisers the opportunity to target untapped audiences at a competitive price. Original Device Manufacturers (OEMs) unlock a global audience for advertisers by incorporating on-device advertising, offering marketers opportunities to reach ambitious targets and exceed their KPI expectations. When advertising on alternative app stores, it is important to know all of the ad formats available to you to make the best impact on your KPI targets. This guide covers the ad formats you can use for five leading OEMs and how they work.

Ad formats by app store

Oppo App Market ad formats

Consumer electronics and mobile communications company Oppo shipped 115.1 million units to 320,000 retail outlets in 2019, operating in over 40 countries worldwide. The company’s app store, Oppo App Market, offers four ways to advertise.

  • Splash ads: You can implement these full-screen ads based on targeted labels to ensure that you are acquiring high-value users. Splash ads can deliver high engagement and conversion rates as a result of taking up the entire screen, making them unmissable to the user.
  • Icon ads: Appear on Oppo App Marker’s homepage, Must-haves, Boot Guide, Download, and Recommendation section. A benefit to icon ads is that it does not require any creative asides from your app’s icon logo.
  • Banner ads: This ad format can be shown on Oppo App Market’s homepage, displayed based on targeted labels.
  • Push ads: Send a push notification to high-value users. This ad format supports deep linking and – just like Oppo’s banner ads – users can be sent a push ad based on targeted labels.

Splash                                                   Push                                                   Banner

Huawei AppGallery ad formats

With 14.7% of the market, Huawei is the third-largest smartphone manufacturer and the Huawei AppGallery serves over 500 million mobile users around the world. There are three ways in which marketers can advertise on Huawei AppGallery.

  • App Search ads: Place an ad within Huawei AppGallery’s search function with up to 200 keywords for a single task. It is also possible to configure different bidding prices depending on the keyword. According to Huawei, this ad format results in a high CTR. The Quick Search function can also display recommended apps when a user enters a relevant keyword before tapping the search button.
  • Display ads: These are icon ads with the dimensions of 216 x 216. They can be displayed among Recommended apps.

Intent based search

Samsung Galaxy Store ad formats

The Samsung Galaxy Store is pre-installed on Samsung smartphones and Samsung Gear. The app store, which is available in 125 countries, includes apps for Android, Tizen, Bada, and Windows Mobile. There are four ad formats on Samsung Galaxy Store you need to know.

  • Welcome screen ads: Users can click to install multiple apps listed as Top Apps
  • App notifications: Users are shown an ‘App of the day’ personalized to their interests
  • App browses: Apps are shown as Featured Apps on the home screen and banners. Apps are also shown as Priority in App collections
  • Search ads: Bid for keywords and appear when a user searches for terms related to your app

Xiaomi GetApps ad formats

Xiaomi is a hardware and software manufacturer with over 500 million smartphone users across 220 regions. Xiaomi offers several ad formats to choose from when advertising on the company’s app store, Xiaomi GetApps.

  • Native ads: Native advertising matches the aesthetics of the media format in which they appear. In the case of Xiaomi GetApps, these are PNG or JPG ads with dimensions 1200 x 628 pixels or 600 x 314 pixels depending on placement.
  • Icon ads: These are app icons that advertise your app, which can appear in Xiaomi GetApps’s recommendations. Icon ads appear in the user’s preload folder, game folder, MI Browser or App Vault. There are also Must Have and Hot Search sections in the app store where icon ads can be placed. You can also implement Dynamic icon ads in GetApps for optimal visibility.
  • Push notifications: Users will be sent a push notification advertising your app. This is a PNG format with a 25 character limit for the main title. The notification description is limited to 40-45 characters.
  • Splash ads: This is a full-page video ad that is between 5-10 seconds in length.
  • Banner ads: These are PNG or JPG files that can appear in Xiaomi GetApps’s Browser, File Manager, Themes, Music, and Vault sections. The dimensions of each banner ad depend on where it is displayed.
  • GetApps mini card: Your ad will appear as a square card in the Browser. This can lead to a conversion rate that is 4x higher than redirecting to Google Play.

In Game                                                   Icon                                                   Music Player

Vivo app store ad formats

The Vivo App Store has the second largest market share in India and more than 74 million MAUs worldwide, Vivo categorizes their ad formats in two ways: standard and non-standard ad placements.

  1. Standard ad placements: This includes the tabs Must Have, Upgrade Necessary, Recommended for You, Hot Apps, and Topic. Standard ad placements also include Pop-up ads. Similar to splash ads, these ‘pop up’ and cover the entire screen with your ad.
  2. Non-standard ad placements: This includes push ads, banner ads, splash ads, and floating icon ads. These types of ad formats can be used in the Vivo App Store for high exposure and extensive reach.

How to leverage alternative app stores and OEM’s untapped audiences

You can target these untapped audiences with AVOW: We have partnered with the world’s leading OEMs and our team of OEM mobile inventory experts are dedicated to helping clients benefit. We have a consultative approach, helping clients through the entire campaign cycle – from getting listed on alternative app stores to tracking and optimizing performance. For example, AVOW worked with Joom to help them acquire users from OEM untapped inventory. As a result, e-commerce app Joom increased ROAS by 150% and generated more than 60,000 monthly installs.

For more insights into how AVOW can help you leverage untapped audiences, read our introduction to OEMs.

Contact us

mobile phones

How User Acquisition Managers can stay ahead of the curve with OEMs

How User Acquisition Managers can stay ahead of the curve with OEMs

Acquiring high-value users for mobile apps is a primary goal for app developers regardless of vertical or region, but the app market is developing at a rapid pace with more competition than ever before: An average of 1,153 new apps are released every day on the App Store and 3,119 new apps each day on the Google Play Store. Moreover, the unchallenged oligopoly of Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, also named GAFA, owns more than 70% of the US total digital marketing expenditure. This underlines the challenge mobile marketers face when pushing for greater visibility and achieving their user acquisition targets. Fortunately, there are alternatives to GAFA platforms mobile marketers can use to help achieve their company goals and increase ROAS.

User acquisition managers gain a competitive edge with OEMs

OEM (original equipment manufacturer) apps are a smart way to reach untapped audiences and gain an edge over your competitors. Although the term is also used in other manufacturing industries, it has a specific meaning for the mobile industry. OEMs refer to companies who manufacture their own phones  and create their own OEM apps. An example of a well-known Android OEM is Samsung, who sold 55.76 million smartphones in the second quarter of 2020.

OEMs are taking deliberate steps to offer a true and safe alternative to the overcrowded GAFA app stores. Companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Vivo and Oppo are directly distributing applications to their customers via their own dedicated stores. According to the consultancy IDC, these four companies made up 40.1% of global handset shipments in the fourth quarter of 2019.

What are the key advantages of OEMs?

While mobile marketers may find it difficult to successfully maneuver through the different specifications and requirements for each of the alternative app stores when setting up, this gives marketers access to numerous benefits:

  • Achieve your growth goals: OEMs enable marketers to grow on a global scale by reaching new audiences and accessing new markets
  • Reach your acquisition targets: OEMs offer higher user-acquisition whilst paying lower CPI (cost-per-install)
  • Enter a fraud-proof ecosystem: Marketers gain access to a fully fraud-free user-acquisition ecosystem. This is because there are no additional layers between the budget holder and the OEM, and reach advertising placement is fully controlled by the OEM.
  • Build trust with your audience: Users who are brand-loyal to the OEM will view ads as more trustworthy

Lead Analyst and Founder of MobileGroove, Peggy Anne Salz, outlined the importance of OEMs in mobile’s competitive market in her feature for MMA: “There is a wealth of opportunity for marketers who tap the vast distribution opportunities offered by alternative app stores. It starts with a clear understanding of the unique characteristics of each app store and their business practices, and it extends to approaches that monitor app performance, track app interactions and – ultimately – ensure brand integrity.”

How can AVOW help user acquisition managers untap the benefits of OEMs?

AVOW partners with OEMs across the globe and are experts in OEM mobile inventory. We help our clients with a consultative approach through the whole campaign cycle, from getting their app listed on the respective stores, distribution and tracking to performance and optimization. Mobile marketers can expand their reach and unlock new revenue streams with Avow’s OEM partnerships – which covers 42% of the global Android market. These untapped audiences cannot be accessed via social, search or SDK networks.

In addition to access to untapped audiences, AVOW Performance Optimizer (APO) optimizes all OEM on-device inventory in real-time. This in-house solution optimizes the best inventory in real-time towards KPI goals and engagement levels – pushing performance campaigns to the next level for higher ROAS. All OEM on-device inventory is verified by the leading mobile measurement companies in the industry (MMPs), offering a fast, diligent and automated process to benefit our clients.

In a prime example of how AVOW can help marketers optimize performance, social ecommerce pioneer Joom worked with us to reach untapped placements in regions such as Russia, Spain and France. We leverage our partnership with Xiaomi to increase Joom’s penetration across the market with new banner ads inventory. As a result of real-time optimization, Joom surpassed KPI targets: lowering rejection rate by 6%, increasing monthly installs by more than 60,000, and increasing ROAS by 150%.

Jooms success was driven by  dynamic, seamless and intuitive on-device advertising. The ads were displayed based on location, social demographic, device type and relevant keywords.

To find out more about how Avow can help, read what our clients have to say about using alternative app stores’ inventory with our support.

>>> Contact us to learn more and start your campaign today! <<<

Contact us