How to do In-App Advertising

How to do In-App Advertising: Everything you need to master mobile ads in 2022

Mobile advertising spending reached a record-breaking $223 billion worldwide in 2020, and this figure is projected to surpass $339 billion by 2023. Moreover, mobile makes up 60% of all digital advertising. With the majority of apps in the app store using a freemium model, it is important to know how to effectively monetize your mobile app with in-app advertising. In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about how to do in-app advertising.

How to do in-app advertising: What is in-app advertising?

In-app advertising is the practice of buying and selling ad space in a mobile app. This is a way developers can monetize their app. These ads are served through a mobile ad network, which connects developers and advertisers.

With advances in mobile technology and mobile app development, in-app ads have also developed over the years. In addition to traditional ad formats such as banner ads, advertisers can also engage users with video ads, rewarded ads and native advertising.

When implementing in-app advertising, it is important to consider how this affects the user experience. For example, a mobile game developer will want to serve ads at opportune moments within their game’s experience. Showing an ad half-way through a level may be disruptive to the user.

However, serving a rewarded video ad (where users can be rewarded with in-game currency for watching an ad in full) can engage the user and improve the user experience. In this example, placement, timing and ad format have been carefully considered for optimal engagement and revenue.

How to do in-app advertising: How it works

When learning how to do in-app advertising, it is important to learn the different players that make up the ecosystem. In-app advertising involves four players that you need to know. They are either on the buy side (purchasing ads) or sell side (offering ad space) of the ecosystem. 

The exception is Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs), which do not belong to either the buy or sell side. These are independent platforms that can be used to identify high-value users and develop your overall strategy.

  • Advertisers: This is a player with a marketing strategy, a product or brand to sell. The advertiser buys advertising space to place their ad creative.
  • App publishers: This is the mobile app developers with ad space that can be used to serve ads. The publisher can integrate a mediation platform and ad networks using an SDK (Software Development Kit).
  • Networks: This is a company that connects advertisers’ demand with publishers’ supply. When an app publisher wants to display in-app ads, they can work with ad networks to identify the highest bidding advertiser. 

What is an ad exchange?

Another important component is the ad exchange. This is a platform that is used for buying and selling ad space. Advertisers can choose their target audience and set rules on how much they would like to bid for that traffic. 

What is a Demand Side Platform (DSP)?

The Demand Side Platform (DSP) is a platform that enables users to access inventory of several ad exchanges.

What is a Supply Side Platform (SSP)?

The Supply Side Platform (SSP) is a platform that enables publishers to serve ads to their audience.

What is programmatic media buying?

Programmatic media buying has also changed the industry by enabling advertisers and publishers to complete real-time bidding. This automates the buying process based on predefined rules to increase the efficiency of in-app advertising in several ways.

Why is in-app advertising important?

An important step when learning how to do in-app advertising is to define the monetization method’s importance – and there are several reasons in-app advertising is a critical component of the mobile ecosystem. The App Store has 1.96 million apps available for download, while there are 2.87 million apps available for download on the Google Play Store. 97% of apps in the Google Play app store are free to install, compared to 93.7% in the App Store. These apps can drive installs by offering a free experience while monetizing their mobile app with ads.

The critical benefits of in-app advertising can be broken down into three components.

  1. High engagement, sessions and user activity: For advertisers, in-app advertising is important because of the enormous reach and time users spend in-app. 90% of the average user’s time spent on a mobile device is spent in apps, with only 10% spent browsing the internet. For social media alone, the average daily time per user is 2 hours and 27 minutes. This activity can be leveraged for advertising opportunities and growth.
  2. Geotargeting Capabilities: Advertising on mobile apps means you can also leverage geotargeting capabilities. This is the practice of using location data to create hyper-relevant targeted ads. The geotargeting capabilities of mobile outweigh what is possible with desktop.
  3. Innovative ad formats: Mobile app advertising offers advertisers several opportunities to leverage innovative ad formats such as rewarded video ads and native advertising.

How to do in-app advertising: Freemium apps as a monetization model

The freemium model is a monetization strategy that enables users to download your mobile app for free – ensuring that you can compete against other apps that are free to install. You can then monetize your app in several ways. Firstly, users can be served in-app ads.  Secondly, you can offer a premium ad-free subscription service with additional features.

Spotify Fremium - How to do In-App Advertising
This freemium model is used for several verticals. Popular examples include dating app Tinder and music streaming service Spotify – both of which are free to install but offer paid subscription services with a superior offering.

It is important to continually test and optimize your freemium model for best results. For example, the types of ads that benefit the user experience and which features should be included in your paid and free packages. You should optimize your monetization strategy over time to acquire users, retain them for longer and ensure they are contributing to increased revenue.

How to do in-App advertising: 4 Ad formats

There are many different ad formats to choose between when learning how to do in-app advertising. Here are some of the most popular options that you can leverage to reach your marketing goals:

  • Banner ads: This is a traditional format that displays a banner on a user’s screen that displays your ad.
  • Interstitial ads: This type of ad is similar to a banner ad, but it can expand to take up a user’s full screen. 
  • Video ads: This is an ad format that uses video. It is known for high engagement rates in comparison to banner ads.



  • Rewarded video ads: This is an ad format that combines rich media (such as video) with a user incentive. For example, a user can gain upgrades and in-game currency in exchange for watching a video ad.
  • Native ads: This is an ad format designed to match the look and feel of the rest of the mobile app’s experience.

Many mobile marketers will develop a mixed strategy that uses several formats. You should also test the efficacy of different ad formats and optimize your strategy over time.


With mobile ad spend expected to reach $339 billion by 2023, it is important for advertisers to learn how to do in-app advertising. This is the practice of buying and selling ad space in a mobile app. It involves advertisers (who want to advertise their product or brand), publishers (with in-app ad space) and networks (to connect advertisers with publishers). 

The vast majority (96%) of mobile app developers offer their app as free-to-install in the App Store, so in-app advertising is a critical monetization model for many developers worldwide. The critical benefits of in-app advertising include high engagement, geolocation targeting and a choice between several innovative ad formats.

Some of the most popular in-app advertising formats include banner ads, interstitial ads, native ads, video ads and rewarded video ads.If you found this guide for how to do in-app advertising useful, you may also be interested in the 4 trends in Mobile OEM marketing for 2022 that should be on every marketer’s radar.

How do mobile app ads work?

How do mobile app ads work ? All you need to know to achieve your goal in 2022

Learning how mobile app adverts (ads) work is a critical step towards monetizing your app. Mobile gaming accounts for 22.98% of all app’s advertising while non-game apps make up 77.02%. But how do mobile app ads work? Whether you are marketing a mobile game or other vertical, there are fundamentals to app advertising that all advertisers need to know. This guide defines what in-app ads are, how ad networks work, cost modeling and the most popular ad formats.

What are mobile app ads?

Mobile app ads are a monetization method for mobile app publishers. App developers can provide advertising space in-app, for which they can receive payment using a pre-agreed cost model. Advertisers can work with publishers to reach their target audience. This means that app developers can simultaneously act as a publisher and advertiser, monetizing their own app while also advertising on others. So, how do mobile app ads work and why are they important?

Why are mobile app ads important?

Many mobile app developers – including  96.9% of all Android apps – are available for free. This makes it harder for paid apps to succeed in a competitive market. Many of these apps offer a freemium model, whereby users can access essential features of an app (with ads) and then pay or subscribe to upgrade to a premium service (without ads).

The ability to release a free version of your app is a significant benefit, but there are several other reasons mobile app ads are important. For example, mobile app advertising enables you to achieve a higher Click-Through Rate (CTR) compared to mobile web. 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.

How do mobile app ads work?Another critical advantage to implementing mobile app ads is the potential to increase user engagement and retention. Marketers can use enhanced targeting capabilities to reach their target audience. Intuitive ad placements and formats such as rewarded video ads can also increase engagement and retention. This has a long-term impact on Lifetime Value (LTV).

When learning how mobile app ads work, it’s also important to learn about the role of ad networks. Having covered the value of mobile ads, let’s dive deeper into how they work and how ad networks can help you achieve your marketing goals. 

How mobile app ads work: Ad networks

You can partner with mobile ad networks to buy and sell advertising space, including in-app advertising space, by placing the highest bid. As a publisher, you can also sell your own ad space through a network. This is why ad networks are an important component of the mobile advertising ecosystem.

Business of Apps’s Artyom Dogtiev says “The pioneer in the mobile ad networks space was AdMob, which really took off after its acquisition in 2009 by Google, Inc. Over the course of more than 10 years since, the advertising networks space has grown with a small number of top tier companies controlling the market.” 

Advertisers can also work with smartphone Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, OnePlus. These Mobile OEMs have their own alternative app stores that can be leveraged by marketers to reach untapped audiences at a cost effective price. Another example of a well-known Android OEM is Samsung, who sold 55.76 million smartphones in the second quarter of 2020 alone. 

How do mobile app ads work? 5 critical ad formats every marketer should know

Ad formats are another important step to understanding how mobile app ads work. There are many different types of ads that can be used to reach your target audience. Here are five that every marketer needs to know and what makes them unique.

  1. Banner ads are traditional ads that were originally designed for desktop, and have since been adapted for mobile web and mobile apps. This places a banner image at the top or bottom of a user’s mobile screen.
  2. Interstitial ads are similar to banner ads, except they can expand into a full-screen experience. This can be a powerful format for getting your message heard, but the nature of these ads means that the placement and timing of interstitial ads is more important than with any other format to avoid frustrating users.
  3. Video ads are ads that serve a video to the user. This ad format is known for increasing engagement compared to traditional ad formats (such as banner ads) while also being more expensive.
  4. Native advertising is a relatively new advertising format that requires advertisers to deliver creative that matches the aesthetics and functions of the mobile app in which they are advertising. This can be pleasing to users as they are already familiar with the app and how it works. Moreover, native advertising offers potential to get creative and engage users in unique ways because it will be different on each mobile app.
  5. Rewarded ads can be an effective way to leverage a user’s enjoyment of a mobile game to your own advantage. This is an advertising format that rewards users for consuming ads. For example, a mobile game may reward a user with in-app currency for watching a 30-second video ad. This is a win-win scenario for the user, publisher and advertiser. The format is also a great way to cross-promote several mobile apps.

Learn how to get the most out of video ads with our guide to Leveraging user video ads on alternative app stores (OEMs).

Here are some examples of effective mobile advertisements.

How mobile app ads work: Cost models

Now that you know how to work with ad networks and critical ad formats that may be useful to your marketing strategy, you will also need to know the most popular cost models. Here are four cost models and what they mean.

  • When a Cost Per Mille (CPM) model is agreed, the publisher is paid for every thousand impressions recorded on a single ad.
  • When a Cost Per Click (CPC) model is agreed, the publisher is paid for every time a user clicks on an ad.
  • When a Cost Per Install (CPI) model is agreed, the publisher is paid for each install that occurs as a result of an ad.
  • When a Cost per Action (CPA) is agreed, the publisher is paid every time a certain action is completed in-app (after the install).


How do mobile app ads work? They are an important part of the mobile marketing ecosystem that enable many mobile apps to be free to download. This monetization method includes publishers with advertising space in-app, advertisers who want to promote their brand or product, and ad networks who connect them.

Ad formats available to mobile app advertisers include banner ads, interstitial ads, native advertising, rewarded video ads and several other different formats. The advertiser and publisher must also agree upon a cost model, which could be Cost Per Mille (CPM), Cost Per Click (CPC), Cost Per Install (CPI) or Cost per Action (CPA).

If you want to know how to start advertising in apps check our complete here.

Video Ads

Leveraging user video ads on alternative app stores (OEMs)

OEM inventory and user video adverts: 5 reasons the video ad format is a smart choice for marketers in 2022

Alternative app stores such as Xiaomi GetApps, OPPO App Market, Samsung Galaxy Store, Vivo App Store and Huawei AppGallery offer marketers ample possibilities to target untapped audiences at a low Cost per Install (CPI). From splash adverts (ads) to native in-feed, there are several highly engaging ad formats available with OEMs that can be used to achieve your most ambitious targets. In order to leverage these formats, it’s important to stay updated with user trends and updates that give your marketing a greater opportunity to achieve your goals.

In this article, we will outline why video adverts are a smart choice for mobile marketers utilizing OEM inventory. This includes changes made to hardware, access to better internet across key regions and how these ads are displayed on a user’s device.

Increasing engagement with user video adverts

It’s common knowledge within the mobile marketing ecosystem that video ads are a great way to drive engagement: 87% of marketers worldwide are using video as a part of their marketing strategies, and 88% of them are satisfied with the ROI. Their perceived higher CPI are easily offset due to higher engagement, resulting in a satisfying ROI for those who opt to utilize this format. Moreover, by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic. This is no different for alternative app stores, where user video adverts offer the same benefits as they do for other marketing channels.

So, what other factors should marketers consider for alternative app stores? While this is important for choosing ad formats globally, there are additional reasons why user video adverts are becoming more effective than ever before with OEMs.

5 insights you should know about user video adverts on alternative app stores (OEMS)

1. Video ad adoption has increased on OEMs

There has been a significant increase in the adoption of video ads on alternative app stores because the devices available to customers have improved hardware that primes users for a better visual experience. This is also reflected by Lead Analyst & Founder of MobileGroove Peggy Anne Salz who explains that “Moving forward, app companies are advised to harness mobile advertising—and, above all, mobile video advertising—to build a strong brand that will engage and entertain users that crave experiences, not marketing. 

2. Video ads are generating high engagement rates on OEM inventory

Due to the nature of the ad format, consumers can be more informed about the product offering before installing the app. According to Invespcro, video ads have an average click-through rate (CTR) of 1.84% – the highest of all digital ad formats. This means the format serves as an excellent medium to generate a healthy ROI. ​In fact, HubSpot research found that more than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands.

3. 5G availability at a low cost enables consumption of high quality video ads

With an increase in government support, the APAC region is pushing forward with the rollout of the 5G network. According to research by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), “9 of 16 overall APAC markets have either concluded 5G spectrum auctions or carried out commercial 5G launches”. The study also reveals that Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China are the most advanced in 5G. Thailand has been progressing well with their 5G rollout.

This is great news for advertisers. The widespread availability of 5G and 4G across the region at an affordable price means that users can easily view video ads that are shown in high quality and without lagging. This increases the enjoyment of your video creative and makes video ads even more appealing to customers to increase engagement.

4. OEMs are building monetization SDKs to increase reach

OEMs have video ads in mind when building monetization SDKs. Those monetization SDKs allow gaming as well as non gaming third party app developers to tap into the advertising demand of OEMs. This encourages developers to benefit from these opportunities as an additional channel in their monetization mix. There are several misconceptions regarding monetization for mobile games. Read our debunking article, “The truth about alternative app stores and mobile game monetization” to learn more.

5. Alternative app stores are introducing new formats that utilize video

Some of the new formats being created for alternative app stores include banner ads (native infeed video), splash ads, interstitial ads with short videos and lock screen video ads. If you would like to learn more, you can familiarize yourself with the different formats available on each alternative app store with our guide.

How AVOW can help

AVOW is a leading app growth marketing company specializing in OEM on-device user acquisition and advertising across alternative app stores. We help clients leverage untapped inventory available on alternative app stores such as Xiaomi GetApps, OPPO App Market, Samsung Galaxy Store, Vivo App Store and Huawei AppGallery. Our success stories include our work with social e-commerce app Joom, which used OEM inventory to generate over 60,000 new monthly installs, decrease rejection rate and achieve an ROAS of over 150%.

If you would like to know more about how we can help, get in touch with our team.

In-App Ads

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. 

Learn more about how to do In-App Advertising

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.

Everything you need to know to start advertising in apps

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

effective ways of acquiring new users

5 effective ways of acquiring new users for mobile apps

Competition among mobile apps is at an all-time high with 3739 new apps added to the Google Play store every day. With so many potentially effective ways of acquiring new users, it can be difficult to identify which channels deserve your investment. 

Even if you are already running campaigns for display ads, it is important to look at other cost-effective methods that can push you towards your user acquisition targets. In this guide we cover five effective ways of acquiring new users in 2021 and share best practices to follow for optimal results.

1. Leverage alternative app stores’ untapped audiences

Alternative app stores – otherwise known as Original equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) – can be leveraged to reach untapped audiences. OEMs such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Vivo and Oppo have their own app stores that can be used to reach your target audience and acquire new users at a low Cost per Install (CPI). 

This is a smart, fraud-free alternative to GAFA app stores, which have far more competition for their inventory and therefore have a higher CPI. OEM marketing is an effective way of acquiring new users because they offer untapped audiences and advanced targeting capabilities. 

effective ways of acquiring new users

This is why they are known for low CPIs with high engagement rates. These alternative app stores are also a smart way to drive incremental growth. Other benefits for advertising on alternative app stores include:

  • Acquire user level data that is compliant with GDPR regulations
  •  Gain access to worldwide inventory and create lookalike audiences that enable you to scale your business in new regions
  • Access a fraud-free ecosystem without additional layers between budget holders and the OEMs.

You can leverage these alternative app stores with Avow due to our partnerships with leading OEMs all over the world. We take a consultative approach that connects clients with our OEM marketing experts who are available to help throughout the campaign cycle.

2. Implement App Store Optimization (ASO) for GAFA app stores

In addition to acquiring new users through alternative app stores’ untapped audiences, marketers can practice ASO for GAFA app stores. The two largest – and therefore overcrowded – app stores worldwide are the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android. 

As of the first quarter of 2021, Android users could choose from a selection of  3.48 million apps. The App Store is the second largest with 2.22 apps available to iOS users. It is not effective to simply upload your app and hope users find it – mobile marketers must increase visibility by performing ASO.

The majority (70%) of mobile users use an app store’s search function to find new apps relevant to their interests. This activity can be targeted to generate installs with ASO. This requires you to make tactical changes to your app store entry in order to increase visibility and generate installs as a result.  

A significant benefit of ASO is that the installs generated by this marketing method are organic installs. This means that users found your app based on their own intent, making them highly valuable users with the potential to positively impact KPIs such as retention rate and Lifetime Value (LTV).

ASO also enables you to cut user acquisition costs by generating installs without paying for an advert (ad) – you simply gain a higher ranking in the app store due to the tactical changes made to your app entry.

It is important to note that ASO practices will be different for the App Store, Google Play Store and alternative app stores because each store uses a unique algorithm. With this in mind, here are several ways you can improve your app store ranking:

  • Optimizing your App Name by including keywords and common search terms
  • Optimizing your App Title by including keywords and common search terms
  • Optimizing your App Icon by ensuring your image resonates with your audience and is recognizable as relevant to your app vertical
  • Include engaging screenshots and videos to give users an accurate impression of what to expect when they install your app
  • Include primary and secondary categories to ensure your mobile app appears for as many relevant search terms as possible
  • Improve rating and reviews by encouraging your active users to rate your app. You can strategically prompt users to rate your app in the store after gratifying moments in your user experience

Know more about “challenges of mobile user acquisition”

3. Use influencer marketing to reach your target audience

Working with influencers is a popular marketing method that is expected to be worth $13.8 billion in 2021. Moreover, businesses are making $5.78 ROI for every $1 they spend on influencers. If you haven’t started working with influencers to reach their audience, this is a smart addition to your user acquisition strategy.

effective ways of acquiring new users

An influencer is any public figure that has a significant power of influence on a particular audience. You can harness this for your user acquisition goals by working with influencers who have a following that aligns with your target audience. 

There are several ways you can work with influencers to get their audience’s attention and generate installs for your mobile app. This includes:

  • Paid product placements to ensure an influencer’s audience is exposed to your brand
  • Sending free products in exchange for reviews and similar exposure with an influencer’s audience
  • Sponsoring content such as live streams and regular video uploads
  • Providing influencers with discount codes they can offer to their following, increasing their value to their audience while also giving your brand exposure

Choosing the right influencers for your brand requires you to research their content, target audience and engagement statistics. These figures are particularly important because a large following does not automatically mean an influencer is generating a high number of likes, shares and purchases. 

Another best practice that will help you achieve your user acquisition goals by working with influencers is to trust their expertise. These public figures have built up an audience that resonates with their content – a valuable asset that you can use to optimize your influencer marketing campaigns. For best results, it is essential for this to be a collaborative process where the influencer has input into how to target their audience.

A smart way to stay in touch with influencers and maintain a strong connection is to add them to a newsletter exclusively for influencers and affiliate partners.

While influencer marketing can also be used for branding campaigns, it is important to make your influencer campaigns for user acquisition measurable. For example, you can provide an influencer with a unique URL code or discount that directs users to your app and specific product pages. This ensures that you will know which users were acquired as a result of your influencer’s exposure.

4. A/B test for high-value users

A/B testing is critical to maintaining and optimizing an effective user acquisition strategy. For user acquisition, A/B testing is the process of testing variants of the same creative in order to learn which generates the most installs. Moreover, you should also track events that enable you to learn which variant is delivering high-value users.

The long-term value of a user can be measured by LTV. This is a projected net profit for users who have installed your app, calculating how much revenue they will generate before they churn. You can calculate LTV by multiplying the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) over the average length of time users keep your app installed: LTV = ARPU / Revenue or churn.

5. Practice social media marketing

Social media marketing for user acquisition is the process of generating installs by engaging users across different social media channels. Platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit and TikTok can be used to drive installs and maintain long-term relationships with your audience.

For example, you can share engaging content such as competitions to reach new users. You can also use social media to build a mailing list to alert users when your app is launched in their region.

Social media marketing is also a powerful retention tool. Marketers can offer customer services to ensure that their social media pages have value to users. You can also share User-generated Content (USG) to create a community and show users you value their investment in your mobile app.


With several effective ways of acquiring new users to choose from, it is a marketer’s challenge to identify which channels deserve their investment. To recap, here are the 5 effective ways of acquiring new users:

  1. Leverage alternative app stores’ untapped audiences
  2. Implement App Store Optimization (ASO) for GAFA app stores
  3. Use influencer marketing to reach your target audience
  4. A/B test for high-value users
  5. Practice social media marketing

To acquire high-value users in 2021, marketers should ensure that their app store entry is fully optimized. GAFA app stores are overcrowded across all verticals and require you to optimize your app’s ranking.

Alternative app stores offer a smart way to acquire new users is to target untapped audiences. With OEM marketing, you can access a fraud-free ecosystem that offers low CPIs and high engagement rates.

Marketers can also utilize influencer marketing to reach their acquisition goals. This ranges from sending influencers free products in exchange for reviews, to collaborating on sponsored content. Social media marketing is also a powerful tool that can be used for user acquisition and reengagement.

Here is the ultimate guide to User Acquisition 2021

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OEM marketing: How AVOW's customer service empowers you to scale

We understand that offering excellent customer service is just as critical as providing untapped inventory to our clients. AVOW's clients gain much more than just access to OEM inventory: Our team goes above and beyond to provide a consultative approach on OEM marketing 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 with our team.

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

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.

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