Advertising in Applications

Posted by Christa Palm on May 01, 2011


As iPads and other tablets become more popular, internet advertisers are attempting to tap into the new marketing potential. From magazines to game applications, many companies are finding innovative ways to capture the attention of tablet users. Let's look at some ways companies are changing the face of advertising.

Traditional Advertising

Magazines with traditional advertising tactics of using edgy, attention-grabbing ads are still using similar ads in the new tablet issues. Initial research about magazine applications has found that readers expect to see advertisements in the tablet applications. In fact, many users look forward to perusing advertisements in print media and would be disappointed to find them missing in the magazines designed for tablets.

Advertising Within Applications

Moving forward, companies are also finding ways to sneak advertising into applications. Many free applications make money entirely off of the advertising potential. For example, a free game may use advertising revenue to make money, sneaking the advertisements into unobtrusive places.

One example of this is in "Angry Birds." The application is available in both a free version and a purchased version. In the free version, "Angry Birds" players can try out the game for a few levels. Once the player reaches the end of the free version, s/he is given the option to purchase the full version. In a sense, "Angry Birds" advertises for itself.

Other games, like solitaire, sell advertising to other companies. Once the free solitaire application is downloaded, users find that advertisements pop up in between each game. When you think about the low amount of time needed to play a game of solitaire, the advertising potential is pretty high and can be very effective.

Other Advertising/Application Tips

Of course, applications still need to be user-friendly and usable to make advertising effective. This means the application needs to have few or no bugs. If the application does not work properly, the user may forego the application -- and never see the advertising. Other additional tips include:

  • Make the application easy to use. This means that anywhere you question whether users need instructions, provide them. Also, using intuitive symbols and icons can help users better navigate your application.

  • Make ads clear. If an advertisement does not clearly state its purpose and how to purchase the product, a customer will quickly skip it.

  • Shake it up. With the tablet's versatility, ads can use video and other forms of media to intrigue a customer. But in that same light, multiple advertisements in a single application benefit from using different advertisements throughout, so shake it up.

  • Use how to videos. Short videos that provide the user with some information applicable to the advertisement will be more successful than simple advertisements.

  • Feed them the product. The best way to ensure an interested party actually purchases the product is to link them directly with the sales page rather than the home page of the advertising company.

  • Link it, link it, link it. With the tablets' abilities to link customers directly to the desired product, magazines and applications are finding that linking directly from a magazine's or an application's advertisement to the product will produce more buyers than indirect links -- or complete lack of links.

Applications and tablet magazines are becoming much more used in our ever-expanding tablet culture. As research is developed and users respond to the advertisements on applications, we find that interactive advertisements and direct links seem to be the most effective forms of tablet advertisements.

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