The post-pandemic internet boom has led to the growth of larger subsets of audiences that need to be catered as a niche with tailored ad experiences. Navin Madhavan, InMobi shares his insights on what makes mobile ads click.
The post-pandemic landscape saw two crucial trends surface—the increase in average time spent on apps by users and the rise of ‘super apps’, that strive to be the single destination for users across shopping, payments, entertainment, etc. There is also an increasing number of mobile ads today driving various business outcomes for these apps—from attracting new users to increasing app usage time—by riding India’s ‘mobile-first consumer wave.
Standing at the cusp of 2022, the Indian mobile market is no longer a sleeping giant. The past few years have witnessed large strides in the mobile internet space with the domestic app market becoming the fastest growing in the world.
The trickle-down effect of this movement is the collective focus on ‘performance’ campaigns for many growing businesses, straddling marketing outcomes and business growth – be it acquiring new app users or boosting in-app subscriptions and sales. With every potential user out there being spoilt for choice across products and services, it’s a race to influence user intent. So, what is the secret sauce here?
Billions of ad dollars and campaign testing later, the verdict is clear – creative strategy is one of the surest ways a business can get the most from their target audience.
An effective creative strategy can also be the lynchpin for a performance campaign that prioritizes business metrics over clicks and views that don’t ramp up to more.
Between January to September of 2021, InMobi witnessed several turn-of-the-graph trends in the performance space. With an increased focus on creative best practices like A/B testing an ad creative for performance, brands also cracked other creative optimization strategies to make their creatives work better. Platforms today support experimentation at scale through simple tweaks of images, copy, and Call-To-Actions (CTAs) that are meant to be customized for the target audiences that any brand is trying to reach.
Most finance and crypto apps now run multiple variants of ad copies tailored to their niche audience sets, which include young investors, middle-aged businesspeople, etc. The demographic ‘target group’ isolation is paired with a powerful creative strategy to generate the desired outcome of pushing for the first crypto investment or securing a quick loan, with many of these ads adopting styles and tones that suit their target audience.
Image used is for illustrative purposes only*
In the E-commerce space, some of the larger apps have adapted their creative strategy to localize their approach to push product sales. The spectacular boom of regional language ads seen this year across both Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities in the country bears evidence of this. What used to be a festive-season trend is shaping up into a larger creative and targeting strategy. A mobile ad campaign to boost sales for a new gadget or household appliance can find itself spun into multiple ad copy variants, spanning at least six Indian languages, linked to the popularity of the products in the region.
Today, nearly 30% of all performance budgets are pooled into regional language ads and this has positively impacted both click rate and install rate.
It doesn’t stop at just products and services, the ‘hyperlocal’ trend also carries itself into the Short-form video app space -the spectacular growth of which was brought on by the ban of TikTok in India in 2020. Today Indian short-form video apps have evolved into media apps enabling creators to make tailored content for hyperlocal audiences, the best of which becomes an anchor for the creatives and advertising strategy as well.
Mobile video which has long been a brand property is now an active vehicle for carrying performance ads as well. The demand for video has increased across all performance ad campaigns, but growing app industries like real-money gaming and entertainment particularly have jumped on this bandwagon in a big way. These categories also lend themselves to real-time/dynamic videos with newer shows and contests to promote to new users who are looking for new and exciting destinations to spend their time on.
Last year, an InMobi study found that hygiene factors like ad fitment and optimizing for device aspect ratios remain an integral piece in a brand’s overall creative strategy.
The new age of mobile commerce is fast proving that to engage and acquire the mobile-savvy consumer of today, leveraging creative optimization as a key advertising strategy is a must. Businesses can use creative experimentation and innovation to stretch that ad dollar far enough to move their audience. Technology has made it easier for brands to do so in a mobile-first world and not doing so would lead to sub-optimal outcomes, not just for marketing teams, but for the brand in their larger objectives – being the top of the mind for their respective categories with consumers.
The piece has been authored by Navin Madhavan, VP and GM, Growth Platforms, InMobi