I need to make something clear before we go any further on this journey together into the discourse of app promotion. I’m not your typical let’s-get-ad-rev kind of girl. I also like to consider app promotion from an engagement perspective and lately I’ve been considering how apps can benefit from user engagement in app promotion. Now that we’ve set the stage, let’s dive in!
Excuse the necessity to talk about Google and Apple first, but would you trust me if I didn’t start the conversation on app promotion with the two most prolific companies? I wouldn’t either. “Google is the indisputable No. 1 player in mobile. It was already the largest online advertising company when it acquired Admob, the biggest player in mobile ads, [almost five] years ago. It has since integrated Admob into its Adsense platform” (Marshall, 2013). No one can say that Google isn’t incredibly profitable or that it’s easy to compete with Google in terms of resources invested in mobile.
Now, all that being said, Google is still in direct and intense competition with Apple as far as app promotion (and pretty much every else goes). Matt Marshall of VentureBeat questions how well Apple’s iOS translates into ads, despite the fact that it is “the second most popular smartphone OS behind Google’s Android” (Marshall, 2013). It can be difficult to put too much weight into the popularity of Apple when it hasn’t demonstrated that it can execute well in advertising. However, if you’re looking for app-to-app promotion and app sales, it is impossible to ignore the fact that Apple’s the most successful app store in terms of revenue (Marshall, 2013).
I don’t want to limit the discourse to app-to-app cross-promotion, though that’s certainly in the back of my mind, but if you’re an app looking for advertising, I’d suggest Millennial Media as an arbitrary personal selection. Call me a romantic but there’s something about an independent company that just warms my heart and makes me think: “there’s a company that would work hard for you”. The word “independent” has certain connotations for me, but I try not to let it obscure my judgment. If you regularly read my blogs you know how fascinated I am by all things millennial, including this aptly named app, which is the leading independent player in mobile outside of Google. Their pricing certain doesn’t follow a bargain basement model, which can be both an opportunity and a challenge. For apps and for Millennial Media the challenge is that its costs are relatively high, but it serves premium ads rather than programmatic buying (Marshall, 2013), which is great if that’s what your app needs (and/or wants).
The market has been flooded with apps and app promotion companies alike. AppFlood, named after the market trend, highlighted the top 50 companies and if you really want to make the best decision in app promotion, I’d suggest checking out what Richard O’Connell has written on his top picks. It’s a lengthy list so grab a coffee, or a pot of coffee, get ready to take some notes based on your specific needs because no two snowflakes app promotion companies are alike and there’s bound to be one that fits just right.
I really like Tap for Tap and MobPartner. MobPartner’s 130,000+ publishers is pretty impressive and “Tap for Tap is a mobile ad network for iOS and Android apps which includes a free tap exchange as well as paid promotion and app monetization network” (O’Connell, 2013).
What are your top picks?
Marshall, M. (2013). The Top 10 Mobile Advertising Companies. Retrieved January 22, 2015, from http://venturebeat.com/2013/06/12/the-top-10-mobile-advertising-companies/
O’Connell, R. (2013). Top 50 Mobile Advertising Platforms in 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2015, from http://appflood.com/blog/list-of-mobile-ad-networks-february-2013