by Nathan Warner, director with Mapp Media
As a developer of an amazing new app or a webmaster just about to launch a new mobile version of a site or content. You’ve almost certainly factored in advertising as one of the key revenue streams. Possibly advertising is even the only revenue stream planned. The problem is how to make sure that advertising is maximised in order to make it work in the best way possible for the business? Here are my three simple rules to follow …
Users should always come first
Of course, generating revenues from advertising is important and in fact is the very reason to go down this route.
However, if chasing the money is all you do then you’ll soon come unstuck.
“The advertising on offer should fit within the user journey”
Don’t plaster the site to the extent that it ruins the user experience and don’t necessarily choose ad partners that can only talk about the financial returns.
By building something that increases or improves the user experience then it will create longevity and ultimately the money will follow.
Whereas by creating something only for the money, then it is likely to be short-lived as users vote with their feet (or their fingers).
Make advertising part of the experience
One of the key ways that to ensure you’re not simply chasing the money is by focusing on advertising as being part of the overall user experience.
The advertising on offer should fit within the user journey and expand upon the experience.
There are a number of ways to do this – for example, interstitials being served as heavy content loads rather on a page turn.
Or in-stream banners that do not intrude on your movement around the screen.
But try playing with formats to find out what works best for the business and for the users. Speak to users – and listen to what they say – let them help to work out what will best suit them.
Finally, focus on building relationships with your advertising partners.
The good ad partners will welcome that – they will want to work with the business over the long-term and will welcome that relationship.
So ask about the service; see their deck in order to know how the business is being represented; and expect transparency.
It should be clear who the ad people are talking to and where the business is being pitched.
As the expert on your own product, maybe offer some advice on how the site can be manipulated to deliver and engaging solution for a particular brand.
And although a long-term relationship might be desirable, it’s not necessary to commit to long contracts from the Get Go.
Try a trial period that rolls into a longer-term contract if the ad people are successful – in that way you’re both investing in the success.
Nathan Warner is the director and co-founder of Mapp Media. His career started with building web and WAP sites for a variety of publishers, but soon expanded to work on the commercial side of the business. Nathan has worked on projects with the likes of Perform Group (ePlayer); Waitrose (e-commerce); Virgin Media (.com site); and Getty Images. He now advises Mapp Media’s clients on how to strike that balance between content and revenue, whether that be for web, social media or mobile platforms, to help drive both user engagement and income.