Could Mobile App Games Help Monetize Traffic?

It’s no secret that it can often be difficult for publishers to effectively monetize mobile apps. Some developers, in an effort to overcome this challenge, are looking to “gamified” mobile ads to enhance revenue.

Gamification In Adverstising

What is gamification? It’s a process of user engagement that goes beyond something like a banner ad. It’s an offering of free products or services from brands that are typically well-known, especially within the mobile community. Users are rewarded with these freebies by performing certain tasks with the app. Think of it as a bonus you might get for completing a level in a video game. That’s exactly the principle behind it, and why it’s called gamification.

SEE ALSO: Tailoring Mobile for Audience Engagement at Different Levels

How Gamification Generates Revenue

Gamification ads are displayed within mobile apps. The idea is to hook the user with a tempting offer from a famous brand, such as a marketing message that reads: “Share your favorite summer time experience with us and receive a 5% discount off of your next Caribbean cruise!”

Here’s what that does: It incentivizes the user to become more engaged with the app. The advertiser (the cruise ship company in the example above) gets additional brand name recognition and more business. The advertiser is typically charged per engagement, so the risk is limited. The advertising fee is usually split between the advertisement producer and the publisher.

The Advantage Of Gamification

How does gamifying an ad create an advantage above traditional banner ads? Well, for starters, banner ads aren’t terribly effective. Yahoo!, certainly a company prominent in high-tech, has said that it will be discontinuing mobile banner ads. That company knows that there are superior means of getting higher click-through rates.

Second, gamification ads increase engagement. As noted previously, users get rewarded by fulfilling certain tasks within the app. Of course, this has a marvelous snowball effect. Users who stay on the app longer will be able to see more advertising that in turn generates more revenue for the publisher.

Third, users can be rewarded with app-specific “money.” In other words, they can gain points by performing certain tasks that lead to unlocking key benefits within the app that aren’t available to users who aren’t quite as engaged. Again, this incentives further use of the app and increases the potential for monetization.

Trying It Out: Meredith

Meredith is the company behind the well-known Allrecipes website. If you’ve ever Googled something like “best roast chicken,” you’ll find a hit from Allrecipes on the first page.

Meredith also offers a mobile app for its collection of recipes. That app, the Allrecipes Dinner Spinner, will be experimenting with gamified advertising. It will do that by offering a free Quaker Oats coupon to people who upload, share, or save a recipe.

One might not typically think of using gamification advertising on a mobile app that offers recipes, where there are typically no levels to complete or many actions to perform. However, this example just shows how attractive the gamficiation concept is to publishers.

Gamified ads are an up and coming trend in the mobile space. Time will tell whether or not they represent the best return on investment for publishers seeking to monetize mobile apps.

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