Tactics To Drive Mobile Native Ad Optimization

Native advertising remains a buzzworthy ad type in the mobile industry, but is it yielding results?

Like all ad types, testing and optimization are key components of performance, but are often a missed step in the mobile native ad strategy. While native is fully customizable to match the look and feel of the mobile environment, testing to see what experience drives conversion is still critical.

Native advertising is uniquely designed to help maximize revenue, while maintaining optimal user experience. Layering it with an optimization strategy allows you to understand user engagement. Here are several concepts to consider when exploring mobile native advertising.

Treat Discovery Ads Like App Content

Native ads are fully customizable and adapt to the native features of the app. Native ads can be shown in-stream, as icons, promoted listings, and more. The ad unit possibilities are endless. 

The goal is not to disturb the user experience. Native ad formats offer an opportunity to integrate in-app or in-browser advertising without invasive ad units. Effective native advertising feels like an extension of the app, not an intrusive interruption. Native ads help satisfy mobile marketers’ desire for custom content in a scalable, creative way.

Make Native Fully Transparent

Just because it’s native doesn’t mean it should not be discoverable. Native content should be clearly labeled in apps or the mobile Web to ensure you are meeting user expectations, as well as continuing to provide a compelling call to action.

Why? The success of native advertising means utilizing best practices. Mobile advertising works because there is a clear expectation of what is expected from the end user. Discoverability, transparency and visibility are key elements to a native advertising experience that drives higher LTV users.


An essential component of all mobile advertising is testing and optimization, however, it is especially important for native advertising. Creating a testing strategy begins with understanding the goals as well as measuring the outcomes. Knowing whether color, call to action, content, size or imagery impacts conversion can only be determined once you’ve created a baseline and test new creative components against it.

·      Color. Playing with color in native can be as easy as matching the native ads to your app experience or visually comparing what colors perform better in an ad. The key here is to explore color for driving performance.

·      Call to Action. Transparency matters. A call to action (CTA) is necessary in creating an expectation for the user. However, testing whether or not a button versus a hyperlink creates more conversions is just one of the many ways you can test a CTA. Another to consider is what action you are requesting -- “Install Now,” “Learn More,” and “Play” -- are just a few that we have found to create different conversions based on the user base.

·      Content. Is it simply an app icon with some rich content or is it an inline ad that drives the most conversion? Experimenting with content can not only give you great insights into what type of content your users engage with, but also provide details for optimization.

While not everyone is confident that native advertising will be a game changer in the mobile space, it is showing promising results. The key is to continue to challenge your assumptions of the native experience and let your users inform results.


2 comments about "Tactics To Drive Mobile Native Ad Optimization".
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  1. Anni Paul from BoscoSystems, May 22, 2014 at 1:30 a.m.

    Appreciate this post, need more like it.

    Your last point deserves the most attention - content. I don't know how the importance of content is getting lost in native mobile advertising but a good ad is about the substance, not the style.

    Facebook gets it. So does Airpush. Probably Twitter too. But others are still behind on understanding this, or at least acting like they understand it.

  2. Tanvi Kapoor from InMobi, May 22, 2014 at 3:30 a.m.

    Given all the hype on native advertising, there is a need to educate publishers on best practices of implementing Native Ads. At InMobi, we have seen publishers make some obvious mistakes in terms of placement and even the layout they select. At the end of the day, there needs to be a balance between the ad experience and the monetization potential.

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