With lower CPMs and greater availability, expandable banners can be an attractive option for advertisers looking to maximize their rich media saturation. But don’t jump for joy just yet…it’s easy to make a misstep. Here are some tips to help you avoid beginner mistakes.
1. Don’t forget the banner
All too often are advertisers spending countless time and dollars on the full screen piece of an expandable ad unit, only to completely ignore the banner itself. Remember: no one will see your swanky in-ad game or content experience unless they click on the banner itself. Make those banners eye-catching!
2. Don’t double up
When you’re creating an expandable ad unit, the banner is the first (albeit important – see above) step. Reward consumers with more value in the expanded unit than in the banner. If your banner contains a logo and an offer, and the expanded area contains that same logo offer – perhaps in a larger font – you’re wasting an opportunity to drive deeper brand engagement.
3. Don’t hide usability
Mobile expandable ad units are excellent for promoting consumer interaction without taking those consumers out of their original app. Just make sure to communicate! Let consumers know they will not have to re-open their app or find the tab they were browsing by placing keywords like “expand” on the banner. Telling the user what’s going to happen when they click a button is a basic standard of usability, and should be especially honored in situations where space is at a premium.
4. Don’t ignore file size
This is a hard one, especially for designers. When we spend hours working on a banner the width of a Sharpie, it’s easy to get swept up in the abundance of space on a full screen. However, if the file size becomes too large – due, in part, to the high pixel density and 2x retina image that is so clear you can count the individual hairs on the celebrity’s head – connection speed starts to become your enemy. Remember: the mobile user has the attention span of a finger flick, so if it’s a competition between load times and pixel density, always err on the side of speed. The cold hard truth is that if the file size is too big, your users may move on before the ad has a chance to load your finely coiffed model.
5. Don’t treat all devices the same
In addition to different form factors, smartphones and tablets have very different patterns of use, and should be treated as such. Smartphone users generally operate in sessions of five minutes or less; so, if you’ve created a one minute in-ad game, you’re going to lose them. One minute – as short as it seems – is too great a percentage of session time. Tablets, on the other hand, have much longer session times and are often used during periods of relaxation. On tablets, mobile users are much more accustomed to browsing content and leisurely interactions; hence, they are a better device for your deeper in-ad experiences.
Millennial Media is the leading mobile ad marketplace, making mobile simple for the world’s top brands, app developers, and mobile web publishers. The company's data and technology assets enable advertisers to connect with target audiences at scale, while driving monetization for publisher and developer partners. AOL acquired Millennial Media on October 23, 2015. Millennial Media boosts AOL's global, mobile capabilities and scale across ONE by AOL for advertisers and agencies, and offers the most attractive monetization platform for app developers.