Focusing Your Digital Advertising on Top Ten Smartphone Apps of 2015

When planning a mobile marketing strategy you need to make sure that any ads or posts that you make are going to be seen by as many people as possible.  While there is an almost endless list of apps and mobile ad networks that you can use to get your message out in front of an audience, it is important to make sure that you focus a significant amount of effort on the biggest players in the game.

Nielsen has just released their latest report that lists the top ten smartphone apps of 2015 based on average unique users.  This is an important report whether you’re in the app marketing industry or you’re just trying to get your ads displayed where they will be seen by the largest number of people possible.

smartphone app report

You can see in the above chart from Nielsen that Facebook and Google owned apps are dominating this list.  In fact, other than #9 and 10 which are run by Apple, there are no other companies involved.  This this may seem like a bad thing at first, it can actually make marketing a little easier for the average person.

If you want to get in front of the millions of users that are accessing these apps each day, all you have to do is run ads on either the Google ad network, the Facebook ad network or both.  When you do this you can take advantage of their advanced targeted options as well, which will help you to not only get your ads displayed but also ensure they are shown to the right people.

Also included in this report is that the total smartphone use in the US has reached 80% of adults.  This is a 2% uptick over the September report from ComScore.  It seems that this saturation level is starting to level out, which is not surprising at all.  The fact that it is growing at all is really quite impressive.  In the report you will see that 53% of smartphone users are on Android devices, and 43% on iOS devices.  Three percent are using a Windows phone and .7% are still on BlackBerry smartphones.

This report is widely seen as the most accurate and effective on this topic available.  The data is gathered from a monthly survey of 30,000 mobile subscribers in the US.  They also gather data from a measurement app installed on about 9000 users handsets (with their permission of course). You can see the full report from Nielsen HERE.

Don’t Worry – Most People Don’t Block Ads Anyway

With all the news about ad blocking that has been popping up over the past few weeks it is no surprise that many marketers are getting a little nervous.  While it is certainly a concern that needs to be thought about, it might not be as big of a problem as many people would expect.  According to a recent report from comScore and Sourcepoint the percentage of people who block ads is fairly low (though certainly not insignificant).  Interestingly, the number varies greatly based on what country the user is from.

For example, France has the highest overall blocking rate at about 27%.  That is certainly a large number, but when you think about the fact that it is the highest rate in the world it can be reassuring.  In the US, only about 9% of visitors to any given site will be blocking ads.  This is near the bottom of the list of the major countries looked at by the study.

Of course, the rate at which people block ads also changes based on how old they are.  Younger visitors typically block at much higher rates, which indicates that this may be a growing problem over time.  In the US, 16.2% of people aged 18-24 are using some type of ad blocker.  You can see the full breakdown of ad blocking by age and country in this chart provided by eMarketer:

When it comes to mobile blocking, the numbers are currently even lower.  Of course, that may change as more and more people upgrade to iOS9 where they can install ad blockers.  In the US, however, only .1% of  ad pages are blocked on mobile devices.  The highest percentage is in India with a full 9%.  You can see the mobile ad blocking rates by country in this chart (also from eMarketer).  Take note that this chart is from July of 2015.  We’ll definitely want to come back and look at this situation again in a few months.

There is no doubt that ad blocking is something of a concern for website owners and marketers of all types.  It reduces the overall inventory of ads available, which will cause the prices for each ad to go up over time.  In addition, if you own a site or service that relies on ad income, the more people that are blocking, the less money you can make.

For now, however, this type of data really shows that it is still not something to get too worked up over.  Even on PCs where ad blocking has been easy to get and install for years, less than a quarter of users actually install the blockers.  This is, hopefully, a good sign for the future of the digital advertising world.  As with all things, however, we’ll have to wait and see how these numbers play out over time.

Introduction to Tenancy Deals

If you’re a successful affiliate marketer you are likely always looking for ways to increase your overall profits while also diversifying your income.  One great option that many people overlook is running a tenancy deal.  A tenancy deals is a process where advertising space is purchased on the website of an affiliate and can often be on top of the normal CPA agreement.  If you’re thinking about offering (or even asking for) one of these types of deals you need to know some of the key pieces of information that you need to evaluate.  The following is a quick introduction to some things to consider to help ensure you get the best results possible.


Like with most things you do as an affiliate, performance will be a key factor to consider.  Performance metrics should be discussed by all parties involved to ensure it is a mutually beneficial experience.  Talking about how much traffic the advertisement should see, for example.  In addition, decide what will happen should traffic levels go up or down significantly.  This is not only important for ensuring all parties know what to expect, but also to allow for longer term deals that can thrive through the ups and downs of normal business.

Activity Commitments

An issue that can cause problems with these types of agreements is the inactivity of the website owner.  All too often marketers will set up a new website, fill it with content and work very hard to get traffic flowing and sales being made.  Once that process is completed and they have income and advertisers in place, they may slow down on keeping the website active.  This can, of course, reduce the amount of traffic or even the quality of the traffic quite significantly.  To avoid problems with this, the amount of activity on the site should be guaranteed when making a tenancy deal.  In most cases, activity will be based on the number of posts per week or month.

Major Changes

Another concern that many advertisers who are interested in a tenancy deal will have is that the site owner will make major changes to the layout of the page.  While this can be an important part of keeping up to date and improving a business, it can also reduce the effectiveness of any ads on the page.  If a major design or style change is being planned, the advertiser should have the option to either exit the deal at the time of the change or have say in the approval of the updates.

Maintaining the Relationship

Affiliates know that any type of business is built around a trusting relationship, and the tenancy deal should be no different.  If you’re running a site and looking to have an advertiser come in, make sure you respect their wishes and work hard to provide them with as much value as possible just like you would with a customer looking to make a purchase of one of your products.  The more value you provide the other party, the more likely they will be to continue to renew the tenancy deal long into the future and provide you with a nice income stream.

Deep Linking Now Available from Facebook Ads

Many marketers have been using Facebook ads to promote app installs.  This is a great option for many because of the fact that most people on Facebook today are already using mobile apps, and often engaging with Facebook itself from within the mobile app.  Up until this point, however, Facebook only allowed app install ads that link directly to the app install itself, or to open the app if it was already installed.

Installing app

Deep-linking is a strategy that allows ads to open the app to a specific page internally.  In the past, this was only allowed for re-engagement ads, which are also quite popular.  While this can be a confusing concept, Facebook developers have explained it like this:

“When a person taps on a mobile app install ad on Facebook, the developer can choose to send them to a specific place in their app after it’s been downloaded, such as a product page rather than the homepage.  This will make mobile app ads more effective for achieving a developers goals beyond the install, and provide people with better experiences by taking them to the content that attracted their attention in the ad.”

They went on to give an illustration saying, “For example, if a travel app is running mobile app install ads featuring a vacation to San Francisco, people who install the app and open it will be taken directly to information about the San Francisco offer.  This makes it more likely the person will find information about the San Francisco trip that interested them, rather than having to search for it manually.  Removing extra steps between clicking the ad and getting to the travel offer provides a more seamless customer experience.”

This has long been possible when running ads that simply ‘re-open’ already installed apps, but this is a new and important feature for apps that are being installed for the first time.  Any marketer who is promoting app installs or any services related to apps will want to be sure to look into this option as it has the potential to dramatically improve conversion rates, which is essential for affiliate marketers of all types.

The new option is available now on all Facebook ads accounts so don’t delay in getting yours set up and running right away.  Of course, remember to gather data to see how effective this new option is for you.