Rise of Mobile Applications
More people now use mobile phones more than they do desktops, according to comScore:
The affordability and accessibility of smartphones have ushered in a new age of marketing — marketing that doesn’t rely on web browsers to reach users, and instead reaches them via mobile applications (mobile apps).
Mobile apps are applications developed for handheld devices such as smartphones, tablets, and PDAs. While some mobile apps come preloaded with your smartphone; users can download others from your mobile app store.
Mobile experience has a huge impact on the first impression users form about your brand. An Oracle study found that after a poor mobile experience with a brand, 54% of millennials would be less likely to use the brand’s services. Mobile apps take precedence over mobile websites because they load faster than a website does. Clearly, loading speed is a big factor for users:
Mobile apps work better than mobile websites because they offer:
- Better personalization: Mobile apps track and observe user engagement, which allows them to provide custom recommendations for users. The apps can also determine the location of users in real time which allows them to serve users with geographically personalized content.
- Hassle-free notifications: With mobile apps, you don’t have to rely on email blasts for every new update. You can simply push notifications or trigger in-app messages.
- Offline workability: You can’t access websites if you’re offline. However, most mobile apps offer basic functionality even if your internet is not working.
- More engaged experiences: Mobile users tend to spend 86% of their time on mobile apps, and this number is increasing. On the other hand, users spend just 14% of the time on mobile websites.
- Better chance of conversions: Mobile apps give marketers the unique opportunity to promote their new offers to their customers in a non-invasive and targeted way.
In 2016, the number of mobile apps available for Android users reached 2.2 million, whereas Apple’s app store boasts 2 million available apps.
Mobile apps offer marketers a unique opportunity to advertise since their users are already using the apps. However, Google made sure that marketers didn’t annoy their users with interstitial ads.
An interstitial ad (full-screen ad) covers the interface of the host app, and the user has a choice to either tap on the ad’s call-to-action button or close the ad and go back to the host app. As of November 2015, Google doesn’t like interstitial ads like this one on mobile devices:
An ad this size is permissible by Google:
Google penalizes mobile apps that show interstitial ads and disrupt users’ engagement with the app. Instead, the search engine urges marketers to use mobile-friendly app install banners instead.