By Ioana Cozma | 10 min read
7 Mobile App Advertising Trends for 2023
Mobile app advertising trends come and go, so you need to discern between what’s here to stay and what we’ll laugh at five years from now.
Since we are an experienced mobile app advertising agency, we’ll help you focus on trends that are here to stay, showing you how to leverage them in your favor.
We will take a personalized approach, discussing these trends through the lens of your marketing goals, app category, audience, and more.
And as always, we’ll discuss examples from the mobile industry across non-gaming and gaming apps. We have plenty of inside scoops, too, so keep reading along.
1. Rise of Short-Form Video Content
The consumption of short-form video content has increased by 135% between the second quarter of 2021 and Q2 of 2022. TikTok has quickly become one of the favorite social platforms for people worldwide, with a global audience of 1.8 billion users.
To make the most of your mobile advertising efforts, you should invest in video growth.
Focus on the right channels:
- TikTok is a good choice if you want to attract Gen Z-ers: Of course, it depends on what type of mobile app you have. You want to ensure your audience is using TikTok but also that your app is suited for this channel.
- Instagram shouldn’t be neglected: Some mobile games and apps are better suited for Instagram because of their target audience. For example, Millennials are more likely to use Instagram and Facebook than TikTok.
- Use Facebook for older generations: Research shows that the target audience for mobile games is mainly women. In this case, you should use Facebook to reach out to them.
Let’s see some examples of how it’s done:
At inBeat, we used TikTok to attract mobile users across different apps with different advertising budgets. Bumble is one of our success stories.
This dating app came to us wanting to increase its app downloads and in-app activity.
We researched its competitors and viral trends in the 18 to 24 age group, which is Bumble’s audience. We then decided that TikTok UGC was the best strategy for this audience. So, we partnered with five influencers and brainstormed the theme “come with me to my first date.”
The campaign was a roaring success, with:
- 5x app install
- 64% decrease in cost per registration
We also worked with Linktree mobile app to increase its engagement and position it as a culturally hip brand. That’s why we decided to create content that’s:
After extensive research and social media listening, we gathered folders with ideas and trends. Then, we tapped into those trends to produce relatable, genuine content:
Many mobile games and apps are doing well on these channels. You can see examples from fitness and sports apps to resume-writing apps, hiring apps, and more.
2. Targeted Advertising
Targeted advertising relies heavily on social media listening and observing your app users’ behaviors. For example, someone Googling “resume building for free” may reach a resume editing app like resume.io.
This hypothetical person will likely see many ads from resume.io in the future.
They’ll see ads on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more.
If they also interact with the app, such as adding an age or uploading a picture, they will likely receive targeted messages based on that info.
For example, the people in the ad can be in the same age group as the person looking to build their resume. I’m not saying it happened to me, but I’m not saying it didn’t either.
But while personalization is essential for in-app experience and ads, people value their privacy too. Studies show that 92% of Americans are concerned about online data privacy. By comparison, 65% of consumers claim that a personalized experience leads to brand loyalty.
So, try to find the right mix between this customization and legal privacy restrictions. For example, you can use first-party data to build contextual advertising. However, you can’t sell that first-party data, like device IDs, to other companies.
3. Playable Ads
Playable ads are those interactive ads that let you test-run an app or a mobile game to see if you like it. These ads are short, between 15 and 60 seconds.
Here’s an example:
These tools are so effective because:
- You create desire: A baby tasting chocolate for the first time likely wants a second and a third bite. That’s how these ads operate subconsciously; you allow people to test them for a short period, and they’ll be more likely to want more.
- They don’t feel like ads: Potential app users choose whether to interact with this type of ad. Therefore, these ads appear less spammy. That’s why they can improve the return on ad spend and decrease the cost per acquisition (CPA).
Side note: Try our CPA calculator to monitor and optimize your campaign.
- People know what your app is about: The conversions boost you get after a playable ad campaign isn’t just about the total number of users. You get a significant increase in active users and retention rate because they downloaded the app knowing what’s in store for them. So they are already relatively sure they like your app. In fact, playable ads can increase retention rates by 30-40%.
- You get in-depth knowledge about your audience: You can see how people interacted with your playables, measuring their performance. That means you can build better ad creatives.
There are two types of playable ads to consider:
- HTML playable ads: Reproduce the in-game experience best, but are more expensive.
- Interactive videos: Are easier to make and more affordable, but are a less immersive ad format.
On the downside, playables:
- Have a more challenging production.
- Are more expensive than other ads.
- Are difficult to iterate and test manually.
- Fit casual games better because they have simpler gameplay.
- Fit gaming apps better, though you could technically use them for a non-gaming app too.
4. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence created a digital revolution, taking the whole world by storm, not just the marketing world. And this storm doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Here’s what AI can do:
- Facilitates social listening by studying people’s interactions with your app and ads, thus recognizing hidden patterns that help you better target relevant users.
- Reduces manual work, helping mobile app developers write code and marketers write better ads. You can also use AI machine learning to build an impressive library of resources that help your app users.
- Helps you create more linkable assets, such as calculators and tools your audience uses.
- Connects you with your audience, for example, through chatbots or augmented reality.
- Facilitates innovative consumer and alternative payments, using virtual coins for in-app purchases.
The fitness app Lark is a neat example of leveraging AI, from its chatbot to its library of health-related insights from top global experts.
5. Mobile-First Advertising
Worldwide streaming has increased considerably, and mobile streaming isn’t far behind. Many popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, and more offer good mobile streaming.
Mobile e-commerce is also showing an upward trend, expected to reach 8.7% by 2026. Many social media platforms have already included shoppable features.
These two trends mean that mobile advertising presents a useful opportunity for you.
The problem: Mobile users resort to ad-blocking technology to prevent ads.
One solution: Google Shopping can save the day, making your app visible to prospects even if they use ad blockers.
Another solution is leveraging user-generated content.
6. User-Generated Content
inBeat recognized the power of user-generated content years ago. UGC statistics show this is a powerful weapon against ad fatigue and trust issues.
Regular people trust UGC more than branded content and are more likely to share it. Besides, UGC is shown to increase customer loyalty as well.
You can incorporate UGC in mobile app advertising if you:
- Create UGC ads: You can disseminate them on social channels or include them in Apple Search Ads.
- Repost UGC content on your social media, app stores, and website: Consider user reviews or images from your existing users.
At inBeat, we used UGC successfully to slash our clients’ CPIs (cost per install), increase app purchases, and accelerate downloads.
In the travel app category, Hopper allows people to book flights, hotels, and rental cars.
Therefore, in-app purchases are one of Hopper’s monetization strategies, and we had to get more people to book from it.
Our solution: We created desire with TikTok UGC.
Although TikTok advertising is more expensive than Facebook advertising, UGC ads are more affordable than highly-edited conventional ads.
Our UGC ads involved content creators who painted Hopper as their secret gem to plan more affordable trips:
Pro tip: If you want to include UGC in your mobile advertising strategy, take a look at our UGC Studio. This tool connects you with the top 1% of creators to get curated UGC in your inbox. From video content like how-to clips to app testing, these creators can deliver genuine, helpful gems in days.
7. Micro and Nano Influencer Marketing
Mobile device users spend 147 minutes daily on social media. And that’s the home of influencers. In fact, the influencer market has doubled since 2019, reaching $16.4 billion in 2022.
Mobile marketers should leverage influencer marketing to:
- Increase revenue for apps.
- Drive more engagement.
- Build awareness.
- Ensure user loyalty.
inBeat has first-hand experience using influencers, and we have helped over 200 brands to date.
We’re not just bragging here; our results show that micro- and nano-influencers are better suited for mobile app advertising because they have higher engagement rates. Smaller influencers’ relationships with their audience have a more personal nature because they have more time to engage in more direct conversations.
Pro tip: Don’t just partner with anyone. Use our fake follower checker to ensure your shortlisted influencers have a legit reach. Plus, our engagement rate calculators will help you gauge how well-connected they are with their followers.
Mogo.ca is a leading budgeting app in the mobile industry, addressing a Gen Z audience. We partnered with several nano-influencers to promote this app across platforms.
We understood that potential app users needed more information about this app, so we selected trustworthy figures who could explain its features.
Carter Sullivan is one of those people, and she worked with us on YouTube product reviews:
We also partnered with TikTok influencers because many young people use TikTok to:
- Discover and purchase financial products
- Get financial advice
One of these influencers is MehrTM:
How Can You Leverage These 7 Mobile App Advertising Trends?
First, you have to consider your goals. Do you want to build a consistent customer base, improve engagement, or build awareness?
This is the most important step because it tells you which strategies and tools will work best in your case.
We showed you different examples of gaming and non-gaming apps that will help you get started. And you can confidently use the tools mentioned above to improve your advertising campaign’s performance.
Alternatively, let’s book a free call. We’ll discuss potential strategies for your mobile app to help you reap all the advantages these mobile app advertising trends bring.