Introduction to App Monetization
Mobile users across the world balk at the idea of paying a fee to install an app. Very few developers have tasted success despite offering the app for a price. So how do you, as an app developer, reap the rewards of your hard work? Say hello to ‘app monetization’ – a bunch of innovative strategies that can help maximize earnings from your app despite offering it for free.
Some of the common app monetization strategies include selling user data to advertisers, offering your users various kinds of in-app purchases, advertising other products or services within your own app and finding a sponsor for your app. Every app is different and the same strategy may not work for two different apps. It is, therefore, important to understand the typical user of your app and then decide on which strategy to pick.
First Things First
If you have yet to develop your app, pause for a moment. Most developers make the mistake of only focusing on design and user experience parameters before building the app. While these are undoubtedly important things to consider, so is a solid, well thought out business model.
To choose the right business model, you need to first answer to simple questions – What problem is your app trying to solve and how will it solve that problem? Once you are able to answer the first one answer, you will be able to pin point your target audience. And once you are clear about your target audience, you can answer the second question simply by observing the behavioural patterns of your audience.
For example, if your app is trying to make airline ticketing easier for frequent flyers, your target audience is most likely tech savvy professionals who travel often for work. Such people would like to use an app that saves time and money while booking their trips – so if your app offers them a quicker booking time than other competitors along with lucrative discounts or offers – you can stay rest assured that they will prefer your app over others. Now that you have answered these two questions you can identify some monetization strategies as well – you can showcase advertisements of airline brands, charge a small fee per booking and even sell customer data to travel accessories companies who would like to advertise to the same target audience.
App Advertising – Still a Taboo?
I have picked out app advertising of all the available strategies to discuss because many developers are still reluctant about it. They believe it hinders the user experience and can even drive away the most loyal users. To be honest, there may be some truth in this. However, what developers need to understand is that this only happens when the ads are poorly placed.
The trick is to incorporate dedicated advertising space into your app right from the early stage designs. This way, you can be sure that the user experience is not dependent on the ads at all. In-app advertising is one of the best ways to maximize your earnings no matter what kind of an app you are offering.
Other Avenues of Monetization
Some other successful ways to increase your app revenue include strategies such as:
- You can consider selling the user data you collect to advertisers. Advertisers usually pay a handsome fee for such data that they can use to target specific people for specific products and services. However, be sure to read up on state laws and do a background check on the data purchaser before shipping the data.
- Many apps have been successful in obtaining a fixed sponsor for their apps. What this essentially means is that only your sponsor will have advertising rights inside your app. This is a great source of assured income since companies usually pay in advance for a fixed time of sponsorship.
- Offering in-app purchases is another excellent way of earning from your app. For instance, most game apps keep some levels, characters or accessories locked that can be accessed only after paying a small fee. However, many other apps have also successfully used in-app purchases to their advantage. Many music service apps offer faster downloads for a small fee.
Some Important Facts
There are few important things to keep in mind while developing your business model. Whether you are planning to release your app on the android platform or the iOS platform, you will have to part with a part of your earnings. Get yourself familiar with App Store fees for Apple apps and Google Play fees for Android apps.
Another crucial thing to remember is that if you are considering taking the in-app advertising route, pick the brands you showcase very carefully. Make sure that the ads don’t offend your app customers as this will only hamper your prospects.
So, start developing your own monetization strategies today simply because it’s worth it! A great app combined with a solid monetization strategy is a recipe for success.