Mikhail Prytkov, Chief Operating Officer at Appness, on Successful Mobile Advertising

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Mikhail Prytkov is a Chief Operating Officer at Appness, international IT company that develops a unique marketplace for Facebook mobile advertising, connecting mobile app advertisers and media buyers from all over the world. Mikhail is an expert in mobile advertising industry with over 8 years experience. Additionally, he has enterprise-class background in implementing solid internet marketing and online advertising strategy. Prior to joining Appness, Mikhail was a Vice President of Advertising at DataLead. 

What is Appness and how are you positioned in the market?

Appness in a nutshell is a one of a kind marketplace for Facebook mobile advertising. And our mission is to provide a secure, transparent and mutually profitable connection between mobile app advertisers and media buying experts from all over the world. Imagine Uber for Mobile Ads – that would be Appness. The same way as you reach your destination with Uber you will get the desired result with Facebook traffic we drive.

Speaking of our position in the market, I’d say it’s pretty unique too. For one, we’re the only platform that grants media buyers a direct and authorized access to exclusive Facebook offers. For two, we’re offering advertisers an unprecedentedly flexible and secure model for purchasing quality traffic based on business goals, not the sheer amount of installs.

What trends do you see at Appness?

That’s a tough one, since we have seen quite a few trends, and even generated some ourselves.

We evangelize White Hat Facebook trend, allowing our users to meet Facebook highest security standards without any risk to be disqualified. It would be correct to mention the dramatic increase in both creativity and quality of ads we noticed when we took most of the technical chores off media buyers’ backs.

What types of clients do you work with?

So far we’ve mostly worked with major mobile app developers and publishers looking to scale their advertising campaigns by purchasing high quality users from Facebook. We help our clients seize promising user acquisition opportunities in other regions and markets that they can’t reach with their in-house teams.

What geographies are you focused on and where are you seeing the most growth?

Appness connects individual media-buyers on Facebook with local expertise in some specific and challenging geos and clients willing to promote their mobile app in these countries. So it would be safe to say we’re pretty much global. Actually, that’s one of the things that started Appness in the first place – the idea of making all markets accessible, no matter the distance.

What are your main tips for successful mobile advertising?

The key point of successful mobile advertising is understanding your audience. And it’s never possible without research and experiments – that’s why you should always try different formats, approaches, and messages in your ads until you nail it. And when you do, simply focus on producing quality creatives and banners that the targeted audience is sure to like.

What do you think the big themes for mobile advertising are going to be in 2017?

The year 2016 will be remembered for many events, such as Ted Baker`s shoppable film where viewers can interact with a video to explore new clothing collection. So the tone for 2017`s video formats has been set – immersive, 360° videos, replacing dimensional ones.

Live platforms as Periscope, Snapchat, Facebook Live etc., will progress in 2017 developing video technologies. So the number of brands, willing to try out new ads opportunities, is expected to grow.

As of April 2016, Facebook was the most popular social networking site in the world, based on the number of active user accounts. Facebook has already shifted from social network to powerful advertising platform. Thus Facebook sets new trends in order to increase advertising options for brands. Among those: monetized bots, monetized live video, call to action buttons for local business pages, virtual reality, live streaming etc.

In May 2016 Google Data showed increase by 4 times in global search interest after promoting their major Virtual Reality initiatives. Google was one of the earliest companies to jump into the modern virtual reality space. Today VR gains biggest advertisers` interest and forecasted to be one of the most sought-after technology for advertising in the next years.

What are your thoughts about video format exponential growth this year? Can you think of a time when all mobile ads will go video, leaving the static image behind?

Video ads can significantly increase user engagement as it is easier to transmit information using this format. People respond to video more actively and conversion rates are normally higher. So static image will definitely fall behind,  but not in the near future.

On the other hand? Even though video content is dominating more than half of the entire Web’s consumer traffic, video advertising has significant downsides. Spend and time consumption, as well as common video stuttering issues top the list. Videos cost a lot of time, effort, and money to produce, so every failed experiment or buffering in case of bad internet connection will put a noticeable dent in any advertising budget.

Appness in its turn allows advertisers to avoid such risks, since media buyers produce video content for them at no additional price. The only job to do is checking the creatives running via the platform’s interface.

What do you think about the mobile ad blocker problem? Can you think of a solution for it?
Sadly, lots of people who produce ads as well as many platforms that place them do it in intrusive and irrelevant fashion. In fact, they’ve pushed this problem so far that even some web browsers have built-in ad blocking functionality available. Alas, lots of good and helpful ads get blocked as collateral damage too.

But even though the damage is done, it’s not permanent. To advertisers, I’d recommend going for platforms that have earned people’s trust in providing quality ads only and thus do not suffer from ad block that much. Facebook is a really good example if you know where I’m taking this. For media buyers, the solution could not be more simple: stick to the original concepts of online advertising – provide users with a relevant and friendly message they really care to see. After all, the first banner ad launched in 1994 still holds an undefeated record of 44% CTR.

What kind of people work with you in the team at Appness?

Appness is a dedicated team of the industry’s brightest talents driven by one goal – making the Mobile Web a better, brighter place for everyone. And I have every confidence that we’ll get there.

For more on Appness, visit their site here.