Tips & Tricks - Advertising and Sponsorship in Mag+

Advertising can be a crucial part of an app's monetization strategy.

There are really three primary ways to incorporate advertisers into Mag+ publications:

  • Traditional Advertising
  • Sponsorship
  • Ad Networks

Each is explained in further detail below.

Note: To see some great examples of Mag+ Ads, please visit our Ads Showcase.

Traditional Advertising

Some of our clients simply include print ads as static images. Other clients request InDesign files from advertisers so an in-house production team can remake them in Mag+, optimizing them for both orientations and for the tablet canvas (making small type legible, for instance). This also gives them a chance to upsell additional digital features, like Web links or embedded video.

It’s also entirely possible for advertisers to create custom ads for Mag+ publications. Since our creative tools are free for anyone, agencies can download them, design their dream ad and simply deliver the InDesign file or finished MIB for the publication to include. Or advertisers can create their ads in HTML, sized to the tablet canvas, and send on the HTML package. For the publication, including HTML ads is as easy as opening the Mag+ template, drawing a box the size of the screen and pointing to that .html file. For more information on adding HTML Objects in InDesign, please read the article "Adding HTML Objects to Your Layout."

Note: In-app browsers behave differently than traditional browsers like mobile Safari. While most things that work in the latter work seamlessly in the former, not everything does. We therefore encourage anyone creating an HTML ad to either download the Mag+ tools and test it on our free Reviewer app or work with the publication to do so, with plenty of time to tweak if something doesn't look right. For more information on using the Reviewer app, please read the articles in the section "Reviewing Your Current Design."

Sponsorship

Some titles are forgoing the AAM audit—or are digital-only—and monetizing their publications via sponsorship, either by one or by several companies. Some of our customers do this by including a single advertiser (typically designed in HTML) per digital Issue. We’ve seen other customers sell category-exclusive sponsorships, allowing a company to be, for example, the only auto advertiser in a certain number of issues. These sponsorships can be sold as part of larger packages that could include Web and print distribution.

Sponsors can have traditional ads in the Issues or, if the app itself is sponsored, can take advantage of other spaces in the app to tout their brand. Here are some ideas:

  1. Ads built natively in Mag+. 
    Pros: Works even when the user is offline; native user experience. 
    Cons: Are tied to the Issue content. They can only be changed by updating the whole Issue (and the user would have to redownload the Issue to see it).
  2. HTML ads either hard-coded in the Mag+ Issue or loading live.
    Pro: Can be deeply interactive; agencies or clients can build without knowing anything about Mag+; live ads can be changed dynamically. For more information on adding HTML Objects in InDesign, please read the article "Adding HTML Objects to Your Layout."
    Con: If it’s hard-coded within an Issue, it can only be changed with an Issue update; if it’s live, a user must be online for the full experience (but an image placeholder can be used for offline users).
  3. Loading screen. This is the screen that the user sees when they launch an app for the first time.
    Pro: User sees it on every cold open of the app. For more information on customizing the Mag+ app, please read the article "iOS - How to Customize Your App's Look and Feel" or "Android - How to Customize Your App's Look and Feel."
    Con: Can only be changed with app update.
  4. Branding bar. This is a 60-pixel high strip above the navigation visible in the app's Issues screen.
    Pro: Highly visible, unique space. For more information on customizing the Mag+ app, please read the article "iOS - How to Customize Your App's Look and Feel" or "Android - How to Customize Your App's Look and Feel."
    Con: Can only be changed with app update.
  5. Banners. These are images that appear in the app's Issues screen.
    Pro: Can have an unlimited number and can change dynamically by changing settings in the Mag+ Publish portal; can be hot-linked to any URL. For more information, please read the article "General - Using In-App Banners."
    Con: Only visible in the Issues screen.
  6. Live button. An optional button in the navigation bar that opens an in-app Web view.
    Pro: Can change the URL this points to dynamically from the Mag+ Publish portal. For more information on customizing the Mag+ app, please read the article "iOS - How to Customize Your App's Look and Feel" or "Android - How to Customize Your App's Look and Feel."
    Con: User must tap the button to see it.

Ad Networks

Mag+ currently supports two dynamic ad services: AdMarvel and AdMob/Google DFP (Doubleclick for Publishers). Common on the Web, these services dynamically fetch ads and place them into designated spots on a page. Ultimately, this means that you could divorce ad sales from content and instead monetize views (as you do on the Web). You can learn more about these services by reading the article "Dynamic Ad Serving: AdMarvel and AdMob/DFP."

Mag+ currently supports online serving, but you can put a placeholder graphic in the ad box for when a user is offline. The SDKs for these services are built into all apps after version 4.3.

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