The Best Mobile Ad Networks: Choose the Right One for Your Small Business

crowded train with people looking at their mobile phones

Are you a small business looking for ways to reach more potential customers online? The solution is actually probably in your hands as you read this article, or at least within arm’s reach. I’m talking about your smartphone.

Go Where Your Users Are…Mobile Use is Growing!

Ever thought about how much time you spend on your mobile phone? In 2014, comScore reported that the number of mobile users surpassed the number of desktop users in the US. Market research form GO-Globe indicates that the average consumer spends 52 per cent of their time on digital media engaged with a mobile app.

Mobile advertising, often overlooked by small businesses, is more than just a trend. Forecasting by Gartner in 2013 suggests that mobile app revenues earned an estimated $58 billion (USD) in 2016 globally, and is expected to hit $77 billion in 2017.

How Mobile Advertising Works…

Mobile advertising relies on contextual data to match your ad with the right audience. Contextual data includes information (browser history, emails, instant messaging, bookmarks, etc.) about a user that can be used to establish better, more timely relevance between the ad and the user.

Ads are displayed based on their relevance to a user’s online habits, meaning your ad only appears if it’s relevant to a user’s interests and behaviour online. So, for instance, if you sell sweaters for dogs, your ad will be targeted to users who demonstrate an interest in dog attire, based on their bookmarks, online conversations, browser history, etc.

Choosing the Right Mobile Ad Network…

Whether you want more online exposure, or you’d like to monetize your mobile app, or, you’re about to launch a new app on the market, picking the right mobile ad network can be a bit daunting at first. Your search results are likely to yield a string of attractive offers from industry names you’ve never heard of. And of course, they all promise to deliver the best return on your investment.

Comparing features and benefits takes time, as well as some digital marketing expertise. There are different ad formats to consider (i.e. banners, interstitials, play-ads) as well as campaign options (CPC/CPV/CPM, etc) which will impact your budget.

Ad Campaigns

Campaign options include the following:

  • CPC- cost-per-click
  • CPV: cost-per-view
  • CPI: cost-per-impression
  • CPM: cost-per-1000-impressions
  • CPA: cost-per-action (subscription, complete a form, etc)
  • CPL: cost-per-lead

Ad Formats

Mobile ad networks are also distinguished by the ad formats they support. Some formats are more effective than others, while choosing the wrong format could doom your campaign:

  • Video Ads: extremely effective for promoting video games, tutorials, entertainment
  • Reward Ads: can generate user engagement by offering users a reward in exchange for their time
  • Playable Ads: interactive ads that engage user feedback and
  • Interstitial Ads: ad copy that appears during site navigation between pages
  • Banner Ads: display ad that strategically occupies the top or bottom screen

Check out our recommendations for reliable mobile ad networks that deliver results, or get in touch with Paul Teitelman in Toronto, for more great advice on your mobile ad campaign.

Google Ad Exchange

  • operates on any mobile platform
  • offers cost-per-mile, cost-per-click, and cost-per-impressions (1000)
  • utilizes a wide range of ad formats (interstitials, banners, custom search ads)
  • user-friendly interface and ad customization for creating your ad in minutes
  • premium version of Google Ad Sense
  • branded or anonymous inventory designation for desired transparency
  • offers ‘preferred deals’ option for buyers and publishers
  • access to a global network of certified publishers


  • offers cost-per-click, cost-per-mile, and cost-per-action
  • global market reach with major global media brands
  • targets audience by carrier, device, OS or demographic
  • supports several ad formats, including video


  • 1 billion users
  • analyzes ad campaigns results across a vast network to target the most promising users
  • uses marketing automation based on real-time consumer data to improve ad results
  • supports over 300 brands in major industries (travel, retail, gaming, etc)
  • 1 billion users
  • offers cost-per-click and cost-per-action campaigns
  • customized ad formats
  • customized ad targeting focused in US exclusively


  • global reach for small or large enterprises
  • access to over 500 million users
  • direct integration with over 7600 mobile app developers
  • offers several ad campaigns: cost-per-mile, cost-per-action, cost-per-view, and cost-per-impression
  • operates on Android or iOS
  • supports native ads, video, banner ads, and interstitials,
  • ad targeting by mobile device, carrier, or OS


  • access to over 7000 publishers
  • operates on iOS or Android
  • offers flexible ad campaigns (CPI, CPC, CPA, CPL, CPS)
  • custom ad targeting
  • global reach


  • operates an extensive ad network in over 200 countries
  • supports several ad formats
  • direct in-app and mobile web traffic
  • customized targeting to suit your desired platform (e.g. Facebook, Google, VK)
  • focused on non-intrusive, native ads using contextual data
  • offers flexible campaign options (CPA, CPM,CPC)

About the Author

Paul Teitelman - SEO Consultant

Paul is a well-respected Canadian SEO consultant and link-building expert with over 15 years of experience helping hundreds of companies rank for competitive keywords on Google. He is a Toronto-based SEO consultant who is passionate about search engine optimization and link building. Over the years, he has made a reputation for himself as a leader in the industry by consistently delivering phenomenal results to his growing client base.