Why deep linking is the next big opportunity for tablet advertisers

February 7, 2014
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Unlike a mobile phone, which is basically a thumb workout, on a tablet it is more natural to play a game or read an article on Pulse while I wait for my personal banking data to update. The way tablets lend themselves to inter-app switching is perhaps why the advent of “mobile deeplinking” may have an even greater impact on tablet devices than on mobile phones.

What is deeplinking?

Mobile deeplinks are links to sub-pages of an app. Just as you can send a friend a link to your Facebook profile on the web, deeplinking allows you to send a link to your Vine profile or your Pinterest board, within the Vine and Pinterest mobile apps–into a specific page or view of the mobile app.

On a technical level, this is done by registering a custom url scheme in your iOS or Android app, which tells the mobile operating system to leave the browser window, open your app, and call a handler method that you provide when the link is clicked.

This seemingly simple utility has the power to turn largely silo-ed native apps into linkable, accessible repositories, and the app universe as a whole into a more intricately connected ecosystem.

Instead of sending users to the homepage or search page as a starting point, every viewable page of an app will be linked to directly–increasing usability, shareability, and marketability.

Why deeplinking will accelerate opportunities for tablet advertisers

Where deeplink advertising really shines is retargeting–mobile retargeting companies like ours help advertisers take advantage of deeplinks by getting users back into the apps they already have installed.

For instance, when users leave shopping carts full without purchasing, deeplink campaigns can show that user the exact products they abandoned in subsequent ads. In the future, you could imagine cross-pollination of ads across apps in related markets–like HotelTonight ads displaying neighborhood-specific, time-sensitive hotel room deals to Lyft or Sidecar users.

Ultimately, mobile and tablet apps allow for better functionality, faster service, higher conversion rates on purchases and better user experiences than on the web. But conversion rates on tablet devices tend to be highest of all, which is why deeplinking users into them can be even more valuable.

The future of inter-app communication is bright

I have no doubt that before very long, deeplinking will become ubiquitous. Apps linking to and from each other will be commonplace, and mobile browsers directing users to richer in-app experiences will be the default.

The “walled gardens” will be torn down and roads and bridges between apps will be constructed. As a result, the relationships between apps that a user has installed on their phone will become exponentially more important, to both the consumer and the businesses themselves.

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