How did mobile advertising enter into our marketing, and what are the best practices? There was a time when we made purchase decisions based on billboards we passed on the highway, clippings of coupons from the newspaper, and repetitive jingles that played during commercial breaks for our favorite sitcoms (and then continued playing in our minds for days after). This was a time when advertisements were largely impersonal and unfocused. Billboards may have promoted a nearby auto repair shop, but advertisers’ understanding of the ad’s audience was limited. How many people were in the car as it drove by? What’s their economic situation? How many people found the auto shop because of the billboard?
Cellphones and tablets have made it so we carry the billboard with us everywhere we go. When advertisers effectively use mobile advertising, they have the ability to immediately digest an almost dizzying amount of information about their prospective customers.
Let’s say someone taps an ad for an auto shop that pops up on a video about cars on YouTube. The advertiser would be able to see the age of the web user, their geographic location, and other personal information that could be used to assess and make the advertisement more effective. And if the user doesn’t buy the product, the advertiser may retarget them with ads so it seems to “keep popping up” coincidentally in other areas of the user’s mobile footprint, increasing the probability of a sale.
It was fictional advertising wiz Don Draper who said, “Keep it simple, but significant.” It’s not enough to take an ad you have and resize it to fit mobile dimensions. Mobile ads should be curated in ways that take full advantage of the limited space allowed by maintaining legibility and having clear calls to action. Character limits exist for a reason. Most people are on autopilot when they skip video ads and scroll past others. Successful designs capture user attention, are easy to read, and appeal in some way to the target audience.
Mobile ads can reach users in a variety of ways including social media news feeds, mobile site display or banner ads, in-app links, interstitial pop-ups, and video pre- or midroll. The number of options may seem overwhelming, but they each provide unique targeting and functional capabilities.
Social media ads are found while scrolling through a user’s regular newsfeed. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have advertising capabilities. Most platforms have in-depth audience demographic targeting abilities and the ability to follow a brand can lead to lasting customer engagement.
Tip: keep mobile social media ads short and sweet with strong imagery. The goal should be to fit in with a customer’s normal feed enough that they will organically engage with the ad.
The goal of mobile video ads should be to captivate the audience enough that they watch the entire video (and reach your call to action). This can be achieved by targeting customers who are more likely to be interested in the product or service your brand offers. In the examples above, an advertisement directed toward homeowners plays before a how-to video about painting a room in your house, and searching ‘how to paint a room’ yields results from several paint-related brands.
Tip: keep videos short (less than 15 seconds) to increase the likelihood that they are watched through the end.
It’s no secret that the apps and social networks we use every day are keeping track of what matters to us. And though this can be mind-boggling to experience as a consumer, advertisers can use this information to target prospective customers and clients who actually want what they’re selling.
Facebook and Google alone have over a billion data points on users ranging from their physical location to workout frequencies and favorite hobbies. (Though a recent iOS update has made it mandatory for apps to ask users in-app if they would like their information tracked or not.)
Hyper-targeting allows brands to identify users who are physically near a certain location and in a buying mindset for a certain product or service. Hyper-targeting can identify prospective customers and clients by their behavior, provide accurate location-based information, drive mobile ad performance, and have a stronger reach than standard digital ads. This is also known as geofencing.
The bottom line: mobile advertising may seem overwhelming, but it is a marketing strategy that will only continue to grow and perform for your company. In 2020, mobile spending by consumers grew 20% to $143 billion. The good news is, we are here to help make mobile advertising easy on your brand.
Contact us today for a consultation and let’s work together to create mobile ads that convert!