There is a lot of concern about whether mobile ads are effective -- they are. As of Q2 2012, Facebook mobile ads were getting 13 times more clicks and earning nearly 11 times more than their desktop alternatives, based on studies from TBG Digital, AdParlor, Spruce Media, and Nanigans.
So if mobile advertising works, who exactly do you target and how?
There are a variety of methods -- from interstitials to WAP mobile ads. More recently, location-based advertising has been advancing, and according ABI Research, 10,000 stores were projected to have location technologies for advertisers by the end of 2012.
Regardless of an advertiser’s medium of choice, the audience is the key component of any successful campaign. Online giants are refining their advertising capabilities everyday and have massive user bases. Some 60% of Facebook’s 1 billion users access the site via the mobile platform, and Twitter reported that up to 60% of their active users access the service on mobile devices.
Google’s mobile business reported revenue earnings were up $2.5 billion from 2011. How do marketers take advantage of the new opportunities that mobile presents?
1. Optimize ads for mobile apps, mobile-optimized web and standard web. Mobile ads have a look and feel separate from their Web-based counterparts. They are simplified, sized differently, and take less time to load. Optimizing for mobile can drive conversion rates at a lower cost. In-app advertising, gives marketers an opportunity to evolve past the banner ad to develop more creative rich media advertising.
2. Leverage the opportunities mobile has to offer.
Mobile allows marketers to utilize location-based advertising, behavioral targeting, weather, predictive analytics and other consumer data that may not be available or useful in another advertising medium. If a user is in an area where there is a thunderstorm, send a mobile ad for a raincoat.
3. Target by carrier and by device. Carriers and devices often have clear demographics that allow you to segment your ads based on demographics, including age, gender and income. Screen size also varies drastically from mobile devices, so it is crucial that ads are optimized for the right device. A mobile ad designed for a smartphone will not look the same on a tablet.
4. Utilize predictive analytics in conjunction with location-based advertising. This combination gives marketers an idea of the best times to offer ads. Instead of targeting consumers at a specific store, take their behavior into account, and target them when they are most likely to go to the store, and offer discounts at the closest location. If you know your end-user gets coffee every morning, then send an ad for a new flavor of the week at the nearest coffee shop.
5. Identify the mobile users you want to target. Whether the ideal mobile user happens to be an impulse shopper, an in-store customer or a bargain hunter, there are appropriate offers and effective methods to deliver those offers. Variables such as timing, age, gender and location need to be taken into account to successfully market. An ad for a one-day sale might be targeted to a potential customer within a 500-foot radius of the store.
Mobile offers ample opportunities to marketers, but the technological differences of mobile and traditional online advertising are not yet clear. Mobile ads are not repurposed Web ads. If they were they would not be effective. You wouldn’t put a print ad on TV so why do it with mobile and online ads?
Mobile is a young ad medium, but that only means there is a huge opportunity for growth and innovation.