SMBs optimize

Implement effective mobile ads for your SMB

Mobile marketing is not limited to large enterprises. Find out how small and medium businesses can get in on this lucrative market.

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Mobile revenues rose to $3 billion in the first half of 2013, which is up from $1.2 billion in the same period in 2012, according to a survey report from the trade group Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC US. Mobile display advertising is also steadily outperforming online display advertising, as more consumers are receptive to it.

Pros of mobile ads

The key benefits of mobile marketing are that you can target ads to consumers based on their location and their interests; this reduces wastage in ad impressions, thereby helping to keep your budget in check. Local business owners and advertisers are localizing their ad campaigns to dominate niche markets.

Mobile advertising relies on creative quality. These are the key driving attributes to a successful mobile ad campaign:

  • Brand awareness: Clear and persistent branding is important.
  • Location of a logo or a brand name: Left-side brand placement is usually most effective and has a strong impact on advertising recall.
  • Strong call-to-action: Encourages interactivity and engagement to help drive purchase intent.

Here are three things not to do when creating your mobile ad:

  • Feature ads that are too small (created in the standard 1/3 inch by 2 inch) to engage prospects with a convincing message and a positive brand experience.
  • Clutter your ads with too many logos or too much text.
  • Show your brand only through a product shot.

Cons of mobile ads

  • Dearth of cookie support leads to trivial targeting: Browser-based cookies used to track users with ads are designed to attract users to online sites (these are prevalent mostly in online display ads). These cookies act as powerful tools for segmenting users based on interests or previous interactions. This isn't possible with mobile ads, as such cookie-based behavioral and contextual abilities aren't available on mobile platforms.
  • Ad click leads to user experience disruption: Mobile users browse a website or an application with a targeted goal, whereas clicking a mobile ad is an unpredictable experience that may be a distraction and could negatively impact the user's experience.
  • Bad measurement leads to accidental click = underperformance: Most mobile ads on a touch display gets accidentally clicked (an estimated 40 percent of online clicks), which makes measuring performance and ROI difficult.

Four mobile ad implementation tips

1: Create a mobile optimized website

One of the basic and most essential parts of any mobile advertising campaign is a website that is optimized for mobile devices. This will help users to see a simplified, easy-to-read version of your regular site.

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2: Make sure the ads are concise and targeted

Your marketing messages should be concise and targeted to smartphone and tablet users, especially attuning to the user "search" pattern of mobile users (which is very different from PC users). With mobile users expecting faster and more concise answers, you can seek assistance when creating mobile ads from Google AdWords. The service has a unique ability to allow paid search advertisers to create campaigns and target mobile users with them.

3: Enhance activity on social media networks

Mobile users are known to be highly familiar and active on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. This opens up a great opportunity for brands willing to share their marketing messages via mobile. Ensure that you maintain an active presence on these social networks, so that you know what people are saying about your brand and when to make the right advertising move.

4: Leverage QR codes

In case you're using offline marketing, industry experts recommend leveraging quick response (QR) codes as a part of your mobile ad strategy. QR codes linking offline marketing (print media, billboards, etc.) with web traffic calls for significant investments in traditional advertising. QR codes aren't meant for those who are looking for cost-effective solutions.

Tell us about your mobile ad strategy

Join this article discussion to let us know about your small or medium business's mobile ad strategy and how it's helping to improve your ROI.

Todd Riddle is a digital marketing strategist associated with a leading custom mobile app development company offering solutions for all mobile app platforms. He is passionate about using technology to help businesses grow. In his spare time, he enjoys blogging about the latest trends and practices related to the mobile application development industry.

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