As mobile device usage has grown, mobile advertising has seen explosive growth and surpassed desktop ad spending.
About $57 billion is expected to be spent on mobile ads this year, versus $25 billion on desktop ads, according to eMarketer.
With consumers spending more of their time on mobile devices, the cost of mobile advertising has risen — and that means marketers have to be smarter with their strategies.
“Mobile cost per click has historically been undervalued,” says Jeremy Hull, a vice president at iProspect, a Fort Worth, Texas, digital performance marketing agency. Consumers moved to mobile much more quickly than brands did and ad vendors were ready for, he says.
Some earlier tactics were ineffective as vendors tried to apply their desktop strategy to mobile, but over the last couple of years brands have become much more savvy, he says.
In May 2015, when Google announced there were more searches on mobile than desktop, it became a priority for marketers to hone their mobile strategy and get it right.
Cost per click for mobile ads increased 26 percent in 2016, year over year, and Hull predicts it “will continue to rise this year to reach parity with desktop costs per click.”
With that in mind, marketers need to be savvy about where to focus their efforts.
- Effective, easy clicking. If you sell products, you may want to consider Google Product Listing Ads as part of your mobile marketing mix, says Scott Darrohn, COO at fishbat, a Patchogue digital marketing firm. These generally show an image of the product, price, etc., he says.
When the user clicks on these ads, he or she is directed to the seller’s site, so it’s important for the site to be “mobile friendly,” he says. If the user clicks on the link and has a poor experience on the site, you may lose the sale.
- Video should also be part of your mobile ad strategy.
“Video is an attractive format for digital advertising and mobile advertising because it is very engaging,” says Monica Peart, a forecasting analyst at Manhattan-based eMarketer.
- Target habits. You can use video to target consumers based on their searches and buying habits. Consumers are giving valuable information with every action they take, whether it’s liking certain posts or searching for something on Google, she says.
“We’re being very truthful about ourselves on these platforms,” and that gives advertisers better targeting capabilities over time based upon the cumulative actions we take, Peart says.
- Facebook. An advertiser like Estelle’s Dressy Dresses in Farmingdale, for example, which utilizes mobile advertising on social media platforms like Facebook, can have mobile ads appear in the Facebook feed of consumers who have searched for dressy dresses.
This has proved quite beneficial for the store.
“It’s all about the mobile advertising,” says Yolanda Rosales, senior buyer at Estelle’s. “It’s really driving our business.”
To be sure, advertisers need to optimize their ads for the device and platform they’re advertising on, Peart says. For instance, an ad on a gaming app will have a different look than an ad in someone’s Facebook feed, she says.
- The color and text of your ad will depend upon your industry and who you’re trying to target, says Thomas Jacoberger, president of Fat Guy Media, a Mineola-based web design, online marketing and social media company. For instance, the food industry typically uses red in its ads, he says, but that may not necessarily work for a dentist.
In his mobile ads Jacoberger has used the company color, green, and mixed it with orange and teal blue. “It adds contrast,” he says.
- Next step. The ad copy also should include a call to action like “get started now,” to direct the consumer, says Jacoberger.
To see what works, test different ads, Darrohn says.
“You need to monitor the data,” he says.
U.S. mobile ad spending is expected to grow from $57.44 billion this year to $86.84 billion in 2020.