I love my phone. I take it everywhere with me: meetings, the grocery store, the bathroom, everywhere! For many, our phones are part of our identities – so much so that we spend an average of 4.7 hours a day on them, according to Informate Mobile Intelligence. This might sound alarming to some (like my mother), but to marketers this should sound more like an opportunity to reach millions of people at just about any moment in their lives.
Mobile ad spends are expected to exceed $101 billion and make up half of digital ad spends in 2016, according to eMarketer. That means if you aren’t in the mobile game, your competitor probably is. And if you’re not top of mind, you’re not top of wallet. So where do you start?
Get to know the basics with a quick overview of the top mobile advertising opportunities:
Standard Banner Ads: The most well-known and popular of all mobile ads. These are the simple, straightforward ads that usually appear at the top or bottom of the page on mobile websites and apps. They are noticeable but don’t interrupt the user experience since no action is required. Banner ads are also inexpensive, allowing you to make a big splash for relatively little money. When done right, these ads can be very effective at raising awareness for your brand.
Interstitial Ads: These ads take over the full-screen (aka pop-up) and are used in mobile apps. Since they are larger than banners, they stop the user’s experience but give more space to communicate a message. In order to move past the ad, the user has to click out of the ad or click through to the ad’s landing page. Costs are typically higher than the standard banner ad but not exceedingly so. When engagement is your priority and budget is a factor, disruption is a good choice.
Video Ads: Video ads give advertisers the opportunity to share more complex, creative or moving messages than static ads do. These ads can help you communicate your brand’s vision or message without trying to fit your call to action in a limited character count. It’s important to catch the viewer’s eye in the first few seconds so you can keep their attention and try to keep your videos under 30 seconds. While video advertising can be expensive, there are ways to serve your ads for just a few cents per view with the right platform, targeting and creative.
Rich Media Ads: By definition, this is an ad that uses advanced technology to give the user an interactive experience (ohhh, fancy). The ads react and change as users tap, hold or swipe their fingers over the ads. Rich media ads come in many forms, such as expandable banners, interstitials and video ads. What makes these ads so advanced is that they offer more information and stand out among other ads. Use these ads when engagement with your brand is critical.
Native Ads: Native ads are the sneaky ones that you almost mistake for real content. These ads are designed to fit with the style and flow of a mobile site or app without disrupting the user’s experience. Examples of these ads include in-feed units, paid search units and promoted listings. Users tend to appreciate content more than ads (for obvious reasons), so the click-through rates for native ads tend to be much higher than other units when done correctly.
Hyper-local Targeted Ads: Hyper-local ads target users via GPS data and can get as granular as state, city, zip code or latitude/longitude (in a non-creepy way). These ads are typically bought on a larger scale so the pricing is low. Hyper-local targeting can be used for tradeshows, grand openings or any events that are location-specific.
Now that you’re educated, look at your brand’s content and see what works. Test, learn, fail fast if needed and learn some more. When it comes to mobile advertising, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but when is that a bad thing? In the end, a smart, targeted approach will resonate with your customers and elevate your brand.