Have you tested a "truly mobile" ad campaign?

Posted By: David Naple

Published on Apr 27, 2016

You've likely already taken the time to ensure that your online advertising shows up on mobile devices as well as desktop computers; however, have you taken the time to test out a "truly mobile" advertising campaign? Here's the difference:

Mobile Responsive Ads - Not Truly Mobile

A typical responsive ad campaign uses style to allow banners to display on desktop and mobile devices alike; however, although compatible, they are not designed specifically for mobile devices, therefore they are not "true" mobile ads.

While multi-device compatible, responsive banner ads can leave something to be desired when compared to "truly mobile" rich-media ads. Responsive banners simply change size to render differently on the kind of device it is viewed on (smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, etc.), where the ad simply gets smaller or larger.

The "Truly" Mobile Ads

On the other hand, a truly mobile ad campaign is designed from the get-go to be displayed on mobile devices and can have a significant impact on click-through rate, in some industries, as much as 350% increase! (see CTR chart below)

There are a wide variety of truly mobile ads you can run - too many to list in one post, but here are some of the more popular ones:

  • Mobile Coupons

Mobile coupons are some of the most effective advertising methods of driving sales. All customers like to save money, and mobile coupons offer them a way to do this without worrying about traditional coupon clipping. Offering coupons to incentivize customers to further explore an ad is a unique feature available to mobile-only ads.

  • Spin Wheels and Other Games

Ads that are built specifically for mobile devices can be uniquely designed as games that start when users activate them on their touch screen. Below is a visual example of a Burger King ad that, when activated, becomes a spinner that gives users unique coupons. Games such as these can encourage users to return multiple times to the same ad, increasing its overall value greatly.

  • Expanding Ads

Expanding ads are a type of mobile ad that expand to fill the screen when activated by the viewer (usually by tapping the smaller ad). The ad can expand into a variety of forms, including the spinners or coupons mentioned above as well as videos or slideshows. Here's an example of expanding ads offered by MobileAds. Notice how the ad expands when clicked and offers a variety of options for the user to explore.

  • Video Ads

A very common form of mobile advertising is video ads. While video ads are a great form of rich media advertising, it's important that they not be obnoxious to viewers. Most video ads remain still or at least muted until activated by the viewer. This is often done by having the video only appear after the initial ad is activated, such as in expanding ads. In the expanding ad example above the slideshow in the expanded ad could easily be replaced by video. The Burger King example above also uses video alongside its spinner for additional interaction.

Making the Case for a Truly Mobile Advertising Campaign

Here's a study from funmobility.com on click-through-rate which shows what type of mobile-targeted ads perform best. In general, as displayed below, rich media ads perform considerably better than traditional banner ads, increasing ad performance by as much as 350% depending on the topic of the ad. Read their full article for more details.

More Reasons to Test True Mobile

Many companies have already begun shifting more heavily towards mobile advertising. Numerous case studies published on a variety of sites show just how impactful mobile ads can be for a variety of businesses. This case study shows how classified ads company Vivastreet increased their conversions by 34% just by switching their marketing plan to specifically target mobile users for the first time.

Statistics show that mobile advertising spend is the fastest growing type of ad spend in recent years and is almost certain to continue in that trend. Businesses are realizing that reaching customers on their mobile devices is one of the most certain ways to reach customers all throughout the day all on the same platform, making mobile ads perhaps the most efficient ad spend available today and for the foreseeable future.

Achieve Your Objectives Through Mobile-Targeted Advertising Campaigns

There are a variety of objectives one can achieve through mobile ads, that can also be achieved through traditional banner ads. Here are several of the more common objectives achieved through mobile advertising campaigns:

  • Driving phone calls (click-to-call)
  • Driving traffic to mobile websites
  • Promoting app downloads
  • Lead generation
  • Branding and brand awareness
  • Product sales
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)

You can learn more about mobile objectives and how to effectively achieve them from our mobile advertising library.

Tools for Creating Mobile Ads Yourself

Google Web Design is a free platform that allows advertisers to create HTML5 based advertisements that can run on any device and incorporate interactive features such as motion graphics. One big advantage Google Web design Offers is immediate compatibility with other Google products such as Google Drive and AdMob. This platform is accessible by users with a wide variety of skill levels; it's design suite lets those unfamiliar with coding focus solely on the visual experience, while access to the code in the background allows those with coding knowledge to customize almost endlessly. There are various examples of ads created with Google Web Designer.

MobileAds is is rich media suite designed specifically for mobile that is free to try out and only begins charging when a campaign goes live. This means that it allows for unlimited free experimentation with mockups and designs before you decide whether the platform is acceptable for your purposes. Their ad creator is relatively easy to use and doesn't require advanced knowledge of coding, but still offers access to the code for those who want more customization. MobileAds also offers services to create and track your ad campaign for you if you prefer a more hands-off approach or need some help getting started. Check out their gallery of some of the ads companies have created through them, including interstitial, expandable, and embedded ads.

FunMobility is another mobile advertising firm that offers a rich media suite for do-it-yourself ad creation. A free demo of their suite can be requested, and the company also offers world-class customer service and expert-lever services in mobile advertising, including mobile ad strategy consulting. Their suite also tracks various ad statistics, allowing high-level analytics through the same platform used to create your ad. Funmobility offers more than just simple banner or video creation as their ads allow for multi-step games and programs that fully achieve customer engagement. An example of their work is the Burger King spinner ad shown above or the "Minions Love Bananas" ad campaign shown here:

Sticking to Standardized Mobile Ad Formats

Certain organizations have started to recognize the importance of establishing a standardized format for mobile ads. It's important for mobile advertisers to be able to communicate exactly what their rich media ad does to controllers of the websites and apps they wish to advertise on, and equally important for owners of the websites and apps to be able to confirm that these claims are accurate and that the ad fits and works properly on their app or website. The easiest way to do this is a standardized ad format, where both sides know exactly what coding in an ad does, where that particular coding is located , and that the programming will work in a certain app or website.

One example of such a standardized format is the IAB's (Interactive Advertising Bureau's) Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions or MRAID. MRAID is an API (Application Programming Interface) that is designed specifically for advertising within mobile apps and to work with both HTML5 and JavaScript. The goal is for the program to regulate the API requirements that developers use to communicate with the app. If multiple apps and developers use this standard, it means that developers do not have to re-write the creative to work on different apps. Using MRAID as an app developer means that your ad will be more easily slotted in to multiple websites and apps that are using the same standard, saving you the time of re-writing portions of the ad for every different place you want to advertise. As an app/website owner, using MRAID enables more advertisers to quickly and easily slot into your open ad spaces, making these spaces more appealing and valuable.

For more information on MRAID and some of the more technical aspects of it, you can check out IAB's full article on the program.

Getting Professional Help on Creating Ads

There are many expert services out there that can help with interactive mobile ad design and creation. A well designed ad can make a large difference in performance. If you're having trouble developing an adequate mobile ad or don't know quite where to start, consider finding expert help to get your advertising campaign on the right track. MobileMarketing can help you get matched with ad design experts to meet your needs.

Publishing Your Mobile Ad Campaigns

One of the most unique and valuable aspects of mobile ad campaigns is the sheer number of places and platforms mobile ads can be published. Publishing a mobile ad through Google gives you access to their extensive network for your ad to appear on. Mobile ads can appear on tablets and smartphones in mobile webpages, as interstitial ads, or even within a variety of mobile apps. Google's AdWords offers extensive support explaining many of the places and ways your mobile ad can be seen constantly by potential customers.

Let MobileMarketing.com equip you with personalized mobile marketing resources based on your profile, focus area, objectives, budget, and more. Get education, DIY tools, matched expert services, keep up with the industry, and more.