Mobile Display Advertising Isn’t Dead Yet And You Should Consider Adding Alternatives To The Mix
With an annual compound growth rate of 110% for the past five years, mobile marketing is big business. In 2014 there was a $12.5 Billion spend on mobile advertising, and half of that was on display advertising with the other half being on search marketing (Source IAB and PWC).
With marketers continuing to increase their spend on mobile display ads, there is strong evidence to suggest that they still have an important role to play in the mix.
It is true to say that display ads have been decreasing in their effectiveness on mobile devices for quite a while now. Recent results suggest that the CTR from display ads on mobile is down to less than 1% (Source Display Benchmarks Tool).
Apple Blocking Display Ads
Apple have now made the situation worse by allowing iPhone and iPad users to block display ads from appearing when they are using the Internet with the Safari browser.
App developers can now block display ads with Apple’s iOS9 release. The developers were not slow to take advantage of this and created apps that blocked display ads, pop ups and other forms of marketing content.
There is also a free app that users can download from Apple that blocks ads and speeds up browsing on the Internet.
So does this mean that mobile marketing is dead? No it doesn’t. What it does mean is that effective digital marketing requires a different approach and that there are other alternatives that deserve consideration.
Mobile Marketing Is Too Big An Opportunity To Miss
There is no doubt that mobile advertising is the new era of marketing. A recent study revealed that on average, people spend over 8 hours each day using their mobile devices. That is just too big an opportunity to miss.
People are addicted to their smart phones. They check them first thing in the morning and last thing at night, and they will immediately respond to every new message that they receive. Most users spend more time on their mobile device than they do sleeping.
A lot of people have a smart phone and a tablet and use them constantly. You can reach thousands of people using just a click with mobile marketing. Whether they are on the move, or at their home or office they will always be attentive to their smart phone.
Marketing is about getting your message across to the people that need to see it and mobile devices provide an almost perfect opportunity to do that. You should not be deterred by what Apple do. There are always opportunities.
Do it right, and mobile marketing can deliver significant returns on advertising spend. Display ads are being blocked and losing their effectiveness, but they are not dead. A different approach is required and other mobile marketing strategies should be considered in the mix.
There Are Still Opportunities For Display Advertising
There is still hope for display ads and there is no reason to discount them entirely from the marketing mix. Marketers need to see the whole picture here and not narrow their focus into one area.
A good example of this is the use of images for ads on mobile. Images are resized to fit the device screens that they are being displayed on. Often, text on these images becomes distorted and unreadable.
A solution to this is to use images that show the context of use. When marketing products, you can provide a high quality image of the product’s best feature. Close up images work very well.
The industry is adopting HTML5 more rapidly, rather than relying on animated Gif’s and static ad formats. HTML5 is becoming the new standard for animated display advertising and is being adopted by many digital developers.
It is not such a drain on device batteries as Flash, and HTML5 ads can be viewed on all devices which means that your message has a much greater chance of being seen and heard.
When used in integrated advertising, display ads still have an important role when it comes to brand awareness. Client loyalty is improved because of the visual impact that the ads have on the users subconscious. It is not always about getting the click.
Consistent brand marketing always works and to receive click throughs on display ads is a bonus. If someone is considering buying a new washing machine or an electronic device they are more likely to go for a brand that they know and recognize opposed to one that they don’t.
For more targeted marketing, display ads can still be effective. Demographic targeting using Facebook ads or other social media sites can work well. Also the ads can be easily adjusted for different demographic audiences.
Retargeting is also a good use of display ads. If a user has already shown interest in what you are offering but did not bite the first time, retargeting will provide you with the opportunity to engage them again and increase your chances of converting them into buyers.
You can also use display ads for geo-targeting. This needs a laser focused targeting approach to reach your target audience in your specific geographical location.
List Building And Email Marketing
Far too few businesses understand the power of email marketing and building a list of loyal subscribers. Emails will never be blocked as they are a mainstay of the Internet. Email marketing can provide the best ROI of all the mobile marketing strategies if it is done correctly.
The value of a large list of targeted email subscribers is enormous. Statistics have been gathered recently for mobile email marketing and they prove that it is a sound strategy. It was discovered that mobile users have a higher open rate.
Email opening rates among mobile users are up at 45% compared to 19% with a webmail client and 36% among desktop users in March 2015 (Source Adestra “Top 10 email clients” March 2015). The use of email on smart phones is also rising with over 67% of consumers using a mobile device to check their email (Source BlueHornet “Customer Views of email marketing 2015).
Purchasing decisions are influenced by friends at 87% but emails from companies also had a strong influence at 71% (Source Adobe “2013 Digital Publishing Report: Retail Apps & Buying Habits”). Overall, mobile email marketing generated nearly 27% of sales compared to just under 21% on desktop (Source Custora “E-commerce Pulse Mobile report” 2014).
The value of a mobile email click has been measured at 40 cents which is almost double that of desktop email clicks (Source Yesmail “Email Marketing Compass: The Season of Mobile” 2015). It was also discovered that over 70% of purchasing decisions are influenced by mobile promotional emails (Source Yesmail “Consumer Online Behavior Report: Digital Marketing Strategies” 2013).
In order to achieve similar results, additional focus is required to create high converting opt in landing pages on websites and within apps and your funnel needs to be carefully thought through and tested.
It is also important to provide value emails in the mix. If the mobile subscriber continues to receive only promotional emails then they will ignore them or worse, unsubscribe from your list.
Use The Power Of Social Media
Facebook ads are working on mobile devices. They are unaffected by blocking technology and Facebook reported that mobile advertising accounted for 73% of advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2015. For the same quarter of 2014 it was at 59% (Source Facebook.com).
A good mobile Facebook ad campaign can provide higher numbers of impressions than a desktop campaign. Cost per click is lower and a higher CTR can be expected. Conversions are also likely to be higher with mobile ads.
Two years ago, Facebook introduced their “mobile first strategy” which really has paid dividends for them. One of the core elements of the strategy was the production of native apps with a design that provides a clear and concise experience for mobile users.
These native apps run well on both Android and iOS and this is being well received by mobile users. Other standalone apps have been developed that integrate into Facebook, and these allow the coexistence of content and advertising.
Facebook isn’t the only game in town of course. Twitter is used on mobile devices more than any other social platform.
When using Twitter it is important that your header image looks good with a mobile overlay. Calls to action should be avoided on your header as these could be obscured on mobile.
Visual content should be your focus. The Twitter app ensures that images are prominent and because they can be viewed in rectangle or square aspect ratios it is recommended to provide an eye catching image with the key message in the center.
Promoted tweets and promoted videos can now be run on mobile apps within the Twitter Audience Platform which was previously known as the Twitter Publishing Network. These can be retweeted by users the same as they can on Twitter.
Twitter claim that they have achieved an engagement rate which is 15 times the industry average with this strategy. A 70% incremental reach is also claimed (Source Twitter.com). Native ads can be transformed into interstitial or banner type promotions through the use of a “Learn More” CTA button.
Instagram is also enticing mobile marketers. Although fairly new, Instagram marketing is being used successfully by a number of businesses to reach out to their customers. Instagram has a great looking platform and mobile social marketing campaigns using Instagram with Snapchat are proving successful.
Tinder have recently partnered with Instagram and this provides another opportunity. Brands and agencies are taking advantage of the famous swipe left and right feature of Tinder. Tinder users are now able to match with companies as well as people.
Pinterest has also entered the mobile marketing space with a bang. It introduced its “Buyable Pins” service at the beginning of July this year and this enables users to buy items straight from the site. This has recently been rolled out to Android users.
It is also planning to upgrade its search function to match its shopping capabilities which will include a new visual search option.
LinkedIn and other social media giants are also joining the mobile social marketing party so there are plenty of options available, and emerging, for B2C and B2B targeting.
Organic Content Marketing
It is not possible to block organic content, but if content is syndicated to known native advertising channels then this could be blocked. For the best returns on content marketing it is recommended to use video.
Mobile users are easily bored. They don’t want to read lines and lines of small text on their smart phone. If you can provide engaging videos that are relevant to the user, then they are more likely to click through to purchase what you have to offer.
Advertisers will pay a significantly higher rate for video advertising within an app because they know that it has a high eCPM. Video advertising is becoming mainstream, and is the vehicle of choice for mobile monetization.
Using Native Apps In The Mix
Native apps have been proven to increase loyalty by being entertaining and interactive. When designing a native app, you need to consider the user first. It is not enough to just recreate your mobile site within the app.
The app should enhance the sophistication and interactivity of your content. Think about providing users with faster access to your most valuable content. Offer extended access to galleries and video tours if you have outstanding multimedia content.
Assessment tools and calculators can also be included and your inbound strategy must include a one tap call facility to your sales office. Great native apps will convert mobile users. They also enhance loyalty and customer retention.
Other initiatives such as using messaging or chat for fast communication with your business will add value. You can increase the frequency of the app use by adding contests and other interactive features. Well planned native apps can really drive up engagement with your brand.
Use Influencer Marketing
With influencer marketing, companies can partner up with social media publishers to create engaging content. This content will be naturally integrated into an influencer’s Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or Pinterest account and can then be shared with their followers.
The company will benefit from the time and effort that the influencer has spent building loyal followers. The brand message can be weaved into their normal content seamlessly and their dedicated readers will be sure to read the message because of the trust that has been built with the influencer.
Add More To Your Mobile Marketing Mix
You have seen here that despite what you may have read, the display ad is not dead yet on mobile devices. If you rely solely on display advertising to reach your target mobile audience, then it is strongly recommended that you use and test some of the other strategies described above.