Our understanding of advertising has been rapidly changing to address the needs of consumers. The primary goal of ads is to reach people who are most likely to buy our products or services. As we move along the timeline of technological advancement, advertising techniques have also changed to reach more and more people.
Today, people usually spend a lot of their time on their smartphones or computers. To be precise, we spend over 4 hours a day on our mobile phones.
In this era of digitalization, it’s almost impossible to imagine life without a smartphone. In fact, you’re probably reading this article on a mobile device!
This level of usage gave rise to a whole spectrum of advertising via smartphones.
Mobile advertising was originally utilized via SMS text messages, then rapidly evolved to mobile and mobile in-app advertising. But while it is one of the most effective forms of advertising, it is also one of the least utilized ones.
In fact, according to Mary Meeker’s report of Internet Trends 2018, people spend 29% of their time on mobile devices, but marketers only spend 26% of their ad budgets on mobile platforms.
As you can see, there is an unexplored business opportunity of $7 billion. As a marketer or agency owner, you need to take advantage of this opportunity by increasing your mobile advertising budget, so you can grab a piece of this growing industry.
It is in your best interests to adapt, capitalize on mobile trends, and get the most out of your marketing strategy. Therefore, you need to convince your clients or management team to invest more in mobile advertising.
What Is Mobile Advertising?
This type of advertising is the communication of messages or media content to the people who use mobile devices.
Mobile has revolutionized the way people engage with brands. You don’t have to turn on your desktop to access your email or read web content, as it is all accessible on smart, small screens. Mobile advertising is used to reach your target audience through email, websites, SMS, MMS, social media, and apps.
Basically, there are three major channels that you can use for mobile advertising:
SMS Text Messaging
A very powerful and direct peer-to-peer marketing channel to reach your target audience on-the-go, even without the internet. In fact, mobile advertising originally started as SMS text ads.
Mobile In-App Advertising
A trending channel that uses branded mobile applications, sponsored app, in-app display ads, and integrated ads.
Mobile Web Advertising
Makes use of the mobile banner ads, text tagline ads, and media-rich mobile ads to reach a target audience.
More on these channels in a bit.
Trending Channel: Facebook Family
The best marketers wrap their heads around what’s booming and what’s working. To be the best, you need to be able to see the channel that is used by most of your target audience. Social media is still the most dominant channel in the digital advertising arena, and will remain so for years to come.
Facebook and Instagram are riding the wave among the trending mobile marketing channels. They respectively have 1.74 billion and 1 billion active mobile users every month.
So if you want to be reach your target audience where they’re most active, you need to consider investing more of your resources in these emerging channels.
Emerging Ad Format: Vertical Video Ads
People are becoming lazier than ever, so most of them lean towards watching videos. When it comes to emerging ad types, video ads are definitely topping the charts, as they have helped unlock new levels of engagement.
According to research by eMarketer, mobile video viewing will rise to 11.9% in 2018 to 1.87 billion viewers.
There are several emerging types of video ad formats, but the latest types are vertical full-screen and live video.
You might have already experienced how leading brands are using the vertical interstitial ads on Instagram. They are proving to be very effective.
On the other hand, live video ads work best on Facebook, which drives 25% higher engagement than normal videos.
Now that we’ve gotten an overview of the basics of mobile advertising and the latest trends, let’s dive into the details of each mobile advertising channel.
Mobile Advertising Channel #1: SMS Text Messaging
SMS was the earliest form of mobile advertising, and surprisingly, it is still one of the most effective communication channels in the world.
The rise of text messages can be explained by the rapid growth of mobile devices. SMS comes as a built-in feature in most smartphones, which is why it’s easier to use than other methods of mobile advertising (such as mobile in-app or mobile web).
The statistics from various sources confirm that:
- SMS has an open rate of 98%, and a response rate close to 45%.
- Response rates from SMS are 209% higher than from phone calls, Facebook, or email.
- 47% of consumers prefer using native SMS as their messaging app.
If we compare these figures with emails, we notice significant differences: Emails only have 20% open rates, and even lower response rates.
As you can see from the above numbers, it is not an overstatement to say that most people love texting.
In fact, 78% of consumers prefer to communicate with a business via text.
And yet more than half of mobile marketers don’t use text messaging for marketing or communications purposes.
Well, that’s actually good news for you. If so many marketers aren’t using it, you can get an edge over your competitors by getting involved with SMS.
In fact, Gary Vaynerchuk, one of the top social media influencers in 2018, uses SMS text messaging.
GaryVee uses Facebook and Instagram campaigns to drive people to a web form, and to build his opt-in SMS lists.
“With social getting super noisy, I wanted to create my own VIP messaging community called First in Line in order to give you first access to giveaways and my most important shit. The quickest way to join is to enter your phone number below and fill out the form I text you. Talk soon!”
GaryVee First in line
GaryVee uses SMS as an advantage over his social media advertising—to ditch the clutter, and send offers, coupons, and any other free stuff that keeps his community engaged. He uses this technique to grow his community while building loyalty among his clients.
And if he’s using text messaging, it’s because he understands the power of SMS! He’s using it in the way that will best way possible to support his marketing strategy.
The secret is to use the strategy that is being least utilized. That’s how you’ll have an edge over others. If you’re a full-service digital agency who does everything for your clients, you should consider including SMS marketing in your integrated mobile strategy.
All you need is reliable marketing software like SMSwarriors, which is affordable and easy to use.
SMSwarriors helps agencies send, deliver, and manage high-volume mobile SMS marketing campaigns for clients all over the world—through its cloud-based, user-friendly SMS platform. It provides everything you need to begin your SMS journey.
You can start with a free trial, and see if it fits into your marketing plan.
Mobile Advertising Channel #2: In-App Ads
Mobile In-App Advertising is a type of advertising medium that allows you to promote your products and services inside mobile applications by using different ad types, such as native, display, and video.
In particular, the realm of mobile in-app advertisements has shown much promise over the past decade. And it continues to do so because the time we spend on mobile apps has been gradually increasing year-by-year.
People just don’t want to pay for using mobile apps, which means app developers need a different monetization technique to continue building them. The growth of mobile in-app advertising has provoked a ton of app developers to build more and more apps, just to make money from advertising. And it has also given marketers a bigger opportunity to target their audience.
Therefore, mobile in-app advertising has emerged as one of the most powerful channels of mobile advertising.
You should become more interested in mobile in-app advertising and increase your ad spending for these three reasons:
Mobile apps are more attractive.
According to research, people spend around 90% of their time on smartphones accessing apps, and only 10% on mobile websites. Apps are more comfortable in terms of speed, user experience, and extended features, which is why they’re your best bet.
Advanced targeting options
Mobile apps can help you gain substantial information about users by gaining access to their location, which will give you an advantage when targeting the correct demographics and using location based mobile advertising.
Higher conversion rates
Apps can help you easily acquire users’ attention. All you need to do is make your ad conform to the app.
Now that you understand why you need to invest more of your budget in mobile in-app advertising, we need to discuss how to choose the best ad format and ideal targeting for the optimal performance of your campaign.
The concept of the best ad format is subjective, and it can significantly vary from brand to brand. For example, research has found that new brands that don’t have much brand value tend to benefit more from a video more than a banner ad or other format. However, an established brand like McDonald’s can still get away with a small display banner containing a discount/coupon code. It all depends on the context and goals of a business.
However, as an agency, you don’t tend to get a ‘test budget’ to try and see what works for your clients. So ideally, it’s best to invest in what’s emerging and functioning well.
With regards to ideal targeting, it is very interesting to know this fact: While people spend 90% of their mobile-device time on apps, most of that time is spent on just 3 apps.
In other words, if you find out a demographic’s top apps, you can decide to run campaigns that are specific to those apps, and win the advertising game for your clients.
Well, one person prefers gaming apps, and another might like social networking apps. And someone else might like music apps.
So the Top 3 Favorite Apps could vary from person to person.
But we do have is a list of the Top 10 Most-Used Mobile Apps…
Interestingly, almost a third of them belong to Facebook, and half of them belong to Google.
And the ones that are on Facebook have the biggest growth possibilities over the next five years.
So it’s obvious how your agency stays on the cutting edge of these new trends, where you should focus most of your budget: mobile in-app ads on Facebook (including Messenger and Instagram), as your ad network and video ads are your main format.
That is what’s booming, and that’s where you need to focus your energies to maximize the return on ad spending for your clients.
Facebook Ads is the biggest digital advertising platform with the best formatting, targeting, and reporting capabilities. If you haven’t started using it yet, you’re missing out!
Mobile Advertising Channel #3: Web Ads
Mobile web advertising is another medium that allows you to promote your products and services through mobile-based websites.
Although people spend less time on mobile websites than mobile apps, you might want to consider investing in this medium for the following reasons:
The costs associated with displaying ads on mobile websites is much less thanon apps, as marketers tend to develop a single ad to run all types of devices.
In mobile web ads, you can gain user views without needing to download applications.
Websites offer a lot of diverse content, which ensures a higher number of visitors (as opposed to application usage, which is more on the dedicated side).
The strategy is simple: If you have a bigger budget, you should probably invest in mobile web ads as well.
Even if you don’t have a big budget, you should still consider having a well-built mobile site, because mobile app and websites complement each other.
You can deliver cross-channel promotions by maintaining a similar style and theme on both versions.
In fact, both mediums serve different purposes: Mobile websites help users establish initial contact with your brand, and mobile apps help users engage with your brand for a longer amount of time.
Check out the graph below to see how agencies and brands in different countries use their mobile advertising budget:
How to Leverage Video Ads
“Imparting information comes at a higher speed with the use of images than through text. Video shines in this arena – the perfect sales pitch sound bytes are scripted, created once and repeatedly indefinitely.”
We live in the era of the internet. Today, it’s all about grabbing attention. If you can create, manage, and control the attention of your audience, you are already killing it.
People’s attention is on mobile smartphones, especially video. As an ad format on mobile phones, video is skyrocketing, and it will be the future of mobile advertising. Let’s take a look at the numbers. . .
According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index 2017:
- Mobile video traffic accounted for 60% of total mobile data traffic in 2016.
- Mobile video will increase ninefold by 2021. In fact, it isis predicted to capture 78% of the world’s mobile-data traffic by 2021, surpassing every other activity on smartphones.
The numbers are clear, and it’s official that ‘mobile video ad’ will be used as a synonym for mobile ad. It’s the next big thing.
So here’s the main question: How can you leverage this trend to grow your agency?
The answer is Social Media.
Platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram aren’t going anywhere. Almost every internet user has a Facebook account, and almost everyone watches videos on YouTube, due to the diversity of the content provided.
YouTube has managed to dominate the social media video market for a long time.
Eventually, every platform realized the importance of this medium. Even the social media giants have understood and embraced the growth of mobile video.
Facebook is one of the biggest copycats in the world. Well, let’s keep it nice by saying that they’re fast learners, quickly adapt by observing their competitors and emerging players.
As marketers, we need to thoroughly learn from Facebook. Their company strategy is simple: Stick with what’s working!
Along the same lines, it has launched Snapchat in Instagram, and Facebook in WhatsApp, along with the idea of short videos.
Very recently, it also considered tlong-form videos and rolled out new features such as Facebook Watch and Instagram IGTV, which are going to pose serious threats to YouTube.
And that’s very good news for agencies, especially micro-agencies. . .
You need to start producing more video content. That’s what your clients need.
As of now, Facebook remains the Most Preferred Platform for in-app mobile video ads, for the following reasons:
- Dominant traffic referrals
- Total active-user count
- Exceptional user-engagement percentage
- Lucrative bidding prices
- Astounding mobile optimization
- Greater reach at a better price
It’s no secret that video ads continue to be the most engaging mobile format, but more notably, they enable developers to utilize advertising in the most non-intrusive way possible.
Video ads have emerged as the platinum standard of storytelling, and it’s all about reaching the right people with an engaging story.
If you want to get the most out of the market in an affordable way, you need to invest more time and money into Facebook video ads. Advertising on Facebook is very inexpensive and effective, considering the large audience and amazing ad formats available.
So in my humble opinion, Facebook is the solution for brands and agencies aiming to leverage their market growth. This is one fight you can win!
Surya Maneesh is the Brand Strategist at SMSwarriors, a smart SMS marketing software that allows marketers and businesses to communicate faster and promote themselves better through SMS text messaging.