How To Get Ahead in Mobile Advertising

As smartphone ownership increases, mobile advertising becomes essential for businesses of all kinds, offering a modern, elegant way to reach a targeted audience and develop loyal relationships between brands and clients. With a range of mobile advertising options, including video and push notifications, SMS, mobile web, and in-app display ads, mobile campaigns become a necessary part of product promotion.

The number of mobile advertising viewers grew by almost 30 per cent  globally in 2012, according to eMarketer’s, and those numbers are predicted to double by 2013 and increase further in 2014.

At the same time, it’s important to realize that mobile is a rather different type of ad channel, requiring a specific approach, especially when it comes to apps. According to Cisco surveys, 52 per cent of respondents claim to have reacted to ads in apps, and 18 per cent have made a purchase directly from an ad in an app.

In addition, 53 per cent said they were willing to share their location in order to receive more relevant advertising, while 76 per cent said they would prefer to download an ad-supported app for free, instead of paying an upfront fee for one.
So how can you increase your chances of success in mobile advertising? Here are a few pointers.

Be local
One of the key advantages of mobile advertising is the fact that you can reach your potential clients directly. The best examples of this are the popular, location-based check-in apps Foursquare, and its Russian counterpart, AlterGeo. These services enable users to unlock special deals from advertisers based on their location.

People have a completely different perception of mobile content and advertising when they’re on-the-go compared to when they’re at home or in the office. They are more likely to engage with an ad that is relevant to their current location, and this is an opportunity brands and agencies are rapidly embracing.

Use rich media
Statistics show that the majority of experienced advertisers working with mobile ads, especially those engaged with popular brands, tend to lose interest in rather ineffective standards like the 300×50 banners. Instead, they are turning to more engaging rich media ads.

Implementation of effective mobile and tablet ad campaigns is an exceptionally complicated process for ad agencies and brands, consuming plenty of time (on average, around 8-10 weeks for a mobile campaign) and effort. So, it is vital to use the right tools. According to a recent survey from Apple, using the old tools won’t deliver the anticipated results any more. Interaction via video, sound, gaming, and so on will engage customers a lot more than exposure to standard banner ads.

Where to advertise – in apps or on mobile sites?
One of the biggest decisions for advertisers is whether to advertise on mobile sites, apps, or both. Furthermore, with the wide variety of device types, operating systems, and screen sizes available, the decision gets even more complicated.

Apple is all about mobile apps, and Google is all about mobile web. How the whole system will evolve, depending on whether apps or web is chosen for a mobile solution, is hard to predict, but most surely both platforms will co-exist in the nearest future.

There is a complexity with types of mobile ad management. Advertising networks frequently use an SDK for mobile ads, which can be modified from time-to-time, suggesting that the developer has to update the SDK integrated into the app on the user-side and test the whole cycle again. Not only do these additional actions take more time and effort, but they can also lead to errors.

Fortunately, this process has become much easier after the IAB introduced rich media standard MRAID 2.0. Now, in addition to standard banners, customers can also use all kinds of rich media ads in their mobile apps. We have dedicated a considerable amount of time to this issue, in order to make the Epom mobile ad server MRAID-compliant.

Use video

Owners of mobile phones are the fastest-growing audience in terms of consuming content, with video content now being the dominant form. Video ad management presents a number of hurdles: screen size, connection speed and other aspects should be considered carefully in order to provide users with the optimal media viewing experience.

But these hurdles are worth taking the time to overcome, as interactive ads have already proven their incredible effectiveness. Mobile video advertising is highly interactive, highly scalable and hyper targetable – its an incredible branding tool.
To engage audiences on mobile platforms, marketers will increasingly be embracing new video opportunities beyond traditional pre-roll. These include interactive video-based ad units, ad-selector models, and branded entertainment. Digital video will also move to new platforms such as tablets, and internet-enabled TVs.

Lastly, with the explosion of internet video consumption, it is forecast that mobile video will also develop rapidly in the coming years. Its time to start adopting video advertising standards like VPAID and VAST, because this is the type of advertising to get more ads and better prices in the nearest future. Plus, with the introduction of common standards, it will be much easier for advertisers to get their video ads out to more places. With video playing an increasingly important role in the mobile market, advertisers should keep aware of opportunities and try out new advertising options.

Adam Jablonski is CEO of ad serving solutions firm, Epom