Two-thirds of all Americans now own smartphones, according to a recent Pew Research Center report on the use of smartphones and other mobile devices. More than 80 percent of all local searches done on mobile devices lead to conversions, and half of all of Google’s geo-specific searches convince consumers to visit stores in their area. So, there’s clearly plenty of potential with mobile advertising. But if you’re not seeing the results you expect with your current ad strategy for on-the-go searchers, it might be time to consider some of the following ways to improve your mobile strategy.
1. Know Your Audience
Avoid spending more than what’s necessary to reach your intended audience by taking the time to know what they’re actually looking for first. Use any existing data you have from previous customer interactions to get an idea of who is likely to be interested in what you have to offer. Also, do some exploring to see what type of content generates the most interest for your target mobile users. Keep in mind that most mobile ad revenue comes from video ads, followed by display ads and native ads. You can also target your audience in a more specific way by considering:
• Website visit history
• Geographic location
• Age range and gender
• General interests
2. Time Your Ads Right
Realize that you will be placing your ads in front of chronic multi-taskers likely to forget about what you have to offer if there’s no urgency to act now. Time your mobile ads to be delivered when you want your recipients to take action. This means timing your ads to be delivered during optimal conversion hours and sending your ads during your regular business hours so customers can actually call or visit you. This is especially important if you don’t have any system in place to handle after-hours contacts since customers who can’t reach you are more likely to move on to one of your competitors. Timing is even more important for text message (SMS) ads on mobile devices. Ideally, you want to target customers when they’re ready to make a buying decision.
3. Be Mindful of Location
There are many potential places to put your mobile ads. With in-app ads, you want to make sure you are choosing apps that fit in with your brand. If you’re selling luxury vacation timeshares in Florida, for example, you might not want to focus on budget shopping apps. It’s also probably not a good idea to place your ads right in the middle of a mobile game app. You want to be as non-intrusive as possible with where your ads appear.
4. Test Your Mobile Ads
If you’re not sure what’s likely to resonate with mobile searchers, do some testing first before launching full mobile ad campaigns. There are no guarantees with any type of ads, but testing can give you a better of idea of what’s likely to appeal to your audience. Google has a handy Creative Preview app you can use to test your ads on phones and tablets. Get even more specific with your data by testing:
• Ads based on device preference
• Performance based on headline variations
• Responses to different display URLs
• Reactions to ad offers (e.g., deal alerts, coupon codes)
Just like other forms of digital engagement, mobile ad campaigns can be tracked to determine whether or not you’re meeting your goals. Look at things like how many people are actually viewing your ads, the distance from your physical location when ads are viewed, and triggers for your ad like the image associated with it, the text of the ad, or the specific offer presented. Finally, set clear goals with your mobile ad campaigns before you launch them so you’ll have a better idea of what a good ROI is for you.