We are way into 2017, but most marketers still can’t figure out how to create a positive ad experience on mobile. Your customers are inevitably pounding away at their screens, valiantly trying to hit the tiny X in the top corner while praying they don’t accidentally click on the ad itself. In the end, they give up. They would rather try a different website or leave the content unread than try to deal with your terrible mobile experience. This is a lost customer for you and dent in your overall brand.
This experience doesn’t just occur on your own website. Banner ads and retargeting copy used through the Google Display Network and other ad systems still has a long way to go before they can co-habitate with the rest of the content on the web. In the meantime, your audiences are left annoyed and you’re left without results.
However, there is hope, and it is possible to create a mobile ad experience that doesn’t isolate your audiences. You just have to keep their browsing intentions front of mind and find the right opportunities to present your brand.
It’s Not About the Cookies Anymore
There are limited cookies available for mobile devices, and it’s next to impossible to 100% accurately track visits from mobile to desktop, which has frustrated mobile marketers for years. From their perspective, they’ve invested a significant amount of money in mobile advertising, but the conversion rate continues to flounder while desktop remain steady.
However, a new wave in advertising tracking is here: Google recently announced that they will open up tracking from logged-in customers across multiple devices.
What does this mean? Rather than growing their dependence on cookies and mobile IDs, Google following the path of Facebook to track cross-channel behavior. As most customers stay logged into Google on both their phones and desktop devices, it makes sense that Google would create a clear picture of the path instead of creating a drop off or trying to fabricate an estimated journey.
However, with the power that Google has over the advertisers and the Internet as a whole, this move should have a significant impact for cookies in the long run. (Matt McGowan referred to it as the depreciation of the cookie, not the death of it.)
As brands have more clarity in the customer journey, their targeting should start to improve when they can see how the top and middle funnel behavior of their customers results in bottom funnel actions.
In the meantime, companies can encourage customers to create accounts and login through their mobile and desktop devices to track behavior. This will allow your company to get a ballpark figure of how many of your customers start their journey on one device and complete it on another.
Your Team Needs Mobile-Specific Ads
Most designers look for mobile ads sizes that are the same or similar to desktop versions. Or, when asked to create mobile ads, they shrink down their existing ads and assume that will suffice. This is why the Internet is filled with giant ads that are hard to navigate, or condensed ads that are hard to read.
Mobile ads come with their own best practices. First and foremost: legibility. In the same way that designing for a mobile website requires you to pare down unnecessary content and larger files, your mobile ads need to be simplified as well.
Once you’re cut down to the essentials, move the call to action to the top of the banner. It’s entirely possible that the whole ad fails to load or customers on see part of it, so you want to make sure that the most important information is featured. If not, your customer could be left staring at half an ad without any idea about its purpose.
Mobile Devices Allow for Hyper-Niche Location Ad Targeting
Many companies approach digital advertising with two goals: driving customers to their eCommerce pages to convert within a few hours (or days), and driving customers to their brick and mortar locations. While these strategies are certainly reasonable, they approach ad targeting through a desktop lens: the customer either buys from their couch, or gets in the car to go shopping.
However, the mobile lens adds an additional goal: driving customers to their brick and mortar locations when they’re nearby, or even inside the store.
Two common examples of this are coupon sites like RetailMeNot and social media sites like Snapchat.
RetailMeNot has been running tests over the past year to send push notifications within a few miles of advertising stores. When a customer drives past Planet Smoothie, they will get a push notification for a dollar off. This advertisement reminds them that Planet Smoothie is nearby and lures customers in who might otherwise have ignored the brand.
Snapchat recently released its geofilters for brands and customers, which allows them to pay to create special banners and engage customers within a small radius. Facebook also encourages customers to check in and rate places they visit to continue the conversation. Both of these efforts are created in an effort to lure brands into targeting their audiences on a neighborhood level.
The examples don’t stop there, through Google display targeting and other platforms, brands can target mobile customers within feet of their stores to ensure (or at least increase the odds of) a conversion.
Too often we meet with clients who approach their mobile advertising with the mentality of “that’s just how it is,” whether they’re settling for a poor conversion rate or advertising blindly through the funnel because they lack a clear picture of the customer journey.
Your company can also settle for the status quo, but your competition will soon start to pass you by. The mobile world is changing and advertisers are starting to adapt to user behavior, so it’s up to your brand to create an engaging mobile experience with strategic targeting to make the most of the opportunity in front of you.
To learn more about how to maximize presentation and targeting within a multi-click and multi-device customer journey, please contact us today