Mobile Display Advertising has been somewhat of a challenge since its inception. Companies try to figure out the best ways to reach potential customers that spend so much time glued to their mobile devices. Over the past year, there have been quite a few new developments that are improving the way consumers interact with mobile display ads that I think are worth highlighting.
But the growth in advertisers’ mobile spend is too hard to ignore. In 2013, global mobile ad spending increased 105.0% to total $17.96 billion. This year, mobile is on pace to rise another 75.1% to $31.45 billion according to new figures from eMarketer. Here are three ways advertisers and brands are utilizing mobile display advertising.
App Download Campaigns
I’m noticing more and more that app download campaigns are everywhere. Although display banner advertising app downloads are still most prominent in-app (when using the free version of highly addictive apps like “Candy Crush”), app download ads are popping up across popular publishers including Huffington Post and CNN.com. They are being integrated in creative ways – with more of a contextually relevant look and feel such as “You May Also Like” type suggestions at the bottom of an article with a simple “download now” button that takes a user directly into their app store. It makes sense that big publishers would be looking for ways to tap into this market for advertisers. An estimated 138 billion smartphone apps are predicted to be downloaded this year according to Gartner research.
Solving the Click Problem
One common complaint with mobile display ads has been that these ads see high clicks but the clicks are not really representative of the interested audience. Many of these clicks can be attributed to “fat fingers” – where a user may be trying to close the ad or continue scrolling the page and mistakenly click due to the small size of the ads. It has subsequently been hard for advertisers to really understand the engagement coming from mobile display ads. Some partners such as Xaxis and Vantage Local are rolling out “Swipe To Engage” as a new click metric, where the user actually has to initiate a deliberate swipe in order to engage with the ad. The swipe may take a user directly to the advertiser’s site, expand the ad into a larger unit, or even display additional content. Users should find these ads less obtrusive since they will have to actually interact in order to be removed from their intended content and advertisers will be able to qualify a mobile engagement with higher value.
Mobile Native Ads
As Native Ads have been utilized across desktop advertising to appeal more to users and to incorporate display advertising within relevant content, a similar experience is also now being used for mobile users. While big social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are already utilizing this type of advertising in their “newsfeed” and “streams” many other publishers are following suit. This advertising is again more user-friendly and less intrusive by appearing as embedded in feed based areas or articles. Publishers are having so much success with these integrated ads in fact that Yahoo! just recently announced they would do away entirely with display banner ads replacing them with native ads.
No matter what the latest and greatest mobile ad type being rolled out is – one thing is clear: mobile marketing will continue to expand and advertisers can expect additional capabilities and more innovative and effective ways to reach mobile users.