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The Evolution of Mobile Advertising

Written by:   |  Strategy  |  May 16, 2016  |  0 comments

Only a decade ago, having a cell phone was a luxury. The coolest phones flipped open, screens were two inches, and you could send a text message for a hefty fee! Fast-forward to 2016, where over 68% of Canadians have a phone that can connect to the Internet. Now, phones are basically tiny robots attached to our hands that can give us anything we want or need to know. These advances have changed the entire digital landscape, and it’s now more important than ever to think about your mobile strategy.

The Evolution of Mobile Advertising

Answers Are Just One Tap Away!

Mobile phones made the internet (wait for it) mobile! But make no mistake, mobile internet usage and search behaviour is very different than desktop. As the wants, needs, and usage of the mobile internet user evolved, a new a phenomenon emerged, which Google refers to as “Micro-Moments“. Micro-Moments are instances where you need information “here” and “now”, and represents a huge opportunity for brands and marketers to serve consumers that are “in-the-moment”.

How can you be helpful and ready to assist consumers in the moment? You had better have a great mobile strategy!

Where to Start

There are many factors to consider before developing your mobile strategy:

  • Your Business – Based on the industry, the ratio of mobile/desktop users can vary greatly. Higher involvement products, such as homes and cars, tend to have a larger proportion of desktop conversions, which makes sense because it is generally easier to research and compare products on a desktop. However, mobile can still help users get ‘snack-sized’ bits of information while they are on-the-go. Other industries, such as services and retail, will normally have a much higher proportion of mobile visitors. A quick look into Google Analytics and AdWords (if you are running campaigns) can give you an idea of mobile vs. desktop behaviour, just keep in mind that each of these platforms may give you slightly different data.
  • Your Audience – The direction and approach of your mobile strategy relies heavily on the mobile behaviour of your target audience. Does your business cater to Millennials, where smartphone penetration is 80% and the average daily usage is 1.4 hours longer than a Baby Boomer? If so, your mobile strategy should be a high priority.
  • Your Website – Unfortunately, great desktop experiences don’t always translate to mobile (think lots of zooming in and scrolling). This is such an important factor that Google has incorporated “mobile-friendliness” into its search algorithm. This means you need to consider a mobile-optimized site. Not sure if your site is mobile optimized? Find out with this simple tool.

Once you understand the environmental factors at play, it’s time to look at your mobile site!

Your Mobile Site

When building a mobile site, the ultimate goal is to satisfy the user’s micro-moment. How do you do that? Let’s dig deeper into the nature of a micro-moment.

  • Micro-moments are quick, your site has to be too!  Patience is low when you’re in the moment. That’s why site speed and easy navigation are so important.
  • People want it now or never. If the user has to go through multiple pages, zoom-in to read text, or scroll heavily to find their answer, chances are they will give up rather than keep looking. What’s worse, 29% of these unsatisfied users will immediately seek answers on a competitor’s site. Avoid site abandonment by making navigation easy, and by placing key information prominently on the site.
  • Define your miro-moments?  Build out a “Moment Map”, where you identify all the possible situations where your brand could answer the “I-want-to-” questions of the mobile consumer. Put yourself in their shoes and develop content/experiences for the “want-to-know”, “want-to-go”, “want-to-buy”, and “want-to do” moments.

Is your site ready for those ‘in the moment’ questions? Great! Let’s make sure you’re visible now.

Your Mobile Ads

We know mobile behaviour is different than desktop behaviour, so it makes sense that ads should be catered to the device they are served on. The following tips align with “in-the-moment” behaviours and can increase your CTR significantly:

  • Be there – Ranking is especially important on mobile, where the top 2-3 ads will fill the screen completely. CTR for the #1 position will always be the highest, even higher than desktop rates. The lower you are, the less chance the user will even see your ad before finding the right information.
  • Keep it simple –  Knowing that people have less patience on mobile, it’s important to get to the point right away.
  • Make it easy to convert – There are many ways to simplify the path to conversion on mobile, including:
  • Calls from ads – If you have the resources to receive calls, this is a great option. They don’t need to navigate through the site, they can call directly from the ad.Mobile Google Call Only Ad
    • Table extensions – Google is testing ad extensions that feature products from your site. This is only available for some accounts, but we hope to see this available for all accounts in the near future.    
    • Simple Forms – If you are driving leads, the last thing a mobile user wants to do is manually fill out 10 boxes. Make it easy for them by using pop-up calendars, auto-fill, etc.
    • Focus on local – If they’re on their phone, they could literally be across the street from your business. Using targeted ad copy based on where your store locations are can make the ad more relevant to the user.
    • Don’t stop at the ad! – Having a mobile optimized ad can increase CTR by up to 97%, so make sure the landing page is equally as mobile-optimized! Also make sure your landing pages consider the micro-moment behaviours discussed above.

As mobile continues to grow, the marketers who employ modern mobile strategies will win those micro-moments. We hope these tips will help you get ahead of the mobile game and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave your thoughts below!

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