If you've been following the trends lately, you know how important mobile - specifically mobile advertising - is for your business. It's vast. It's growing. And it's surprisingly underutilized as an ad platform.
Now I love a good set of facts and figures as well as the next person, and there are plenty of data about mobile advertising.
But for practical tips and specific action steps, I asked a few colleagues to share their best advice when it comes to starting or expanding a mobile advertising program. Here's what they had to say:
Brian Carter, briancartergroup.com, @briancarter
We recommend combining mobile social advertising with mobile search advertising to get prospects both before they look, and when they are looking. If you reach a prospect earlier, you can get into the consideration set and possibly even get a deal before the prospect looks too deeply at your competitors.
Ted Rubin, tedrubin.com, @TedRubin
Advertising is advertising. My advice is to build a mobile community... engage, interact, add value, and show support for what is important to your consumers. In today's digital world it's all too easy for us as brands and individuals to let our relationship-building muscles atrophy. It is time to re-build our one-on-one communication skills and muscles that we've forgotten in our rush to new technologies.
Jason Falls, Elasticity, @JasonFalls
The key to better conversions is relevancy. Leveraging IP targeting along with mobile advertising means you can dial-in a specific neighborhood, office building, or even single dwelling. Targeting more effectively means a much higher chance the ad will work. So get as granular as you can.
Joel Comm, joelcomm.com, @joelcomm
Facebook ads are still one of the best ways to target your customers on mobile. Just make sure you hire an ad professional to do your buys or you can blow through a lot of cash quickly!
Dennis Yu, BlitzMetrics, @dennisyu
Your first foray into mobile ads should be on Facebook, in the same way that your first foray into search should be with Google. You're doing this not because Facebook has more mobile inventory, but because optimization is easier.
Over 70% of Facebook's ads are already mobile placements and they automatically resize your creatives based on the user's device type - even accounting if they're on 3G or 4G. If your goal is engagement, expect a cost per engagement of under 15 cents for CPG and about a dollar in "non-sexy" industries. Cost per installs should be under $3, cost per video view under 20 cents, and cost per website click under 50 cents.
Use your performance (cost by business objective) on Facebook as a benchmark before you head into Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, iAds, and even third party networks.
David Berkowitz, MRY, @dberkowitz
Don't treat mobile advertising like advertising. Mobile gets extremely personal for consumers. This is a device that's always within arm's reach, and sometimes it's even physically strapped to their arms. Think about the value you can provide. Can you make sure they know about a time-sensitive offer available nearby that's targeted to their interests or preferences? Can you give them a few minutes of entertainment while they're in transit or waiting in line? Can you make it easier for people to get around, find nearby points of interest, or connect with others?
Mobile can do all of this, while helping you achieve your goals of building your brand, generating foot traffic, racking up leads, or moving products. Focus on the value exchange first, and then see which advertising and marketing offerings can help you achieve it.
Christopher Penn, shiftcomm.com, @cspenn
There are three things that are by far the most important:
1. What audience are you trying to reach? This includes the types of devices, the bandwidth available, and the applications.
2. What goals are you trying to achieve? This can include brand awareness, audience growth, or calls to action for things like lead generation.
3. What gross and net margins do you have on your ads? It is very easy for both agencies and brands to get burned when what looks like positive revenue ultimately turns out to be a net loss because the cost of acquisition was too high.
David J. Deal, davidjdeal.com, @davidjdeal
Think of mobile as a behavior, not just a platform for ads. Create content that most effectively connects your brand with the mobile behaviors of your audience. For example, Starwood Hotels built its brands by being useful to consumers who rely on their mobile devices to manage their travel needs. Starwood offers branded smartphone and Apple Watch apps that help travelers do everything from checking in to their hotels to unlocking the doors to their rooms. Taking a different approach, Pep Boys has generated revenue by creating mobile wallet offers for consumers searching and shopping on the go. Both Starwood Hotels and Pep Boys understand how to adapt their brands to mobile lifestyles instead of looking at mobile as another ad distribution channel.
Bryan Kramer, bryankramer.com, @bryankramer
Networks such as Twitter and Instagram were born on mobile, so your advertising must include a social element. Make sure that you invest the time to put a social strategy around your mobile campaign and integrate it at each appropriate touch point.
Jason Miller, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, Twitter: @JasonMillerCA
75% of engagement with Sponsored Updates on LinkedIn happens on mobile, so make sure your landing page is responsive and looks good on smaller screens. Use bigger text and concise messaging on your finger friendly forms. LinkedIn Autofill can also help boost conversion rates on mobile devices.
These marketers have shared some simple and actionable steps you can take to get your mobile advertising not only to grow, but to convert. If you are looking to dig deeper into the topic, this Insider's Guide to Social Mobile Advertising might help.