Mobile advertising: how to stand out on the small screen

This much we all know: in the 15 years since the launch of the iPhone, that device, and ones like it, have transformed the way the world communicates, seeks entertainment and creates and digests content. You may very well be reading this on your phone right now. Don’t scroll past– we plan to say interesting things.

Because while the advertising industry has not been slow in realising mobile’s potential for reaching its target audiences, there are still plenty of lessons to learn. Let’s take a look at the steps mobile advertisers need to take to give them the best chance of success with this platform.

The basics: Why mobile advertising is important for you

As of last year, two thirds of the global population (5.22bn)owns a mobile device, 70% of web traffic is mobile, and usage is only increasing. For advertisers, that means mobile is the horse to back, and they are certainly backing it. In 2022 we will see mobile ad spend overtake desktopfor the first time. As far back as 2018,87% of Facebook’s ad revenue came from mobile alone.

Initially deployed as a performance channel, mobile advertising has emerged as a key branding tool as a result of its overall share of our personal screen time. Given the direction of traffic, nowadays it is broadly recommended that 45-60% of a brand’s mobile budget should be spent on branding.

The challenge: Be attention seeking

Hi! Hello! Here we are! We have funny videos of cats! Got you. The central challenge of mobile advertising is to capture an audience’s attention. Advanced eye-tracking technology now delivers extremely accurate engagement data. However, capturing attention on mobile is no easy task. While78% of mobile ads will be noticed in some way or other (compared to only 17% on desktop) mobile ads are typically looked at for 0.5 seconds less than on desktop. People are simply scrolling too fast on mobile to fully digest ad content.

But better production, creative and context will give your ads the best chance of success, which means getting the execution right…

How to build your mobile ad campaign

Step 1: The formats

Before we get into the finer detail of creating your mobile ad campaign, let’s take a look at some of the ad formats available to you:
  • Banner:This format has been around since the dawn of digital marketing. It is still widely used but declining in popularity as modern attention metrics highlight its dwindling performance.

  • Video:Extremely popular thanks to its ability to grab (and keep) attention, bringing the customer close to the marketer's product or service in an engaging, emotional way.

  • Native:Ads delivered in the editorial tone and style of the place in which they are served, and therefore not immediately obvious as ads. Facebook are past masters of this.

  • In-app: Has grown in popularity in tandem with all of our guilty mobile habits. Campaigns served in mobile apps enable advertisers to target a specific audience based on an app's demographic.

  • High impact: The new kid on the block, and the darling of current digital ad trends. These large formats play to a strong creative to gain attention and provide class-leading performance metrics as a result.

Step 2: Building the campaign

Alright, those are the formats, and they’re a good start. But these are the broader considerations:
  • Budget: Marketers are sending increasing proportions of their budget towards mobile advertising (35.7% on average) and this is especially important for brand impact. Ensuring the percentage of your total category spend is above that of your market share is a strong rule of thumb in encouraging brand growth.

  • Creative: As cookies dwindle and other privacy/consent legislation comes into play, high-quality ad creative is key to engaging an audience, and nothing grabs consumer attention - or increases brand recall - quite like animation or video. That’s why a shift towards mobile-first campaign design is critical. Harnessing the power of emotional storytelling likewise increases attention, so consider how to make your audience feel. Ensure your campaign’s creative is clear to read, of course, but specifically allow yourself no more than one key message. People browse quickly on mobile, so clarity of purpose is key.

  • Channel and duration:Repeating the ad over time and across a variety of channels will do wonders for brand recognition. A simple point, but one that bears repeating.

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The best chance of success: high impact advertising

High impact advertising is proven to achieve 10x the attention of standard display ads, and recent research is beginning to show the true potential many of the formats can offer. For example, research from Lumen shows that Adnami’s Mobile Topscroll format gains (on average) 4.3x the attention of a standard display MPU, and aided brand recall is twice that of an equivalent standard display MPU.
But talk is cheap - here are a few examples of the creative doing what it does best. Click the link for the full preview (recommended) or see the gif below.
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Midscroll for Discovery+

This ad shows how exciting and engaging video can be on mobile. The creative is designed to offer a window into the Olympics, and the clean, dynamic edit (with fast, clever cuts) holds consumer attention deep into the video

Midscroll Anchor for Volkswagen

This brand new format hijacks attention by anchoring the creative for a few seconds, causing the viewer to register the ad. Because of this a clear CTA is achieved, and the vehicle’s configurator product page awaits.

Social Display ad for ASOS

Adnami’s social display shows how a familiar format can be used in mobile retail to achieve high engagement levels. No new creative is required beyond the original SOM assets, and this format is great for moving ad spend beyond social to other popular, high-quality publishers.

Get in touch

Here at Adnami, we deliver device-agnostic, high impact mobile ad formats, programmatically, at scale, for both publishers and advertisers. Our advanced, privacy-first technology and carefully designed formats combine to provide a canvas for advertisers to engage their audience via creativity to achieve class-leading attention metrics.
Whatever the aim of your campaign, mobile is not a side option anymore, but the platform on which most audiences are to be found. Making sure your creative is optimised for high impact mobile ad formats will give you the best chance of engaging with your target audience and building your brand.

Want to know more about our formats and templates for mobile?Reach out through this form.