6 Questions Every Company Should Ask Itself Before Starting a Mobile Advertising Campaign
Mobile advertising is one of the fastest-growing and most promising new marketing tactics, and many more companies of all sizes are going mobile with their marketing strategies – but that doesn’t mean that great mobile ad campaigns happen by accident. Although the mobile marketing platform has many exciting opportunities for advertisers to reach and engage with users, there are unique challenges of the medium as well. Before investing in a mobile ad campaign, your company needs to ask itself some important questions to make sure your mobile ad marketing dollars are well spent with careful planning and smart targeting.
Here are six questions that every company needs to ask before starting a mobile ad campaign:
- Who is my target audience? It sounds obvious, but many companies (even big ones) overlook the important step of identifying a target audience for a mobile ad campaign. This is perhaps the most important and fundamental question that advertisers should ask themselves. The answer will influence every other aspect of your advertising campaign including which mobile advertising network to select, which landing environments to use, what messages to try, and which geographies to target. There are so many unique ways to target your mobile advertising by geographic location, by time of day, and by attributes and interests of the users you want to reach – so it is a big missed opportunity not to spend some time up front deciding on who exactly is your target audience.
- What are my marketing objectives? Most marketers want to measure their mobile advertising campaigns in terms of CTR and conversion. And while these metrics are important, these are not the only goals that mobile advertising can accomplish. As discussed in this article on using mobile advertising to build long-term customer relationships, there are many ways to use mobile advertising to create valuable interactions with customers that go beyond a single transaction. Instead of simply trying to get customers to buy something or download an app, what if you used mobile marketing to encourage a free trial, to sign up to follow your company on social media, or to get customer feedback on an existing purchase? Depending on what your marketing needs might be, mobile marketing can be a uniquely effective way to put an offer in front of customers – and that offer doesn’t have to be “buy now.”
- Have I optimized my landing environments? Having effective mobile advertising banners and great targeting won’t mean a thing if you don’t create a solid landing environment that is optimized for mobile. Your landing environment is the “home base” that you’re sending customers to once they click on your mobile ad. Most often, the landing environment is a dedicated page on your website. However, if you are landing your customers on your website, make sure that it is optimized for mobile (so that the site displays correctly on mobile handsets and devices and is easy to navigate and tap on buttons, etc.). You might even want to create a specially designed mobile version of the website. It also helps to create different landing environments for each of your major customer segments so you can have specific offers and analytics for each type of customer, depending on what you are trying to get the customers to do. Refer to this article for more ideas on how to design a mobile website.
- Which mobile advertising platform is best for me? This really comes back to your company’s core objectives and product. Are you a local business? Then make sure that you ask each potential mobile ad network about their local experience and reach. There are even companies like PlacePlay (my company) who specialize in local advertising on mobile. Are you looking for coverage in a specific country? If so, you might want to supplement your use of one of the larger mobile ad networks like Millennial or Admob with a network that has a focus on your target country (for example, Madhouse in China). Mobile advertising platforms can be complicated, but the more you have planned ahead and thought through your strategy for the other questions posed on this list, the better prepared you will be to make a well-informed choice of a mobile ad platform.
- Have I thought enough about testing? One of the most powerful things about mobile advertising is the fact that it offers so many options for advertisers to test and refine their campaigns. You can try a lot of different combinations of audience, message, offer and landing environment and see what works – and then adapt as you go along at minimal additional expense. Mobile advertisers should think about testing in four areas:
- The audience (demographics, networks, etc.) – make sure you’re reaching the right audience. Which audience segments respond better to your ads?
- The creative – try different banner ad designs and different banner headlines. Do different colors and photo combinations work better than others? Do you get better results with a simpler headline or a more detailed offer?
- The offer – what is the hook to get someone to download or sign up or buy from you? Different offers require different levels of commitment from the user – which commitment level is best at generating a response?
- The landing environment – try multiple landing pages on your website, optimized for mobile, and specialized depending on your customer segments. Do you get better click-through rates depending on the placement of the “buy now” button? Do your users respond better to a short, simple message or a more detailed written explanation of what they are being asked to buy or download?
- Do I need help? Setting up your first mobile advertising campaign can be a bit intimidating. But, fortunately, there are a lot of great mobile advertising agencies who can help you along the way – check out this listing of the most influential mobile ad agencies in the U.S. for some examples. You don’t have to go it alone. There are many capable mobile advertising experts who can give your company the advice you need to successfully launch your mobile ad campaign.
What’s your take on this? What was most surprising when you launched your first mobile ad campaign? What questions would you recommend that marketers ask themselves before investing in mobile advertising?