Top Mobile Ad Targeting Best Practices

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Craig Smith  |  Founder & CEO

Since 2012, mobile advertising has grown significantly, almost doubling every year. According to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), online ad revenue is an $88 billion dollar industry, with mobile advertising revenue making up $49.9 billion of total online ad spend in 2017. Experts estimate that mobile ad revenue saw a 36% increase in 2017, pushing it past the halfway mark and making it the dominant driver of online ad sales. Brands need to take their mobile ad targeting strategy seriously if they want to stay relevant, and competitive in today’s digital market.

Your online ads come in a variety of different formats. They are found on social media as sponsored posts or promoted content, on Instagram and the likes, which is when it becomes essential to consider an Instagram service to gain followers, as they immensely help in giving your business the exposure it deserves.

They are also found across the web with Google Ads, the Google Display Network, Adroll, and other promotional and affiliate options.

So what makes some of these ads effective while others get ignored? Why do some brands have high success rates on mobile, while other companies feel stuck marketing to desktop users?

Here are a few mobile ad targeting best practices to increase your revenue and customer engagement.

Optimize Your Calls to Action for Mobile

If you’re targeting customers on mobile devices then you need to make your call to action, and landing page experiences mobile-friendly. Mobile devices have had historically higher bounce rates than desktop traffic, but that’s starting to change.

From 2016 to 2017, average mobile bounce rates dropped from 52% to 47% while the average bounce rate for desktop devices remained constant around 38%. Bounce rates will continue to drop over the next few years as customers increasingly rely on their mobile devices and will eventually catch up to their desktop counterparts.

What does this mean for your mobile ad targeting? Your customers expect a high-quality mobile experience when they engage with your ads and brands. You can’t create a mobile ad experience and expect customers to switch to their desktops to convert. Make sure your mobile ad experience is optimized so customers can complete their transactions with ease.

Add Click-to-Call Buttons and Maps APIs

An easy example of setting up your mobile ad targeting with effective calls to action is the addition of click-to-call buttons and maps APIs in your mobile ads and on your website. Your customers expect to get the information they need with just one click and have no intention of manually dialing your address or phone number. Plus, highlighting these buttons convinces customers to click and set up an appointment or find your store.


Maintain Your ROI With Mobile Bid Adjustments

Wordstream reports that mobile bid levels have increased significantly over the past few years, with some bid costs rising more than 150%. Mobile keywords used to be affordable because there was less demand. Marketers saw better results from desktop users, which is where they pushed the majority of their budgets. However, this is starting to change as mobile internet usage grows and the user experience improves. Now mobile keywords are in demand as the user base relies more on their smartphone devices.

If you haven’t tested your mobile bid modifiers recently, now is the time to do so. Set device bid adjustments for ad groups or campaigns. To alter your bids when your ads appear on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices, you can specify a desktop, tablet, or mobile bid adjustment at the campaign level or at the ad group level. Consider pushing your mobile bids up or back to see what the traffic and conversion results are. You want to find the sweet spot where your audiences are seeing and engaging with your ads while you maintain a stable marketing ROI.

While you’re there, make sure to adjust other bid settings to get the most bang for your buck. If you don’t carefully hone your settings, then you’re likely spending money on impressions and clicks that will never convert on your brand. A few diagnostics to review include:

  • Geo-fencing to market to customers in your area.
  • Date and time limits if you want to drive calls or visits during business hours.
  • Keyword type adjustments so you only reach people who are interested in your brand.
  • Bid management strategies so you can outbid your competitors without wasting money.

These mobile ad targeting bid adjustments will likely become part of your routine ad profile health check, making sure you’re stretching your marketing dollars while maximizing revenue.


Invest in Mobile Re-targeting

Another way your brand can maintain or improve its digital marketing ROI on mobile is with re-targeting. Re-targeting is the process of marketing your brand, products, or promotions to people who have recently visited your website. These customers are already in your sales funnel, and you can move them closer to the buying process with online ads.

As a whole, the results on average for re-targeting ads is impressive compared to standard promotional content. Invesp created an info-graphic highlighting why ad re-targeting works and what results some digital marketers are seeing. For example:

  • Re-targeted customers are three times more likely to click on an ad than people who never interacted with your business before.
  • Roughly 26% of customers will return to a website through re-targeting.
  • 75% of consumers now notice re-targeted ads, and 50% of marketers plan to increase their re-targeting budget over the next six months.

You can test various re-targeting strategies for your mobile ad targeting. An eCommerce brand will likely promote products their customers already looked at, while other companies can promote brand insights, upcoming sales, and unique opportunities for their customers to try. Test different options to see which ones work best for your business.

Determine Where Mobile Ad Targeting Falls in the Sales Funnel

One of the main reasons why brands struggle with mobile ads is because they don’t immediately see the sales that come with it. We mentioned earlier that re-targeting ads often reach customers in your sales funnel, but even some of your most effective ads might drive more traffic and impressions than sales.

As you adjust your ad targeting strategies, track their performance in big-picture of the customer journey. Use attribution modeling to see whether your online ads are driving sales or serving a different purpose in the buying process. Just because your mobile ads don’t immediately drive revenue doesn’t mean they don’t provide value to you and your customers.   

Successful mobile ad targeting requires strategy, planning, and analysis. If you’re ready to start driving traffic and sales through mobile online ads, turn to the professionals. Set up a free consultation with Trinity Insight today to review your digital marketing tactics and create a plan for improvement.

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