A 2010 study
almost 46 million
users have smartphones
20 percent of the
market share of
total mobile users.
Those numbers are enough for advertisers to start taking
the mobile market very seriously. But what is the
best way for advertisers and marketers to gain traction
in this growing industry?
Increasingly, mobile content and applications are
being targeted at a user’s location. A study from the Mobile
Marketing Association (MMA) states that more
than 25 percent of adults in the U.S. have used maps,
navigation or other mobile phone services that automatically
determine location. The same study indicates
that nearly half of those using mobile phones have
taken action on mobile ads.
Increasing the localization of customer targeting
means more qualified traffic and better opportunities
for conversion. Utilizing localized advertising in combination
with interactive advertising offers users the
very services they are seeking.
That’s a winning formula.
Ready, Aim, Advertise
The great strength of the mobile ad is that it allows for
very specific targeting of users. Advertisers who take
the time to get to know their target audience will be
able to reach out to a large group of consumers who are hungry for information about what is available in
their immediate area.
At this point (and it should come as no surprise),
the leader in location-based advertising is Google.
Google has acquired a patent for using location for advertising,
which sets it ahead of the competition. It allows
users to bid on ad prices within a defined area and
allows advertising from apps to directly correspond to
a user’s location.
Anyone with experience managing PPC campaigns
will find themselves in familiar territory when
launching mobile ad campaigns. Just like PPC, mobile
advertising allows you to set up a section for
specific campaigns and, within those campaigns,
create accounts for different brands, as well as their
In addition to choosing to advertise in search results
or through the content network is the ability to
select a specific area — obviously of importance to mobile
ad campaigns. Mobile ad platforms will allow you
to target geographical locations based on country, region
and specific city.
For more highly targeted ads, advertisers can target
specific mobile network carriers, devices and even
markup languages. This allows users to control who
they are advertising to, which, allows them to meet the
needs of a destination URL, depending on the technological
capabilities of the targeted device.
Limited to very few characters, the mobile call-toaction
is a new art form. Mobile ad character limits on
Google are 18 characters per line of text (two lines
total), offering very few words to send your message.
With so few characters available, highly targeted
copy is very important. There are ways to increase your
character count, however. For example, using AdMob,
there is an option to select an ad targeted at “iPhones
and other mobile devices with full Internet browsers.”
This allows you to get a few more characters in both
the title and body of your ad.
You want your user to experience a feeling of success
upon finding your landing page. Forget about the fact
that users can zoom in on a mobile Web page. Create
simple pages that display the information that benefits
the user immediately upon landing.
Like any other form of Internet advertising, the mobile
ad must reach multiple devices and screen sizes.
With so many types of handsets, the ability to reach
specific ones is absolutely imperative to a successful
mobile marketing campaign. To market to more than
just one of these groups, optimize multiple pages for
each of the different styles.
A display on a Blackberry Curve is far different
from that of an iPhone, for example. Phones have the
ability to resize text but forcing users to take that extra
step can be risky. Let your landing pages be as targeted
to the users of specific devices as they are to the consumers
you are trying to reach. A page that is not automatically
readable or navigable with the information
important to your consumers (delivering on the promise
of the ad) could send users elsewhere.
Web developers can target specific phones to a
certain degree by serving up different conditional
CSS files. By checking the maximum width of the device’s
screen, they can create usable layouts specific for
Test for Success
Like other advertising campaigns, having several versions
of an ad and a landing page is paramount to success.
Continue to test different tactics and don’t be
afraid to experiment.
Be aware that the ability to track mobile advertising
campaigns is still somewhat limited. When checking
an IP address for someone who visited your site with a
Blackberry, for example, you will be seeing the Internet
Gateway address, not the actual phone’s IP address. In addition, some phones don’t support cookies and others
clear the cache on a regular basis. However, there
are analytics solutions to help track ROI. Affiliates who
find ways to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns
will be miles ahead when the technology
catches up to the needs of advertisers. And, by making
use of the ability to target specific locations, you have
already narrowed the criteria for analysis.
Mobile advertising, especially in terms of affiliate
marketing, is in the early stages of its growth. There
will be obstacles to overcome. But those who get in
early and manage to grow with the developing technology
will have a head start on their competition. The
technology is already advancing in leaps and bounds.
If you start now, you’ll be ready for the next development
About the Author: Jamie Fortunaso is the Digital Manager at Share Results
and an early adopter of mobile marketing. He administers
successful mobile marketing campaigns for merchants
and affiliates and believes strongly in the power of location-
based advertising. He can be reached at jamie@shareresults.