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Refresher: Designing & Serving Mobile Ads

Posted on 9.01.2014

Designing and serving mobile ads is a lot like their desktop counterparts with a few notable exceptions. 

For the latter, Google has one of the most comprehensive outlines available in its “Mobile ad serving information sheet.” Additionally, many of the ad networks that businesses rely on to serve their desktop display ads, for example, offer cross-platform ad serving as well, such as Epom. Then there are services that are exclusive to mobile ads and app monetization, like Millenial Media. Of course, Facebook and Twitter can also serve mobile ads to its mostly mobile users. 

When it comes to designing ads for the small screen, companies should think about just that – the small screen. The most important consideration to make is how user friendly the ad will be to interact with. Is there a large call-to-action? Can users view the ad without zooming in/out, scrolling to see more? Advertisers will also want to think about what happens post-click. A user should be directed to a landing page that is not only optimized for his or her mobile device but also consistent – in terms of color, logo, etc. – with what he or she just experienced on the mobile ad.

Luckily, the IAB offers some pretty robust mobile ad options that take into account the gestures that are inherent to mobile (like swiping, scrolling, etc.). Take the Adhesion Banner for example. As a user scrolls down a page (to read content, for instance), the mobile ad stays static above the fold, so the user is reminded about the ad as he or she consumes the Web page’s content. 

The Slider mobile ad format is also a real winner, as users swipe the ad to be taken to a different page where they can interact with the ad in a full screen. They are then able to simply hit “back” to, well, go back to the previous screen. 

All in all, serving mobile ads requires partnering with a network that marketers can trust but it’s up to them to ensure that the design of the ad is intuitive to the mobile experience – in terms of size and functionality. 



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