Mobile ads may well be the key advertising tool of the future. People have left behind computers as the main devices for browsing the internet, and use their smartphones instead. Since the medium always influences the format of advertising, you need to understand how people interact with ads on the mobile, and what general behaviour they adopt when browsing the internet on this device.
It Is a Permanent Rush Hour
Mobile internet browsing has nothing in common with computer browsing. People are literally on the move when they check websites, their email account or the social media from their mobile screen. They are in the underground, in a taxi, waiting for the bus or between two business meetings. They demand instant gratification of their needs and instant answers to their queries.
In this environment, ads need to have a special design and structure to avoid becoming an unwanted intrusion. A highly converting mobile ad campaign starts by asking yourself this question: “What can I do not to annoy mobile users with my ads?” Here are a few pertinent replies:
- The Return of Silent Movies
Many mobile ads are in video format. But there is a specific rule for mobile video ads: they should be silent. When your ad appears on the screen, chances are your prospect is listening to music, reading a book or article, or even having a video call with someone.
The sound of your ad will certainly get only one type of reply from the prospect: closing your ad completely. Silent mobile ads are no less engaging than the ones with sound, when done right. The combination of great visuals, with enticing copy and a great CTA button is as effective as The Sound of Music was for the world of cinema.
- Take Advantage of Smartphone Gestures
People love to play with their phones every once in a while. Modern smartphones allow a wide range of gestures for interacting with the phone, with apps and with ad content: tapping, swiping, pinching, shaking, etc.
Make your mobile ads interactive by allowing users to “play” with your ad and follow the CTA using one or several of these gestures. Just make sure not to turn this process into the mobile version of a complex fraternity handshake.
- Always Think of Context
Where do you want to distribute your mobile ads? Have you considered if your prospects are interested in interacting with your ad on a specific platform? For instance, new moms are likely to tap on your ad for baby products while browsing a forum for mothers and children.
If they are playing a game, chances are they are trying to take a break from their mommy duties at least for a few minutes, and your ad is an unwelcome intrusion.
- Plan the Clickable Area Carefully
The term “clickable” is used for convenience. In truth, mobile phones do not use the fine and sharp pointer of a mouse, but the average surface of a human finger pad. The size of the mobile phone screen will also impact the actual size of the area designated for the CTA button.
If the general rule is that CTA buttons need to be visible, it is even more important to make them as large as they need to be in order to allow easy interaction. One more thing: not all mobile screens are sensitive enough to use the finger nail for tapping. Therefore, make sure a regular human thumb or index finger can easily tap on your ad button.
- Avoid Using Old Technologies Like Flash
If you want an animated ad instead of a static or video ad, make sure you only incorporate modern coding elements (HTML5). Flash is in the process of being completely written off by its creator, and most mobile and desktop browsers no longer support it anymore.