This article was written by Ted Dhanik

The smartphone has changed how people view the Web, making the old desktop banner advertising methods something of a relic. Desktop ads still account for the majority of ad spend, but the upswing into mobile seems inevitable. Mobile users are more motivated to make a purchase, and they are more likely to conduct local searches because of that.

There are estimates that mobile ad spend will account for almost 20% of corporate ad budgets, which could mean big returns for those brands that do mobile advertising well.

Mobile Real Estate

One of the most difficult adjustments that a marketer must make in converting efforts to mobile is knowledge of screen real estate. With a tablet or a smartphone, the literal space to work with goes down. Mobile versions of a website are built with fluidity in mind, but that layout can still change your ad. If you don’t properly size an ad for mobile, it becomes a nuisance for the user, where the ad bleeds into the layout or does not appear at all.

Localized Ads

Because many smartphone owners are on the move, they are usually localizing their searches with queries related to their town or city. Location specific display advertising targets the customer and improves awareness that the service is in their area, or carries some special benefit for local customers. Examples might include a restaurant with services located “just around the corner” from the user’s location. Include a phone number with localized area code if possible, versus the standard 800 number that might be on an ad running nationally.

Ad Design

Mobile ads should be visual by nature, because you don’t have very much real estate to work with. Moving ads are useful in mobile, where you can use transitions to help split your messaging into more effective bits. Avoid heavy text-laden ads that force the user to do a lot of reading. It’s easier on some devices than others, but taking the chance means you’re forcing some users out of your sales funnel.  Err on the side of caution and use imagery that helps users absorb the gist of what you’re saying. For example, if you sell outdoors supplies, a picture of a tent could be more effective than a listing of tent prices.

Final Thoughts

Marketers are planning to increase their ad spend in the mobile market, looking for ways to improve the direct outreach to consumers. There is a learning curve for the design of these ads, but with more ad spend headed to mobile, the smartphone is beginning to look like an effective platform for location based ads.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the co-founder of engage:BDR. Ted Dhanik has over fifteen years in the direct marketing space, specializing in banner advertising and traffic generation. To learn about how engage:BDR can help increase conversions, visit Ted Dhanik online.

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