Cell Phone Ads - How Mobile Phone Advertising Works

A Marketer’s Complete Guide to Mobile Phone Advertising

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If you’re promoting any product or service these days, you can’t ignore mobile phone advertising. Mobile devices now account for more than half of all web traffic1 and last Black Friday, one third of all purchases2 were on smartphones. In addition, mobile commerce is set to grow by more than 25%3 this year. Clearly, cell phone ads are here to stay.

This guide will look at the mobile device advertising landscape. It will include what mobile phone ads are, and will highlight different types of cell phone advertisements. You will learn about ways to measure the cost when you send ads to cell phones, how to set up mobile device ads, and some examples of successful mobile device targeting campaigns.

What are Mobile Phone Ads?

Mobile phone ads are promotions shown to users of mobile devices such as phones or tablets. The ads are optimized so they look great on a variety of screen sizes. Because of the location-based technology built into smartphones, advertisers can precisely target specific groups of mobile device users based on location, behavior, and more. Mobile phone advertising allows companies to reach the right audience with both content and promotions.

Types of Mobile Phone Advertising

There are several types of mobile phone advertising businesses can use. As well as mobile display advertising, companies can promote products and services via video ads, rich media ads and native ads.

Many mobile device ads are in-app ads, which means that they appear within a mobile app. Types of in-app cell phone ads include banner ads, video ads, mobile ads, and more. But there are other kinds of mobile ads, too. Here are some of the types of ads to consider.

Banner ads

Banner ads are like the promotional banners you see on websites, but for mobile devices. These mobile display ads are served via a display ad network. One of the best known mobile advertising platforms for display ads is the Google Display Network. One example of banner ads in action is when you see a small banner at the top or bottom of a loading screen for an app.

Interstitial ads

Interstitial ads are another form of mobile device advertising. They are full-screen banners which users can dismiss with a swipe or a tap. A typical place to use interstitial ads is in between levels of a game. Users can find these distracting, though they work well.

Mobile video ads

Video is one of the most effective cell phone advertisement formats. Mobile video ads are short videos that appear before, during or after an action within an app. For example, when a mobile user is playing a game, a video may play before moving to a new level. In mobile gaming, watching videos can also help users gain in-game rewards. Mobile video ads are highly engaging, and reward-based videos have a high completion rate.

Native mobile ads

Unlike most mobile display ads, native mobile ads fit seamlessly into mobile content. Ads are text or video, and they mimic the look, feel, and style of the surrounding content. For example, a native ad on a social media site like Facebook will look just like other Facebook posts. These non-intrusive ads don’t interrupt the user experience and are effective because they’re not seen as ads.

Mobile rich media

Another type of mobile device advertising is mobile rich media. These are banner ads that can include images and video. They use Javascript, HTML and CSS to create an interactive experience, and have a high engagement rate.

Playable mobile ads

Playable mobile phone ads are often used to promote games, though they can also be used to bring a gamification element to business ads. For games, these ads usually include a short demo version which mobile users can try out. Playable mobile ads are interactive and engaging, and result in high conversions.

How Much Do Mobile Ads Cost?

Here’s a look at different pricing models and costs for mobile advertising platforms. This will help you decide which model is the best way to allocate your advertising budget. Each ad type has pros and cons depending on your campaign goals.

Cost per click

Cost per click (CPC) means that you pay every time someone clicks on one of your cell phone ads. The same model is used in search marketing, where it’s also called pay per click (PPC) advertising. With CPC you get interaction with your ad, which translates to raising awareness. However, there’s no guarantee of post-click conversions. CPC and PPC ads are targeted by keywords and regions, but costs may be affected by click fraud. Clicks can cost anywhere from a few cents to several dollars.

Cost per completed view

Cost per completed view (CPCV) is a metric that applies to video ads. It means you pay when someone watches all the way to the end of a video cell phone advertisement. So, if you have a 45-second video, you only pay if the viewer watches all 45 seconds. This allows advertisers to be sure they are making a good impression on their target audience before spending anything.

Cost per visit

GroundTruth’s mobile advertising platform uses cost per visit (CPV) to measure the effectiveness of mobile phone advertising. This removes the guesswork when buying mobile device ads, as you only pay when an ad results in an in-store visit. That makes it easier to see how your investment in ads relates to goals like foot traffic and revenue. With GroundTruth, you can target ads based on audience, behavior, location, weather and more, so you show the right mobile ads to the right people in the right places at the right time.

Cost per impression

Cost per impression (CPI), also known as cost per mille (CPM), is a fixed cost for every thousand times your ad displays. The actual CPI will vary depending on the site, with popular niches having a high CPI cost. This metric works well for those looking at raising brand awareness, but unlike CPC ads, there’s no guarantee of attracting website traffic.

How to Set up a Mobile Ad Campaign

Here’s how you can create a cell phone ads campaign to drive visits to your store with GroundTruth.

1. Create a Blueprint

Set up a Blueprint that maps key locations and points of interest (POIs) within the geographical area you want to target. Consider how far consumers are prepared to travel to get to your location. Depending on the size of your project, allow between two and seven days for the GroundTruth team to complete your Blueprint.

2. Select Your Audience

Next, identify the audience for your cell phone advertisement. You can choose audiences related to brand, behavior, or business category. You can also use Location Groups for tracking and retargeting, and can optimize your ads via the Ads Manager.

3. Choose Your Campaign Duration

Decide on the timing for the mobile device advertising campaign. GroundTruth recommends creating campaigns that last at least two weeks for visitation campaign, to increase audience exposure to the ad. Also, remember that it can take a while before consumers act on the ads they’ve seen. Visits can happen several weeks later, so don’t be afraid to extend the campaign duration.

4. Optimize Your Campaign

Once your campaign has started running, take a look at the analytics data. If necessary, optimize the campaign to improve your results. You can change POIs, targeting, campaign duration, audiences and more to be sure you are reaching the right people.

Examples of Mobile Ad Campaigns

Here some successful mobile ad campaigns you can run via GroundTruth’s mobile advertising platform:

  • The Choose Your Adventure campaign aims to help the audience learn more about the product – in this case, credit cards – vai a quiz. This mobile ad also includes a swipeable gallery. The interactive element makes it highly engaging.
  • The Mix and Match Styler entices mobile device users by letting them create the perfect outfit, with a call to action to visit the store. It include a swipeable gallery, and dynamically calculates the distance to the nearest store, enticing users to visit.
  • Running a restaurant? The Play with Your Food ad introduces an element of fun, with an interactive timed game. It also includes a dynamic map pointing users to your nearest restaurant location.
  • Give mobile users a targeted offer and discount with the Laptop Steal campaign. It includes a dynamic map and mobile landing page so you can adjust it to each audience.
  • Make your product demo into a game, like this Spray Away example. It brings a fun element to highlighting product features, and the interactivity is engaging.


Wrapping Up

Now you know the ins and outs of mobile phone advertising, including types of mobile ads and ad pricing models. With more people using mobile phones each year, cell phone ads are a key promotional tool for any business. See how GroundTruth’s mobile advertising platform can help you get started.

  • 1. www.statista.com/statistics/277125/share-of-website-traffic-coming-from-mobile-devices
  • 2. www.adobe.com/experience-cloud/digital-insights/holiday-shopping-report.html
  • 3. www.oberlo.com/statistics/mobile-commerce-sales