Mobile App Marketing: What Advertising Works Best on Your Mobile Devices

Mobile App marketing is taking over the world. Ever since “Queen of the Net” Mary Meeker predicted that mobile would overtake fixed internet access, marketers have been using mobile’s capabilities to their advantage with clever tools like location-based marketing and local ad extensions. Here are some of the best ways to advertise on mobile devices.

App-Based Marketing

The statistics for app-based marketing are hard to ignore. In 2018, US adults were predicted to spend an average of 3 hours, 35 minutes per day on mobile devices. This year might even be the first year that mobile usage surpassed TV as the medium attracting the most minutes in the US! In addition:

While there’s no single definition for App-based marketing, it’s best described as a facet of mobile marketing that emphasizes app promotion, engagement, and the retention of users who have downloaded your app. When it comes to App-based marketing, companies should pay attention to mobile search engine marketing, location-based marketing, and in-app marketing, to name a few.

Mobile SEM

Mobile vs. desktop search queries produce different rankings almost 80% of the time. One of the biggest reasons for this is mobile’s emphasis on proximity. It’s highly unlikely that you’re going to be walking around 5th avenue while simultaneously conducting a Google search on your laptop. On mobile devices, this is second nature, so for that reason alone, the search results have to be different.

Because mobile users are on the go, keyword searches are going to be more concise. One or two buzzwords or acronyms are more common than long-tail searches. This extends to when you use ads on mobile versions of your social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, so keep that in mind when planning your campaign.

Location-Based Marketing

Wi-Fi sensors are seeing 25x growth year over year. Well over 15 million registered sensors around the world, with 6+ million in the US alone. Location-based marketing enjoys a high ROI because it allows apps to connect with customers who are already in the evaluation and purchasing stages of the marketing funnel.

In-App Marketing

In-app marketing works mostly with third-party apps with users who already have their brand’s app. For example, you might have downloaded the Express app on your phone, but probably don’t have it open unless you’re specifically looking for a deal or clothing. However, with the app downloaded, Express ads are more likely to pop up while you’re scrolling through your Facebook and Instagram feeds highlighting incentives, promotions and new items you might be intrigued to buy.

When you utilize smart mobile SEM, location-based marketing, and in-app marketing, you become a mobile triple threat.

Be Clever: Use Native Ads

Native advertising exposes the reader to advertising content that doesn’t look like it’s trying to sell you something. These paid ads match the looks, feel, and function of the media format in which they appear.

Native advertising plays a part in your everyday life, and you may not even realize it. On Facebook and Twitter, in-feed ads appear in your newsfeeds. After scrolling through a story, native advertising recommends related content. These ads also show up as promoted links when browsing articles online.

Native ads are designed to be adaptable for every app design and screen. They synthesize with the user experience and can even help direct users to content they are interested in. They’re not invasive and don’t have to be “X’ed” out before you’re able to access the content you’re searching for.

While other forms of advertising—particularly banner ads—dominate the mobile landscape, native ads are a smart way to entice potential leads.

Facebook Mobile

Facebook mobile boasts 1.57 billion active users, with 56.5% of these users only logging onto the platform from a mobile device. To say the least, Facebook’s ad targeting options are elaborate. You can gear your ad toward:

  1. Location: including people in a location, recently in a location, or traveling to it)
  2. Age
  3. Gender
  4. Relationship interest/status
  5. Education: including level, field of study, school, and undergrad years
  6. Employment/job titles/industry
  7. Ethnic affinity
  8. Generation
  9. Income/net worth
  10. Life events
  11. Politics/political affiliation

This list only covers the demographic aspect of Facebook’s ad targeting. The other targeting fields: interests, behaviors, connections, and remarketing, can be far more expansive. This post gives you a full account of every way that you can reach your potential customers with Facebook ads.

Ads on Instagram

Instagram has over 1 billion active users and boasts over 95 million photos and videos posted every day. When combined with Facebook’s elaborate ad targeting algorithms, brands can reach users in clever and relevant ways. As of March 2019, Instagram also has over 2 million advertisers and 25 million business profiles, so breaking through the noise can prove difficult.

Aside from studying Instagram’s demographics and what piques your target’s interests, Instagram states that native ads are usually the ones that perform best on the platform. 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram, while 20% of users visit a business profile daily. Unfortunately, the average cost per click on Instagram is around $.70, which is double Facebook’s average, so if you’re not an expert in Instagram ads, we strongly recommend reaching out to an agency that is.

Are you planning an upcoming mobile Instagram or Facebook ad campaign? Contact us today for a consultation.

Anthony Greer is a twice-published author and content marketer with a focus in marketing, brand, and product development.

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