Getting started in mobile advertising and mobile marketing can seem like a daunting prospect, with a universe of new terms and buzzwords. But despite the new vocabulary, many aspects of mobile advertising are not as complicated as they seem. Once you become familiar with the terminology and parameters of mobile advertising, it’s easier to see the ways that this new media format can help your business grow.
Here are a few basic mobile advertising terms and concepts that any first-time mobile advertising buyer needs to be familiar with:
- In-app advertising vs. Mobile search: In-app advertising is one of the fastest growing areas of mobile advertising, because more people are spending more time with apps on their smartphones and mobile devices, instead of browsing the mobile web. Many marketers are familiar with Google AdWords, which introduced thousands of businesses to online search advertising in an easy and scalable way. While mobile search advertising can still be effective, many companies are starting to focus more on in-app advertising to go where the eyeballs are. Just as Google Ad Words became a widely recognized way to advertise in search results, Google now offers AdMob as a way to buy in-app advertising for as little as $0.01 per click. The biggest difference between in-app advertising and mobile search advertising is the way the ads reach the audience – but the cost and strategic considerations of buying these two types of mobile advertising are quite similar. Your company doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel when buying online advertising – just be aware of the new opportunities of in-app advertising. If your business is relying solely on search engine advertising, your prospective customers might be missing the message.
- CPC, CPM and CPA: These three little acronyms stand for “Cost Per Click,” “Cost Per Impression” and “Cost Per Action,” and they represent three of the most common forms of paying for mobile advertising. Again, most of this is not truly “new” to the mobile ad environment – Google AdWords has been offering Cost Per Click ads for years. But if you’re going to buy mobile advertising, be aware of your options and make sure your pricing structure makes the most sense for your marketing campaign goals. If you buy CPC mobile ads, make sure that you understand the approximate value of a click. What is it worth to your business to have someone click on one of your mobile ads? How many clicks are converting into sales or inquiries? Make sure your mobile advertising investment is cost-effective based on your own company’s calculations. CPM pricing is based on the cost per thousand impressions – this can be difficult to assign a value to, based simply on the audience size. What is it worth to you to put your company’s brand in front of a certain number of people? Can you conduct surveys or follow up with social media outreach to see if the advertising is having an effect? A CPM mobile advertising campaign might not be the best fit for every company’s needs, unless the mobile ad spending is part of a larger effort being coordinated across multiple media channels. CPA mobile ads are “action oriented” – meaning that you only pay for the advertising when it delivers a certain agreed-upon result, such as a new subscriber or a new download. Again, with this type of mobile ad buy you need to align your company’s goals with the costs. Don’t overpay or overestimate the value of a new subscriber.
- “Mobile SEO” – making ads and websites mobile friendly: One of the biggest mobile advertising mistakes is failing to make the company’s ads and web presence “mobile friendly.” As millions of people begin to rely on their mobile devices more exclusively, too many company websites still are designed with the assumption that their audience is all going to be seated at desktop computers with a big screen. If your website and ads are not mobile friendly and designed for small screens, you will quickly lose the audience’s attention. If your website is awkward to navigate from a smartphone, your customers will seek out a competitor’s site instead. If your website clogs up your audience’s smartphone screens with lengthy downloads and unnecessary bells and whistles, you will lose credibility. Either design a separate mobile version of your website, or consider developing your own mobile app that can be used in place of your company website.
Mobile advertising is one of the fastest growing sectors of the marketing industry, and it is likely to continue to grow for the foreseeable future as millions of people worldwide become connected to the Web via smartphones and mobile devices. Don’t feel intimidated by the new realities of mobile advertising. There are tremendous opportunities here for those companies that are willing to think big and act boldly – small screens can offer big opportunities.
What’s your take on this? What are some basic terms and concepts of mobile advertising that you would like to see explained?
About Ryan Morel: Follow @ryanmorel