8 ways to make mobile advertising better

By Mark Challinor


London, United Kingdom


Mobile advertising has opened up a different way to target and engage readers. With the right mobile advertising tools and applications, a media business can tailor client content to a number of desired audiences. With a select number of demographics regarding its target audience, it can burrow down to granular levels and target independently.

However, not all media businesses nor advertising clients know how to use mobile effectively and efficiently. Below, I have highlighted my top eight ways on how media companies/advertising clients can use mobile advertising well.

1. Be useful and relevant: May sound obvious, but while this applies to all types of advertising, ensure that your messaging hits your target audience(s) exactly with mobile. Remember, the handset is a personal space. People are already used to mobile advertising being quite personalised, based on location or via recommendations on their buying behaviours. So if you misstep in the targeting, even just by a small amount, you’ll miss whatever message you wanted to convey. 

Consumers are looking for ad content that is useful and relevant to their daily lives.
Consumers are looking for ad content that is useful and relevant to their daily lives.

Former CEO of The New York Times Mark Thompson once told me, “If not right, readers will disregard you with one heartless thumb swipe.” Ouch! But it’s too true. Recognise this. It’s crucial.

2. Mobile exclusivity: Make mobile advertising exclusive. If you’re running a campaign, ensure the message you’re sending out is for mobile customers only and tell them so prominently. For instance, if you’re highlighting a 25% discount, include that in your message with a note that the promotion is exclusive to mobile. Customers will feel appreciated and more likely to notice your mobile advertising messages in the future. When booking a hotel, I often get push notifications on my mobile telling me of “mobile exclusive” deals from the likes of booking.com. It works. It entices me in, anyhow. 

Make your mobile readers feel special by sending them exclusive offers.
Make your mobile readers feel special by sending them exclusive offers.

3. Be clear and succinct: Text messaging has much higher click-through rates than e-mail, due to the personal nature of mobile (as mentioned in the last point above). So to reap the rewards, being very clear and succinct in your messaging is vital. Ensure your calls to action (CTAs) all have clear instructions so your audience knows exactly what to expect when they engage with you … and how to do so. Remember, it’s a small screen. You can’t be too cluttered. 

4. Small means be visually compelling: Maybe a short length video or photo carousel can attract attention much better than words or still photos. Strong, visually compelling images and video with limited words in attention-grabbing copy works best. 

Keeping hyper local is one of mobile's super powers. Use it.
Keeping hyper local is one of mobile's super powers. Use it.

5. Hyperlocal focus: Hyperlocal targeting is the preserve of mobile. Use it. Geo-fenced mobile apps or Web platforms that send push notifications to people if they physically move into a “fenced-off” area are really powerful. Push notification can direct users to a discount code/voucher or promotional offer (time limited) and can help keep users loyal.

6. The time and place: Think about the time and the place of content consumption. People carry their phones with them constantly. Based on data you’ve collected already, you may for instance know stuff about their daily habits and behaviours.

As an example, if you’re sending a client advertising message out at say, Monday at 6 p.m, timing and relevance are key. Where will they be when they get your message? What will likely be their reaction to it at the end of a working day?

If it’s for a food delivery service, that might be the perfect time. But if it’s work related, they may have had enough work for one day and don’t want more — again, especially on a personal device. Ask yourself, are you being intrusive or being useful? Are you interrupting their evening or adding value?

Finding the right time to send out your message can make a massive impact in how it is viewed.

7. Adopting scannable codes: It took a pandemic to get many parts of the world to use QR codes. QR codes have developed now so that they work easily with your phone’s camera (no need for a separate app). They allow you to instantly send and receive information … everything from a business address to a promotional offer, to a restaurant menu, etc. The list is limitless.

QR codes are an effective mobile engage tool.
QR codes are an effective mobile engage tool.

8. Notifications and reminder messaging: Appointment reminders and delivery notifications have become common as part of any company “worth its salt.” They are great examples for proactive mobile advertising customer servicing that are relevant, appreciated, and valuable to the customer. Missed appointments can also be costly for your client’s business. Sending out appointment reminders or maybe the time of an expected delivery can go a long way in keeping customers loyal, happy, and improving the running of your client’s business.

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About Mark Challinor

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