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The following is a guest contributed post from Shawn Arora, the founder of LaunchSpark.

More than a billion people now access Facebook from mobile devices and the company itself is making close to $5.7 billion a quarter from mobile advertising. For perspective, this figure is higher than what Facebook made from its entire business in Q3 2015. As an advertiser, this means that a generic Facebook advertising strategy no longer works. You will need a dedicated strategy for mobile users.

How Is Facebook Mobile Advertising Different?

User engagement on mobile is quite different from what it is on desktop. According to Search Engine Watch, desktop user visits are roughly three times longer than mobile visits. This is perhaps because a significant number of websites today are still not optimized for all the different mobile form factors. Desktop experience, on the other hand, is quite universal.

Another study showed that mobile users prefer long form text content over video. This is partially because mobile users are wary of running up high mobile data bills due to video consumption. Users also often prefer to skim over text rather than watch a video. Another reason for this is that mobile users generally tend to browse the web in public, such as during commute or while at work or in a class. In these scenarios, it’s easier to read text than watch a video.

With respect to Facebook specifically, the mobile site does not contain right side ads and users generally only view ads in the news feed. This means that your ad campaigns must be geared towards engagement (driving up likes, comments and shares) as much as it is towards website clicks.

The mobile platform can also potentially disrupt user experience. Facebook advertising has evolved to include a number of new innovations like Messenger advertising and sales bots. The experience is seamless over a desktop and a user clicking on a CTA like ‘Send Message’ will instantly be taken to a Messenger window where they may converse with a sales representative from your company. On mobile though, the Facebook app and the Messenger are two separate apps. This may lead to scenarios where a user may not have the Messenger app installed or a disruption between navigating from one app to another.

In short, although users are migrating by the millions to the mobile platform, it needs to be acknowledged that the experience you may deliver to your audience is limited and so you will need to craft a unique strategy for these users.

Let’s Talk About the Positives

Mobile advertising also has its positives. Research has shown that mobile users are a lot more inclined to share their location data compared to desktop users. For local businesses, this is a fantastic opportunity to optimize ad spends by targeting users who are in your neighborhood. These users are also younger and are often more lucrative to an advertiser. Although mobile conversions have been typically lower than desktop conversions, this has changed recently. In just the last year, mobile conversions have shot up by as much as 29%.

Building A Facebook Mobile Advertising Strategy

The first step in building an advertising strategy for Facebook mobile is to create a landing page that will work seamlessly on mobile devices. A lot of businesses still build landing pages for the desktop and improvise this to fit mobile devices as well. In the mobile-first world of the future, this may cease to work. The next step is to identify the exact user navigational pattern you want to drive – for instance, do you want the user to navigate to their Messenger to discuss the product with you? Or, do you want them to spread the word about your brand by liking or sharing your post? Knowing this will help you create the right communication for Facebook.

From an operational perspective, advertising for Facebook mobile is not too different from its desktop alternative. It is however important to acknowledge the limitations and opportunities that exist with the mobile platform and build a strategy ground-up for these mobile users.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

“Shawn Arora is the founder of LaunchSpark, a Toronto-based explainer video agency with a focus on ROI. LaunchSpark works with SaaS / tech vendors to distill complex messaging into clear and concise insights that increase conversion rates.”

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