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What the Evolution of Mobile Advertising Means for Your Small Business

When I first heard about mobile advertising, I still had a regular old mobile phone, not a smartphone. Heck, I’d even go days without turning my mobile phone on! I couldn’t download apps, and I couldn’t check email, and I couldn’t browse the web.

Mobile advertising was barely a blip on my radar.

Now, of course, mobile advertising is one of the hottest topics for marketers. And no wonder. Just check out these stats, courtesy of a great infographic on the subject:

In 2015, mobile advertising is estimated to reach $64 billion in spending.

Compare that to ad spend in 2006, when it was just under $1 billion. That’s a whopping growth rate! Mobile advertising is 70x the size of what it was just nine years ago.

It gets crazier, though. In just two short years, mobile ads are expected to make up half of all digital ad spend.

So, what does all of this mean for the small business owner? Opportunity to reach more people, drive sales, and grow your business.

While you’re thinking about mobile advertising, I want you to keep in mind one interesting digital ad trend. 86% of our time is spent using apps rather than browsing the Internet. For a small business owner, that means that you want to look for advertising opportunities within apps first, browsers second.

Now, let’s look at five kinds of mobile ads and whether or not they’re a good fit for small businesses:

Banner ads

Banner ads are so annoying that 60% of people cannot remember the last banner ad they saw and 38% of clicks on banner ads are accidental. Despite these numbers, banner ads remain the most frequently used.

Yes or no? For a small business with a tight advertising budget, I say no. Who wants to annoy people while enjoying a poor ROI? Not me!

Interstitial ads

These are used between slides, scenes, pages, or sections and appear to break up content. These types of ads are more likely to grab a user’s attention for 3 reasons:

  • They are distinguishable from surrounding content
  • They usually take up the entire screen
  • Some are shown at app launch or exit

If you can secure a spot in an app launch ad, go for it – they have a click-through rate (CTR) that is 3x higher than regular full-screen ads.

Interstitial ads come in many forms, but we’ll just look at one that relevant to small businesses:

Overlay walls

Overlays have transparent backgrounds, so you can still see the app running underneath. Most are animated, and the animation factor makes a big difference. You can enjoy a CTR that’s 100% higher than a static ad.

Yes or no? Yes. Both interstitial ads and overlays offer a nice CTR.

Native ads

These are designed to blend into content, so they are not as disruptive as other ads. Because they are less intrusive, native ads enjoy a better user experience, higher user satisfaction and engagement, and a CTR that is 2x higher than interstitial ads.

Yes or no? Yes, and this is my number one pick for small businesses. Native ads allow you to enhance someone’s experience – and that’s a good thing in my book.

Video ads

They are usually no more than 30 seconds long, and they can be integrated into other ad formats (see above!). 91% of advertisers said video ads are just as or more effective than display ads.

Yes or no? If you have the budget, yes.

If you’ve run a mobile ad campaign, I want to hear from you! What kind of results did you enjoy? Did you get the ROI you wanted?


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash