The mobile advertising market is booming – it’s expected to account for 43% of all media ad spend next year – and brands are actively trying to reach consumers engaging in daily mobile activities, from payments and bookings to communication and entertainment. This year, time spent on mobile devices will exceed the time spent watching TV and will reach an average of 3 hours 43 minutes per day, explaining the high demand for mobile advertising.
As mobile continues to grow, advertisers can further develop techniques to improve ad load speed, increase engagement and decrease bounce rates without ruining the user experience. Many are pinning their hopes on 5G to revolutionize mobile advertising as the four major operators (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile) continue to expand their networks and new 5G-enabled devices are released. But while the lightning-fast connections and reduced latency of 5G will certainly have a positive impact, it will not be enough to transform mobile advertising on its own.
Advertisers need to ensure that mobile ad formats are targeted and personalized on top of improving the logistics of ad mechanics to achieve the user-friendly mobile advertising experience consumers expect – that isn’t intrusive or irrelevant to the user.
Adopting Mobile-Friendly Formats
All too often mobile ads are just desktop display banners resized to fit a smartphone screen or TV commercials repurposed as mobile video ads. Simply reusing ads in this way is not enough and can lead to consumers blocking content. This method can also serve creative that doesn’t suit its context, which in turn risks alienating potential customers.
Instead of simply reusing desktop or TV creative, advertisers should design specific ad formats to impact consumers without slowing down the experience of mobile users on the go. For example, mobile ads should be designed to work vertically as this is how most people hold their smartphones. Advertisers should take into account the touch, swipe and scroll actions common with mobile devices to avoid accidental clicks, and should avoid taking over the entire screen with their content unless intentionally activated by the user.
Native advertising is an increasingly popular choice for advertising on mobile devices, with the native market expected to be worth over $400 billion by 2025. Native ads work across multiple devices, platforms, and websites and adapt effortlessly to their environment. They deliver positive mobile experiences that are consistent with the publisher’s platform behavior and cohesive with webpage design, fitting seamlessly into the flow of content. As long as they are clearly labeled to avoid misleading users, native advertising can enhance, rather than detract from the mobile experience.
Lightening the Ad Burden
In the same way, mobile and desktop are vastly different, so the tools and coding languages used for desktop design don’t work for mobile web. To speed up the mobile experience, pages and ads must be stripped of all heavy and unnecessary elements. Back in 2016 Google developed the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) framework to tackle latency, improve the browsing experience, increase website SEO rankings, and reduce bounce rates.
The rollout of 5G is an exciting development, with connection speeds allowing users to do more than ever with their devices. Adopting initiatives such as the AMP framework – lightening webpages and ads to adopt formats such as natives that are perfectly adapted to the mobile environment – will enable further improvements in the mobile advertising industry.