The digital revolution is fueled by advertising. For centuries, we’ve been able to read tens of pages of high quality newspaper content for a miniscule price, simply because of advertising. Even today, billions of hours of entertaining and educating content is free on YouTube, only because of advertising. Suffice to say that advertising is the symbiotic connection between brands and consumers. Today, with mobile taking up 71% of the consumers’ internet time, mobile advertising is undoubtedly the place where brands need to focus. In 2018, the global ad spend on mobile was over $138.1 billion. Be it mobile web, apps or text messages, mobile ad network presents multiple avenues that brands can creatively exploit to draw massive consumer attention to their brands.
‘Creatively’ is the operating word here. Use of mobile ad blockers is rising. Use of ad blockers, which was found to be 2% in 2016 rose to 8% in the UK and 5% in the US in 2017. This could mean significantly expensive to brands unless they start making mobile advertising more relevant, contextual, and creative.
So let’s take a look at the key trends that will shape the future of mobile advertising in the age of the digitally aware consumer.
1. In-App Ads Will Rule, But They Must Stay Relevant
In-app ads have consistently been a preferred mobile advertising strategy. Users get to use apps without paying a price, and brands display their ads within the apps. Most users accept in-app ads, realizing that it’s fair exchange for using quality apps for free. According to a research from App Annie, in-app advertising is set to triple in value over the next few years, amounting to $201 billion by 2021.
In-app advertising takes on various different formats including banner ads, native ads and interstitial ads. This is where brands need to get creative and choose the most perfect format for their brand and their target audience. Interstitial ads are one of the most useful formats, as they leverage the natural pauses or breaks in the app experience, to show a full screen interstitial ad. However, relevancy is of the utmost importance, as the users could strongly dislike an ad that seems irrelevant and hampers their experience. A study found that 22% of the time, users are fixated on spotting the X button to get rid of the ad. Placing ads in relevant apps and making them short, crisp and precise will be crucial in deterring if app users give it a second look.
2. Video Ads See 7.5X Higher CTRs
Videos are more engaging, expressive and immersive. With YouTube being the second largest search engine, video ads have hugely risen in popularity and the future only shows brighter prospects. Another study found that 80% of consumers feel agreeable to watching ads in exchange of free content. Mobile marketers should definitely make wise investments in harnessing the potential of video ads.
Once again, relevancy and context is key here. People will be far too eager to press the ‘Skip Ad’ button unless the ad is oriented to their preferences. Use of data and analytics to create customer segments based on their online activity is the way to ensure different people are served different ads, maximizing the revenue potential for your campaign. There’s little point is showing a real estate ad to go with a makeup and beauty vlog.
All the leading tech giants inclosing Amazon, Facebook and Google are putting in their best foot forward in ensuring the largest market share of video ads. YouTube with its six-second bumper ads, Amazon’s shoppable recommendations and Facebook’s premium video are all in the game for taking video ads to the next level, leaving the playground open for brands. The smartest mobile ad networks that can truly nail the relevancy and targeted segmenting will be the winners in this court.
3. The Future Is AI Powered
Another fantastic piece of tech that will strongly influence mobile advertising in the future is artificial intelligence or AI. Mobile advertisers can lead far more efficient and targeted ad campaigns with higher ROI’s thanks to AI. From smarter data analytics to predictive analysis, better lead qualification, customer segmentation and a host of other features made far easier and better, AI helps marketers target the right audiences and serve the most relevant ads to the best suited audience, lowering campaign costs and increasing ROI. In fact, AI can even help with precision customer profiling, helping you develop a fully personalized marketing plan for each individual customer, taking an omnichannel approach to best target the customers based on their individual preferences, online activity and purchase history. This helps mobile marketers improve ecommerce opportunities, improve user experience, better target audiences, create personalized offers and campaigns and perform effective localization.
AI, because of its immense capacity to analyze massive datasets in seconds, far outpacing any human analytic engine, can actually help prevent malicious activities like ad fraud and click injections too. Sophisticated AI algorithmic bidding generated a 340% ROI compared to 100% ROI by manual ad bidding, in an experiment performed by Taobao – china’s largest ecommerce platform.
4. Mobile Advertisers Will Need to Pace Up To Voice Tech
The global voice search devices market grew 187% in the second quarter of 2018, with Apple, Google, Amazon and Xiaomi shipping 16.8 million units is just the first quarter. Clearly, customers are increasingly using smart speakers and voice tech to find local businesses.
This makes a ton of difference to the way mobile advertising will work in the future. Everything from search engine optimization to the very format in which ads are presented will change when users start using voice search for making purchases. Using OK Google or Siri to buy products will become fairly common in the coming years and customers will automatically favor businesses that make it easy to buy using voice.
As you may have noticed, mobile advertising will get more sophisticated and tech-savvy in the coming years. Marketers will need to begin respecting the consumers’ intelligence, as well as that of their mobile devices. Flashy banners, irrelevant, forced advertisements won’t make the cut and advertisers will need to get increasingly creative and relevant to make themselves heard.
That said, the use of mobiles for accessing internet as well as doing business is only set to increase and this is a massive opportunity for mobile advertisers. For brands that are committed to creating delightful customer experiences through intuitive mobile advertising, the future holds immense potential.