Mobile Ads Optimisation: Balancing Best Practices with Creative Principles

Mobile apps and mobile web have penetrated all avenues of daily life. Naturally, for marketers and commercial content producers also mobile screens continue to hold greater importance than the billboards and the prime time TV ads. Already mobile is at the forefront of digital ads.  According to a recent report, in 2017 around 63% of the digital ad budget is spent on mobile. Video now dominates the digital ad space on both social apps, mobile web, and in-game ads.

But just because every commercial entity is now promoting their products and services with mobile ads, the mobile ad-space is also getting increasingly competitive. Naturally, the mobile ads now demand to be more audience-specific, well-targeted and creatively engaging than ever before.

There are some tried and tested practices that make mobile ads engaging. But to stay competitively ahead the businesses and brands also can rely on some creative principles. While the best practices give the foundation of your ad, the creativity provides ads flair and exuberance to stand out from the rest. Can we balance these two aspects into a more efficient ad-campaign? Yes, we can and through the rest of the post, we will explain how we can.

The best practices of the mobile ad campaign

From the first generation mobile ads for the web to the latest multichannel mobile ads for apps, mobile web, and social media, the concept, design and storytelling components of ads tremendously evolved. Through this evolution some practices that created a number of successful mobile ads became benchmarks. Let us have a look at some of these best practices.

Focus on the target audience: Every business finds more receptive resonance among a particular group of people sharing some common qualities and characteristics. Such a group of people is considered to be the target audience for that business. In similar fashion mobile ads also should begin by focusing on a target audience who can be most receptive to the ads.

  •  Create a user persona based on the common characteristics of your existing and loyal users and users of closest competitors.
  • Know the demographic attributes of users who resonate with your brand.
  • Know the variable factors within your target audience characteristics.
  • Know the mobile user behavior, preferences and usage habits of your users.
  • Know the typical constraints and pain points of your target user group.

When you have a clear idea of all the above, you can develop and design a much well-informed ad campaign that can resonate with your audience more easily.

Ensure simplicity while not missing a catchy design for ads: As mobile users, these days are overwhelmed by contents of all types; they have lesser attention span than ever before. So, any ad that fails to engage them instantly actually forces them to look elsewhere or detest it. So, your message should reach to the users immediately through a simple ad concept and a catchy design. Here are some tips.

  • Keep the story short and straightforward.
  • Depending upon your audience, try to minimize the time span before the actual message comes out.
  • Make sure too many visual elements do not cause a cognitive overload.
  • Utilize all your creative faculties to make a memorable ad design that never really evokes boredom.
  • Don’t take users’ domain knowledge for granted. Explain the domain-specific aspects clearly.

Always have a robust retargeting plan: Users these days have a fleeting memory, and they don’t give a damn to commercial contents however attractive or engaging they seem to be. This is why it is important to reach out to the audience repeatedly. Retargeting the users who shown some receptivity or engagement in other times, can engage them again and drive business conversion.

  • Ad analytics and user engagement graph can provide you with useful insights about the users who earlier had shown signs of brand engagement.
  • Very specifically targeted ad campaigns through email and social messaging for inactive users and past buyers can bring them back on board.
  • Retargeting should be a continuous and relentless process to reach out to users who in spite of showing receptivity are left out.

The creative principles of the mobile ad campaign

Now, we also need to focus on the creative aspects of mobile ads that help brands stand out competitively from the rest. An ad conceptualized and designed keeping sync with the industry’s best practices is no longer enough. Because most of the commercial entities are following these successful principles. To stand out with visual flair, they need creative exuberance now. Here are some useful tips.

Let the context dominate: In an ad campaign there are both visual and information layers. Now you cannot allow one layer to dominate over the other blindly. It is as per the context of the ad that information can dominate visuals or vice versa. Where visuals can deliver a clear and succinct message, the information can stay backstage.

Personalized ads: Some ads can establish a very personal link with users’ emotions. While this is always not possible en masse, at least in many situations one can drive such personalization based on the apathy and preference of the audience. Personalized ads require the power of creative concepts and the backing of powerful analytics.

The creativity is not without science: Lastly, don’t be too enthusiastic to forget the scientific principles when designing ads. You need to design ads by using the right colors addressing the right emotion. You need to follow the science of symmetry in the design layout and choice of fonts. Lastly, you need to minimize the cognitive load to reduce distractions and give a clear message.

The science and art of mobile ad campaign is a meticulous craft that ad campaigners only can perfect over time. Just because small screen ads have to compete with ads on a large screen and billboards, it needs to be more specific and well-targeted.

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