Mobile Application Advertising Opportunities for Small Business Owners
January 28, 2015
By Brian Edmondson
Mobile technology has evolved enormously since the days of those clunky box phones from the 1970s. It has become ubiquitous not only in the U.S.A., where everyone over six years old seems to have one, but in less developed nations that are bypassing the land-line era in one fell swoop.
It has taken Internet marketers – and marketers in general - a long time to figure out how to leverage mobile technology. The emergence of customized application software (“apps”), i.e. computer programs specifically created to run on smartphones, tablet computers, and other wireless devices, has opened up tremendous advertising opportunities.
Applications are a major driver of the digital economy. Gartner reported that in 2013, mobile application software was a $26 billion USD business worldwide, based on the downloading of over one-hundred billion apps (over 9 billion paid apps). Nowadays, even the casual observer has heard about Apple's App Store, Google Play, and other major repositories of apps.
Facebook is the most popular app in the U.S. today, but many familiar websites (e.g. YouTube, Gmail, Instagram, Apple Maps, iTunes Radio) are available in application form.
As a small business entrepreneur, you want to reach customers when it best suits them, and when they are most receptive to your message. Increasingly, that means mobile advertising. Here are some strategies and tactics for effective mobile app advertising campaigns:
1. Immediately Connect with New Device Owners
With annual growth in smartphone sales exceeding twenty percent, it behooves you to find these new prospects before your competition. This is what fuels the growth of apps' purchases and downloads, and tracking popular apps is how to find customers. Just as in the offline world, local advertisers can send targeted ads to new home owners, in the online world advertisers can create ads to target new smartphone users who have Facebook installed. The Facebook Behaviors option can help you in this regard.
2. Create Ads Targeting Your Most Likely Potential Users
Among the best strategies for increasing your app downloads and installs is to build a laser-targeted audience based on the traits of your best customers. For example, Facebook's Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audience can be used to find people with similar characteristics (i.e. Page fans, customized database lists, website visitors). Define the custom audience, choose the desired audience size, then create your advertisement to target the best possible prospect.
3. Mobile Advertising Targeted to Specific Devices
Sometimes, developers are better at writing mobile application software that are best suited for certain branded devices. In such cases, it is perhaps better to optimize ads for one the more popular devices, or even the latest mobile products like the Nexus 10, iPhone 6, and Samsung Galaxy S5.
4. Keep your Business Goals in Mind
Many social media websites allow you to optimize your mobile app install ads in business campaigns. Break down your demographics and define the desired audience size and ad frequency.
5. Experiment with Different Mobile App Advertising Options
Coming up with your first mobile app ad is great, but chances are that you'll need to test it out and make adjustments prior to going live.
Test multiple options, including creative video if possible. Test several new advertising concepts to improve the quality of these vital first impressions, and get closer to your marketing goals.
Mobile app advertising is an exciting new frontier for Internet marketers and online business owners to explore. Working closely with software developers will make you stand out in an increasingly crowded mobile business landscape. Apple's iAd, Facebook, and a multitude of advertising platforms are available to take away the mystery of successful mobile customer communication.
Not only do you want to explore the opportunities to run targeted advertising on smartphones and mobile devices, but will want to ensure that your websites and payment systems are optimized for the mobile experience, including the ability to accept Apple Pay on your website.
While you're at it, you may want to ensure that your email marketing is optimized for mobile devices as well.
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