For many years, marketing experts have focused on delivering mobile-friendly ads on our mobile-friendly websites. However, seeing as how 63% of all organic Google searches in 2019 originated on mobile devices, it might be time to stop treating mobile as some secondary market that we adjust our desktop strategies to. It’s about time we started building our marketing campaigns with a mobile-first mindset, and that includes porting the immensely successful native advertising to mobile.
Rethinking Native Ads for Mobile
Native advertising is the digital ad format that we’ve been heading towards for quite some time now, whether we knew it or not. It’s the culmination of user dissatisfaction with intrusive ads, banner blindness, and the incompatibility of current ad models. So, if native ads are an evolution of advertising, why is their integration into mobile so slow and inefficient?
The reasons vary, but it all seems to boil down to standardization issues. The industry is stuck in the rut of servicing the same types of ad units over and over again since their creative elements are easy to predict. We’re talking about native ads on desktop websites where the layout is mostly the same, making the standardization a real no-brainer.
While native ads on desktop websites only need to match the editorial style and tone of the content, native ads for mobile need to match the function of media as well. In other words, creative assets need to match the specific environment they are in while performing a similar function.
Current standardization does not consider creative elements such as games within games or notification-like ads in messaging apps. When the paradigm shifts from mobile-friendly to mobile-first, we’ll be able to discuss true mobile-specific native advertising.
Mobile-Specific Ad Creatives
By building ad creatives specifically for mobile, you’ll be able to integrate native advertising seamlessly.
For starters, start by cutting down on excess text in your copies. As you know, copies were already fairly short and succinct to begin with. Now that we’re slowly transitioning to mobile-specific strategies, it’s time to make copies bite-sized.
Ad creatives that feature the specific device a user is currently on are a great way to point out that the ad is made for those viewing it. However, that’s not the only way for you to include your users in the creatives. Make ads that show all the different ways in which people handle their phones including various angles, one hand or both, and phone decoration.
The setting can also make for interesting ad creatives. Use a background that portrays where the person is using their device. Creatives that show using devices in the bedroom, park, or public transportation all work well in establishing the connection between the user and the creative.
Creative editing is one of the most successful mobile-specific strategies for native advertising. Your options are virtually limitless, allowing you to make truly outstanding ads that integrate with mobile device ecosystems in unique ways. For example, cropping objects that arouse attention and hiding them behind swipeable native ads will get users to interact with your creatives more.
Moreover, using photoshop can result in some really mind-bending creatives the users will appreciate and play with. You can experiment with photoshop to your heart’s content, and the users will recognize your effort in creating an experience like no other before.
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to have some fun with the users. It’s the internet, after all, so making an ad creative that features a funny picture of a cat and a motivational quote is never out of the question.
Whatever you do, make sure that the focus of your creatives is clear. Too many objects or characters (or messages) can only confuse the user. Bright colors and shapes can accentuate the focus of the ad and portray its intent.
Recommendations for Landing Pages
Native advertising landing pages don’t need to hard-sell a product or a service. They do so in a manner that’s natural, informative, and highly valuable to the user. Likewise, mobile-specific strategies for landing pages that convert need to be natural and interactive, on a version of the site suited to the device.
Interactivity is one of the pillars of successful mobile landing pages. Users expect that kind of behavior on mobile and can be disappointed by the lack of it. After all, static pages are all but native to mobile, so you need to make landing pages that allow the same functionality that users look forward to. Interactivity translates well to entertainment, which is at the core of mobile devices.
Since entertainment is at the very heart of mobile devices for most people, you need to consider how users tend to entertain themselves and apply that design to landing pages. Social media, for one, is mostly accessed on mobile. Mimicking the style and function of social media platforms will make your landing pages seem completely familiar to the user and grab their attention.
However, user experience is by far the most crucial aspect of successful landing pages. When users need to exert themselves in any way possible, their experience of the landing page goes down. Make every last detail of your page with convenience in mind — use soothing colors and tones, large readable fonts, and easy-to-press buttons independent of the screen size or user’s handedness.
Finally, strike a conversation with your target audience. Overused marketing jargon is as outdated as banner ads and just as successful at repelling prospects.
Native advertising for mobile is an endless creative landscape that’s still waiting to be discovered. To truly conquer the mobile-specific ad space, you need to change the way you think about mobile ads. No more adapting desktop ad units to mobile — it’s time to go mobile-first.