Create mobile ads for engagement, not just conversions

Cell phone ad optimization is a tactic in the toolbox of almost all business owners.

In most cases, the CTA will ask for some kind of conversion for these ads. It could be a purchase, subscription, or free trial registration.

But are these all cell phone ads?

Is that even what cell phone ads are best for?

If you are using your cell phone ads to sell, sell, and sell, you may be wasting a lot of your ad spend, to be honest.

Cell phone ads by themselves aren't a waste of money. They can actually be very helpful.

However, it is time to stop thinking that cell phone ads are only good for increasing conversions.

I will tell you why this is the case. And then I'll show you how to get started.

In this article, we're going to discuss why the most successful cellphone ads are the ones that drive audience engagement.

Then, you'll learn how to use your ads to drive engagement. Finally, you will learn how to nurture the right engagement to prepare for future conversions

Let's start by analyzing the pros and cons of advertising to a mobile audience.

Why aren't cell phone ads just for conversions?

I know what you're thinking.

If the end goal of engagement is conversion anyway, why not just streamline the process and run ads that are meant for conversion?

There are several reasons:

Overly intrusive ads are trained, ignored, or otherwise avoided.

Just take a look at the results of this HubSpot Research study. Take a look at the top three reasons consumers use ad blockers:

Why use an ad blocker guide to cell phone ads?

Ads created for conversion may be perceived as annoying, annoying, or even a safety concern rather than helpful or engaging.

If this is your ad, even those who don't use ad blockers will ignore them. Unless you make the value of your offer clear, your cell phone ad will only take a back seat.

This is one of the reasons a hard-to-sell conversion ad isn't always a great idea. But why is this type of ad a danger specifically for mobile advertisers?

In short, a lot of people still don't buy things on their phones.

There's no doubt that mobile commerce is on the rise – Emarketer reports that mobile commerce will grow 68% in 2022.

Despite growing mobile shopping, most shoppers only use their phones to look up offers or product information – and then go to a store or desktop to make large purchases.

In addition, some people want to see and touch a product in person. Or they might want to watch full videos to explore all of the features before pulling the trigger.

When people see your mobile ads on social media, it's often the first time they hear about your business.

These consumers are not ready to buy from you yet.

Why should you spend money on an ad asking you to do it?

The most effective social media ads will increase your brand awareness. As in any environment, social media users have to move down the sales funnel before they can convert.

With this in mind, it's important that your next cell phone ad is worth your visitors' time.

In other words, it is important that your next cell phone ad is engaging.

What is mobile engagement?

There are four types of engagements you can generate with an ad.

The first is probably what you are most familiar with: landing page engagement.

Your ad will redirect consumers to your website where they will take actions like filling out your form, making a purchase, and more.

As a company, this is your ultimate goal. As we discussed in the previous section, finding the direct route to conversion is not easy with cell phone ads. Trying to do this can waste a lot of resources.

This is where the other types of engagement come into play.

An alternative type of engagement is visiting a website.

You can measure this using metrics like bounce rate and average session times.

An ad asking someone to read a blog post increases the engagement of the site because blog posts typically have longer session times than other sites.

Another type is social media engagement.

When fans or followers interact with your social media page – like, share, comment, or use your personal hashtag – they are engaging with your brand.

Finally, there is brand engagement.

This is measured using metrics like customer loyalty and repeat business.

It can also be measured by your Net Promoter Score. This is a rating based on how many customers like your brand and how many see room for improvement.

Net Promoter Score Chart: Guide to Cell Phone Ads for Engagement

The Net Promoter Score is one of the best ways to improve customer loyalty over the long term.

How exactly do you make money from all of these types of engagement?

For starters, increasing this type of engagement will build a customer's trust in your brand.

This is a necessity if you want them to convert. People don't buy from brands they don't trust.

But it's more than that.

If someone is engaged in your ad – for example, downloading your e-book or watching your video – you can track them.

You can then create a custom audience of the people who took that particular action.

You can realign them later with the perfect ad to keep them converting.

Cell phone ads are the perfect way to get all three alternative types of engagement. Next, let's look at four key tips to help make your engagement ads stand out.

1. Know your mobile audience

Mobile users behave differently than desktop users.

That means they have to consider their own analysis.

For example, the following data represents the traffic that landed on a friend's website from a Facebook mobile ad:

Mobile ad metrics example

Note the highlighted metrics.

Mobile users visited almost three pages per session, spent almost six minutes on the site, and had a 77.78% bounce rate.

You can see below that most of these users visited the site in the evenings.

Mobile ad metrics

Now compare this with users who came to the website via a desktop Facebook ad:

Mobile ad metrics example

These users explored the site less thoroughly than mobile users, resulting in a higher bounce rate. In the meantime, desktop users visited more often throughout the day:

Mobile Ad Engagement Rates

Evaluating this information is of great help in deciding how, where, and when to engage your audience.

Will you be running ads at a specific time of the day? Are you redirecting them to your landing page or on a blog post or feature page?

You can learn both the demographics and psychographics of your mobile audience to maximize your reach.

All the information you need is available in Google Analytics.

First, create a segment of visitors who came to your website through a Facebook mobile ad. Here's how:

Example of a Google Analytics mobile ad

  1. In Google Analytics, click Audience, then click Overview.
  2. In the new report that appears, choose + Add Segment.

The next step is to click on "+ New Segment" as shown below.

Add a new segment to show the cell phone ad data

A menu will appear that looks like this:

Google Analtyics displays cell phone ads for Facebook traffic

  1. Select traffic sources.
  2. Click in the field for "Source Contains". A drop-down menu lists the sources that bring visitors to your website. Choose Facebook Mobile:

Save your changes and bingo! Segment created.

From here you can track analytics for that particular group. Discover what this audience is targeting to see who they are and who you should be designing your ad for.

2. Use mobile native advertising

Mobile native advertising is an ad format that blends an ad with the app or mobile website on which it appears.

The advertiser usually buys the space that a native native ad is served in.

This form of advertising is particularly popular as it is known for its increasing engagement.

There are eight types of mobile native advertising. But for now we're going to look at three that you are most likely to recognize.

The first is in-feed social advertising.

This is the Facebook ad that is not on the right sidebar. It's in the middle of a feed and appears like a normal post.

Here is an example from Mountain Standard:

Example of a mobile ad in feed advertising

The second type, in-feed content, is very similar to the first.

Instead of these ads looking like a social media post, they look like the content of the website the ad is being displayed on.

For example, check out how this sponsored Live Science article fits into articles on Yahoo:

Example of a mobile ad in the feed

Without the “Sponsored” tag, even the most detailed visitor would think this is just a regular item.

Last but not least: paid search ads.

You've probably heard a lot about it. Google AdWords ads appearing on search engine results pages are the main example; B. this ad for MailChimp:

Paid ad example for mobile ads

Since native ads merge with the content, they have a huge advantage over more ads and ads like Google Shopping ads.

Native ads reach customers with "banner blindness".

These ads are more likely to be seen and edited as they are placed where there is already the greatest engagement: the content areas.

The logic is on our side here, as is the numbers.

According to data published by MediaPost, consumers interact with native ads up to 60% more than with banner ads.

What's the catch? Actually, it's more of a caution.

You need to make sure that you don't mislead your readers.

Someone crawling search engine results could easily mistake your ad for an unsupported result. What if they only click your link to find out you're trying to sell them something?

You may have a problem with your hands.

Because according to Contently, 48% of consumers feel misled in this situation:

Cell phone ads make consumers feel deceived.

You don't want to be fooled. If your ad blends in a little too well, take it a step further to make your intentions clear.

In this example, the Denver Post and KB Home have added the word "Sponsored" to their ad text to avoid confusion.

Example of cell phone ads

You want to be in places where you can be seen, but you don't want to make users click.

Avoid the deception by adding a word or two or obvious branding elements to your ad.

3. Build trust with mobile ads

It's easy to say that you should "build trust".

But how exactly does someone manage this feat?

It helps to think about the reasons you trust your favorite brands.

I'd bet one of the reasons this is because you don't feel like you are "just to yourself".

You benefit from your product as much as your money benefits you.

The brands you like are helpful. If you take this into account when designing your ads, your brand can be the same.

For example, let's say you're running an ad on AdWords.

If you want to be helpful, you need to think about what Google searchers are trying to achieve at the time your ad is displayed.

According to Textbroker, there are three reasons people use Google: to buy something, to find a page, or to get information.

Searchers in the first category probably don't need your help. At least they don't think they do.

However, those searching in the second two categories are often looking for answers.

You can provide these answers by redirecting users to your online resources.

To get the most clicks, avoid getting these ads very top-selling.

Your headline, text, and CTA should be in conversation. You are just trying to communicate that you can help consumers solve their problem.

For example, runs this ad on the antivirus software SERP:

Cell phone displays using a conversation style as an example

This ad is a list of the best antivirus software that will help users decide what to buy.

The site has helpful features like comparing offers side by side to help build a good relationship with the user – even if it means they won't convert today.

You can also use engagement ads to advertise a resource. Type "data analytics" into google and you may see this SAS ad:

Data analysis mobile display

Again, this ad doesn't try to sell me anything. At least not right away.

I am not even taken to the website home page.

By offering me a free download, they are still establishing themselves as a reliable company in my head.

You want to establish yourself as a thought leader in the industry.

Another way to use ads is to remind your audience that you are an authority.

Do not be shy. Tell them directly why you are the best at what you do.

After all, if you didn't think you were the best, you wouldn't.

And chances are there are plenty of others out there who will agree with you.

So use this to your advantage. Run ads referring to your popular content, your favorite testimonials, or a page about your recent achievements.

Filson is running a video ad about what they're proud of.

Here is an example of their partnership with the United States Forest Service:

Example of a mobile ad building trust

Remember, listing your achievements won't help much if your viewer doesn't know what the next step is.

Add a CTA, even "Read More" or "See More", to get users to your website.

4th Say no to Page Likes Ads

One of the best ways to get to know someone is to keep track of their Facebook likes.

Nobody said so far.

But if this were true it would be really easy to know someone like the back of your hand. After all, Facebook always tells you that your friends like this page or brand.

These are page likes ads that appear on both desktop and mobile.

Here's an example of a Page Likes ad from Sprout Social:

Facebook Advertising Guide 091

If you're using Facebook, you can probably imagine at least ten Page Likes ads that you've seen in the past.

Which begs the question, why are these ads so popular?

Businesses use Page Likes ads to:

  • Take advantage of a person's desire to emulate others
  • Benefit from people's natural trust in their friends

After all, according to ReportLinker, 89% of people would trust their boyfriend in an anonymous online review.

Why was the last subtitle "Say No to Page Likes Ads?"

Well, because Facebook likes aren't as cheap as you think they are.

Yes, they are important. You want people to like your page. Unfortunately, there can be a lot of people who like your page and never see your content.

Facebook is making it harder and harder to appear on your fans' feeds.

As a result, you often have to part with extra cash to improve your post and get the person whose likes you bought to see your content.

Buying a like is a never ending payment cycle.

What should you do instead?

The best way to post on your page is to add a video.

According to Marketing Land, your posts will reach most of your fans if you include video content.

Create a video that will raise awareness of a problem that you can solve. Your fans will see your video and the first marketing seeds will be planted.

Next, it's time to advertise. But not with page likes ads. Instead, you run a specific engagement ad for a custom audience.

Use custom Facebook audiences to remind the people who viewed your video of their problem and solution.

Just go into your Facebook Ads account and create a custom audience based on video views.

Facebook ads create a custom audience

Your ad will show to people who have engaged in this way. But what does your ad say?

At this point, your mobile audience isn't ready to convert. You can bring them closer with your next ad.

One way to do this is to make your fans' lives better.

Offer free resources to solve the new problem. After watching your video, they won't wonder why they might ever want to read your free guide.

Here is an example from Audible:

Example of an audible mobile display

You can also run a drip campaign that will convince users to take a free course to solve their problem.

This picture from AdEspresso shows an example of how the Founder Institute does this:

Example of a mobile ad from the founding institute

Your last resort is to resolve the problem immediately for free and save the sale for future problem.

They can immediately offer solutions such as articles or checklists to create a good relationship between you and your potential leads.

Here is another AdEspresso example of bonobos:

Example of an Adespresso mobile phone ad

In each situation, offer solutions that are consistent with the problem mentioned above.

Whether you solve the problem now or later, your commitment to providing a solution will encourage mobile users to get involved.


Cell phone ads aren't just for conversions.

Despite the growth in mobile shopping, some shoppers are still reluctant to shop on their mobile device.

Many Facebook users don't know enough about you to buy from you.

Finally, ads that are too high-revenue or intrusive are likely to be ignored.

Fortunately, conversions aren't the only type of engagement. By using your cell phone ads to drive website, social media, and brand engagement, you can easily convert your customers later.

Before you start creating your ad, it's a good idea to study the analytics specifically for your mobile users.

Use native native advertising to optimize engagement and create ads that encourage your audience to trust your brand.

Don't use Facebook Page Likes ads. Instead, get the most out of Facebook ads by creating custom audiences so you can track them in the future.

What's the Best Mobile Promotional Tip That Has Generated More Leads and Customers?


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