Five Things You Need to Know About Mobile Advertising

Digital marketers must adapt to the habits of mobile users.
The recent shift towards mobile advertising has been immense, accounting for 30% of global advertising in 2020, with its total of nearly $190 billion being more than twice as much as desktop advertising. What’s even more fascinating is that this dominant market position hasn’t been a slow-burner, with 80% of mobile ad spending growth happening in the last five years.

Like so many tech and digital “unicorns,” mobile advertising has sprung from nowhere and changed the game so quickly, it’s left traditional players struggling to figure out the new rules – or to even get on the field in the first place.

The reasons mobile advertising has become so popular are unsurprising when you consider what it offers to marketers:

With the unprecedented and highly individualized access to potential customers, it’s easy to see why everyone wants to grab a shovel and join in the mobile advertising gold rush that’s in full swing. But before you get in over your head, here are some important things you need to know about what makes mobile advertising different.

1. Mobile marketing has its own language.

You can’t make the most of mobile advertising without learning the language. Below are some of the most important terms you’ll come across:

Native ads: These are designed so that they look like they’re actually a part of the app or website being visited. For example, an ad for coffee might use characters from the game the user is playing.

Scrollovers: These are ads that take up a full-screen width, meaning that users have to scroll over them to get to the rest of their content, thus not being able to avoid the ad’s message.

Interstitial ads: These cover the whole screen during an appropriate moment during usage of mobile apps, such as a pause in play or changing from one screen to another.

Impressions: This is a digital marketing term that describes the moment an ad is viewed by someone or displayed on a page.

CPI (Cost Per Impression): This is a metric used to describe how much advertising costs per impression. It can also be described as CPM (Cost Per Mille), referring to cost per thousand impressions.

In-app purchases: These are purchases users make inside a company’s app, such as getting extra content to help them on a quest or give them more features, to provide a better experience or to make or renew subscriptions.

CTR: Click-through rate is the percentage of people who view your ad and follow through to visit the site or take a desired action.

Programmatic platforms: Highly automated bidding on advertising inventory in real time, which uses a wide variety of metrics to deliver intensely targeted advertising.

2. The mobile platform is a different beast.

Unlike display advertising, where everything is about capturing attention at a single glance, mobile marketing is defined by how consumers use their devices. This affects everything from the shape of the ad (e.g. mobile phone screens are generally in 16:9 ratio) to whether the user has wi-fi or not.

Effective mobile advertising means understanding how consumers use their phones, and how that will affect the display of your ads.

3. The possibilities are endless.

Mobile usage opens up a whole new world of marketing possibilities for businesses. These include location marketing to target specific geographic areas, augmented reality to blend virtual concepts into the real world, and using native ads to piggyback on the trust and brand awareness of an app they are already using.

4. Getting users on your own app is the holy grail.

While utilizing ad networks that are already positioned in the market can be a quick and effective way to get into mobile advertising, the potential to connect goes much further. By developing and pushing your own app, you will gain greater control of your customers’ experience while gaining access to data concerning their preferences and habits.

5. Users expect an experience.

While much traditional advertising is happy with simply increasing brand awareness, this is not nearly enough for mobile. The interactive nature of mobile and the journey you can take people on in a few quick clicks and swipes means that if you are not giving potential leads a full-on experience, you’re not making the most of what mobile has to offer.

Got Digital Marketing Questions? We Have Answers

Taking full advantage of the changing landscape of marketing can be overwhelming. The experienced marketers at Bloom Ads are here to help make the transition smoother. Contact us today with any questions you have about mobile and digital marketing.

SEM vs. SEO: What’s the Difference?

SEM and SEO are different branches of search marketing that can work together.

We know – search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) sound almost identical. It is true that they both describe digital marketing strategies that harness the power of search engine results to increase traffic and conversions.

However, SEM and SEO describe two different (but complementary) branches of what’s now called “search marketing.” Search marketing can be contrasted with other types of digital advertising, such as display ads, video ads, and retargeting or remarketing campaigns, which do not rely on keyword searches to gain traffic.

While some industry insiders still use “SEM” as an umbrella term to describe all search-based digital marketing (including SEO), we define SEM as a separate branch alongside SEO.

SEM vs. SEO

In a nutshell, the difference between SEM and SEO comes down to where the money goes. While all advertising comes at some cost to your business, SEM and SEO use resources in very different ways to achieve the same goal: increased traffic and conversions online.

Below, we’ll go into more detail about SEM vs. SEO – plus how they work together for a well-coordinated digital strategy.

What is SEM?

If SEM doesn’t sound terribly descriptive, its other common name – “paid search” – should give you a clue as to how it works. In an SEM campaign, a business aims to increase traffic by bidding on paid search listings. Those Google results marked “Ad” at the top of search engine results pages? Those are the products of SEM. The most popular SEM platform is Google AdWords, followed by Bing Ads and Yahoo Search Ads.

The most important thing to know about SEM ads is that they work through keywords. When bidding on ad placements, your business will bid on well-researched keywords relevant to both your target audience and your product or service.

Common Paid Search Methods

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) – In this model, your business pays the advertising platform for every click the ad receives. This model is sometimes referred to as cost-per-click (CPC) advertising.
  • Cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) – Some ads charge per thousand impressions, or times an ad delivers online.

What is SEO?

Unlike SEM, search engine optimization (SEO) does not involve the purchase of ads. Instead, it aims to increase traffic and conversions with high-quality, relevant web content targeted at keywords your audience is likely to search for. This is sometimes referred to as “organic” search marketing.

Because rankings on search results pages are not bought, but rather earned with content, SEO can be an inexpensive and thus profitable marketing tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

SEO Fundamentals

Like SEM, the practice of SEO revolves around keywords. SEO content such as blogs, on-site copy, and social media posts aim to incorporate relevant keywords their audience is likely to search.

Ideally, SEO marketers should place keywords in ways that simultaneously communicate the page’s relevance to search engines and readers alike. The key to striking this balance is good writing and technical knowledge that keeps up with constantly-changing Google algorithms.

Below are some of the basics:

  • “Content is King” – You can’t talk about SEO without talking about content. This term describes any piece of writing or media – from blog articles to Facebook posts – that can demonstrate your relevance to search engines and your value to customers through keyword placement. Content can incorporate informative or entertaining writing, images, videos, or a mix of those elements, but should first and foremost be high-quality, credible, and authoritative.
  • On-Page vs. Off-Page SEO – While it’s easy to assume that on-page SEO refers to tactics you can actually see on the page, this is only a small part of the puzzle. On-page SEO includes any tactic that helps your page rank higher on search results, whether it’s “seen” by the reader or by Google. Good keyword usage in text, but also good site navigation, quality internal links, image descriptions, and even fast page load times all contribute to on-page SEO. Off-page SEO, on the other hand, refers to SEO tactics that do not relate to webpage design, such as promotional campaigns.
  • Linkbuilding – Linkbuilding is another tenet of SEO that centers on credibility and authority. Google rewards sites that offer genuine, valuable, and relevant information. This is why simply “stuffing” keywords as many times as possible into a page won’t help your rankings. One way to build credibility for your sight is to make sure plenty of other, ideally well-ranking, sites are linking back to your site. This is another example of off-page SEO.

One important note on SEO: It’s a dynamic process that can take a long time to show results. For this reason, some recommend that newer sites prioritize SEM while revamping their site’s SEO.

To Pay or Not to Pay?

Let’s recap the similarities between SEM and SEO.

  • Both rely on keywords.
  • Both focus on increasing online traffic.
  • Both help users find what they’re looking for online.

So when it comes to SEM vs. SEO, what’s right for you? Most evidence says, both! SEM campaigns are more likely to succeed if your site already has good SEO, because good SEO contributes to your site’s credibility and authority online.

Got questions about SEM, SEO, or digital marketing in general? The advertising experts at Bloom Ads would be happy to help.

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