Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on September 20th, 2010

Five Steps to Mobile Advertising Success

Don’t look now, but everyone is going mobile. In fact, most technology leaders–Apple, Google, Microsoft–are locked in a tight race to be your mobile provider. It is the latest and most personal communications format invented to date, and the newest channel to conquer for strategic advertising campaigns. You can pinpoint your target audience and put your brand in their hand when they are most influential to messages.

Being the new “kid” on the block means there is still a little of the unknown upon entry, but early mobile advertisers are finding that you can bank from mobile messaging and rankings.

Want to launch a successful mobile campaign? Follow this five steps to mobile advertising success.

Step #1: Pinpoint Your Audience

Not all phones are created equal. Mobile users are using two different types of phones, and you need to decide which to target: high-end mobile devices (Android, iPhone) or feature (WAP) phones. However, this is not a line in the sand; You don’t have to necessarily choose between one or the other, but it requires creating separate campaigns.

High-End vs. Feature

With high-end devices, you have a wider selection of ad formats. And, when users click on your mobile ads, you can send them to different mobile ad versions of your site depending whether they are on a high-end device or feature phone.

Step #2: Choose Your Format

For search-specific campaigns, you are currently limited to text ads. And right now, Volacci is only running search-specific campaigns. In the near future, we plan on rolling out Content Network-targeted campaigns, where you can run both text and image ads.

All the ads are displayed to users on proven Google AdWords targeting technology. Pretty sweet.

Step #3: Building Your Campaign

With Volacci’s mobile advertising, you will have an AdWords account set up for your mobile campaigns. You may or may not already have an account, but either way, we got you covered. There are two types of campaigns you can set up, one targeting high-end devices, and the other targeting feature phones. Here is a quick guide for each type:

High-end Mobile Device Campaign

Volacci’s Internet Marketing Specialist (IMS) sets up your campaign so you won’t have to deal this step, but it never hurts to understand the process.

• On the campaign settings screen, we will select your desired Locations, Languages, and Demographics. Then, we will scroll down to Networks, devices, and extensions and select the radio button: Let me choose.

• Next, we will select between text or image ads. Volacci is currently only handling text ads, so this step is a bit less complicated. Text ads will appear on high-end devices just as they would on a regular, desktop computer or laptop. Image ads need to be uploaded after the campaign is created and resized to fit a phone screen.

• The final step to setting up the campaign is entering your budget. This number will be agreed upon before the campaign is launched between you and Volacci’s IMS. He will then enter in your budget and click Save and continue.

Feature (WAP) Phone Campaigns

You can either individually target this type of campaign, or use it as a supplemental campaign with your high-end device campaign. It is very similar to the high-end device campaign, but has some subtle differences:

• On the Select campaign settings screen, we will enter your desired Locations, Languages, and Demographics.

• Next, we will scroll down to Bidding and budget and enter the agreed upon budget, then click Save and continue.

• Our next move is on the Ads tab in the Campaign Summary page, where we select ‘mobile ad’ from the New ad drop-down menu:

• Now we are ready to input our ad text. Here is where our ‘twitter skills’ come into play. Text ads on feature/WAP phones are limited to 18 character headlines and descriptions, and 20 character display URLs. The URL we use for your text ad must lead to a mobile-specific website:

• Now that we have your campaign set up, it’s time to (search engine) optimize for mobile.

Step #4: (Search Engine) Optimize for Mobile

Smart phones with full browsing capabilities–like iPhone and Android–can show any website just as you would see it on a regular browser, but the screen area is much, much smaller. Websites that are specifically optimized for mobile phones will utilize the full nine yards of the screen area, while using less bandwidth. Larger buttons and hyperlinks will make it much easier for mobile users to navigate your site on a small screen, but avoid using Flash because it will not render properly.

Don’t forget to use good SEO practices on your mobile site, with keyword usage in on-page content, as well as in the mobile text ad headline and body copy. The more keyword optimized your mobile text ad and site are, the greater success you will have in ranking well and driving traffic to your site from the search engines.

Step #5: Measure Results

Our final step involves some analysis and deep thinking. Use Google Analytics to see how your mobile ads are paying off for your mobile website from all web-enabled devices. Depending upon the types of devices you targeted, you can track usage from ad to marketplace to download to engagement. Use these results to improve your campaign and make any necessary adjustments.

What Are You Waiting For?

Overall, mobile advertising is just beginning to pick up speed. Revenue from ads sold for mobile devices in the U.S. alone is expected to increase by 43% to $593 million in 2010, according to research firm eMarketer.

By 2012, the mobile platform will be generating over $1 billion in revenue. If you want to be running sophisticated campaigns that take generous portions of that revenue pie, start looking into mobile advertising now.

Don’t wait until all your competitors are already running mobile advertising campaigns. Beat them to the platform so that you are the first one in your niche to strategically communicate with your target audience when they are most influential – your brand in their hand.

Thank You For Reading!

No one likes people who don’t share, especially giant flying cats. So if you liked what you read, please share my post with any of our socially-labeled buttons, or we’ll sick Fluffy after you! Please subscribe to our RSS feed as well so you can receive daily fodder from our blog.