Print advertising is not dead. However, in order for your small business to truly thrive in this day and age, it will need to dabble with the latest and greatest in technology. Along with content marketing, mobile advertising is a growing effort for large and small businesses, alike. This year, $143 billion will be spent on mobile advertising, a 100 percent increase from $71 billion in 2015. Our compiled list of pros and cons will help your small business decide if mobile advertising fits with your small business’ current strategy and overall goals.
No. 1: Mobile ads cost less. Since its inception, mobile advertising has proven to be cheaper than other web and print options. The median price for a mobile banner ad is $1 per CPM, while Android banners hold down the lowest cost at $1.25 per CPM. Compare this to $6 per CPM for desktop computer ads. Because mobile advertising is cost-effective, it remains a truly viable option for small businesses, and many have caught on. In 2015, 50 percent of all digital spending was allocated to mobile ads. This number is estimated to rise to 75 percent by the end of this year. Mobile ads have paved the way to a market that is open to any and all businesses.
No. 2: The unprecedented mobile market has the potential to expand your business’ audience. By the end of 2017, studies predict that there will be over 5 billion mobile users. What does this mean for your small business? With the mobile channel becoming widespread, your brand has the opportunity to reach any and all demographics that might be interested in your products/services. If researched and targeted well, mobile ads can significantly broaden your business’ overall reach.
No. 3: Mobile ads create instant impact. A whopping 99 percent of mobile users carry their smartphones with them 24/7. Furthermore, 98 percent of branded text messages are opened, while only 22 percent of emails are opened. With email marketing on the decline, SMS advertising is becoming the new trend. Not only does this method allow your business to interact with your audience up close and personal, it gives your brand the opportunity to make a lasting impression.
No. 4: In-app advertising increases brand exposure, and app-building poses the opportunity to game-ify your brand’s message. In a day, smartphone users will spend an average of 5 hours on their smartphones with 92 percent of that time dedicated to mobile apps. Starting at an average of $5 per CPM in-app mobile ads are less direct than SMS but pose the opportunity for a seamless, less intrusive approach to brand exposure. In a similar vein, many larger brands (Nike, Red Bull, and Coca-Cola just to name a few) have created their own apps within their advertising and marketing campaigns to engage audiences on a massive scale. When used by businesses, mobile apps offer consumers the following: added convenience, unique value, social value, incentives, and entertainment. According to the Harvard Business Review, smartphone users spend 40 percent of their time playing games on apps. This figure is confirmed to be higher for tablet users. Though more costly, creating apps specific to your business is a sure-fire way to engage more of your audience.
No. 5: The internet is increasingly accessed via smartphones. Last year, the number of mobile internet users exceeded that of desktop users, and this trajectory is only going to continue. Microsoft Windows has officially been dethroned by Android as the most popular operating system for internet usage.
No. 6: Mobile content is much easier to produce. Because of the limited space for mobile ads, it’s easier (and perhaps more fun and creative) for content creators to highlight a brand’s core message and call to action. Not only does the format of mobile ads lend the opportunity to streamline your business’ image, it also eliminates distractions for your audience, making consumption easier than ever. Also, whether in-app or on a mobile site, your small business’ ad is guaranteed at least a fair amount of visibility.
No. 1: The sheer amount of types of devices can make mobile optimization more difficult. In contrast to PCs, mobile devices are more heterogenous when it comes to screen size, OS, web version, and physical hardware. For these reasons, it may be trickier and more time-consuming to create a multi-platform ad campaign. It will be up to your small business to decide if this extra effort is worth the benefits.
No. 2: Mobile ad-blockers are on the rise in response to this new influx of mobile ads. According to a 2017 report, around 380 million mobile devices have implemented ad-blocking software. Although this number might mostly indicate consumers who are the least likely to convert via mobile ads, mobile ad-blocking is an obstacle your small business will face with this advertising method.
No. 3: Asking customers for phone numbers (for SMS advertising) is risky. When transitioning to SMS advertising, your brand will need to obtain your audience’s phone numbers. However, this information is harder to obtain because of its immediacy to individual consumers. Your small business will need to continue to foster trust with its audience. You can also try a special offer or exclusive bonus to get your followers and customers on board with receiving SMS messages from your brand. With mobile and SMS advertising becoming a more common practice, your small business will need to revisit its goals, values, and audience demographics to decide if and how it will benefit from these revolutionary tactics.