The New Rules of Targeted Mobile Advertising

Brands that adopted hyper-targeted mobile strategies early in the mobile revolution (2010-2013) are familiar with the mobile marketing arena – geo targeting, beacons, mobile search, and native advertising strategies included.

But the rules have changed in 2017 – and for brands that are looking to improve their local mobile advertising ROI, build audiences quickly, and be top of mind (and literally under thumb!) of today’s consumers, it may be time to take a step back and make sure that you’ve got a mobile targeting strategy that works harder than ever.

Here are Balihoo’s 2017 Rules of Targeted Mobile Advertising!

  1. Rule the Mobile SERP

Google is always evolving it’s search engine results page. Whether you recognize it or not, you may even be part of a layout test and not even know it! One thing’s for sure, though: the layout changes (and tests) in the last year or so have benefited one specific type of search result almost exclusively: the Paid, Local Search Result.

Google has now begun to show ads in the “local pack” – the area of the results page (mobile and desktop) that was previously reserved only for organic results.  Many big brands perform so well organically on the local level, they have never bothered to purchase localized ads.  But now, their competitors down the street can purchase the top spot, garnering more engagement and foot traffic.  Multiply this “competition” effect by 1000 locations, and you can see why big brands are now looking very closely at and investing in search ads optimized for the local SERP, whether they have 30 locations or 30,000.

They’re making the right move – the “local search”  or “near me” market is growing rapidly and has a high ROI, thanks to the incredible intent-to-purchase shown by a consumer that searches for a product/service in their vicinity, especially on a mobile device.

“Near Me” Searches – 80% Mobile

Think about it – when you perform a search on your mobile device, for a low-moderate cost product or service that can be bought locally, you have probably already decided to make the purchase.  We know this happens because 18% of local searches on smartphones lead to a purchase within a day (compared to 7% of non-local searches).

Bottom-line: your consumer brand is missing out if you aren’t investing some of your digital dollars in local paid search.

2. Make Your Targeting Location Based – Even if You Sell Everywhere

Location Based Advertising (LBA) isn’t an entirely new concept – it is, however, becoming sophisticated and detailed enough to bring increases in ROI for both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce brands.

Brands with physical locations, service areas, or local agents (retail, restaurants, home services, insurance/financial companies, etc.) should always use strict geo-targeting to not only eliminate wasted clicks, but to also save the budget for the best clicks across search, display, and social advertising.

How?  Smart brands are targeting, and spending more money on, the postal codes within their target cities that provide the highest number of conversions, with the highest conversion value.  In other words, the people that are most likely to actually buy something.  Advertisers can and should use postal code level demographic data (such as income level, age, and family status), in combination with historical purchase data to determine and refine their postal codes for targeting.

At Balihoo, we then cross-check those ideal zip codes against competition level and bid data, to narrow down the focus to the lowest-hanging fruit.

What about Ecommerce brands?  How are they benefiting from LBA?  By using the same techniques and viewing location as just another piece of targeting data that gets them closer to zero ad waste.

  1. Use Personal Social Data to Find Your Bullseye

There are several reasons why Facebook might be the coolest thing to hit mobile advertising since the SMS campaign.

  1. Facebook has a reach that beats almost any other digital advertising platform (second only to Google).
  2. Facebook Advertising puts immense interest and behavior data at advertisers’ fingertips. National brands are taking advantage by customizing programs to impact niche consumer audiences with unprecedented precision. Some examples of the level of targeting achievable within Facebook:
    1. Athletic accountants who play World of Warcraft and have small children
    2. Democrats in North Florida interested in European travel
    3. Grandmothers that like Jaguar cars but don’t knit or bake
  3. Thirdly, because Facebook isn’t cookie based (instead, using login data), they can target the same users across both mobile and desktop devices.
  4. It’s not just the Facebook feed where your targets see ads: the platform serves ads on Instagram, as well as the Facebook Audience Network of websites and mobile apps.  So, your “Siamese cat loving vegetarians” can see your ads even if they don’t log in to Facebook once during your campaign.

For best results, coordinate your Facebook campaigns with your paid search efforts – using similar keywords and product names in your ad copy and keyphrase, so that someone who sees your ad on the social network can find your product later in a search engine. (These view-through conversions happen more frequently than you might think)

There are many other techniques and strategies in 2017 for mobile marketers, but these 3 Rules for Targeted Mobile Advertising take a low effort to enter, are attainable by many types of brands, and should be considered table stakes for building a mobile marketing empire!

About Balihoo

Balihoo is the premier provider of digital advertising technology for national brands that need to market hyper-locally at scale. By improving the relevance of search, social, and display ads over other ad technologies, Balihoo is proven to increase click-through-rates and decrease average cost-per-click, while removing manual tasks and setup time for campaign managers.