While 2018 has only just begun, some mobile advertising trends are already taking shape. A few, like video advertising and the increased need for brands to protect themselves against ad fraud, have been emerging for a while.
As mobile marketing changes the way we reach out to consumers, other trends are causing a major industry shift. The brands that embrace these mobile advertising trends will be the ones to come out on top at year’s end.
When it comes to retail, mobile allows us to connect with consumers not just before they shop, but as they shop. This makes ad timing and targeting paramount. In addition, consumers expect more from brands, whether it’s better, more targeted advertising or more assistance throughout the purchase process. The emerging CPG trends of 2018 are blurring the line between digital and physical, meaning that marketing professionals must take a more hands-on approach in the digital marketing space.
Mobile Advertising Trend #1: Ad Fraud and Invalid Traffic
As digital advertising technology has increased, so has the technology that scammers use to commit ad fraud. When marketing managers use the various digital avenues and programmatic options newly available to them, they often pay by impression, with the expectation that these impressions will eventually lead to sales. However, scammers have caught onto this and have found ways to spoof websites, complete with false traffic, to collect ad revenue from unsuspecting retailers. This is a practice that’s believed to cost businesses up to $1.28 million per day.
One reason such fraud is on the rise is due to the lack of security often inherent in IoT and with mobile devices. It’s easier for a scammer to take over someone’s mobile device than their desktop simply because of how many WiFi connections each mobile device interacts with in a day. As such, when using mobile app advertising, retailers and brands use must remain vigilant to false traffic and take measures to avoid becoming victims.
- Maintain human oversight: One of the benefits of programmatic advertising is that it cuts steps in the ad buy process. However, there still needs to be human oversight in the programmatic campaign to ensure that the traffic being received is valid.
- Demand third-party data: When using a third-party company to drive traffic, brands should be allowed access to their campaign data to see when and where impressions were shown. This data isn’t just useful for informing on marketing campaigns, but it can also indicate causes for concern that might indicate ad fraud, such as large numbers of impressions coming in simultaneously or a flood of impressions arriving when users aren’t typically online.
- Seek Out Certifications: There are anti-fraud certifications that companies can participate in to show they meet certain standards with relation to online marketing practices. The Trustworthy Accountability Group offers a “TAG Certified Against Fraud Program” for companies that meet the guidelines for actively working to prevent non-human traffic in digital advertising. Companies that meet their stringent guidelines are considered partners, and are permitted to use the companies “Certified Against Fraud” seal. Another one to look for is a Media Rating Council (MRC) compliance. This requires companies to allow an audit of ad impression measuring standards to ensure they’re properly reporting traffic. A company that is both a TAG partner and MRC compliant has proven itself to be transparent and honest in both how it obtains traffic and how that traffic is measured.
- Choose active-view versus passive-view based metrics: With pay-per-impression (PPI) campaigns, the only requirement to the ad host is that they ensure your ad is displayed a set number of times. This makes PPI much more high-risk for fraud than pay-per-click or pay-per-conversion. Actual interaction with an ad is much more difficult to fake than passive impressions.
As more marketers become dependent on digital features, and scammers become increasingly savvy, ad fraud will continue to be a risk. To avoid falling victim, put procedures in place so you don’t waste money on traffic that doesn’t convert. In addition, consider using the highest converting medium—video—as a means of gaining consumer attention.
Mobile Advertising Trend #2: Video
Video advertising will continue to be a major converter in 2018 and beyond. The most popular viewing platform is becoming mobile, with almost half of millennial viewers reporting they watch video exclusively on mobile. As such, video must be mobile optimized if it’s going to reach that segment of the population. Additionally, mobile is a way to reach individuals who might not have a computer, as 77% of US residents own a smartphone. Brands must be prepared to offer mobile video if they want to engage with consumers. In addition, they must ensure videos are:
- Fast: Overall, viewers begin abandoning a video after 2 seconds of delay. The abandonment rate then further increases by 5.8% with every additional 1-second delay. And, the shorter the video, the lower tolerance for lag.
- Native: Consumers prefer to view videos natively, in that the video is embedded in the platform where users are viewing it. Linking to a video, and requiring the consumer to go elsewhere to view it, will often cause them to abandon the video.
- Useful or Entertaining: The video must offer the consumers some kind of use if they’re going to watch it. For a straight sales video, a rewarded platform—where consumers can collect some benefit for viewing—is best. Videos designed to be informative or entertaining work best when presented on social media, as these are the types of videos which are most shared.
As evidenced by the expansion in video offerings, such as live video on Facebook and new sponsored video features on Snapchat, video will continue to grow in popularity, especially on mobile platforms. Brands must be prepared to offer consumers video and, as consumers’ browsing habits move out of the home and into the physical world, that video must be served up via mobile.
Mobile Advertising Trend #3: Physical and Digital Integration
As browsing trends have shifted toward making mobile the primary viewing channel, so have consumers’ habits. The Internet is no longer a separate entity but instead is becoming increasingly integrated into the physical world. Here are just a few examples of how:
- Shopping apps: Shopping apps, like Shopkick, are designed both for mobile purchases and as a tool to be used during brick-and-mortar visits. Consumers use these apps to decide on purchases, collect points (in Shopkick’s case, kicks), and as a means of budgeting for shopping trip planning.
- Omnichannel experiences: Omnichannel enhances the physical experience by integrating mobile. These experiences allow users to use their mobile device as everything from a mobile wallet, to a hotel room key, to a GPS device. When mobile becomes part of the in-store purchase process, it also streamlines operations and improves the customer experience.
- Augmented reality apps: Marketers are increasingly using augmented reality (AR) via mobile apps as a way to show off products and engage with consumers in the physical space. This is a method of advertising that is likely to grow rapidly in 2018, as more devices capable of delivering AR are created and released.
The line between digital and physical is becoming increasingly blurred, and mobile devices are a huge part of that integration. Mobile phones aren’t just phones, they’re the personal assistants consumers use 24/7. They’ve become a way for marketers to reach out to consumers no matter where they are, offering timely connections.
Mobile phones aren’t just phones, they’re the personal assistants consumers use 24/7.
Leveraging video, especially mobile video, offers a greater opportunity for conversion now than ever before. This is especially true as mobile apps help keep consumers connected to the digital space, even as they’re interacting in the physical one. The trends we’re seeing in 2018 tell us that digital marketing is growing larger and smarter, allowing marketers a greater opportunity to reach consumers.
Shopkick monitors all of these growing mobile trends so we can continue to offer our partners a uniquely effective way to connect with today’s traveling consumer. If you’d like to learn more about our platform, contact us.
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