Small Businesses on Mobile

Small businesses have always struggled to get their message out. Specifically, small businesses that are in competition with big companies who enjoy large marketing budgets are at a significant disadvantage.

Today small businesses can use the Internet to even out the playing field. Online tools and techniques allow small businesses to market their product or service more effectively and in a more cost-efficient manner. The influence of the mobile platform has been a boon for marketers who can now reach more people more conveniently with only a small additional expense.

What is Mobile Advertising?

Mobile advertising is a method of advertising that is used by advertisers who want their ads to appear clearly and in a user-friendly fashion on mobile devices. These devices include smart phones, tablets and other PDAs which are connected to the Internet by WiFi or cellular connectivity.

The mobile ads can appear as text ads, arrive via SMS or be displayed as banner ads that have been embedded into a web site. There are also mobile ads that come up on the user’s screen when they use a downloaded app or when they play a mobile game.

Companies such as Google and Facebook are able to custom-tailor mobile ads based on the user’s geographic location web browsing history, previously-demonstrated shopping habits and other identifying indicators.

Since mobile devices typically have smaller screens than desktops or laptops this type of digital advertising must optimize displays by showing the information concisely and compactly. .

Types of Mobile Ads

If you’re going to advertise on mobile you’ll need to start by deciding which type of mobile ad you wish to use.

Interest or Location-Based Ads

Some people choose location-based ads. These ads might display in text, in an image or other rich media format or in MMS form. Since your smartphone can identify your location, the service provider allows the advertiser to take advantage of that information. The business owner can then target his ad to the people who are in the correct location.

For instance, a restaurant might target people who are in the restaurant’s locale to inform them about a special offer.

This type of ad also works when, based on the identification of a person’s browsing history, the advertiser can identify the people who might be interested in his product or service. For example, if a small auto-repair business has the ability to target people who have conducted searches for auto repairs in the recent past, the business can direct their auto-repair ads to that person’s mobile device

Video and Banner Ads

Video ads are short video clips that pop up on a site. The user has to sit through the ad in order to access the site’s real content. For instance, if you’re on a weather channel trying to ascertain the weather forecast, you might have to watch a 10-second video ad before the weather information becomes available.

Banner Ads are similar to video ads. The difference is that the banner, which appears and stays on the screen for several seconds before the website content become available, is a still image.

Video ads seems to be more effective than banner ads. Research indicates that most people who click on a banner ad (which then leads the person to the ad’s own website) do so in error. As soon as they see their error they move back to the original site.  Most users also find banner ads to be annoying since the user must find the “x” in the ad (which is generally hidden) to make the ad disappear and get to the desired website content.

Pop Up Ads

Pop up ads pop up randomly on a site. These ads are losing popularity because they’re seen as detracting from the user experience. This is even more true on a mobile device than it is on a desktop because the mobile screen is smaller and makes it harder to access the site’s content.

Some industry users, including online games sites, find that the pop up ads are helpful to their clients. They schedule these ads to appear when a player finishes playing his game to give him some ideas about other, similar games that are available. In the online games setting, the pop up ads don’t seem to be viewed as intrusive as in other mobile settings.

Native Ads

Native ads are ads that appear on a site that match the site’s content, style or the app that it serves. It looks like the other content on the site so the viewer doesn’t immediately note that it’s an ad. Twitter features many of these ads – you see a post that looks like a regular twitter post but it is, in fact, an ad.

Voice Ads

Nuanced voice ads are a new type of ad. A voice ad is designed to be interactive. The person browsing the site can ask use voice-recognition technology to ask questions and receive answers. Voice ads stand out because they allow the searcher to have a two-way conversation with the advertiser. For instance, if someone is searching for “flowers” the voice ad may ask the person “what color flowers do you like?”, “where will you put these flowers?” or “to whom do you expect to give these flowers?”. Then, the voice ad goes on to make appropriate purchase suggestions

Why Should Small Businesses Focus on Small Ads?

Statistics show that increasing amounts of our Internet interaction comes on mobile.

  • In developed countries 60% of Internet time is spent on mobile
  • 80% of Internet users use a mobile devic
  • Today, Internet searches are conducted more often on mobile than on PCs
  • 65% of mobile users open their emails on a mobile device
  • 56% of mobile users review potential purchases on mobile

In today’s changing marketplace, marketing professionals agree that it’s vital for a business to have a strong mobile presence. Regardless of whether you’re a flower shop or any other industry, you’ll reach more people and get your message across more quickly and efficiently if you keep your mobile advertising fresh and engaging.

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