Advertising in the mobile environment is a must these days, though we’re still learning how to do it effectively on both apps and the mobile web. Today we’ll learn how users interact with mobile ads, and how you can improve your strategy.
Intentional Ad Clicks are Minimal
In November, Button and App Annie released their 2017 Mobile Consumer Index, which explores how consumers’ interactions with their devices shift and change, especially when it comes to the apps that meet everyday needs.
The report shares insights from three different views:
- Macro view (industry trends on mobile growth, app engagement and commerce).
- Consumer view (what they want in apps and channels, how mobile impacts their shopping).
- Marketer view (where they spend, where they should spend, what drives their success and what channels are converting).
Our interest is how users interact with mobile ads, and how their behaviors are reflected in, or different from, their behavior. Some aspects of the key findings relate to that.
Perhaps most notably, the report shares that clicks on mobile ads aren’t usually intentional. Almost two-thirds of respondents say they rarely or never click mobile ads on purpose. People are somewhat willing to engage with ads for apps, though that willingness is declining.
Users are more likely to engage with apps suggested by trusted brands than with those in mobile ads (64 percent of respondents). Facebook isn’t necessarily one of those brands – more than half of respondents have never taken action on ads seen there. Only 8 percent made purchases right after seeing a mobile ad on Facebook.
The report makes the final key point that now is the time to stop intrusive mobile ads that users don’t want to click on if you want to promote conversions. Mobile commerce is here to stay, and Amazon is a top shopping app for many users. Consumers might have retailers they like to buy from, but expect the entire experience, from ads to mobile platform (they prefer apps to mobile web, by the way), to be ideal.
Let’s look at the two main sections of the report, which cover apps/discovery and mobile commerce, to learn more about how users interact with the ads they find there.
Apps and Discovery
Button and App Annie break this into the three separate views we mentioned in the last section:
Macro: There are about 6 million apps available at the moment, and hours spent with them are expected to reach the trillions in coming years. Downloads and consumer spend are both increasing, as is app ad spend. To compete, apps need to promise a usefulness that will make them worth their real estate on smartphones.
Consumer: More than one-third of consumers think they’re missing out on new quality apps because they’re hard to find (this is truer for younger users than older users). For discovery, 79 percent look to trusted sources like the Apple and Google app stores rather than ads on search, social and mobile. Ultimately, users want quality over quantity in their apps.
As we mentioned earlier, clicks on ads aren’t generally intentional. In fact, only 8 percent of respondents claimed to intentionally click ads often or very often (they tended to be younger users).
We also touched on a (declining) willingness to engage with ads for mobile apps. For now, 52 percent of respondents reported intentionally clicking on ads for mobile apps, though only 44 percent have gone on to download that app. Engagement doesn’t always mean a conversion.
Marketer: More than half of mobile ad spend is concentrated with search and social ads (think Google and Facebook). However, as we’ve seen, those aren’t necessarily the places where conversions happen.
Further, retailers often look far and wide on mobile for new customer acquisition, when they’d be better off looking deeper in the funnel. The idea is to partner with other, already-trusted mobile brands to drive greater engagement and more conversions.
We’ll take a briefer look at the three views of mobile commerce:
Macro: Mobile commerce drives app economy growth, and is expected to grow 250 percent per user by 2021.
Consumer: Users like to shop in retail apps, and are willing to try new ones if they’re recommended by trusted brands.
Marketer: Mobile commerce isn’t happening through search and social ads. Also, advertisers should focus on keeping users in-app rather than sending them to the mobile web.
Tips for Creating Great Mobile Ads
At SearchForce, we want your mobile ads and apps to be attractive and effective. For more on making that happen, check out these past posts on how to Propel Mobile App Growth with Universal App Campaigns and How To Use Facebook Ads to Drive Mobile App Installs.
You can also learn more about mobile advertising in the context of in-app versus mobile web.
Finally, a recent post on targeting mobile gamers with video ads touches on in-app ad engagement and boosting it with gamers.
Users may not mean to click on mobile ads most of the time, but certain circumstances do make them more willing to engage. If advertisers spend in the places that lead to conversions by partnering with other trusted brands and improving ads for mobile apps, they might just beat the odds.