Mobile advertising today is the Wild Wild West. There are few rules, fewer standards, and no established way of doing things.

Yet mobile traffic continues to skyrocket.

In India for instance, mobile internet traffic has already surpassed desktop traffic, with other countries soon to follow. Experts predict that by 2014, there will be more on-the-go web experiences than on-the-desk.

So as traffic surges toward mobile devices, display advertising must find its footing and fast.

Here are the best practices that will help us get there.

1. Use the right formats and features based on campaign goals 

Use the formats and features that match your campaign goals.An ad’s format and content should always relate to campaign goals. What is your end goal, and what ad experience supports that goal?

Brand Building & Awareness
Content-filled ads can encourage consumer interaction and drive a brand conversation. These are great for brand building and awareness. Social media and videos are the two most popular types of content on the web right now, so why not incorporate these features into ads?

Image/video galleries and slideshows will help you build a rich ad with friendly navigation. Product ads may want to use an image carousel or swipeable 360-degree product view.

Customer Acquisition & Product Sales
A simpler ad with a strong CTA will help fuel customer acquisition and direct sales. Brick and mortar retailers can drive foot traffic with location-aware maps paired with offers or coupons. If pure sales or site traffic is what you’re after, content should be minimal so it doesn’t steal focus from your message.

2. Keep it Simple. Really Really Simple. 

It’s always a good idea to keep ads simple, but on smaller screens, keep it even more simple.

Distill your message or offer down to it’s core. Use uncomplicated images and phrases. And avoid metaphorical images or complex messages.

To rapidly arrest consumer attention on smaller screens you have to appeal to the primitive, emotional parts of the brain that don’t understand language or have proper reasoning.

>> Design Trick: Build Ad Content Like an Iceberg

So how do you make a content-rich mobile ad that is also incredibly simple?

For the immobile web you can build some Rising Star units, pop in all of your types of content, and see what sticks.

But mobile provides neither the screen real-estate not the user attention span for the same tactic. There is, however, a smart way to build ads that are both content-rich and amazingly simple at the same time -- the Content Iceberg.

The strategy is for the initial ad experience to still be extremely simple. This serves as your first touch, which when enaged with, reveals the full ad. The most successful tip of the iceberg is a video. Once a user plays the video, the rest of the ad navigation reveals itself, offering other videos or navigation to further choices.

By only exposing a single, straightforward experience initially, you maximize chances on getting that first tap, while still offering a full ad experience to engaged consumers.

3. Make Your Buttons BIG

Users will be much less forgiving to a frustrating ad experience than to an app they enjoy and love. Make sure your buttons are big and your layout and navigation is obvious and intuitive.

Apple recommends a minimum of 44x44 pixels for touch targets. Some other manufacturers have smaller recommendations. Since Apple made it’s name on usability, tread carefully if you choose to not heed their advice.

With your big buttons in place, tie your ad together with animations to create a sleek experience that feels a lot more like an app than an ad.

4. Provide an Irresistible CTA 

Make them an offer they can't refuse.Mobile users respond better to valuable CTAs like “Download the App”, “Tap here for 25% Off” or anything that uses the word “Free”.

Pull out all the stops and give hints to immediate gratification, so that your offer is one that can’t be refused.

5. A.B.A/B.T. - Always Be A/B Testing

Test and optimize as often as you can. Mobile is going to be so big it’s important to learn as much as you can now to stay ahead of the game.

For Flite customers, the same Ad Mixes you’re already using to test and day part your web campaigns work for Touch Ads too.

6. Have a Mobile-friendly Landing Page


Don't crash your chances at landing a conversion.It sounds basic, but it’s still way too common for mobile ads to click-through to landing pages that aren’t optimized for the mobile web. To maximize conversions on smaller screens, the post-ad experience must also be mobile-friendly.

In reality, sometimes landing pages aren’t going to change. If this is the case, consider a more content-rich ad that offers some of your landing page information right within the ad experience.

To further promote a seamless flow, keep the mobile ad experience consistent with the rest of your web properties. If the transition out of the ad and onto the site is smooth, you’ll reduce drop-offs and improve your conversion rate.


About the Flite Platform:

Flite is the only SaaS solution for web and mobile display advertising. Build, traffic, measure and optimize your ads using a streamlined workflow and real-time analytics.

Whether your output is Flash web ads or smartphone-optimized HTML5, you can quickly assemble rich media using Flite's intuitive creative suites -- no coding required.

Think Flite may be the platform to make your job easier? Request a demo today and we’ll give you a guided tour.