Three Key Ways to Get Creative with Mobile Advertising

The following is a guest contributed post from Taylor Malanik, an Account Manager for GlassView.

We’re all subjected to a barrage of mobile ads on a daily basis, but how many do we remember?

Odds are, very few and marketers know this. A recent eMarketer survey found that marketers deemed “developing compelling creative” the No. 1 challenge when delivering effective mobile video.

The strain shows. Too many times, mobile ads are either annoying, mobile ads are ignored, or the ad targeting runs the risk of making ads seem creepy rather than beneficial.

This is a failure of creative thinking, not technology. Here are three ways to be creative:

  1. Know the social media platform An ad could be one of the best creative and copy out there on social media, but having no knowledge of how to strategically post content on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram can butcher a creative campaign. Social media, for advertisers, is an easy method to jump on. All three platforms are shareable, but possess different content delivery themes. Facebook advertising should display images with informative and helpful copy. Twitter is where the fun is. In social media advertising, Twitter is rarely the leading dog in a campaign. With Twitter, it serves almost as an added value, where the brand can display its persona. Famous Twitter accounts such as Wendy’s, Waffle House, and Taco Bell show their humorous sides while comically interacting with customers. While on Instagram, pictures become art. No matter the platform, the same overarching message can be conveyed. However, during any social media campaign, it is critical to customize the copy of the ad to fit the social media platform posting themes. Without this knowledge, the most creative campaign can fail.

  2. Make ads that don’t look like ads. Ads performing best on mobile are social media posts containing shareable content. Shareable content must be relevant to a target audience. Interest in camping could be displayed by liking an Instagram post of a friend’s tent. The best approach for an advertiser is to use the data about the target audience’s camping preference, then personalize a message. Later, on the consumer’s Instagram feed, an ad for a camping company appears. The advertiser had used that very data collected to advertise a tent. Remembering the themes of Instagram – artist, flashy – the tent in the Instagram ad has beautiful starlit skyline catching your eye. Keep advertising interesting.

  3. Tell a story. What is most important is how a product fits into your life. As David Howell, former creative director of various fortune 100 brands would say, “What are we really selling?” Sure, the brand is selling a tent. Some say we are being sold shelter, protection, and a night of camping. In order to stay creative and not get lost in the mix of mobile advertising, ask yourself this question, “what is this tent really selling?” The tent is really selling escape. For Instagram, the caption or copy to match the tent under the starlit sky could say: “the only lights I need.” Followed by the campaign tagline, in this case, hashtag to tie it all together. The tent becomes a story. While for Facebook you could include the same phase: only lights I need. Followed by information about an upcoming sale. Here we convey the same message about a tent but stick to the posting themes: Instagram is artistic and minimal while Facebook is informative.

Mobile advertising is new, but advertising is not. The same concepts found in classic advertising can now be used on mobile platforms: know your audience, know your medium, make it compelling. Many agencies excel of getting creative on mobile, while some campaigns fail miserably by making the advertisement too much of an ad.