Mobile advertisement messages can be a high-effect, low cost marketing tool perfect for small businesses.Mobile advertisement can help business owners target the exact right audience — defined by aspects like online search behavior, past purchases and even location. Better still, the inherent nature of the medium often means few innovative costs.

But effective mobile advertisement messages also have specific rules of engagement that must be followed. The engagement metrics differ greatly from their desktop counterparts, so it’s vital you know what it is that defines success in your mobile ad campaign.

If you’re considering jumping on the mobile advertisement group, here are a few key factors mobile messages should entail for maximum impact.

Where the customer has been?

Mobile advertisement initially appealed to marketers because of its ability to reach customers based on location, allowing for “moment-based” marketing efforts. While the location-based nature of mobile advertising is still highly relevant, it has evolved, demanding that marketers recognize the importance of present and past location information.

As explained in a white paper authored by experts in the Mobile Marketing Association, the most successful mobile marketers now segment customer audiences based on where a recipient is — and has been. With this history, brands can acknowledge a customer’s lifestyle interests to deepen relevance — and relationships.

For example, the authors share the case study of the frozen yogurt brand X. By considering customer location history (like visits to health food stores, gyms and similar wellness brands) in tandem with present location data, X was able to deepen the relevance of messaging beyond the purely promotional. The shift resulted in a 100% increase in mobile marketing campaign results.

Is this functional based on my target?

The inherent nature of mobile communications demands creative that is conducive to a mobile device’s screen size, functionality — and the user’s daily patterns. As digital marketer Shawn Aguilar explains, even mobile banner ads, one of the most commonly known mobile marketing ad formats, have shape-shifted significantly since inception.

Where mobile ads were once limited in size options and static art, capabilities for messaging and creative now include the ability to create ads that shift, slide, expand and transform into rich art and video. Despite the options, however, the impact a mobile message stands to deliver is still contingent on relevance: To the device the audience uses to receive the message, and to where and when they interact with the ad.

Before determining the best mobile marketing creative approach, ensure that you have the user data to support the approach. For example, if your mobile ad message involves video and sound, confirm that your users will receive the message at a time of day those features are available to them. For example, teenagers who are in school, or professionals who work in an office likely won’t be able to hear your message during typical daytime hours, compared to the nighttime or on the weekend.

Is my message helpful?

Brevity is the condition of mobile communication. Text messages have replaced full sentences. Social media demands that users get to the point, limiting thoughts to 140 characters, and in some cases, replacing words with images. The same norms apply to mobile marketing messages.

Aside from screen-size restrictions, users tend to engage with mobile devices in the middle of doing other things. Though resources like mobile videos can be a means to capture attention, tell a complex message, incite emotion and deliver a call to action, the time limit for user interaction is about 15 seconds. In some cases, even that brief a message may require a “preview” of no more than eight seconds to capture attention.

Text-based mobile messages, which stand to deliver a 99-percent open rate, according to Mobile Advertisement may be inexpensive — but are no less demanding in terms of the need for quick-hitting impact. Messages should be brief enough that no “scrolling” is needed. In less than 10 words, the message recipient should understand “what” they stand to gain from a mobile message, and be interested enough to click on a short link for more complete offer detail.

Mobile ad messages can be a high-impact, low cost marketing tool perfect for smaller budgets and small businesses. Despite their efficiency and potential benefits, however, mobile messages still demand that marketers have a strategy and understanding of the campaign, its objectives and its audience, just like traditional advertising and marketing messages.

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