Most advertisers are spending the bulk of their ad budgets on mobile – only they don’t know it. A huge chunk of budgets are going to social, and most social usage is on mobile.
Is this the best strategy for reaching mobile users? Not quite. Here are some key reasons why you should diversify your mobile ad spending:
1) To find audiences who aren’t on social media or aren’t social-first
According to eMarketer, the average American will spend over four hours and 40 minutes a day using mobile. Of that time, less than an hour (about 53 minutes) is spent on social networks. That means only around 19% of all time spent on mobile is devoted to social media. For brands whose only foray into mobile is through social media, this means that they’re not really talking to individuals throughout most of their mobile journey.
2) Enables you to reach audiences when they’re most receptive to your messaging
According to InMobi research, more than one in five consumers actually enjoy seeing mobile ads. And among Gen Zers, that figure jumps to 29%.
Where are consumers seeing these ads? Some of the top answers include gaming apps (25%), streaming apps (15%) and news apps (14%).
Think about it this way: let’s say you’re trying to sell umbrellas. If someone opens a weather app and sees that it’s going to rain all next week, they may be highly receptive to your messaging. But if you’re running the same ads on social media, the same ad may be less effective outside of this content.
3) Gain independent verification, especially around key metrics like viewability
Most of the Walled Gardens are self-attributing networks, meaning that marketers have to take their reporting at face value. This issue has impacted agencies and advertisers before, such as in 2017 when Digiday reported that Facebook’s average viewability rate could be much lower than benchmarks across the open web.
When spending with an independent partner, however, this is not a concern. Just about all leading independent advertising options work with a third-party validation partner (like IAS or Moat) that can independently vouch for the reporting and highlight any potential discrepancies.
4) Less beholden to scandal
Just about all major Walled Gardens and major social media platforms have been subject to scandal over the past few years. Every time a scandal is brought to light, advertisers who have a major presence on that platform are caught in its wake.
But by diversifying ad spend to not be overly reliant on one or a few advertising options, brands can be sure they are less directly impacted whenever the next scandal or flareup arises. By investing in and working with a wide variety of options, advertisers can easily reallocate spend as soon as necessary.
5) Enables you to more easily scale campaigns
Even the largest platforms are unlikely to be able to help advertisers reach all of their prospective audiences. Even a service as popular and as well-used as Gmail still doesn’t reach millions of Americans.
For example, let’s say a brand is included to reach Gen Z audiences. Their first inclination may be to advertise on TikTok. But according to numbers from Statista and Insider Intelligence, only around 58% of all Gen Zers in the U.S. have a TikTok account – to say nothing about how active they are on the platform. A TikTok-only campaign would then mean that the advertiser wasn’t talking to over 30 million people in their target demographic.
6) Have less to worry about from a brand safety/brand suitability standpoint
Many of the biggest Walled Gardens rely primarily on user-generated content. As a result, it can be difficult for advertisers to determine beforehand where exactly their ads will appear and in what context they will be seen.
From a brand suitability standpoint or even one around brand safety, this can be highly problematic. The last thing any advertiser wants is to have their messaging appearing alongside objectionable content. Should an ad accidentally appear pre-roll before a hateful video, for example, consumers may develop a negative brand connotation as a result.
One study found that 49% of consumers will develop a negative perception of a brand if their ads appear next to offensive content.
This is much less of an issue in environments where the content is much more static, such as a hypercasual mobile game, where an advertiser always knows how their ads will appear. It can also be mitigated through advertising that doesn’t appear directly next to any content, such as rewarded video ads or fullscreen interstitials.
7) Ability to tap into managed service offerings
Just about all of the major digital advertising platforms operate on a self-serve basis, meaning that someone has to log in to a platform and set up an advertising campaign themselves. Only the biggest of big spenders will gain access to any direct help from the platforms themselves.
For some advertisers, this self-service capacity is ideal. This is especially true for those with a lot of internal expertise and/or limited ad budgets, among other reasons.
In other instances, of course, this is not ideal. Some teams do not have the time or expertise to manage campaigns on their own, nor are they able to always successfully scale their campaigns on their own.
When diversifying an ad portfolio, an advertiser should use a mix of managed and self-serve options. That way, they have a variety of management options at their disposal.
8) Better ROI often outside of Walled Gardens
Many advertisers take a one-stop-shop approach to digital advertising, thinking that they can meet all of their campaign goals through one platform. This is not always the case however.
Take Super PAC Local Voices as an example. Across their entire 2020 mobile campaign, their average video ad completion rate in-app was over 83% — a far higher number than what Local Voices saw on Facebook.
Further, the average viewability rate of a vertically oriented mobile video ad is 124% higher, on average, than the average viewability rate of a video ad run on Instagram.
9) Helps ensure your messaging is not ignored
Ads run in Walled Garden environments are not often memorable. Between endless scrolling, preroll ads to skip as soon as possible and tiny ads within email, just to name a few examples, it can be difficult to break through the clutter.
By diversifying your ad spending, advertisers get access to a wider array of creative formats which are designed to capture attention and engage audiences. In the mobile in-app space, some great examples include fullscreen interstitials and rewarded video ads. For example, 32% of Gen Zers report making purchases when interacting with rewarded ads.
10) Consumers may be more receptive to your messaging outside of social media
It may be worthwhile to diversify mobile ad spending to make sure that ad messaging is seen in a context where consumers will be most receptive to it.
According to one study, 44% find the ads they see on social media to be irrelevant to them. In comparison, 21% actually enjoy seeing ads in their favorite mobile apps.
How To Get Started
Interested in channeling the advice of Wu-Tang Financial and diversifying your mobile ad spend? Reach out to the mobile experts at InMobi to learn more and get started: https://www.inmobi.com/company/contact/.