Future Trends in Mobile Advertising

02 March 2016

Laurence Knopf


The year 2015 was a historic year because it was when internet searches from mobile devices overtook desktop searches. More and more people are also purchasing mobile devices. In fact, it is thought that soon there will be one mobile device for every person on the planet!

What does this mean for marketers and businesses? It means that mobile advertising is here to stay. Because the growth of mobile advertising is a relatively new trend, it also means that there is great potential to use it to boost the success of a business.

It seems that companies are now willing to invest more and more money into mobile advertising and many companies are already reaping the rewards. For example, recently Facebook reported that approximately 75% of its ad revenue came from mobile devices. With Twitter, it was even more – over 88%!

Mobile advertising is not without its challenges. More and more consumers are using various ad-blocking features on their mobile phones. This means that marketers need to come up with new and intuitive ways to market their products.

What are the future trends of mobile advertising? Here is what we can expect to happen in the coming months.

Mobile Apps

There is a definite trend towards using mobile apps. More brands are focussing on developing apps rather than websites designed for mobile devices. Many studies also show that apps are the preferred way to use the Internet from a mobile device. This is because a specifically designed app for a mobile device provides a more user-friendly way to access information.

The trend in the growth of mobile apps is also being reflected in changes to Google's algorithm. Now, results from mobile apps show up in organic search results on mobile devices. It could soon be the fact that these types of results dominate mobile search results.

In-app Advertising

Along with the growth in using apps, is also the trend for more in-app advertising to be used. In-app advertising has become much more sophisticated from the banners that used to be in most free apps.

For example, Twitter now offers sponsored posts. These will show up in the news feed of the targeted audience. The ads can be designed in an engaging way so that they look more like an interesting piece of information rather than an obvious advert.

Instagram now offers advertisers the possibility to purchase ads which link back to a website.

Mobile Video Advertising

Video advertising is now dominating the advertising industry and the same is true with mobile devices. One of the reasons that videos are so popular on mobile devices is because mobile networks now offer very fast 4G data connections. This means that users are able to watch videos without having to wait for them to download.

Also, all the major social media platforms include videos, many of which auto-play, in their news feeds. This has allowed marketers and businesses to quickly grab the attention of users. 

Mobile Overtakes desktop

There a huge swing in the amount of money spent on mobile marketing. For the first year ever, it is expected that in 2016 more money will be spent on mobile advertising than on desktop advertising.

What does this mean for businesses who want to advertise on mobile? It means that advertising is going to get more expensive. However, companies will continue to see a good return on investment if mobile marketing campaigns are planned and executed properly.

Wearable Technologies

In 2015, Apple released the first smart watch and this has opened up a whole new market for advertising. It is expected the increase in wearable devices will grow by about 35% each year.

The trend that wearable devices are becoming ever more popular means that businesses have to create content for smaller screens. Obviously, long lines of text don’t work. So, content needs to be in ways that it can be easily searched for and read. This now means that content has to be created in the form of 'listicles,' or, short bulleted lists.

Location-based Advertising

One of the advantages of using apps for marketing and advertising is that they allow for location-based advertising. Information based on a person's location and habits is invaluable to marketers. This means that audiences can be targeted even more specifically.

There is a growing trend among mobile users to 'check out' what is nearby rather than 'checking in' to a coffee shop or restaurant. Research shows that nearly three-quarters of consumers would respond to an advert on their mobile phone if they were near the place, and even more would respond if there was an incentive to go there.

Virtual Reality Advertising

One completely new advertising avenue in 2016 the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) devices. Facebook, Samsung and Google are all investing heavily in virtual reality. These devices could open up a new world of advertising possibilities. It is expected that in 2016 there will be a trend in more advertising for VR being created. This will take off in 2017 as the devices become more affordable and popular.

Already Disney and AT&T have 360-degree video advertising on Facebook. VR devices could also be used to advertise and sell large, big-ticket items. For example, a product could still be in the development stage when the company wants to advertise and sell it. The VR device could show exactly how the product would operate and function.

Personal Assistants

Apple, Microsoft and Google have their respective 'personal assistants.' These have now been developed beyond being a simple way to search online for information. They now try to anticipate what a user's needs will be based on habits and location.

What does this mean for marketers? The way that people search verbally is different from typing something in your mobile device. The search phrase will be much longer. To continue to have relevance in the mobile search results, advertising campaigns shouldn't be based on exact matches.

There is also the potential to use advertising on mobile devices in a proactive way. For example, if someone comes out a theatre at 11 p.m., a message to hail a taxi on Uber could pop up.

The Future of Mobile Advertising

The current trends of mobile advertising show that there is much room for future growth. Marketers and businesses need to continue to look for ways to personalise ads for specific audiences. Mobile apps will be used more and more to advertise and time will tell how popular virtual reality devices become.

One thing is sure: the future is bright for mobile advertising and it will be the dominant advertising medium for years to come. 

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