Today, more and more people are interacting with ads on their phones. Whether they’re displayed on social media platforms or pop up on web pages, ads are constantly targeting consumers on their devices.
If you want your ads to stand out from others, you need to create an engaging, mobile-friendly experience. We asked a panel of Ad Age Collective members to share their best tips for mobile-optimizing your ads. Follow their advice to help you better reach your audience on the go.
1. Geotag your ads.
I still haven't seen many jaw-dropping geotagging ads. It's a relatively simple technology that can generate a lot of different calls to action on the spot. It's brand-relevant in time and space. Only mobile can do that. - Marcello Magalhaes, Speakeasy - Knowledge Brokers
2. Create ads that work without audio.
To be effective on the phone, ads must work without audio. Frequently, people scan their phones with audio turned off, and it is critical to break through visually and with limited text on screen in those instances. - Moira Vetter, Modo Modo Agency
3. Contextualize the message.
There are many design and layout considerations for mobile; however, everything ladders up to context. Knowing that a user is mobile changes the experience, where you send them and your focus. If you understand the situation your consumer finds themselves in, such as in a grocery store, you can better customize your message for the moment. - Reid Carr, Red Door Interactive
4. Personalize it to the consumer's mobile experience.
It is critical to not simply repurpose ads from TV or desktop for mobile. Mobile experiences need to be personalized to the individual consumer and designed specifically for mobile. This requires more use of technology to make it quick, cost-efficient and effective. There is no other way to have the required scale and execution for a personalized experience as mobile continues to grow. - Oz Etzioni, Clinch
5. Consider audience behavior and scale accordingly.
Scale the ad's size, timing and content. Think of your audience and how long they have or wish to spend before moving on. You have to change your behavior and your voice to be meaningful on mobile. - Rich Honiball, Navy Exchange Service Command
6. Focus on video ads.
Focus on video ads for your mobile advertising campaigns. Video content is the top content format for small smartphone screens. It's comfortable to watch and highly engaging. The rise of platforms like TikTok also shows that video is the way to go. Do your research and look for ways to do more video ad campaigns. - Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
7. Include subtitles.
Remember subtitles. If someone is watching your ad on a desktop, chances are they have headphones in, so an ad that auto-plays with sound isn't terrible. When on the phone, this may not be the case, so providing good quality subtitles helps capture the attention and engage the prospective customer while not being overly intrusive. If the message isn't received, it's not an effective ad. - Patrick Ward, Rootstrap
8. Make it legible on a small screen.
Make your ad legible on a small screen. Too often, ads designed for larger formats are not simplified enough for mobile. Then focus your optimization on attributes that are more unique to the mobile environment, such as real-time location. Since you have less flexibility with creative, media optimization may take the driver's seat. - Dan Beltramo, Onclusive (formerly AirPR)
9. Leverage responsive design and Google AMP.
The key is to remember that users are not coming to your website to view ads -- they are coming for your content. Using a responsive design is the first step toward delivering positive UX on mobile. If you want to go one step further, consider Google's AMP framework. Finally, make sure that your ad layout is tailored for mobile, with ad sizes that are intended to be used on smaller screens. - Vishveshwar Jatain, AdPushup Inc.