Mobile display ads are often associated with generating website traffic or boosting social networking profiles. However, there's one key feature that marketers may be overlooking: the ability to generate calls to your business. Though traditional search ads are still a great way to reach consumers, the mobile variety has become an increasingly important component of campaigns, designed to drive calls in response to shifting consumer behavior patterns.
The Shift to Mobile
It's no secret that consumers are using smartphones to browse the Web more than ever. A 2014 study by the Pew Research Center found that "34 percent of smartphone Internet users go online mostly using their phones and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer." That represents a huge shift in behavior, and it's important that marketers respond to it. While fairly few consumers use only their smartphones to access the Web, marketers looking to drive calls through display campaigns need to reach consumers where they are comfortable and where they will be most likely to respond instantly to these ads — on their smartphones.
Reaching New Consumers With the Power of Impulsive Behavior
Despite the demonstrated increase in overall smartphone usage, you might wonder how this new trend specifically works to generate calls to your business. The answer is surprisingly simple: impulsive behavior. For instance, a consumer may suddenly decide to research options for retiling a bathroom. Instead of going to the computer or visiting a home improvement store, this person simply pulls out a smartphone and searches for retiling ideas or boots up a home design app to look at options. During this process, a conveniently placed click-to-call button on a mobile display ad could be used to persuade this consumer to schedule a free estimate with a local company. While you might think this type of situation is atypical, recent data reported by Marketing Land shows that mobile display ads represented over a third of new sales-prospect calls in 2014.
Mobile Display and Traditional Search Ads: Better Together?
Though it is undeniable that mobile display advertising is increasing its grip on the online landscape, marketers shouldn't abandon traditional search-based ads quite yet. The majority of online searching is still done via desktop or laptop computer, and while mobile display ad share is growing, it's not quite the majority yet. Perhaps even more importantly, it appears that different demographics are using these two platforms. A 2015 study from the Pew Research Center showed that adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are more likely to use their smartphones to access the Internet, while older adults typically access information through multiple platforms. By using both mobile display ads as well as traditional search display ads together, marketers can reach different demographics with targeted messages that will appeal to the individual audiences they are hoping to target.
There are plenty of ways to generate calls to your business, but if you are not driving consumer calls with mobile search ads, you may be missing out on a huge resource that can potentially yield significant returns. Not only do mobile display ads reach consumers who are increasingly on the go, but they also capitalize on impulsive behavior and can reach different demographics in meaningful ways as well.