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Viewers are migrating from TV to mobile. Reach that audience now.

Written by Scott Crumpler on Tuesday June 19, 2018

According to a new forecast report by eMarketer, 2019 will see Americans spending more time viewing media on smartphones versus television. It's a trend that has been a long time coming, and with mobile ad spending hitting 49.9 Billion Dollars in the United States alone last year, clearly advertisers are following their crowd. But, are you reaching your audience on mobile?

It's a medium that's available to businesses, organizations, and social action groups of all sizes, and if you're not reaching your customers, members, and target audiences via their smartphones, you're about to fall way behind.

Mobile ad spending is still not in balance with viewer attention.

That's right. Believe it or not, research shows that the percentage of budgets spent on mobile advertising is still lagging behind the percentage of time users spend on their smartphones.

Ad Spending Vs. Consumer Time Spent

But that statistic is changing, and two-thirds of advertisers plan to increase their mobile ad budgets next year to reach their target audiences.

"Everybody just skips mobile ads..."

That's a line I hear a lot, and it's not wrong, but it's actually a lot more complex than that. Everybody skips the ads that pop up out of nowhere and interrupt their user experience. And they skip boring, unengaging ads-- sure. But, digital marketers and agencies that have done it right have been enjoying massive success with in-feed social media advertising by creating interesting content and targeting specific audiences on mobile devices in a way that just isn't possible with traditional advertising.

Start by respecting your audience's attention.

That means reaching them where their attention is focused, and that increasingly means their smartphones. Americans just aren't spending as much time viewing media through other channels, and the returns you can achieve via those other channels are dwindling.

Beyond getting your message in front of their eyes, you've got to respect that attention and produce content that is engaging and interesting to that audience. Tell them a story, show how your product has changed the life of someone like them, or offer them something that speaks to their needs-- both material and emotionalThat kind of respect can reap huge rewards and incite action in more meaningful, profitable, and immediate ways.

Mobile ads aren't just for selling products.

I don't care what you consider a conversion - promoting your organization is about getting the message through, and Americans are looking at their phones. They're reading, viewing, and listening to messages of all kinds every day on their mobile devices. A mobile advertising campaign, when done right, can achieve brand awareness, inspire social action, gain membership, and even secure investment. Just a few months ago, I successfully marketed a Reg CF funding round for a tech startup I was working with and raised close to a million dollars in investment (in only 3 months) entirely online by heavily targeting mobile audiences.

Content is key.

Success with mobile messaging depends on you valuing the development of quality content and devoting time and effort to presenting your message in a way that respects your audience's attention. If you try to interrupt them with ugly pop-ups or schlocky, poorly produced content, you're almost sure to fail.

Start here:

  1. Define your target audience. (If you don't know who you're talking to, your message is just a shot in the dark.)
  2. Develop a strategy that is more sophisticated than a one-off ad. (Plan the funnel that will take the user on a path to a decision to convert.)
  3. Produce content that is slick, engaging, and meaningful for every step in the funnel.
  4. Set a budget and run test campaigns via multiple mobile channels or audiences to validate the strategy.
  5. Refine content and strategy as needed and let her rip.
  6. Then, repeat.

Don't pretend you can do it all yourself.

You wouldn't tell your prospective customers, members, or investors that they don't need you, right? And, hopefully, that's because your organization is made up of trained professionals, and you know the value of expertise. The good news is, if you have in-house marketing people that are creative, innovative, and talented, they can certainly be trained, and there are lots of online options for getting an education in digital marketing.

If an in-house marketer isn't a realistic solution, talk to your ad agency or hire a consultant. People like me work with companies of all sizes to develop effective digital strategy and produce meaningful content. A good marketing consultant can yield an extraordinary ROI once you've embraced the ideas discussed here.

Americans' attention is shifting to mobile, and it's good for business.

TV was long considered the "premium" outlet for advertising and reaching audiences, but that's changing, and it's not a bad thing. There are only so many hours in a day and only so many channels on TV and only so much time available for commercials, but digital outlets are virtually limitless. Advertisers of all sizes and with virtually all budgets can succeed by defining a much more targeted audience than TV can offer, producing interesting & effective content, and refining messaging and strategy on the fly. And it can all be done where attention is shifting most-- mobile devices.

Your business can't afford to ignore how consumer attention is shifting, but incorporating a digital strategy into your overall marketing plan requires experience and expertise to get it right.  Contact us to learn how Brightwork Creative Media can help.  You'll be glad you did.