4 Steps to Planning a Successful Mobile Ad Campaign

Look around you. You might already notice that more and more individuals are living their lives on mobile phones. This makes a lot of sense for businesses to put marketing and advertising efforts towards mobile phones, as your customers are literally around the corner of your store.

A lot of brands and businesses today leverage on mobile advertising to increase the sales and business. Even individuals and marketers are turning to mobile advertising for their advertising efforts. And if you’re an ad agency, it’s even more important to know the ins and outs of running a successful mobile ad campaign.

In this short article, we will cover a step-by-step guide on how to prepare, establish, and release a mobile advertising campaign. Hopefully, it will assist you as you dive into mobile advertising campaigns.

1. Plan Before You Start an Ad Campaign

Proper planning is important if you want a great mobile advertising campaign that delivers the right results. Bad ad campaign planning can result in a customer looking negative at a certain brand or business, so it’s best to plan before you start.

Identify your objectives

What do you want to achieve out of this advertising campaign? These are probably some reasons why you’re thinking to run a mobile ad campaign.

  • Drive sales to business
  • Increase website traffic on your landing page or app page
  • Promote a new product or special service
  • Create awareness and boost a brand.

Setting a clear goal of why you’re advertising in the first place will set the direction for your preparation.

Who are you targeting?

Next, you have to understand the user behaviour and habits. Understand that consumer habits are a little different when it comes to mobile advertising. Based on the current trend in the mobile landscape by Global Web Index, approximately 33% of users access their phones at home, 17% at work and 23% when travelling around.

Here are some pointers to think about:

  • You can advertise better looking ad creatives if you’re targeting users on tablets. Most tablet users use a tablet during the weekends, off work and the device is normally connected to a WiFi source. This can be a good opportunity to display better looking ads that require more data.
  • Understand that your target user will be at different locations at different times. For example, a working professional should be on the roads in the morning, on the way to work.
  • 4 in 5 users actually use search engines to find nearby stores that have the products and services that they want.
  • Users have grown to expect relevancy from ads. If they see something not related to them, it will be a negative experience.

Understand Your Target Persona

You then need to know who you’re communicating with. Different people would see an ad differently. A great way to tackle this is to create a target persona or a sample target audience. Creating a target persona is very common in the world of advertising and even marketing, because it makes sense – you need to know who you’re talking to.

Here are some questions to ask that will help you create a target persona:

  • Who would find your product or service attractive?
  • What customer pain points are you solving?
  • How old are your target customers?
  • What are their hobbies and where do they hang out at?
  • Which methods of communication would be most effective? Millennials and younger target markets may not have issues using high-end mobile phones to consume your ads, but some baby boomers might have some technical roadblocks when trying to figure an ad on a mobile phone.

You don’t have to be too specific with the target persona. The idea here is simply to create a persona, so you and your team would know the best way to communicate. Always remember that different groups of users respond differently to the things they see and read.

2. Developing A Campaign Strategy

Having identified your target persona and armed with a clear objective, we’ll move into planning your campaign strategy.

The different types of ad communication

Some of the types of communication strategies you can deploy for your next mobile ad campaign are:

The Public Service Announcement

These types of ads educate your target audience instead of hard selling. Executed well, this method can be very effective in building emotions with your target audience. A great example is Durex, putting out advertisement to educate the public to spend more ‘face’ time with their loved ones instead of texting too much.

The Guerrilla Strategy

This advertising method requires more time for planning and effort in execution. The Guerrilla advertising strategy invites your target audience to interact and do something with the ads. Normally in a form of gamification that rewards the target audience, this strategy can be effective if you want to push out information to your customers.

Animated or Video Advertising

You probably have seen many video ads. Video advertising is effective in carrying a message to your target audience. Just remember to keep your videos as interesting as possible in the shortest time possible. Users do not like wasting their mobile data on ads, unless it’s a remarkable ad that got them carried away.

The Product/Service Promo

This advertising method encourages the target audience to take action to get a product or to try a service. For example, McDonalds challenged the users to taste and rate the spiciness level of their burgers to see how much spiciness you could take.

This advertising strategy works best when you want to convert target audiences into customers quickly, because it requires the customers to take action.

What device will you allow your ad to run on?

There are countless of devices being used by consumers these days. All of these devices come in different screen sizes that will display a mobile ad differently.

We’ll say the best bet is to create ads that works on multiple screens from mobile, tablets to desktops. Having your ads appear on most devices also create a better brand presence.

Should you advertise on mobile web or in-App?

According to a Nielsen study, 80% of mobile users spend more time using native apps such as Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, etc. However, this might be different in different countries. In some countries, you’ll find more mobile phone users spending more time on mobile web instead of using apps.

See the graph below.


Image source: Opera Mediaworks

Your advertising budget and schedule

With most of your planning process complete, it’s time to think about the budget you’re going to spend in advertising.

Here, you’ll need to think about your CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) and determine how much you will be willing to spend in order to obtain a paying customer, without going negative in profits.

Some bigger brands may choose to simply run ads for branding purposes, without actually measuring their CAC. Rather, they would look at how much they are willing to spend, per number of impressions they’d like their ad to have.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How many impressions do you plan to achieve?
  • What’s the total budget you intend to spend on mobile media?
  • Are you willing to spend on creating rich media creatives?
  • What is the highest click-through bid that you can afford to spend?

To keep this simple, here are some guidelines to follow, for best success:

  • Mobile advertisements with engageable content drive higher conversion rates. Typically, a target audience can tap or swipe videos or animations, that would eventually turn in better consumer experience, thus increasing conversion rate.
  • Cut down roadblocks or touchpoints on the sales funnel, for the customer to purchase. A customer simply gets frustrated when there are too many steps needed to purchase.
  • Always use high-resolution creatives to attract the attention of the users and also to show that your brand is of top quality. We have seen many companies who did not put much attention into creating high-resolution graphics when advertising, thus ending up hurting the brand even more.
  • Relevancy is king when it comes to advertising. Use location data or build the right audience for your ad campaign with hyper-local targeting.
  • Optimize your landing page for the advertising campaign. A badly designed landing page can break your advertising funnel, so it’s important to create a landing page with a clear message together with clear call to action buttons.

Choosing an effective mobile ad format

Here are the top most popular mobile ad formats you can deploy. There is no best ad format. Each type of ad can be designed to achieve different results.

Standard Banner



Easy to see and easy to create, standard banner ads is the most common type of mobile ad format. Just remember not to use too much text or bright colours, that might annoy the audiences.

Rich Media Banners


Rich media banner ads are proven to drive more engagement. They can be customized and you can easily have a few CTAs on them. The most popular types of rich media ads are Interstitials, videostitials and the expandable banner.

Native Ads

Native ads are ads that match the design and form of the content space around them. It drives lots of click-throughs and engagement because of the increase user experience.

You can read the full mobile ad format and size guide here.

3. Executing your ads

At the end of planning and creating your ad content, it’s now time to serve your ads. Here are some production options you have to serve your ads.

Engage HTML5 Rich Media Vendors

It’s common to outsource your ad creative production to third-party rich media vendors. You don’t have to worry about the mobile ad operations as the vendor will do the heavy lifting for you. All you need to know is the general details and to know if the vendor is a good fit.

Hiring A HTML5 Ad Developer

Don’t hire ad developers unless you have an experienced operator and designers. This is usually the hardest path to go.

Use a self-serve HTML5 ad builder

What’s more interesting is that you can use a self-serve ad builder to create your own ads and work on the production. In fact, most ad agencies use the route to create, produce, serve and measure mobile ads.

4. Measuring Your Ad Campaign

We have come a long way from planning your ad campaign to executing it.

The final step is to measure your ads performance and also to monitor if it’s running smoothly. Before you go off work, here are few things to check.

  • Are your ads displaying properly with the correct graphics?
  • Are you able to collect data and are the events happening on your ads being recorded correctly?
  • Are your ads loading fast?
  • Are all the links in your ad working as you have planned?

In a Nutshell

I hope this article has given you valuable insights on how to plan your next successful mobile ad campaign. Mobile ads can be very powerful – given that more and more people are on mobile phones.

With the right planning and advertising strategy, you’ll find mobile advertising to be effective in converting prospects into paying customers, as it’s a very personal experience for the target audiences.

If you like to engage a reputable rich media vendor or try out our mobile ad creator, feel free to visit us at

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *