MobSmith Publishes Five Best Practices to Increase Mobile Advertising Success

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Turnkey mobile advertising company finds engagement rates increase dramatically with a few key modifications to mobile ad campaigns.

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While analyzing our data, it became clear that making a few key modifications - like capturing the user's attention and delivering key messages within the first 16 seconds of a video clip - nets significant gains in engagement and conversion.

Mobsmith (, a turnkey mobile advertising platform for advertisers and publishers, released five best practices today to help advertisers better engage and convert their customers through their mobile devices. Mobsmith observed trends and patterns within its mobile campaigns that best engaged consumers on their smartphones, and based its observations on proprietary aggregated data and metrics generated by campaigns running on its platform across iOS, Android, mobile web and apps during 2011.

“Mobile is a powerful channel to reach customers on the go, however it is also still relatively new to many smartphone users. It is important to test and fine tune campaigns in order to best understand how mobile users engage with particular brands and their campaigns, and to know what advertisers and agencies need to adjust in order to achieve their marketing goals,” said Ingrid Lestiyo, CEO and co-founder of Mobsmith. “While analyzing our data, it became clear that making a few key modifications – like capturing the user’s attention and delivering key messages within the first 16 seconds of a video clip – nets significant gains in engagement and conversion.”

The Mobsmith five best practices to increase mobile advertising engagement include:

1.    Calls to action must be clear and kept to a minimum: Trends show that a user’s action rate drops off significantly when presented with more than three calls to action. “Watch video, See how, Try now”, and other direct call to action approaches increased engagement by 40 percent.

2.    Videos should be 30 seconds or less: The average video view time across all Mobsmith campaigns was 30 seconds, and half of the video view times were 16 seconds. Hence, advertisers need to capture a user’s attention and deliver key messages within the first 16 seconds of their video clip.

3.    Advertisers should utilize at least one “non-immediate” call to action in ads that have more than one call to action: 37% of actions taken by users are non-immediate, so advertisers should not ignore the importance of non-immediate actions taken by users. Actions like “Email this to me, Email to a friend, Send me a text reminder”, and others generate clicks and long tail engagement, especially for ads with offers or information about a product or service. Users see an ad on the go, but want to share it, and/or have easy access to view it later on their phone.

4.    Banner teaser and moderate animation increases engagement by 40 percent: Rich media attracts attention, but it has a negative effect when done to excess. In other words: skip the flashing text and dancing people. The combination of a clear banner teaser such as “Watch video, See how, or Try now”, with a minimalist, one-time animation of text and image, or an animated video thumbnail teaser attracts the attention of users without compromising their experience. An A/B test of this approach versus static banners revealed a 40 percent lift in mobile ad engagement.

5.    Location, location, location: Geo-targeting and dynamically adapting ad creative to the user’s location (e.g. automatically showing driving directions or different product offers by location) increased click-through engagement by 27 percent.

According to a new report by eMarketer, “Mobile Advertising and Marketing: Moving to the Mainstream”, mobile advertising spend projections will reach $1.8 billon by the end of 2012, growing a healthy 47 percent in the coming year. A majority of the growth will be attributed to search and display (banners, rich media and video) ad units, in addition to the continued adoption of smartphones, tablets and mobile Web usage. A key factor pushing mobile advertising toward the mainstream is that mobile Web access is fast becoming more the norm than the exception, making mobile a greater imperative more than ever for marketers.

About Mobsmith
Mobsmith ( is the ultimate turnkey mobile ad-serving platform for agencies, ad networks and premium mobile publishers across the mobile web and iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7 mobile applications. The Mobsmith platform powers the full mobile advertising value chain including: ad-serving and targeting, creative tools, as well as tracking, analytics and forecasting. Mobsmith’s customers include Netshelter Technology Media, BabyCenter, TripIt, AOL, Universal McCann, and Starcom Mediavest among others.

For premium publishers and ad networks, Mobsmith provides a full end-to-end mobile direct sales platform that enables sales teams to drive higher CPMs and close rates. For agencies, Mobsmith gives the ability to scale and lower the cost of mobile ad execution by providing a one-stop shop to serve and measure mobile campaigns across all media channels.

Founded in January 2010, Mobsmith is a privately held company based in San Francisco and backed by Blumberg Capital and XG Ventures. Follow us on Twitter or learn more at

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