How Different Mobile Ad Formats Affect Users

Mobile advertising and marketing is the next big frontier for online marketing. The use of mobile devices is growing rapidly, and more people are using these devices to access information online than they are using personal computers.

When you develop your mobile advertising strategy, you have to do more than just create ads that fit on the smaller screens. You also have to create ads that will connect with mobile users, which requires that you understand their user behavior and what they want and need when they are online.

You also need to understand the cognitive reaction that people have to mobile ads. Research shows us that different mobile ad formats can either captivate audiences or aggravate them.

Here’s what a neurological study conducted by Kargo and MediaScience revealed:

Adhesion Banners

Adhesion banners are those pop-up ads that appear typically at the bottom of the screen.

They are typically text ads that appear in a bar that stretches the length of the screen. Some stay there permanently, while others feature an option to let the user close the ad.

According to the research, only about 38 percent of users looked at these ads. Those who looked only spent about 1.6 seconds on the ads.

That’s just not good enough. In fact, these ads got the least amount of attention and engagement than any other ad type.

Part of the reason may be that these are pop-up ads, and users have a long and complicated history with pop ups. Advertisers have long favored pop ups, but users have long hated them. Many ad blockers target pop-up ads specifically.

While adhesion banners may be a standard format for ads, they deliver substandard results. It’s best to steer clear of them.

Interstitial Ads

Interstitial ads are kind of like pop ups, but instead of showing only a square over the content, they take up the entire page.

Typically, interstitial ads are used in apps, and they appear between game rounds, between articles or during some other transition in the application. They can be closed easily, sometimes after a certain display period and sometimes immediately.

The research found that these ads get quite a lot of attention – 71 percent of users looked at them. After all, it’s kind of hard not to look at an ad that takes up all of your screen.

However, engagement with these ads is not particularly high. Only 11 percent of users said that they actually remembered the brands advertised in these formats. Yes, people are looking at these ads, but most people are only looking for the “X” that tells them how to close the ad.

If you want to make interstitials more effective, you need to put more into the content of the ad and not just rely on the attention-grabbing nature of the ad.

In-Stream Banners

In-stream banner ads appear right in the content in a fixed position.

These are not pop ups that can appear anywhere at any time. You scroll down the page and see these ads coming, and you can easily pass by them by continuing to scroll.

These ads are more preferred by users because they can control them. The ads are not highly disruptive, and users can scroll past or close them at any time. The ads are usually well-placed also, which means that users pay more attention to them.

The research shows that users looked back at these ads an average of four times.

It is important that you take advantage of the opportunity that these ads present. They are grabbing users’ attention, but you have to create compelling content that will hold that attention.

What kind of content are you filling these ads with to make sure that users engage and follow through with the ad?

Sidebar Ads

Sidebar ads were shown to be the most effective in the recent research. They attracted attention, but they were not seen as annoying or intrusive.

The research showed that users looked back at these ads an average of six times and that one out of five users continued to look at the ad for up to a minute. That’s some impressive engagement for an ad that may only be a couple hundred pixels tall or wide.

You don’t have to create sidebar ads with neon colors and flashing text. The placement alone is enough to get attention. However, you can get away with using gifs or video in the ad if they are well-done.

Whatever the format you use, it is important that you keep the user experience in mind. So long as you are showing ads with relevant and compelling content, you are more likely to get audiences to pay attention and to engage. Using the right ad formats will just give you a boost to capture more of your audience.

Marketers Valley Team

Marketing Industry Experts >

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