How Can Brands Run Mobile Ads for Efficient Brand Awareness Campaigns?

How Can Brands Run Mobile Ads for Efficient Brand Awareness Campaigns?
Mobile ads can help you control brand awareness campaign costs.

What is the Objective of Brand Awareness Campaigns?

Most digital marketing campaigns focus on one or both objectives – lead generation or brand awareness. The latter has been a part of digital marketing and conventional advertising for years.

For conventional print and media ads, firms dedicated to collecting consumer responses would get a sample response of the campaign. That, added with the increase in sales or profitability, were considered to be proxies for campaign success. With ads for brands and other similar campaigns, measuring brand awareness has become a more logical task. There are several industry-standard practices measuring key metrics and performance on grounds like brand equity.

How are Brand Awareness and Brand Equity Related?

Brand awareness is the more straightforward and objective measure of how many consumers recall and identify your brand. This can include recognizing the packaging, slogan, logo, and other tangible elements of your brand’s identity. Brand equity focuses on the consumers who are aware of your brand and how this translates into their interaction with your brand.

Substantial brand equity does not have to be correlated with strong brand awareness. Brand equity will make your brand an intangible asset and should result in helping you command a price-premium and/or brand loyalty.

How to Measure Brand Awareness?

Measuring brand awareness is a more sequentially flowing process with established benchmarks used across ads for brands. Here are the metrics commonly measured to gauge brand awareness:

Branded Keyword Traction: Of all the organic traffic, what percentage of traffic has searched directly for your brand? This will help you understand how many consumers are already aware of your brand and its offerings. As branded keywords start generating more traction, you should run paid ads on these keywords. This would ensure that the real-estate space on text or display campaigns is not acquired by competitors targeting the same keyword.

Website Traffic: The organic traffic is a good proxy for brand awareness. Other than that, the traffic which clearly shows a visitor chose your website over your competitors, is also noteworthy.

Social Media Engagement Rates: For most brands, it is easy to get impressions, views, or likes on social media. Consumers prefer engaging with brands only when they have a strong intent to converse about the products or services. All of these can serve as useful measures for brand awareness.

Google Alerts and Surveys: You can do this, no matter how big or small your brand or agency is. Set a Google Alert for your brand and essential products. Every time someone searches for your brand, you will get notified. You can also supplement this research with primary data collected by surveys using SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics.

How to Create More Efficient Brand Awareness Campaigns?

While brand awareness can be a significant revenue and profitability contributor, creating brand awareness generally takes more resources. This is primarily because most budgeting teams allocate capital to areas with tangible results, such as lead generation campaigns.

Even with sufficient budgets, brand awareness campaigns across mobile ad channels can be expensive. Here is a step-by-step process to create efficient brand awareness campaigns. They can virtually yield the same results as a campaign backed by large budgets.

1. Use Rich Media Ads.

Rich media ads consist of a unique ad format beyond the text, image, or text + image concept for ads. Rich media mobile ads can include videos, games, expansive ads, etc.

The motive is to break through the clutter of banner and video ads, generally used in brand awareness campaigns. Google recommends rich media ads for both brand awareness and lead generation.

With rich media ads, communicating even a seemingly complex story becomes easier. The same real-estate space, bid, and attention span is used to deliver more information. Static banners tend to provide only the information available on the banner itself. Video ads can communicate well but are expensive for production and even for bidding. Rich media ads sit right between these two in terms of cost of production. Yet, they can communicate an intricate message just like a video campaign. Rich media ads can deliver engagements exceeding those of static banner ads by over 267%.

2. Bid Optimization: Go from the Automatic ‘Maximize Conversions’ to Manual CPC.

Campaigns are generally the biggest overheads in most brand awareness exercises. If you are working with Google Ads, you would be familiar with the bidding process. If you are a professional who manages campaigns, you might be using automatic bidding with a focus on maximizing conversions.

Bounteous recently published a case-study. It showed how the transition from automatic bidding to manual CPC decreased their cost per click by over 36% in two months.

The agency had been working for a local brand and targeting exact-match keywords. For a considerable time, they witnessed good traction, and manageable ad spends. Then they saw a sudden jump in their monthly ad spends. The spending had increased by 45% in just two months, producing virtually the same results.

The agency’s campaign objective was set to maximize conversions, and the bidding strategy was set to automatic. As soon as the agency changed the bidding strategy to manual CPC, it saw a drop in the ad spends consistently. This unravels the key insight – when you are starting your brand awareness campaigns, automatic CPC will get you traction at reasonable prices. However, as you accumulate enough data to optimize your keywords and ads, you should shift to enhanced or manual CPC bidding.

3. Focus on Mobile Ads for Brands with an Impetus on Social Media.

In a study published by WordStream, mobile ads garnered more clicks at lesser costs. The data showed that mobile ads had a CPC of $0.12 against the $0.30 for desktop and $0.35 for tablet ads. This makes mobile ads 50% more affordable than their counterparts. On top of this, mobile ads attracted 16x clicks relative to desktop ads and 136x more clicks than tablet ads. So, simply focusing on mobile devices can yield good results.

You can further optimize your campaign spends by integrating social media with ads targeting mobile devices. Close to 3.8 billion people are active on all the social media platforms across the globe. And 60% of all social media activity happens on mobile devices. By bringing your focus to mobile ads with social media, you can control your ad spends and still reach a wider audience.

Rich media ads can add another layer of efficiency and data analytics to this. Unlike static banner ads, rich media ads can carry multiple landing page links or social media links on one property. This gives you more data on how viewers interact with your rich media ads.

4. Become a Content Marketing Platform with Blogs, Newsletters, and Other Content Formats.

Running ads and other forms of paid ads is a great way to quickly scale the reach of your brand awareness campaigns. However, such campaigns come with recurring production costs. Each creative has a shelf-life of about 1-4 weeks, depending on the frequency of views and the placement. This shelf-life is calculated by Nielsen using the concept of ‘Adstock Decay’. It focuses on determining the half-life of an ad, after which the efficacy of the ad drops by over 50%.

Even at the highest rate of effectiveness, you will have to significantly change your ad creatives every four weeks. Generally, campaigns tend to take 12 weeks for converting a viewer into a lead and then into a customer. Content marketing can be a more efficient form of delivering information, garnering branded keyword mentions, and creating brand equity.

On most of the blogs operated by content marketing pioneers like Hubspot, you will find content that was originally created years ago. Every year, updated data and perspectives are added to it. And the pages continue to maintain their authority. This way, for a fraction of the cost of an entire ad campaign, a blog can yield results for years to come.

Howard Marks, the co-founder of Oaktree Capital, regularly writes his ‘memos’ which are released on the company’s website every month or quarter. The entire financial news media picks it up and produces more content around it. This gives Oaktree a significant bump in its brand awareness without the firm having spent even a penny in campaigning. The same idea is used by several successful investors like Warren Buffet and Seth Klarman as well.

Blogs and newsletters are just some forms of content. You can run podcasts, produce e-books, provide case-studies, or even run online courses to help your customers solve their pressing issues. Content marketing takes time to yield the results most brands see. And hence, you should use it as one of the several methods in your marketing mix to generate cost-effective brand awareness.

5. Give Free Product Trials.

Consumer Packaged Goods companies have been using free product samples to create brand awareness for years now.

Event Marketer and Mosaic conducted a survey. Over 47% of the respondents preferred having sampled or have seen a product demonstration before they made a purchase decision.

Most retailers already understand the impact of providing free samples. Cadent Consulting Group reported that over 76% of retailers believed providing samples and product demonstrations helped in generating sales.

Free trails can be a good way to start the conversation, if brand equity is the eventual goal. Free trial as a concept has garnered increasing interest. The search term’s traction has grown on Google Trends by over 15% in just one year.

Airtory can make it easier for you to create sequence ads. They track the user’s past interactions with the ad. And then, help you post ads that push the lead towards the next stage in the conversion cycle. This way, you can create a unified sales process that begins with a free trial keyword associated with your brand. The process can then end with a conversion can help you get more organic traction. It augments your brand awareness and conversions for lead generation – all using a single campaign.

6. Gamify Your Mobile Ads.

Mobile ads tend to generate more traction because of stronger intent. If your business has a large local market, you should definitely consider brand awareness campaigns that actively focus on location.

Besides this, gamifying your ads can help in generating higher interactions and more time for brand visibility. Mazda launched a campaign ‘Challenge the Night’ while launching a new car. The campaign was a rich media ad positioned for mobile phones and desktop platforms. It allowed the users to drive the car within the environment of the ad across a minimalistic track. As the user progressed in the game, she/he would witness challenges. Relevant functionalities of the car would help the user explore its features in a more interactive manner.

The campaign generated a 78% replay rate, clearly highlighting the increased engagement. The interaction rate for the rich media ads was 6x that of industry averages. Static banner ads or video ads would be sub-optimal from a cost perspective, if your aim is to get similar results. With rich media ads focusing on mobile ads networks, you can generate deeper engagement across a wider audience-base even on smaller budgets.

7. Create Seamless Experiences Between Incentive-Based Ads and Landing Pages.

By integrating free samples and content marketing, you can launch incentive-based brand awareness campaigns. This would necessitate a deep understanding of your target audience’s pain-points. Post this, you can create content or media assets that address those problems and provide possible solutions.

BigCommerce recently published research. It showed that it would be nearly impossible to scale to $20 million and beyond without using a landing page. Unlike a product page, a landing page is for a targeted audience that has been attracted using paid channels. Hence, each landing page iteration has to be optimized for conversion with forms, CTAs, and configuration of elements.

While doing all of this on the landing page, it is easy to forget the link between the brand and the landing page. Some landing pages fail in communicating the brand and its values. If you are running a paid campaign for brand awareness, make sure you do not make the same error.

The idea of aligning the landing page with the brand and personalizing it for each visitor is novel but difficult to execute. In the process of optimizing the landing page for brand awareness and personalization, you would not want your CACs to skyrocket. Airtory to bring down the costs of producing optimized landing pages aligned with your brand guidelines.

The Airtory platform carries over 30 different templates that can help you create truly dynamic landing pages with HTML or AMP.

In Conclusion

Airtory and mobile ads can help your brand generate significant amounts of awareness, without denting your marketing budget.

Why Should You Run Rich Media Ads for Clients?

Want better ROI on your ad spends? Use Rich Media Ads.

What is Rich Media Ads?

Google defines rich media ads as the digital advertising format that allows the marketer to use formats beyond texts or images. Rich Media Ads give you the freedom to play with designs. You can use float, expand, and several others that can help your ad stand out from the clutter. You can use any number of formats like images, videos, Tweets, and games, to deliver your message.

Rich media ads offer a more comprehensive form of data collection. They record additional metrics like expansions, video-completions, exits, etc. These ads have a whole set of differentiating factors relative to other ad formats:

  1. The CTR for rich-media ads is 267% more than that for conventional banner ads.
  2. Rich media ads can track multiple click-through links.
  3. Rich media ads have a size of over 200K.
  4. Some rich media ads can carry special features like voting, sharing, etc. within the ad’s confines.

Why Should Agencies Use Rich Media Ads?

Rich media ads can produce better engagement for both brand awareness and lead generation campaigns. That said and done, rich media ads have a multitude of benefits at the creative, ad group, campaign, and agency level of monitoring. Here are a few of them:

1. Rich Media Ads Provide Efficient Use of Real-Estate Space Against the Cost.

The typical ad space available on all display and text ad mediums is limited. If you target high-impression keywords, each view becomes more expensive if the industry landscape is becoming more competitive.

While text ads are the preferable conversion options, display campaigns have been the go-to medium for brand awareness campaigns. YouTube ads are another engaging format, but they turn out to be expensive for most small and medium scale agencies or brands.

Rich media ads offer a middle-ground that can be used to provide more information using the same real-estate space. For instance, multiple elements would make the static banner layout cluttered and reduce your conversions. The other alternative is putting multiple banners across multiple spots and increasing the media spend.

Rich media ads can come in the form of videos, animations, or games. This way, each frame can provide unique information using the same real estate space. Rich media ads are more expensive in production. However, they are more cost-effective than using multiple banners with low engagements.

2. Rich Media Ads Have Relatively Higher CTRs.

As per the research data published by AdRoll, rich media ads have 267% higher CTRs than their static banner counterparts. This is an after-effect of the concept of banner-blindness. In 1998, Benway & Lane coined the term. They found that when users seek specific information to complete a task, they would blatantly ignore even the most well-designed and creative banners.

Most of the users looking for particular information are not seeking any distractions. No matter how well you design your static banners, usually, they will underperform because of banner-blindness.

Rich media ads have the capability of delivering a better user experience on the page. They make a user – stop and observe, simply because the user can witness movement on the page. It is natural for your cognitive process to acknowledge movement, especially when you are not expecting it. Rich media ads can be more interactive and inviting for the user. This makes them the source of delivering higher CTRs relative to even the well-designed static banner ads.

3. Rich Media Ads Have Greater Engagement Rates.

Intuitively, it is not difficult to see why rich media ads would provide better engagement than their static banner counterparts. Rich media ads tend to pack more information, are designed to attract & engage the user, and collect data across a wide range of KPIs. When you see it in action in a real campaign, the idea gets cemented – rich media ads do provide more engagement.

Mike’s Harder Lemonade was a campaign launched by SapientNitro. Instead of running an over-the-top ad, the agency created a rich-media ad in the form of a famous carnival game. The users who would clear through all the levels were given the title of ‘harder’ and deemed ‘eligible’ to consume the product.

The campaign became the winner of Outstanding Achievement in Internet Advertising, conferred by the Web Marketing Association on the agency and the brand. But, much more than that, the campaign could generate 75 seconds of interaction with the ad unit. Even some of the most expensive to run non-skippable ads on YouTube last for only 15-20 seconds.

Thus, rich media ads can generate more engagement when compared to their static banner or video counterparts. At the same time, well-thought-out rich media ads can do so much lower cost than the expensive video ads on YouTube.

4. Rich Media Ads for Agencies Can Capture More Granular Data and Scale with Greater Efficiencies.

The conventional display banner is evaluated based on the industry used template of metrics: CPC, CPA, CTR, CPM, and Impressions. Most of the analytics around these KPIs benchmark them against demographics, other campaign & ad groups, and product categories. The same data is then used to optimize the banner and, eventually, the campaign.

Google’s Campaign Manager can help you with over 51 different metrics for rich media ads.

These include the standard metrics like CPC, CTR, CPM, CPA, Impressions, and some rich media-specific metrics like expansion time, interaction count, and several others. The Campaign Manager also provides data on custom metrics specific only to the rich media categories like counters, custom variable count, exits, and timers.

Rich media ads also give you the freedom to place multiple links. This can further help you segment the audience based on the specific spot of clicking on the rich media ad. This functionality is not available with static banner ads.

Initially, it may seem like you need more resources to translate the additional data into insights. It also means that as rich media ad campaigns are scaled and optimized with varied KPIs, the expected returns will increase.

5. Rich Media Ads Are Good for Both Brand Awareness and Lead Generation.

Conventional thinking dictates that text ads on the SERP are ideal for the lead-generation campaign. Display campaigns are better for brand awareness. They allow you to run contextually-targeted campaigns that match your ad property with the content on the page. This works even if the user did not explicitly search for your brand or product offering. Google, too supports this bifurcation for lead generation and brand awareness campaigns. However, Google also mentions rich media ads as a preferable category for lead generation and brand awareness campaigns.

Rich media ads for agencies can serve both these purposes. Text ads can target the intent directly and provide the precise information a user might be seeking. Display campaigns, especially those using static banners, tend to carry the brand and product’s imagery to create brand recall. Rich media ads can do both of these tasks at a price lower than the cost of running two separate campaigns.

Rich media ads can utilize the real-estate space, and the attention span more efficiently. These ads provide critical information such as pricing, specs, and features of the product, along with a strong focus on brand awareness. Harley Davidson used rich media ads on Hulu to create awareness around its Softail models. The ads carried vital information about the products as well as the visual identity of the brand. The campaign resulted in a 9.9% mobile CTR. In context, mobile CTR for the search was around 4.1% and for display was about 0.6% in 2018 for the same market.

6. Rich Media Ads Are More Cost-Effective than Video Ads.

Video ads, depending on the creative concept, can be expensive for production. On top of that, 76% of users in a Hootsuite survey stated that they skip the ad when they see an option available. While brands generally pay only when the viewer watches a certain percentage of the ad, there is still an opportunity cost. The brand loses the opportunity to interact with and convert one more viewer.

Besides this, many websites in the Google Display Network are not optimized to run permission-based video ads. When a visitor lands on the website, the video ad automatically starts playing if the page and the ad have not been optimized. Not only does this disrupt the user experience, but it can also result in inflated bounce rates induced by intrusive video ads.

Most rich media ad formats make the user click on, unmute or play the video ad format. Additionally, many ad forms run with rich media ads for agencies tend to engage the user attractively. Hence, there is no room for intrusion or unexpected audio bursts that lead to bounce rates.

This way, rich media ads produced with lesser resources can be optimized and designed for better engagement, higher conversion, and relatively better user-experience.

7. With Airtory, Brands Can Have Higher ROI Driven by Lower Cost of Production with the Higher Ad Performance.

The cost of producing creatives for the campaign increases as the agency moves from text to rich media to video ad campaigns. Rich media ads provide a great user experience, more efficient use of the attention-span, and serve multiple campaign goals. With Airtory, the cost of producing rich media ads drops dramatically.

Airtory has templates and advanced analytics features of the entire value chain of rich media campaigns – creatives, landing pages, and analytics for campaign optimization. Using over 300 templates and 30 different layouts on the landing page, the platform can help agencies save over $3,000 per campaign.

Rich media ads made with Airtory use real-time analytics, fraud detection, and retargeting. Real-time analytics help you optimize your campaign at every touchpoint using the broad set of KPIs relevant to rich media ads. Fraud detection ensures your client is shedding each ad dollar only for genuine traffic garnered by active websites. Retargeting helps you generate increased conversions without paying for greater reach. And the sequence ads help you run a cohesive story across all rich media ad properties.

In Conclusion

Rich media ads are an efficient medium to deliver better brand awareness and lead generation campaigns across the board. With creative campaigns that use games, interactive videos, and other file formats with strong CTA, you can solve banner-blindness and generate higher engagement. While rich media ads are cost-effective against video campaigns, they tend to take more production resources compared to static banner ads. This is the problem solved by Airtory.

Airtory gives you a wide range of templates that can help you produce rich media ad properties without writing even a line of code. With real-time analytics that optimizes your campaign spends, both you and your clients can get incrementally better results using the same ad spends. Explore Airtory’s dedicated features for agencies to create a game-plan for unlocking value!