How to Tap Into the Power of Expandable Mobile Advertising
by Matt Chamberlin
Even with the average smartphone user checking their phone 46 times per day, just buying mobile ad placements does not guarantee success. Banner blindness is a very real issue, especially with traditional ad formats (e.g., 320 x 50 banner, etc.). Fortunately, expandable mobile ads are capturing users’ attention. Read on to find out what this innovative ad formats is, as well as how you can best use it to boost response and engagement from mobile users.
What Are Expandable Mobile Ads?
Expandable mobile ads are basically a more robust version of a rich media ad. A typical expandable ad unit initially assumes the traditional banner size for mobile ad units (320 x 50 pixels), but then increases in size (typically 320 x 480 pixels) when a user taps the ad unit for a set amount of time.
Expandable mobile ad units provide a more interactive environment for the user, and because they occupy more screen space (2/3 of the page or full-screen), they offer advertisers a larger canvas to create more detailed calls-to-action or other post-click options.
Why Expandable Mobile Ads Are Better
Expandable mobile ads are called “high-impact ads” for a reason: They provide a far deeper level of engagement than the average static banner ad–or even a rich media ad–can afford. With other mobile ad types, the user is typically taken to some type of landing page, where subsequent steps are required (e.g., filling out a form, etc.) to elicit a useful response.
Expandable ads enable the user to remain in the same environment in which they saw the ad, which creates a much less disruptive experience, and makes the transition into any subsequent actions much smoother. Not only that, but the larger canvas size also allows you to tell your brand’s story in a more complete and interactive way.
Leverage the Power of Expandable Mobile Ads with These Tips
- Invest in eye-grabbing, captivating graphics. Expandable ads offer more screen space to work with, so take full advantage of it by giving the viewer something beyond what they’d see in a regular-sized mobile ad.
- Make sure your teaser banner (i.e., the portion of the ad the user sees before it expands) is appealing enough to pique the user’s curiosity. Try a provocative question, a “To Be Continued” storyline, or some other type of cliffhanger enticing enough to garner a click.
- Combine expandable ad units with proximity targeting where applicable. A recent study published by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) found that Walmart ads served within proximity to physical Walmart stores generated 1.5 times more engagement than ads served at random, and among those ads paired with proximity targeting, the expandable ads produced the strongest response.
- Pay attention to frequency capping. When it comes to expandable ads and other large-size formats, there seems to be an inverse relationship between frequency and effectiveness; in fact, the MMA study noted that native ads, expandable ads, and other large formats tend to perform better overall when shown at a lower frequency.
- Make your call-to-action clear and easily discernible from the other content within the ad. Additional canvas size is a good thing, but don’t let your call-to-action get lost in the shuffle.