All talk no optimisation: reaching mobile consumers

We all know and love our mobiles – chances are, you’re reading this from one right now. To an outsider, it would seem crazy how much we rely on our phones. Mobiles now give us a variety of ways to communicate and are our first point of call for finding out about practically anything, offering us endless opportunities right at our fingertips.

That’s why it’s not a surprise that last year desktop web usage was overtaken for the first time. This reliance on our phones opens the door wide for profit-making opportunities. These opportunities have not gone unnoticed by brands and marketers, with many already taking advantage of this not-so pocket sized market.

However, many brands have been slow to the scene and sometimes their efforts are just not cutting it. To make things a little clearer for you, we’ve got some handy hints and tips to ace reaching your consumers through mobile. We’ll be covering the key obstacles you’re likely to come across and as it’s a fiercely competitive medium it’s important to get it right!

Optimise, optimise, optimise

Video content

This year has been a pinnacle year for video in the marketing realm. It’s been said that consumers much prefer this type of content and it has been estimated that online video viewing will rise by another 20% in 2017. It’s also been said that global consumers will spend an average of 47.4 minutes a day viewing video online, which is up from 39.6 minutes in 2016.

Now here is where it gets interesting: the drive behind was said to be because of the 35% increase of viewing video online via smartphones, equating to an average of 28.8 minutes a day. Brands have already clocked onto the format’s value and more and more of them are using video to tell their brand story. Although, when it comes to mobile, some haven’t been making the most of video’s benefits. So where are they going wrong?

Many brands are not taking a mobile-first approach to video, even though it’s clear a vast amount of their audiences are consuming content this way. To keep up with the competition, it’s crucial to lead with a mobile-friendly format and optimise your videos for mobile. This will ensure that you can deliver engaging experiences that will reach consumers effectively. Providing mobile users with badly optimised content and an irritating user experience will leave audiences with nothing but frustration.

News UK is one company who is combatting this problem head on. They have recently launched the first vertical video studio which creates mobile-first video strategy. This was a priority move for News UK as 92% of The Sun’s audience view their content on mobile devices and, in addition, they also discovered that 58% of users found that turning their phone to the side to watch content annoying. Switching to filming vertically put their consumers first, providing seamless content in a format they prefer.

Vid ads

It’s not just video content that needs to be adapted to mobile, it’s video ads too. Mobile video is the fastest-growing ad format more than doubling last year alone. Video advertising is now an essential for businesses to reach mobile consumers and not just a snazzy opportunity to get creative. You should definitely be thinking about a vertical format approach as many ads are typically optimised for horizontal viewing, even though most consumers hold their phones vertically.

Also, when creating video ads and videos for mobile in general, you should always keep in mind the difference in screen size to desktop and other devices. A lot of video adverts are currently designed with a larger screen in mind, this means small details that add to the overall message of your video might be lost when it comes to mobile. It may be best to ditch the minute details and think bolder.

Finally, you should always keep an eye on the length of your video ad. It’s now thought that consumers on mobile tend to have shorter attention spans, and are more likely to become uninterested in longer video ads. Mobile Marketers claim that brand impact is strongest within the first 10 seconds of a video. So, optimising for shorter length videos may be worth thinking about in a mobile-first approach.

Mobile advertising quality

There’s no denying that mobile advertising is on the up and is responsible for a lot of the growth in digital today. However, with recent reports stating that in the UK £750 million has been wasted on mobile advertising, it has become a worry whether mobile adverts are actually reaching consumers at all. As consumers, we have all come across ads that aren’t captivating and ill formatted, and yet these ads still remain prominant today.

Programmatic advertising is predicted to account for three-quarters of the display ad market in the UK this year. It claims to make advertising more direct by using a machine learning approach, making it easier and cheaper for brands to reach relevant audiences. Whilst programmatic marketing does have it’s advantages, by default of being an automated service, it loses out on the element of human creativity that small agencies can offer.

For Curated, user experience and relevancy come above all else when it comes to display ads. Our head of PPC, Dave Angus reveals why programmatic is one of his huge bugbears for display ads on mobile, “I generally think programmatic is seen as the holy grail when most of it is poor inventory and an easy mark up for agencies with a trading desk. Brands are better off running with fewer relevant websites, than mass display campaigns and agencies.”

Instead of using this automated process, it’s often better for businesses to directly approach smaller websites and publishers who are guaranteed to be visited by their target audience. This will ensure ads are reaching audiences by targeting and retargeting them in a controlled and measurable way.


So what actually is geotargeting? Well, it’s basically marketing that involves identifying a smartphone user through their location and targeting them with ads and content based on this. This is a particularly handy method to have at your disposal, especially when it comes to location-based searches, such as “sushi near me” and “hairdressers Shoreditch”. By serving content, deals and ads to locationally specific audiences, you can potentially reduce wasteful ad spending.

Although this can be a super-useful tool if harnessed correctly, it can easily be wasted. To get it right you have to have an understanding of not only the location but the context in which your user might see your ad or the content you’re serving them. This means having knowledge of what goes on in the area at different times of the day and when the specific audiences will be present. For example, if a bookshop which is open between 9am and 6pm is underneath a popular nightclub that opens it’s doors 9pm until the early hours, your ad about a best selling book wouldn’t be relevant for at least 12 hours of the day. Think about it, would clubbers really be bothered about settling down with the latest bestseller? Most likely not.

To stop unnecessary ad spend, before applying location marketing make sure you do your research on the area and collect as much demographic data about your target audience as you can. Depending on your company, brand and the service you offer, you may want only to geo target potential consumers in certain hours of the day or only those which sit within a particular age group.

Whether your mobile-strategy is already in action or you’re preparing to make the move, we hope we’ve helped you identify the possible hiccups you might come across along the way. If you have any further questions, queries or would just like a chat please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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