By Liz Rutgersson

Are you still living in fear that you're behind the mobile curve? Worried you don't have the knowledge or capacity to create a competitive mobile display strategy? You're not alone. To date there has been a 'smoke and mirrors' situation taking place within the mobile display space. Platforms and advertisers alike have had a tendency to over-complicate the strategies used to run mobile display campaigns, leaving many keen advertisers feeling fearful of the mobile display black box.

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Mobile display campaigns don't require any special formula and often don't need to be run very differently from standard biddable display. In fact, if you're advertising using real-time bidding campaigns, you may already be having great results from mobile and just not realise it.

We've all been hearing about the rise of mobile in the last few years, but interestingly mobile display is now the strongest growing digital inventory source available. If it wasn't clear already, the table below highlights that the time for a specific mobile display strategy is now!

In-app versus Mobile Web

Mobile inventory spans two different but equally exciting types of ad space, in-app and mobile web. In-app targeting allows for ads to be shown within applications and targeting can be done based on app description or by choosing specific apps to advertise within. Mobile web targeting reaches users on mobile sites. With both targeting options advertisers can choose for their ad's landing page to be either their own mobile website or an app-store if their strategy is to promote app downloads. Exchanges like AdEx, MoPub, BrightRoll and AppNexus have huge volumes of mobile inventory, and AdMob for in-app inventory covers 95% of this space.

Private Marketplace deals are also becoming increasingly relevant and available for mobile websites. Publications like Financial Times have huge mobile readership and a mobile PMP with these types of websites can grant advertisers huge reach for premium mobile inventory.

Tracking Mobile Conversions

Whether you're running in-app or mobile web, it's crucial to ensure conversion tracking is set up in order to understand performance of mobile display campaigns. DoubleClick have just released in-app to in-app conversion tracking which allows for a conversion to be recorded when an app has been downloaded and opened. This process requires use of Google Tag Manager. In-app to mobile web and mobile web to mobile web conversion tracking are also available with DoubleClick and the final combination, mobile web to in-app tracking is on the roadmap. Optimisation is essential just as with all real-time bidding campaigns, and using conversion data to make decisions on bids, budget and ad placement is key to ROI success.

Mobile Creative

Ensuring you have the correct sizes and file types for mobile display is crucial. If your designers are creating ads, make sure they build the following sizes for mobile by default: 320x50, 300x250 and 336x280. If you're running on tablet devices as well, 728x90 and 468x60 are key sizes to create. Speak to your designers about building ads in HTML5. This is becoming an increasingly common file type for all display ads and is next to essential for mobile ads. Many mobile and tablet devices do not support flash files meaning a back-up image would show in these instances. Back-ups are typically not ideal especially when animation is involved, so creating ads in HTML5 for mobile display is preferred. HTML5 files are also much easier for designers to re-size, allowing advertisers to easily adjust to new mobile and tablet formats. Google's Web Designer is a fantastic new (and free!) tool for HTML5. Check it out!

When tracked and optimised well, advertisers can have a clear view of how mobile campaigns are impacting their performance. Don't be held back by the fear of mobile! Running mobile display campaigns effectively does take dedicated resource and time, however don't be fooled – it's very much an accessible platform for ad serving. Ensure whoever you're working with is on-board with an open and transparent approach to mobile display and the (mobile) world is your oyster.

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