Why You Should Focus Your Marketing Efforts On Mobile Ads and Social Media

Anthony Hanks

Written by:
Anthony Hanks

Dec 15, 2017
types of mobile advertising mobile ad formats

If you are a professional in today’s marketing industry, there’s a good chance you and your team have spent some time studying social media and mobile advertising. It’s for good reason too. Social media platforms and mobile advertising are a perfect combination that results in a higher return on investment than many other marketing efforts.

There are at least 10 new mobile phones expected to hit the market in the next six months. If it wasn’t already obvious, mobile phones have become a vital component of daily life. Research shows that 77 percent of Americans own a mobile phone. If you think about it, that means that in America alone almost 249 million people are walking around with a personal advertising platform, just waiting to see your product.


Why Is Mobile Advertising Such a Good Move?

While smartphone ownership alone makes mobile advertising worth investing in, social media lends even more credence to the business practice. Simply put, a lot of people engage in social media these days. Facebook alone reports that 2.07 billion people are active each month on their social network. If you look at all social media sites combined, studies have shown that 30 percent of the time spent online by an average user is spent on social media activities. That offers up a lot of potential for advertisers.

So, how much of that social networking is done on mobile devices?

According to a study by Social Media Today, 60 percent of all social media activity happens on mobile devices. Furthermore, people are far more likely to “share” social media posts from their phones than on a desktop computer. One social media platform that really backs up that claim is Pinterest, who reports that as much as 75 percent of its posts are made from a mobile device.

types of mobile advertising why you should focus on mobile advertising
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Perhaps what makes mobile advertising and social media such a winning combination is that it offers a better return on investment than traditional practices like banner ads. Double Click, Google’s advertising entity, has reported that mobile ads on social networks have more than a 1 percent click-through rate, while traditional display ads only have a click-through rate of 0.05 percent.

RELATED: 10 Niche Social Networks Perfect For Sharing Visual Content

One last benefit of combining mobile advertising and social media to consider is how effective native advertising is when the two are paired. Simply put, a native ad is one that appears in the same editorial format as whatever content you happen to be viewing at the time. Folks using mobile devices want their experience to be as streamlined as possible, especially when it comes to advertising. That’s why, according to Yahoo, native advertising is usually 4 times more effective than non-native methods.  

Social media platforms make an excellent venue for native advertising because the ads are so easily integrated into mobile news feeds. Add to that how easy it is to share information on mobile devices and you can see why native ads and mobile social networking is such a powerhouse combination.

To decide which mobile ad type is best for your campaign, you can view our visual summary of this post below or skip ahead to read a detailed explanation of the different types of mobile ad formats.


Infographic: Types of Mobile Advertising and When to Use Each One

Infographic created with Visme
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Which Platforms Work Best for Mobile Ads?

When it comes to choosing a social media platform on which to deploy your mobile advertising efforts, there isn’t really a bad choice. There are ad opportunities on virtually every platform being used today, each with its own set of strengths. We’ll take a look at the big six social media platforms and why they work so well for mobile advertising.

social media platforms monthly users



Facebook is the undisputed king of social media. As mentioned above, more than 2 billion people use Facebook each month, creating a tremendous opportunity for advertising.

One of the best rewards a company can get from mobile advertising is the email addresses of potential customers. Facebook does an excellent job at this by using clever ads to direct users to landing pages with high conversion rates. These landing pages will usually offer some sort of free product, which marketers often refer to as “lead magnets.” These “freebies” can include eBooks, coupons, white papers, giveaways, etc. Consumers will claim these deals by entering their email address, which the company can then use to introduce the consumer to more of their products and services.

What really sets Facebook marketing apart from other social media platforms is its ability to target ads. Marketers can target their ads using interests, user activity, job description and even physical location. For more information on how to effectively advertise on Facebook, take a look at this complete 2018 guide.



As if Facebook alone wasn’t a big enough juggernaut when it comes to mobile advertising on social media, they acquired Instagram in 2012. While nowhere close to Facebook’s monthly users, Instagram is still no slouch with about 700 million monthly active users. The benefit of Instagram to marketers is the company’s sheer domination when it comes to user engagement. Instagram’s engagement rate is 58 percent higher than Facebook and a staggering 2,000 percent higher than Twitter!

RELATED: 21 Beautiful Examples of Visual Storytelling on Instagram

Instagram obviously relies heavily on images as well as video content, so if you are a marketer and your product is visually appealing, Instagram may be the route to go. It’s certainly not a requirement, as anyone who can build visual media components into their advertising plan will be just as successful.

Marketers should also take into account the age range of their target markets. In the case of Instagram, most users are 18-29 and tend to be more females and minorities. If these factors fit into the target demographics of your ad campaign, Instagram is likely your best choice for mobile advertising.



Twitter shines when it comes to users being able to connect with influential people who could potentially promote a company’s products. It’s not exactly a traditional advertising platform, but what sets Twitter apart is its ability to act as an organic engagement network, something Facebook really doesn’t do anymore. Facebook’s decline in organic engagement is for two major reasons. First, newsfeed visibility is incredibly competitive today due to the amount of content published. Second, Facebook only shows users content that is most likely to interest them, not every piece of content that’s available. Twitter doesn’t have these issues.

Marketers who want to focus on driving brand awareness and promoting specific products will find Twitter to be a useful tool.



Pinterest boasts some really interesting figures in terms of the demographics of its users. Like Instagram, Pinterest is a very visual platform, but where it differs from Instagram is the average user. Pinterest appeals highly to females, with 81 percent of its users being women. So if your product caters toward women, Pinterest should definitely be on your radar when planning your mobile advertising campaigns. (For more information, here is a complete guide on how to sell on Pinterest.)

Pinterest shines in several areas. First, it has a pretty high engagement rate when compared to a platform like Facebook. As mentioned above, Pinterest leans heavily on images, and that makes it easy to build custom product ads. Pinterest users often hop on the platform specifically to find and purchase products, which is a huge benefit to marketers. Pinterest is also a fantastic platform if you want to explore the above-mentioned method of native marketing. Promoted pins fit seamlessly into Pinterest boards so you don’t have to worry about distracting or frustrating users and potential customers.



LinkedIn is an excellent choice for marketers that want to promote primarily B2B products, as well as those that may be recruiting talent for businesses or higher education. LinkedIn has around 230 million users each month, and they’re pretty much even in terms of male and female users.

However, more than half the users fall into the 30-64 age range, and 75 percent of the users earn more than $50,000 per year. These demographics make LinkedIn uniquely conducive to companies that want to promote B2B-type products and services to professionals who likely have a good chunk of disposable income.  



Snapchat is one of the youngest platforms on the list, but it hit the scene with a purpose, and now boasts over 300 million users each month. Snapchat users are highly active, but that’s not the most important statistic for marketers who wish to use the platform for mobile advertising.

Snapchat’s reach is absolutely mind-boggling. Every single day, Snapchat reaches 41 percent of the United States’ population who are between the age of 18 and 34. That presents a tremendous opportunity for marketers who have products to advertise that fall into that target market age range.


Types of Mobile Advertising

By now you’ve probably realized that not all social media platforms are created equal when it comes to mobile advertising efforts and the potential reach and return on investment. The same can be said even after you’ve decided on the specific platform and you get into which advertising mediums you want to deploy. What follows is a look at the different types of mobile advertising for each of the social media platforms we discussed above.


Facebook and Instagram


Photo advertisements are some of the most common you’ll find on Facebook and Instagram. However, the specifications on the images you use will vary depending on what it is you’re hoping to accomplish with your ad, so you should check out Facebook’s business page to get you started. As an example, if you’re just looking to get clicks to your site, a photo advertisement will allow you to create a 25 character long headline, 90 characters of text, and 30 characters to use for a link description. Some ads will also allow you to add call-to-action buttons.

facebook image ad specifications



Video ads on Facebook and Instagram have the same parameters as photos when it comes to characters and call to action options. The aspect ratio for the video you use will vary depending on what your ad objective is.

facebook video ad specifications
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Carousel ads will require images with a 1:1 aspect ratio, and you can have up to 10 images and hyperlinks in a single advertisement. You get a headline that can accommodate up to 40 characters, and your allowed text is the same as video and image ads at 90 characters. Your link description is limited to 20 characters.

facebook carousels ad specifications



Sometimes referred to as “interstitial” ads, a canvas advertisement is one that is designed to cover the entire viewing screen with an image or video. The larger pixel style allows marketers to have more creative freedom with the content they show, and it’s much easier to create a deliberate call to action with this ad type.

As for the price you’ll actually pay for these advertising methods, it really depends on your target audience and what you’re trying to accomplish. Facebook uses an algorithm that’s designed to provide greater ad performance as you spend more money. On average, though, the cost per click on a Facebook ad is around .28 cents and 1,000 impressions will run you a little over $7.

facebook canvas ad specifications



Promoted Accounts

Promoted accounts are advertisements that go to targeted Twitter users and invite them to follow your brand or specific product.

twitter promoted accounts


Promoted Trends

If you’re not that familiar with Twitter, a trending topic is one that is popping up in the most conversations. Trending topics are posted as a list on the side of the page. A promoted trend advertisement will put your story at the top of that list.

twitter promoted trends specifications


Promoted Tweets

A promoted tweet will allow you to target specific users and put your tweet directly on their timeline.

Twitter ads tend to cost a good deal more when compared to other forms of mobile advertising, so you should do the proper amount of investigation before launching a Twitter campaign. Promoted Tweets tend to run anywhere from 50 cents to more than $10 per view, click, etc. On the other hand, promoted trends have been reported to cost as much as $200K per day.

twitter promoted tweets specifications



Awareness Campaigns

An awareness campaign is an ad that’s designed to put your Pin in front of someone who has never heard of your business or brand.


Engagement Campaigns

This advertising method is meant to get Pinterest users to click on your promoted Pins and then re-Pin them on their own boards.


Traffic Campaigns

A traffic campaign is meant to take users directly from your promoted Pins to your website.

Pinterest ad pricing is interesting in that you essentially “bid” for ad placement. You can establish the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for your specific ad type. Awareness campaigns are charged by CPM (cost per 1,000 engagements), while engagement and traffic campaigns are charged by engagement and number of clicks, respectively. As an example, the minimum you can bid for CPM is $5.

pinterest awareness campaigns engagement campaigns traffic campaigns



Display Ads

These ads allow you to select a target audience and share content with them.

Sponsored In-Mail

Similar to an email campaign, this method allows you deliver sponsored content directly to users’ LinkedIn inboxes.

Sponsored Content

You select a target audience and your content will show up on their timelines.

Text Ads

These are text-only advertisements that will appear in the right column of the user’s page.

Dynamic Ads

These ads show up on the right-hand side as well, but they allow you to display more ad unit formats.

Pricing for LinkedIn ads is similar to Facebook in that you can select whether you want to pay on a cost-per-click basis or per 1,000 impressions (CPM). The difference is that LinkedIn requires a $10 per day minimum budget for your campaign. You’ll also have to meet minimum bid expectations for both cost-per-click ($2 per click) and CPM ($2 per 1,000 impressions) text ads. If you elect to launch a sponsored content campaign the cost will vary depending on your target audience.

linkedin sponsored in-mail sponsored content dynamic ads text ads
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Snap Ads

A snap ad is shown between stories, and it’s in the form of a video ad. Snapchat users can swipe to see more content, which can be a longer video, a website link or an additional article.

snapchat snap ads


Sponsored and On-Demand Geofilters

Sponsored geofilters are best suited for larger companies while smaller brands will be better suited for on-demand geofilters. Each option allows marketers to use overlay graphics that users can select and add to their own content.

snapchat sponsored geofilters on-demand geofilters


Sponsored Lenses

These are basically just custom Snapchat lenses.

Pricing varies quite a bit depending on which ad type you’re going to use. For example, a sponsored lens will run you as much as $700,000 per day. On-demand geofilters are far cheaper, depending on the catchment area for your campaign. For example, running your on-demand geofilter in an area of 1 city block will cost around $45, but increasing that area to the maximum 70 square blocks (or roughly 5 million square feet) will cost you almost $3,000 per day.

snapchat sponsored lenses


The Final Word: Do Some Research First

Mobile advertising on social media platforms is a very lucrative ad campaign, but it’s important to put in the research prior to launching. Think about your target market demographics and which social media platforms lend themselves to those people. Budget is obviously a big factor, too, but as you’ve seen, most platforms offer a variety of options that can accommodate various goals and budgets. The important thing is to test your efforts and make adjustments as necessary to maximize the return on your mobile advertising efforts.

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    About the Author

    Tyson graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in marketing and spent more than 10 years as a professional in sales, marketing and training with two Fortune 500 companies. He has extensively studied social media marketing and mobile advertising and incorporated both into his own business, and now he writes about these and other marketing related topics for a living. His expertise and leadership have resulted in teams he’s led generating millions in incremental sales.

    3 responses to “Why You Should Focus Your Marketing Efforts On Mobile Ads and Social Media”

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    3. Brandler says:

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