In 2010, only 2 percent of companies were using mobile phone advertising to reach their customers. Today, that number is growing rapidly, and a number of analysts believe that mobile advertisements will someday be a bigger market than traditional web advertising or even bigger than television ads. This is a trend your law firm should stay up to date on if you want to keep pace with the rapid changes in legal marketing today. Keep reading to learn the basics of mobile advertisements and why they look like the wave of the future for law firms.
The Meteoric Rise of Mobile Advertising
A few years ago, the only kind of mobile advertisements you were likely to see were text messages (also called SMS for short messaging service). This type of mobile phone advertising was not particularly effective, but represented a big change toward targeted advertisements and market segmentation.
Today, phones have gone smart, and mobile advertisements have exploded onto the scene. No longer just confined to the text message, today's mobile advertising looks sleeker and more integrated into mobile advertising systems.
While the popularity of mobile phone advertising has increased worldwide, no country has seen it rise like the United States. Recently, the U.S. eclipsed Japan for the number one ranking in mobile advertising spending. Mobile phone advertisements are now a multi-billion dollar business, and the U.S. leads the way in innovation and growth.
Does Mobile Phone Advertising Really Work?
One of the few things that all the biggest marketers agree on is that mobile advertising is both incredibly effective and incredibly underutilized by most of the market. People today spend hours on their smart phones, texting friends and browsing the mobile web. When they see mobile advertisements, they're up to 13 times more likely to click these ads than to click a similar advertisement on a desktop site.
Now, don't get too excited: some of the clicks on mobile phone advertising are mistake clicks. But even when you just take into account new business, mobile advertisements are substantially better at bringing a return on investment. Mobile phone advertising is undeniably the wave of the future—smartphone use hours have been more than doubling for the last several years—and the smartest law firms will start running mobile advertisements as soon as possible.
How is Mobile Advertising Different?
If you've ever advertised on the web before, you know how frustrating it can be to narrow down the keywords you want to advertise on, or find the right demographics. Trying to target your ads locally can be a huge hassle when you're using the web.
Mobile phone advertising changes all of that. Instead of advertising to people who have listed a particular city on Facebook (which may or may not be where they're located now), mobile advertising has the capability to only target people who are actually nearby. Do you want to limit your mobile advertisements to people within a mile of your office right now? Now you can, and that kind of targeting means your ads are only being seen by the consumers most likely to actually need your services.
When consumers see mobile phone advertising, you've also got them in a place where it's easy to make a phone call. Mobile advertising's fantastic rates of further action (like making phone calls to a law firm) are so high because smartphones make calling a number from a website so convenient.
Mobile Advertisements—The Do's and Don'ts
When you begin to work with mobile phone advertising for your law firm, you should know some basic principles to guide your mobile website and mobile advertising redesign:
Don't copy your existing website or advertising as your new mobile phone advertising, or try to duplicate the same experience as your website gives.
Do try to keep your brand image consistent and represent your firm personality in your mobile advertisements and traditional web advertising.
Don't be too wordy—studies show that you're better off using short sentences and paragraphs for mobile targeted sites and mobile advertisements.
Do give good information in as short a form as possible.
Don't run the same mobile advertisements for weeks in a row. Ad fatigue is real, and your ads will lose effectiveness over time.
Do have many different versions of your ad copy and images available so that you can change them frequently.
The state of mobile advertising changes quickly, so perhaps another “do” should be added to the list: do keep up to date on trends. Finding out what the next big thing in mobile advertising is before your competitor does can give your firm the edge it needs in today's competitive business world.
Types of Mobile Advertisements
Because today's smartphones offer a variety of ways to connect to other people, mobile advertisements have diversified into a huge number of forms. The humble SMS mobile ad has given way to mobile phone advertising that interacts and targets automatically.
In-app banner ads and other display ads give your firm a good way to use images and text. Because people today spend more time in apps than they do browsing the web on their smart phones, these ads are even more likely to generate results than ads that are dependent on search engine use.
A click to call ad can make a big difference in the number of clients your firm hears from due to your mobile phone advertising. These ads will look like part of a person's organic search engine results.
Twitter and Facebook both have great potential for mobile advertising from law firms, but most firms haven't yet started using these mobile advertisements. Because mobile phone advertising shows a great return on investment for Facebook and Twitter ad platforms, you should seriously consider adding these sites to your ad strategy if you do much B2C marketing.
Pandora and Groupon both give you the ability to choose hyper local targets. Pandora also lets you have video advertising, which has been repeatedly proven to be more effective for lawyers than text alone.