My previous article provided a snapshot of the current state of play of mobile, covering the latest industry statistics.

It not only reveal the technology’s present dominance in terms of usage, but also its expected growth over the next few years.

For brands looking to capitalise, there is far more to consider than having an optimised mobile presence or app. Mobile advertising continues to expand, offering a lucrative channel for marketing your business and generating a strong ROI.

Here, we look at each of the different mobile advertising options and explain their benefits for brands.

The Big Dilemma: where to invest in mobile advertising

There are many options for mobile marketing and advertising. Successful campaigns always start with a clear business goal or objective; the correct platforms can then be chosen and aligned to those goals.

There are some standard platforms which should always be considered:

  • Mobile Display ads appear on websites that are relevant to the product or service you are offering. They can be text, image, interactive, or video format. They're great for promoting your brand or a current campaign. Display Ads are extremely popular and according to research by IAB, in 2014 Mobile Display Ads topped Mobile Search and has seen the highest growth rate of all mobile ads at 88%,

  • Mobile Search ads are text ads which appear when a mobile user uses a search engine. They can also be extended with call, location, seller ratings, sitelinks, and addresses to further promote your business.

  • Mobile Shopping Listings show your product in the results when a user searches for that product name. These ads are great for retailers to improve their sales. With IMRG and Capgemini’s Quarterly Benchmark revealing that mobile now accounts for 40% of all online retail sales. 

  • Mobile video ads appear when a user searches on sites such as Again these are great for promoting your brand, product, or service. A study by Neilsen has shown that Native Video Ads can generate an 82% brand lift.

  •  Location/Geo-targeted mobile ads can be used to target users within a certain radius of a city or location. For example if you had two stores or branches, one in London and one in Manchester, you could target users only within a 25 mile radius of those cities.

  •  Click-to-call ads show a clickable business phone number, and are great for generating calls to your business from people who prefer to call a business than visit a website. For example if they had a very specific query that they know they wouldn't find on your website.

How to measure success

Calculating mobile ROI can be tricky, and it is one of the reasons many advertisers and agencies are unwilling to take mobile to its full potential. Issues like cross-device conversion, for example, where a customer might view an advert on an app but convert on a desktop have made it difficult to measure the success of campaigns. However there are many benchmarks that can provide an estimate, and allow a business to set clear campaign goals. For example, some companies will look to measure ‘reach’ using Impressions as a metric, and ‘resonance’ using click through rate as a metric.

Google has recently launched The Full Value of Mobile Calculator to help provide businesses with an estimate:

When to invest

Now is the perfect time to invest in mobile. The experimental stage, where vast budgets could be at risk, are over; solid marketing platforms are in place and average costs per click or impression are currently a lot cheaper than desktop options.

It is inevitable that, going forward, all businesses will have to invest significantly in mobile. Building your brand's mobile presence today will give you an advantage over your mobile sceptical competitors.

David is a Google Mobile Advertising-certified individual.