The Relationship Between Phone Usage And Display Ads

The other day I met a friend at a café after work (seems a little strange that we can do that again, doesn’t it?) and among other things, we discussed how much time we spent on our phone over the past year. I told her how tired I was of watching Instagram Reels every day and how much time I inevitably end up wasting on them. The response I then received from her went something like, ‘You think you’re wasting time on your phone? The other day I checked my screen time and it turned out to be 10 hours!’

10 hours. She spent 10 precious hours of her day staring at a screen soaking up what great entertainment social media had to offer (hint: cat videos). My friend may have thrown away a perfectly good Sunday and felt guilty about it, but not all parties involved in her mistake had reason to feel guilty. On the contrary, one party would have every reason to wish the average phone user shares their screen time stats with my friend. This party, of course, is the companies that advertise on social media.

Now, 10 hours may be an exaggeration. Reliable studies over the years have shown that the average adult spends between 2 and 4 hours on their phone every day. This is more than enough time for companies to run their Display Ads or Video Ads past viewers and hope that they make an impact. Moreover, the introduction of smartphone apps for shopping has changed the game forever.

Think about the amount of time it takes for a social media user to view an ad for a product, switch over to the app to check pricing options, add to cart, complete the payment, and receive an order confirmation. It could be a few minutes or if you have a user that’s convinced your product is great – a few seconds. Now, think about the amount of time it takes for the average shopper to shower, get dressed, drive to a store, browse through products, and complete a purchase. Definitely more than just a few minutes, wouldn’t you say?

The ease with which phone users can make purchases online is what drives conversion rates for brands that choose to run Display Ads by them. In the U.S. alone, over two-thirds of all phone users have shopping apps downloaded. This only goes to show that these users are more than a little interested in making purchases online, purchases that are prompted by the appearance of Display Ads.

The pandemic and quarantine rules around the world last year forced us all to stay indoors and spend more time on our phones than we had before. We became dependent on our phones for the simplest things (who knew we’d have to order groceries online?) which only benefitted online businesses and platforms that feature ads for such businesses.

However, the time a viewer spends online doesn’t mean all that much if your Display Ads have nothing meaningful to convey. Remember, the average phone user may spend hours on their phone but you only get seconds of their time. Therefore, if your ads don’t stand out from the rest and don’t include a convincing call to action, you can’t expect potential customers to favor your brand over others.

Besides, you’ll need to consider that the more time a person spends on their phone, the more likely they are to experience Ad Fatigue and Banner Blindness. These conditions are caused by overexposure to media and entail growing so tired of viewing ads that you automatically ignore what they’re trying to convey. Assuming that most people who use their phones experience these conditions, it becomes all the more important for you to design your ads in a way that makes them effective.

According to reliable statistics, over 50% of all internet users between the ages of 16 and 34 use their phones to purchase products online. This is a promising stat for companies looking to increase their click-through rate, but it’s not enough. With competing brands and the best marketing minds at play here, you’ll need to bring your A-game too. How, you ask? Hire a PPC expert, I answer.

These professionals are more than just familiar with the nuances of Digital Marketing, they know how to work these to their (your) advantage. A PPC specialist will design visual and written content for you in a way that increases your brand visibility online and makes your Display Ads show up on the right platforms at the right time. If you’re hesitant about entrusting your Digital Ad Campaign to one person, you could consider hiring a marketing agency instead. These agencies have various PPC experts working for them that have different areas of expertise, allowing them to craft you an effective marketing campaign.

The skills of a PPC expert combined with Google’s algorithm that shows your ads to a target audience can make a formidable team. A team that could spin sales from mere screen time statistics: which is what every company wants from Digital Marketing after all. Speaking of statistics, here’s another one for you: longer ads perform better with older users and shorter ads with younger ones. You wouldn’t be wrong in assuming that younger audiences spend more time on their phones. Therefore, the magic spell here seems to involve creating shorter ads to target younger users if you think your product/service will appeal to them.

This way you could run more ads by them when they’re using the internet rather than showing them one long ad per day. Then again, maybe magic spells only exist at Hogwarts and you’d be better off trusting your Display Ads to the wizards (PPC experts).

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