This article was originally published on Mashable.
With 17.4 percent of web traffic coming directly from mobile this year alone, a six percent uptick since 2012, it's no wonder that more and more companies are developing smart mobile advertising strategies to increase brand awareness.
To account for this push toward mobile, forecasts predict that for 2013, digital ad spending will eat up 22.7 percent of all ad spending. And those dollars aren't spent in vain, at least not for these four companies, each of which utilize mobile ad platforms to target their customers and expand their clientele. And with the arrival of Pinterest's Promoted Pins and Instagram Ads, small businesses will have more ways than ever to attract audiences.
Below, we outline how four businesses are using mobile advertising, and we discuss their effectiveness.
1. Rock/Creek—Optimizing Holiday Sales via Twitter
Rock/Creek, an outdoor gear and apparel company, was challenged with the task of standing out in the saturated holiday market—particularly around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Rock/Creek decided to use Twitter's Promoted Accounts in the month leading up to the hectic holiday season to increase awareness and engage followers who were interested in their products. In addition to using Promoted Tweets with its existing fan base, Rock/Creek also targeted tweets to attract new followers likely to be interested in Rock/Creek's content.
For the mobile Twitter user, which is 60 percent of Twitter's user base, Rock/Creek implemented a sense of urgency in tweets about sales—for instance, "4 days only"—to provide a special offer that someone could act on immediately.
During their campaign, Rock/Creek increased their followers by 172 percent over the prior month, and Google Analytics demonstrated a 40 percent increase in sales. Check out this case study for more details.
2. Karaoke Heroes—Getting Customers in the Door via Facebook
Karaoke Heroes, the only karaoke bar in the state of Connecticut and the only superhero karaoke bar in the U.S., needed to get word out about their opening back in 2012. Without a prominent storefront, the bar turned to Facebook Ads to reach its target audience.
"Facebook let us make the most out of our advertising dollar by making sure we only spent money on people we think are likely to be interested," says founder Andrew Lebwohl.
And the hyper-targeted ads, which alerted mobile users to events near them and allow them to find the bar despite the out-of-sight storefront, worked. When Karaoke Heroes opened, three-quarters of new customers said they had found out about the bar through Facebook advertising.
"As word of mouth has grown, that has dropped to about half, but the value hasn't changed—Facebook ads bring bodies in our door," says Lebwohl. "From being deep in the red when we opened, we're now solidly and consistently in the black, and about 2/3 of that is from customers who found us through Facebook."
3. Colombo & Hurd—Improving Customer Service via Google AdWords
Florida law firm Colombo & Hurd wanted to get more people into its office for a consultation—but with one caveat: They wanted to get calls when the office was actually open, so a lawyer would be available to screen potential clients. With an enhanced AdWords campaign, the firm was able to put together a new strategy in 30 minutes and increase mobile conversions by 3x.
Their Google AdWords strategy used dayparting to optimize its dollars during times when the office was open, which enabled more quality customers to make appointments. Since the firm's focus was mobile, the firm was able to add "Call Now" to ads appearing on mobile phones—so an ad click turned into a phone call. This also helped them to quantify the value of their ads.
4. Just Salad—Geotargeting via Foursquare
Just Salad, a salad chain in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore, is one of the first businesses using the new Foursquare ads, which lets businesses sponsor listings in the app's Explore tab. While the chain is in the early stages of its campaign and hasn't put much money into the ads yet, Just Salad Managing Partner Nick Kenner says "the price points to run campaigns are attractive to us—we can test the platform or specific campaigns with a financial commitment that isn't cost-prohibitive." Because Foursquare Ads only charge a business when a customer takes an action after seeing the ad, you can better quantify ROI.
Since Foursquare is all about location, Kenner says the product helps Just Salad geotarget around certain outposts, a huge advantage over other marketing options. Because Foursquare Ads are relatively new, Kenner says it's too early to determine how effective the ads are, though his team tracks to how many check-ins the ads generate. He says Foursquare has been proactive in providing insights into the campaign's progress, including action rates and cost per action.
Just Salad does limited advertising, but it seems it's found a winner with Foursquare's model. "We also like how non-invasive the ads are in the app, as well," says Kenner.
Does your company use a mobile advertising platform we didn't mention? Tell us about your experience in the comments.
Photos from top: Shutterstock, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Foursquare