As 2016 winds down and the new year draws closer, it’s time to look at what the next twelve months could mean for mobile publishers. This year saw mobile grab an even larger portion of the digital advertising pie, and it appears that the trajectory will continue into 2017. As the numbers rise, there are other changes that will reshape the way mobile advertisers attack marketing to reach the mobile crowd. For example, Google has already started transitioning to a mobile-first search index, and starting in January it will begin to penalize intrusive interstitial advertisements. With year-end forecasts being released, now is a good time to make a plan for the future.
One of those forward-looking studies is MAGNA’s quarterly Global Advertising Forecast. The Winter Update was released earlier this month, and provided some interesting insights. Looking at digital advertising as a whole, ad sales are expected to rise by 17 percent next year. The great news for publishers taking advantage of mobile is that mobile ad sales are the sole reason for that rise. Desktop ad sales plateaued in 2016, and are expected to start declining, while mobile continues to flourish, and is projected to account for 52 percent of digital ad sales by the end of 2017. Mobile ad sales are set to increase in both the short-term and long-term, reaching $215 billion by 2021, and 72 percent of total digital ad sales.
Another study from ZenithOptimedia predicts that digital ad spending will leave television behind in 2017, with mobile becoming the biggest driver behind the growth. These studies present a transition from mobile as a future possibility, to mobile as a current reality. In 2017, as digital becomes the reigning advertising platform, mobile will take the biggest piece of the digital advertising pie.
With those numbers in mind, let’s take a look at the tools available today for taking advantage of mobile’s growth.
Programmatic will grow 31 percent in 2017, according to Zenith’s Programmatic Marketing Forecasts, and account for 58 percent of display ad expenses. This trend isn’t necessarily breaking news, but a continuation of an important mobile advertising strategy. Programmatic advertising through real-time bidding creates a streamlined, efficient way to supply ads for your publication. For example, Marfeel’s fully automated Supply-Side Platform provides a programmatic buying solution that can improve publisher monetization by 200 to 300 percent.
Video continues to be a great option for reaching your audience. In fact, four times as many consumers would rather watch video content than read text content. In 2016, video campaigns had the highest click-through rate of all digital ad formats. The numbers bear out that video is an increasingly effective way to reach your audience, and will only become more a more effective options for publishers going forward.
App-Like Mobile Web Pages
Tools like Android Instant Apps and Progressive Web Apps, along with content distribution platforms like Google AMP and Facebook Instant Articles, have continued to blur the line between apps and websites. Going forward, it’s becoming increasingly important to have a web page that feels like an app. App downloads have slowed significantly, with the average American downloading zero per month. Users are increasingly skipping the step of downloading an app and going straight to a publisher’s website, amplifying the importance of an optimized, well-built mobile web page. If you have a pristine app, but a slow, inefficient mobile site, 2017 is the time to change that.
Mobile advertising has been proclaimed the next big thing for years; it registered its first major impact back in 2011. But 2017 will be different. For the first time, mobile will no longer be a part of the solution—it will be the solution. With mobile surpassing desktop and digital surpassing TV, mobile is no longer an option to consider, but the main platform publishers must leverage to reach their intended audiences.