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Optimisation | 06 min read

7 ways to increase mobile display advertising performance

Optimising display advertising for mobile is one of the cornerstones of of increasing advertising performance. In fact, we believe its essential teams can produce engaging and creative display ads from the smallest screen to the very largest.

With that in mind, this article is designed to help marketers such as yourselves create brilliant mobile display ads that convert and provide return-on-investment (ROI).
In this article we will cover:

  • What is mobile display advertising?
  • What are the key trends for improving display advertising performance?
  1. Create your display advertising mobile-first
  2. Cater to shifting consumer behaviours
  3. Stay relevant to your customers
  • How do you create mobile display ads that perform?
  1. Incorporate the use of video into mobile ads
  2. Include data feeds and dynamic content
  3. Branch out from the main sizes on mobile
  4. Use a form of creative automation
  • Conclusion

 What is mobile display advertising?

In today’s day and age, making the distinction between mobile and desktop advertising seems a little ludicrous. Every marketer worth their salt knows mobile is the future! And for the savvy display marketer, getting your mobile strategy right is key to success.

So, before we dive into the strategies for success, let’s clarify for everyone here exactly what mobile display advertising is. Mobile display advertising is the bread and butter of display advertising. With consumers spending more and more time on their mobile and smart devices – the age of desktop domination is over. In fact, mobile is now overtaking its traditional desktop counterpart. In 2020, 54.7% of marketing was served on mobile devices and mobile ad spend exceeded $199 million worldwide.

Mobile ad formats for display advertising usually fit somewhere between 320×50, larger ad formats 300×250 and full-screen interstitials of 320×480. Due to their smaller format and limited share of screen space, mobile banner ads have to optimise on copy, design and innovation. Getting the balance right between all of this can be tricky, which is why we have created the ultimate guide to mobile display advertising.

 What are the key trends for improving display advertising performance?

Of course, a nice balance between your call-to-action and your background image isn’t necessarily enough in today’s competitive marketplace. The average consumer will be served over 1,700 ads per month, but will likely only notice half that number. It’s not enough to make ok ads anymore! Your ads need to be innovative, engaging and adaptive to suit your ideal consumer’s context, especially if you want to stand out from the crowd.

To do this, there are some key trends your marketing should pay attention to when creating your mobile display ad strategy:

1. Create your ads mobile-first

June 2020 saw a new Bannerflow record for numbers of ads served to mobile devices at 58.2% over their desktop and tablet counterparts. Now more than ever, it’s important to design your mobile banner first. And then scale-out campaigns to larger desktop and tablet sizes. This will ensure that your ads on mobile look as good as possible for your predominantly mobile audience.

2. Cater to shifting consumer behaviours

The onset of the global pandemic has brought about seismic shifts in the ways consumers interact both socially and with their digital devices! Individuals at any one time might be engaging with their computer, TV, mobile phone and smart speaker – all at once! In fact, according to the IAB, 87% of consumers said they found themselves consuming more online media compared to pre-lockdown levels.

Therefore, it’s not enough to simply talk about omni channel marketing. Today brands need to be engaging consumers and making digital connections across some – if not all – of these devices. For instance, a user browsing on desktop could be retargeted on their mobile with abandoned check out items, while sale announcements play over Spotify and on TV. The possibilities are endless!

3. Stay relevant to your customers

The e-commerce and iGaming industries are a perfect example of how mobile display advertising can play a part in your personalisation strategy. In 2019, Bannerflow found that iGaming used personalisation in 21% of their banners whereas e-commerce used it in 11% of theirs.

The ability to tailor your ads with special offers, live odds, retargeting from abandoned check out items – all of these tactics can be used across industries to elevate your mobile advertising strategy!

How do you create mobile campaigns that perform?

You would be forgiven for thinking that creating mobile display advertising that performs is difficult! However, the simple truth is that there are a few simple tricks to producing effective display advertising. The reality is, that most advertisers just don’t use them!

At Bannerflow, we see the banners that perform better usually have one or more of these characteristics:

1. Incorporate the use of video into mobile ads

The banners that really capture the attention of your audience are those that include either an animated element or some form of video. In our best-performing banners, the majority of those we see include video.

Georg Jensen is particularly good at highlighting their jewellery on the smallest screens using video. In fact, when filming on set they even reduce the frame to make sure that first and foremost, their videos look good on mobile.

2. Include data feeds and dynamic content

Dynamic content is another tactic in which you can boost display advertising performance and stand out from the crowd. By adding this type of element, you add contextual relevance that is sorely needed in many of the display ads of today.

This can come in many forms, whether that’s in the use of live feeds to display current sale items or stock market conditions. The possibilities of dynamic ads are endless if you have the right tool.

More advanced banners, make use of dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) techniques. These ads have tailored creative and messaging for each consumer depending on what stage of the sales funnel they’re at. Whichever method you choose, know that click-through rate (CTR) will improve by as much as 8% if you do!

To learn more about data feeds and other forms of dynamic content, check out our blog here.

3. Branch out from the main sizes on mobile

Just because it’s on a smaller screen doesn’t mean that mobile advertising has to stick to just one size! In fact, from an ROI perspective, it’s better to experiment a little with the sizes you produce for mobile. The chances are, that some of the more unusual sizes will come in at a lower price point for your media buying team.

According to the latest Bannerflow data, the most popular sizes, and the ones dominating 52.2% of all ad spend were the mobile sizes – reinforcing the idea that mobile is the future of display advertising.

4. Use a form of creative automation

Manually building all the sizes you need for your display advertising campaigns – across thousands of publishers – will send your designer into despair. These days, most marketers will use some form of creative automation to easily scale those designs.

There are a number of solutions out there, but make sure the platform you use has the ability to scale from mobile-first. Indeed, the smartest creative management platforms (CMPs) do this automatically. How? By using machine learning to optimise each design for individual sizes – alongside a whole host of incredibly useful features!

Watch the Three case study for more information on how the Bannerflow creative management platform can help enterprise marketing teams increase display advertising performance.


The technology exists for your team to create truly exceptional display advertising! Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you’re limited on space that your ads are limited on performance.

Mobile display advertising that performs isn’t that difficult to accomplish. Using the right tactics and the right tools, you can have creative ads for the smallest screens easily. To learn more about how a creative management platform can improve your mobile display advertising, sign up for a demo today.

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