How to Grab and Hold Consumer Attention with Mobile Ads

BY Rachel Cagle
Featured image for “How to Grab and Hold Consumer Attention with Mobile Ads”

Do you know how to grab your client’s target audience’s attention with an ad and then hold it until the message is received? With digital environments becoming increasingly congested, consumer attention is an invaluable currency yet many marketers are unsure how to steadily acquire it. Yahoo recently teamed up with OMD Worldwide and Amplified Intelligence to create an infographic cheat sheet for grabbing and holding consumer attention when using mobile ads.

How to Grab and Hold Consumer Attention with Mobile Ads

Viewability vs. Attention

First of all, Yahoo wants you to know that ad viewability and consumer attention are NOT the same thing.

  • Viewability: “How the ad is loaded on the screen to the viewer. (Device driven)”
  • Attention: “How the viewer responds to the ad presented on the screen. (Human driven)”

Basically, “Just because a consumer views something, doesn’t mean they pay attention.” For example, Yahoo reports that, even though 53% of mobile ad formats meet viewability standards, consumers only pay attention to those ads for between zero and one second. If your stomach dropped reading that finding, you’re not alone. So, what do you need to do in order to both grab and hold consumer attention?

How to Grab and Hold Consumer Attention

Create High-​Impact Ads

Yahoo reports that interscroller ad formats hold consumer attention for the longest amount of time among mobile ad types:

  • Interscroller: 3.3 seconds
  • Video interscroller: 3 seconds
  • Native video: 2.8 seconds
  • Pre-​Roll video: 2.4 seconds
  • Native image: 1.5 seconds
  • 320x50/​ mobile banner: 0.6 seconds

Interscroller ads are “ads that reveal the content as the reader scrolls down,” says Yahoo. At three seconds and above, they lead the pack in both video and non-​video formats. So, they definitely have the highest impact on consumer attention.

But you’ll also notice that three types of videos are also in the top four: Video interscroller, native video and pre-​roll video. After that, consumer attention dramatically drops by almost a full, valuable second.

So, your client should definitely consider adding interscroller and a variety of video ads to their mobile ad strategy.

Make Your Client’s Video Ads Short

With so much content to absorb in the digital world, consumers aren’t scrolling as slowly as they used to. They want to absorb as much as they can in a short amount of time, even the content they find useful. So, if you want your client’s video ads to catch and hold consumer attention, they need to be short. According to Yahoo, 15-​second video ads are the most effective, holding consumer attention for an average of 3.3 seconds. 30-​second ads only hold attention for 1.2 seconds. The shorter you can make your client’s video ads, the more information your client’s target audience will absorb from them.

Big Ads Stick Out

Your client’s target audience is scrolling through a sea of information, and the little ads are going to get lost along the way. In order for your client’s mobile ads to catch consumer attention, they need to be big. According to Yahoo, the more of the screen your client’s mobile ad covers, the more attention they’ll get from consumers:

  • 80% screen cover = 6.6‑second average of active attention
  • 70% = 4.3 seconds
  • 60% = 3.7 seconds
  • 50% = 3.2 seconds
  • 40% = 3.1 seconds
  • 30% = 2.6 seconds

And you just don’t want to go below 30%.

Bigger = better applies to all sorts of mobile ads, including interscroller and video ads.

What Types of Ads Work Best on Your Client’s Target Audience?

So, interscroller and video ads are definitely on your list of mobile ad types to pitch to your clients. But should there be more your client should consider? Check out your client’s target audience’s profile on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel to find out.

Photo by Kev Costello