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mobile_advertising_mistakesToday, mobile advertising may be the ultimate way to ensure that you build traffic and create leads online. A few years ago, we'd never even heard of digital tablets, and a few more years before that, nobody even had a smartphone. In simple terms, absolutely everyone is new to the concept of mobile advertising - but that doesn’t mean that it's any less important. Over the past few years, companies both big and small have made a habit of falling into the same old blunders when trying to make their mobile advertising strategies work. It's no surprise that we're still working out the kinks in these early stages, but if you want to save some time and money, then you may benefit from learning where you're most likely to hit your first hurdles. Following are the five most common mobile advertising mistakes people make today - and how you can avoid them.

Blunder 1: Failing To Plan Properly

The first mistake that you might make when it comes to mobile advertising, is failing to establish clear and actionable goals for what you're hoping to achieve. It's impossible to figure out whether you've achieved success from your advertising campaign when you haven't defined success in the first place. Planning a mobile marketing strategy requires time, effort, and dedication - but the first thing you need to figure out is what your desired outcome is going to be. Your goals should be smart, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-bound.

Once you've got an idea of what you want to accomplish through mobile advertising, you will be able to start designing a creative that adheres to those goals. Often, in mobile marketing, you'll only have a very small space, and an even smaller amount of time in which you can convince your viewer to take action. This means that your creative needs to be engaging, empowering, and efficient.

Blunder 2: Not Defining Your Target Audience

Defining your target audience and learning how to communicate with them is one of the most essential parts of any marketing campaign. Advertising only works well if you know exactly who you want to reach, and what they respond well to. The more research that you do about your ideal audience, the more capable you will be of customizing your message according to the correct targeting parameters. Try to ensure that the selections you make for your parameters don’t contradict each other - for instance, if you want to connect with Android and iPhone users, then you'll need to make sure that you have two separate campaigns that work accordingly.

Blunder 3: Having No Way to Measure Performance

With so much color and media to choose from, it's easy to get carried away in the aesthetics of it all when you first start your mobile advertising campaign. However, like many forms of digital marketing, you'll only start to see the true advantages of your chosen strategy when you discover ways of measuring the metrics most crucial to you. The initial stage of planning your marketing strategy should have given you a goal to work towards, and should be able to gather information that lets you know whether or not you're getting closer to achieving success. If you're looking for a particular number of app downloads, or a specific click through rate, you'll generally find that there's plenty of dashboard applications out there that offer campaign performance data. Just as Google analytics exist for your desktop websites, there's plenty of ways to check out the way that your campaign is working on a mobile level.

Blunder 4: Ignoring User Privacy Concerns

Today, perhaps more than ever before, users throughout the world are concerned with keeping their personal information private. Few devices are more personal than a cell phone, and your advertising techniques should work to make your customers feel as safe and secure as possible when accessing your website, making purchases, or clicking on links. Make sure that you always follow the industry regulations on mobile marketing best practices, and you'll be one step closer to gaining crucial consumer trust. This means asking your customers' permission before you record their personal information to improve your target messages, and publishing a link to your privacy policy on all advertisements and websites.

Blunder 5: Not Giving Yourself Enough Time

Those new to mobile advertising will typically test the water for their campaign by trying out for a short time using a small budget. Although this is a useful strategy, it's important to ensure that you give your marketing campaign a big enough budget, and enough time to start seeing results. You shouldn't expect to see a massive turn around in traffic and conversions a day or two after your campaign has started. Instead, be realistic about your goals and remember that often, advertising of any kind will take some time to be effective.

Topics: Mobile Advertising, Mobile Marketing, Mobile App, Mobile, Smartphones, Mobile Video Advertising

Tim Nichols

Written by Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols is a founding partner at ExactDrive, a digital media buying agency with white label, reseller and managed service options available. ExactDrive plans, manages, and optimizes online advertising campaigns with the objective of delivering measurable value and empowering clients to find precisely targeted audiences. ExactDrive has offices in Minneapolis, MN and Milwaukee, WI.

Tim Nichols is also a contributing author on Forbes.com.