mobile ads q4 header

How to become an expert running MOBILE ads in Q4 2020

1079 752 Magdalena Kukułka

The ever-growing adoption of mobile devices gave rise to new ways of digital advertising, which quickly became a huge source of income for the affiliate marketing industry. Among all the targetable devices, it’s mobile advertising that seems to be the most profitable. 

Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate advertiser, there’s no way that you haven’t already dipped your toes in mobile ads. And because of all that potential, the Q4 shopping craze will rely heavily on mobile advertising, including both smartphone and tablet devices.

If you want to become an expert running mobile ads in Q4 2020, read the article below and learn how to fine-tune your mobile advertising campaigns!

Mobile advertising vs. desktop advertising

Before we get into trends and optimization tips, it’s essential to understand the key differences between mobile and desktop advertising. Despite being seemingly alike, both means have a rather distinct user orientation and functionality. Here’s what’s different.

User reachability

Both desktop and mobile devices get their fair share of screen time on a daily basis. However, it is mobile devices that we have on us basically 24/7. Browsing social media while taking a short break from work, doing a quick fact check before a meeting, or googling that funny photo you saw to show your colleagues. All these tasks are almost always done using our phones, without the hassle of booting up the computer. 

That’s why mobile advertising tends to perform well all day round. Wherever we are, whatever we do, our phones are with us and they are ready to entertain. Overall, mobile targeting does mean higher user reachability than desktop targeting. 

Device purpose

Another thing worth taking into consideration is what people use mobiles for. The short answer would be for everything. If we delve into details, though, some purposes are prevalent. 

Since we have our phones on us all the time, most of the smaller tasks can be easily done at any time of the day. On the other hand, if we’re planning a big online shopping spree, or trying to research a complicated subject, it’s quite likely we’ll use a computer. Serious business requires a comfortable, businesslike space.

So, while advertising nutra, finance, and learning opportunities on desktop give you a higher chance of tapping into the currently trending demand, advertising games and apps for mobile devices (via the push format or pop ads) is the perfect move, too. It’s about choosing the right channel of communication for the right product. 

Of course, nothing has been the same since the pandemic had started, so double-checking the latest stats and facts would be recommended. Luckily for affiliate marketers, the results of the lockdown have been positive for mobile marketing. Not only did mobile usage increase, but the mobile e-commerce spend during COVID-19 also surpassed what could be usually observed during the holiday shopping season. 

In June 2020 in the US, total weekly sessions in shopping apps were up 25% compared to Q1 2020 and up 10% compared to Q4 2019 and its seasonal spending.

Seems like shopping apps and e-commerce might just be the right thing to promote!

Audience size

The mobile advertising audience exceeded the desktop audience already in 2016. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, that the mobile user base keeps growing and will continue to do so. And what comes with that development, is also an ever-increasing target audience. 

Not only do mobile users offer a huge audience, but they also present unique and granular targeting opportunities. OSes, OS versions, and different mobile carriers allow for more accurate targeting. This opens a lot of opportunities. You can, for example, advertise a very specific offer or an affiliate program that’s restricted to one particular carrier. 

Additionally, we could say that mobile audience size is made up of many small audiences. Targeting above mentioned small chunks of traffic makes optimization easier and more precise.  

Audience engagement

Lastly, there is a significant difference between mobile and desktop user engagement. While CTR on mobile devices (including tablets) is significantly higher than desktop, there is also a higher bounce rate. 

Yes, mobile devices are always on hand and people are eager to click on whatever catches their eye. But, this is exactly why despite clicking on your ad (especially if it’s a push notification), the user might quickly change their mind or get distracted and move on to doing something else. 

The low popularity of mobile ad blockers plays to your advantage, however, loading speed and landing page optimization is more important than ever. Overall, users are highly likely to engage with your affiliate ads on mobile devices, but it’s not as easy to keep them in the funnel. If there’s anything that puts them off before they become invested in your ad, you’ll lose a conversion.

Mobile advertising holds great potential. However, unlike desktop ads, high CTR isn’t always desirable. People clicking on your mobile-friendly ads and dropping out of your funnel shortly after may indicate that the ad creative is good, but the landing page just doesn’t live up to the clicker’s expectations. That, in turn, leads to creative fatigue and a struggling campaign.

Remember that it’s just as easy to get a click as it is to lose engagement, so your mobile campaigns might require more optimization. 

perks of mobile advertising

What to advertise on mobile in Q4?

In order to make the most of that shopping season, you need to prepare for running all kinds of campaigns. It’s highly advisable to split desktop traffic and mobile traffic into separate campaigns. Despite their similarities, the cost of mobile vs. desktop traffic usually differs enough to perform best at completely different bids.

In general, mobile advertising follows regular Q4 trends with minor adjustments. If you want to read up on the end of year predictions, you should check out this article with all the insights you need to advertise in Q4 2020. Now, back to the best vertical choices.


October, November, and December are filled to the brim when it comes to all kinds of shopping events. Despite the questionable economic situation and the pandemic that doesn’t seem to be ready to disappear just yet, the online shopping industry is truly seeing it’s best year. 

E-commerce is just the right vertical for this season. People are ready to spend money and they are actively looking for the best deals and gift ideas. This is exactly the right time to give online shopping offers a try. With social distancing still in place, purchasing products along with the gift wrapping service and sending them straight to the designated recipient’s door is a great way of honoring the gift-giving tradition.

There are also smaller verticals that aid the e-commerce craze, like sweepstakes and vouchers. Remember that the e-commerce vertical, despite being the most likely to earn money around this time of a year, is not for everyone. Beginners don’t have to throw themselves in at the deep end. They can start small and offer users a chance to win gifts or vouchers instead.


With Christmas break coming up and people still working or studying in home-office mode, entertainment apps have already seen a rise in popularity. Instead of taking a coffee break with coworkers, it’s much easier to open an app, plan groceries, beat a few game levels, or check what your friends are up to on social media. 

Games, learning through fun, organization, working out… there’s an app for everything and Q4 is all about filling your phone with things that help you forget that the outside world is still in a bit of a crisis. The push format might be the ideal means to an end. 

Let’s not forget the hit of every year’s fourth quarter – shopping apps. Not quite e-commerce, but just like sweepstakes and voucher offers, they are riding on the shopping craze wave. App shops are bound to be hot, too!


The holiday spirit fills people with all kinds of ideas. The cheerful atmosphere and the joy of gift-giving (and receiving) can certainly make people believe they can do just about anything. For example, win a lot of money while gambling. 

Gambling has been especially popular since the appearance of COVID-19. Having our phone on us all the time, we tend to engage in more or less compelling activities. Some people do it because they’re bored, and some because they could use some extra cash. 

Either way, gambling does work great on mobile. If you tune into the Christmas spirit and offer the wonderful possibility of suddenly having a much bigger shopping budget, you are bound to attract plenty of hopeful gambling enthusiasts.  


Despite the social distancing rules, or perhaps because of them, online dating is a good vertical to promote in Q4 2020. Although dating is usually associated with meeting people in real life, the online branch is not at all less popular. 

Lockdowns, restrictions, and clear directives on avoiding social interactions, all make people feel lonely and isolated. And what brings joy to big families but saddens people who live alone? 

That’s right, it’s the Holiday season. 

St. Nicholas Day, Christmas Holidays, and New Year’s Eve are all inherently family holidays. Whether it’s blood relatives or friends that you’ve known for so long that they’re basically family, December is the time when people tend to get together. And those that aren’t so lucky in the family department set out to look for love and connections. 

As an affiliate marketer, you can make use of the holiday spirit, and attract clicks with the promise of companionship. 

best verticals for mobile advertising

How to advertise on mobile in Q4?

Mobile optimization isn’t all that different from desktop traffic optimization. You should still research your offers, choose a couple of similar ones to test against each other, then research creatives and run your campaign for a couple of days without optimization before analyzing the data. But here are some points that are especially important in running mobile ads:

  • Make sure your landers are mobile optimized!

Nobody wants to see a landing page that clearly isn’t adjusted to fit the mobile screen. Scrolling sideways to read the text? Letters too small to be easily seen? CTA button somewhere deep down where nobody can find it? Well, that’s just not going to work.

Your landing pages need to look professional and display correctly. Especially that you need to fight that high bounce rate and if your page doesn’t load fast enough, that conversion is certainly gone. User experience counts. A lot.

  • Make use of the granular targeting.

Mobile traffic offers more targeting options than desktop traffic. This is something that you can use to your advantage. You can choose offers restricted to carrier or WI-FI traffic only, or you can target one particular chunk of traffic with a very personalized offer. There are a lot of possibilities and you should not be afraid to cut down on traffic, especially on older OS versions (which tend to have a lower success rate).

  • Adjust your bids according to the performance. 

While this is a rather universal tip that tends to work well for any ad format, it is also important enough to mention it as often as possible. Watch your win ratio and bid up on the sources and targets with unsatisfactory results and a low win ratio. They have a much bigger potential if you just let in some more traffic. On the other hand, if your win ratio is near 100%, you can slowly bid down while rationing the results.

  • Make your ads in tune with the holiday spirit.

Holidays are an exciting time and all of these positive feelings can be transferred into incentivizing people to click on your ads. Whether we’re talking about Black Friday or later, Christmas oriented holidays, it’s best to fine-tune your creatives to match the occasion. It’s one thing to write a good ad copy but another to frame it so well that users just feel the need to click it. The holiday spirit is all around so make sure you don’t stick out!

  • Create eye-catching creatives and landers.

Once again, this is an exciting season and everyone is looking out for those sweet deals and holiday promotions. You shouldn’t only focus on lander optimization and a matching funnel, you should also think about catching users’ attention. Make it colorful and festive and trigger that fear of missing out. Spinning wheel lander? Add some festive lights. App download? Mention how useful it’s gonna be during the holiday season. Just do everything in your power to attract the holiday crazed, bargain-hunting consumers.


Becoming an expert in running mobile ads isn’t at all difficult. If you have some affiliate marketing experience, all you need to do is read up on mobile-oriented tips and tricks, and you’ll be ready to go.

Remember to optimize your landing pages, watch out for creative fatigue, and make the most of the granular targeting. Mobile traffic, just like its desktop counterpart, needs testing and data-based optimization. Spice up your creatives with seasonal trends and sprinkle some festivity on top. 

All done? Then you’re ready to take the mobile market by storm.


Make the most of the Q4 shopping craze.
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