Should unions invest (more) in mobile advertising?

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Smart phones in Industrialised nations are becoming ubiquitous, not only when people are “on the go” but as secondary screens when viewing television or consuming other media (like the radio or reading newspapers).

This multiscreen behaviour not only means that unions should urgently ensure their websites are mobile and tablet friendly, but new research from Google suggests that mobile-optimised ads can contribute to organic growth in views and clicks. This is especially important for union digital and social media campaigns.

The research, titled “Incremental Clicks Impact of Mobile Search Advertising“, by Google’s Shaun Lysen, suggests that up to 89% of visits to a site are “incremental to clicks on organic results on average”. This means that the visits would not have occurred without the mobile ad campaigns.

Here’s the model for Incremental Ad Clicks (IAC):

(A) An advertiser spends $1,000 a month and receives 400 organic and 300 paid clicks a month.

(B) Subsequently, they cut their ad spend to $0 and find there are 500 organic clicks a month and 0 paid clicks a month.

Under (A), there are 200 incremental clicks, thereby giving an IAC of (700-500)/(300-0) =66.7%.

The take away for this for unions is to not rely simply on “organic” clicks — that is, it is not enough to just put your campaign website out there and wait for people to visit it. Unions must seriously develop their digital mobile plans and budgets to include advertising.

Whether this is social or mobile, the targeting that ads allow means unions can send specific messages based on a user’s location, device, the time of day and other important context signals.