What are click-to-call ads?
Digital advertising comes in many varieties and one of your choices as a marketer is the click-to-call ad, the dominant ad format for mobile search.
Click-to-call ads are a direct result of the massive adoption of mobile phones in the last decade. Initially, phone numbers were added to the websites of local brick-and-mortar stores or found in online directories. As consumer acceptance of mobile advertising took off, new ad formats evolved to keep pace with the demands of consumers on mobile devices.
The benefit of this ad type is simple for the consumer. When they are searching for a business or service on their mobile phone, they can click a call number directly from a search result. The consumer never needs to click-through to a website or search around for the right number.
Who should use click-to-call ads?
These ads make sense for businesses who rely on phone calls for revenue. Typically, these businesses are in industries with high-margin products or big-ticket price tags. For instance, a customer may research autos or travel packages online, but they are likely to make a phone call to inquire if a particular car is in stock before visiting the showroom, or they may want to modify a travel package to better fit their needs. These customers are already searching online. By using this ad type, a business makes it easy for the customer to take the next step in the purchase process. Other industries such as home services, insurance, cable and satellite, and wireless telecom can also benefit.
While marketers typically think of ads in terms of new business for sales teams, customer service departments should partner with paid media teams to make sure customers can contact the business in the most user-friendly way possible.
Finally, any business spending a portion of their marketing budget on paid search needs to consider call extensions in their ads. You can drive more conversions, decrease acquisition costs, and capture business away from your competitors.
Click-to-call ad options come in several varieties and are driven by keyword searches:
Display ad linked to a mobile landing page with a click-to-call option
Display ads may not contain a phone number, but when clicked they link to a mobile landing page where the next action is click to call.
Similar to paid search where the bidding is on keywords, in the case of call-only ads, the bidding is for clicks to call rather than for clicks to a website. The call-only ad appears when the keyword or phrase is searched, and the customer clicks the ad to call the advertiser.
Call extensions are phone numbers added to text ads that provide the option to click to call.