Desktop or mobile: what should I choose for my native advertising campaigns?

On 12/04/2017 by Araceli Almada

While desktop is losing ground against mobile, both satisfy specific and different needs for consumers. It is important to precisely understand these differences before choosing which device to choose before launching a native advertising campaign. 

Before making a choice, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Who is my target?

The first thing you need to have clear is who you want to address your message to. Who is at the other side of the device? For example mobile devices, smartphones in particular, are the preferred choice for Generation Y. Both in terms of ownership and of use. Basically, the younger your target audience is the more receptive they will be towards content marketing and native ads, especially those between 18 and 34 according to a study conducted for twitter.


Gender bias affects internet use as well, especially when talking about online shopping. Women are still more likely than men to purchase online through desktop; it is the opposite for mobile devices, women a more reluctant than men to use it for online shopping.

This brings us to the next question: motivation and internet usage.

2. What does my target audience want to do?

Mobile and desktop fulfill different needs. We don’t use them the same way nor for the same purpose. While desktops are preferred for browsing thanks to the comfort of the larger screen (and for online purchases as we stated earlier), mobile devices are mostly used when the user has something specific in mind. It could be either a quick search or a pre-purchase research when searching for information about a product and comparing it to others. Therefore, mobile devices will have a better conversion rate at mid funnel. 

Example of conversion rates by device for e-commerce sites (source:

If you have a branding strategy your content promotion will be more effective on mobile, but you will have better success with desktop if you use a call-to-action message (subscribing to a newsletter, making an appointment or buying your product or service...).

Now that you know what your target audience wants to do, you need to understand what they expect from you.

3. What does my target audience expect?

Choose responsive ads. This will provide a better user experience, regardless of the device they are using to view your ads. Don’t mislead your users, appealing doesn’t mean deceitful. So, describe in your ad just what they will find behind, nothing more, nothing less. You need to keep your ads concise: one striking image along with a descriptive and appealing text is all you need with Native ad formats. 

Then, be sure to choose the right content and the right landing page, so that your target gets what they expect. This will also keep your bounce rate as low as possible (bounce rates are higher on desktop). 

In general, try to keep the customer journey as simple as possible, especially for mobile. Users are surrounded by information, therefore the attention they give you is precious, so make it count! 

To sum up...

There are clear differences between desktop and mobile. Targeting one device or another will make you reach different targets, with different messages and have different results. At Ligatus we believe they are more complementary than exclusive, so you should not choose one over another. Your strategy must integrate the two simultaneously to optimize your reach. 

If you need more help or more information, we’d be happy to give it. Just contact us.