With Nielsen’s recent findings, which show that smartphone users make up 40% of the mobile device population in the United States alone, the competitive blows being passed between smartphone software and device makers has to be music to the ears of mobile marketers. Mobile is one of the hottest trends in the online marketing world, and there is some new research showing that the advertising segment could have more potential than some of us may have initially thought.

According to a joint research initiative spearheaded by Yahoo! and global research marketing firm Ipsos, consumers are spending the vast majority of their time using mobile devices to help with their shopping activities and interacting with ads in the process. The tandem research effort showed that almost two-thirds of users cited that they have noticed advertisements while using their phones to shop, and more than half of those two-thirds have clicked on an ad.

Making the Most of Mobile Advertising Opportunities

The research headed up by Yahoo! and Ipsos gives us a bit of statistical data to illustrate how effective mobile advertising can be. This research was reinforced by eMarketer’s expectation that brands will spend $1.1 billion on mobile ads in 2011. There are plenty of opportunities in advertising to smartphone users, and the following pointers will help you start making the most of them:

Devise a Targeting Strategy – What audience are you targeting with your mobile ad strategy? Where are they from? How old are they? What do they like? These are details you must know in order to create ads people are most likely to respond to. Once you have the answers, share them with your mobile advertising partner so the two of you can draw up a focused targeting strategy.

Choose Your Format – Mobile ads give you a few different options in terms of format. For example, you could target smartphone users with “in-app” ads, which are being projected to grow by leaps and bounds, or focus on delivering content in the browser. The choice is totally yours of course, but the Yahoo!-Ipsos research suggests that users are most likely using their browser to interact with mobile advertisements.

Cross-Channel Promote It – Reaching the smartphone may be your objective, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit your initiatives to the mobile environment. You can get even more bang for your buck by integrating those efforts with email, social media and other channels. When it comes to marketing, leveraging multiple channels is always more powerful than taking advantage of one.

With consumers adopting smartphones at such a fast rate, it is clear to see that the opportunities in mobile are as real as it gets. There are several ways to tap in and get after a slice of the pie, and seeing that more users interact with ad content during their shopping adventures, mobile advertising is an option you may want to give consideration to.