JP Morgan estimates that in 2011, more smartphones were sold in America than laptops or desktops. With so many people spending time on mobile devices, small businesses can’t afford not to advertise on mobile devices – because that’s where their consumers and prospects are.

But as a business owner, how can you start advertising on mobile devices? What are the approaches that work? And which approaches don’t work?

Here are five simple tips to help you get customers from mobile devices:

Avoid Click Based Advertising Models

While advertising on mobile devices, be sure to use models that are suited to mobile devices. Most mobile ad models charge advertisers for clicks. Click-based models don’t work well in the mobile world. Because mobile phones have a small form factor, people end up clicking on ads by mistake. According to a 2011 Harris Interactive Study, 48% of US adults state that they click on mobile ads by mistake more often than they do on purpose. This means that if you advertise on mobile devices using cost-per-click advertising models, more than half of your mobile ad dollars would go to waste.

Advertise on Apps

While advertising mobile, advertise on apps – because that’s where your consumers and prospects are.  As Chris Anderson pointed out in his Wired article, “The Web is Dead”, people consume content differently on mobile devices than they do on computers. People browse for content on desktops and laptops. On phones and tablets, they mostly get content pushed to them via apps. IDC projects 183 billion apps will be downloaded by 2015.

Go Local

According to Google’s Our Mobile Planet, 94% of people in US use smartphones to search for local information. In addition, 66% visit the business and 90% take action as a result of their search. National and local businesses alike should try as much as possible to give their ads a local twist when advertising on mobile devices. Hyperlocal extensions in search ads can show consumers how far they are away from a particular business.  Click-to-call extensions can also be effective for getting new customers.  Signup ads allow businesses to target people by zip codes – which is especially useful considering that most purchases are made near one’s residence or place of work.

Don’t Use Incentivized Apps

If you are promoting an app for your business, be wary of offering incentives such as social currency or game points to get people to download your app. A 2011 Harris Interactive study shows that 62% of US Adults delete an app after downloading it for an incentive. In recent times, companies like Apple are taking a hard stance against incentivized app installs. If you are promoting an app, try to get users who are downloading your app because they want to use your app. This makes for an engaged user base – a base that will interact with app advertising or make in-app purchases.

Be Direct and Simple

Be really clear as to what people will get when they interact with your ad. In a few short sentences, you should explain what you want them to do, when you want them to do it, and what they will get in return. For example: “Sign up now. Get 20 percent off tote bags.”

People are spending an increasing amount of time on mobile devices. By following these simple tips, you can reach your consumers and prospects in an effective way and grow your business.