In an age where patience is in short supply and instant gratification is the norm, marketers are struggling to deliver effective ads as users simply don’t want to be bothered by them or want to skip them entirely. And how do users achieve this? With the help of ad-blocking software, which is available in several forms on mobile devices and desktop, such as browser plug-ins, extensions or installable software and apps. When installed, it can block text, video, banner and webpage ads, including pre-video ads. As such, it offers several benefits to users, such as faster loading times, improved privacy and security, not to mention a better battery life for mobile devices. Still, marketing is an industry that is dependent on reaching its target audience and ad-blockers continue to weaken these efforts by making it harder to do so, creating a catch 22 of sorts.
So what is the solution? Creating restriction or walling off content to those using an ad-block wall? That won’t work as 74% of users will simply choose to leave your site, according to a study by PageFair.
Thankfully, there are many solutions out there that can help marketing teams enforce improved content strategies and better allocate their advertising budgets.
Rethinking Your Marketing Approach
Are ad-blockers ruining your brand’s attempts at reaching out to your target audience? With over 11% of global users utilizing ad-blockers to actively block ads on the internet, the usage of ad-blockers is only expected to increase in the coming years. So how is your business gearing up to meet this challenge? According to the GlobalWebIndex report, an ‘overload of ads’ is the main culprit behind the rise of the ad-blocker, followed by other factors such as intrusive ads, privacy concerns, ads taking too much screen space and annoying or irrelevant ads, to name a few.
Today, the need of the hour is to practice innovation in one’s approach and use creative non-intrusive methods that can undo the damage caused by disruptive ads, thus unblocking this crucial marketing channel to your target audience. Take a look at these clever approaches and strategies that can help you do just that.
The Native Advertising Approach
Many times, advertisers feel their ads need to stand out so their audience can take notice of them. However, with ad-blockers, this traditional approach may not seem so smart anymore as their distinct identifying factors make it easy for ad-blockers to catch and filter them out.
In this regard, native advertising is a nifty approach as these ads blend in their digital environment, making sure to not interrupt the user’s experience. Native ads are sometimes only discernible by their ‘sponsored’ tags and are a great way to offer relevant content in the form of blogs, videos or informative landing pages, which can then be used to pull users via well-placed CTAs. Used along with content marketing, native advertising is an effective way to target and distribute content to a brand’s target user base.
The Influencer Marketing Approach
Partnering with influencers is a sure-fire way of getting your brand noticed by your intended audience and is all the rage in the current marketing scenario. Influencers are an amazing way of reaching out to your followers without it seeming like a hard-selling ad. After all, influencers have a large following, and these followers are more likely to pay attention to what their favourite influencer says, instead of a jarring ad or pop up that is interrupting their digital or viewing experience.
Brands that have partnered with influencers on blogs and social networks such as YouTube, Instagram and Twitter have experienced a significant increase in lead generation, visibility, engagement and revenue. According to the State of Influencer Marketing 2018 study, 39% of brands plan to increase their influencer marketing budget with around 93% of marketers stating that they will allocate more than $10,000 on their campaign budgets.
The Inbound Marketing Approach
Investing in inbound approaches such as social advertising is an ingenious method to side-step ad-blockers. Putting your ads on popular networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google, to name a few, makes it difficult for ad-blockers to circumvent their extensive framework while also allowing plenty of options to target your potential audiences.
These ads will also fit well into the consumer’s digital content as they will not disrupt their viewing experience or disengage them from it. And for those who are interested in your product, these networks offer several ways for consumers to search, find, follow and learn more about your brand and its offerings, making this approach a great option for brands and consumers, alike.
The Smart Content Approach
If you ask yourself the fundamental question of why ad-blockers were invented, it would be likely due to businesses providing an excess of content that the consumer is not interested in seeing. This makes sense as consumers today are very picky about what they want to see and purchase; which is why strong content marketing continues to rule the roost, because its main aim is to deliver valuable and useful content to targeted consumers that pulls them towards the brand.
In fact, the most appealing content to users is valuable content that is provided for free. When these useful pieces of content, be it blogs, podcasts, whitepapers, videos, or infographics, are shared, it creates trust and goodwill for the brand while generating leads and an increase in brand awareness.
The Retargeting Approach
Retargeting allows businesses to target their marketing at customers who have already visited their site or shown interest in their products on other platforms with the help of cookies. This approach makes the ads less intrusive as potential buyers are more likely to be receptive and responsive to them.
However, be careful not to overdo retargeting as online users will see it as the business stalking or following them everywhere. So, when it comes to the retargeting approach, ensure that as a brand, you are adding value to your marketing and offering potential consumers some value, such as special discounts or some other form of gratification.
Thus we see, with the above approaches, that marketing is far from dead even in the era of the ad-blocker. In fact, it is very much alive with marketers continuing to use inventive and creative ways, along with the latest tech, to analyse and shape their messages accordingly for their target base, at the right place and at the right time.
Most importantly, it’s the message you are sending across that counts the most. Users online are savvy enough to block and pay no attention to marketing that they do not want to see, so first ensure that your brand’s advertising is timely, relevant and resonates with them to begin with. After all, it will only dent your bottom line if you keep marketing to people that are not interested in the first place.