If you pay for online advertising, odds are good that at least some of your ads have been automatically removed from the screen of your target audience by a technology called ad blocking. As advertising recruiters, we’ve watched this rapidly-growing trend transform the digital media landscape in recent years. Businesses need to be proactive in working around it or risk getting cut out from their customers’ online experience altogether.
Why People Block Your Ads
It’s not hard to imagine the appeal of an ad blocker. Perhaps you even use one yourself.
After all, who hasn’t had to deal with annoying pop-ups or auto-play video ads unexpectedly blasting audio at full volume? Despite the value to publishers, they obstruct user experience and stand as a barrier between people and the content they want.
Ads clutter up a page, drag down site load times, and eat up mobile device data. At their worst, they can be malicious and carry malware.
For some, ad block use is a matter of privacy. Have you ever made a casual search online for something innocuous like “dog food” or “black dresses,” only to be relentlessly pestered by advertisements on every site you visit pushing you to spend your hard-earned money on related products? Some people might appreciate a great, personalized deal sent to them by online media staffing. Others will understandably find it creepy.
What to Do About It
There are plenty of fair arguments to be made for and against the virtues of ad blockers. But the harsh reality is that adoption rates are growing quickly, with no end in sight.
Image from PageFair
There’s no use in trying to fight the ad block trend. So you might as well adapt your strategy accordingly!
The following marketers in particular come recommended by advertising recruiters as especially well qualified to make your messages and brand visible in a world where consumers are increasingly becoming blind to advertisements:
When your audience is blocking your “push” messaging, it’s time for a change in strategy. More and more organizations are realizing the value of content marketing and its power to draw inbound customers to your brand.
What, specifically, your content strategy should look like will depend on the nature of your business and what your customers want. It could be video, podcasts, whitepapers, blog posts, interactive experiences, and more. A good content marketer will make your brand a magnet to the people you want to engage most.
SEO Consultants and Specialists
About half of all web traffic is driven by organic searches. If your paid placements on the SERPs aren’t getting seen, then you need to find a prominent place on them organically. Best practices for Search Engine Optimization have changed dramatically in recent years, so make sure your SEO agency or internal team is up-to-date and keeping you at the top of the listings.
Social Media Managers
Social networks provide channels for brands to directly engage consumers and join conversations outside of the realm of ad blockers. Outstanding social media staffing enables 1-to-1 discussions, provides brand visibility to the networks you build, and enhances customer experiences. Social posts and shares can even serve as advertisements themselves, though brands should be wary of becoming too self-promotional and scaring off followers.
Influencer Marketing Manager
Influencer marketing is exploding in popularity as its value and accessibility to brands of all kinds becomes more and more apparent. Wildly popular influencer personalities are a great way to get exposure and positive messaging related to your brand in a manner that can’t be blocked.
Relationships with influencers can be extremely valuable for connecting with highly niche, target audiences. But connected to these individuals can be an extremely sensitive and unusual process, so it’s often wise to have a dedicated expert in charge of initiating and cultivating those ties.
Digital Media Specialists
Ad blocking is on the rise, but that doesn’t mean digital advertising is dead. It’s still entirely possible to get great ROI with an online advertising campaign–if your digital media staffing and advertising pros have the know-how.
First, you need to start focusing on ethical, unobstructive ads rather than spam, clickbait, popups, automatically-played multimedia content, misleading copy, etc. These “good” ads are actively rewarded and allowed by some ad blockers. For instance, AdBlock Plus, one of the most popular blocking apps, allows what it calls “Acceptable Ads” by default in an attempt to encourage unobtrusive advertising and provide at least some revenue for publishers. According to the site, 75% of users are fine with such ads.
Exceptionally active digital media specialists can also develop powerful native advertising opportunities. Effective native advertising staffing can create content that’s almost indistinguishable from a site’s normal images, blogs, videos and more and pay publishers to place it on their pages. That makes it almost indistinguishable to ad blockers.
Print and Direct Mail Experts
Marketing’s cutting edge has swept far past traditional print channels, but there’s still plenty of reliable ROI to be found in print advertising, direct mail, and the like (assuming, naturally, that you have the right direct marketing staffing and talent available to you).
Direct Response: The ROI Factory You Can’t Afford to Overlook
Of course, direct mail, magazine inserts and the like have their own “ad blocker” to contend with: the trash can. But at least they’ll have an opportunity to end up in your target audience’s hands where consumers have to make a conscious decision to discard your message.