Take a look at your browser and tell if you don’t see a red hand clearly saying ‘I’m protecting you from irrelevant advertisements’. It’s pretty much there right?
The truth is – as stated by eMarketer, over 25% of internet users in US itself will use ad blockers this year. They also say that the number is only set to rise by 2017 to a whooping 32% people using ad blocking technology – be it the mobile or the conventional desktop.
Another study by Adobe and PageFair also states that there are about 200 million monthly active users of the ad-blocking software globally. The technology is being used by the younger generation who is more tech savvy – and more likely to be in your target audience.
With 18 to 29 year olds blocking out ads, it is becoming increasingly challenging for businesses to reach out to them with their value proposition. Clearly, the broadcasting of messages is no longer possible or effective in the industry.
According to a post published on HubSpot, almost 91% of people think that most advertisements are intrusive and not contextual in nature. And about 83% wish they could filter out the irrelevant ones.
Now here’s taking a look at how you can continue to market effectively despite the rise of ad blocking..
Tips to market effective in the age of ad blockers
Never try skipping content marketing
The one and only way to reach out to this hyper informed generation of today, is through content. Content that promises to add value to the reader and then drive him towards a conversion with the business.
Before interacting or engaging with a business, about 62% of people conduct their own online research. This means they are already through majority of the sales cycle and need something more convincing than a sales pitch to convert.
Content or inbound marketing gives you the opportunity to become their go-to source of information, making you more trustworthy and an authority in the industry. Both of which aid to greater number of sales eventually.
Stick to adding value and stay relevant
Like we said before, internet users of today might have a short attention span themselves, but they do not like being targeted with irrelevant advertisements. Each and every ad or message from a business needs to make them see some value in it or they won’t engage.
The best way to create advertisements and marketing campaigns that don’t fall prey to ad blockers, is to look into what your audience is actively engaging in. Analyse and identify the topics as well as the platforms they are most active on to create extremely tailored campaigns that are designed to convert.
But as a thumb rule, make your audience a priority and not your sales.
Try native advertising instead
Ad blockers are people who really don’t like seeing advertisements while browsing the internet. But they are also people who are sometimes not able to differentiate which piece of content was for instance, an actual ‘product review’ and which was a ‘paid piece’.
How many times were you able to identify paid advertisements / content pieces / advertorials on BuzzFeed or Forbes?
Use messaging apps for advertising
Let’s face it, each one of us spends a considerable amount of time on chat apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Kik, Snapchat, etc. That itself is an opportunity for marketers to tap into – isn’t it your end goal to have your business present everywhere that the audience is?
Personalized advertising and messaging on these apps will help brands reach out to their target market without being blocked – unless of course, you’re sharing irrelevant ads or content with the recipient.
Create targeted email marketing campaigns
Emails are still the most effective marketing channel. There is no other platform that enables you to have a one-on-one conversation with your target audience, than emails. So identify your target audience and create segmented lists. Then create custom campaigns for each of these segments.
The higher the level of personalization, the better would be the results from email marketing campaigns. Combining your content marketing and email marketing efforts can actually boost your campaign results – creating an omni channel experience is important.
Make use of more user generated content
People blocking ads only proves that they don’t have much faith in what the businesses have to say. On the other hand, how often do you ignore a recommendation that comes from a friend or family?
User generated content is available in abundance and is completely scalable. Even a small campaign that encourages users to share their experience or purchases on social media in lieu of a discount can result in vast advertising – without it seeming like an advertisement.
What’s more? It is a lot cheaper than any other form of marketing and advertising.
For instance, here’s an image I shared of a subscription box I received from a newly formed business. While it might not seem to have garnered too many likes, it certainly did get my friends to visit their page and check them out – and who knows, some could have converted as well!
Those who know me, know how obsessed I am with stationery! And well, #IFoundAwesome ! ? A stationery subscription box! The hoarder in me just couldn't help subscribing to @originonestore ? Well, the first box came with a cute hand written note and such sassy goodies. Ps. I still have the box because you got to see how good it is! _______________________________________________________ #subscriptionbox#stationerylove#stationery#notpromotinganything#love#OriginOneStore#potd#iphonography#writer#instawriter#instagood#instadaily#writersofig#indianwriters#indianbloggers#blogger#delhiblogger#storytellers#writerslife
Use retargeting for marketing campaigns
Retargeting involves reaching out to people who have previously shown some interest in a business. This could be them having visited the business website, liking a Facebook post or retweeting a message.
Since these are people who are already interested in what the business has to offer, they don’t need a push to convert. They are more likely to convert on an advertisement that brings up their interest on the channels they are active on.
For instance, whenever I visit a few eCommerce websites and browse through their products and come away without making a purchase, I literally get followed around by those advertisements on Facebook. And 90% of the times, I give in and make the purchase.
Look for creative ways to reach out
A value proposition isn’t always the best way to reach your target audience. You could experiment with far more interesting ways like running contests, polls or surveys around things that interest them.
Hooking them with such campaigns, will make them want to come back to your business time and again – be it to check for the results or more such campaigns. The more they visit your business website, the higher are the chances of them being receptive to a promotion or making a purchase.
Over to you
Marketing alongside ad blockers can be challenging. But staying relevant, contextual and keeping your target audience in mind always can help you create better campaigns.
Also, as a thumb rule, always create different variations of every campaign you run – even if it is a content piece that you would be creating. A blog post could be turned into a slide deck, an infographic, a video, etc and promoted on social and other digital channels.
Remember, ‘different strokes for different folks!’