As a digital marketer, are you worried about the effect of ad blockers on your marketing campaigns? Here are some quick facts, according to PageFair's 2017 Adblock Report:
- Globally, a total of 615 million devices use ad block.
- Out of that total, 380 million are mobile devices.
- Usage of ad blockers grew 30 percent in 2016.
What does this say about digital marketing? Simply put, the widespread adoption of ad blocking apps sends the message that digital marketers must pay heed to the quality and relevance of the content they include in their campaigns.
Writing on LinkedIn, Surayya Hasan notes:
"For brands, this means we need to take a second look at our approach to traditional digital marketing and understand what drives people to block ads in the first place. If you heavily rely on digital marketing, this is going to be crucial as the ad blocking culture continues to gain momentum."
How Ad Blockers Work
Hubspot's "How Ad Blocking Works: Everything You Need to Know" explains ad blockers in this way:
"Ad blockers are applications (like plugins or browser extensions) that remove or alter advertising content on a webpage. Some of these applications replace that advertising content with something else. Others don't replace it with anything, leaving holes or broken links on the page where the ads would've been."
Ad blockers are not all the same. The content blocked by each ad blocker app is different. Some apps remove all advertising on a webpage. Others remove things like the tracking codes that marketers use to gain insight into how visitors interact with their campaigns. For the most part, the ad blockers that currently exist target ads like pop-ups and banner ads more than other ad types.
However, it is worth noting that, as more and more people adopt ad blocking technology, ad blockers will likely evolve to include other ad types as well.
Will Ad Blockers Change Your Digital Strategy?
The extent to which ad blocking technology might change your digital strategy rests on several factors. For instance, if your predominant target audience is not adopting ad blockers, your strategy is likely working well.
However, if your target audience is adopting ad blocking, you must take steps to compensate for any loss in traffic due to ad blockers.
What can you do? Here are a few suggestions:
#1 — Pay attention to your metrics.
If ad blockers are causing a significant dip in the performance of some of your campaigns, it is wise to analyze cost versus benefit for continuing the campaign as is. Analysis can be tricky, because ad blockers themselves can alter the metrics you capture. So, you will have to be diligent in making your observations based on all the facts.
#2 — Choose ad networks that take an inbound approach to advertising.
The Hubspot article advises: "Put your money with ad networks like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter because they're doing advertising the best right now."
#3 — Concentrate on user experience.
The better the user experience, the less likely that user will be to block your ads. Provide content that is relevant and engaging. Provide something of genuine value in every piece of content.
"Digital ads that lack authenticity, creativity, have poor grammar, and have false or misleading information will lead to users ignoring ads or blocking them from the page [altogether] ... The key to keeping users interested is starting with great audience-focused content that helps them live their lives better and improves their online experience."
#4 — Work with a digital agency to navigate the ad-blocker issue.
While ad blockers have, to some extent, complicated certain forms of digital marketing, there are a number of things that digital agencies can do to keep your campaigns performing well.
When looking to overcome ad blockers, pay attention to your metrics and carefully choose the ad networks
that you use. If you still have issues, try partnering with an experienced digital marketing agency.
One of the most beneficial things an agency can provide is an in-depth assessment of your current campaigns. Such an assessment can reveal areas where ad blockers may be making inroads in your strategy.
Your agency can work with you to compensate for ad blocking issues by designing campaigns that will bolster your brand by providing relevant, engaging content to your audience, as well as continually measuring the progress of your campaigns, making adjustments as needed.
Are you curious about how ad blockers may be affecting your campaigns? Request a free inbound marketing assessment today to start a conversation with our digital marketing specialists.