Advertisers and brands are scratching their heads and trying to move quickly to get in front of their audiences that are adapting ad blockers. Adobe found that in 2015, 198 million people globally blocked ads—a number that will surely climb in 2016.
The increase in ad blockers comes from one too many full-page takeovers and pop ups that annoyed individuals that only wanted to see the content they planned to see. Installed apps in browsers and mobile devices range from completely blocking all advertisements to allowing advertisers to get “whitelisted” or unblocked with a monetary fee.
What’s a brand to do when their audience wants to see purposeful content? The answer is simple: make content that your target wants to see, in a way that’s unobtrusive, and you’ll be rewarded with their attention. Here’s how to get in front of your audience by adapting to the anti-ad times.
Make Your Advertising More Natural
Gone are the days where simply saying you have a shiny, great product is enough to entice your reader. Audiences are smarter, so treat them as such. As we’ve mentioned before, native advertising—that complies with FTC guidelines—is a way to engage your audience without being flashy. Native advertising is paid media that blends in with the rest of the content for a publisher’s website. Although it must be noted that the content is advertising, the audience is much more likely to see it as unobtrusive.
In the same way, sponsored content is another ad blocker-proof alternative that’s meant to inform the audience instead of promoting a certain product or service. A good sponsored post in the New York Times or other news-based sites would be relevant to readers and provide a benefit, in turn lending credibility to your brand.
Another form would be to work with social media influencers and have them review your product in their own tone and voice, which is equally effective. What these two methods have in common is addressing the individual consumer’s needs and preferences to be successful.
Show, Not Advertise, on Social Media
In the same vein of sponsored posts in website and blogs, your brand or company can use more less invasive advertising through sponsored posts on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Instead of being hosted on a content-based site, your advertisements are mixed with posts on social media and denoted with a sponsored or promoted tag.
Advertising on these platforms is even more likely to be benefit-driven for your audience instead of sales-driven. Your audience will follow or like your Instagram handle or Facebook page not because of the blaring “buy it now” CTAs you have but because your content is helpful, pleasing to the eye, or entertaining.
The key to all advertising that dodges ad blockers is to have good content that your audience isn’t bothered by. Pop up ads and static banner ads that provide no benefit to your target won’t be as successful as carefully crafted content that does. Part of successful communication is speaking the same language—adapting your brand’s voice to be accessible will improve the life and results of your campaigns.
If you’ve just about had it with ad blockers, there’s always one solution with a 100 percent success rate: go offline. Don’t forget the power of traditional media like newspapers, live TV and FM radio—there’s no way to block ads there.