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Ad Blockers Are Here To Stay: Here’s What Brands Must Do

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Want to measure a brand or digital marketer? Recite these stats and then ask them to tell you their plan for reaching digital consumers with branded messages.

  • 16% of the US online population blocked ads during Q2 2015.
  • At least 419 million people globally are blocking ads on smartphones
  • 80% of those who know about ad blocking use it
  • The estimated loss of global revenue due to blocked advertising during 2015 was $21.8B

The rise of ad blocking software, both on desktops and mobile devices is a hot topic. The New York Times summed up the controversy over ad blocking software very succinctly:

Supporters say it allows people to get better access to content without having to suffer through abrasive ads. Opponents, particularly companies that rely on advertising, say blocking ads violates the implicit contract that people agree to when viewing online material, much of which is paid for by digital advertising.

It’s a touchy subject for brands with a strong digital presence and can represent a major loss. Marketers are working hard to create and deliver advertising content that targets specific users. But, if that user has an ad blocker, they’ll never see the content, hurting sales, conversions and ROI.

Brands and marketers are always going to have to deal with the basic fact that the majority of consumers would rather not have their digital experience interrupted by ads. But there are ways for marketers to break through and create value from their advertising content.

Focus on Content and SEO

Quality content and SEO go together like peanut butter and jelly. Creating content, be it visual or written, will bring consumers to brands through search engines and other organic means. This strategy can boost a brand’s digital traffic over time, but it does take a lot of time and energy to execute this strategy.

Experiment with New Digital Mediums

Ad blocking software may work for social media apps and websites, but social media messaging apps such as Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger are a mostly untapped resource for connecting with consumers. Beyond messengers, personalized advertising could soon be sent to consumers via connected devices like Nest Thermostats and internet connected refrigerators.

Invest in Social Media Advertising

The targeting abilities and ROI of social media advertising is no secret to big brands. As ad blockers become more prevalent, hiding banner and pop-up ads from websites, moving part of the digital advertising budget to social media makes perfect sense. Brands are still able to target consumers digitally, but without the worry of having a 3rd party software hide the messaging.

What to Expect Next

Ad blockers are not going away anytime soon. Going forward, Ideas Collide expects ad blockers to get smarter and more prevalent across all digital devices. As this evolution happens naturally, it is the job of brands and marketers to find new, more effective ways of connecting with consumers on a personal basis. We have always believed the best way to do that is to tell visual stories that create an emotional connection and a conversation. We believe that if brands do that, the message will get past ad blockers through to consumers and create a positive impact.

Posted on July 14, 2016 in Digital Marketing Recommendations, News, Observations & Trends

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