The Rise of Ad Blockers: 5 Moves to Make Today

Everywhere you look, there’s an advertisement. On your way to work, you’ve inevitably listened to 12 commercials wedged between your favorite songs, while you pass 15 billboards scattered along the highway. And this doesn’t end when you browse online, open your email or check your Facebook. We can’t ignore the fact that with the ever growing supply of avenues to get in front of an audience, people continue to adopt technology to block ads online.

The latest figures show that there are 198 million active ad block users around the world, which cost publishers $22 billion during 2015 (PageFair). Though these numbers are enough to keep any marketer awake at night, the most important aspect to derive from this data is that marketers must use this knowledge to better understand their audience. Below are our top 5 tactics to combat the rise of ad blocking technology and better engage with users:

  1. Only display what’s of value to the user
    Determine a strong value proposition that makes people want to click your ad to find out more. Many times we see ads that push a message to the user that doesn’t provide any real value. As advertisers, we need to listen to what our audience is telling us when they install ad blockers - they are incessantly provided with too much of what they didn’t want in the first place.
  2. Have your finger on the pulse of the latest technology
    Standard banners shouldn’t be your only tool. Image and video-rich content are critical components of online media, and publishers continue to explore ways to provide quality visual experiences without being detrimental to a brand’s integrity. Examples that have been proven effective include in-image ads (which can be hidden with a click) to user-initiated in-video ads.
  3. Incorporate native advertising into the mix
    Native advertising matches the form and function of the environment and channel it is placed in. The latest figures show that native ads are viewed 53% more than banner ads (Dedicated Media). But don’t forget that an ad needs to be contextually relevant to the accompanying editorial.
  4. Realize that it’s only one channel of many
    What’s great about the digital space is that it keeps evolving. A well-integrated marketing campaign should include inbound marketing tactics such as webinars, videos, blog posts and articles, as well as off-site channels including social media, client articles and interviews secured via your public relations team. And, the list continues to grow. There are many opportunities to engage, inform and educate your audience in ways that are not obtrusive.
  5. Don’t walk away too soon
    It’s true that many users are actively blocking ads; however, don’t let these numbers scare you too much. Only 6% of Internet users around the world actively employ ad blockers (PageFair). And findings have shown that banner ads do work. In fact, users who are retargeted to are 70% more likely to convert. (Digital Information World)

Though we could delve deeper into the many aspects of ad blocker software, such as the need for users to pay for quality content themselves, advertisers must rise to the challenge and gain valuable insight from these alarming statistics. By using effective and timely messaging, channels and targeting measures, advertising can regain the trust of the online audience and present beneficial information to the user, which is what the intent has always been.