How Ad Blocking is Ushering in a New Age of Advertising
The Adobe 2015 ‘Cost of Ad Blocking’ Report provides some disturbing insight into the world of banner ads and pop ups. More people than ever are choosing to block all ads from their web experience. For businesses that are used to using these types of advertisements, the situation is rather dire, with an estimated $21.8 billion loss in revenue due to ad blocking. Even giants like Facebook are reporting losses due to the frequency of adblock use. If even Facebook is struggling to get their ads seen, smaller businesses are starting to worry about this increasingly costly marketing strategy that will likely not be seen by a majority of consumers as ad block use continues to increase.
Rather than fighting these numbers, marketers need to to embrace the fact that internet users are, effectively, voting on the type of advertising they want to be seeing – and banners are definitely no longer acceptable. It’s time to take this into consideration and start trying alternative methods that are much more personalized, relevant, and effective for consumers.
One such method is influencer marketing.
More companies are moving towards working with influencers precisely because of this problem. It provides a fitting solution – a review by a blogger is not considered an advertisement in the traditional sense and will not be targeted by ad block software. Furthermore, this type of content is not disruptive to consumers. Instead of annoying pop up ads or distracting banners, consumers will come across brand content organically. Bloggers are encouraged to disclose the brand partnership and use disclaimers (such as ‘sponsored content’) and then to go on with an honest review. With good campaigns, this content will be in line with the blogger’s usual area of interest and will not alienate readers, but rather the opposite – it will encourage audience trust by proxy, through the credible influencer’s recommendation.
Many brands are starting to embrace this method. One interesting example is Ford, whose successful #FiestaMovement was ‘advertised’ on Facebook through their brand site and influencer content such as posts and YouTube videos. Tapping into the power of social media and influencers, Ford was able to use our new digital reality to its advantage – with nary an irritating pop up in sight. It’s time for other brands to follow suit.
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