Best Ways to Deal With Ad Blocking Software
Display advertising is one of the most efficient ways to reach your target customer on the Web. With a display ad, you can showcase your product and place it directly in front of the eyes of the people who want to buy. The problem is that Internet users are becoming more aware of the various media used to advertise, and are getting savvy about avoiding it at all costs. Understanding ad blocking is the best way to ensure that your message doesn’t end up in the “skip ad” pile.
Ad Blocking is at an All-Time High
Customers typically hate ads. They go to great pains to block them, from simply skipping them to using ad blocker software. This means that advertisers have to take additional steps to ensure that their content is getting in front of the customer every time. If your target demographic is young males between the ages of 18 and 29, you have your work cut out for you. This group is most likely to use ad blocker software. Gaming sites, tech sites and sports sites are particularly vulnerable to ad blocking, as people who enjoy this content tend to me more tech savvy and willing to employ whatever methods necessary to avoid seeing ads.
Why do Customers Block Ads?
The key to getting around this problem is knowing why customers block ads in the first place. Many are annoyed by ads, especially auto-play videos that are difficult to stop or mute. Others find that ads block the content, which makes them a hindrance. Still, others are uncomfortable with ads that seem to “know” the content they are viewing and make suggestions accordingly. There was a big brouhaha a few years ago with Google’s algorithm that was “reading” users’ emails and making advertising suggestions accordingly.
What Can Advertisers Do?
First, let’s tackle the “annoying ad” problem. If your ad is blocking the content that your target customer is seeking, they will block it. Aim to make your ads less intrusive, and avoid auto play ads or those that feature animations or music. Pop-up ads are almost universally hated, so skip those as well.
Some users skip ads because they are simply not relevant to their interests. If you are advertising a product geared toward young men, it is unwise to advertise on a site geared toward middle-aged women. Creating personalised ads make for a better user experience and make it more likely that your customer will view your content.
A few websites are taking things a bit further and blocking users who have ad blocking software enabled. While this may seem drastic, it is a necessary step in the fight to protect advertisers and help them to maximise their ad spend. Major newspapers like the Washington Post have already implemented this feature, and the jury is still out on its effectiveness. Still, it is refreshing to know that measures are being taken to ensure that users are not able to block all of the advertising content that is delivered.
Ad Blocking Hurts Publishers Too
If you are a publisher, ad blocking can mean lost revenue for your site. Advertisers are not going to be willing to shell out the big bucks to park their ads on your site if customers are simply going to ignore those ads. One way to combat this problem is to offer ads that are contextual in nature. Just allow advertisers to place their ads directly in your content. Some bloggers advertise products through reviews or referrals on their sites. Ad blocking software does not detect this, and as such, does not hurt your advertisers.
Another helpful tactic is to ask visitors not to block ads on your page. Explain to them that ads allow them to enjoy free content, and blocking software makes it difficult for you to be able to produce the engaging and rich content they are seeking. This tactic works, and some users are even more likely to watch a video ad in full if you just ask them to, particularly if your site has a loyal following of subscribers.
There are also ways that you can approve the ads that are featured on your site. By doing this, you can weed out the scam ads that annoy your visitors and make it more likely that they will block your ads. Still, other publishers redirect users who are using ad block software to other sites, or to pages that tell them that they are being denied access to their content. Remember though that many of your readers are not aware that they are hurting your site by blocking ads. They are simply thinking of themselves and what they want from their web experience. Sometimes a little education goes a long way in preventing the revenue loss that comes with ad blocking.
The Surprising Way that Ad Blockers May Help Increase Your Revenue
The one thing that many advertisers don’t realise is that ad blockers may help to boost your business if you leverage this phenomenon correctly. The customer most likely to be using an ad blocker program is a young man between 18 and 29. These tech-savvy users are more often than not part of the highly sought after “Millenial” generation. This is a valuable buying segment that lives on social media sites and can go a long way in spreading the word about your brand.
TThe beauty of the ad-blocking customer is that they have not been exposed to many ads at all. If you place your ad on one of the sites that do not allow ad blockers, you will have a fresh set of eyes viewing your content. If your ad is tailored specifically to their needs, you will be gaining a client that is not distracted by a barrage of other ads from other sites. This is why it is imperative that you go with an application that blocks ad blocking software.
When your publisher site has ad blocking blockers in place, it means that you get to be front and centre in the eyes of the most valuable customers in the marketplace. Leverage this phenomenon and use it to your advantage to attract high-value Millennials to your business.
Think Like an Ad Blocker
If you want to know exactly what ads people are blocking, it helps to dig into the technology and learn what content users are most likely to block. Some programs allow users to block ads in particular dimensions, say 125 x 125, for example. The programs may grant users the option to block ads with certain keywords or elements. If your ad uses flash, neon colours and advertises free iPads, there is a good chance that it won’t make it through the filters. By learning what users are blocking, you will be better able to avoid creating ads that will get blocked.
Choose the Right Platform
One of the best ways to ensure that customers will see your content is to use an advertising platform that can block the ad blockers. The Internet is a largely free resource, and it remains that way because of the advertising dollars that its content generates. Ad blocking robs publishers of the much-needed revenue they need to continue producing content, and advertisers of the audiences who would potentially buy their products or services.
In some cases, users who are using ad blockers will not be able to access the content. In other cases, they will be asked to disable the software to access the site. The key here is to make it worth their while to visit the site again with the ad blocker disabled. If they disable the ad blocker and find themselves bombarded with ads that cover the content or ads with auto play videos, they may stop visiting the page altogether. The key is to show them that they can still enjoy their viewing experience, even with ads present.
Use Your Analytics
As a publisher, it is helpful to use data to your advantage. Monitor your website daily and take note of what ads are featured on your site. If you notice an uptick in unsubscribes after certain types of ads have aired, consider curating your ads to exclude these types of ad. It can also be helpful to allow your readers to give feedback on your ads. If you allow them to block ads manually, you can use a quick survey to find out why they are blocking them. Some survey options include “this ad is not relevant,” or “this ad is covering the content.”
When it comes to getting the most from your ad dollars, making sure users view your content is critical. By learning why people use ad blockers, you can create content that will make it less likely that your customers will block your ad. Crafting ads that directly solve one of their core problems and meet their needs is the best way to beat the ad blocker software and enjoy increased conversions.