Online advertising has evolved over time to penetrate our digital lives in innovative and ingenious ways. To meet the high and sporadically, irrational demands of product and service-manufacturers, marketers and web-publishers create competitive content and ads to promote goods and services to the masses. With the high frequency of the large number of online ads, customers find the experience borderline invasive more than informative. This brings in the need for ad-blockers. Ad-blocking is not a novel concept for internet-users. It is a tool most of us swear by to get past the incessant inflow of online ads.
Why do Internet Users needs Ad-Blocking?
Ad-blocking software is an algorithm that removes certain kinds of ads like pop-ups, banner ads and various other forms of online ads, allowing the users to surf the Web without advertising interruptions. Ad-blockers can be system or browser-specific which needs to be checked before installation. They can stop the automatic. download of large advertisement files, thus allowing web pages to load faster and smoother. These applications work like plugins or browser-extensions and target advertising content with certain attributes and URL characteristics.
An ad-blocker is activated when a user opens his/her browser. It extracts the real-time script of the page/site and compares it to a list of scripts and sites it was configured to block. If it finds any of the matching code blocks, the ad-blocker removes that particular script (or ad). While some ad-blockers remove the content altogether, some others replace it with some other content. However, the benefits of all kinds of ad-blocking remain the same: Faster page load times, eliminating irksome ads, and more secure web browsing. This clearly indicates that ad-blocking is here to stay in the online-marketing scenario. The bigger question is how it affects the publishers and their content.
Impact of Ad-blocking on marketing
A common opinion says that ad-blocking would be the online advertising company’s nemesis. However, it can prove beneficial to the industry if marketers get innovative, create intelligent content and execute their strategies in a way that targets the right set of people who would then be dissuaded from using ad-blockers. It would thus, help in creating more effective ads with higher click-through and conversion rates. The idea behind the move is simple: If ads are a help instead of a nuisance, fewer people will download/use ad-blockers. A 2016 global study conducted by Adobe and Pagefair said that approximately, 18% of the internet users in the U.S. have installed ad-blockers, which a 2% increase from the 16% a year earlier. While the study reflects on the increase of usage of ad-blockers, it also identified some major reasons behind people relying on ad-blockers.
The major reasons that drive people to download ad-blocking software include the number and frequency of ads, over-targeting and excessive abuse of personal data. The study revealed that 78% of the consumers appreciate personalized ads. However, only 28% think they’re tailored correctly and 26 percent of the consumers find personalized ads creepy or intrusive. The study was reflective on the fact that online marketing should be subjective to the users’ intentions and actions on the internet. A person using social-media could be a safer target as his attention can be diverted and any distraction would not cause him much harm . However, if a person is using the Web for something more specific like watching a video or using an app, advertisements can be an unwelcome distraction. The trick is for the marketers to recognize this trend and use it in their favor.
How to use ad-blocking in increasing ad-effectiveness?
The only way to convert your ads from unwanted-distraction to a valuable source of information for the customer is to develop more relevant and creative content. The trick is to strike a balance between entertainment and information which could grab the attention of the customer and retain it for the duration of the ad. Kenyatte Nelson, marketing director at Shop Direct, says: “You need to use the tools to target the right thing at the right person at the right time. If advertising is great, then consumers will acknowledge it. If it’s banners, pop ups and you telling me [about promotions], then [shoppers] will hit the ‘x’ button all day long.” Hence, ‘careful targeting’ not only means that the ads are served only to those likely who want to engage, but might also convert the ad-viewership into a successful click and eventually a conversion.
Ad-blocking calls for better targeting and strategic-implementation of ads. Bupa Global’s Beach says: “Being in the right spot at the right time – I wouldn’t call that intrusion, I would call it good positioning. We’re not intruding because we have listened to what the user is interested in through the data available to us, and tailored our messages accordingly in order to be legitimately part of the conversation. Too intrusive is just going to turn users off and could, ultimately, damage your brand.” Providing the right amount of accurate content to the right user will make ads more effective and successful.
Points to remember while creating online ad campaigns
In addition to the above, ad-publishers should keep a few point in mind while letting content out on the Internet. A good ad does not deceive the customer. If an ad is created for a particular purpose, the overview content should mention it clearly. Tricking the users into clicking on your ads by misleading them will only make you suffer the wrath of ad-blocking harder.
Secondly, create advertisements that are so riveting that people want to check it out and even share it with their circles. That will not only increase the competition between marketers but also improve the overall quality of the ads out there. Moreover, make ads that are not too loud and attention-grabbing. They are annoying and will push the user to use ad-blockers. Try not disrupting the page-content the users are trying to read. Strategic moves like these and beyond will not only help create better campaigns that are invited by the users, but will also make the Internet a much-more effective and informative commercial forum.