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how to beat ad blockers
21 May

4 Ways Your Business Can Beat Ad Blockers

Created by: 
Kelly Volpe

Okay, quick story time.

Last week, I clicked on a YouTube video of cat agility (because why not?) and was met with an ad for Grammarly.

I moved my mouse over to what might be the most popular button on the Internet, “Skip.”

I had to wait a few seconds before I could skip the ad and watch my video, and even though I’m used to it, it was still annoying.

The point is, even marketers try to avoid ads.

Most of my friends download ad blocker browser extensions to get rid of all the ads. Some people are even willing to pay more not to see ads at all.

Ad blockers make it much harder for businesses to get their messages out, but here’s how your business can beat ad blockers.

create a marketing strategy that works with Ad Blockers

Ad blockers are the consumer’s way of screaming, “this is not how I want to be advertised to!”

As disheartening as it may be for marketers to hear this, ad blockers present an opportunity to reach consumers on a different level. When it comes down to it, the consumer should lead the show.

Brands and businesses who communicate to consumers in the “right” way will gain authenticity and loyalty points. Those who continue to market the “wrong” way may be met with frustrated consumers who actively boycott them because of their intrusive advertising.

Users are demanding a better overall experience. So what are some ways to work with ad blockers?

  1. SEO: Optimizing your website for SEO can help gain traction in search engine page results.
  2. Focus on better experiences: Make sure that the digital ads that you do place are relevant to the consumer. Someone looking for a skillet does not want to see an add for facial surgery.
  3. Consumer-centric branded content: Get to know your consumers and talk to them where they are. We have previously mentioned how powerful social media can be. On social, consumers can choose to follow your content or not. Blogs and other types of offline advertising can reach the consumer in a more authentic way without frustrating them.
  4. The Golden Rule: As with most everything in life, advertisers should apply the golden rule. If you don’t want to deal with ads that take up entire pages, then don’t make your consumers. Advertise to your consumers the way you would want to be advertised to.

For advertisers and marketers, the widespread use of ad blockers should be a wake-up call. It should encourage new ways to reach the consumer that are more tolerable, authentic, and better for business long term.

What Are Ad Blockers?

Ad blockers are exactly what they sound like. By using a filtering code through the browser, ad blockers can hide ads from a webpage. These free extensions target many ads from pop-ups to pre-roll videos on YouTube.

Ad blockers are also being used on mobile devices.

Who Uses Ad Blockers?

There hasn’t been a lot of discussion about ad blockers since about 2016, and yet according to eMarketer, one in four U.S. internet users say they block ads, which is equivalent to more than 70 million people. More specifically, 67% of 18-24 year olds use ad-blocking technology on at least one of their devices.

The blockers lead to lost revenue for publishers, threaten marketers’ ability to understand the consumer, and result in fewer ad impressions for the advertiser.

Why Do People Use Ad Blockers?

The answer to this question should be obvious for most people who have perused the interwebs. People are tired of being interrupted, distracted, and downright bombarded by ads online. Users are frustrated with ads that take up entire pages and are tired of advertisers using their browsing history to promote their brand.

According to GlobalWebIndex, people use ad blockers for three main reasons:

  1. There are too many ads on the internet
  2. Too many ads are annoying or irrelevant
  3. Ads are too intrusive.

People also noted that they use ad blockers because of slow loading times, viruses, and privacy concerns.

Companies Combating Ad Blockers

Publishing companies and brands have always pushed back significantly.

Companies have found ways of detecting ad blockers, and some have found ways to block them. Others disable the use of the site for those users with an ad blocker. BuffaloNews.com requires users to temporarily disable their ad blocker in order to see the content. Unfortunately, this can turn many people away, but it does allow the ads to be seen.

Recently, Spotify announced that starting March 1, 2019, users with an ad blocker would face “immediate termination or suspension of their account.” According to the company, about 2 million users are circumventing advertisements by using an ad blocker of some kind. Spotify is looking to grow its paid, ad-free tier, making it necessary for them to crack down on ad blockers.

Google Chrome’s Ad Blocker

As part of the Coalition for Better Ads, Google started blocking bad ads that don’t abide by a set of standards in North America in 2018.

If a website is found to be employing bad ads, Google will block all ads on that site until it cleans up its act. This ad blocker is not designed to block all ads from the internet, unlike other ad blockers. Instead, Google is trying to make online advertising more tolerable by improving the quality of the ads.

For advertisers and marketers, the widespread use of ad blockers should be a wake-up call. It should encourage new ways to reach the consumer that are more tolerable, authentic, and better for business long term.