Are Ad Blockers Hurting the Content Marketing Industry?


It’s a universal online experience: you click on an article that piqued your interest, only to find out exactly how loud your speakers are when a video ad – mysteriously hidden somewhere on the page – starts to blare an ad.

Between pop-ups, auto-play videos and banner gifs, consumers have long been fed up with digital advertisements. With people reading less print media, advertisers needed a way to promote products where people would see them. It quickly got out of hand.

The effects of ad blockers are twofold. Websites that feature ads do not receive payment for ads that users don’t see. Some websites ask to please consider turning off the ad blocker, while others won’t load until it’s disabled.

business couple using a smartphone

Google AdWords is an online advertising service that enables advertisers to compete to display brief advertising copy to web users, based in part on keywords, predefined by the advertisers, that might link the copy to the content of web pages shown to users. Web pages from Google and from partner websites are designed to allow Google to select and display this advertising copy. Advertisers pay when users divert their browsing to seek more information about the copy displayed, and partner websites receive a portion of the income they generate.

The other problem is that companies are unable to reach their audience if the audience has tuned them out. This leaves companies spending money creating content and purchasing space for ads that ultimately won’t reach users. For companies that rely on digital marketing, this is especially frustrating.

While ad blockers are certainly making it harder to reach customers through traditional advertising, hope is not lost. Users dislike ads that take them out of the moment, disrupting the flow or format of the page they were hoping for. For content marketing to succeed, ads need to looks like other content on the page, and provide just as much relevant information.

It’s not a new strategy, just an old one. Think back to the days of The Dick Van Dyke Show (or, watch it on Netflix). Procter & Gamble advertised Joy dishwashing liquid with a short scene featuring the Petries joking about a bubble bath in the sink. Advertising that looks like content.

Businesses can adapt to the ongoing ad blocker revolution by prioritizing quality content. Rather than creating a banner that will be hidden on a webpage, create a blog post that would entice the website’s audience and pay to have it featured on the site. Instead of creating a conventional video ad, create a quick how-to video featuring your product or service so customers can learn something new before watching the video they clicked.

To get past the ad blockers, content needs to look like it fits naturally in the site. Whether that’s promoted Pins or sponsored blogs, create content your audience will be happy they stumbled upon, ultimately leading them back to your site.

Copyright 2015 Viral Solutions LLC

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Filed Under: Social Media