For advertisers, the advent of ad-blocking browsers and applications can seem apocalyptic. Ad blocking has become increasingly popular over the last few years, and it’s also increasingly becoming a challenge for marketers to overcome. Reports indicated that as much as 30 percent of users block ads online, which increased by 11 percent in the prior year. Third-party ad-blocker web browser extensions, mobile apps and web applications designed to halt the very ads that help brands and businesses drive awareness and capture leads or potential clients are making it harder for brand marketers and advertising agencies to display ads that reach their target audiences everyday.
Moreover, Google’s February 15 release of its ad-blocking filter exasperates these issues by having a built-in way to block ads that it deems as failures. Google’s goal is to improve the user experience by facilitating proper ad experiences with better web advertisements. Proper ad experiences provide several benefits, including increasing reach and enhancing engagement. Additionally, Apple is also following suit with its Safari browser by stopping ad tracking and blocking autoplay video ads. Although these ad blockers and ad-blocking filters aren’t completely blocking ads, they are blocking websites that fail to meet proper ad experience standards. Thus, it’s important to optimize the ad experience so that you can reach your target audience. Here’s how you can get it done.
By doing a self-assessment of the ads you’re putting out, you’ll be able to identify “failing” ads. Leverage tools and benchmark against reports, such as Google’s Ad Experience Report, to determine if the ads your team is shelling out over the internet and beyond is making the mark. Also, pay attention to who is blocking what. Research indicates that as much as 40 percent of laptop users block ads compared to 15 percent of mobile users. This may be indicative that mobile ad-blocking still has some ways to go before audiences invest in ad-blocking apps. That means if you’re investing your digital ad spend in web ads that use autoplay ads, pop-ups and similar “violation-style” ads, then it’s time to rethink how your ad spend strategy.
Get to know the different rules based on the browser or search engine that you’ll primarily be advertising on, such as Google. Google’s benchmark for assessing whether or not a site passes or fails its “proper ad experience” requirements is the same standards set by the Coalition of Better Ads. This can include ads that display before content appears in an intrusive manner, including pop-ups and autoplay ads. By understanding what’s acceptable, you can make better ad-spend strategies.
Optimizing for an improved ad experience should also entail aligning with the right partners that consistently aim to enhance ad experiences for users. This may include aligning with the right publishers or even premium content that improves engagement. Consider why your target audience is blocking ads — usually to avoid interruptions of the content they are reading. Leverage inbound marketing tactics to offer your users relevant content that also demonstrates how your brand helps them. Additionally, investing in advertising that is non-intrusive is a goal that brand marketers and ad agencies should strive to achieve. To stay competitive, create non-intrusive advertising, including native advertising, leverage social ads, produce thought-leadership video content or offer content your audience will find interesting and unique while demonstrating the personality of your brand.
With Google’s release of its ad-blocking filter, it’s important for advertising agencies and brand marketers to be aware of the digital ads that will no longer work on the platform. By optimizing your content and using the right tools and partners, you can improve the ad experience for users while achieving marketing goals.