Display ads have been dying for a long time. Click rates have plummeted. Browsers support ad-blocking.
With iOS9, Apple made it possible for app developers to block certain kinds of advertisements. Developers created apps within the first few days of iOS9’s launch that blocked everything from pop-up ads and display ads to sponsored content. Digital marketers now have to think differently about mobile and where they focus time, energy and budget.
Truthfully, apps are better for user experience and better for companies when it comes to tracking and personalizing the customer journey. With Apple essentially ripping out the revenue rug from mobile analytics companies, publishers and advertising agencies, there’s really nowhere for companies to go but to apps.
Consumers, per Tech Crunch, spend 75% of their time on mobile within apps.
Apps are in; display ads are out. Marketing budgets need to be recalibrated accordingly. This is an opportunity for marketers to take a step back and think about all of the channels at their disposal – and strategically allocate resources to the ones becoming more popular on mobile.
Here’s where marketers should spend more time in a post ad-blocking world:
1. Native Apps
If your business doesn’t have an app, you should start strategically thinking about how to develop one. Apps can be built for loyalty, entertainment, media, shopping. They help a lot in a mobile-first landscape. But it’s up to you to make sure users download the apps and keep using them.
If you already have an app and you’re thinking about discovery and installs, optimized all your marketing channels for deep links, which enable users to travel from app-to-app without any friction.
2. Social Media
Ads within social media platforms are native to the apps and can’t be blocked. If you’ve been dedicating budget to display ads seen by fewer users, you may want to turn more of resources to social media marketing—like paid campaigns through Facebook Ads or Promoted Tweets.
Amplify your presence on Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. All three networks are experimenting with new advertising opportunities which, in the wake of ad-blocking, could be a gold mine for businesses that depended on display or pop-up ads for a significant chunk of revenue.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is still the best digital channel for ROI, and it’s also one of the most popular activities on mobile. It may be time to rethink your email marketing campaigns and put a new emphasis on email sign-ups. Too often, businesses relegate an email sign-up box to a lonely corner of the web site and don’t offer any immediate value.
By turning budget and resources to revamping the email marketing program, brands can build a marketing channel that will go unaffected by whatever big change is next.
4. Content Marketing
Ad-blocking technology won’t block organic content, but it actually does have an impact on native advertising channels. For example, if you syndicate an article with Buzzfeed to participate with the company’s “Sponsored Content” program, some ad-blocking apps will actually block that content.
Most content marketing initiatives have to be organic. Compelling media on your own site sends potential customers to product and landing pages, driving site traffic and search engine optimization.
5. Influencer Marketing
The easiest way to tap into a new audience - without getting anything blocked - may be to work with influencers. Influencer marketingpays $6.50 for every dollar spent. That’s a pretty high ROI, to say the least.
If you’re a B2B company, look for industry peers that target similar audiences. Work with them on content initiatives like webinars or guest blog posts and run joint promotions to build momentum. If you’re B2C, get creative. In effort to target Indian consumers with a new kitchen appliance, a company teamedwith a well-known Indian chef with more than 330,000 YouTube subscribers. The result was a six-month series, in which many videos got more than 100,000 views each.
The Future: Ads, Gone Human
The Age of the Display Ad is on the wane. Marketing campaigns that resonate create experiences that people don’t forget, based on data from marketing tech tools that can help personalize the experience. If marketers create experiences that consumers look forward to having, they won’t seek out ways to block it.