For publishers and advertisers alike, there’s no getting around ad blockers. No longer a novelty, ad blockers are costing publishers $22 billion dollars a year in revenue and jeopardizing the relationship between content providers and readers.
By working more collaboratively with agencies as well as brands, we can address the root cause of the rise of ad blockers and work toward a solution.
Digital advertising has reached a saturation point, sending readers scrambling for less intrusive platforms and potentially damaging the medium for everyone.
When ads routinely compromise the reader experience, it should come as no surprise that ad blocking has proliferated to the extent that by some estimates, 40% of Web users now employ them.
How can we find a way for publishers to provide top-shelf editorial content and protect their revenue while still helping marketers reach consumers? By admitting it’s all our fault we got to this point — and partnering to take three central steps to win readers back.
Step 1 – Be Your Own Focus Group
We: Brands, agencies, publishers — all need to put the consumer experience first.
If you don’t love auto-play with sound or 60-secrond pre-roll ads, odds are pretty good neither do readers. Consumers are not motivated to spend time on sites where they’ll be subjected to endless ads.
In these data-driven times, we need to remember that there are actual people at the other end of those KPI’s.
Step 2 – Agencies and Brands, Listen to Your Publisher
Advertisers; listen to publishers when they tell you less is more, especially when it comes to brand integration. It comes down to balance.
The amount of ad messaging needs to be commensurate with the editorial, and ads should never overpower the user experience.
Contextually relevant ads and native content provide an entertaining and authentic user experience that boosts brand loyalty. Give readers the benefit of the doubt that they will make the connection between your brand messaging and the content you are sponsoring without beating them over the head with it.
Step 3 – Get More Creative
For publishers, get more inventive and recognize that the best way to accommodate more ads is to create more content. Take some of the pressure off yourself and your advertisers by bringing more native executions to the table, minimizing the need for over the top selling.
The Internet gives consumers nearly infinite choice; therefore, a great user experience is paramount to drive growth and maintain brand loyalty. Publishers, advertisers, and consumers all win when we learn to strike the right balance.
Make the audience the No. 1 priority and cultivate integrations they find entertaining, informative and relevant.
Let’s all hit the reset button and create brand messaging and advertising executions that put the user experience at the top of the priority list.