Commentary

7 Tips For Handling Ad Blockers

There’s little doubt that advertising is evolving. The people have spoken, loudly and clearly: They don’t want or trust advertising messages.

Then there's the issue of viewability and concerns about audiences’ receptiveness to banner ads. The stated average viewability of 17 seconds for an ad demands scrutiny. The viewer could be reading the content on that page and never even glance at the ad, and yet the ad will get credit for its viewability.

Another issue: bots and fraudulent impressions. Add ad blockers into this mess, and you have an industry caught like a deer in the headlights. Marketers and media companies are continuing to invest in traditional media despite declining numbers.

So what's a marketer to do? Here are seven suggestions:

Use social channels. Did you know social channels can’t be blocked? And neither can influencer content. Plus, it gives you the benefit of their creative content and audience. Also, the ads are shareable. But be sure to ask your influencer marketing company for verified, not self-reported, numbers.

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Create engageable ads. Start by understanding how copy and image influence click-through rates (CTRs) and engagement rates. To drive engagement, create great content that audiences want. But it can’t be just another banner ad that clicks through to a website. You need to give the audience the content they’re hungry for.

Understand the placement of CTAs. The location of your call-to-action message can heavily influence CTRs. On a social platform, using a button makes can make content look too much like an ad. It is important for the CTA button to flow with the rest of the ad to make it as social as possible.

Remember the importance of A/B testing. Test. Test. And test again. For example, we’ve noticed with food ads that images showing a recipe in progress works better than a completed recipe. Makes sense, right? It is important to continue to test. Social is ever-changing; what worked three months ago may not work today!

Find what works before you put money in. This seems so obvious, doesn’t it? This is a page out of every direct marketer’s playbook. Put in the work and test everything. Sometimes the smallest change will net a big result. Once you’ve figured out what works, then put the money behind it.

Leverage data to target the right audience with relevant content. To measure banner ads today, engagement is key and targeting is your friend. Here’s an easy question to answer: Who is worth more to you? Someone passively scanning a banner ad, or someone who can engage with your ad because they have been identified as someone who might like what they see?

Identify the engaged audience and use lookalike and retargeting groups. Create a custom audience of those who clicked through to the content and a lookalike group of people who “look like” the engaged audience. Leverage social retargeting groups by serving different content to those who have already engaged with previous content. Serve people what they like -- not what they’ve already seen!

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