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AdBlock and Banner Blindness Make Your Life Miserable

5 min read
AdBlock and Banner Blindness Make Your Life Miserable

The media is full of advertising content, both high and low quality. Aggressive advertising campaigns with flashy banners, video overlays and pop-up applications sometimes disturb the relative proportions of the content of the website and the advertising content. The problem has deepened with the arrival of digital advertising to the world of mobile devices. This has two main consequences: banner blindness and the popularity of AdBlock plugins.

What can marketers do tackle this problem? Find out what is the scale of these two phenomena and explore several alternative ways to attract the attention of your audience.

Uneven fight: biology vs. marketers

Banner blindness is a tendency to ignore some of the banner ads accompanying content on websites by Internet users. This is a natural reaction of the human brain, which subconsciously resigns from absorbing some of the information to avoid overload.

People are used to the schemes according to which advertising content is placed on websites and instinctively omit it. Annoying audio advertisements or pop-ups covering a large part of the website evoke an immediate desire to disable the irritating element of the page, without getting familiar with its content – hence the growing number of AdBlock users.

Banners are also overlooked because their essence does not correspond to a website content. Ads in this form are often unmatched in terms of targeting to a specific group of recipients.

AdBlock may be more common than you think

According to the report The state of the blocked web. 2017 Adblock Report by PageFair, 615 million devices – among them over 380 million mobile devices – have installed ad blocking software. Experts from eMarketer predict that by the end of 2018, 30% of all Internet users will have blockers installed.

Ad block penetration per capita online - map

It seems that the Internet users forget that the web is no different from real life – nothing comes for free. It’s only natural that the content creators supported solely by advertising profits (requiring no extra fee to access content) will ask users to switch off AdBlock while browsing their website.

Some creators decided to be more direct and started charging their readers for access. This leaves us in a place where digital marketing should develop standards for the quality of presented content. It’s high time we resigned from the use of aggressive advertising, which is the main reason why content blockers exist.

Looking for an alternative

Marketers can’t ignore the phenomenon of banner blindness and the increasing number of ad blocking software. The next step is to search for alternative means of expression. According to surveys conducted by PageFair, most Internet users have a positive or neutral attitude towards advertisements appearing, as long as they do not hinder the normal use of digital content. These challenges can be overcome by cleverness, creativity and the use of modern marketing solutions.

Take advantage of digital marketing best practices

In modern marketing, the battle for customers’ attention is focused on developing creative, outstanding form and content. This is especially important in the case of restrictions imposed by AdBlock. Here are a few trends that will help improve the reception of advertising content, and which will not cause the operation of ad blockers.

Targeted advertisements – there is no doubt that personalized ads lead to higher conversions and clicks. When ads are targeted to the right audience, content is more likely to reach the highest potential engagement. In marketing, there are many ways to target, including:

  • Contextual advertising. This type of advertisement works with user data, which include visited websites or search terms. The behavior of users on the Internet shapes their individual profiles of interests. This way, each person has contact with such advertisements, which fit into the pattern of his/her preferences.
  • Geotargeting. This format is about matching the content of ads displayed to the viewers’ geographical location. This is a good way to promote niche and local products or services.
  • Retargeting (remarketing). This form of digital advertising targets directly the Internet users who have visited your website before. It allows you to reach people who didn’t perform a desired action on the page, such as newsletter subscription or completing a purchase.

Content marketing. The essence of this tactic is the publication and promotion of high quality content for a specific customer segment. Importantly, it is not a one-sided advertising message, but a project leading to long-term relationships. This kind of operation is not a direct promotion of the brand, but it arouses interest in the company, its products and services.

Content marketing, in addition to creating high-quality subjects, must also include appropriate content promotion, a precise plan for generating leads or sales using this content, as well as an adequate analytical system to test the relevance of marketing activities.

Native ads. This type of advertising message is integrated or correlated with other media content. Native advertising adapts in form and content to journalistic material which it accompanies. However, it cannot imitate an editorial article. The fact of sponsoring such a text, film or post must be clearly marked. The condition for success in using this type of advertising is to adapt to the profile of a given medium and the expectations of its recipients.

If they throw you out the door, come back through the window

When the traditional forms of advertising are blocked or skipped, marketers have to find another way to effectively reach potential customers.

Social media is an effective marketing communication channel to help you outwit AdBlock mechanisms. This may be the best way to promote a brand, company or product and establish contacts with customers.

Social media is the perfect place to run a viral chain reaction. Among other things, you can boost your content using the pay-by-share method (or similar pay-with-a-Tweet, pay-with-a-post). It involves the dissemination of part of your content for free while the whole is unlocked after sharing in the user’s social media.

Another solution may be the use of email and text messages. However, remember that such advertisements may be directed only to those consumers who have explicitly and deliberately agreed to receive this type of content.

So how can you get such permission? One of the easiest ways to create customer databases, with their full consent, is to use the newsletter. The most popular incentive to join the newsletter is to offer an added value, like gift or discount code. This action follows the rules of permission marketing, which allows you to build relationships with clients.

However, even after obtaining consent to receive marketing content, allow customers the opportunity to resign, and update their personal data.

Prepare yourself. Be creative. Be social

In summary, marketers need to remember a few key points:

  • choose the communication channel appropriately
  • properly define the recipients to whom the advertisement will be presented
  • interest in form
  • focus on the needs of potential customers
  • use call-to-action
  • create an emotional bond with the recipient.

A balanced mix of these ingredients, combined with a bit of creativity, will be the essence of the brand’s or product’s success. And extra points in the AdBlock challenge.