According to a May 2015 report from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the United Nations, nearly 3.2 billion people use the Internet worldwide; up from 738 million in 2000.
How does one go about introducing all of these potential consumers to their brand? Through effective digital ad campaigns of course! Google’s Display Network already reaches 90% of global Internet users. Mix that with ads on Google’s Search Network, Facebook, and YouTube and you’re in front of almost every viable customer in the world.
Effective ad campaigns can do wonderful things for a business. Among other things they can:
Pretty powerful stuff!
Businesses Flew Too Close to The Sun
Remember Uncle Ben in Spider-Man? He said, “with great power comes great responsibility.” The same message applies to digital advertising and, unfortunately, we’ve seen too many companies abuse this great power. These bozos:
- Put the wrong message in front of the wrong person at the wrong time.
- Send people to poorly designed landing pages that have little to do with the originally advertised message.
- Direct people off web browsers and into mobile app stores. Everybody loves that one, right?
People need something to combat these maddening ads ruining their digital experiences; a “digital advertising Spider-Man” if you will. Our hero doesn’t come in the form of a guy web-slinging around town, unfortunately. It comes in the form of ad blocking softwares and new privacy features that block brands from showing up on the Internet’s most popular sites.
Witness to The Blocking Revolution
Over the last few years we’ve witnessed the rising availability of softwares and new personal privacy preferences that modify who and what gets to track your “online persona” and place their ads in front of you:
- According to a September 2014 report completed by PageFair and Adobe, nearly 150 million people have downloaded ad-blocking software.
- Overall add blocking software downloads are increasing by 43% each year.
- Popular search engines and social networks such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn give users the ability to close ads immediately, effectively blocking that brand from ever showing up in front of them on that site again.
- The new Apple iOS 9 software allows ad-blocking software to be distributed in the App Store, and they’re dominating the Apple download charts.
The takeaway: ad-blocking technology is here and growing in popularity. Between ad blocking software and website privacy features, businesses that continue running poorly managed digital advertising campaigns will end up wasting money and hindering their brand’s ability to flourish.
How to Avoid Being Blocked
All is not lost! On many sites people still need to manually remove your ads from ever showing up again, and many people are still too busy or too lazy to take that extra step. Even when someone purchases ad blocking software, they can modify their personal settings and allow certain ads to show up on certain sites. Your responsibility as a business is to get the right message, in the right format, on the right sites, at the right times.
Here are 6 tips that can help your ads stand out and decrease your chances of being manually blocked:
1: Be a Good Business!
This one isn’t rocket science. If people loathe your business they’ll most likely block your online ads, even if you’re running a terrific campaign and offering a product they desperately want. So remember to provide an excellent product or service along with excellent customer service on the back end!
2: Follow The “3 C’s” Principle
The ‘3 C’s’ principle states that a strong digital advertisement will be compelling, concise, and clear:
- Compelling: include clear pictures, video elements, animation and/or interactive elements in your ads. It requires more time and effort, but can result in an increase in traffic compared to standard banner ads.
- Concise: convey key points about your solution and use language that’s easy to read and understand, ideally involving words and phrases used by your customers.
- Clear: communicate one strong message about one particular solution that will resonate with the consumer.
3: Make Sure You Have a Quality Landing Page
Make sure that the web page(s) you direct your visitors to reflect everything that initially interested them about the ad. It should be engaging, simple to navigate, informative and easy for visitors to convert into new leads. Use conversion optimization softwares like Optimizely and VWO to help you improve the effectiveness of your landing pages.
4: Show Up In The Right Spots
Research where your target audience spends their time online, and then set up advertising campaigns that gets your brand onto those sites. Before advertising on the Google Search Network, do some keyword research to see which keywords make the most sense for you to buy ad space on. If you’re doing Display Ads, make sure that your ads are showing up on sites likely visited by your target audience. Don’t spend money or energy buying ad space on sites that your audience never visits.
5: Don’t Be Afraid to Make Changes
Continually running poorly performing ads isn’t helping your cause. Track the results of your ads, analyze the findings on a regular basis and then spend more money on what’s working and less on what’s not. Rinse and repeat.
6: Don’t Overload Your Customers
Pushing the same message in the same place for too long can overwhelm consumers and make them lose interest in your brand. Changing the format and placement of your ads keeps them from becoming stale, and gives an entirely new group of people the opportunity to learn about your brand.
The increasing popularity of ad blocking software and online privacy preferences will make it more difficult for brands to position themselves in front of the online population. The best way to minimize your brand’s chances of getting blocked is to create compelling ads that show up to the right people, with the right message, at the right time.