Ad Blockers are On the Rise! What Can Advertisers Do?
Digital advertisers in the mortgage industry have a right to be concerned about the increasing trend of ad blocking. According to a study by Statista, the ad blocker user rate is projected to be approximately 30% in 2018!
This is a stark reminder for advertisers about how empowered consumers really are.
When telemarketers crossed the line with too many intrusive calls during dinner time, consumers fought back through the National Do Not Call Registry. When DVRs entered the market, consumers were able to blow through irrelevant commercials in a matter of seconds. And, of course, people who receive repetitive, unwanted, irrelevant, and unsolicited emails can easily block the senders or mark such irritating emails as spam.
What we are faced with today are ad-blockers used by your target audience who are fed up with online ads that:
- Are intrusive
- Distract from their online experience
- Block them from reading desired content
- Are irrelevant
The good news is that your audience doesn’t hate online advertising. What they do hate are ads that intrude, interrupt, annoy and insult their intelligence. Based on how people interact on social media, it’s rather obvious that a fair share don’t mind giving up a little personal information or privacy in exchange for an enhanced online experience. But everyone has their limits.
Therefore, it’s time for advertisers to think more strategically about what they are serving their online audience.
Since ad blockers do exist and are used by so many, they’re not going away anytime soon. We as advertisers can only do our best to provide well developed and relevant ads so as not to be catalysts for more ad block software downloads.
Fortunately, with the quality of data available, both structured and unstructured, delivering highly personalized and relevant ads is an amazing reality. This will go a long way to restore trust instead of drive more ad block downloads!
Use These Tactics to Get Your Message Across
In addition to sharpening up your ad strategy, here are 3 tactics you can use to get your messages through to your target audience that avoid ad blockers and provide a great experience:
Influencer marketing: This is a hot tactic now because influencers are easier to find and assess than ever before! This type of marketing taps into the large following of key individuals that have the power to create awareness of your company and what you offer.
Depending on the type of company you are, lender or vendor, you can tap into industry influencers, influencers in the local communities you serve or other influencers that are directly or tangentially related to real estate and financing, like home improvement, fix and flippers and others to get your name out there.
There are a lot of great reasons to leverage influencer marketing! It’s one of the quickest ways to build trust in your company. It’s also a great equalizer because large companies have immense marketing budgets to work with that can make it very difficult for a smaller company to compete.
With the right influencer(s) in place, a smaller company can make a substantial impact on its target audience. Also, consider the fact that Facebook just recently launched its Brand Collabs Manager, signalling the importance Facebook is placing on influencer marketing for its own sustainability.
It’s a modern twist on the more traditional PR that many are still using.
Sponsored content: Sponsored content is content that is produced to be educational or entertaining and is then distributed by a publisher like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. Certainly, you’ve seen plenty in your personal news feeds!
The purpose of sponsored content is to create brand awareness. It is not overtly designed to sell a product or service. Rather its purpose is to drive a favorable image of the brand for its effort in educating or entertaining the reader. The key here is the frequency in order to increase brand recall and consideration when a decision is imminent.
Native advertising: Native advertising is content in an online publication that appears like just another article, video or infographic that provides great information, but also has an underlying advertising message.
What makes this “native” is that the piece of content takes on the overall look and feel of other content in the publication. This “blending in” is what makes it much different from a typical banner ad, sidebar ad or pop-up.
Publications typically put a label above the ad that reads “advertisement” or “sponsored” so that readers don’t feel deceived by the publication if they click through.
This type of advertising is gaining a lot of traction because the click-through rates are said to be 2 – 10 times higher! This is because, unlike with banner ads and other display type advertising, readers cannot “learn” to ignore them (called “banner blindness”) because they are actively engaged in reading editorial content already.
True native advertising looks and even reads a lot like editorial content once you click through. Other times, when you click through, you’ll be taken to the advertisers own branded content, away from the publishers’ site.
Now, even though ad blocking is becoming a rising concern, that does not mean you should stop running online ads. Not by a long shot. The tactics mentioned above should be add-ons to your overall online advertising strategy, not replace anything. Each tactic used properly can help the buyer along his or her journey to decide who they will ultimately do business with.