The Facts about AdBlock in 2015
AdBlock, those who are not aware, is a plugin for the chrome browser that hides ads on websites, videos on YouTube, and search engine result pages. In 2015, this form of ad blocking cost publishers nearly $22 Billion dollars. Currently there are 198 million active AdBlock users around the world. It is safe to say that this trend of blocking unwanted and sometimes intrusive ads will not go away. Our goal as advertisers is to get creative with the way we deliver our ads. In 2016, there are three primary ways in which I see this being done: Emphasis on mobile focused ads, guest blogging and vlogging for the desired product or service, and Wi-Fi advertisements.
The use of AdBlock is more prevalent for Desktop computers compared to mobile devices. This offers us a great opportunity to avoid plugins that will block our ads whether they are on Facebook/Instagram/YouTube and advertise directly to our demographic. Studies from the PageFair and Adobe 2015 Ad Blocking Report find that “Ad Blocking behavior on websites is a function of audience demographics. Websites that cater to a younger more tech savvy audience are more likely to use this plugin”. Mobile on the other hand is a tougher platform to block advertisements on, especially through third party apps like Facebook and YouTube. Ad Blocking on mobile devices is possible, although in order to block said ads you will need to browse by using a separate browser entirely, unlike the desktop add-on, which does just that. Mobile is one platform to begin focusing advertisements on in 2016 to ensure the message will not be blocked. However, using the power of content marketing and influential people on the Internet is becoming more viable.
Guest Blogging and Vlogging
When people go on the Internet to search for a product or service, they may not know the name of said product or may be shopping around. Reaching out to a “Top 10” or other blog for the desired category is a great way to get the message of said product or service out to the target demographic. The goal with this type of advertising is to integrate within the content and not scream out to the user that it is an advertisement. Sponsoring popular YouTube accounts and giving them a unique promo code for a discount is one tactic that can be used to get the message of the product out, and also come off as an ad that cannot be blocked. The message also comes from someone who has a voice on the Internet that is trusted by loyal viewers or readers of a popular blog.
When out at traditional brick and mortar stores, using Wi-Fi instead of data is a common occurrence, due to the high data costs and sometimes slower speeds. However, placing ads that capture a user’s email or Facebook info before granting access to the Wi-Fi is one way to both extract a target demographic for use in other online advertising endeavors, but also avoid Ad Block completely. This is done through their inbox by sending them special offers and promos for using your Wi-Fi. As well as promos and ads directly on the login screen they use to get access. Turnstyle is one such solution we plan on using to help our current clients monetize their Wi-Fi and advertising deals directly to the most loyal customers they have. Offers can be pushed directly to a user’s phone as a text, which as expected have a very high open rate and ultimately can’t be blocked.
AdBlock Plus and the free version of the plugin, and its many clones, are not going anywhere. But I feel it is our job as advertisers to understand why someone would install such a plugin to block out ads. The most common reason is that they are intrusive and sometimes websites with an unknown ad network can be dangerous or have a spammy message. Avoiding these practices and using creative ways to reach your target audience is key. The only place you can avoid ads nowadays is by going to sleep, so making sure they are not obvious or offering some form of value proposition is going to be imperative in 2016.