Ad blockers... Do you use them? According to recent statistics, around 27% of Internet users worldwide use ad blockers. The most popular being AdBlock, UBlock Origin, Ghostery, Adaware Ad Block and Ad Remover. This number keeps growing every year. The reasons are quite obvious. Advertisements lower a website’s performance, they increase load times and they track you like crazy. And yes, many ads are just annoying.
What does an acceptable advertisement look like?
- It is not annoying
- It does not disrupt or distort the page content we are trying to read
- It is transparent with us about being an ad
- It is effective without shouting at us
- It is appropriate to the site we are on
What are General Criteria for an Advertisement to be Acceptable?
The reader’s flow does not need to be disrupted by an ad. Imagine reading an article that is interesting to you. You are eager to keep on reading but in the middle of the page you see an annoying ad. You forget about the topic of an article immediately. And your mood probably has worsened. Why? The placement of the ad is not appropriate! What are the best locations for an advertisement? The lower/upper part of the page or a sidebar.
When loading the content of the page for the first time, pay attention to the size of an ad. It should not occupy more than 15% of the webpage above the fold and not more than 25% of the page below the fold. A fold in this case is a bottom border of the page when it loads for the first time.
Any acceptable advertisement should be seen as an ad but not as anything else. Titles like “Staff you may be interested in” or “ You may like this” do not look like an advertisement to a reader. Changing these to a simple title “Advertisement” makes a big difference in the perception of a reader.
Some Tips Making Advertisements and not Care about Ad Blockers
Do you want to get more impressions and clicks? Or you want to have good conversion rates? Or maybe you want to improve ROI? Or you just want to outbeat your local competitors? No matter what your goal is, you probably do not want your advertisement to be flagged or blocked by ad blockers. What do you need to do to avoid this? In 2020 creating native advertisements, audio ads and rewarded videos are the key things in on-site advertising. Choosing appropriate marketing strategies and locations are also important.
These are advertisements that match the look and function of the media format they appear in. And, yes, they are paid. What is the advantage of using native advertisements? To put it simple, they are not annoying. The content and the look of a native ad is absolutely friendly from a user experience perspective. Due to good quality of content, native ads can attract attention much faster than ad banners. Interestingly enough, the most developed market of the world, the USA, increases its investment on native advertisements each year. In 2019 over $44 billion was spent on native ads.
Native advertisements come in all forms and sizes. It is up to you if it is a video, a recommendation or a sponsored post. Below you can see an example of a native ad from an American cookie brand Oreo. Even if you are not a fan of Game of Thrones, it is still worth watching just to see how impressive and creative native commercials can be.
At first glance, audio does not seem to be as effective as visual content. At second glance, just sit down to think of your product and the message of your advertisement. No matter if you are doing B2B or B2C, podcasts can always work. Be creative and make sure the message you send to your audience is clear and is received. Nowadays, there are various platforms for audio advertisements! Just check Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, Hype Machine, Pandora, DAX and many more! All of them create excellent opportunities to share your message!
A rewarded video is a type of visual content that users have to watch to get any further incentive. It can be a lifespan in a game, a hint in a quiz or a free trial. Where can you usually find these videos? In free Apps, demo versions of games, or various products and services. What exactly are the advantages of rewarded videos? Better targeted audience and better viewer satisfaction. Users can choose ads according to their interests. Since rewarded videos are opt-in and non-intrusive, viewers in general tend to have a more favourable perception of an advertiser.
Creating content for a sponsored post, an advertisement or a podcast requires some marketing strategies. Your advertisement may be very user friendly but if your content has no message, no logic and/or no CTA, the ad is a waste of time and budget. Content is king. Have a look at your advertisement from a user perspective. Would you get interested if you were in viewer's shoes? Why would your message lead to an action? How do you make a user increase not just conversion rates but also sales?
Think about the location of your advertisements. Check ads of local competitors. Think why and how you are better and use this in your advertisement. Think about the demographics of your audience when choosing an appropriate location for your ads. If you offer free shipping within the EU, a customer from Australia will not be so eager to get your product or service for a double price due to shipping costs. Even if your product is awesome. This is just how the market works. And you have to take it as it is.
Ad blockers are getting more and more popular worldwide. You do not have to be smarter than them. Just be one step ahead and think of making awesome advertisements that are not going to be affected by any ad blockers.
- Irfan Ahmad (2019): Global Ad Blocking Behaviour 2019 [Infographic]
- EMarketer (2014): Consumers Get Engaged With Rich Media
- Carly Stec (2015): 20 Display Advertising Stats That Demonstrate Digital Advertising's Evolution
- Kean Graham (2015): 5 Ways Publishers Can Fight Ad Blocking Through Better User Experience
- Grayson Kemper (2019): What are marketers' options for handling ad blockers?
- Guttmann, A. (2018): Adblocking penetration rate in selected countries worldwide as of February 2018
- Forbes Agency Council (2018): 14 Effective Strategies to Overcome Ad Blocking
- Nicole Perrin (2019): US Native Advertising 2019