Far from an approach utilised by a niche, savvy few, the use of the ad-blocking software is on the rise. With a projected 30% of internet users set to have ad-blockers in place by the end of 2018, it’s important that those of us in the digital marketing world jump on board this speedy train into the future. This practice is expected to result in immense global revenue losses for advertisers and publishers alike— but don’t panic yet. At Red Herring Digital, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you navigate digital marketing in an ad-block world.

The Cause

To know the cause is really to know the solution— in this case, ad-blocker use is on the rise primarily due to depleting levels of consumer trust in online advertising. Of course, no one loves advertising, but if your customers have to literally create a barrier between you and them, something is wrong. While there are examples out there such as Forbes, who have addressed the issue by requiring that users turn off ad blocker to view their content, and The Guardian, who have encouraged readers towards donations and/or subscriptions, these aren’t the only options. It’s so important to consider why consumers have begun to use these ad-blocking services; it’s pretty clear that they’re no longer picking up what the digital marketing world is putting down. For your business, there are solutions that are both creative and sustainable.

The Fix

As the ambiguous “they” always say, ‘the customer is always right’. And this handy little nugget of wisdom has never been more relevant than in the current era of digital marketing. Today, the customer is king, and they have more power than ever before— so you need to tailor your approach to suit them. Rather than implementing strategies to combat ad-blocking, why not work with what you have and focus on creating relevant, personalised experiences to build trust with your audience? Now is the time to empathise with the consumer and find innovative ways to connect, engage and convert views to sales.

Look Beyond Pay Per View

Now more than ever, businesses should place emphasis on multifaceted, unique approaches to building audiences. From ‘refer a friend’ programmes that replicate the ‘word of mouth’ experience online, to content marketing that focuses on putting out content that is targeted, timely and personalised, there are many ways to get jiggy with your customer base— all without tackling ad-blocker software. It’s all about creating positive, engaging experiences through interaction, as this is what your customer base will remember.

There’s no doubt that finding innovative practices to connect with your audience is the only way to keep on swimming. But remember— the most important thing is to engage in a way that is relevant and specific to your customer base. For a real-life example, check out our work with Your Law Firm which combines search engine advertising with digital marketing.

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