The Future Of Advertising Is Facing A Huge Challenge By Going Head To Head With Evolving Ad Blocking Software.
Ad blocking technology is not a new competitor to advertising. These technologies have been in existence since the early 2000s, but they weren’t quite as user friendly and adaptable as they are today. The user had to be very skilled with the technical side of the software because they would have to know exactly what to block and how to write the code to do so. Two years later, software was released that made ad blocking slightly more accessible to users by incorporating simple filters instead of manually coding the software themselves. In 2006, additional software was released that allowed developers to create code and then share it with the public. At this point, ad blocking was made available to people who didn’t have the technical skills of someone like a web developer. Ad blocking software was created to be universal at that point – all users had to do was download the software that was made available to them. This advancement allowed users to “whitelist” webpages so they could still be served ads but only on selected websites. As time went on and ads got more and more intrusive, users of ad blocking software inevitably sky rocketed.
But why is this so important to marketers?
There are now one billion people worldwide using ad blockers and research shows this is an extremely valuable audience who marketers need to be reaching. eye/o conducted research in January of 2018 that proves most people using ad blockers are a good target for marketers. Those who use ad blockers are:
- Highly educated with 34.7% of users having an advanced education
- Higher income earners with 38.6% of users earning $90,000 or more
- 80% more likely to make an online purchase and will even spend over $200 on an online purchase
- More likely to engage with the ads that they are shown
- More likely to make online purchases and more likely to purchase a product after seeing an ad
There are still an average of 80% of people in the world who are not using ad blockers. All of this being said, how are we, as marketers and advertisers, supposed to reach the remaining 20% that do? As professionals in the industry, we really have just a few options:
- Publishers can refuse user entry to their websites if they detect an ad blocking software on the user’s device
- Web browsers can adopt the standards that the Coalition for Better Ads created in order to encourage a more user friendly environment. They do this by blocking the most intrusive ad types while still serving ads that fall in line with their standards. This does not apply to just users with ad blockers but all online users – the 80% and the 20%.
- A 3rd party, Acceptable Ads Committee, is working to approve ad types that they believe a user would be more willing to accept. They have found that users with ad blockers are okay with seeing ads that are transparently labeled as an ad, ads that do not cover up content and are not embedded into the middle of page content.
- Another new concept is to incentivize users to see ads by paying them a portion of the CPM that publishers and ad networks receive. Companies like AdSwapper install software that blocks ads that don’t agree to financially incentivize users who are exposed to the ads.
At the end of the day, users are not going to just uninstall their ad blockers with no industry change. However, 63% of users with the ad blocking software installed are actually open to seeing advertisements as long as they are not too intrusive. The point is, you can still market to this valuable audience even though they are using ad blockers by being diligent about the ad types you are promoting.
ADWORDS DISCONTINUES REVIEW EXTENSIONS (POTENTIAL IMPACT ON ADVERTISERS)
As we have become accustomed to, Google gives a directive and we all scamper around to fall in line. However, Google’s decision to discontinue review extensions in January was met with indifference by most industry experts. Review extensions were launched in 2013, and four years after the introduction, they became one of the least used extensions in AdWords. Experts were left frustrated by the difficulty in getting Google’s approval for the reviews but, for those few who trudged through the approval process, most advertisers saw an increase in CTR.
POTENTIAL IMPACT ON ADVERTISERS
There is a general belief that the removal of review extensions will have little to no impact on advertisers. This is because review extensions were seldom used in the industry. For those advertisers who were fortunate enough to have their review extensions approved, Google recommends replacing them with sitelink, callout and structured snippet extensions. Though these are not like for like replacements, they provide ad copy with some much-needed enhancements. Another way around this is to reference positive reviews in your ad copy. Paraphrasing a review in your ad text is not forbidden in AdWords as long as it’s linked to an accredited source.
YOUTUBE REMARKETING IS FOR YOU!
Written by Joey Fendler and Casey Matter
Want your YouTube ads to push awareness and conversions even further? Are you looking for effective ways to build retargeting audiences to fuel your funnel? In an average day, YouTube reaches more 18+ viewers than any TV network. What’s even better is the ability to leverage data on those who interact with your YouTube videos or channel into other areas of your paid media initiatives. In general, you can apply this remarketing audience tactic to any media that passes through Google Search, programmatic, and YouTube as well. Reinforcing your message with people who have seen and interacted with your videos on YouTube is likely to increase your ROI as well as other significant benefits reported by Google.
Additionally, you can go even further than a generic retargeting list and segment these video viewers into users who have interacted with the video through commenting on the video, liking the video, viewing a certain video, or subscribing to the video’s channel. You can build a plethora of lists based on different criteria and what you ideally want them to do once they reach your website.
Specifically, Google announced this summer that YouTube audience lists can be used with remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) to help you reach more people who already have an interest in your brand.
Unless you’re just getting started with your business and only your mom, best friend, and dog are visiting your site, you should be utilizing remarketing. If you have an established YouTube channel that gets a strong significant amount of monthly views, then you should definitely be utilizing YouTube remarketing. Keep in mind, however, that there is a minimum requirement of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 viewing hours in the past 12 months in order to have ads shown on your channel. If you’d like to read more about YouTube’s new requirements, you can find it here. YouTube remarketing is a great way to improve your ROI and efficiently spend your budget in order to enhance your targeting and make your media dollars go further.