With Apple recently revealing that they would enable ad blocking on iPhone’s and iPad’s Safari browsers, publishers and advertisers have been flipping out over the probable loss in revenues as a result. But the reality of it all is that they are the ones to blame. They brought this upon themselves by creating and serving terrible advertising to their users. The good news is that this is not the end of the world of publishing as we know it, and that there are somewhat simple solutions that can minimize the losses and create a better digital world for their users to enjoy.
Nobody Hates Good Native Advertising
Native advertising or sponsored content is one of the least obtrusive ways to advertise in the digital world. The key is to make it subtle and make sure your readers are the key demographic for your advertisers. If you can deliver great content that your readers seek out and share with the marketing serving as a content curator and not a content promoter, advertisers and readers can benefit mutually.
Make Ads Less Addy
The whole reason why internet users are using ad blockers is because they’re tired of the annoying ads on the sites they visit. The ads are obtrusive. The ads are not for them. The ads are distracting. The ads are frustrating. The ads won’t stop. And then they’ve had enough and if you’re lucky they run an ad blocker over leaving your site forever. Publishers and advertisers need to improve the quality of the ads that they deliver. They need to be more targeted towards the demographic. They need to provide value to the users. They need to tone it down. They need to drive users to content as opposed to more advertising. Users have the power to not just tune out your message like in radio and outdoor, but remove it completely. Don’t give them a reason to do that.
Educate Through Content Marketing
Give your customers what they want not what you want them to want. In other words, when your target audience visits your site, they want to learn more before they buy. They want to learn more about your product and the industry it inhabits. If you have a great product or service, then the content you create should make your potential customers smarter and wiser about your product or service. When they do eventually buy, they should feel that they are making the best and smartest decision and that your brand was instrumental in helping them make that decision. If you did your job, then your customers should turn from students to teachers as they educate others about your industry and your product or service.
Be Social in Social Media
Build relationships not revenue. Talk with your audience not to them. Treat them as your friends not your potential customers. Share links, pictures, stories and other content related to your product or service that they will find valuable. Join in the conversations they start with comments, likes, retweets and shares. Answer their questions. Thank them for their purchases. Add value to the conversations. When the time comes and if you’ve built a strong relationship with them and they trust you, they’ll buy from you.
Mix It All Together and Serve.
The key to a successful digital marketing strategy is to mix, combine, weave, integrate all the digital marketing formats above into a solid marketing strategy that delivers many customer touchpoints across the digital spectrum. Your social media marketing can drive traffic to your content marketing. Your content marketing can lead to social media follows. Your ads can lead to email sign-ups. Your native advertising can lead to content marketing on your site. And together, that all can turn visitors into friends into buyers into fans of your product or service. The growing popularity of ad blockers should challenge your marketing not defeat it.