The advances in digital technology over the last decade have changed and continue to change the way people consume content. But what hasn’t changed much are consumer attitudes towards ads.
According to eMarketer, roughly one out of every four US internet users are using ad blocking software on their computer or mobile device. So what can marketers do to remedy this? They fortunately have some options, which eMarketer analyst Nicole Perrin shared on a recent episode of the Behind the Number’s Podcast.
Know your audience
Marketers can start by paying close attention to their target audience. Having a better understanding of the customer lifecycle along with empathy for their concerns can help marketers create more relevant ads.
“They’re not just theoretically relevant; they make sense,” Perrin said. “They help the consumer solve a problem. And you’re not just messaging them as if they’re a new customer, as if you’re just trying to make a sale that day. But as if you understand that they’re a person that has a long-term value as a customer and that you can kind of nurture that over time and have a relationship.”
Utilize more respectful formats
Nothing can be worse than when an app or website has ads that interrupt the user experience. Marketers need to be cognizant about this when placing ad creative. Perrin notes that context is critically important when deciding on format.
Autoplay videos are probably annoying on a newspaper website, where someone is likely seeking a text-based experience. However, they’re likely more embraced on social media feeds like Instagram or Facebook, where autoplay is an integrated behavior of the platform. Marketers must pay close attention to the channel their ads are appearing on and what people expect in those channels.
It’s important to have creative that a target audience won’t mind seeing often. In order to do this, marketers must invest in working with talented copywriters, designers, producers, creative directors and others to develop content that an audience wants to revisit over and over again.
Be mindful of ad frequency
One of the biggest issues facing marketers is oversaturation. But, frequency capping is something that marketers have found difficult to do. Perrin noted a survey in which the CMO Club spoke with marketing executives about frequency. The poll found that execs believe it’s a problem people see their ads repeatedly yet don’t have confidence in their ability to solve this issue.
One possible solution to high frequency in retargeting is working to modify later messages to audiences so that people aren’t seeing the same ad over and over again. This would require sending someone a different ad creative when they’ve moved further down the marketing funnel. The high frequency of ads is what results in ad fatigue, which then leads consumers to block and avoid ads altogether.
There is data to suggest that ad blocking isn’t growing exponentially. Forecasts by eMarketer project that American internet users utilizing ad blockers will still be one in four by 2020. There are, however, still people who aren’t thrilled with the value ads currently offer. Therefore, it’s important for marketers to take it upon themselves to ensure their target customers a positive ad experience.