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Keep your ads from being blocked with these 3 tips

Keep Your Ads from Being Blocked with These 3 Tips

Reading time: 3 minutes
Ad blockers themselves are nothing new: As of 2015, an estimated 200 million consumers were using software to prevent unwanted items from loading to a website or app, with almost a quarter of that number from the US. [1] That translates to 45 million US consumers who are not seeing the ads that you’re paying to create, broadcast, and target to them.
What is new is Apple’s release of iOS 9, which includes a “content blocker” feature that allows users to block mobile website ads as well as prevent tracking scripts, social media widgets, and specific URLs from loading. With the rise of this new software, an estimated 700 million iPhone users can now block ads. [2]
Ad blockers are causing headaches for companies of all sizes. As a business, your advertising dollars need to count. Here are some ways you can make meaningful connections with new customers with ad blockers in mind:

1. Evaluate how well your ads are working for your audience.

  • Is your target audience tech-savvy and familiar with ad blockers? According to a 2014 survey, millennials actively use ad blockers, and men are 48% more likely to use them than women. [3]
  • Are your ads resonating with your audience in the first place? It’s worth your time to put together a survey and find out if your customers like how you advertise.

2. Focus on the viewability of your ads.

Digital advertising fraud (intentionally serving ads that have no chance of being seen by a person, but are still counted as having been seen in order to boost traffic) has been problematic for a while. Before the iOS 9 update, one study found that 11% of online display ads and 23% of video ads are not shown to real people. [4]
  • Consider shifting your ad spend to places like the Google Display Network, which only counts an impression if they’re sure a real person laid eyes on your ad.
  • Diligently research any publishing network that you’re thinking about working with, and demand transparency from them about where their viewership comes from. According to the Association of National Advertisers, publishers who use sourced traffic (any method to acquire more visitors through third parties) have three times the amount of fraudulent traffic. [5]

3. Take the inbound approach.

Ad blockers work on desktop and mobile web browsers—but they don’t work inside apps. (Well, most of them don’t. An iOS in-app ad blocker called Been Choice was removed from the App Store amid some controversy. [6]) It's time to look at in-app advertising and figure out how it can work for you.
  • Pinterest’s “Promoted Pins” are a great example, as are Facebook Newsfeed ads, LinkedIn’s “Sponsored Updates,” and Twitter’s “Promoted Tweets.”
While use of ad blockers is on the rise, digital publishers are finding ways to work around the issue, such as: paying the ad blockers to unblock certain ads; reminding the user that they rely on ad revenue for survival and asking them to turn off the software; or even denying the user access to the website unless they turn off their ad blocker software.
Meanwhile, what does this all mean for your business? Be sure to spend some time doing an overall review of where you’re spending your marketing dollars, and consider alternate ways they might be spent more effectively.

More ways to grow your business with the right technology

[3] PageFair and Adobe, Adblocking goes mainstream
[5] Association of National Advertisers, The Bot Baseline: Fraud in Digital Advertising

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