iOS 9 hit the market recently and what is arguably the most popular discussion is its support for ad blockers. Ad blockers aren’t new but integration into one of the most used mobile browsers out there has caused a flurry of analysis on their implications.
Up until now they were primarily found on desktop browsers. Considering the growth in traffic for so many sites from mobile devices, the addition of ad blockers to the mobile experience is becoming a big deal for a lot of reasons.
Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief for The Verge, wrote a brilliant article on what’s fueling the availability and use of ad blockers (hint: it’s not simply to make your browsing experience better). Even Google, the giant of search advertising, is experimenting with methods to show less ads through Google Contribute which is likely a response to the rise of ad blockers.
The Marketer’s Challenge
Regardless of the reason behind growing ad blocker use, the result is the same. It’s another challenge marketers face connecting with potential customers.
Here’s a few tactics marketers have been using (and to some extent, still do) to reach potential customers:
Search based banner and text ads
These ads, mostly run through Google, have been a staple of digital advertising but they are becoming less effective because of ad blockers and generally being overlooked by the web browsing public.
Through the magic of remarketing we have the ability to serve ads to a slightly more interested audience since they’ve shown interest in what we have to offer by visiting our website. Remarketing ads are still banner and text ads which means there is a strong chance your intended audience may never see it.
Marketers used to be able to build up a following of supporters and customers on Facebook and those efforts were rewarded with a more direct line of communication. Well, guess what folks. Facebook needed to make a buck so they began limiting the organic reach of posts to your fans and the only real option became pay-to-play. Show Facebook the money and you can reach as many of your own fans as you want.
The Move To Inbound
Given these scenarios, it’s no surprise that inbound marketing has become such a dominant focus for so many businesses. It’s become a better use of time and money to create compelling content through blog posts, e-books, and videos that attract potential customers to you, versus creating an ad that may not even be seen by your target audience.
Whatever method you use to get a visitor to your site, it isn’t enough.
Once they leave, even if you’ve set a retargeting cookie, you’re back to using paid channels to try and get them back for a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th time.
Unless you have an email address.
Getting an (opt-in) email address represents more than just being able to communicate directly. It’s also an important tipping point that signifies the visitor has crossed over from suspect to prospect, and if you treat them right, to customer and advocate.
Grow And Nurture Your Email List
How do you do that? Here are a few tips:
- Have a compelling story and offer something of value so visitors enthusiastically provide email addresses. Need some ideas for what to offer?
- Treat that email address and every communication sent to it as an opportunity to continue meeting their expectation of value (and maybe exceed it sometimes!)
- Make it ridiculously easy to not hear from you again if they so choose and proactively stop communicating if they aren’t responsive.
Constraint creates innovation and creativity, so it’s time for us marketers to embrace ad blocking and use it to create awesome content, offers, and customer communications.
Enter our flash giveaway! What’s your your favorite way to grow and engage you audience? Comment on this embedded Facebook post below with your *favorite* tip from this blog post and you’ll be entered for a chance to win some Rafflecopter swag (giveaway terms and conditions listed here). Good luck!