The Rise of Digital Ad Blocking and Five Ways to Adapt

The Rise of Digital Ad Blocking

Are you getting fed up with digital ads showing up you where ever you go online? You are not alone. Statistics vary, but over a period from 2013 to Mar 2016 Smashing Magazine reports that ad blocking jumped from from 13% to 55%. Ad blocking rates on mobile devices have been reported even higher.

This is causing a lot of worry in the digital marketing world. Google Adwords and other more sophisticated digital ad services have commandeered the a lion’s share of the ad spending in a shift from print and other broadcast media. For B2C tourism businesses, this can really affect your ability to get in front of people’s eye. For those not fully involved in this, now is a good time to learn a little about this new wrinkle and what tactics you can employ to make sure that your message still gets out there.

The promise of digital advertising is great. Target ads to your best prospects, retarget your inbound website visitors with tracking ads and obtain outstanding ability to measure and test your advertising. It is not going away, but you should be thinking once again about how to diversify your limited marketing revenue. Here are some ideas to help you.

  1. If you are in a community that has a good visitor website, petition your local  DMO to buy into a community booking engine, like Simbiosis. It can be loaded up very quickly and contain all interested players, be they campgrounds, activity providers, food and drink, bed and breakfasts as well as more mainstream accommodators.  If your community does not have a good website, think about making your own with some partners. You may be able to apply for co-op advertising dollars from your province or other senior level marketing authority. Creating links to each other increases your chances of showing up on organic search results and if a person books something, it will suggest other items in your marketing group.
  2. If you are a brand and have good opportunities to get repeat business, you may want to pay for an app to be developed for mobile. But it is still up to you to make sure your customers download the app and keep using it.
  3. Ads on social media apps can’t be blocked like promoted tweets on Twitter and Facebook. Amplify your presence on Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. They are exploring new ways to advertise.
  4. Email marketing, the old workhorse is still showing a lot of life and generally has the best ROI. You should review your site to see if you can get more people signing up.
  5. Content marketing is by it’s nature unblockable, but just be aware that if you contribute to a “sponsored content” section of a sydicated pieced that some ad blockers will block it.

Influencer marketing, maybe more useful to B2B businesses, but reviews on review sites are hugely important. I covered this off in a previous post on this website.

This is far from being a definitive answer and already there a reports that ad blocking add-ons are disabling other functions like airline notifications. One article is headlined (Ad blockers are breaking the internet, study finds.)

If you eschew all sorts of digital marketing, check out this article on trade show secrets and a new article on making really effective rack brochures. There is also a fascinating story on CBC Radio’s Spark called Why brutalism is the hottest trend in web design with a interview with my friend Justin Jackson.