The Ad-Blocking Conundrum


It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that ad blockers have become very popular.

Consumers have become fed up with having their digital experience interrupted by pop-up ads, ads showing up in the middle of articles, and just generally having to make do with less online real estate dedicated to the things that interest them.

Just take a look at these statistics released in the “2016 Mobile Adblocking” report from PageFair.

• At least 419 million people (22 percent of the world’s 1.9 billion smartphone users) are blocking ads on the mobile Web.

• Both mobile Web and in-app ads can now be blocked.

• As of March 2016 an estimated 408 million people are actively using mobile ad-blocking browsers (e.g., a mobile browser that blocks ads by default).

• As of March 2016 in Europe and North America there were 14 million monthly active users of mobile ad-blocking browsers.

• A further 4.9 million content blocking and in-app ad-blocking apps were downloaded from the app stores in Europe and North America since September 2014.

The increase of adblocking on the desktop began to slow in 2016, reaching its peak in 2018, before beginning to fall through 2020. However, over the last two years adblocking has started to rise again, with 290 million web users actively blocking ads worldwide in 2021.

As consumers, this trend proves that we were not alone in our dislike of online advertising.

But if you are a publisher or an advertiser – or even a small business owner trying to promote your business – these alarming statistics are cause for concern.

Over the past couple of decades, mainstream advertising has shifted its focus to the online world. After all, where can you get such broad reach for so little money? As social platforms and other forms of online advertising have grown, more and more screen real estate has been given over to revenue generating ads. In fact, some reports have stated that it won’t be long before organic reach is completely decimated in favor of paid results.

But it is clear that our patience and our tolerances have reached their limits and ad blocking has become the norm.

The biggest social media platform, Facebook, is fighting back. They are attempting to change their algorithm to manipulate ad blocking software and, in effect, creating unblockable ads. They’ve also instigated a program allowing users to exercise a bit of control over the advertising that they see. Obviously, online advertisers are watching how these techniques work to see if and how they can shift their strategies.

So back to the conundrum; as a consumer you hate the ads but as someone trying to grow your brand and convert visitors into customers, what can you do?

Well, organic search isn’t dead yet. And by using some techniques strategically, perhaps these strategies will maintain and improve the effectiveness of organic versus paid.

Try these quick tips to see how to improve your organic social reach:

1. Make sure that you are using your social sharing options on content pages. When users share your content this way the algorithms do not have the same impact.

2. Try to engage your visitors a little more by encouraging more user generated content such as on boxing videos or asking for reviews and comments.

3. Since people are more likely to read and interact with content from their peers, encourage employee advocacy.

4. Influencer marketing continues to be a great way to promote your brand. Leverage your influencer marketing as much as possible.

5. Create and share great content. Make sure that it identifies and solves your site visitors pain points.

6. Consider a referral program rewarding users for sharing your content.

7. If you are not including your social sharing options and handles in your emails, start doing so immediately.

Until next time…

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, contact us today.

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